The metals industry is a major user of automated ultrasonic systems and USL has been a principal supplier since 1990. The current USL multi-channel ultrasonic instrumentation is ideally suited to these applications, in combination with both off-line immersion and in-line irrigated mechanical systems.

Products inspected using USL systems include:

  • Aluminium alloy plate
  • Titanium alloy plate and forgings
  • Hot finished and cold finished alloy steel tube
  • Nickel and titanium based forgings – roto-symmetrical and complex
  • Continuously welded steel tube
  • Billet and bar material in aluminium, nickel and steel alloys
  • Axle forgings
  • Both cast and forged railway wheels

Some products, such as steel and titanium plate require multiple probes using the same basic settings for rapid coverage and maximum throughput. Others, such as rail wheels and axle forgings, need probes set at different angles for detection of longitudinal, axial and circumferential defects. The USL multiplexed electronics can switch all settings at full pulse repetition frequency rates up to 20kHz to suit both types of test. Configurations from 2 to 32 channels are available. Software is available for different applications, such as:

  • Multi-channel C scan imaging with defect severity identified by colour.
  • Automatic assessment of detected features in terms of flat bottom hole (FBH) equivalent.
  • Pass / fail indication based on pre-established acceptance criteria.
  • Automated sorting into pass, fail and suspect criteria.

Customers include Alcoa Europe (Flat Rolled Products), Timet UK, Timken Steel, Voest Alpine Steel, Tata Steel, Firth Rixson Forgings, Alro and Southwest Aluminium Company.