UTComp, Inc. has worked with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (Alabama, USA) and York University in Toronto (Ontario, Canada) to complete independent third party validation testing of UltraAnalytix™. These papers were presented at the CAMX Conference on October 29, 2015.
Ahmed Arabi Hassen, Uday K. Vaidya, Geoffery E. Clarkson paper Innovative Nondestructive Ultrasonic Testing and Analysis for FRP Piping states:
“FRP pipes are on the rise due to their superior corrosion resistance, lightweight and high strength-to-weight ratio, which makes them attractive to be used in many industrial product applications. Prior knowledge of FRP piping defects, methods of inspection and FRP pipe material characterization prevents any unexpected failures. These defects affect the structural integrity of FRP pipes and their mechanical properties. Different methods and strategies for FRP pipe inspection can be used however UT inspection methods proved advantages over other method in terms of reliability, portability (in field use) and easiness. The ultrasonic method used in this paper is known as the UTComp® System and provides non-destructive assessment of the structural capacity of FRP piping systems. The method uses easily available instruments along with a short training cycle and highly automated data processing, thereby reducing inspector skill requirements. This paper shows that the method determines the actual structural capacity of FRP piping.
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Latheepan Murugathasan and Dr. Zheng (George) Zhu’s paper Experimental validation of ultrasonic non-destructive evaluation of residual service life of fiberglass reinforced plastic structures states:
“The results from the nondestructive tests are in good correlation with the prediction by the nondestructive test. Thus, the ultrasonic nondestructive test is a good indication of the modulus of material and the residual service life can then be inferred with knowledge of the design/theoretical modulus of the material….In practice, this is advantage for the ultrasonic nondestructive test method as the inspector can inspect the pressure vessels from outside without the need to shut down the plant to get the thickness information by drilling.”
Since UltraAnalytix™ was introduced to the market in 2008, there has been skepticism about the validity and reliability. Intuitively, many people thought that ultrasound can be used to test FRP and applied similar methods as used in metals. However, fiber-reinforced plastics are very different and it is only with the post processing using the UTComp proprietary algorithm that the innovative and significant results can be reported. Geoff Clarkson began working on developing this system in 2000 when he was asked at an oil refinery how to create a remaining service life curve for fiber glass as can be done for steel. At the time the answer was “there is no way” however with many years of research, including internal validation against destructive testing and research in to what has been done in the past, it was discovered that not only can reliable thickness results be delivered but also STRENGTH, CORROSION BARRIER, GLASS ORIENTATION. The system continues to evolve and develop well beyond corrosion application (vessels and pipe). UTComp has also evaluated wind-turbine blades, high speed train cabs, and other applications.
Contact UTComp or any of our licensees for more information.