During construction, reconstruction and technical inspection of vertical steel tanks (VST), all wall butt weld joints are subjected to ultrasonic testing to detect internal defects or flaws. The considerable length of examined welds (it can exceed 3,000 m) necessitates the development and implementation of mechanized and automated inspection systems that can increase the rate of testing and documentation of results. Systems of mechanized and automated ultrasonic echo-testing do not support the detection of all defect types and reliable determination of their geometric parameters. The Time-of-Flight Diffraction (TOFD) technique makes it possible to estimate the height of the defect regardless of its type and orientation. However, the application of TOFD technique for welds with non-equal wall thickness is complicated by the fact that the standard software of flaw detectors (‘depth calculator’) does not consider this non-uniformity. The authors have developed the testing procedure to overcome this limitation and to determine the depth of defects in the welds with non-equal wall thickness by TOFD technique using the standard ‘depth calculator’. An experimental verification of this technology confirmed the correctness of the calculations. The inspection scheme and calculation of the depth of discontinuity boundaries using the TOFD technique were tested using the example of the welded joint of the walls with non-equal thickness of the 10,000-m3 tank under construction. The thickness of the walls was 12 and 14 mm; 8 and 10 mm. The inspection of the real facility has confirmed good detection of defects and high reliability of the results.
How to Cite
Melded joint, inspection of welded joints, TOFD, vertical steel tank, welded joints with non-equal thickness, ultrasonic testing.
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