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Cast Stainless Steel Inspection


Inspection of Cast Stainless Steel Used in Coolant Systems of Pressurized Water

Equipment Used:

128 Channel Field Ready Enclosure, ARIA: Advanced TFM Software A study was conducted recently which used Full Matrix Capture (FMC) and Total Focusing Method (TFM) as well as conventional phased array techniques to inspect Cast Stainless Steel (CASS).  The device OEM-PA 128/128 was selected for this study because of its ability to handle conventional phased array as well as the more advanced FMC/TFM methods.  The goal of this study was to improve signal to noise ratio when inspecting this type of material.

Cast stainless steel is a material which is widely used in the Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) in nuclear power plants.  Often used due to its high corrosion resistance and mechanical strength properties,  it is the ideal material for PWR coolant systems. The suspected issue with this material is that it has been exposed to high temperatures and high pressure which can produce thermal or mechanical fatigue cracks. The significant challenges with inspecting cast stainless steel is the level of noise in the material generally attributed to its course, and largely unknown grain structure.   A low frequency probe was selected for scanning of this material in the study.