PRODUCTION Hartlepool gets automatic testing The increasing demand for highquality steel pipe, stimulated in both home and overseas markets by the current boom in the oil and gas industries, has led to the introduction of a fully automatic on-line ultrasonic plate testing facility at the Hartlepool South Works of the British Steel Corporation. Capable of operating at the full line speed of 0.5 m s1 on steel plate up to 330 mm wide and from ten to a few hundred mm thick, the installation provides an immediate and permanent record of plate defects, such as lamination and inclusions. The new facility not only outdates the slower method of individual plate testing with portable ultrasonic equipment, but also considerably improves the percentage area of plate inspected. For example when operating at full line speed an inspection grid of 75 mm is obtained across the full plate width.
Fig.1 The PA 1020 forms the core of the BSC plate testing facility at Hartlepool
Fig.2 An oscillating beam carries the main probes across the full width of the plate under inspection (left) while the.edges are inspected with fixed probes
transversely with a time cycle of one second to give an effective inspection grid of 75 mm at full line speed. Plate edges are monitored by two banks of 5 probes, one bank of which is adjustable to suit the width of plate being processed, the edge probes being linked to a PA 1020 unit and multiplexer (Fig.2). All readings are then fed into a multichannel recorder where a permanent record of the plate condition is made for analysis. Simple operation, ease of maintenance and rapid commissioning are the main features of this type of installation, which offers the further advantage of using standard off-the-shelf ultrasonic units to keep basic costs to a minimum whilst maintaining the highest possible standard of inspection. Baugh & Weedon Limited, Blackfriars Street, Hereford, UK
Bar supplier automates testing The Hartlepool requirement was for a fully automatic installation to be commissioned and working in the shortest possible time and to achieve this the Research Division of the BSC conceived the idea of utilizing standard production ultrasonic equipment, around which the mechanical requirement could be designed and built as an in-house operation. The Baugh & Weedon PA 1020 was chosen as the instrumentation for the system (Fig. 1). The PA 1020 units operate in conjunction with 5 MHz probes mounted at 130 mm intervals along a beam which also carries the water jets to provide an acoustic coupling between probes and steel plate. Water column height is 150 mm. The whole beam oscillates
A British supplier of bright bar has installed automatic eddy-current equipment in its West Midland plant.
The company, Flather Halesowen Ltd, supplies 30 000 tonnes a year of bright bar in round, hexagon, fiat and square sections, to the motor, agricultural, domestic appliance, ship-building and general engineering industries. Flather Halesowen have chosen Barscan Fe equipment which is made by Teledictor, a member of the same group (Fig.3). The equipment is designed for bars and sections up to 40 mm diameter and tubes up to 150 nm diameter depending on wall thickness. The testing is carried out at room temperature. The testing speed is between 1.25-4.5 m s"l, depending on the test frequency which is either 10 or 3 kHz. The Barscan Fe is an encircling coil eddy-current~ device with two coils next to one another. Comparisons are thus made between two adjacent sections of material. In the Halesowen installation the test pieces are hand fed and faulty specimens are ejected into a defect cradle. Teledictor Ltd, Groveland Road, Tipton, Staffs, UK
Fig.3 An operator adjusts the instrumentation of an eddy-current testing line for 300 mm flat bright bar
T E S T I N G . O C T O B E R 1973