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Special NDT: Guided Waves

Inspection by Guided Waves allows detecting material loss in piping without shutting down the plant.

Unlike conventional ultrasound, where the inspection is localized, the Guided Waves system inspection is performed using a ring of transducers that emit ultrasonic low frequency waves that travel up and down the pipeline, thus achieving the inspection of large pipe distances from a single point of application.

The system allows the rapid detection of pipeline degradation in service, the reduction of costs and prevents the removal/replacement of widespread insulation or coating, except of course the area where the ring is placed.

Ultrasound Tests (UT) are extensively used as NDT technique for detecting defects in a wide variety of structures and components, both during manufacturing and in service.

The discontinuity detection mechanism is based on the fact that the propagation of these waves is determined by wave frequency and pipe thickness. At locations where the wave faces a change in thickness of the pipe (whether increased or reduced), a percentage of the energy bounces back and returns to the transducers.