Advances in Inspection Technology

The Distinguished Merit Award is awarded to:

Jeremy Buck, Steven Hogg, Dag Horn, Colin Kramer, Jia Lei, and Brian Lepine for developing an advanced inspection technique that accurately measures the thickness of carbon steel pipes or plates in nuclear facilities using a non-contact electromagnetic method.  The probe array combined two pulsed eddy current (PEC) senor types for increased accuracy and reliability.  The performance of probe designs was verified through finite-element computer modeling. A final probe design was transferred to the inspection project to be manufactured at CNL.  Three complementary data analysis techniques were developed.  The first technique was based on a fast way of processing the data for immediate results during the actual inspection, the second data processing method was considered more accurate but required longer to process following the inspection, and the third and most accurate method used an advanced technique that applies multi-frequency analysis algorithms to time-based PEC signals to validate the first two methods in a sample of pipes.  The team prepared an inspection procedure and took the newly-developed system to the field in the fall of 2015 to inspect 10 tile holes.   The data was then analyzed by the team at three different levels.  The final results demonstrated the technology had excellent accuracy and very good agreement with ultrasonics.  The probes were found to be so sensitive that they could identify thickness variations in the piping caused by the pipe manufacturing process.