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ACFM display screen

ACFM 2002 1
Inspection through coatings
 One of the main advantages of the uniform field
used in the ACFM technique is that it results in a
relatively small reduction in signal strength with
probe lift-off. This means that ACFM is capable
of crack detection through several millimetres of
non-conducting coating. Typical applications of
inspection through coatings include paint, epoxy
coatings, oxide layers, fire protection layers and
marine growth.

ACFM 2002 2
Underwater Inspection
 TSC have standard equipment for diver or
ROV deployed inspection. Uses exactly the
same principals as for ‘in air’ inspection.
 Max water depth 350m as standard - can be
uprated to 2000m.
 All data is transferred to the surface for
analysis by the ACFM operator.

ACFM 2002 3
Model U31 Underwater ACFM
Diver deployed
ACFM, now
used worldwide
in the Oil & Gas
Industry for

ACFM 2002 4
Diver deployed ACFM

ACFM 2002 5
ACFM Arrays
 Manual inspection probes inspect a narrow strip,
centred on the probe sensors.
 In some situations it is desirable to cover wider
areas with a probe.
 ACFM array probes contain a number of sensors.
In this way, larger areas can be covered either by
scanning a 1 dimensional “paintbrush” array or
statically using a 2D “pick-and-place” array.

ACFM 2002 6
Twin Field Arrays
 Standard probes have a single field and so are
directional. To characterise defects that lie in more
than one orientation, scans are needed in two
orthogonal directions
 Array probes can be fitted with twin fields. This
allows inspection in two directions with a single
 Array probes are very useful for scanning large
areas or where multidirectional cracking exists

ACFM 2002 7
Inspection of aluminium bronze
thruster blades
An area measuring 300mm x 300mm
requires 42 manual scans to inspect in
both directions. An array probe provides
the same coverage in just 7 scans. TSC
have developed an Underwater Array
Probe for this application

ACFM 2002 8
Data from a hand scanned array

Data from an array probe is displayed in the same way as

manual ACFM. Each row of sensors is allocated a colour.
The Butterfly Plot is retained. 2 cracks are shown.
ACFM 2002 9
Alternative data display from an
array probe

Arrays give the opportunity for additional displays. The

butterfly plot has been replaced by a plan view showing
clearly the defect location within the area covered by the
ACFM 2002 10
ROV Inspection with ACFM
There are basically three options:
 Replace diver with a manipulator and use
diver type probes
 Use pick-and-place array probes that have
less reliance on ROV dexterity
 Use a sub-system, such as a scanner to
sweep array probes over the surface

ACFM 2002 11
Small work class ROV used for
ACFM node inspection

ACFM 2002 12
Scanned single probe - 490m

Manipulator Scan Scanning Frame

ACFM 2002 13
Scanned probe
 Advantages
– High resolution data, so good sensitivity to
short defects
– Good access into tight geometries
 Disadvantages
– Very difficult to move probe along weld toe,
especially on curved geometry
– Easy to damage probes

ACFM 2002 14
Pick and place Array probes

Wedge-shaped for tubular Square for T-butts

ACFM 2002 15
Probe on Workclass ROV

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Pick-and-place array
 Advantages
– Can be specially designed to inspect tight
– More rugged than other probes.
 Disadvantages
– Lift-off at probe ends on curved geometries.
– Fixed (and low) spatial resolution, so detection
threshold increased.
– Data interpretation more difficult.

ACFM 2002 17
Scanner sub-system
trial of final
system with 3
array probes in
arrangement to
give overlap

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Scanned arrays
 Advantages
– Give very good resolution.
– Cover large area in one placement.
– No reliance on ROV manipulator
 Disadvantages
– Can only be deployed on simple geometries

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