Sizing of Near-Surface Fatigue Cracks in Cladded Pressure Vessels by the Multiple Beam-Satellite Pulse Technique
The stainless steel cladding of the inside surface of a reactor pressure vessel makes ultrasonic inspection for detection and sizing of cracks immediately under the cladding significantly harder. One solution to the inspection difficulty has been found in the multiple beam-satellite pulse technique. (While this technique both detects and sizes, only sizing is addressed in this paper.) The technique employs a multiple-beam transducer, which produces both longitudinal and shear waves. Novel waveform-processing and pattern-recognition methods are used in conjunction with this transducer design. The longitudinal-wave component is diffracted mainly by the upper extremity of the crack at or near the clad-base material interface, and its shear-wave components are diffracted mainly by the lower extremity of the crack in the base material. Proof-of-principle sizing results, based on the observance of a pair of satellite pulses from the diffracted beams, were obtained for three sets of planar flaws. They were (1) six side-milled underclad notches ranging in throughwall dimension from 3.1 to 12.9 mm, (2) fatigue cracks implanted in three cladded pressure vessel blocks and ranging in depth from 3.7 to 27.9 mm, and (3) six underclad fatigue cracks in the 2.7 to 8.5 mm depth range.
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