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STEAM TURBINE Service Solutions

Non-destructive testing
of rotors from the bore
Alstom offers comprehensive non-destructive
testing of rotors from the
bore during steam turbine
outages. This allows any
potential flaws to be identified over the length of the
bore. Repairs can then be
made to ensure safe
operation of the rotor.

Proven, early flaw detection


BACKGROUND

Early forging techniques used to form rotors have been largely superseded by modern
methods. Previously it was necessary to bore an axial hole through the centre of the
rotor to remove any inclusions that may have formed.
The rotor bore experiences high stress levels in operation. In 1974 a 275MW IP/LP unit
suffered a catastrophic failure due to a crack initiating near the rotor bore surface.
This failure could have been prevented if the crack had been detected and suitable
repairs made.

ALSTOMS SOLUTION

Alstom recommends periodic rotor inspections to detect and/or monitor potentially


harmful defects within the rotor. For these we provide non-destructive testing (NDT)
of rotor forgings, including monobloc forgings, shrunk on disc rotor shafts and
generator forgings. A complete service is provided, including bore plug removal,
bore preparation (honing) and re-plugging.
The inspection is performed using an automated borescanner (Figure 1). The current
version is equipped with a combination of Ultrasound (UT) and Eddy Current (EC)
probes; the UT allowing for a thorough inspection of the rotor volume whilst the EC
inspects the bore surface. The borescanner is also equipped with motorised legs,
allowing it to adapt to the bore diameter even when in use; a particularly useful feature
for bottled bores.
Both the UT and EC sensors are mounted on the same probes and operate in parallel,
giving a scanning rate at least four times faster than the equivalent coverage by
manual methods. Typically the probes scan axially forwards and backwards, whilst also
tracking circumferentially in a helical pattern (both clockwise and anticlockwise).

CUSTOMER BENEFITS

Proven technique

The borescanner uses a dedicated docking station which attaches magnetically to the
rotor. Once in place, the scanner is pushed to the far end of the rotor bore to begin the
scan. An indexed motor then gives accurate scanning control as the scanner is pulled
back towards the docking station. This arrangement allows for a smaller docking
station than a front loading design.

numerous rotors tested with


automated borescanner
Experienced operators, backed
by skilled engineering teams
Early detection of potentially
damaging rotor defects
Increased reliability
Collection of useful data for
a Turbine Life Assessment
Figure 1: The borescanner at work

TPW/BPROS/NDTRB/eng/STM/03.13/CH/7806 ALSTOM 2013. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is indicative only. No representation
or warranty is given or should be relied on that it is complete or correct or will apply to any particular project. This will depend on the technical and commercial
circumstances. It is provided without liability and is subject to change without notice. Reproduction, use or disclosure to third parties, without express written
authority, is strictly prohibited. Alstom contributes to the protection of the environment. This leaflet is printed on environmentally-friendly paper.

STEAM TURBINE Service Solutions


Non-destructive testing
of rotors from the bore

The following is a summary of the borescanners detection capabilities:


Bore length

< 15m

Bore

70-300mm

Number of diameters*

2 (for bottled bores)

Defect size detected

1mm (d<50mm), 2mm (d>50mm)

The data is immediately displayed and recorded for analysis. It can also be stored for
future comparison, or form part of a Turbine Lifetime Assessment.

Figure 2: The borescanner in action

The timings for a typical bore inspection are as follows:


Set-up

<2 hours

Axial speed

1m/hour

Passes required

Total inspection time

1 day (for 8m rotor)

An assessment report is included in the inspection package. The discovery of any defect
gives the opportunity for repair, thus increasing the life of the rotor and preventing an
unplanned (and potentially dangerous) outage.

REFERENCES

Since 2008, Alstom has tested numerous rotors using an automated borescanner.
TPW/BPROS/NDTRB/eng/STM/11.12/CH/7806 ALSTOM 2013. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is indicative only. No representation
or warranty is given or should be relied on that it is complete or correct or will apply to any particular project. This will depend on the technical and commercial
circumstances. It is provided without liability and is subject to change without notice. Reproduction, use or disclosure to third parties, without express written
authority, is strictly prohibited. Alstom contributes to the protection of the environment. This leaflet is printed on environmentally-friendly paper.

For more information


please contact Alstom Power:
ALSTOM (Switzerland) Ltd.
Brown Boveri Strasse 7
5401 Baden
Switzerland
Visit us online: www.alstom.com