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Title: Flexible ultrasonic pipe inspection apparatus

A flexible, modular ultrasonic pipe inspection apparatus, comprising a flexible, hollow shaft that carries a plurality of modules, including at least one rotatable ultrasonic transducer, a motor/gear unit, and a position/signal encoder. The modules are connected by flexible knuckle joints that allow each module of the apparatus to change its relative orientation with respect to a neighboring module, while the shaft protects electrical wiring from kinking or buckling while the apparatus moves around a tight corner. The apparatus is moved through a pipe by any suitable means, including a tether or drawstring attached to the nose or tail, differential hydraulic pressure, or a pipe pig. The rotational speed of the ultrasonic transducer and the forward velocity of the apparatus are coordinated so that the beam sweeps out the entire interior surface of the pipe, enabling the operator to accurately assess the condition of the pipe wall and determine whether or not leak-prone corrosion damage is present.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. (Aiken, SC)
  2. (Augusta, GA)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
871649
Report Number(s):
US 5770800
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-89SR18035
Resource Type:
Patent
Research Org:
WESTINGHOUSE SAVANNAH RIVER CO
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
flexible; ultrasonic; pipe; inspection; apparatus; flexible; modular; ultrasonic; pipe; inspection; apparatus; comprising; flexible; hollow; shaft; carries; plurality; modules; including; rotatable; ultrasonic; transducer; motor; gear; unit; position; signal; encoder; modules; connected; flexible; knuckle; joints; allow; module; apparatus; change; relative; orientation; respect; neighboring; module; shaft; protects; electrical; wiring; kinking; buckling; apparatus; moves; tight; corner; apparatus; moved; pipe; suitable; means; including; tether; drawstring; attached; nose; tail; differential; hydraulic; pressure; pipe; pig; rotational; speed; ultrasonic; transducer; forward; velocity; apparatus; coordinated; beam; sweeps; entire; interior; surface; pipe; enabling; operator; accurately; assess; condition; pipe; wall; determine; leak-prone; corrosion; damage; suitable means; hollow shaft; hydraulic pressure; rotational speed; ultrasonic transducer; ultrasonic transducer; interior surface; inspection apparatus; inspection apparatus; relative orientation; electrical wiring; pipe wall; pipe inspection; pipe inspection; entire interior; ultrasonic pipe; ultrasonic pipe /73/348/