For Flaw Or Discontinuity Detection Patents (Class 73/598)
  • Patent number: 7694565
    Abstract: This invention relates to the field of signal transit time sensors, in particular sensors based on ultrasonic transit times. Existing electronic control circuits for such transit time sensors for measurements on medical liquids, in particular blood, are extremely complex or their time resolution is limited. However, the present invention makes use of a simple measurement technique which cannot be used directly at first for the time resolution to be achieved. In this method, an ordinary sampling method is used to detect the received signal (12). An oscillator-like received signal (12) generated by an emitted step-like signal is first sampled during a half-period (14, 15) and is checked with the help of a selection criterion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: Fresenius Medical Care Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Franz-Wilhelm Koerdt, Peter Scheunert, Dejan Nikolic, Klaus Metzner, Alexander Kuhn
  • Patent number: 7694566
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for representing echo signals that are obtained with the aid of an ultrasonic test apparatus used for non-destructively testing a test piece. Said ultrasonic test apparatus comprises a probe, especially an angled probe, a monitor with a display device for representing the received echo signals in an cross-sectional image such that at least one front face and a back wall of the test piece can be recognized. A flaw is detected from different arrangements of the angular probe, represented, and an error signal is determined. The test images are stored and then represented in a superimposed manner in an evaluation image such that the first and the second error signal can be recognized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: GE Inspection Technologies, GmbH
    Inventor: Wolf Kleinert
  • Patent number: 7694568
    Abstract: Noncontaminating and nondestructive testing of a shaped polysilicon body for a material defect is accomplished by exposing the shaped polysilicon body to ultrasound waves, and the ultrasound waves are registered by an ultrasound receiver after they have passed through the shaped polysilicon body or reflected therein, so that material defects in the polysilicon are detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: Wacker Chemie AG
    Inventors: Andreas Hegen, Matthaeus Schantz, Bruno Lichtenegger
  • Patent number: 7672793
    Abstract: A method for calculating the probable damage size in a structure includes defining a configuration of an array of transducers mounted on the structure. Any pair of the transducers includes an actuator and a sensor, and each pair defines a propagation path in the structure. All propagation paths that are affected by being touched by a damage of the structure, and all adjacent paths that are untouched and thereby unaffected by the damage, are identified. A range of sizes of the damage is determined, and a probability density of the damage versus damage size is calculated on the basis of the transducer array configuration and the affected and unaffected propagation paths identified. On the basis of the probability density, a most probable damage size is determined, and the probability of the damage being greater or less than the most probable damage size is also determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2010
    Assignee: Acellent Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Shawn J. Beard
  • Patent number: 7661293
    Abstract: A system using ultrasonic energy for detecting and quantifying air bubbles and/or particles in a liquid flowing in a tube by a non-invasive and non-destructive technique has an ultrasonic sensor having piezoelectric transmitter and receiver elements placed opposing on the outside of the tube wall and energy in the ultrasonic frequency range is transmitted from the transmitter element to the receiver element. The received ultrasonic energy is amplified and detected and preferably split into a steady state (DC) component and a varying or transient (AC) component respectively indicative of the absence and the presence of an air bubble or a particle in the liquid. The two components of the signal are applied to an A/D converter whose output is supplied to a microprocessor which uses the digital data that corresponds to the presence of the varying transient component to indicate the presence of an air bubble and/or a particle and to measure its characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2010
    Assignees: Cosense, Inc., Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc.
    Inventor: Naim Dam
  • Patent number: 7661294
    Abstract: An integrated multi-function sensor system has a head having a slot to accept a tube of a deformable material and a plurality of sensor elements mounted in the walls of the head slot to confront a tube in the slot, each sensor element being for affecting sensing of a condition relating to a liquid in the tube. An integrated electronic circuit including a microprocessor operates to determine the various conditions of a liquid flowing in the tube sensed by the sensor elements, which conditions include detection of air bubbles and/or particles by ultrasonic sensing elements, detection of an occlusion in the liquid flow by sensing the deformation of the tube wall by a force sensing element, determining the temperature of the liquid by an infrared temperature sensing element, and determining the color of the liquid by optical elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2010
    Assignees: Cosense, Inc., Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc.
    Inventor: Naim Dam
  • Patent number: 7654142
    Abstract: The method for obtaining an image of a part to be inspected includes the steps of determining, by simulation, the ultrasonic field (s0) generated by the propagation of a wave in a flawless reference part; transmitting an ultrasonic wave toward the part to be inspected; measuring the field (um) returned by the part to be inspected; subtracting from the field (um) returned by the part to be inspected an ultrasonic field (u0) obtained from a previous corresponding measurement on the reference part; calculating a variable related to the topological energy (ET) in the reference part on the basis of the field (s0) determined by simulation and of the field (um?u0) obtained by subtraction; and determining the image of the part to be inspected on the basis of the values for this variable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2010
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventors: Nicolas Dominguez, Benoit Mascaro, Vincent Gibiat
  • Publication number: 20090308163
    Abstract: A plurality of ultrasonic flaw detection methods can be switched and executed by a simple operation. An ultrasonic flaw detection apparatus includes a switching circuit 3 for permitting an angle probe 1 and a normal probe 2 to be arbitrarily switched to a transmission unit T and a reception unit R of a flaw detector. The switching circuit 3 can select an angle flaw detection mode for transmitting and receiving an ultrasonic beam only by the angle probe, an SPOD mode for transmitting the ultrasonic beam by the angle probe and receiving a diffracted wave by the normal probe, a flaw detection mode executed by a combination of angle flaw detection mode the SPOD method for transmitting the ultrasonic beam by the angle probe and receiving a reflected wave by the angle probe as well as receiving the diffracted wave by the normal probe, and a normal flaw detection mode for transmitting and receiving the ultrasonic beam by the normal probe.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 23, 2007
    Publication date: December 17, 2009
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Fukutomi, Shan Lin
  • Publication number: 20090301198
    Abstract: Methods, apparatuses, and systems for damage detection and for other detection of the state of a structure or material. Such damage detection and detection of the state of a structure may be performed and operated without the use of baseline data. The present invention may operate using time reversal acoustics or polarization characteristics of piezoelectric devices. The present invention may include a piezoelectric device including two or more piezoelectric transducers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2007
    Publication date: December 10, 2009
    Applicant: Carnegie Mellon University
    Inventors: Hoon Sohn, Seungbum Kim
  • Patent number: 7614303
    Abstract: A configuration for use with a processor that incorporates a suite of agents in a “flat” hardware architecture and superimposes thereon a self-forming, self-healing, hierarchical architecture implemented in software. Embodiments may be employed in various applications, such as maintaining network integrity. In one embodiment a building security monitoring network provides for automated network agents to each be capable of communication with any other automated agents on a network at network startup. Shortly after network initialization, the software architecture is superimposed on the flat hardware architecture, re-arranging communication links to provide an efficient hierarchy of control and substituting working agents for compromised agents as necessary in the network. All of this is done in a “live” network, not requiring shutdown, or even reduced operation to accomplish.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2009
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army
    Inventors: Michael K. McInerney, Sean W. Morefield, Vincent F. Hock, Jr., Victor H. Kelly, John M. Carlyle
  • Patent number: 7614304
    Abstract: Both a system and method for detecting the presence or absence of internal discontinuities or inhomogeneities in a fired or green ceramic honeycomb structure is provided. The system includes a membrane disposed over a surface of the honeycomb structure, at least one ultrasonic transmitter that engages the membrane and transmits ultrasonic waves into the honeycomb structure, a translation assembly connected to the ultrasonic transmitter for sliding said transmitter across said membrane in a predetermined pattern, and an ultrasonic receiver that receives a modulated response from the ultrasonic waves transmitted into the honeycomb structure. The membrane is preferably plastic sheet material, such as polyester, having a temporary adhesive on one side and a thickness that is about one-quarter of the wavelength of the ultrasonic waves in order to avoid attenuation of the modulated response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2009
    Assignee: Corning Incorporated
    Inventors: Natarajan Gunasekaran, Zhiqiang Shi
  • Patent number: 7610791
    Abstract: Systems and methods are described that carry out an intelligent, variable, time-gain control (TGC) of signal amplification in a long-range, guided-wave inspection and monitoring system. The systems and methods compensate for signal attenuation over the longer distances that guided-wave inspection techniques are capable of operating with. The sensor signal received is divided into relevant frequency bands that are each subjected to a variable TGC through separate variable gain amplifiers (VGAs). The gain selection is processor controlled through the use of a digital look-up table (LUT) stored with predetermined gain functions and/or data that are both time and frequency specific. The signal components are re-combined and digitized for further signal analysis and defect detection. The LUT is established through one or more methods including a weld signal amplitude equalization approach and a background noise equalization approach.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Southwest Research Institute
    Inventors: Hegeon Kwun, Ronald H. Peterson
  • Patent number: 7600442
    Abstract: A flaw Z with a long probing length inside a probing target is allowed to be probed. The waves other than the probing target waves are removed or reduced, so that the individual difference in the sizing result due to the ability of the measuring personnel is eliminated to improve the precision of the probing. A transmission probe 31 and a receiving probe 32 for transmitting and receiving a wide band ultrasonic wave are included. Each time the positions of the probes 31 and 32 are moved, a received wave Gj(t) is obtained. From a spectrum Fj(f) corresponding to the received wave Gj(t), a narrowband spectrum FAj(f) is extracted. A component wave GAj(t) corresponding to the narrow band spectrum FAj(f) is obtained by inverse Fourier transformation. The component wave GAj(t) is provided for a comparative display using a predetermined sizing coefficient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2009
    Assignees: H&B System Co., Ltd., The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., Kozo Keikaku Engineering Inc.
    Inventors: Masayuki Hirose, Masashi Kameyama, Nobuki Dohi, Mitsuo Okumura, Hong Zhang
  • Patent number: 7581444
    Abstract: A method and circuit arrangement for processing signals which are produced during disturbance-free examination of objects such as pipes or sheet metal, by reflecting ultrasonic waves at defective spots on the structure of the object. According to the method, a complete wave front is emitted on at least one section of the object which is to be examined by means of a plurality of independent transmitting elements, a wave reflected by the structure of the object is received by means of a plurality of receiving elements which are independent of each other, the signals received by the receiving elements are digitalized, and the digitalized signals are stored in a storage element according to amplitude and propagation time. In order to detect defective points on the structure of the object in a faster manner with improved signal/noise ratio, the defective points are detected by a phase-locked addition of the stored amplitude values of the propagation time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2009
    Assignee: GE Inspection Technologies GmbH
    Inventors: Albrecht Maurer, Michael Strauss, Walter De Odorico, Roman Koch
  • Publication number: 20090199642
    Abstract: [Object] To simply and accurately determine the position of an edge, the depth or the height of a flaw including a surface crack, a corroded portion near the surface layer of a thick specimen, and a minute damage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2007
    Publication date: August 13, 2009
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Fukutomi, Shan Lin, Tetsuo Fukuchi
  • Publication number: 20090178484
    Abstract: A method for the non-destructive inspection of a test body using ultrasound is disclosed, in which at least one ultrasonic transducer couples ultrasonic waves into the test body and ultrasonic waves reflected inside the test body are received by ultrasonic transducers and converted into ultrasonic signals, which form the basis of the non-destructive inspection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2006
    Publication date: July 16, 2009
    Applicant: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.V.
    Inventors: Michael Kröning, Andrey Bulavinov, Krishna Mohan Reddy, Ludwig Von Bernus
  • Publication number: 20090151456
    Abstract: A downhole tool damage detection method includes, transmitting ultrasonic energy through a downhole tool, receiving ultrasonic energy transmitting through the downhole tool, monitoring the received ultrasonic energy for changes over time, and alerting that damage in the downhole tool may exist in response to finding the changes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2008
    Publication date: June 18, 2009
    Applicant: BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED
    Inventor: Hanno Reckmann
  • Publication number: 20090120190
    Abstract: A method for monitoring the structural state of a fiber web (1) that is being processed by a fiber web processing machine comprising a fiber web processing station (2) is described. The method comprises the steps of arranging a generator (5) and a detector (6) of a generator-detector unit (4) on opposite sides of the traveling fiber web (1) downstream of the fiber web processing station; bringing the generator to emit an ultrasonic wave; bringing the detector to receive the ultrasonic wave; sending a signal representing the received ultrasonic wave to a control unit (10); and, in the control unit, analyzing the signal and extracting a value from the signal representing a measure of the received ultrasonic wave. A system for monitoring the structural state of a fiber web is also described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2006
    Publication date: May 14, 2009
    Inventors: Thorulf Pettersson, Jan Lif, Magnus Bjorklund, Susanne Lindh
  • Patent number: 7526959
    Abstract: A method of inspecting a substrate is provided comprising applying ultrasonic waves to a substrate, receiving echo pulse signals transmitted through the substrate, and analyzing received echo pulse signals to detect defects in the substrate. Thus, defects in the substrate may be detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kwang-Soo Kim, Chung-Sam Jun
  • Publication number: 20090095085
    Abstract: A defect detection method of a turbine generator end ring includes a first ultrasonic testing step of conducting ultrasonic testing by an angle beam technique to the turbine generator end ring, a second ultrasonic testing step of conducting, when an indication echo is detected by the first ultrasonic testing step, ultrasonic testing by a focusing straight beam technique to a portion of the turbine generator end ring from which an indication echo is detected and an interpretation step of interpreting whether the indication echo is a defect echo or a false echo based on a testing result by the second ultrasonic testing step.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2008
    Publication date: April 16, 2009
    Applicant: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA
    Inventor: Hiroaki Koinuma
  • Patent number: 7516662
    Abstract: A method of detecting defects in a railway track rail, the rail (101) having a longitudinal centre plane and a surface, the surface including a running surface (102), the method comprising directing an excitation laser beam (106) to an excitation position (103) on the surface of the rail (101) to induce an ultrasonic wave in the rail (101); and directing a detection laser beam (108) to a detection position (104) on the surface of the rail (101) to detect at least one predetermined property of the induced ultrasonic wave; wherein the excitation position (103) and the detection position (104) are located on the running surface (102) and displaced from the longitudinal centre plane of the rail (101).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Assignees: Force Technology, Banestyrelsen
    Inventors: Steen Arnfred Nielsen, Alexander Bardenshtein, Niels Kloppenborg Laursen
  • Patent number: 7516022
    Abstract: A system and method for assessing the quality of spot weld joints between pieces of metal includes an ultrasound transducer probing a spot weld joint. The ultrasound transducer transmits ultrasonic radiation into the spot weld joint, receives corresponding echoes, and transforms the echoes into electrical signals. An image reconstructor connected to the ultrasound transducer transforms the electrical signals into numerical data representing an ultrasound image. A neural network connected to the image reconstructor analyzes the numerical data and an output system presents information representing the quality of the spot weld joint. The system is trained to assess the quality of spot weld joints by scanning a spot weld joint with an ultrasound transducer to produce the data set representing the joint; then physically deconstructing the joint to assess the joint quality.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2009
    Assignee: Chrysler LLC
    Inventors: Hsu-Tung Lee, Roman Gr. Maev, Elena Yu Maeva, Serguei A Titov
  • Patent number: 7505853
    Abstract: Since ultrasonic velocities in anisotropic media can change by a factor of 3 or more depending on the direction of propagation, accounting for these changes is extremely important. Also many anisotropic materials are made up of multiple layers of varying orientation, hence the need to account for refraction at ply boundaries. In the present invention, an algorithm is used to calculate these velocities and travel times and properly account for refraction phenomena. Specifically a multilayer SAFT algorithm has been developed that will calculate the time shift, shift and sum A-scan waveforms in layered anisotropic media at any given depth, ply orientation, and number of plies. The algorithm showed an improvement in signal to noise ratio with synthetic data as was expected. This algorithm can be used as a replacement for homogenizing material properties in layered media and will calculate time shifts with increased accuracy since exact material properties are used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2009
    Assignee: San Diego State University Research Foundation
    Inventors: Cody Royce Engstrand, Ronald Alan Kline
  • Patent number: 7480574
    Abstract: The invention is directed to a system and method for detecting defects in a manufactured object. These defects may include flaws, delaminations, voids, fractures, fissures, or cracks, among others. The system utilizes an ultrasound measurement system, a signal analyzer and an expected result. The signal analyzer compares the signal from the measurement system to the expected result. The analysis may detect a defect or measure an attribute of the manufactured object. Further, the analysis may be displayed or represented. In addition, the expected result may be generated from a model such as a wave propagation model. One embodiment of the invention is a laser ultrasound detection system in which a laser is used to generate an ultrasonic signal. The signal analyzer compares the measured ultrasonic signal to an expected result. This expected result is generated from a wave propagation model. The analysis is then displayed on a monitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2009
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Marc Dubois, Peter W. Lorraine, Robert J. Filkins
  • Publication number: 20090007678
    Abstract: The measurement of a flaw height in a thick welded portion of a stainless steel specimen, which is difficult to perform by the TOFD method, can be conducted with more ease, with higher accuracy and in a shorter time than in the case of using tip echo techniques. In addition, it is possible to reduce variations in measurement results among individual inspectors. An ultrasonic wave 21 is launched by a transmitting probe 1 into a specimen 20 in a direction oblique to a flaw 24 to generate diffracted waves at the tip 25 of the flaw 24, then a diffracted wave 22 propagating upward directly from the flaw 24 and a diffracted wave 23 propagating upwardly of the flaw 24 after once reflected off the back 27 are received by a receiving probe 2 disposed above the flaw 24, and the height of the tip of the flaw 24 from the back 27 is measured from the propagation time difference between the received diffracted waves.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2005
    Publication date: January 8, 2009
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Fukutomi, Shan Lin, Takashi Ogata
  • Patent number: 7434757
    Abstract: A fishing reel directly measuring line travel (not velocity or acceleration) past two or more points along the line, with said data being fed back in real time to a comparative control loop which initiates a direct contact spool brake to slow or near-instantaneously halt spool rotation in order to maximize casting distance while eliminating backlash under all casting conditions. During the cast, the line length fed from the spool is prevented from exceeding (to the point of backlash) the line length being pulled out from the spool. During a cast in which the lure is suddenly halted (as in the case of the lure striking a structure or object), the system senses control instability and fully halts the spool rotation so that backlash is prevented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2008
    Inventor: James P. Beckham
  • Patent number: 7418866
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for measuring the quality of live, standing timber employs deep-set spike probes angled to create a longitudinal compression wave. Alignment tools and isolation of the probes provide an improved signal, automated detection of probe separation and amplitude-independent pulse discrimination process ensure higher reliability and repeatability of the measurements, and wireless operation provides operational efficiencies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2008
    Assignees: Regents of the University of Minnesota, The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture, Fibre-gen Instruments Limited
    Inventors: Xiping Wang, Nigel Sharplin, Peter Carter, Robert J. Ross
  • Publication number: 20080110262
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for detecting a predetermined condition of a panel by transmitting a cyclically-repeating energy wave through the material (41) of the panel from first location (43a) to a second location (43b); measuring the transit time of the cyclically-repeating energy wave from the first location to the second location; and utilizing the measured transit time to detect the predetermined condition including the force on, the temperature of, a deformation in, the fatigue condition of, or a fracture in, structural panel, the presence of a force applied to, water on, or breakage in of the panel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 8, 2005
    Publication date: May 15, 2008
    Applicant: NEXENSE LTD.
    Inventors: Arie Ariav, Vladimir Ravitch, David Nitsan
  • Patent number: 7363817
    Abstract: Systems and techniques for detecting the presence of foreign material in food utilizing optical backlighting and/or ultrasonic inspection are presented. In optical backlighting, a substantially monochromatic light source optically backlights a food stream with source light having a wavelength between about 500 and 600 nm. An image of the food stream is captured and the presence of foreign material is determined when a portion of the detected image exceeds a predetermined threshold. The technique is especially suitable for the detection of bone in chicken meat, and the light source can be a planar array of green LEDs. In ultrasonic inspection, a process stream is interrogated with pulses of ultrasound and the presence of foreign material is determined based on the detected off-angle ultrasound scattering response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: Battelle Memorial Institute
    Inventors: Leonard J. Bond, Aaron A. Diaz, Richard A. Pappas, Timothy L. Stewart, Albert Mendoza
  • Publication number: 20080041159
    Abstract: A method for detection of mechanical defects in a semiconductor ingot section which has at least one planar surface, and a thickness at right angles to this surface of 1 cm to 100 cm, involves scanning the planar surface by at least one ultrasound head which is coupled via a liquid coupling medium to the planar surface and, at each measurement point (x,y) producing at least one ultrasound pulse which is directed at the planar surface of the ingot section, recording the ultrasound-pulse echo as a function of time, such that an echo from the planar surface, an echo from a surface opposite the planar surface, and further echoes are detected, with the positions (xp, yp, zp) of mechanical defects in the ingot section being determined from the further echoes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 19, 2007
    Publication date: February 21, 2008
    Applicants: SILTRONIC AG, SAM TEC GMBH
    Inventors: Ludwig Koester, Peter Czurratis, Klaus Kraemer
  • Patent number: 7328618
    Abstract: To perform a non-destructive condition assessment of a pipe carrying a fluid, an actual value representative of the propagation velocity of an acoustic disturbance propagating between two longitudinally separated points on the pipe is determined. A corresponding predicted value for the propagation velocity is computed as a function of at least one wall thickness parameter of the pipe by using a theoretical model for the propagation of acoustic waves in the pipe that assumes said pipe has a finite wall thickness with a predetermined circumferential thickness profile. The wall thickness parameter is then computed by matching the actual value with the predicted value, for example, by substituting the actual value in a formula predicting the theoretical value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2008
    Assignees: National Research Council of Canada
    Inventors: Osama Hunaidi, Marc Bracken, Alex Wang
  • Patent number: 7328619
    Abstract: An ultrasonic probe suited for testing the integrity of sheet metal surfaces around fastener openings is provided with means to center the probe over such openings. Both a mechanical centering rod and an electronic display assist the user in centering such probe. Once positioned within tolerance limits, phased array ultrasonic beams search for defects within the metal surfaces, allowing for residual offsets in the centering of the probe. Also described are test fixtures for calibrating the probe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2008
    Assignee: R/D Tech Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Moles, Olivier Dupuis, Fabrice Cancre, Pamela Herzog, James Ted Miller, Jamie Hatmaker
  • Patent number: 7278315
    Abstract: Subsurface defects in a processed metal are detected by a laser-ultrasonic method involving generation of a surface acoustic wave at one location on the processed metal surface, and detection of a scattered acoustic wave at another location on the processed metal surface. The method can be used in-line to provide real time monitoring of laser cladding and other metal processing operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2007
    Assignee: Op tech Ventures LLC
    Inventors: Marvin Klein, Todd Sienicki, Jerome Eichenbergeer
  • Patent number: 7270021
    Abstract: A working apparatus has: a working equipment for doing works on a structure; an operation mechanism adapted to actively move the working equipment relative to the structure; and an adhering/traveling module coupled to the operation mechanism and adapted to adhere to the structure so as to have the weight of the working apparatus borne by the structure and travel/move on the structure for positioning. With this arrangement, the working apparatus can perform accurate positioning operations in a narrow environment and complex scanning operations by means of various pieces of the working equipment such as inspection sensors, and can secure a large working area within a short period of time and reduce the overall working hours.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2007
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Mitsuaki Shimamura, Motohiko Kimura, Tomoyuki Ito, Yasuhiro Yuguchi, Toru Taguchi
  • Patent number: 7204147
    Abstract: An inspection method can easily determine welding condition by just comparing an echo height returned from the weld zone of a real product with a master data. An master data is made based on the data from prepared test pieces corresponding to the real product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2007
    Assignee: Kawada Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Wataru Fujimoto, Makoto Yuda, Kenji Takeuchi
  • Patent number: 7197932
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a failure detecting system that enables the detection of a break in a rail and the like by a simple network configuration. Detecting units (20 and 50), relay units (30A, 30B, 60A through 60C) and terminal units (40 and 70) are arranged along rails (11, 11A and 11B). Using the rails (11, 11A and 11B) as transmission media, ultrasonic waves transmitted from the detecting units (20 and 50) are transmitted to the terminal units (40 and 70) by the relay units (30A, 30B, 60A through 60C), and when the terminal units (40 and 70) receive the ultrasonic waves, the ultrasonic waves are returned from the terminal units (40 and 70), relayed by the relay units (30A, 30B, 60A through 60C), and transmitted to the detecting units (20 and 50). Thus, it is judged whether there is a break in the rails (11, 11A and 11B), based on the ultrasonic wave reception state in the detecting units (20 and 50).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2007
    Assignee: The Nippon Signal Co, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masayoshi Sakai, Toshihito Shirai, Akira Morisada
  • Patent number: 7194907
    Abstract: An ultrasonic transducer for measuring a part with a coating having at least one acoustic transducer, and a buffer delay line having an impedance matched to an impedance of the coating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: R/D Tech Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Agostino Abbate, Paul Joseph DeAngelo, Steven Abe LaBreck
  • Patent number: 7149633
    Abstract: A method of estimating the displaced size of a knot in a lumber piece includes the steps of: translating the lumber piece downstream along a flow path between a radiation source and sensor while simultaneously irradiating the lumber piece with radiation from the first radiation source whereby the radiation is attenuated by the lumber piece; collecting a set of radiation intensity data from the radiation sensor as the lumber piece is irradiated; processing the set of radiation intensity data to sum the radiation intensity data and to provide radiation intensity profiles transversely of the flow path direction and corresponding density profiles transversely of the flow path direction; mapping the density profiles to model a set of three dimensional density profiles of the lumber piece; processing the radiation intensity data to determine a clear wood density threshold value for the lumber piece and a maximum density value of the density profiles; and, computing a ratio of the summed density profile values to th
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2006
    Assignee: Coe Newnes/McGettee Inc.
    Inventors: Steve Woods, Ron Lahoda, Jacek M. Biernacki, Carl Flatman
  • Patent number: 7131331
    Abstract: Apparatus for non-destructively testing material to enable detection of any damage sites, comprising means for generating localized heating at any damage site in the material, and means for imaging the material to enable detection of any localized heating at the damage site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2006
    Assignee: Airbus UK Limited
    Inventor: Daniel Bates
  • Patent number: 7131345
    Abstract: A device for inspecting submersed plant parts is particularly suited for ultrasonic inspection of screws in the core baffle of a nuclear reactor pressure vessel. The device includes a remote-controlled underwater vehicle that is provided at its end face with a carrier that can be pivoted about a pivot axis oriented parallel to the longitudinal central axis of the underwater vehicle, and is provided with a holding device for an inspection head that is arranged on the carrier spaced apart from the pivot axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2006
    Assignee: IntelligeNDT Systems & Services GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Hans-Jürgen Achtzehn, Robert Staudigel
  • Patent number: 7107852
    Abstract: A system to perform measurements on liquids, meat, viscous sugar or starch-based materials, and other foodstuffs using air-coupled ultrasound is provided. The technique uses ultrasonic transducers (advantageously capacitive transducers with polymer membranes), to generate ultrasonic signals in air, and to receive these signals after they have passed through the material under test. An ultrasonic pulse-compression process is then applied to increase the sensitivity of signals transmitted through the materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2006
    Assignee: University of Warwick
    Inventors: David Arthur Hutchins, Duncan Robert Billson, Tat Hean Gan, David Schindel
  • Patent number: 7099782
    Abstract: A method for detecting vibration signatures in a reversible drive is disclosed. The method includes the steps of acquiring digital data representative of vibrations in the reversible drive and identifying and grouping together portions of data in a plurality of groups. The identified portions of data relate to a particular direction of travel of the reversible drive and the plurality of groups relate to travel in different directions of the reversible drive. The method can include the further step of processing at least one of the groups of data using signal processing techniques. A system and computer program product for practicing the method for detecting vibration signatures in a reversible drive are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2006
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: Leith Patrick Hitchcock, Nicholas Schmitz
  • Patent number: 7089795
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system and method for detecting changes in the properties of a polymeric material. A frame is hand held against the outside surface of a curved polymeric test specimen, e.g., fluid tank. A transmitting probe attached to the frame emits critically refracted ultrasonic waves that travel longitudinally across the chord of said curved test specimen and are detected by at least one receiving probe attached to the frame. A data processing system measures the travel time of the ultrasonic waves from the transmitting probe to the receiving probe and compares this measured travel time to an expected travel time. Variations in material properties along the penetration path of the ultrasonic waves can be detected from deviation in the measure travel time of the waves from the expected control values. Measuring the temperature of the polymeric specimen allows adjustment of the measured travel time of the waves to account for temperature effects on the polymeric material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2006
    Inventors: Don E. Bray, Raed Al-Zubi
  • Patent number: 7082822
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus includes an inspection unit that is lowered into vertically supported pipe filled with seawater. The apparatus includes a pipe weld location detector module carried by the inspection unit. The apparatus also includes a rotating time of flight diffusion (TOFD) module and a non-rotating wall thickness module carried by the inspection unit. The module includes a pair of rotatably mounted weld volume inspection transducers rotatable by an operator and adapted to inspect for and obtain data on weld volume defects. The TOFD module has a fluid carrier positioned within the TOFD module and contains an acoustic fluid. The non-rotating wall thickness module also contains an acoustic liquid and includes a plurality of fixedly mounted wall inspection transducers adapted to obtain data on wall thickness of a portion of the pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Larry K. Harthorn, Christopher B. Disher
  • Patent number: 7082833
    Abstract: An acoustic energy-based, non-contact or contact testing approach provides low cost, highly accurate, and reliable information to (a) identify flaws and anomalies and (b) assess the integrity of a particular material. This approach is not hindered by surface conditions or impediments, and indeed, looks beneath the surface of the material by propagating an acoustic wave through the material using two differential transducers. A dynamic differential measurement is made of the material under a load condition and an unloaded condition that allows identification and assessment of various characteristics of the material. Multiple “windows” of information may be generated that permit (a) direct detection of flaws, defects, and anomalies using a scattering technique, (b) detection of crack closure and opening used to assess the stability of the material, (c) determination of strain on the material which relates to its performance, and (d) determination of defect dynamics linked to the defect size and stability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: Luna Innovations
    Inventors: Joseph S. Heyman, John T. Lynch
  • Patent number: 7069154
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for detecting and automatically identifying defects in technical equipment, is disclosed. Measurement signals varying in time are downloaded as spectrograms to a computer memory. Using a predetermined criteria a set of designated peak values is created. Using another predetermined criteria the set of designated peak values is divided into two subsets. Then in one of the subsets, peak groups differing from each other by the basic frequency values are distinguished. The second subset, created from the set of designated peak values, is searched for the presence of sidebands for peaks from each specified peak group and if the sidebands are present the basic frequency of the sidebands is calculated. Then the existence of a defect in the technical equipment is detected, and identified by comparing the basic frequencies and the basic frequencies of the sidebands with the frequency values collected in the computer memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: ABB SP.ZO.O.
    Inventor: Michal Orkisz
  • Patent number: 7062404
    Abstract: A computer program for correlating coatings' material usage and cost impact with coatings ranges evaluated against an industry Cpk standard. Optimum range values are selected from the process and/or coatings applicators' manufacturer guidelines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2006
    Inventor: Stephen N. Gaiski
  • Patent number: 6951132
    Abstract: A system and method for determining at least one parameter related to a train traversing on a railway track is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2005
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: David Michael Davenport, Nick Andrew Van Stralen, Thomas James Batzinger, Robert Snee Gilmore, Paul Kenneth Houpt
  • Patent number: 6935177
    Abstract: A method for processing echoes in a time-of-flight ranging system or level measurement system. The method comprises applying an entropy filter to the echo profile. The entropy filter comprises determining the information content in the echo profile. The entropy filter determines the occurrences of a pattern in the bit stream representing magnitudes in the echo profile. Repeated occurrences of the pattern are used to characterize the echo signal as having low randomness (i.e. higher information content) indicative of a potential echo pulse or as having high randomness (i.e. lower information content) indicative of noise.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2005
    Assignee: Siemens Milltronics Process Instruments Inc.
    Inventor: Graham D. Wall
  • Patent number: 6925881
    Abstract: A method of analysis long range guided wave data reflected from defects and geometric features such as welds in a structure. The method involves acquiring two sets of data, and time shifting one set of data relative to the other. Data points that match in time after the shifting are considered to represent defects or geometric features in the structure. The result of the method is exclusion of false signal data and automation of data analysis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2005
    Assignee: Southwest Research Institute
    Inventors: Hegeon Kwun, Sang-Young Kim