Non-destructive testing for FRP composite assets
UltraAnalytix® is a patented non-destructive (NDT) and non-intrusive method for in-service and quality assurance inspection of industrial equipment made of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) and other composite materials. It is the only ultrasonic NDT method to provide Fitness-For-Service assessments for FRP composites by inspectors certified in accordance with ASNT SNT-TC-1A practice.
The UltraAnalytix NDT system combines ultrasonic data collected in the field, external visual inspection and analysis using a proprietary algorithm, based on more than 60 years of scientific research, including work originally conducted by NASA.
In-service evaluation of FRP composite equipment and components
Data is collected from an external surface, often while FRP tanks or piping are in operation, 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.
4,000+ FRP assets under inspection worldwide
UTComp’s UltraAnalytix database now contains more than 3.5-million data values from 4,000+ FRP and composite assets, giving our customers unparalleled reliability intelligence for in-service assets around the world.
What that means for asset owners:
1. The data for an asset is updated for repeat inspections, so you’ll know how the equipment is changing for accurate service-life forecasting.
2. Inspectors may change over time, but the data for your assets are always available.
3. You’ll also always have access to accurate asset information, including chemical contents, resin, compliance standards, etc.
Validated NDT results
UltraAnalytix NDT inspection is more than conventional ultrasonic thickness testing for FRP and composites: innovative post-processing of the raw ultrasonic data using a proprietary algorithm provides repeatable and reproducible results.
These results are validated by UTComp internal research and by independent research at the University of Alabama and York University in Toronto, Ontario. There have been 500+ comparisons between UltraAnalytix NDT and destructive tests, making the technology the most validated NDT solution for composites, including visual inspection. 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, U.S. Patent No. 10,527,591 B2 and U.S. Patent 10,816,514, and is in use worldwide in many different industries. See Applications.
UltraAnalytix 4-step process
Composite asset quality assurance
The UTComp UltraAnalytix system also provides non-destructive testing of new FRP composite material assets for assurance that the equipment or components comply with specifications, are free of manufacturing defects and will meet their intended serviceability.
UltraAnalytix advantages also include:
- FRP of all ages can be evaluated WITHOUT previous information;
- 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.
Service Delivery Options
Work directly with UTComp: Our engineers are available to travel to your location to handle all aspects of the inspection project. We also work with plant management and staff to develop in-house capacity (certified onsite data collection representatives) and inspection plans. New online training and software allow onsite data collection reps to perform UltraAnalytix inspection anywhere in the world with a few hours of training, the necessary equipment and an Internet connection.
Work with a UTComp licensee or onsite data collection rep: Our network of licensees and data collection reps is available to visit locations across North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. UltraAnalytix data is collected and sent to UTComp for analysis and reporting.
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.