Development and validation of an automated non-destructive evaluation (NDE) approach for testing welded joints in plastic pipes

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Abstract:

A reliable non-destructive evaluation (NDE) approach is required for the inspection of different polyethylene (PE) pipe joints in various material grades and pipe sizes. In February 2010, a European (FP7)-funded project on the development and validation of an automated non-destructive evaluation (NDE) approach for testing welded joints in plastic pipes (TestPEP), involving 13 organisations from seven European countries, was started. Several individual tasks need to be solved before approaching the final solution. The challenging material properties of PE pipes, low speed of sound and high-frequency-dependent attenuation, must be overcome. A flexible scanner with probe and wedge holder incorporated must be adaptable for the variety of pipe joint configurations. Furthermore, a rugged flaw detector instrument will be developed, capable of performing the advanced procedures required for these materials. In this paper, the technical problem, industry needs and the proposed approach to the solution are stated. Initial results show the route for success in the project together with the proposed inspection system and inspection techniques.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1784/insi.2011.53.4.201

Affiliations: 1 NDT Section of TWI Ltd, Granta Park, Great Abington, Cambridge CB21 6AL, UK.

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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