We’ve reached the final article in the mechanical integrity segment of our Fun Fact Friday series! This week, we will look at a relatively new service offering for Encorus – computed radiography. This service is unique in that it can be used in both mechanical integrity inspections and non-destructive examination.
Most people think of medical x-rays when they hear the term radiography. Industrial radiography is much the same thing, except that it is used to examine pipes, structures, and other equipment instead of bones. Rather than the classic x-ray film on an illuminated viewing box, computed radiography uses a phosphor plate, red laser beam, and photomultiplier tube to convert electric symbols to a digital image.
A computed radiography system offers many advantages: the same phosphor plate can be used over and over again, the process does not require a dark room or developing chemicals, the digital image and can be stored and manipulated electronically, and it presents a safer working environment for operators. This makes it a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly option, with quicker results.
Computed radiography can be used to inspect welds, machined parts, pipes, vessels and tanks, concrete, plate metal, and ceramics. It is a non-destructive method – so you can see below the surface without removing any coverings, such as insulation or coatings. The range of items that can be inspected with computed radiography is broad – from very small pieces of pipe to very large tanks. Mobile systems allow for inspection at the job site, when removal and transport of the item to be inspected is not possible or practical.
A trained radiographer can identify defects and irregularities, such as corrosion, cracks, and deteriorating welds. The type, size, and location can of the defect can also be identified by an experienced technician. If a reference standard is utilized, measurements of anything within the image can be measured digitally including depth of corrosion, remaining wall thickness, valve position, sediment depth, lining thickness, etc. Computed radiography can be used at all stages, including during and immediately after manufacture and installation, as part of routine inspection and maintenance, and to identify the cause of an issue. Used in conjunction with other mechanical integrity inspections and non-destructive examinations, a very complete picture of what is going on below the surface of a piece of equipment can be created.
We hope that you have enjoyed learning about different aspects of mechanical integrity, and the services that Encorus has to offer. Stay tuned for a new series of Fun Facts starting next Friday!
If you have any questions, or would like a quote on mechanical integrity services, call Keith Taylor, Director of Mechanical Integrity Services at 716.592.3980, ext. 143, or email him at [email protected].