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Portable Weld Penetration Test Equipment

weld penetration test equipment

Welding is the most commonly observed method for fusion and fabrication in many industries. The quality of the weld dictates the component quality, which ultimately reflects on the efficiency of the operation. Thus, many welding methods can achieve this quality depending on the types of materials involved. First, however, an inspection of the weld is necessary to make sure this weld is seamless and flaw-free.

The examination of weld penetration is the most vital in the process as it plays a direct role in ensuring the strength of the weld. However, it is difficult to assess the penetration depth in tubes or pipes, making it difficult to inspect the weld visually. Nondestructive testing (NDT) technologies can check for any flaw in the weld and test the depth of weld penetration without causing damage to the material and without hindering the operation. Portable equipment further simplifies the testing process by allowing in-field inspection and real-time analysis. 

Weld Penetration Testing

In oil and gas, automotive, or aerospace industries, welding is commonly used to join metallic components together. Ensuring the weld formed is strong enough is to confirm there is a deep enough penetration of the molten filler materials into the seams. Either the requirement is a partial or full penetration, the strength of the joint relies on the depth of the weld penetration achieved. The lack of proper penetration can create weak and poor-quality joints, leading to flaws like lamellar tears or cracks, thus, affecting the strength and integrity of the metal component. On the other hand, excessive penetration can lead to issues like corrosion or erosion. 

Although visual inspection can help determine the weld quality, it may not apply in all applications. For instance, in oil and gas pipelines, where the groove is welded from just one side, it may be challenging to inspect the bond at the root of the joint due to the visual obscurity to the back of the weld. Thus, to thoroughly examine the weld, a non-visual and nondestructive method of inspection is often necessary. While NDT methods like eddy current testing have been used, the ultrasonic testing (UT) method can be the most effective weld penetration testing.    

Ultrasonic Testing to Examine Weld Penetration

Weld flaw and penetration depth assessment are simplified with the UT inspection method. Especially in components like pipes or tubes, ultrasonic weld penetration test equipment is suitable as only the access from one side of the material is enough for inspection. The transducer propagates the ultrasonic waves through the weld and the metal layer to perform the testing. Any interruptions or deflection in the reflected signal can be analyzed to locate and characterize the weld’s discontinuities, such as underbead cracks, inclusion, or pores. 

In the analysis of weld penetration, the reflected signal can be analyzed to identify the time taken for the beam to reflect back and see if it has been reflected from a lesser depth. This can indicate incomplete root penetration or lack of fusion in the weld zone. Similarly, in the case of excessive weld penetration, the reflected ultrasonic beam may have lesser energy. 

The sensitivity provided by ultrasonic waves to these flaws means the flaws are hard to miss, and results obtained from the test can be highly accurate and precise. This accuracy and precision can now be made accessible in the field with the help of portable weld penetration test equipment.

Portable NDT Solution Simplifies the Testing Anywhere

The advantages provided by ultrasonic weld penetration test equipment are most required in the field for applications like petroleum pipelines and refineries. With the help of portable equipment, such as Zetec’s TOPAZ family of instruments and the WELD Crawler, industries and operators can leverage the benefit of weld penetration testing flexibly without compromising on the accuracy of flaw detection. The study of root fusion, lack of penetration, or crack formation can be utilized to perform corrective measures and ensure proper weld design for the future.  

Zetec provides a wide range of ultrasonic testing technologies with weld quality inspection options. Our portable weld penetration test equipment fosters inspection efficiency and accuracy. Contact Zetec today to get NDT inspection equipment that conforms to your company’s needs.