Non-destructive inspection for FRP and composite assets
UltraAnalytix® is a patented non-destructive and non-intrusive method for in-service and quality assurance inspection of industrial equipment made of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) and other composite materials.
The UltraAnalytix® system combines ultrasonic data collected in the field, external visual inspection and analysis using a proprietary algorithm, a system that is based on more than 60 years of scientific research, including work originally conducted by NASA.
It is more than conventional ultrasonic thickness testing: innovative post-processing of the raw ultrasonic data using a proprietary algorithm provides repeatable and reproducible results. These results have been validated by UTComp internal research and by independent research at the University of Alabama and York University in Toronto, Ontario. Learn more about UltraAnalytix® research & validation.
The UltraAnalytix® system and method for analysis of fiber reinforced composites has been issued U.S. Patent No. 9,989,502 and U.S. Patent No. 10,527,591 B2, and is in use worldwide in many different industries. See Applications.
In-service evaluation of FRP equipment and components
Data is collected from an external surface, often while tanks or piping are in operation, thereby limiting the need for confined space entry. There is never a need to cut test samples out of the asset, allowing the structural integrity to remain intact and reducing the need for confined space entry.
Composite asset quality assurance
The UTComp UltraAnalytix® system is a non-destructive means of inspecting new FRP or composite material assets to provide owners with assurance that the equipment or components comply with specifications, are free of manufacturing defects and will meet their intended serviceability.
Other UltraAnalytix® advantages include:
- FRP of all ages can be evaluated WITHOUT previous information;
- The initial testing can be completed in the manufacturer’s facility, and while the plant is in full production;
- The owner does not have to wait for a shutdown or, worse yet, create a shutdown for the inspection;
- A baseline from manufacturer or installation can be set for ongoing inspections;
- The regular scheduled inspections create a monitoring curve;
- Data can be collected by UTComp-trained personnel: UTComp employee, an end-user employee, manufacturer or a licensee;
- Provides production information for manufacturers to minimize wastage or over production;
- Provides measurement for acceptance criteria;
- Verify the quality and successful achievement of customer requirements;
- Proactive inspection can help avoid failures therefore avoiding costly repairs, clean up and negative public relations.
How UltraAnalytix® works:
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Reduced Aperture Delay (RAD) Line
The UltraAnalytix® system also allows for the accurate testing of small-diameter FRP pipe with the Reduced Aperture Delay (RAD) Line. The U.S. Patent 10,295,506, titled “ULTRASOUND TRANSDUCER WITH REDUCED APERTURE DELAY LINE” was issued for the RAD Line. It easily fastens to an existing transducer and improves coupling to allow ultrasonic energy to be applied accurately to FRP with an outside radius of curvature between 50 mm (2 inches) and 300 mm (12 inches).
UltraAnalytix® Requirements and Limitations
- Transducer must be in contact with surface
- Accurate results require data analysis with UTComp’s proprietary algorithm (interpretation in the field is not possible)
- Operates best at temperatures >50°F or 10°C
- Cannot be used for inspection of structures with foam cores and thick (>3 inch or 7.5 cm) balsa core
- Cannot be used to inspect pipe less than 2 inch or 50 mm outside diameter
- Cannot be used in magnetic fields within 8 ft (2400 mm) of conductor carrying 120,000+ Amps
Questions? Contact us.