What Is a Phased Array Ultrasonic Examination?

13 April 2020
 Categories: Business, Blog

One of the biggest quality-control challenges in many industries is trying to peek inside objects without hurting them. This is where phased array ultrasonic examination services enter the picture for many operations. You may have questions about what a phased array ultrasonic examination; here are a few answers to commonly asked questions.

What Is Involved During the Examination?

A series of ultrasonic transducers are set up in an array to act as probes that can safely and non-destructively inspect the interior of many kinds of objects. Ultrasound is a class of audio waves that are in ranges well above what a human being can hear.

If you've ever seen an ultrasound image taken by a technician at a doctor's office, then you have a pretty good idea of what a single probe can detect. The logic of using multiple transducers in an array is to probe at slightly different points and angles to collect even more imaging data. This can be used to form a 3-D image of what the interior of an object looks like.

Notably, this process is computationally intensive. Most systems are connected to computers, and the arrays have to be tightly calibrated to get accurate images.

Which Industries Use These Systems?

Many industries employ phased array ultrasonic examination services. They're frequently used to check the precision of measurements in piece work, sort of like an advanced caliper. You can also use a phased array ultrasonic examination to identify internal corrosion, look for cracks, check the quality of welds, and inspect items for defects.

Generally, organizations that have little to no tolerance for failure in their equipment and materials like to use the phased array ultrasonic examination process. For example, NASA employs these systems because they can't afford to have the arm on a probe or satellite break when it's millions of miles away and can't be serviced. Folks in construction and manufacturing often use them when looking at critical structures and components, too. Phased array ultrasonic examination is meant for jobs where failure is not an option.

What Are the Limitations of the Process?

A major limitation of this approach to examining objects is that it can only peek so far inside something. Particularly if you require a very detailed read of the interior of an object, the image will get fuzzier the further away from the focal point you look. It's possible for a skilled technician to refocus and re-examine an object in multiple passes, but this can become especially time-consuming.

For more information, contact phased array ultrasonic examination services.