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Phased Array Testing

Basic Theory for


Industrial Applications

NDT Field Guides

PhasedArrayTesting
BasicTheoryfor
IndustrialApplications

Olympus NDT

NDT Field Guides

PhasedArrayTesting:BasicTheoryforIndustrialApplications
Seriescoordinator:MeindertAnderson
Technicalreviewersandadvisers:DanielKass,MichaelMolesPhD,TomNelligan
Layout,graphics,editing,proofreading,andindexing:Olympus NDTsTechnical
CommunicationsService
Publishedby:Olympus NDT,48WoerdAvenue,Waltham,MA 02453,USA
Marketinganddistribution:OlympusNDT
The information contained in this document is subject to change or revision
withoutnotice.
OlympusNDTpartnumber:DMTA2000301EN,rev. B
2010,2012OlympusNDT,Inc.Allrightsreserved.Nopartofthispublication
may be reproduced, translated or distributed without the express written
permissionofOlympusNDT,Inc.
PrintedinCanada
Secondedition,February2012
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Table of Contents

Preface ..........................................................................................1
AboutThisGuide ..................................................................1
AboutOlympus .....................................................................2
ANoteonTerminology ........................................................3

1.

Introduction .......................................................................5
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4

2.

PhasedArrayProbes ......................................................11
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
2.7
2.8
2.9

3.

AScanData ..........................................................................38
SingleValueBScans............................................................39
CrosssectionalBScans.......................................................40
LinearScans ..........................................................................42
CScans ..................................................................................43
SScans ...................................................................................46
CombinedImageFormats ..................................................48
ScanRateandDataAcquisition ........................................48

PhasedArrayInstrumentation .....................................51
4.1
4.2

5.

UltrasonicBeamCharacteristics ........................................11
FundamentalPropertiesofSoundWaves ........................14
PhasedArrayProbeCharacteristics..................................21
PhasedArrayWedges .........................................................24
PhasedPulsing .....................................................................25
BeamShapingandSteering................................................27
BeamFocusingwithPhasedArrayProbes ......................31
GratingLobesandSideLobes ...........................................33
PhasedArrayProbeSelectionSummary .........................34

BasicsofPhasedArrayImaging...................................37
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7
3.8

4.

GeneralIntroductiontoPhasedArrayTesting .................5
WhatIsaPhasedArraySystem?.........................................7
HowDoesUltrasonicPhasingWork?.................................8
AdvantagesofPhasedArrayasComparedwith
ConventionalUT..................................................................10

ImportantSpecifications .....................................................51
CalibrationandNormalizationMethods .........................59

PhasedArrayTestSetupandDisplayFormat...........63

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TableofContentsiii

5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5

InstrumentSetupConsiderations ..................................... 63
NormalBeamLinearScans................................................ 66
AngleBeamLinearScans................................................... 69
SScanDisplayExamples ................................................... 72
InterpretingReflectorPositioning .................................... 76

Appendix A:ConstantsandUsefulFormulaTables.........81
Appendix B:UnitConversion ...............................................87
Appendix C:SupportandTraining ......................................89
Appendix D:TypesofEquipmentAvailable......................91
D.1 EPOCH 1000SeriesAdvancedUltrasonicFlaw
DetectorswithPhasedArrayImaging............................. 92
D.2 OmniScanSeriesModularAdvancedFlawDetectors
withUT,PA,EC,andECATechnologies ........................ 93
D.3 TomoScanFOCUSLTPowerful,Flexible,andCompact
UTDataAcquisitionSystem ............................................. 94
D.4 TomoViewUTDataAcquisitionandAnalysis
Software ................................................................................ 95

PhasedArrayGlossary............................................................97
SelectedReferences ...............................................................103
Index .........................................................................................105

ivTableofContents

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Preface

As industrial ultrasonic testing moved into the twentyfirst century,


probably the most important development in the field was the
increasing availability and acceptance of portable phased array
imaging instruments. Phased array testing is grounded in the same
basicwavephysicsthatsupportstheconventionalflawdetectorsand
thicknessgagesthathavebeenincommercialuseformorethanfifty
years. However, the increased capability offered by phased array
testing frequently requires a higher level of skill and understanding
on the part of inspectors using phased array testing. Thus, the
introduction of new phased array instruments calls for the
developmentofnewtrainingresourcesaswell.
Olympus is proud to introduce this new Phased Array Testing field
guide as a convenient resource for customers and anyone else
interestedinphasedarraytechnology.Itisdesignedtobeaneasyto
follow introduction to ultrasonic phased array testing, both for
newcomersandformoreexperienceduserswhowishtoreviewbasic
principles.Thisguidebeginsbyexplainingwhatphasedarraytesting
is and how it works, then outlines some considerations for selecting
probes and instruments, and concludes with further reference
informationandaPhasedArrayGlossary.

About This Guide


Thisguideisdividedintothefollowingsections:
Chapter 1, Introduction. This chapter provides a brief history of
conventional ultrasonic and phased array testing. It also lists the
advantages of phased array testing as compared with conventional
ultrasonics.
Chapter 2, Phased Array Probes. This chapter describes how
ultrasonictransducersandphasedarrayprobesareconstructed,and
explainstheircharacteristics.Inaddition,thereaderlearnsaboutfocal
lawsequencing,beamshapingandsteering,andtransducerfocusing.
Chapter 3,BasicsofPhasedArrayImaging.Thischapterexplains
the various image formats available for presenting inspection data
througheasytounderstandillustrationsfrombothconventionaland
phasedarrayinstruments,including:Ascans,Bscans,Cscans,linear

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Preface1

scansandsectorialscans.
Chapter 4,PhasedArrayInstrumentation.Thischapterincludesa
briefoverviewofcommerciallyavailableinstrumentcategories.Italso
describesimportantspecificationsandfeaturestobeconsideredwhen
selectingbothconventionalandphasedarrayinstrumentation.
Chapter 5, Phased Array Test Setup and Display Format. This
chapterprovidesfurtherhelpwithinterpretingdisplaysandmaking
measurements.
Appendixes. These sections include a variety of reference
information, including useful ultrasonic formulas, material velocity
and acoustic impedance information, unit conversion, sources for
further training and reference, and the types of equipment available
thatutilizethesetechnologies.
PhasedArrayGlossary.Thisfinalsectionpresentsaconvenientlist
of definitions for terms used in conventional and phased array
ultrasonictesting.
Wehopethatthisguidewillbehelpfultoyouincarryingoutphased
arrayultrasonicinspections.Commentsandsuggestionsarewelcome,
andmaybesentto:info@olympusndt.com.

About Olympus
Olympus Corporation is an international company operating in
industrial, medical, and consumer markets, specializing in optics,
electronics, and precision engineering. Olympus instruments
contribute to the quality of products and add to the safety of
infrastructureandfacilities.
Olympus is a worldleading manufacturer of innovative
nondestructivetestingandmeasurementinstrumentsthatareusedin
industrial and research applications ranging from aerospace, power
generation, petrochemical, civil infrastructure, and automotive to
consumer products. Leadingedge testing technologies include
ultrasound, ultrasound phased array, eddy current, eddy current
array, microscopy, optical metrology, and Xray fluorescence. Its
products include flaw detectors, thickness gages, industrial NDT
systems and scanners, videoscopes, borescopes, highspeed video
cameras,microscopes,probes,andvariousaccessories.
Olympus NDT is based in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, and has
sales and service centers in all principal industrial locations
worldwide. Visit www.olympusims.com for applications and sales
assistance.

2Preface

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A Note on Terminology
Because widespread use of phased array testing is relatively new in
ultrasonicNDT,someterminologyisstillevolving.Therearecasesin
which specific industries, such as nuclear power, standards
organizations, such as ASME, and manufacturers of phased array
equipment use different terms for the same activity. The main
differencesincludethemanytermsusedforSscan,andtheuseofthe
termlinearscan.ThePhasedArrayGlossarypresentedattheendof
thisguidecanbereferencedforfurtherexplanation.Theterminology
usedinthisguideisintendedtobeconsistentwiththatincorporated
in Olympus NDT phased array instruments such as the OmniScan
andEPOCH 1000.
Thetermlinearscanisusedtodescribethescanformatinwhichthe
activebeamapertureiselectronicallymovedacrossthelengthofa
lineararrayprobe,eitheratnormalincidenceorafixedangle.This
format is alternately known as an Escan in certain ASME and
IIWdocuments.
Aprobethathasbeenprogrammedtogeneratealinearscaninthe
forward direction may also be mechanically moved along the
lengthofaweldorsimilartestpiece,generatinganencodedlinear
scan.ThisformatisknownasaonelinescanorCscan.
The term Sscan is used to describe the scan format in which the
beam angle is electronically swept through a selected range. This
format is also known as a sectorial, sector, azimuthal, or
swept angle scan. Alternately, in some instruments the term
Sscan has been applied to any stacked Ascan display, including
linearscans.
TimeVaried Gain (TVG) is also known as TimeCorrected Gain
(TCG).
Activity

Nuclear

Mechanicalscan
Onelinescan
alongweld(encoded)

ASME
Linearscan

Electronicscanat
fixedangle

Linearscan

Escan

Sscan

Sectorscan,sectorial Sscanalsosectorial
scan,orSscan
scan,sectorscan,or
sweptanglescan

Cscan

Onelinescan,or
multiplelinescans

Cscan

Inthisguide,wewilluseSscanforsweptanglescan,linearscanfor
swept aperture scan, and Cscan or oneline scan for any encoded
scan.

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Preface3

1. Introduction

1.1

General Introduction to Phased Array


Testing

Manypeoplearefamiliarwiththemedicalapplicationsofultrasonic
imaging, in which highfrequency sound waves are used to create
highly detailed crosssectional pictures of internal organs. Medical
sonograms are commonly made with specialized multielement
probes1 known as phased arrays and their accompanying hardware
and software. But the applications of ultrasonic phased array
technology are not limited to medical diagnosis. In recent years,
phased array systems have been increasing in use in industrial
settings to provide new levels of information and visualization in
common ultrasonic tests that include weld inspection, bond testing,
thicknessprofiling,andinservicecrackdetection.
During their first couple of decades, commercial ultrasonic
instruments relied entirely on single element transducers that used
one piezoelectric crystal to generate and receive sound waves, dual
element transducers that had separate transmitting and receiving
crystals, and pitchandcatch or throughtransmission systems that
used a pair of single element transducers in tandem. These
approaches are still used by the majority of current commercial
ultrasonic instruments designed for industrial flaw detection and
thickness gaging; however, instruments using phased arrays are
steadily becoming more important in the ultrasonic nondestructive
testing(NDT)field.
Theprincipleofconstructiveanddestructiveinteractionofwaveswas
demonstratedbyEnglishscientistThomasYoungin1801inanotable
experiment that utilized two point sources of light to create
interference patterns. Waves that combine in phase reinforce each
other, while waves that combine outofphase cancel each other (see
Figure11).

1. Asaglobalcompany,Olympus NDThaschosentousetheISOtermsfor
equipment;forexample,anarrayisspecificallycalledaprobeinthis
guide,notatransducer.

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Introduction5

Q = Maximum pressure
Q = Minimum pressure

Figure 1-1 Two-point source interference pattern


Phase shifting, or phasing, is in turn a way of controlling these
interactions by timeshifting wavefronts that originate from two or
more sources. It can be used to bend, steer, or focus the energy of a
wavefront. In the 1960s, researchers began developing ultrasonic
phasedarraysystemsthatutilizedmultiplepointsourcetransducers
that were pulsed so as to direct sound beams by means of these
controlled interference patterns. In the early 1970s, commercial
phasedarraysystemsformedicaldiagnosticuse,firstappearedusing
steeredbeamstocreatecrosssectionalimagesofthehumanbody(see
Figure12).

Figure 1-2 Phased arrays used for medical diagnoses


Initially, the use of ultrasonic phased array systems was largely
confined to the medical field, aided by the fact that the predictable
composition and structure of the human body make instrument
designandimageinterpretationrelativelystraightforward.Industrial
applications, on the other hand, represent a much greater challenge
because of the widely varying acoustic properties of metals,
composites,ceramics,plastics,andfiberglass,aswellastheenormous

6Chapter1

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varietyofthicknessesandgeometriesencounteredacrossthescopeof
industrial testing. The first industrial phased array systems,
introduced in the 1980s, were extremely large, and required data
transfer to a computer in order to do the processing and image
presentation. These systems were most typically used for inservice
power generation inspections. In large part, this technology was
pushed heavily in the nuclear market, where critical assessment
greatly allows the use of cutting edge technology for improving
probability of detection. Other early applications involved large
forgedshaftsandlowpressureturbinecomponents.
Portable,batterypoweredphasedarrayinstrumentsforindustrialuse
appearedintheearly2000s.Analogdesignshadrequiredpowerand
space to create the multichannel configurations necessary for beam
steering.However,thetransitionintothedigitalworldandtherapid
development of inexpensive embedded microprocessors enabled
more rapid development of the next generation phased array
equipment. In addition, the availability of lowpower electronic
components, better powersaving architectures, and industrywide
use of surfacemount board designs led to miniaturization of this
advanced technology. This resulted in phased array tools, which
allowed electronic setup, data processing, display, and analysis all
within a portable device, and so the doors were opened to more
widespread use across the industrial sector. This in turn gave the
ability to specify standard phased array probes for common
applications.

1.2

What Is a Phased Array System?

Conventional ultrasonic transducers for NDT commonly consist of


either a single active element that both generates and receives high
frequencysoundwaves,ortwopairedelements,onefortransmitting
and one for receiving. Phased array probes, on the other hand,
typicallyconsistofatransducerassemblywith16toasmanyas256
small individual elements that can each be pulsed separately (see
Figure 13 and Figure 14). These can be arranged in a strip (linear
array), 2D matrix, a ring (annular array), a circular matrix (circular
array), or a more complex shape. As is the case with conventional
transducers, phased array probes can be designed for direct contact
use, as part of an angle beam assembly with a wedge, or for
immersionusewithsoundcouplingthroughawaterpath.Transducer
frequencies are most commonly in the 2 MHz to 10 MHz range. A
phased array system also includes a sophisticated computerbased
instrument that is capable of driving the multielement probe,
receivinganddigitizingthereturningechoes,andplottingthatecho
information in various standard formats. Unlike conventional flaw
detectors, phased arraysystemscansweepa soundbeamthrough a
rangeofrefractedanglesoralongalinearpath,ordynamicallyfocus
at a number of different depths, thus increasing both flexibility and
capabilityininspectionsetups.

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Introduction7

Figure 1-3 Typical phased array probe assemblies

Individual elements

Piezocomposite
Figure 1-4 Typical multielement construction

1.3

How Does Ultrasonic Phasing Work?

In the most basic sense, a phased array system utilizes the wave
physics principle of phasing. It varies the time between a series of
outgoing ultrasonic pulses in such a way that the individual
wavefrontsgeneratedbyeachelementinthearraycombinewitheach
other. This action adds or cancels energy in predictable ways that
effectivelysteerandshapethesoundbeam.Thisisaccomplishedby
pulsingtheindividualprobeelementsatslightlydifferenttimes.
Frequently, the elements are pulsed in groups of 4 to 32 in order to
improve effective sensitivity by increasing aperture, which then
reduces unwanted beam spreading and enables sharper focusing.
Softwareknownasafocallawcalculatorestablishesspecificdelaytimes
for firing each group of elements in order to generate the desired
beam shape, taking into account probe and wedge characteristics as
wellasthegeometryandacousticalpropertiesofthetestmaterial.The
programmedpulsingsequenceselectedbytheinstrumentsoperating
softwarethenlaunchesanumberofindividualwavefrontsinthetest
material. These wavefronts, in turn, combine constructively and
destructivelyintoasingleprimarywavefrontthattravelsthroughthe
test material and reflects off cracks, discontinuities, back walls, and
other material boundaries like a conventional ultrasonic wave. The
beam can be dynamically steered through various angles, focal
distances, and focal spot sizes in such a way that a single probe
assembly is capable of examining the test material across a range of
different perspectives. This beam steering happens very quickly so
thatascanfrommultipleanglesorwithmultiplefocaldepthscanbe

8Chapter1

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performedinafractionofasecond.
Thereturningechoesarereceivedbythevariouselementsorgroups
ofelementsandtimeshiftedasnecessarytocompensateforvarying
wedge delays, and then summed. Unlike a conventional single
element transducer, which effectively merges the effects of all beam
componentsthatstrikeitsarea,aphasedarrayprobecanspatiallysort
thereturningwavefrontaccordingtothearrivaltimeandamplitude
at each element. When processed by instrument software, each
returnedfocallawrepresentsthereflectionfromaparticularangular
componentofthebeam,aparticularpointalongalinearpath,and/or
a reflection from a particular focal depth (see Figure 15 and Figure
16). The echo information can then be displayed in any of several
formats.

Delay (ns)
PA probe
Angle steering

Incident wavefront

Figure 1-5 Example of an angle beam generated by a flat probe by means of the
variable delay
Active group
16
1

128

Scanning direction

Figure 1-6 Example of focused angle beam linear scan

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Introduction9

1.4

Advantages of Phased Array as


Compared with Conventional UT

Ultrasonic phased array systems can potentially be employed in


almost any test where conventional ultrasonic flaw detectors have
traditionally been used. Weld inspection and crack detection are the
most important applications, and these tests are done across a wide
range of industries including aerospace, power generation,
petrochemical, metal billet and tubular goods suppliers, pipeline
construction and maintenance, structural metals, and general
manufacturing. Phased arrays can also be effectively used to profile
remainingwallthicknessincorrosionsurveyapplications.
ThebenefitsofphasedarraytechnologyoverconventionalUTcome
from its ability to use multiple elements to steer, focus, and scan
beams with a single probe assembly. Beam steering, commonly
referredtoasSscanning(sectorialscanning),canbeusedformapping
components at appropriate angles. This can greatly simplify the
inspectionofcomponentswithcomplexgeometry.Thesmallfootprint
of the probe and the ability to sweep the beam without moving the
probealsoaidstheinspectionofsuchcomponentsinsituationswhere
thereislimitedaccessformechanicalscanning.Sectorialscanningis
alsotypicallyusedforweldinspection.Theabilitytotestweldswith
multipleanglesfromasingleprobegreatlyincreasestheprobability
of detection of anomalies. Electronic focusing optimizes the beam
shape and size at the expected defect location, as well as further
optimizing probability of detection. The ability to focus at multiple
depths also improves the ability for sizing critical defects for
volumetricinspections.Focusingcansignificantlyimprovesignalto
noiseratioinchallengingapplications,andelectronicscanningacross
manygroupsofelementsallowsrapidproductionofCscanimages.
The ability to simultaneously test across multiple angles and/or to
scanalargerareaofthetestpiecethroughLinearscanningincreases
inspectionspeed.Phasedarray inspection speedscanbeasmuchas
10 times faster as compared to conventional UT thus providing a
majoradvantage.
Thepotentialdisadvantagesofphasedarraysystemsareasomewhat
higher cost and a requirement for operator training. However, these
costsarefrequentlyoffsetbytheirgreaterflexibilityandareduction
inthetimeneededtoperformagiveninspection.

10Chapter1

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2. Phased Array Probes

2.1

Ultrasonic Beam Characteristics

Conventional longitudinalwave ultrasonic transducers work as a


piston source of highfrequency mechanical vibrations, or sound
waves. As voltage is applied, the piezoelectric transducer element
(often called a crystal) deforms by compressing in the direction
perpendiculartoitsface.Whenthevoltageisremoved,typicallyless
than a microsecond later, the element springs back, generating the
pulse of mechanical energy that comprises an ultrasonic wave (see
Figure21).Similarly,iftheelementiscompressedbythepressureof
an arriving ultrasonic wave, it generates a voltage across its faces.
Thusasinglepiezoelectricelementcanactasbothatransmitterand
receiverofultrasonicpulses.

Rest state

++++++++++++++++++
++++++++

Voltage applied

Voltage removed

Return to rest state

Figure 2-1 Principle of the piezoelectric transducer element


AlltransducersofthekindmostcommonlyusedforultrasonicNDT

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PhasedArrayProbes11

havethefollowingfundamentalfunctionalproperties:
Type. The transducer is identified according to function as a contact,
delay line, angle beam, or immersion type. Inspected material
characteristics (such as surface roughness, temperature, accessibility
as well as the position of a defect within the material, and the
inspectionspeed)allinfluencetheselectionoftransducertype.
Size. The diameter or length and width of the active transducer
element,whichisnormallyhousedinasomewhatlargercase.
Frequency. The number of wave cycles completed in one second,
normally expressed in kilohertz (kHz) or megahertz (MHz). Most
industrial ultrasonic testing is done in the 500 kHz to 20 MHz
frequencyrange,somosttransducersfallwithinthatrange,although
commercial transducers are available from below 50 kHz to greater
than 200 MHz. Penetration increases with a lower frequency, while
resolutionandfocalsharpnessincreasewithahigherfrequency.
Bandwidth. The portion of the frequency response that falls within
specified amplitude limits. In this context, it should be noted that
typicalNDTtransducersdonotgeneratesoundwavesatasinglepure
frequency, but rather over a range of frequencies centered at the
nominal frequency designation. The industry standard is to specify
thisbandwidthatthe6 dB(orhalfamplitude)point.
Waveform duration. The number of wave cycles generated by the
transducereachtimeitispulsed.Anarrowbandwidthtransducerhas
morecyclesthanabroaderbandwidthtransducer.Elementdiameter,
backingmaterial,electricaltuning,andtransducerexcitationmethod
allimpactwaveformduration.
Sensitivity. The relationship between the amplitude of the excitation
pulseandthatoftheechoreceivedfromadesignatedtarget.
Beam profile. As a working approximation, the beam from a typical
unfocuseddisktransducerisoftenthoughtofasacolumnofenergy
originatingfromtheactiveelementareathatexpandsindiameterand
eventuallydissipates(seeFigure22).

Figure 2-2 Beam profile


Infact,theactualbeamprofileiscomplex,withpressuregradientsin
both the transverse and axial directions. In the beam profile
illustrationbelow(Figure23),redrepresentsareasofhighestenergy,
whilegreenandbluerepresentlowerenergy.

12Chapter2

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Figure 2-3 Areas of energy in the beam profile


The sound field of a transducer is divided into two zones: the near
fieldandthefarfield(seeFigure24).Thenearfieldistheregionclose
tothetransducerwherethesoundpressuregoesthroughaseriesof
maximumsandminimums,anditendsatthelastonaxismaximum
at distance N from the face. Near field distance N represents the
naturalfocusofthetransducer.

Figure 2-4 The sound field of a transducer


The far field is the region beyond N where the sound pressure
graduallydropstozeroasthebeamdiameterexpandsanditsenergy
dissipates. The near field distance is a function of the transducers
frequency and element size, and the sound velocity in the test
medium, and it can be calculated for the square or rectangular
elementscommonlyfoundinphasedarraytestingasfollows:
kL 2 f
N = ----------4c
where:
N
k
L
f
c

Olympus

or

kL 2
N = --------4

=nearfieldlength
=aspectratioconstant(seebelow)
=lengthofelementoraperture
=frequency
=soundvelocityintestmaterial
c
=wavelength= -f

PhasedArrayProbes13

TheaspectratioconstantisasshowninTable21.Itisbasedonthe
ratio between the short and long dimensions of the element or
aperture.
Table 2-1 Aspect ratio constant
Ratioshort/long

1.0

1.37(squareelement)

0.9

1.25

0.8

1.15

0.7

1.09

0.6

1.04

0.5

1.01

0.4

1.00

0.3andbelow

0.99

Inthecaseofcircularelements,kisnotusedandthediameterofthe
element(D)isusedinsteadofthelengthterm:
D2 f
N = --------4c

or

D2
N = ------4

Becauseofthesoundpressurevariationswithinthenearfield,itcan
be difficult to accurately evaluate flaws using amplitude based
techniques (although thickness gaging within the near field is not a
problem).Additionally,Nrepresentsthegreatestdistanceatwhicha
transducerbeamcanbefocusedbymeansofeitheranacousticlensor
phasing techniques. Focusing is discussed further in section 2.7, on
page 31.

2.2

Fundamental Properties of Sound


Waves

Wavefrontformation.Whileasingleelementtransducercanbethought
of asa piston source, a single disk,or plate pushingforward on the
testmedium,thewaveitgeneratescanbemathematicallymodeledas
thesumofthewavesfromaverylargenumberofpointsources.This
derivesfromHuygensprinciple,firstproposedbyseventeenthcentury
DutchphysicistChristiaanHuygens,whichstatesthateachpointon
an advancing wavefront may be thought of as a point source that
launches a new spherical wave, and that the resulting unified
wavefrontisthesumofalloftheseindividualsphericalwaves.
Beam spreading. In principle, the sound wave generated by a
transducer travels in a straight line until it encounters a material

14Chapter2

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boundary. What happens then is discussed below. But if the sound


path length is longer than the nearfield distance, the beam also
increases in diameter, diverging like the beam of a spotlight (see
Figure25).

BEAM AXIS

N
0

2N

3N

4N

Figure 2-5 Beam spread


The beam spread angle of an unfocused circular transducer beyond
thenearfieldcanbecalculatedasfollows:
D2 f
D2
Near field length = --------- = ------4
4c
D
f
c

=elementdiameteroraperture
=frequency
=soundvelocityintestmedium

c
=wavelength= -f

6 dBhalfbeamspreadangle()ofanunfocusedtransducer:
0.514c
= sin 1 ----------------
fD
From this equation it is seen that beam spread angle increases with
lowerfrequenciesandsmallerdiameters.Alargebeamspreadangle
cancausesoundenergyperunitareatoquicklydropwithdistance.
This effectively decreases sensitivity to small reflectors in some
applicationsinvolvinglongsoundpaths.Insuchcases,echoresponse
can be improved by using higher frequency and/or larger diameter
transducers.
In the case of rectangular elements, the beam spreading is
asymmetrical, with a larger beam spread angle across the smaller
dimension of the beam. The angle for each axis can be calculated
usingtheformulagivenbelow,usingtheappropriatelengthorwidth
forterm L:
0.44c
= sin 1 -------------
fL

Olympus

or

0.44
= sin 1 --------------
L

PhasedArrayProbes15

The following graphics show some generalized changes in beam


spreadingwithchangesintransducerdiameterandfrequency.Ifthe
frequency is constant, then beam spreading decreases as transducer
diameterincreases(seeFigure26andFigure27).

Velocity: 5850 m/s (0.230 in./s)


Frequency: 5.0 MHz

Diameter: 3 mm (0.125 in.)

Figure 2-6 Beam spreading with a 3 mm element

Velocity: 5850 m/s (0.230 in./s)


Frequency: 5.0 MHz

Diameter: 13 mm (0.5 in.)

Figure 2-7 Beam spreading with a 13 mm element


Ifthetransducerdiameterisconstant,thenbeamspreadingdecreases
asfrequencyincreases(seeFigure28andFigure29).

Velocity: 5850 m/s (0.230 in./s)


Frequency: 2.25 MHz

Diameter: 13 mm (0.5 in.)

Figure 2-8 Beam spreading with a 2.25 MHz element

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Velocity: 5850 m/s (0.230 in./s)


Frequency: 10.0 MHz

Diameter: 13 mm (0.5 in.)

Figure 2-9 Beam spreading with a 10 MHz element


Attenuation.Asittravelsthroughamedium,theorganizedwavefront
generatedbyanultrasonictransducerbeginstobreakdownduetoan
imperfect transmission of energy through the microstructure of any
material. Organized mechanical vibrations (sound waves) turn into
randommechanicalvibrations(heat)untilthewavefrontisnolonger
detectable.Thisprocessisknownassoundattenuation.
The mathematical theory of attenuation and scattering is complex.
Thelossofamplitudeduetoattenuationacrossagivensoundpathis
the sum of absorption effects and scattering effects. Absorption
increases linearly with frequency, while scattering varies through
three zones depending on the ratio of wavelength to grain size
boundariesorotherscatterers.Inallcases,scatteringeffectsincrease
withfrequency.Foragivenmaterialatagiventemperature,testedata
givenfrequency,thereisaspecificattenuationcoefficient,commonly
expressed in Nepers per centimeter (Np/cm). Once this attenuation
coefficient is known, losses across a given sound path can be
calculatedaccordingtotheequation:
p = p 0 e ad
where:
p
p0

=soundpressureatendofpath
=soundpressureatbeginningofpath

e
a
d

=baseofnaturallogarithm
=attenuationcoefficient
=soundpathlength

As a practical matter, in ultrasonic NDT applications, attenuation


coefficients are normally measured rather than calculated. Higher
frequenciesareattenuatedmorerapidlythanlowerfrequenciesinany
medium, so low test frequencies are usually employed in materials
with high attenuation coefficients such as lowdensity plastics and
rubber.
Reflection and transmission at a perpendicular plane boundary. When a
soundwavetravelingthroughamediumencountersaboundarywith
a dissimilar medium that lies perpendicular to the direction of the
wave, a portion of the wave energy is reflected straight back and a

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PhasedArrayProbes17

portioncontinuesstraightahead.Thepercentageofreflectionversus
transmissionisrelatedtotherelativeacousticimpedancesofthetwo
materials,withacousticimpedanceinturnbeingdefinedasmaterial
density multiplied by speed of sound. The reflection coefficient at a
planar boundary (the percentage of sound energy that is reflected
backtothesource)canbecalculatedasfollows:
Z2 Z1
R = ------------------Z2 + Z1
where:
R
Z1

=reflectioncoefficientinpercent
=acousticimpedanceoffirstmedium

Z2

=acousticimpedanceofsecondmedium

Fromthisequationitcanbeseenthatastheacousticimpedancesof
the two materials become more similar, the reflection coefficient
decreases, and as the acoustic impedances become less similar, the
reflection coefficient increases. In theory the reflection from the
boundary between two materials of the same acoustic impedance is
zero, while in the case of materials with very dissimilar acoustic
impedances, as in a boundary between steel and air, the reflection
coefficientapproaches100 %.
Refractionandmodeconversionatnonperpendicularboundaries.Whena
soundwavetravelingthroughamaterialencountersaboundarywith
adifferentmaterialatanangleotherthanzerodegrees,aportionof
thewaveenergyisreflectedforwardatanangleequaltotheangleof
incidence. At the same time, the portion of the wave energy that is
transmitted into the second material is refracted in accordance with
Snells Law, which was independently derived by at least two
seventeenthcentury mathematicians. Snells law relates the sines of
theincidentandrefractedangletothewavevelocityineachmaterial
asdiagramedbelow.

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e

e


Figure 2-10 Sound wave refraction and mode conversion


sin
sin
sin rs
------------i = -------------rl- = -------------ci
c rl
c rs
where:
i

=incidentangleofthewedge

rl

=angleoftherefractedlongitudinalwave

rs

=angleoftherefractedshearwave

ci

=velocityoftheincidentmaterial(longitudinal)

crl

=materialsoundvelocity(longitudinal)

crs

=velocityofthetestmaterial(shear)

R
L
S

Longitudinal

Shear
Surface

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

Incident angle
1st Critical
angle

2nd Critical
angle

Figure 2-11 Relative amplitude of wave modes


Ifsoundvelocityinthesecondmediumishigherthanthatinthefirst,

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PhasedArrayProbes19

then above certain angles this bending is accompanied by mode


conversion, most commonly from a longitudinal wave mode to a
shear wave mode. This is the basis of widely used angle beam
inspection techniques. As the incident angle in the first (slower)
medium (such as a wedge or water) increases, the angle of the
refracted longitudinal wave in the second (faster) material such as
metalincreases.Astherefractedlongitudinalwaveangleapproaches
90 degrees, a progressively greater portion of the wave energy is
convertedtoalowervelocityshearwavethatisrefractedattheangle
predicted by Snells Law. At incident angles higher than that which
would create a 90 degree refracted longitudinal wave, the refracted
wave exists entirely in shear mode. A still higher incident angle
resultsinasituationwheretheshearwaveistheoreticallyrefractedat
90 degrees,atwhichpointasurfacewaveisgeneratedinthesecond
material. The diagrams in Figure 212, Figure 213, and Figure 214
showthiseffectforatypicalanglebeamassemblycoupledintosteel.

Figure 2-12 Incident angle: 10. Strong longitudinal wave and weak shear wave.

Figure 2-13 Incident angle: 30. Beyond the first critical angle, the longitudinal wave
no longer exists, and all refracted energy is contained in the shear wave.

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Figure 2-14 Incident angle: 65. Beyond the second critical angle, the shear wave no
longer exists, and all refracted energy is contained in a surface wave.

2.3

Phased Array Probe Characteristics

Figure 2-15 Phased array probes


Anarrayisanorganizedarrangementoflargequantitiesofanobject.
ThesimplestformofanultrasonicarrayforNDTwouldbeaseriesof
several single element transducers arranged in such a way as to
increase inspection coverage and/or the speed of a particular
inspection.Examplesofthisinclude:
Tube inspection, where multiple probes are often used for crack
detection, finding laminar flaws, and overall thickness
measurement.
Forgedmetalpartsinspection,whichoftenrequiremultipleprobes
focusedatdifferentdepthstoenablethedetectionofsmalldefects
inazonalmanner.
Composite and metal inspection, where a linear arrangement of
probesalongasurfaceisrequiredtoincreasedetectionoflaminar
flawsincompositesorcorrosioninmetals.
These inspections require highspeed, multichannel ultrasonic
equipment with proper pulsers, receivers, and gate logic to process
each channel as well as careful fixturing of each transducer to
properlysetuptheinspectionzones.

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PhasedArrayProbes21

Initssimplestform,onecanthinkofaphasedarrayprobeasaseries
of individual elements in one package (see Figure 216). While the
elements in reality are much smaller than conventional transducers,
theseelementscanbepulsedasagroupsoastogeneratedirectionally
controllable wavefronts. This electronic beam forming allows
multiple inspection zones to be programmed and analyzed at very
high speeds without probe movement. This is discussed in greater
detailinlaterpages.

Figure 2-16 Phased array probe


While phased array probes come in a wide range of sizes, shapes,
frequencies,andnumberofelements,whattheyallhaveincommonis
a piezoelectric element that has been divided into a number of
segments.
Contemporary phased array probes for industrial NDT applications
aretypicallyconstructedaroundpiezocompositematerials,whichare
madeupofmanytiny,thinrodsofpiezoelectricceramicembeddedin
a polymer matrix. While they can be more challenging to
manufacture, composite probes typically offer a 10 dB to 30 dB
sensitivity advantage over piezoceramic probes of otherwise similar
design.Segmentedmetalplatingisusedtodividethecompositestrip
into a number of electrically separate elements that can be pulsed
individually. This segmented element is then incorporated into a
probeassemblythatincludesaprotectivematchinglayer,abacking,
cableconnections,andahousing(seeFigure217).
Multiconductor
coaxial cable
Backing
External
housing

Inner
sleeve

Metallic
plating

Matching
layer

Piezocomposite
element

Figure 2-17 Phased array probe cross-section


Phased array probes are functionally categorized according to the

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followingbasicparameters:
Type.Mostphasedarrayprobesareoftheanglebeamtype,designed
for use with either a plastic wedge or a straight plastic shoe (zero
degreewedge),ordelayline.Directcontactandimmersionprobesare
alsoavailable.
Frequency.Mostultrasonicflawdetectionisdonebetween2 MHzand
10 MHz, so most phased array probes fall within that range. Lower
andhigherfrequencyprobesarealsoavailable.Aswithconventional
transducers, penetration increases with lower frequency, while
resolutionandfocalsharpnessincreasewithhigherfrequency.
Number of elements. Phased array probes most commonly have 16 to
128elements,withsomehavingasmanyas256.Alargernumberof
elements increases focusing and steering capability, which also
increases area coverage, but both probe and instrumentation costs
increase as well. Each of these elements is individually pulsed to
create the wavefront of interest. Hence the dimension across these
elementsisoftenreferredtoastheactiveorsteeringdirection.
Size of elements. As the element width gets smaller, beam steering
capabilityincreases,butlargeareacoveragerequiresmoreelementsat
ahighercost.
Thedimensionalparametersofaphasedarrayprobearecustomarily
definedasfollows:

Figure 2-18 Dimensional parameters of a phased array probe


A
H
p
e
g

= totalapertureinsteeringofactivedirection
= elementheightorelevation.Sincethisdimensionisfixed,
itisoftenreferredtoasthepassiveplane.
= pitch,orcentertocenterdistancebetweentwosuccessive
elements
= widthofanindividualelement
= spacingbetweenactiveelements

This information is used by instrument software to generate the


desired beam shape. If it is not entered automatically by probe
recognitionsoftware,thenitmustbeenteredbytheuserduringsetup.

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PhasedArrayProbes23

2.4

Phased Array Wedges

Phased array probe assemblies usually include a plastic wedge.


Wedges are used in both shear wave and longitudinal wave
applications, including straight beam linear scans. These wedges
perform basically the same function in phased array systems as in
conventional single element flaw detection, coupling sound energy
fromtheprobetothetestpieceinsuchawaythatitmodeconverts
and/orrefractsatadesiredangleinaccordancewithSnellslaw.While
phased array systems do utilize beam steering to create beams at
multipleanglesfromasinglewedge,thisrefractioneffectisalsopart
ofthebeamgenerationprocess.Shearwavewedgeslookverysimilar
to those used with conventional transducers, and like conventional
wedgestheycomeinmanysizesandstyles.Someofthemincorporate
couplant feed holes for scanning applications. Some typical phased
arrayprobewedgesareseeninFigure219.

Figure 2-19 Phased array probe wedges


Zerodegreewedgesarebasicallyflatplasticblocksthatareusedfor
coupling sound energy and for protecting the probe face from
scratches or abrasion in straight linear scans and lowangle
longitudinalwaveangledscans(seeFigure220).

Figure 2-20 A zero-degree wedge

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2.5

Phased Pulsing

Wheneverwavesoriginatingfromtwoormoresourcesinteractwith
eachother,therearephasingeffectsleadingtoanincreaseordecrease
inwaveenergyatthepointofcombination.Whenelasticwavesofthe
same frequency meet in such a way that their displacements are
precisely synchronized (in phase, or zerodegree phase angle), the
wave energies add together to create a larger amplitude wave (see
Figure221a).Iftheymeetinsuchawaythattheirdisplacementsare
exactly opposite (180 degrees out of phase), then the wave energies
cancel each other (see Figure 221c). At phase angles between
0 degrees and 180 degrees, there is a range of intermediate stages
between full addition and full cancellation (see Figure 221b). By
varyingthetimingofthewavesfromalargenumberofsources,itis
possible to use these effects to both steer and focus the resulting
combined wavefront. This is an essential principle behind phased
arraytesting.

Waves in phase Reinforcement

Intermediate condition

Waves out of phase Cancellation


Figure 2-21 Phasing effects: combination and cancellation

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PhasedArrayProbes25

Inconventionaltransducers,constructiveanddestructiveinterference
effects create the nearfield and farfield zones and the various
pressure gradients therein. Additionally, a conventional angle beam
transducerusesasingleelementtolaunchawaveinawedge.Points
onthiswavefrontexperiencedifferentdelayintervalsduetotheshape
of the wedge. These are mechanical delays, as opposed to the
electronic delays employed in phased array testing. When the
wavefront hits the bottom surface it can be visualized through
Huygens principle as a series of point sources. The theoretically
spherical waves from each of these points interact to form a single
waveatanangledeterminedbySnellslaw.
In phased array testing, the predictable reinforcement and
cancellationeffectscausedbyphasingareusedtoshapeandsteerthe
ultrasonic beam. Pulsing individual elements or groups of elements
with different delays creates a series of point source waves that
combine into a single wavefront that travels at a selected angle (see
Figure 222). This electronic effect is similar to the mechanical delay
generated by a conventional wedge, but it can be further steered by
changingthepatternofdelays.Throughconstructiveinterference,the
amplitudeofthiscombinedwavecanbeconsiderablygreaterthanthe
amplitude of any one of the individual waves that produce it.
Similarly, variable delays are applied to the echoes received by each
element of the array. The echoes are summed to represent a single
angular and/or focal component of the total beam. In addition to
altering the direction of the primary wavefront, this combination of
individualbeamcomponentsallowsbeamfocusingatanypointinthe
nearfield.

Resulting wavefront

Figure 2-22 Angled waveform


Elementsareusuallypulsedingroupsof4to32inordertoimprove
effectivesensitivitybyincreasingaperture,whichreducesunwanted
beamspreadingandenablessharperfocusing.
Thereturningechoesarereceivedbythevariouselementsorgroups

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ofelementsandtimeshiftedasnecessarytocompensateforvarying
wedge delays and then summed. Unlike a conventional single
element transducer, which effectively merges the effects of all beam
componentsthatstrikeitsarea,aphasedarrayprobecanspatiallysort
thereturningwavefrontaccordingtothearrivaltimeandamplitude
at each element. When processed by instrument software, each
returnedfocallawrepresentsthereflectionfromaparticularangular
componentofthebeam,aparticularpointalongalinearpath,and/or
a reflection from a particular focal depth. The echo information can
thenbedisplayedinanyofseveralstandardformats.
Asnotedpreviously,phasedarraybeamsaregeneratedbypulsingthe
individual probe elements or groups of elements in a particular
pattern. Phased array instruments generate these patterns based on
informationthathasbeenenteredbytheuser.
Softwareknownasafocallawcalculatorestablishesspecificdelaytimes
for firing each group of elements in order to generate the desired
beamshapethroughwaveinteraction,takingintoaccountprobeand
wedge characteristics as well as the geometry and acoustical
properties of the test material. The programmed pulsing sequence
selected by the instruments operating software, then launches a
number of individual wavefronts in the test material. These
wavefronts in turn combine constructively and destructively into a
single primary wavefront that travels through the test material and
reflects off cracks, discontinuities, back walls, and other material
boundariesaswithanyconventionalultrasonicwave.Thebeamcan
be dynamically steered through various angles, focal distances, and
focalspotsizesinsuchawaythatasingleprobeassemblyiscapable
ofexaminingthetestmaterialacrossarangeofdifferentperspectives.
Thisbeamsteeringhappensveryquickly,sothatascanfrommultiple
anglesorwithmultiplefocaldepthscanbeperformedinafractionof
asecond.

2.6

Beam Shaping and Steering

Theresponseofanyultrasonictestsystemdependsonacombination
of factors: the transducer used, the type of instrument used and its
settings,andtheacousticpropertiesofthetestmaterial.Theresponses
produced by phased array probes, like those from any other
ultrasonictransducersforNDT,arerelatedbothtotransducerdesign
parameters(suchasfrequency,size,andmechanicaldamping),andto
theparametersoftheexcitationpulsethatisusedtodrivetheprobe.
Four important probe parameters have a number of interrelated
effectsonperformance.
Frequency. As noted in the previous section, the test frequency has a
significanteffectonnearfieldlengthandbeamspreading.Inpractice,
higherfrequenciescanprovidebettersignaltonoiseratiothanlower
frequencies,becausetheyofferpotentiallysharperfocusingandthus

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PhasedArrayProbes27

atighter,moreoptimizedfocalspot.Atthesametime,penetrationin
any test material decreases when frequency increases because
material attenuation increases as frequency rises. Applications
involving very long sound paths or test materials that are highly
attenuating or scattering require the use of lower frequencies.
Commonly, industrial phased array probes are offered with
frequenciesbetween1 MHzand15 MHz.
Elementsize.Asthesizeofindividualelementsinanarraydecreases,
itsbeamsteeringcapabilityincreases.Theminimumpracticalelement
size in commercial probes is typically near 0.2 mm. However, if the
elementsizeislessthanonewavelength,strongunwantedsidelobes
willoccur.
Numberofelements.Asthenumberofelementsinanarrayincreases,
so can the physical coverage area of the probe and its sensitivity,
focusing capability, and steering capability. At the same time, use of
large arrays must often be balanced against issues of system
complexityandcost.
Pitch and aperture. Pitch is the distance between individual elements;
aperture is the effective size of a pulsing element that is usually
comprised of a group of individual elements that are pulsed
simultaneously (virtual aperture). To optimize steering range, pitch
must be small. For optimum sensitivity, minimum unwanted beam
spreading, and strong focusing, the aperture must be large. Todays
phasedarrayinstrumentsmostcommonlysupportfocallawsforup
to 16element apertures. More advanced systems allow up to 32 or
even64elementapertures.
Thekeyconceptsforageneralunderstandingofphasedarraybeam
can be summarized as follows: A group of elements is fired with a
programmed focal law. This builds the desired probe aperture and
beamcharacteristics.
Decreasingpitchand
elementswidthwitha
constantnumberofelements

Increasesbeamsteeringcapability

Increasingpitchorfrequency

Createsunwantedgratinglobes

Increasingelementwidth

Createssidelobes(asinconventional
UT),reducesbeamsteering

Increasingactiveapertureby Increasesfocusingfactor(sharpnessof
usingmanysmallelements
beam)
withsmallpitch
Asnotedinpreviouspages,theessenceofphasedarraytestingisan
ultrasonic beam whose direction (refracted angle) and focus can be
steered electronically by varying the excitation delay of individual
elementsorgroupsofelements.Thisbeamsteeringpermitsmultiple
angle and/or multiple point inspection from a single probe and a
singleprobeposition(seeFigure223).

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Figure 2-23 Focal law sequences


As previously explained, ultrasonic beam characteristics are defined
by many factors. In addition to element dimension, frequency, and
damping that govern conventional single element performance,
phased array probe behavior is affected by how smaller individual
elements are positioned, sized, and grouped to create an effective
apertureequivalenttoitsconventionalcounterpart.
ForphasedarrayprobesNelementsaregroupedtogethertoformthe
effective aperture for which beam spread can be approximated by
conventionaltransducermodels(seeFigure224).
Conventional
transducer
Single pulse

16-element array
All elements pulsing

16-element array
4 elements pulsing

Figure 2-24 Effective aperture

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PhasedArrayProbes29

Forphasedarrayprobes,themaximumsteeringangle(at6 dB)ina
givencaseisderivedfromthebeamspreadequation.Itcanbeeasily
seenthatsmallelementshavemorebeamspreadingandhencehigher
angularenergycontent,whichcanbecombinedtomaximizesteering.
Aselementsizedecreases,moreelementsmustbepulsedtogetherto
maintainsensitivity.

sin st = 0.514 --e


where:
sinst

=sineofthemaximumsteeringangle

=wavelengthintestmaterial
=elementwidth
64 mm aperture
9

32 mm aperture
18

16 mm aperture
36

Figure 2-25 Beam steering limits: When the element number is constant, 16 as
shown, the maximum beam steering angle increases as the aperture size decreases.
Recalling that the practical limit for phased array probe
manufacturing restricts the smallest individual element width to
0.2 mm, the active aperture for a 16element probe with 0.2 mm
elements would be 3.2 mm. Creating an aperture of 6.4 mm would
require 32 elements. While these probes would no doubt maximize
steering, the small apertures would limit static coverage area,
sensitivity,penetration,andfocusingability.
Thesteeringrangecanbefurthermodifiedbyusinganangledwedge
to change the incident angle of the sound beam independently of
electronicsteering.
Fromthebeamspreadangle,thebeamdiameteratanydistancefrom
the probe can be calculated. In the case of a square or rectangular
phasedarrayprobe,beamspreadinginthepassiveplaneissimilarto
that of an unfocused transducer. In the steered or active plane, the
beam can be electronically focused to converge acoustic energy at a

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desireddepth.Withafocusedprobe,thebeamprofilecantypicallybe
represented by a tapering cone (or wedge in the case of singleaxis
focusing)thatconvergestoafocalpointandthendivergesatanequal
anglebeyondthefocalpoint,asdescribedasfollows:
The nearfield length and hence the natural divergence of an
ultrasonic beam are determined by aperture (equal to element
diameter in the case of conventional monolithic transducers) and
wavelength (wave velocity divided by frequency). For an unfocused
circular probe, the nearfield length, beam spread angle, and beam
diametercanbecalculatedasfollows:
D2 f
D2
Near-field length = --------- = ------4
4c
where:
D
f
c

=elementdiameteroraperture
=frequency
=soundvelocityintestmedium

c
=wavelength= -f

Fortheformulaforsquareorrectangularelements,seepages 1314.

2.7

Beam Focusing with Phased Array


Probes

Sound beams can be focused like light rays, creating an hourglass


shapedbeamthattaperstoaminimumdiameteratafocalpointand
thenexpandsoncepastthatfocalpoint(seeFigure226).

Figure 2-26 Focused sound beam

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PhasedArrayProbes31

The depth at which the beam from a phased array focuses can be
variedbychangingthepulsedelays.Thenearfieldlengthinagiven
materialdefinesthemaximumdepthatwhichasoundbeamcanbe
focused.Abeamcannotbefocusedbeyondtheendofthenearfieldin
thetestmaterial.
A focused probes effective sensitivity is affected by the beam
diameteratthepointofinterest.Thesmallerthebeamdiameter,the
greater is the amount of energy that is reflected by a small flaw.
Additionally,thesmallbeamdiameteratthefocuscanimprovelateral
resolution. The6 dB beam diameter or width of a focused probe at
thefocalpointcanbecalculatedasfollows:
1.02 Fc
6 dB beam diameter or width = -----------------fD
where:
F
c
D

=focallengthintestmedium
=soundvelocityintestmedium
=elementdiameteroraperture

For rectangular elements, this is calculated separately for the active


andpassivedirections.
Fromtheseformulasitcanbeseenthatastheelementsizeand/orthe
frequencyincrease,thebeamspreadangledecreases.Asmallerbeam
spreadangleinturncanresultinhighereffectivesensitivityinthefar
fieldzoneduetothebeamenergydissipatingmoreslowly.Withinits
near field, a probe can be focused to create a beam that converges
rather than diverges. Narrowing the beam diameter or width to a
focalpointincreasessoundenergyperunitareawithinthefocalzone
and thus increases sensitivity to small reflectors. Conventional
transducers usually do this with a refractive acoustic lens, while
phasedarraysdoitelectronicallybymeansofphasedpulsingandthe
resultingbeamshapingeffects.
In the case of the most commonly used linear phased arrays with
rectangular elements, the beam is focused in the steering direction
and unfocused in the passive direction. Increasing the aperture size
increasesthesharpnessofthefocusedbeam,ascanbeseeninthese
beam profiles (see Figure 227). Red areas correspond to the highest
soundpressure,andblueareastolowersoundpressure.

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Figure 2-27 Beam focusing with different aperture sizes

2.8

Grating Lobes and Side Lobes

Another phenomenon associated with phased array probes is the


generation of unwanted grating lobes and side lobes. These two
closelyrelatedphenomenaarecausedbysoundenergythatspreads
outfromtheprobeatanglesotherthantheprimarysoundpath.Side
lobesarenotlimitedtophasedarraysystemssidelobesalsooccur
withconventionaltransducersaselementsizeincreases.Gratinglobes
only occur in phased array probes as a result of ray components
associated with the regular, periodic spacing of the small individual
elements.Theseunwantedraypathscanreflectoffsurfacesinthetest
pieceandcausespuriousindicationsonanimage.Theamplitudeof
grating lobes is significantly affected by pitch size, the number of
elements, frequency, and bandwidth. The beam profiles shown in
Figure 228 compare two situations where the probe aperture is
approximatelythesame,butthebeamontheleftisgeneratedbysix
elementsat0.4 mmpitch,andthebeamontherightbythreeelements
at 1 mm pitch. The beam on the left is somewhat shaped as a cone,
whilethebeamontherighthastwospuriouslobesatanapproximate
30 degreeangletothecenteraxisofthebeam.

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PhasedArrayProbes33

Figure 2-28 Beam profiles with different number of elements


Grating lobes occur whenever the size of individual elements in an
arrayisequaltoorgreaterthanthewavelength.Therearenograting
lobes when the element size is smaller than half a wavelength. (For
elementsizesbetweenonehalfandonewavelength,thegeneratingof
gratinglobesdependsonthesteeringangle.)Thusthesimplestwayto
minimizegratinglobesinagivenapplication,istouseaprobewitha
small pitch. A specialized probe design incorporating subdicing
(cuttingelementsintosmallerelements)andvaryingelementspacing,
alsoreducesunwantedlobes.

2.9

Phased Array Probe Selection Summary

Designing phased array probes is always a compromise between


selectingtheproperpitch,elementwidth,andaperture.Usingahigh
numberofsmallelementstoincreasesteering,reducessidelobesand
provides focusing, but can be limited by cost of manufacturing and
instrumentcomplexity.Moststandardinstrumentssupportapertures
of up to 16 elements. Separating elements at greater distances can
seem to be the easy way of gaining aperture size, but this creates
unwantedgratinglobes.
Itisimportanttonotethatvendorsofphasedarrayprobesoftenoffer
standardprobesthathavebeendesignedwiththesecompromisesin
mind, resulting in optimized performance for the intended use.
Actual probe selection is ultimately driven by the end application
needs.Insomecases,multianglesteeringisrequiredoversmallmetal

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pathssolargeaperturesizesarenotneededordesired.Inothercases,
theapplication,whichmaybetocoverlargeareasforlaminardefects,
requireslargeaperturesandlinearscanformatwithmultiplegrouped
elementswheresteeringisnotrequiredatall.Ingeneral,theusercan
apply the best practice from their conventional UT knowledge for
frequencyandapertureselection.
The Olympus phased array probe catalog can be viewed at the
followingaddress:
www.olympusims.com/en/probes/pa/
Consult it to view the full selection of probes and wedges that is
available.

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PhasedArrayProbes35

3. Basics of Phased Array Imaging

Both conventional and phased array ultrasonic instruments utilize


highfrequencysoundwaves to check the internal structureofa test
pieceormeasureitsthickness.Theybothrelyonthesamebasiclaws
ofphysicsthatgovernsoundwavepropagation.Similarconceptsare
employedinbothultrasonictechnologiestopresentultrasonicdata.
Conventional ultrasonic instruments for NDT commonly consist of
either a single active element that both generates and receives high
frequencysoundwaves,ortwopairedelements,onefortransmitting
and one for receiving. A typical instrument consists of a single
channelpulserandreceiverthatgeneratesandreceivesanultrasonic
signal with an integrated digital acquisition system, which is
coordinated with an onboard display and measurement module. In
more advanced units, multiple pulser receiver channels can be used
with a group of transducers to increase zone of coverage for
evaluating different depths or flaw orientations, and can further
provide alarm outputs. In more advanced systems, conventional
ultrasonics can be integrated with positional encoders, controllers,
andsoftwareaspartofanimagingsystem.
Phased array instruments, on the other hand, are naturally
multichanneled as they need to provide excitation patterns (focal
laws) to probes with 16 to as many as 256 elements. Unlike
conventionalflawdetectors,phasedarraysystemscansweepasound
beam from one probe through a range of refracted angles, along a
linearpath,ordynamicallyfocusatanumberofdifferentdepths,thus

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BasicsofPhasedArrayImaging37

increasing both flexibility and capability in inspection setups. This


added ability to generate multiple sound paths within one probe,
addsapowerfuladvantageindetectionandnaturallyaddstheability
to visualize an inspection by creating an image of the inspection
zone.Phasedarrayimagingprovidestheuserwiththeabilitytosee
relative pointtopoint changes and multiangular defect responses,
which can assist in flaw discrimination and sizing. While this can
seem inherently complex, it can actually simplify expanding
inspection coverage with increased detection by eliminating the
complex fixtures and multiple transducers that are often required
withconventionalUTinspectionmethods.
The following sections further explain the basic formats for
conventionalandphasedarraydatapresentation.

3.1

A-Scan Data

All ultrasonic instruments typically record two fundamental


parametersofanecho:howlargeitis(amplitude)andwhereitoccurs
intimewithrespecttoazeropoint(pulsetransittime).Transittime,in
turn,isusuallycorrelatedtoreflectordepthordistance,basedonthe
sound velocity of the test material and the following simple
relationship:
Distance=VelocityTime
The most basic presentation of ultrasonic waveform data is in the
formofanAscan,orwaveformdisplay,inwhichechoamplitudeand
transit time are plotted on a simple grid with the vertical axis
representingamplitudeandthehorizontalaxisrepresentingtime.The
example in Figure 31 shows a version with a rectified waveform;
unrectifiedRFdisplaysare alsoused.The redbaronthescreenis a
gatethatselectsaportionofthewavetrainforanalysis,typicallythe
measurementofechoamplitudeand/ordepth.

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Figure 3-1 A-scan data

3.2

Single Value B-Scans

AnotherwayofpresentingtheAscandataisasasinglevalueBscan.
Thisformatiscommonlyusedwithconventionalflawdetectorsand
corrosionthicknessgagestoplotthedepthofreflectorswithrespect
totheirlinearposition.Thethicknessisplottedasafunctionoftimeor
position,whilethetransducerisscannedalongtheparttoprovideits
depth profile. Correlating ultrasonic data with the actual transducer
position allows a proportional view to be plotted and allows the
ability to correlate and track data to specific areas of the part being
inspected.Thispositiontrackingistypicallydonethroughtheuseof
electromechanicaldevicesknownasencoders.Theseencodersareused
either in fixtures, which are manually scanned, or in automated
systems that move the transducer by a programmable motor

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BasicsofPhasedArrayImaging39

controlledscanner.Ineithercase,theencoderrecordsthelocationof
each data acquisition with respect to a desired userdefined scan
patternandindexresolution.
InthecaseshowninFigure32,theBscanshowstwodeepreflectors
and one shallower reflector, corresponding to the positions of the
sidedrilledholesinthetestblock.

Figure 3-2 B-scan data

3.3

Cross-sectional B-Scans

A crosssectional Bscan provides a detailed end view of a test piece


along a single axis. This provides more information than the single
value Bscan presented earlier. Instead of plotting just a single
measured value from within a gated region, the whole Ascan
waveformisdigitizedateachtransducerlocation.SuccessiveAscans
are plotted over the elapsed time or the actual encoded transducer

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positionssoastodrawcrosssectionsofthescannedline.Thisallows
the user to visualize both the near and farsurface reflectors within
thesample.Withthistechnique,thefullwaveformdataisoftenstored
at each location, and may be recalled from the image for further
evaluationorverification.
Toaccomplishthis,eachdigitizedpointofthewaveformisplottedso
thatcolorrepresentingsignalamplitudeappearsattheproperdepth.
Successive Ascans are digitized, related to color, and stacked at
userdefinedintervals(elapsedtimeorposition)toformatruecross
sectionalimage(seeFigure33).

Figure 3-3 Cross-sectional B-scan

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BasicsofPhasedArrayImaging41

3.4

Linear Scans

Aphasedarraysystemuseselectronicscanningalongthelengthofa
linear array probeto create a crosssectionalprofile withoutmoving
the probe. As each focal law is sequenced, the associated Ascan is
digitized and plotted. Successive apertures are stacked creating a
livecrosssectionalview.Inpractice,thiselectronicsweepingisdone
in real time so a live cross section can be continually viewed as the
probe is physically moved. Figure 34 is an image made with a 64
element linear phased array probe. In this example, the user
programmedthefocallawtouse16elementstoformanapertureand
sequencedthestartingelementincrementsbyone.Thisresultedin49
individualwaveformsthatwerestackedtocreatetherealtimecross
sectionalviewacrosstheprobes1.5 in.length.

Figure 3-4 Normal beam linear scan

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Itisalsopossibletoscanatafixedangleacrosselements(seeFigure
35). As discussed in section 5.3, on page 69, this is very useful for
automatedweldinspections.Usinga64elementlinearphasedarray
probe with wedge, shear waves can be generated at a userdefined
angle(often45,60,or70 degrees).Withaperturesequencingthrough
the length of the probe, full volumetric weld data can be collected
without physically increasing the distance to weld center line while
scanning. This provides for singlepass inspection along the weld
length.

Figure 3-5 Angle beam linear scan

3.5

C-Scans

Another presentation option is a Cscan. A Cscan is a two


dimensionalpresentationofdatadisplayedasatoporplanarviewof
atestpiece.Itissimilarinitsgraphicperspectivetoanxrayimage,
where color represents the gated signal amplitude or depth at each
point in the test piece mapped to its position. Planar images can be

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BasicsofPhasedArrayImaging43

generated on flat parts by tracking data to the XY position, or on


cylindrical parts by tracking axial and angular positions. For
conventionalultrasound,amechanicalscannerwithencodersisused
totrackthetransducerscoordinatestothedesiredindexresolution.
A Cscan from a phased array system is very similar to one from a
conventionalprobe.Withphasedarraysystems,however,theprobeis
typically moved physically along one axis while the beam
electronically scans along the other, according to the focal law
sequence.Signalamplitudeordepthdataiscollectedwithinthegated
regionofinterestjustasinconventionalCscans.Inthecaseofphased
arrays, data is plotted with each focal law progression, using the
programmedbeamaperture.
Figure36isaCscanofatestblockusinga5 MHz,64elementlinear
array probe with a zerodegree wedge. Each focal law uses 16
elements to form the aperture, and at each pulsing the starting
elementincrementsbyone.Thisresultsinfortyninedatapointsthat
areplotted(horizontallyintheimageofFigure36)acrosstheprobes
37 mm (1.5 in.) length. As the probe is moved forward in a straight
line, a planar Cscan view emerges. Encoders are normally used
wheneveraprecisegeometricalcorrespondenceofthescanimageto
thepartmustbemaintained,althoughnonencodedmanualscanscan
alsoprovideusefulinformationinmanycases.

Generalized beam profile and


direction of motion

Phased array C-scan image


showing hole position

Figure 3-6 C-scan data using 64-element linear phased array probe
While the graphic resolution might not be fully equivalent to a
conventional Cscan because of the larger effective beam size, there
are other considerations. The phased array system is field portable,
whichtheconventionalsystemisnot,anditcostsaboutonethirdthe
price.Additionally,aphasedarrayimagecanoftenbemadeinafew

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seconds,whileaconventionalimmersionscantypicallytakesseveral
minutes.
Linear phased array probes are also commonly used for performing
refractedshearwaveinspectionsalongthelengthofwelds.Figure37
shows a 2.25 MHz 64element phased array probe mounted on an
angledwedgetocreateshearwavesatauserdefinedangle,typically
45,60,or70 degrees.Withtheprobepositionedperpendiculartothe
weld,theaperturecanbesequencedoverthelengthoftheprobe.This
effectivelyallowstherefractedshearwavetomovethroughtheweld
volume without mechanical movement ofthe probe from the welds
centerline.Fullvolumetricdatacanbepresentedbyslidingtheprobe
parallel to the weld line. Using an encoder, data can be plotted in a
Cscan like format where amplitude of the reflector is plotted as a
functionofapertureposition(Yaxis)anddistancetraveledalongthe
weld(Xaxis).Thisscanningformatisoftenreferredtoasaoneline
scan. For producing repeatable results, a mechanical scanner is
suggested.InFigure37,areflectionfromtheungroundweldbottom
is plotted along the whole weld length at the top of the image. The
Ascanandcursorsmarkalargeindicationfromanareaoftheweld
withlackofsidewallfusion.

Figure 3-7 One-line scan for weld inspection using an encoded 2.25 MHz 64element probe steered at 60 degrees

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BasicsofPhasedArrayImaging45

3.6

S-Scans

Ofallimagingmodesdiscussedsofar,theSscanisuniquetophased
arrayequipment.Inalinearscan,allfocallawsemployafixedangle
with sequencing apertures. Sscans, on the other hand, use fixed
aperturesandsteerthroughasequenceofangles.
Twomainformsaretypicallyused.Themostfamiliar,verycommon
in medical imaging, uses a zerodegree interface wedge to steer
longitudinal waves, creating a pieshaped image showing laminar
andslightlyangleddefects(seeFigure38).

Figure 3-8 30 to +30 S-scan


The second format employs a plastic wedge to increase the incident
beamangletogenerateshearwaves,mostcommonlyintherefracted

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angle range of 30 to 70 degrees. This technique is similar to a


conventional angle beam inspection, except that the beam sweeps
througharangeofanglesratherthanasinglefixedangledetermined
byawedge.Aswiththelinearsectorialscan,theimagepresentationis
a crosssectional picture of the inspected area of the test piece (see
Figure39).

Figure 3-9 +35 to +70 S-scan


The actual image generation works on the same stacked Ascan
principlethatwasdiscussedinthecontextoflinearscansintroduced
intheprevioussection.Theuserdefinestheanglestart,end,andstep
resolution to generate the Sscan image. Notice that the aperture
remains constant, each defined angle generating a corresponding
beam with characteristics defined by aperture, frequency, damping,
and the like. The waveform response from each angle (focal law) is
digitized,colorcoded,andplotted atthe appropriatecorresponding
angle,buildingacrosssectionalimage.
In actuality the Sscan is produced in real time so as to continually
offerdynamicimagingwithprobemovement.Thisisveryusefulfor
defectvisualizationandincreasesprobabilityofdetection,especially

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BasicsofPhasedArrayImaging47

withrespecttorandomlyorienteddefects,asmanyinspectionangles
canbeusedatthesametime.

3.7

Combined Image Formats

Phasedarrayimagesarepowerfulintheirabilitytoproviderealtime
visualization of volumetric data. Through the electronic scanning
process,imagingtrulybecomesrealtimeandisusedinbothmanual
andautomatedsystemstoincreaseprobabilityofdetection.Especially
inautomatedandmorecapablephasedarrayinstruments,theability
to display multiple image types and store complete raw waveform
informationfortheentireinspection,allowspostscanninganalysisof
the inspection results. Because all the ultrasonic waveform data is
collected, this postanalysis enables the reconstruction of sectorial
scans, Cscans, and/or Bscans with corresponding Ascan
information at any inspection location. For example, the screen in
Figure310simultaneouslydisplaystherectifiedAscanwaveform,a
sectorscan,andaplanarCscanimageoftheweldprofile.

Figure 3-10 Multiple image types display

3.8

Scan Rate and Data Acquisition

When generating Bscans or Cscans, a phased array probe can be


movedeitherbyhandorbyanautomatedscanningfixture.Ineither
case, data acquisition can be freerunning based solely on the
instrumentsupdaterate,orcorrelatedtotheprobepositionthrough
the use of electromechanical encoders. As noted above, correlating
ultrasonic data with the actual probe position allows a proportional
viewtobeplottedanddatatobematchedtospecificareasofthepart
being inspected. The encoder records the location of each data

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acquisition with respect to a desired userdefined scan pattern and


indexresolution.
Inordertoavoidgapsindataacquisition,itisimportanttoconsider
thespeedatwhichtheprobeismovingandthedistanceresolutionof
the encoder. In short, the instruments data acquisition rate must be
greater than the scanning speed, divided by the encoder resolution.
The acquisition rate is determined by instrument design and setup,
mostimportantlybythepulserepetitionfrequency(PRF),andbythe
number of focal laws being generated for each acquisition, both of
which are setup variables. The PRF divided by the number of focal
lawsrepresentsthefastestpossibleacquisitionrateforaphasedarray
system.However,thatnumbercanbefurtheradjustedbyfactorssuch
asaveraging,digitalsamplingrate,andprocessingtime.Consultthe
instrumentmanufacturerfordetails.
Once the acquisition rate has been established, the maximum scan
speed can be calculated based on the desired encoder resolution, or
vice versa. The effect of an excessive scanning speed for a given
encoderresolutioncanbeseeninthescanimagesinFigure311.

IMPORTANT
Scanning speed
1. Acquisition rate -----------------------------------------------Scan axis resolution
2. IfthesamePRFissetforallAscans,then:
Recurrence
Acquisition rate ---------------------------------------------------Number of focal laws

Acquisition rate >

scanning speed
encoder resolutions

20 mm/s

10 mm/s

Figure 3-11 Example of the scanning speed influence on acquisition rate

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BasicsofPhasedArrayImaging49

4. Phased Array Instrumentation

There is a wide variety of phased array probes commercially


available.Whilethelineararrayprobeiscertainlythemostcommonly
usedconfiguration,customizedprobeswithhighelementcountsand
varying element placements, are also available. They are often
designed to meet demanding application needs that require high
speed, full volumetric coverage, and/or complex beam steering. To
meet these needs, there are varying levels of phased array
instrumentation now commercially available in three general
classifications: field portable manual, field portable automated, and
rackinstrumentsforinlineinspection.

4.1

Important Specifications

Whenevaluatingconventionalflawdetectors,anumberoffunctional
characteristicsare often specified.Thesecharacteristics are generally
shared with phased array instruments. Not all of the items listed
belowareavailableinallinstruments.

Pulser and receiver


Parametersthatlargelydefinetheoperatingrangeoftransducersthat
canbeusedwiththeinstrument
Pulser

Receiver

Availablespikepulser

Overallbandwidth

Availablesquarewavepulser

Availablenarrowbandfilters

Pulserrepetitionfrequency

Timevariedgain
Overalldynamicrange

Measurement and display


Parametersdefiningthegeneralmeasurementanddisplaymodesof
aninstrument:
Numberofalarm/measurementgates

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PhasedArrayInstrumentation51

Ascan display modes: Rectification (RF, Full Wave, Half Wave),


Maximum, Composite, Averaged, Hollow, Filled, and Peak
Memory
Range
Measurementresolution
Measurementtypes(thatis,soundpath,depth,distancefromfront
ofprobe,dB,dBtocurve,etc.)
SinglevalueBscanmode(notavailableonmostflawdetectors)

Sizing options
Avarietyofflawdetectionstandardsandcodeshavebeendeveloped
and arein practice for sizinga variety of defectsusing conventional
ultrasonics. These apply to the inspection of welds as well as to a
variety of metallic and composite structures. Certain inspections
requirethataspecificcodebefollowed.Asaresult,awidevarietyof
tools are now available in conventional digital flaw detectors to
automatedataacquisitionandrecordtestresultsasrequiredbycodes.

Inputs and outputs


Inputsandoutputsgenerallydefinehowtheinstrumentcanbeused
withexternaldevicesand/orsoftware:

Numberandtypeofalarmoutputs
USBforprinting,saving,ordatatransfer
Availabilityofencoderinputsforlinkingdatatoposition
Trigger input for external control of pulser firing and acquisition
cycle

Additional phased array specifications


Becauseofthemultielementnatureofphasedarrayinstruments,there
areadditionalkeyspecificationsthatneedfurtherconsiderationand
review.
Number of pulsers. Defines the maximum number of elements that
canbegroupedtoformanactiveapertureorvirtualprobeaperture.
Numberofchannels.Definesthetotalnumberofchannelsthatcanbe
used for sequencing apertures that leads to the potential increase in
coveragefromasingleprobefootprint.
XX:YY.Namingconventionused,whereXX =numberofpulsers,and
YY = total number of available channels. The number of channels is
alwaysgreaterorequaltonumberofpulsers.Instrumentsfrom16:16
to32:128areavailableinfieldportablepackaging.Higherpulserand
receiver combinations are available for inline inspections and/or
systemsthatuselargerelementcountprobes.
Focallaws.Thenumberoffocallawsthatcanbecombinedtoforman

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imageisoftenspecified.Ingeneral,higherXX:YYconfigurationscan
support more focal laws as they support greater element apertures
and/or more aperture steps in linear scanning. Note that more focal
laws does not always mean more functionality. Take the example
below:a64elementprobeperforminga40to70 degreessectorialscan
of three sidedrilled holes, comparing steering with 1 degree (31
laws), 2 degree (16 laws), and 4 degree (8 laws) steps over a 2 in.
(50 mm)metalpath(seeFigure41,Figure42,andFigure43).While
the image is slightly better defined with finer angle increments,
detection at a coarser resolution is adequate. Unless the beam
diameter is drastically reduced with focusing, sizing from images
doesnotdramaticallychangeeither.

Figure 4-1 40 to 70 degrees S-scan: steering with 1 degree (31 laws) steps

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PhasedArrayInstrumentation53

Figure 4-2 40 to 70 degrees S-scan: steering with 2 degree (16 laws) steps

Figure 4-3 40 to 70 degrees S-scan: steering with 4 degree (8 laws) steps

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Table 41 shows examples for the number of focal laws required to


perform linear scans with varying combinations of virtual probe
aperturesandtotalelementcounts.
Table 4-1 Number of elements and focal laws required for linear scans
Linearscan
Aperture

Totalelements

Elementstep

Numberof
laws

16

13

16

32

29

32

25

16

32

17

64

61

64

57

16

64

49

128

121

16

128

113

256

249

16

256

241

Itcanbeseenthatastheaperturebecomessmaller,orthenumberof
elementsbecomeslarger,thenumberoffocallawsrequiredperscan
increases.Thiswillhaveaneffectondisplayupdaterateascalculated
below.
PRF/Display update rate. Instruments can vary greatly in display
updateinvariousimagemodes.Forphasedarrayimagingmodes:
PRF
Maximum image display rate = ---------------------------------------------------Number of focal laws
An example ofareducedfourfocallawlinearscansequence with a
60 Hz image display update, is shown in Figure 44 for
conceptualization.

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PhasedArrayInstrumentation55

Focal law 1

Focal law 2

Focal law 3

Focal law 4

Focal law 1

150 ns

150 ns

150 ns

150 ns

150 ns

4.15 ms

PRF = 240 Hz

8.30 ms

PRF = 240 Hz

12.45 ms

PRF = 240 Hz

16.6 ms

PRF = 240 Hz

Image display update = 60 Hz

Figure 4-4 Example of a reduced four-focal-law linear scan sequence


Theactualimagedisplayratecanbeaffectedbyotherparameters.The
Ascanrefreshrateofasinglefocallawvariesbetweeninstruments.In
some instruments, the Ascan PRF rate is limited by the maximum
image display update, whether it is shown with the phased array
image or even when maximized to a full Ascan. For this reason, in
some applications it might be important to verify the Ascan PRF
when derived from a focal law sequence in various image display
modes.
Probe recognition. The ability to recognize phased array probes
reduces operator setup time and potential errors by automatically
configuringaninstrumentsetupwiththepropernumberofelements
andprobegeometry.
Image types. Sectorial and linear scans are typically available in
phasedarrayinstruments.Theabilitytostacktheseimagemodesto
create amplitude and depth Cscans, allows planar images to be
formedandprovidesexpandedmeansforsizingdefects.
Waveformstorage.TheabilitytostorerawRFwaveformsallowsdata
to be reviewed offline. This is particularly useful when collecting
dataoveralargearea.
Multigroup support. More capable phased array instruments allow
multiplefocallawgroupstobesequencedononeormoreconnected
probes. This is especially useful in cases where it is important to
collectvolumetricdatawhichistobeanalyzedoffline.Forexample,a
5 MHz, 64element probe can be programmed to use elements 116
for a 40 to 70 degree Sscan, while a second group can be used to
perform a 60 degree linear scan with an aperture of 16 elements,
steppingbyoneelementovertheentire64elementlength.

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Encoding. There are two classes of instruments generally available:


manualandencoded.
A manual phased array instrument works much like a conventional
flawdetectorasitprovidesrealtimedata.AlongwithanAscan,the
instrument also shows realtime Sscan or linearscan images, which
canaidindetectionanddiscontinuityanalysis.Theabilitytouseand
visualizemorethanoneangleorpositionatatimeinatestisthemain
reasonforusingthistypeofinstrument.Insomecases,suchascrack
sizing,theimagecanbeusedasatooltohelpsizecrackdepth.
A phased array instrument with an encoder interface merges probe
positional data, probe geometry, and programmed focal law
sequencestoallowtop,end,andsideviewimagesoftestspecimen.
In instruments that also store full waveform data, images can be
reconstructedtoprovidecrosssectionalviewsalongthelengthofthe
scan or regenerate planar Cscans at various levels. These encoded
imagesallowplanarsizingofdefects.
Reference cursors. Instruments provide various cursors that can be
used on an image as aids for interpretation, sizing, and depth
measurement.InanSscan,itispossibletousecursorsformeasuring
crackheight.Anapproximatedefectsizecanbemeasuredwhenusing
encoded data sets. The images that follow show some examples of
availablecursors.
Inthesimplestdisplaybelow(Figure45),thebluecursorshowsthe
angularcomponentoftheSscanthatisrepresentedbytheAscan,the
horizontalredlinesmarkthebeginningandendofthedatagateused
formeasurement,andtheverticalgreenlinemarksthepositiononthe
image that corresponds to the front of the wedge. The latter is
commonlyusedasareferencepointforcalculatingreflectorlocation,
notingthatnearsurfacereflectorsmightbelocatedunderthewedge,
sincetheexactbeamindexpoint(BIP)foraphasedarrayprobevaries
withangleand/oraperturegroup.

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PhasedArrayInstrumentation57

Figure 4-5 Angular cursor


The Sscan image in Figure 46 includes horizontal cursors
representingtheendofthefirstandsecondlegsoundpathsinthetest
material. It also shows the angular cursors marking the three most
commontestanglesof45,60,and70 degrees.Inaddition,theAscan
is marked with a vertical cursor at the 80 % amplitude point that is
commonlyusedasareferencelevel.

Figure 4-6 Angular and horizontal cursors


Advanced interpretive software further enhances visualization and
analysis. The display in Figure 47 shows a singleangle Ascan, a
Sscan, a raytracing diagram with a weld overlay that shows the
positionofreflectorswithinaweld,andasummarychartshowingthe

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calculatedpositionandmeasuredamplitudeofeachindication.

Figure 4-7 Multiple display formats

4.2

Calibration and Normalization Methods

Zero calibration. Because wedge delay varies with the angle in a


phased array system, it is necessary to vary the probe zero offset
across the angles. Typically, default zero profiles based on wedge
geometryareprogrammedininstrumentsoftware,butthesedefault
profiles can be adjusted for higher accuracy through a calibration
procedurebysweepingthebeamacrossareferencereflectoratafixed
depthordistance.
Gain normalization. Because beam formation relies on varying
elementdelaysandgroups,itisimportanttonormalizetheamplitude
response from each focal law to compensate for both elementto
element sensitivity variations in the array probe and for varying
wedgeattenuationandenergytransferefficiencyatdifferentrefracted
angles. Calibration of wedge delay and sensitivity over the entire
inspectionsequencenotonlyprovidesclearerimagevisualization,but
also allows measurement and sizing from any focal law. Olympus
nondestructive testing instruments offer full calibration, whereas
many other instruments in the industry can only calibrate one focal
law at any one time. The Olympus instruments provide full Angle
Corrected Gain (ACG) and TimeCorrected Gain (TCG), as required
byASMESection V.
In the Figure 48 example, prior to gain normalization, the response
from a reference reflector at 65 degrees, is significantly lower than
fromthesamereflectorat45 degrees.

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PhasedArrayInstrumentation59

Figure 4-8 Response prior to gain normalization


Followingnormalization,theinstrumentadjuststhereferencegainto
equalize the response from the reference hole across all angles, as
showninFigure49.

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Figure 4-9 Response following gain normalization


TVG/DAC for phased array. For sizing defects, Ascan amplitude
techniques using DAC curves or timecorrected gain, are common.
These methods account for material attenuation effects and beam
spreading by compensating gain levels (TVG/TCG) or drawing a
reference DAC curve based on same size reflector response as a
function of distance. As in conventional UT sensitivity calibrations,

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PhasedArrayInstrumentation61

some phased array instruments allow a TVG curve to be built at


multiplepointsoverallthedefinedfocallaws.Intheseinstruments,
theviewcanbeswitchedfromTVGtoDACcurveatanytime.This
allows the use of sizing curves across different angles in the case of
Sscans or at any virtual aperture in linear scans. With TCG/TVG
applied, the detection and visualization of defects throughout the
partsvolumeisgreatlyenhanced.

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5. Phased Array Test Setup and


Display Format

This chapter provides further insight into how phased array images
areconstructed.Inparticular,itfurtherexplainsrequiredinputs,and
the relationships of the various phased array display types with
respect to the actual probe assembly and part being inspected. The
chapteralso explainsthetypically availableAscanviews associated
withthephasedarrayimage.

5.1

Instrument Setup Considerations

Figure 5-1 Typical phased array inspection using the OmniScan


As discussed previously, there are many factors that need to be
identified in order to properly perform any ultrasonic inspection. In
summary, there are materialspecific characteristics and transducer
characteristics needed to calibrate the instrument for a proper
inspection.

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PhasedArrayTestSetupandDisplayFormat63

Material
1. Velocityofthematerialbeinginspectedneedstobesetinorderto
properly measure depth. Care must be taken to select the proper
velocity mode (longitudinal or shear). Compressional straight
beamtestingtypicallyuseslongitudinalwaves,whileanglebeam
inspectionsmostoftenuseshearwavepropagation.
2. Partthicknessinformationistypicallyentered.Thisisparticularly
useful in angle beam inspections. It allows proper depth
measurement relative to the leg number in angle beam
applications.ThisalsoallowscorrectpositionmarkersonSscans.
3. Radiusofcurvatureshouldbeconsideredwheninspectingnonflat
parts.Thiscurvaturecanbealgorithmicallyaccountedfortomake
moreaccuratedepthmeasurements.

Probe
1. The frequency must be known to allow for proper pulser
parametersandreceiverfiltersettings.
2. Zero Offset must be established in order to offset electrical and
mechanical delays resulting from coupling, matching layer,
cabling, and electronic induced delays for proper thickness
readings.
3. The amplitude response from known reflectors must be set and
available for reference in order to use common amplitude sizing
techniques.
4. Angleofsoundbeamentryintothematerialbeinginspected.
5. Forphasedarrayprobes,thenumberofelementsandpitchneedto
beknown.

Wedge
1.
2.
3.
4.

Velocityofsoundpropagationthroughthewedge.
Incidentangleofthewedge.
Beamindexpointorfrontofprobereference.
Firstelementheightoffsetforphasedarray.

Inconventionalultrasonictesting,alloftheabovestepsmustbetaken
priortoinspectiontoachieveproperresults.Becauseasingleelement
probehasafixedaperture,theentryangleselection,zerooffset,and
amplitude calibration are specific to a single transducer or
transducer/wedgecombination.Eachtimeatransduceroritswedgeis
changed,anewcalibrationmustbeperformed.
Using phased array probes, the user must follow these same
principles.Themainadvantageofphasedarraytestingistheabilityto
changeaperture,focus,and/orangledynamically,essentiallyallowing
the use of several probes at one time. This imparts the additional
requirementofextendingcalibrationandsetuprequirementstoeach
phasedarrayprobestate(commonlyreferredtoasafocallaw).This

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not only allows accurate measurements of amplitude and depth


across the entire programmed focal sequence, but also provides
accurateandenhancedvisualizationthroughtheimagesthatphased
arrayinstrumentsproduce.
Oneofthemajordifferencesbetweenconventionalandphasedarray
inspections,occursinanglebeaminspections.WithconventionalUT,
input of an improper wedge angle or material velocity will cause
errorsin locating thedefect,but basic wave propagation(and hence
theresultantAscan)isnotinfluenced,asitreliessolelyonmechanical
refraction. For phased array, however, proper material and wedge
velocities, along with probe and wedge parameter inputs, are
requiredtoarriveattheproperfocallawstoelectronicallysteeracross
the desired refracted angles and to create sensible images. In more
capableinstruments,proberecognitionutilitiesautomaticallytransfer
criticalphasedarrayprobeinformationandusewellorganizedsetup
librariestomanagetheuserselectionofthecorrectwedgeparameters.
Thefollowingvaluesmustnormallybeenteredinordertoprograma
phasedarrayscan:

Probe parameters

Frequency
Bandwidth
Size
Numberofelements
Elementpitch

Wedge parameters

Incidentangleofthewedge
Nominalvelocityofthewedge
OffsetZ=heighttocenteroffirstelement
IndexoffsetX=distancefromfrontofwedgetofirstelement
ScanoffsetY=distancefromsideofwedgetocenterofelements

offset x
offset y

angle

velocity
offset z

Figure 5-2 Wedge parameters

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PhasedArrayTestSetupandDisplayFormat65

Focal law setup


The instrument must have the basic probe and wedge settings
entered, either manually or by using automatic probe recognition.
Along with typical UT settings for the pulser, receiver, and
measurement gate setup, the user must also set probe beam and
electronicsteering(focallaw)values.

Required user inputs


Materialvelocity
Element quantity (the number of elements used to form the
apertureoftheprobe)
Selection of the total number of elements to be used to set probe
aperture
Elementstep(defineshowthedefinedaperturemovesacrossthe
probe)forlinearscans
Desired focus depth, which must be set less than the nearfield
length(N)toeffectivelycreateafocus
Angle(s)ofinspection
ForSscans,thisparameterisexpandedintothreesettings:
Thefirstangleofthescan
Thelastangleofthescan
Theincrementatwhichanglesaretobestepped

5.2

Normal Beam Linear Scans

Normal beam linear scans are usually easy to conceptualize on a


display because the scan image typically represents a simple cross
sectional view of the test piece. As described in chapter 3, a phased
array system uses electronic scanning along the length of a linear
array probe to create a crosssectional profile without moving the
probe. As each focal law is sequenced, the associated Ascan is
digitized and plotted. Successive apertures are stacked, creating a
livecrosssectionalview.TheeffectissimilartoaBscanpresentation
createdbymovingaconventionalsingleelementtransduceracrossa
test piece and storing data at selected intervals. To gain the full
advantages of linear array scanning, a minimum of 32 elements is
typically used. It is even more common to use 64 elements. More
elements allow larger apertures to be stepped across the probe,
providing greater sensitivity, increased capacity of focusing, and
widerareaofinspection.
Inpractice,thiselectronicsweepingisdoneinrealtimesoalivepart
cross section can be continually viewed as the probe is physically
moved.Theactualcrosssectionrepresentsthetruedepthofreflectors
in thematerialas well astheactual position typicallyrelativetothe
frontoftheprobeassembly.Figure53isanimageofholesinatest
block made with a 5L64A2, 64element, 5 MHz linear phased array

66Chapter5

Olympus

probe.Theprobehasa0.6 mmpitch.
Inthisexample,theuserprogrammedthefocallawtouse16elements
toformanapertureandsequencedthestartingelementincrementsby
one. So aperture 1 consists of elements 1 through 16, aperture 2
consists of elements 2 through 17, aperture 3 consists of elements 3
through 18, and so on. This results in 49 individual waveforms that
are stacked to create the realtime, crosssectional view across the
probeslength.

Figure 5-3 Normal beam linear scanning


Theresultisanimagethatclearly showstherelativepositionofthe
three holes within the scan area (see Figure 54). The image is
displayed along with the Ascan waveform from a single selected
aperture, in this case the 30th aperture out of 49, formed from
elements3046,markedbytheusercontrolledbluecursor.Thisisthe
pointwherethebeamintersectsthesecondhole.

Olympus

PhasedArrayTestSetupandDisplayFormat67

Figure 5-4 Normal beam linear scan


The vertical scale at the left edge of the screen indicates the depth or
distancetothereflectorrepresentedbyagivenpeakintheAscan.The
horizontal scale of the Ascan indicates relative echo amplitude. The
horizontalscaleunderthelinearscanimageshowsthereflectorposition
withrespecttotheleadingedgeoftheprobe,whilethecolorscaleonthe
rightedgeofthescreenrelatesimagecolortosignalamplitude.
Alternately,theinstrumentcanbesettodisplayanalllawsAscan,
which is a composite image of the waveforms from all apertures. In
this case, the Ascan includes the indications from all four holes
within the gated region. This is a particularly useful mode in zero
degree inspections, although itcan also beconfusing when working
with complex geometries that produce numerous echoes. In the
Figure 55example, thescreenshowsan alllaws Ascanin which
thesignalsfromallaperturesissummed,thusshowingallthreehole
indicationssimultaneously.

Figure 5-5 Normal beam linear scan image with all laws A-scan

68Chapter5

Olympus

YetanotherAscansourcemodeonsomemoreadvancedinstruments
allows the Ascan to be sourced from the first or maximum signal
withinthegatedregion.

5.3

Angle Beam Linear Scans

Alinearscancanalsobeprogrammedatasinglefixedangle,much
like the beam from a conventional singleelement angle beam
transducer. This singleangle beam scans across the length of the
probe, allowing the user to test a larger volume of material without
movingtheprobe(Figure56).Thiscancutinspectiontime,especially
in weld scanning applications, where the entire volume of the weld
canbetestedwithaprobeatafixedstandoffdistance.
Active group
16
1

128

Scanning direction

Figure 5-6 Single-angle beam scanning across the length of the probe
In the example of Figure 57, the beam is sweeping across the test
pieceata45 degreeangle,interceptingeachofthreeholesasitmoves
(top).Thebeamindexpoint(BIP),thepointatwhichthesoundenergy
exitsthewedge,alsomovesfromlefttorightineachscansequence.
TheAscandisplay,atanygivenmoment,representstheechopattern
fromagivenaperture,whiletheSscanshowsthesummedviewfrom
allthebeampositions(bottom).

Olympus

PhasedArrayTestSetupandDisplayFormat69

Figure 5-7 Angle beam linear scan (top), with A-scan and linear scan display
(bottom)
In any angle scan not involving very thick materials, it is also
necessarytoconsidertheactualpositionofreflectorsthatfallbeyond
thefirstleg,thepointatwhichthebeamfirstreflectsfromthebottom
ofthetestpiece.Thisisusuallyafactorintestsinvolvingtypicalpipes
orplates.InthecaseofFigure58,asthebeamscansfromlefttoright,
the beam component from the center of the probe reflects off the
bottomofthesteelplateandhitsthereferenceholeinthesecondleg.

70Chapter5

Olympus

Figure 5-8 Measurement to second leg reflector


The screen display has been setup to show,by meansof the dotted
horizontalcursors,thepositionsoftheendofthefirstlegandtheend
ofthesecondlegontheimage.Thus,thisholeindication,whichfalls
between the two horizontal cursors, is identified as being in the
second beam leg. Note that the depth scale on the left edge of the
screenisaccurateonlyforthefirstleg.Tousethescalebeyondthat,it
would be necessary to subtract the test piece thickness (in this case
25 mm)todeterminethedepthofsecondlegindicators,ortwicethe
testpiecethicknessforthirdlegindicators.Mostinstrumentsareable
todothisautomaticallyanddisplaytheresult,asnotedinchapter 4.

Olympus

PhasedArrayTestSetupandDisplayFormat71

5.4

S-Scan Display Examples

InthecaseofSscans,interpretationcanbemorecomplexbecauseof
the possibility of multiple leg signals that have reflected off the
bottom and top of the test piece. In the first leg (the portion of the
sound path between the entry point and the first bounce off the
bottom of the part), the display is a simple crosssectional view of a
wedgeshaped segment of the test piece. However, beyond the first
leg, the display requires more careful interpretation, as it also does
whenusingaconventionalflawdetector.
A conventional flaw detector, used with common angle beam
assemblies, displays a singleangle Ascan. Modern digital
instrumentsusetrigonometriccalculationbasedonmeasuredsound
path lengths and programmed part thicknesses to calculate the
reflector depth and surface distance. Part geometry might create
simultaneous firstleg and secondleg indications on the screen, as
seen here in Figure 59 with a 5 MHz transducer and a 45 degree
wedge.Inthiscase,aportionofthebeamreflectsoffthenotchonthe
bottomofthepartandaportionreflectsupwardandofftheupperleft
cornerof the block. Legindicators and distancecalculators can then
beusedtoconfirmthepositionofareflector(seeFigure510).

Figure 5-9 Conventional angle beam test


The firstleg indication is a large reflection from the notch on the
bottomofthetestblock.InFigure510,thedepthindicator(upperleft
cornerofscreenimage)showsavaluecorrespondingtothebottomof
a 25 mm thick block, and the leg indicator (lowerright corner of
screenimage)showsthatthisisafirstlegsignal.

72Chapter5

Olympus

Figure 5-10 First-leg indication


Thesecondlegindicationisasmallreflectionfromtheuppercorner
of the block. In Figure 511, the depth indicator shows a value
correspondingtothetopofa25 mmthickblock,andthelegindicator
shows that this is a secondleg signal. (The slight variation in depth
andsurfacedistancemeasurementsfromtheexpectednominalvalues
of0 mmand50 mmrespectively,isduetobeamspreadingeffects.)

Figure 5-11 Second-leg indication


When the same test is performed with a 5 MHz phased array probe
assemblyscanningfrom40to70 degrees,thedisplayshowsanSscan

Olympus

PhasedArrayTestSetupandDisplayFormat73

that is plotted from the range of angles, while the accompanying


Ascan typically represents one selected angular component of the
scan.Trigonometriccalculationusesthemeasuredsoundpathlength
and programmed part thickness to calculate the reflector depth and
surfacedistanceateachangle.Inthistypeoftest,partgeometrymight
createsimultaneousfirstlegandsecondlegindicationsonthescreen
aswellasmultiplereflectorsfromasingleangle.Legindicatorsinthe
form of horizontal lines overlayed on the waveform and image
segment the screen into first, second, and third leg regions, while
distancecalculatorshelpconfirmthepositionofareflector.
IntheFigure512,Figure513,andFigure514Sscanexamples,we
seethreeindicationsfromasingleprobepositionasthebeamsweeps
through a 40 degree to 70 degree scan. The 58 degree beam
component creates a reflection from the notch on the bottom of the
testblockandafirstlegindication.The69 degreecomponentreflects
from the bottom corner of the block, creating another firstleg
indication. Meanwhile, the 42 degree component bounces off the
bottom and top surfaces of the block and creates another reflection
fromthebottomcorner,thatonebeingthethirdleg.

Figure 5-12 The 58 beam component

74Chapter5

Olympus

Figure 5-13 The 69 beam component

Olympus

PhasedArrayTestSetupandDisplayFormat75

Figure 5-14 The 42 beam component

5.5

Interpreting Reflector Positioning

Phased array instruments, like quality conventional ultrasonic flaw


detectors, offer software tools for identifying the position of defects
andotherreflectors.Typically,theseinstrumentslocate:(1) areflector
in terms of its horizontal position with respect to the probe; (2) its
depth with respect to the material surface; and (3) the sound path
distancebetweenthebeamindexpointandthereflector.Inaddition,
when skip paths are employed, the instrument should identify the
skipleginwhichthereflectoroccurs.
First,itisimportanttorememberthatthebeamindexpoint(thepoint
at which the center of the sound beam exits the wedge) is a fixed
locationforaconventionalwedge(Figure515a),andamovingpoint
forphasedarraywedges(Figure515b).Inthecaseoflinearscans,the
beamindexpointmovesprogressivelyalongthelengthoftheprobe
as the scan progresses. In the case of Sscans, different angular
componentsexitthewedgeatdifferentpoints.

76Chapter5

Olympus

Figure 5-15 Beam index points on a conventional wedge (a) and phased array
wedge (b)
Conventionalflawdetectorsnormallyusethesinglebeamindexpoint
of the wedge as the reference from which depths and distances are
calculated.Becausethebeam indexpointofaphasedarrayprobe is
variable,acommonwayofreferencingaflawpositionisinrelationto
the front edge of the wedge rather than the BIP. The dimensions
shown in Figure 516 can then be calculated from the beam
information:

RA
PA
DA
SA

Figure 5-16 Dimensions for referencing a flaw position


DA
PA
RA
SA

= depthofthereflectorinGate A
= forwardpositionofthereflectorwithrespecttothetipof
thewedge
= horizontal distance between the wedge reference point
andthereflector
= soundpathlengthtothereflector

Inthisdisplayformat,thetransitionbetweenthefirstandsecondleg
andsecondandthirdlegregionsofthedisplay,ismarkedbydotted
horizontal lines. In the example below, the bottomcorner reflector
occursatthetransitionbetweenthefirstandsecondlegzones(Figure
517), and the topcorner reflector is at the transition between the

Olympus

PhasedArrayTestSetupandDisplayFormat77

secondandthirdlegs(Figure518).Inaddition,thepositionreadouts
atthetopofthescreenshowthereflectorslocation.

Figure 5-17 Bottom corner reflector

Figure 5-18 Top corner reflector


Inasense,thescreenimageprojectsthesecondlegasacontinuation
of the beam in a straight direction. While the beam actually reflects
upwardfromthebottomofthetestpiece,thescreenimagedisplaysit
asifthebeamweretocontinuealongthesameaxis(seeFigure519).

78Chapter5

Olympus

Top

B0

Bottom

T1

Top

45

Figure 5-19 Display of the second leg compared to the path in the test piece

Olympus

PhasedArrayTestSetupandDisplayFormat79

Appendix A: Constants and Useful


Formula Tables

Table A-1 Main ultrasonic parameters and their definition or relationship


Parameter

Definition/formula/units/remarks
0.5
E1
v L = ----------------------------------------- 1 + 1 2

Longitudinal
(compression)
velocity
(TableA2)

[m/s;mm/s;in./s]

where:
E=modulusofelasticity(Youngsmodulus)
[N/m2]
=massdensity[kg/m3]
E 2G
=Poissonsratio; = ---------------------2G
G=shearmodulus[N/m2]

Transverse
0.5
E
[m/s;mm/s;in./s]
(shear)velocity v T = -----------------------2 1 +
(TableA2)
Rayleigh
velocity

0.87 + 1.12
v R = ------------------------------------ v T [m/s;mm/s;in./s]
1 +
n
f = --- ;numberofoscillationsinaspecifictime
t

Frequency

10 6
interval; MHz = 10 6 Hz = -------- ;
s
c
also: f = --

Wavelength
(TableA3)

v
PL
= -- ;also: = -------- [mm/in.]
f
CN
PL=pulselength( v 20 dB ) [mm/in.]
CN=cyclenumber

Olympus

ConstantsandUsefulFormulaTables81

Table A-1 Main ultrasonic parameters and their definition or relationship (continued)
Parameter
Nearfield
length
(circular)
[seeTableA4]

Definition/formula/units/remarks
D2 2
D2 f
N 0 = ------------------------ ; N 0 = --------- [mm/in.]for
4
4v
D
---- 10

D=activecrystaldiameter [mm/in.]

Nearfield
length
(rectangular)
[seeTableA5]

k L2 f
N rectangular = ---------------- [mm/in.]
4v

D2 f
cos 2
N eff = ---------- -------------- [mm/in.]
4v cos
fordiscshapedcrystal;
L probe cos 2
k ----------------------------- f L

cos
wedge v wedge
N eff = ------------------------------------------------ ----------------------------------
4v test piece
v test piece
Nearfield
length
(effective)

forrectangularprobeonwedge;
D=activecrystaldiameter[mm/in.]
=incident(wedge)angle[]
=refractedangleintestpiece[]
L=crystallength[mm/in.]
Lwedge=UTpathinwedge[mm/in.]
vwedge=velocityinthewedge[m/s;mm/s;
in./s]
vtestpiece=velocityinthetestpiece[m/s;
mm/s;in./s]
k=nearfieldcorrectionfactor
2k free-field z
dB = -------------------------------- [1][mm/in.]
D

Beamdiameter
(circular)

Beamwidth
(rectangular)

z=UTpath[mm/in.];
z
(6 dB) PE = -----D
2k free-field z
dB W = -------------------------------- [mm/in.]
W
W=crystalwidth [mm/in.]

82AppendixA

Olympus

Table A-1 Main ultrasonic parameters and their definition or relationship (continued)
Parameter
Beamlength
(rectangular)

Halfangle
beam
divergence
(circular)

Halfangle
beam
divergence
(rectangular)
Acoustic
impedance

Definition/formula/units/remarks
2k free-field z
dB L = -------------------------------- [mm/in.]
L
k dB
dB = asin ------------------- [rad/];
D
0.5
(3 dB) free field = (6 dB) pulse-echo ----------D
[rad / ]
kdB=halfanglebeamdivergence
constant[1]
(6 dB)L = asin 0.44 L [rad/]
(6 dB)W = asin 0.44 W [rad/]
Z = v [kg/m2s=Rayl]
(generally106 [MRayl])
[seeTableA2]

Reflection
coefficient

Z2 Z1
R = ----------------------- Z1 + Z2

Transmission
coefficient

2Z2
T = ----------------------- Z1 + Z2

Transmission
loss

4Z 1 Z 2
G transmission = 10 log 10 -------------------------- Z1 + Z2 2

Snellslaw

v1
sin
----------= ----v2
sin

Olympus

[dB]

ConstantsandUsefulFormulaTables83

Table A-2 Acoustic properties of materials


MATERIAL
Acrylicresin
(Perspex)
Aluminum
Beryllium
Brass,naval
Copper
Diamond
Glycerin
Inconel
Iron,cast
(slow/soft)
Iron,cast
(fast/hard)
Ironoxide
(magnetite)
Lead
Lucite
Molybdenum
Motoroil
(SAE20/30)
Nickel,pure
Polyamide(slow)
Polyamide
(nylon,fast)
Polyethylene,high
density(HDPE)
Polyethylene,low
density(LDPE)
Polystyrene
Polyvinylchloride
(PVC,hard)
Rexolite
Rubber
(polybutadiene)
Silicon
Silicone
Steel,1020
Steel,4340
Steel,302
austeniticstainless
Steel,347
austeniticstainless
Tin
Titanium,Ti150A
Tungsten
Water(20 C)
Zinc
Zirconium

84AppendixA

Longitudinal
velocity
in./s
m/s

Shearvelocity

Acoustic
impedance
kg/m2s106

in./s

m/s

0.107

2,730

0.056

1,430

3.22

0.249
0.508
0.174
0.183
0.709
0.076
0.229

6,320
12,900
4,430
4,660
18,000
1,920
5,820

0.123
0.350
0.083
0.089
0.485

0.119

3,130
8,880
2,120
2,260
12,320

3,020

17.06
23.50
37.30
41.61
63.35
2.42
49.47

0.138

3,500

0.087

2,200

25.00

0.220

5,600

0.126

3,200

40.00

0.232

5,890

0.128

3,250

30.70

0.085
0.106
0.246

2,160
2,680
6,250

0.028
0.050
0.132

700
1,260
3,350

24.29
3.16
63.75

0.069

1,740

1.51

0.222
0.087

5,630
2,200

0.117
0.043

2,960
1,100

49.99
2.40

0.102

2,600

0.047

1,200

3.10

0.097

2,460

0.051

1,295

2.36

0.082

2,080

0.025

645

1.91

0.092

2,340

0.046

1,160

2.47

0.094

2,395

0.042

1,060

3.35

0.092

2,330

0.045

1,155

2.47

0.063

1,610

2.43

0.379
0.058
0.232
0.230

9,620
1,485
5,890
5,850

0.206

0.128
0.128

5,230

3,240
3,240

22.50
1.56
45.41
45.63

0.223

5,660

0.123

3,120

45.45

0.226

5,740

0.122

3,090

45.40

0.131
0.240
0.204
0.058
0.164
0.183

3,320
6,100
5,180
1,480
4,170
4,650

0.066
0.123
0.113

0.095
0.089

1,670
3,120
2,870

2,410
2,250

24.20
27.69
99.72
1.48
29.61
30.13

Olympus

Table A-3 Wavelength for the most commonly used and tested materials in industrial
UT inspection
Wavelength
Lwaves
Swaves
[mm]
[in.]
[mm]
[in.]
Water[couplant]
1.5
0.059

0.75
0.030

0.4
0.016

0.3
0.012

0.15
0.006

Glycerin(Hamikleer)[couplant]
1.9
0.075

0.95
0.037

0.48
0.019

0.38
0.015

0.19
0.008

Plexiglas[wedge]
2.7
0.106

1.35
0.053

0.75
0.030

0.54
0.021

0.27
0.011

Rexolite[wedge]
2.3
0.091

1.15
0.045

0.58
0.023

0.46
0.018

0.23
0.009

Steel[testpiece]
5.9
0.232
3.2
0.126
3
0.118
1.6
0.063
1.5
0.059
0.8
0.032
1.2
0.047
0.6
0.024
0.6
0.024
0.3
0.012
Aluminum[testpiece]
6.1
0.240
3
0.118
3
0.118
1.5
0.059
1.5
0.059
0.8
0.032
1.2
0.047
0.6
0.024
0.6
0.024
0.3
0.012

Frequency
[MHz]

1
2
4
5
10
1
2
4
5
10
1
2
4
5
10
1
2
4
5
10
1
2
4
5
10
1
2
4
5
10

Olympus

ConstantsandUsefulFormulaTables85

Table A-4 Near-field length for circular crystal (in millimeters)


Frequency
[MHz]

Crystaldiameter[mm]
5

1
2
4
5
10

4.2
8.4
17
21
42

1
2
4
5
10

1
2
4
5
10

1
2
4
5

2
4
8
10

10

20

1
2
4
5
10

1.3
2.6
5
6.5
13

1
2
4
5
10

1
2
4
5
10

6
10
12
Water;LW;v=1.5 mm/s
6
17
24
12
34
48
24
68
96
30
85
120
60
170
240
Steel;LW;v=5.9 mm/s
1.5
4
6
3
8
12
6
16
24
7.
20
30
15
40
60
Steel;SW;v=3.2 mm/s
3
8
12
6
16
24
12
32
48
15
40
60
30
80
120
Copper;LW;v=4.7 mm/s
2
5
8
4
10
16
8
20
32
10
26
40
20
52
80
Aluminum;LW;v=6.3 mm/s
1.4
4
6
3
8
12
6
16
24
7
20
30
14
40
60

20

24

68
136
272
340
680

96
192
384
480
920

16
32
64
80
160

24
48
96
120
240

32
64
128
160

48
96
192
240

320

480

20
40
80
104
208

32
64
128
160
320

16
32
64
80
160

24
48
96
120
240

Table A-5 Near-field length (mm mm) and half-angle divergence beam at 6 dB []
of rectangular crystals shear waves in steel (v = 3,250 m/s)
89

N0

N0

1
2
4
5

N/A
9
N/A
20

N/A
6
N/A
2.5

8
15
30
40

10
5
2.5
2

86AppendixA

66

Frequency
[MHz]

1616
N0

2022
N0

32
64
128
160

45
90
180
225

5
2.5
1.2
1

4
2
1
0.8

Olympus

Appendix B: Unit Conversion

This appendix provides the metricUScustomary conversions for


unitsusedinthisguide.
Table B-1 Conversion from metric to US customary units
Measure

Metricunit

US customaryunit

1 mm

=39.37 mils
=0.03937 in.

1 cm

=0.3937 in.

1m

=39.37 in.
=3.28 ft

1 cm2

=0.155 in.2

1 m2

=10.7639 ft2

1 mm/s

=0.03937 in./s

1 m/s

=3.28 ft/s
=196.85 ft/min

1g

=0.03527 oz

1 kg

=35.2739 oz
=2.20462 lb

Massdensity

1 kg/m3

=0.062428 lb/ft3

Acoustic
impedance

1 kg/m2s

Length

Area

Velocity

Mass

=0.001423 lb/in.2s
=0.204816 lb/ft2s

=(5/9)(F32)

(C1.8)+32

=F

Temperature

Olympus

UnitConversion87

Appendix C: Support and Training

Support
Olympus offers the opportunity to participate in a Webhosted
discussionforum.TheexpertsthatcontributedtoPhasedArrayTesting:
BasicTheoryforIndustrialApplicationsguideareonlinetoansweryour
questions and post added information concerning phased array
technologyanditspracticalapplications.
Feel free to browse this vast source of information, post your own
questions,andcontributetothiscollectiveproject.
YouwillfindtheWebsiteforumlinkatthefollowingaddress:
www.olympusims.com/en/forum/

Training
The Olympus IMS Web site at www.olympusims.com contains a
wide variety of information designed to help users of phased array
products and other Olympus inspection and maintenance
instruments.
Informationonbothintroductoryandadvancedphasedarraytraining
classesareofferedbyOlympustrainingpartnersatlocationsaround
theworld.Theseclassesofferhandsontrainingandspecificproblem
solving cases in addition to a review of basic theory. Details can be
foundat:
Homepage>Support>TrainingAcademy
Wealsoofferaninteractiveselfstudytutorialthatcoversbasicphased
arraytheory,foundat:
Homepage>Knowledge>PhasedArray>PhasedArrayTutorial
Webinarscoveringseveralrelatedtechnicalsubjectscanbeviewedat:
Homepage>Knowledge>PhasedArray>Webinars
TheApplicationNotessectionoftheOlympus IMSWebsiteincludes
a number of documents describing specific phased array test

Olympus

SupportandTraining89

applications.Thesecanbeviewedat:
Homepage>Applications
Finally, you can obtain further information regarding Olympus
nondestructive testing equipment, publications, applications, and
technicalsupportbyfillingouttheApplicationsSupportformfoundat:
Homepage>Applications>ApplicationsSupport

90AppendixC

Olympus

Appendix D: Types of Equipment


Available

As with other categories of ultrasonic test equipment, phased array


systems are available in a variety of models with increasing
complexityandcapability.Instrumentsrangefrombasicmodelsthat
perform simple sector and linear scans with 16element probes to
advanced systems that offer multichannel capability and advanced
interpretivesoftwarewithprobesofupto256elements.
Olympus has a complete NDT portfolio. For more information,
consulttheWebsiteatthefollowingaddress:
www.olympusims.com
Thisappendixpresentsanoverviewofthefollowingequipment:
EPOCH 1000 Series Advanced Ultrasonic Flaw Detectors with
PhasedArrayImaging
OmniScan Series Modular Advanced Flaw Detectors with UT,
PA,EC,andECATechnologies
TomoScanFOCUSLTPowerful,Flexible,andCompactUTData
AcquisitionSystem
TomoViewUTDataAcquisitionandAnalysisSoftware

Olympus

TypesofEquipmentAvailable91

D.1

EPOCH 1000 Series Advanced Ultrasonic


Flaw Detectors with Phased Array Imaging

The EPOCH 1000 flaw detectors combine the highest level of


performanceforconventionalportableflawdetectionwiththepower
ofphasedarrayimaging.TheEPOCH1000,1000iR,and1000ifeature
a horizontal case style with full VGA display, knob, and navigation
arrows for parameter adjustment, and full EN126681 compliance.
The advanced conventional ultrasonic functionality of the
EPOCH 1000seriesisaugmentedintheEPOCH 1000i(seethefigure
below)withphasedarrayimagingcapabilities.

Key Features

AvailablewithPhasedArrayImagingpackage
EN126681compliant
37digitalreceiverfilterselections
6 kHzpulserepetitionrateforhighspeedscanning
Automaticphasedarrayproberecognition
Intuitivewedgedelayandsensitivitycalibrationforallfocallaws
Programmableanalog/alarmoutputs
IP66environmentalratingforharshenvironments
Horizontal design with navigation panel and knob parameter
adjustment
Digitalhighdynamicrangereceiver
FullVGAsunlightreadabledisplay
ClearWaveVisualEnhancementpackageforconventionalAscan
interpretation
Sureviewvisualizationfeature
Referenceandmeasurementcursors
StandarddynamicDAC/TVG
StandardonboardDGS/AVG

92AppendixD

Olympus

D.2

OmniScan Series Modular Advanced


Flaw Detectors with UT, PA, EC, and ECA
Technologies

With thousands of units being used throughout the world, the


OmniScan series (see the figure below) is Olympus NDTs most
successfulportableandmodularphasedarrayandeddycurrentarray
testinstrument.TheOmniScanfamilyincludestheinnovativephased
arrayandeddycurrentarraytestmodules,aswellastheconventional
eddycurrentandultrasoundmodules,alldesignedtomeetthemost
demandingNDTrequirements.
The OmniScan offers a high acquisition rate and powerful software
features in a portable, modular instrument that efficiently performs
manualandautomatedinspections.

MX2 Key Features


Rugged,portable,andbatteryoperated
Compactandlightweight(only5 kg /11 lb)
10.4 inchrealtimedisplay(60 HzAscanrefreshrate)withSVGA
resolutionof800 600
Phased array module and software: 16:64, 16:64M, 16:128, 32:32,
32:128,and32:128PRphasedarraymodules
FullfeaturedAscan,Bscan,Cscan,andstripchartdisplays
Fullfeaturedsectorialscan
Realtimevolumecorrectedrepresentation
Advancedrealtimedataprocessing
Realtime data interpolation to improve spatial representation of
defectsduringacquisitionofdata
UserselectablehighpassandlowpassfiltersforenhancedAscan
andimagingquality
Wizardsforgroupsandfocallaws

Olympus

TypesofEquipmentAvailable93

D.3

TomoScan FOCUS LT Powerful, Flexible,


and Compact UT Data Acquisition System

The TomoScan FOCUS LT (see the figure below) is designed for


your most demanding automated UT inspection needs. This new
benchmarkofultrasoundphasedarrayinstrumentsoffersexceptional
performance forbothconventionalUT andultrasoundphased array
withmultipleprobeconfigurations.
The TomoScan FOCUS LT offers a lighter, more compact, and even
more reliable solution to your most advanced inspection
requirements. The TomoScan FOCUS LT is also available in a 3U
rackmountversion.

Key Features
Fullfeatured PCbased software for data acquisition and analysis
(TomoView)
Multiplechannelsorphasedarrayprobeconfiguration
Combined phased array and conventional UT configuration
(TOFD+P/E)
Filesizeofupto1 GB
Fast100BaseTdatatransfer(4 MB/s)
Configurationofupto64:128
Pulserepetitionrate(PRF)upto20 kHz
Realtimedatacompressionandsignalaveraging
Interfacetoexternalmotorcontrollerandscanners

94AppendixD

Olympus

D.4

TomoView UT Data Acquisition and


Analysis Software

TomoView is a PCbased software for data acquisition and


visualization of ultrasonic signals. Configuration of ultrasonic
parametersisflexibleanddifferentviewscanbedisplayedensuringit
canbeusedinalargevarietyofapplicationsfromindustrialneedsto
research purposes. TomoView is designed to perform ultrasonic
testing(UT)dataacquisitionwithseveralOlympusphasedarray(PA)
orconventionalUTunits.
Compatible with Microsoft Windows, XP, Windows Vista, and Win
dows7,TomoViewcanrunefficientlyonstandardlaptopcomputers
aswellasonhighenddesktopworkstations,anditiscapableofhan
dlinglargedatafiles(upto1 GB).ItsabilitytoreadOmniScan(.oud,
.opd) data files and its userfriendly reporting capabilities make
TomoViewanidealtoolforinterpretingOmniScandata.

PowerfultoolforUTdata
Acquisitionandanalysis
Flexibledataimaging
Easy,comprehensivereporting
PerfectcomplementtotheOmniScan
OfflineanalysisofA,B,C,D,andS(sectorial)scans
Measurementutilities,zooming,andcustomizablecolorpalettes
CompatiblewiththeAdvancedFocalLawCalculator

In addition to the full TomoView software program, Olympus also


offersTomoViewLiteandTomoVIEWER.
TomoView Lite is a version of TomoView primarily designed for
OmniScan data file analysis. It incorporates the main TomoView
features such as volumetric views, merged views, and a multigroup
display.
TomoVIEWERisafreesoftwareforphasedarrayandultrasonicdata
viewing.Thissoftwareprovidestheabilitytoloaddatafilesgenerated
byTomoVieworOmniScanPAandUTsoftware.

Olympus

TypesofEquipmentAvailable95

Phased Array Glossary

Ascan
Anultrasonicwaveformplottedasamplitudewithrespecttotime.
Itcanbeeitherrectifiedorunrectified(RF).
Anglecorrectedgain(ACG)
This is the gain compensation applied to an Sscan to normalize
reflectedresponsefromaspecifictargetateachanglecomprising
theSscan.
Apodization
A computercontrolled function that applies lower excitation
voltagetotheoutsideelementsofanarrayinordertoreducethe
amplitudeofunwantedsidelobes.
Aperture
In phased array testing, the width of the element or group of
elementspulsedsimultaneously.
Azimuthalscan
An alternate term for Sscan. It is a twodimensional view of all
amplitudeandtimeordepthdatafromallfocallawsofaphased
arrayprobe,correctedfordelayandrefractedangle.Inaddition,an
Sscan also refers to the action of sweeping the beam through a
rangeofangles.
Bscan
A twodimensional image of ultrasonic data plotted as reflector
depth or distance with respect to beam position. Bscans can be
eithersinglevalueorcrosssectional.
Bscan,crosssectional
A twodimensional image of ultrasonic data based on full
waveformstorageateachdatapoint,whichcanbeplottedtoshow
allreflectors in a crosssectionratherthan justthefirst or largest.
This allows visualization of both near and farsurface reflectors
withinthesample.
Bscan,singlevalue
A twodimensional image based on plotting the first or largest
reflectorwithinagate.Thisformatiscommonlyusedinultrasonic

Olympus

PhasedArrayGlossary97

flaw detectors and advanced thickness gages, and it shows one


reflectorateachdatapoint.
Bandwidth
The portion of the frequency response that falls within specified
amplitude limits. In this context, it should be noted that typical
NDT transducers do not generate sound waves at a single pure
frequency, but rather over a range of frequencies centered at the
nominalfrequencydesignation.Theindustrystandardistospecify
thisbandwidthatthe6 dB(orhalfamplitude)point.Asageneral
rule,abroaderbandwidthresultsinabetternearsurfaceandaxial
resolution, while a narrow bandwidth results in a higher energy
outputandthushighersensitivity.
Beamforming
In phased array testing, the generation of a sound beam at a
particularposition,angle,and/orfocusthroughsequentialpulsing
oftheelementsofanarrayprobe.
Beamspreadangle
Theangleofdivergencefromthecenterlineofasoundbeaminits
farfield.
Beamsteering
The capability to modify the refracted angle of the sound beam
generatedbyaphasedarrayprobe.
Calibration,sensitivity
A procedure that electronically equalizes amplitude response
acrossallbeamcomponentsinaphasedarrayscan.Thistypically
compensates for both elementtoelement sensitivity variations,
andthevaryingenergytransferatdifferentrefractedangles.
Calibration,wedgedelay
A procedure that electronically compensates for the different
soundpathstakenbydifferentbeamcomponentsinawedge,used
tonormalizethemeasurepathlengthtoareflector.
Cscan
A twodimensional view of ultrasonic amplitude or time/depth
datadisplayedasatopviewofthetestpiece.
Escan
AlsotermedanElectronicscan,sweptindexpoint,orelectronicraster
scanning. In some industries, an Escan is referred to as a linear
scanorlinearelectronicscan.Theabilitytomove theacoustic
beam along array without any mechanical movement. The
equivalent focal law is multiplexed across a group of active
elements;Escansareperformedataconstantangleandalongthe
phased array probe length. For angle beam scans, the focal laws
typicallycompensateforthechangeinwedgethickness.

98PhasedArrayGlossary

Olympus

Farfield
The portion of a sound beam beyond the last onaxis pressure
maximum.Beamspreadingoccursinthefarfield.
Focallaws
The programmed pattern of time delays applied to pulsing and
receivingfromtheindividualelementsofanarrayprobeinorder
tosteerand/orfocustheresultingsoundbeamandechoresponse.
Focus
In ultrasonics, the point at which a sound beam converges to
minimum diameter and maximum sound pressure, and beyond
whichthebeamdiverges.
Gratinglobes
Spuriouscomponentsofasoundbeamdivergingtothesidesofthe
center of energy, caused by even sampling across the probe
elements.Gratinglobesoccuronlywithphasedarrayprobesand
arecausedbyraycomponentsassociatedwiththeregular,periodic
spacingofthesmallindividualelements.SeealsoSidelobes.
Huygensprinciple
Amathematicalmodelofwavebehaviorthatstatesthateachpoint
on an advancing wave front may be thought of as a point source
thatlaunchesanewsphericalwave,andthattheresultingunified
wavefrontisthesumofthoseindividualsphericalwaves.
Linearscan
Theabilitytomovetheacousticbeamalongthemajoraxisofthe
arraywithoutanymechanicalmovement.Theequivalentfocallaw
is multiplexed across a group of active elements; linear scans are
performed at a constant angle and along the phased array probe
length.Foranglebeamscans,thefocallawstypicallycompensate
forthechangeinwedgethickness.Insomeindustriesthistermis
usedtodescribeaonelinescan.
Nearfield
Theportionofasoundbeambetweenthetransducerandthelast
onaxis sound pressure peak. Transducers can be focused only in
thenearfield.
Onelinescan
Asinglepassmechanicalscanofaphasedarrayprobeparalleltoa
weldorregiontobeinspected.Typicallydonewithalineararray
probetocreateaCscanlikeimageofamplitudeordepthdataasa
function of electronic aperture positions versus mechanical
positions.
Phasedarray
A multielement ultrasonic probe (typically with 16, 32, or 64
elements) used to generate steered beams by means of phased
pulsingandreceiving.

Olympus

PhasedArrayGlossary99

Phasing
The interaction of two or more waves of the same frequency but
withdifferenttimedelays,whichcouldresultineitherconstructive
ordestructiveinterference.
Pitch
The separation between individual elements in a phased array
probe.
Plane,active
Theorientationparalleltothephasedarrayprobeaxisconsistingof
multipleelements.
Plane,passive
Theorientationparalleltotheindividualelementlengthorprobe
width.
Plane,steering
Theorientationinwhichthebeamdirectionisvariedforaphased
arrayprobe.
Pulseduration
Thetimeintervalbetweenthepointatwhichtheleadingedgeofa
waveform reaches a specified amplitude (typically 20 dB with
respect to peak) to the point at which the trailing edge of the
waveform reaches the same amplitude. A broader bandwidth
typicallyreducesthepulseduration,whileanarrowerbandwidth
increasesit.Pulsedurationishighlydependentonpulsersettings.
Resolution,angular
In phased array systems, the angular resolution is the minimum
angularvaluebetweentwoAscanswhereadjacentdefectslocated
atthesamedepthareindividuallyresolvable.
Resolution,axial
The minimum depth separation between two specified reflectors
thatpermitsthediscreteidentificationofeach.Ahigherfrequency
and/orahigherbandwidthgenerallyincreasesaxialseparation.
Resolution,farsurface
The minimum distance from the backwall surface at which a
specifiedreflectorhasanechoamplitudeatleast6 dBgreaterthan
theleadingedgeofthebackwallecho.Moregenerally,theclosest
distance from the backwall surface at which a reflector can be
identified.
Resolution,lateral
Inphasedarraysystems,theminimumlateralseparationbetween
two specified reflectors that permits the discrete identification of
each.Thisisrelatedtoboththedesignofthearrayprobeandthe
selectedfocallawprogramming.

100PhasedArrayGlossary

Olympus

Resolution,nearsurface
The minimum distance from the sound entry surface at which a
specifiedreflectorhasanechoamplitudeatleast6 dBgreaterthan
thetrailingedgesoftheexcitationpulse,delayline,orwedgeecho.
Moregenerally,theclosestdistancefromthesoundentrysurfaceat
which a reflector can be identified. The area above this point is
known as the dead zone, and it generally increases as gain
increases.
Sscan
Also termed a sectorial scan, swept angle scan, angular electronic
scanning, or azimuthal scan. A twodimensional view of all
amplitudeandtimeordepthdatafromallfocallawsofaphased
array probe corrected for the delay and the refracted angle. In
addition,anSscanalsoreferstotheactionofsweepingthebeam
througharangeofangles.
Sidelobes
Spuriouscomponentsofasoundbeamdivergingtothesidesofthe
centerofenergy,producedbyacousticpressureleakingfromprobe
elements at different angles from the main lobe. Side lobes are
generatedbyalltypesofultrasonictransducers.SeealsoGrating
lobes.
Virtualaperture
Thecombinedwidthofagroupofphasedarrayelementsthatare
pulsedsimultaneously.

Olympus

PhasedArrayGlossary101

Selected References

1. Olympus NDT. Introduction to Phased Array Ultrasonic Technology


Applications: R/D Tech Guideline. Waltham, MA: Olympus NDT,
2007.xviii, 356 p.
2. Olympus NDT. Advances in Phased Array Ultrasonic Technology
Applications.Waltham,MA:Olympus NDT,2007.xvi, 394 p.
3. R/D Tech Corp. Phased Array Technical Guidelines: Useful Formulas,
Graphs,andExamples.Waltham,MA:R/D TechCorp.,2005.x, 186 p.
4. Olympus NDT. EPOCH 1000 Series: Users Manual. Document
number910269EN.Waltham,MA:Olympus NDT,February2009.
x, 358 p.
5. Olympus NDT. OmniScan MXUM Software: Users Manual.
Document number DMTA08101EN. Qubec, Canada: Olympus
NDT,October2009.x, 284 p.
6. Olympus NDT. TomoView: Users Manual. Document number
DMTA07901EN. Waltham, MA: Olympus NDT, November 2009.
viii, 160 p.
7. Olympus NDT.PhasedArrayProbesandWedges.Documentnumber
920165CEN.Waltham,MA:Olympus NDT,2009.24 p.
8. Olympus NDT.PanametricsUltrasonicTransducers:Wedges,Cables,
Test Blocks. Document number 920041DEN. Waltham, MA:
Olympus NDT,2009.ii, 50 p.
9. Davis,J. M.AdvancedUltrasonicFlawSizingHandbook.USA:TheArt
RoomCorporation,1998.38 p.
10.Krautkrmer, Josef, and Herbert Krautkrmer; in collaboration
with W. Grabendrfer [et al.]. Ultrasonic testing of materials.
TranslationbyJ. D.HislopinconsultationwithJ. Krautkrmer.4th
fullyrev.ed.Berlin;NewYork:SpringerVerlag,c1990.xvi, 677 p.

Olympus

SelectedReferences103

Index

Numerics
2Dmatrix7
A
ACG(anglecorrectedgain)59
definition97
acousticimpedance83,84
acousticpropertiesofmaterials
84
acquisition,data48
activeplane,definition100
advancedinstruments94
advantagesofphasedarrays10
amplituderesponse64
anglebeaminspection64
anglebeamlinearscans43
(Fig. 35),69
image70(Fig. 57)
anglebeamtest,conventional
72(Fig. 59)
angleofsoundbeamentry64
angle,beamspread
definition98
angle,incident64
anglecorrectedgain(ACG)59
definition97
angledbeam9(Fig. 15)
angledwaveform26(Fig. 222)
angularandhorizontalcursors
58(Fig. 46)
angularcursor58(Fig. 45)
angularelectronicscanning101
angularresolution,definition
100
annulararray7
aperture28
definition97
effective~29,29(Fig. 224)
virtual~28
definition101

Olympus

apodization,definition97
appendixes
constantsandusefulformula
tables81
supportandtraining89
typesofequipment91
unitconversion87
applications90
crackdetection10
weldinspection10
ApplicationsSupport90
array21
circular~7
Ascans38
data38,39(Fig. 31)
definition97
ASMESectionV59
aspectratioconstant14
attenuation17
coefficient17
averaging49
axialresolution,definition100
azimuthalscans3,101
definition97
B
bandwidth
definition98
transducer~12
basicsofphasedarrayimaging
37
beam
diameter82
divergence,halfanglebeam
83
focusedsoundbeam31
(Fig. 226)
length83
width82

Index105

beamcomponent
42~76(Fig. 514)
58~74(Fig. 512)
69~75(Fig. 513)
beamfocusing31
withdifferentaperturesizes
33(Fig. 227)
beamforming
definition98
electronic~22
beamindexpoint(BIP)57,64,
69,76,77(Fig. 515)
beamlinearscanning,normal
67(Fig. 53)
beamlinearscans,angle69
image70(Fig. 57)
beamlinearscans,normal66
image68(Fig. 54)
beamprofiles12(Fig. 22)
areasofenergy13(Fig. 23)
transducerbeamprofile12
withdifferentnumberofele
ments34(Fig. 228)
beamscanning,singleangle69
beamshapingandsteering27
elementsize28
frequency27
numberofelements28
pitchandaperture28
beamspread15(Fig. 25)
angle15(Fig. 25)
definition98
beamspreading14
2.25 MHzelement16
(Fig. 28)
3 mmelement16(Fig. 26)
10 MHzelement17(Fig. 29)
13 mmelement16(Fig. 27)
beamsteering10
definition98
limits30(Fig. 225)
BIP(beamindexpoint)57,64,
69,76,77(Fig. 515)
bottomcornerreflector78
(Fig. 517)
Bscans
crosssectional~40,41
(Fig. 33)
definition97
data40(Fig. 32)
definition97

106Index

singlevalue~39
definition97
C
calculator,focallaw8,27
calibration
methods59
sensitivity~98
wedgedelay~98
zero~59
channelspecifications52
characteristics,probe21
ChristiaanHuygens(physicist)
14
circulararray7
circularcrystal,nearfield
lengthfor86
circularmatrix7
CN(cyclenumber)81
coefficient,attenuation17
coefficient,reflection18
combinedimageformats48
compositeprobes22
compressionalstraightbeam
testing64
constants81
aspectratioconstant14
conversion,mode19(Fig. 210),
20
conversion,unit87
crackdetection10
crosssectionalBscans40,41
(Fig. 33)
definition97
crystal11
nearfieldlengthforcircular
~86
crystals,rectangular
divergencebeam86
nearfieldlength86
Cscans3,43
data44(Fig. 36)
definition98
images10
cursors
angular58(Fig. 45)
angularandhorizontal58
(Fig. 46)
reference57
curvature,radiusof64
cyclenumber(CN)81

Olympus

D
DAC61
SeealsoTVG
dataacquisition48
dataacquisitionandanalysis
software95
data,Ascan38
density,mass()81
diameter,beam82
digitalsamplingrate49
dimensionalparametersofa
phasedarrayprobe23
(Fig. 218)
dimensionsforreferencinga
flawposition77
(Fig. 516)
disadvantagesofphasedarrays
10
displayformat63
displayspecifications51
display,Sscan72
divergencebeam,rectangular
crystal86
divergence,halfanglebeam83
duration,pulse
definition100
E
E(modulusofelasticity)81
effectiveaperture29,29
(Fig. 224)
elasticity(E),modulusof81
electronicbeamforming22
electronicrasterscanning98
electronicscan
definition98
elementsize28
elements,numberof28
encodedlinearscans3
encoders39,48
encoding57
EPOCH1000series92
keyfeatures92
equipmenttypes91
advancedinstruments94
dataacquisitionandanalysis
software95
entrylevelportableinstru
ments92
generalpurposeportable
instruments93

Olympus

Escan3
definition98
F
farfield13
definition99
farsurfaceresolution,defini
tion100
field,far13
definition99
field,near13
definition99
files
.opd95
.oud95
firstelementheightoffset64
firstlegindication73(Fig. 510)
flawposition,referencing77
(Fig. 516)
focallaws64
calculator8,27
definition99
numberrequiredforlinear
scans55
sequences29(Fig. 223)
setup66
specifications52
FOCUSLT,TomoScan94
keyfeatures94
focus,definition99
focusedanglebeamlinearscan
9(Fig. 16)
focusedsoundbeam31
(Fig. 226)
focusing,beam31
withdifferentaperturesizes
33(Fig. 227)
forming,beam
definition98
formulas81
Seealsospecificformulaentries
ultrasonicparameters81
forum,Website89
frequency27,64,81
probe~23
transducer~12
transducer~range7
G
G(shearmodulus)81
gainnormalization59
responsefollowing~61

Index107

(Fig. 49)
responsepriorto~60
(Fig. 48)
gapsindataacquisition49
gate38
glossary,phasedarray97
gratinglobes33
definition99
H
halfanglebeamdivergence83
heightoffset,firstelement64
horizontalandangularcursors
58(Fig. 46)
Huygens,Christiaan(physicist)
14
Huygensprinciple14,26
definition99
I
imageformats,combined48
imagetypes56
imaging,basicsofphasedarray
37
impedance,acoustic83,84
incidentangle64
indication
firstleg~73(Fig. 510)
secondleg~73(Fig. 511)
inputsandoutputsspecifica
tions52
instrumentsetup63
material64
probe64
wedge64
instrumentation,phasedarray
51
calibrationandnormaliza
tionmethods59
importantspecifications51
interferenceeffects26(Fig. 221)
interferencepattern6(Fig. 11)
interpretingreflectorposition
ing76
introductiontophasedarray
testing5
L
lateralresolution,definition100
law,Snells18,26,83
laws,focal64
calculator8,27

108Index

definition99
sequences29(Fig. 223)
setup66
specifications52
leg
displayofthesecondleg79
(Fig. 519)
firstlegindication73
(Fig. 510)
secondlegindication73
(Fig. 511)
length,beam83
length,nearfield82
circularcrystal86
rectangularcrystal86
lineararray7
linearscanning,normalbeam
67(Fig. 53)
linearscans3,42
anglebeam~43(Fig. 35),69
image70(Fig. 57)
definition99
normalbeam66
image68(Fig. 54)
normalbeam~42(Fig. 34)
numberoffocallaws55
sequence56(Fig. 44)
lobes,grating33
definition99
lobes,side33
definition101
longitudinalvelocity81,84
longitudinalwaves64
M
(Poissonsratio)81
massdensity()81
material64
materials,acousticpropertiesof
84
matrix,2D7
matrix,circular7
measurementspecifications51
measurementtosecondleg
reflector71(Fig. 58)
modeconversion19(Fig. 210),
20
atnonperpendicularbound
aries18
modulus(E),Youngs81
modulus(G),shear81
modulusofelasticity(E)81

Olympus

multielementconstruction8
(Fig. 14)
multigroupsupport56
multipledisplayformats59
(Fig. 47)
multipleimagetypesdisplay48
(Fig. 310)
MX2keyfeatures93
N
namingconvention52
NDT(nondestructivetesting)5
nearfield13
definition99
nearfieldlength
circular82
circularcrystal86
effective82
rectangular82
rectangularcrystal86
nearsurfaceresolution,defini
tion101
nondestructivetesting(NDT)5
normalbeamlinearscanimage
withalllawsAscan68
(Fig. 55)
normalbeamlinearscanning67
(Fig. 53)
normalbeamlinearscans42
(Fig. 34),66
image68(Fig. 54)
normalizationmethods59
normalization,gain59
responsefollowing~61
(Fig. 49)
responsepriorto~60
(Fig. 48)
noteonterminology3
numberofelements23,28,64
O
offset,firstelementheight64
Offset,Zero64
Olympus2
OmniScanseries93
MX2keyfeatures93
onelinescans3,45,99
definition99
forweldinspection45
(Fig. 37)
.opddatafiles95
.ouddatafiles95

Olympus

P
parameters
dimensional~ofaphased
arrayprobe23
(Fig. 218)
probe65
ultrasonic~81
wedge65,65(Fig. 52)
partthickness64
passiveplane,definition100
phaseshifting6
phasedarray
definition99
displayformat63
glossary97
testsetup63
phasedarrayimaging,basicsof
37
phasedarrayinstrumentation
51
calibrationandnormaliza
tionmethods59
importantspecifications51
phasedarrayprobes7,11,21
(Fig. 215),22(Fig. 216)
assemblies8(Fig. 13)
crosssection22(Fig. 217)
dimensionalparameters23
(Fig. 218)
selection34
ultrasonicbeamcharacteris
tics11
wedges24(Fig. 219)
phasedarrayspecifications52
channels52
encoding57
focallaws52
imagetypes56
multigroupsupport56
namingconvention52
PRF/Displayupdaterate55
proberecognition56
pulsers52
referencecursors57
waveformstorage56
phasedarraysystem7
phasedarraytesting
advantagesofphasedarrays
10
disadvantagesofphased
arrays10

Index109

generalintroduction5
system7
typesofequipment91
ultrasonicphasing8
phasedarraywedges24
phasedarrays,usedformedical
diagnostic6(Fig. 12)
phasedpulsing25
phasing6
definition100
effects25(Fig. 221)
ultrasonic~8
piezoceramicprobes22
piezocomposite22
piezoelectrictransducerele
ment11
principle11(Fig. 21)
pitch28,64
definition100
PL(pulselength)81
plane
active~,definition100
passive~,definition100
steering~,definition100
Poissonsratio()81
portableinstruments
entrylevel92
generalpurpose93
PRF(pulserepetitionfre
quency)49
PRF/Displayupdaterate55
principle,Huygens14,26
definition99
probe5
Seealsotransducer
characteristics21
composite22
frequency23
instrumentsetup64
numberofelements23
parameters65
piezoceramic22
recognition56
sizeofelements23
type23
probes,phasedarray7,11,22
(Fig. 216)
assemblies8(Fig. 13)
crosssection22(Fig. 217)
dimensionalparameters23
(Fig. 218)

110Index

selection34
ultrasonicbeamcharacteris
tics11
wedges24(Fig. 219)
processingtime49
profiles,beam12(Fig. 22)
areasofenergy13(Fig. 23)
transducerbeamprofile12
withdifferentnumberofele
ments34(Fig. 228)
propertiesofmaterials,acous
tic84
propertiesofsoundwavesSee
soundwaveproperties
properties,transducer12
pulseduration,definition100
pulselength(PL)81
pulserepetitionfrequency
(PRF)49
pulserspecifications51,52
pulsing,phased25
R
(massdensity)81
radiusofcurvature64
rate,digitalsampling49
rate,PRF/Displayupdate55
rate,scan48
ratioconstant,aspect14
ratio,Poissons()81
ratio,signaltonoise10,27
Rayleighvelocity81
receiverspecifications51
recognition,probe56
rectangularcrystals
divergencebeam86
nearfieldlength86
rectangularelements15
referencecursors57
referencingaflawposition77
(Fig. 516)
reflectionataperpendicular
planeboundary17
reflectioncoefficient18,83
reflectorpositioning,interpret
ing76
reflectors
bottomcorner78(Fig. 517)
topcorner78(Fig. 518)
refractedwave
10incidentangle20
(Fig. 212)

Olympus

30incidentangle20
(Fig. 213)
65incidentangle21
(Fig. 214)
refractionatnonperpendicular
boundaries18
refraction,soundwave19
(Fig. 210)
relativeamplitudeofwave
modes19(Fig. 211)
resolution
angular~,definition100
axial~,definition100
farsurface~,definition100
lateral~,definition100
nearsurface~,definition101
response,amplitude64
ring7
S
samplingrate,digital49
scanrate48
scanningspeedinfluenceon
acquisitionrate49
(Fig. 311)
scanning,angularelectronic101
scanning,normalbeamlinear
67(Fig. 53)
scanning,sectorial10
scans
anglebeamlinear69
image70(Fig. 57)
azimuthal3,101
definition97
encodedlinear3
linear3,42
definition99
normalbeamlinear66
image68(Fig. 54)
oneline3,45,99
definition99
sector3
SeealsoSscans
sectorial3,101
SeealsoSscans
SscansSeeSscans
sweptangle3,101
secondleg
display79(Fig. 519)
indication73(Fig. 511)
sectorscans3
SeealsoSscans

Olympus

sectorialscanning10
sectorialscans3,101
SeealsoSscans
selection,phasedarrayprobe34
sensitivitycalibration98
sensitivity,transducer12
sequences,focallaw29
(Fig. 223)
setup,focallaw66
setup,instrument63
material64
probe64
wedge64
setup,test63
shaping,beam27
elementsize28
frequency27
numberofelements28
pitchandaperture28
shearmodulus(G)81
shearvelocity84
shearwaves64
shifting,phase6
sidelobes33
definition101
sidedrilledholes40
signaltonoiseratio10,27
singlevalueBscans39
definition97
singleanglebeamscanning69
site,Web2,89,91
forum89
sizeofelements,probe23
size,transducer12
sizing10
sizingoptions52
Snellslaw18,26,83
software
dataacquisitionandanalysis
95
TomoView95
keyfeatures95
TomoViewLite95
TomoVIEWER95
soundattenuation17
soundbeam,focused31
(Fig. 226)
soundfield,transducer13
(Fig. 24)
soundwave
properties14

Index111

refraction19(Fig. 210)
specifications,phasedarray52
encoding57
focallaws52
imagetypes56
multigroupsupport56
namingconvention52
numberofchannels52
numberofpulsers52
PRF/Displayupdaterate55
proberecognition56
referencecursors57
waveformstorage56
specifications,phasedarray
instrumentation51
inputsandoutputs52
measurementanddisplay51
pulserandreceiver51
sizingoptions52
spreadangle,beam
definition98
spreading,beam14
Sscanning10
Sscans3,46
30to+3046(Fig. 38)
35to+7047(Fig. 39)
definition101
display72
steeringwith1 degreesteps
53(Fig. 41)
steeringwith2 degreesteps
54(Fig. 42)
steeringwith4 degreesteps
54(Fig. 43)
steeringlimits,beam30
(Fig. 225)
steeringplane,definition100
steering,beam10,27
definition98
elementsize28
frequency27
numberofelements28
pitchandaperture28
storage,waveform56
strip7
subdicing34
supportandtraining89
sweptanglescans3,101
sweptindexpoint98
system,phasedarray7

112Index

T
tables81
acousticpropertiesofmateri
als84
mainultrasonicparameters
81
nearfieldlength
circularcrystal86
rectangularcrystal86
summaryofNuclearand
ASMEterminology3
unitconversion87
wavelength85
TCG(timecorrectedgain)3,59,
61
terminology,noteon3
testsetup63
testing,phasedarraySee
phasedarraytesting
thickness,part64
ThomasYoung(scientist)5
timecorrectedgain(TCG)3,59,
61
timevariedgain(TVG)3
TomoScanFOCUSLT94
keyfeatures94
TomoViewLitesoftware95
TomoViewsoftware95
keyfeatures95
TomoVIEWERsoftware95
topcornerreflector78
(Fig. 518)
training89
TrainingAcademy89
transducer5,7,11
Seealsoprobe
bandwidth12
beamprofile12
beamspreadangle15
(Fig. 25)
frequency12
frequencyrange7
interferenceeffects26
(Fig. 221)
principleofthepiezoelectric
~element11(Fig. 21)
properties12
sensitivity12
size12
soundfield13(Fig. 24)
type12

Olympus

waveformduration12
transmissionataperpendicular
planeboundary17
transmissioncoefficient83
transmissionloss83
transversevelocity81
tutorial89
TVG(timevariedgain)3
TVG/DAC61
type,probe23
type,transducer12
typesofequipment91
advancedinstruments94
dataacquisitionandanalysis
software95
entrylevelportableinstru
ments92
generalpurposeportable
instruments93
U
ultrasonicbeamcharacteristics
11
ultrasonicparameters81
ultrasonicphasing8
unitconversion87
V
velocity64
longitudinal81,84
material64
mode64
Rayleigh81
shear84
transverse81

Olympus

virtualaperture28
definition101
volumetricinspections10
W
waveform
angled~26(Fig. 222)
display(Ascan)38
storage56
transducer~duration12
wavefront14
formation14
wavelength81,85
Website2,89,91
forum89
webinars89
wedge64
~delaycalibration98
parameters65,65(Fig. 52)
phasedarray24
phasedarrayprobe24
(Fig. 219)
zerodegree24
weldinspection10
width,beam82
Y
Young,Thomas(scientist)5
Youngsmodulus(E)81
Z
zerocalibration59
ZeroOffset64
zerodegreewedge24

Index113

PhasedArrayTesting:BasicTheoryforIndustrialApplications
Secondedition,February2012
Publishedby:Olympus NDT,48WoerdAvenue,Waltham,MA02453,USA.

NDT Field Guides

This Phased Array Testing field guide is designed as an easy-tofollow introduction to ultrasonic phased array testing for both
newcomers and more experienced users who wish to review
basic principles. It explains what phased array testing is and
how it works, outlines considerations for selecting probes and
instruments, and references sources for further reference.
A phased array glossary is included.

48 Woerd Avenue
Waltham, MA 02453
USA
Tel.: (1) 781-419-3900
www.olympus-ims.com