Scan From Within Object Patents (Class 73/623)
  • Patent number: 10240955
    Abstract: A fluid flow meter can include a sensor capable of transmitting a transmit signal to propagate, at least partially, through a fluid in a pipe and receiving a respective receive signal. The fluid flow meter can include a memory storing computer code instructions and a plurality of pipe type signatures associated with a plurality of pipe types. Each pipe type signature of a respective pipe type of the plurality of pipe types can include one or more characteristics of receive signals associated with that pipe type. The fluid flow meter can also include a processor communicatively coupled to the sensor and to the memory. When executing the computer code instructions, the processor can determine one or more signal features of the receive signal, and identify a pipe type of the pipe based on the one or more signal features of the receive signal and the plurality of pipe type signatures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Reliance Worldwide Corporation
    Inventors: Brian Gestner, Thea Knudsen, Francis M. Mess, Jeffrey L. Leaders
  • Patent number: 10143861
    Abstract: This disclosure provides systems and methods for non-invasive treatment to a region of interest with improved efficiency. The systems and methods can include a treatment device having an energy source and a rolling member. The rolling member can include a wall disposed between the energy source and the region of interest. Treatment can be provided at a first location, followed by moving the treatment device, then energy transmission can be terminated if coupling between the energy source and the region of interest is interrupted or treatment can be provided at a second location if the coupling between the energy source and the region of interest is uninterrupted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: Guided Therapy Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Michael H. Slayton, Peter G. Barthe
  • Patent number: 10132823
    Abstract: A method and system are described for the continuous remote monitoring of the position and advance speed of a pig device inside a pipeline suitable for transporting a pressurized fluid, wherein the pipeline consists of a plurality of pipe sections joined to each other by welding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: ENI S.p.A.
    Inventors: Giuseppe Giunta, Giancarlo Bernasconi, Silvio Del Giudice
  • Patent number: 9879525
    Abstract: Systems and methods for monitoring a condition of a tubular configured to convey a fluid such as for use in producing hydrocarbons in relationship with a hydrocarbon system related wellbore operation. The methods include transmitting a data signal along the tubular with the communication network. The methods may include initiating a tubular operation responsive to the data signal indicating that the condition of the tubular is outside a predetermined condition range. The methods may include transmitting the data signal by propagating the data signal along the tubular via a plurality of node-to-node communications between communication nodes of the communication network and monitoring a signal propagation property of the plurality of node-to-node communications that is indicative of the condition of the tubular. The methods may include detecting the condition of the tubular and generating a condition indication signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company
    Inventors: Timothy I. Morrow, Mark M. Disko
  • Patent number: 9804129
    Abstract: An apparatus for inspecting a tubular workpiece may include a probe assembly and a rotation mechanism. The probe assembly may include a transducer array positionable adjacent to an inner surface of the tubular workpiece. The probe assembly may generate transmitted sound waves and may receive reflected sound waves. The rotation mechanism may rotate the probe assembly relative to the tubular workpiece in a manner such that the transducer array passes over the inner surface in a circumferential direction during transmission of the transmitted sound waves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Navpreet S. Grewal, Peter Kuk-kyung Hwang, William R. Schell, Kate Brown Boudreau
  • Patent number: 9738990
    Abstract: Growth of single crystals of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) and other perovskites is accomplished by liquid phase epitaxy onto a substrate of suitable structural and lattice parameter match. A solvent and specific growth conditions for stable growth are required to achieve the desired proportions of Zr and Ti.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: Quest Integrated, LLC
    Inventor: Vincent Fratello
  • Patent number: 9726641
    Abstract: Disclosed is an ultrasonic IRIS inspection system and a method of providing automatically compensated concentric B-scans by means of curve-fitting the unadjusted tube boundaries from inspection data, and from the curve fitted theoretical circle, using non-linear regression analysis to determine an adjusted center. The off-center distance between the adjust center and the misaligned center is then used to produce concentric inspection result by compensating the unadjusted inspection result with the off-center distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2017
    Assignee: OLYMPUS SCIENTIFIC SOLUTIONS AMERICAS INC.
    Inventors: Tommy Bourgelas, Martin St-Laurent, Guillaume Painchaud-April
  • Patent number: 9708797
    Abstract: A method of in-line inspection of integrity of a pipeline includes identifying a first prospective cluster related to at least a first feature of the pipeline and a second prospective cluster related to at least a second feature of the pipeline. The method includes calculating an effective area using Length Adaptive Pressure Assessment (LAPA) techniques. The effective area corresponds to a lower calculated burst pressure than surrounding areas of the pipeline. LAPA techniques are used to determine if the first prospective cluster interacts with the second prospective cluster. The method includes combining the first and the second prospective cluster when the effective area includes the first and the second prospective cluster to form a resultant cluster. The method further includes generating an indication of an attribute of the resultant cluster.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Steven Farnie
  • Patent number: 9678043
    Abstract: A method may involve positioning a fixture over a portion of a tube portion of a gasket, where the gasket includes a first lip portion joined to a second lip portion by a weld of the gasket and the first lip portion joined to the second lip portion defines the tube portion, where the fixture comprises a housing and an injection port; positioning an ultrasonic probe in the housing; filling, by the injection port, coupling fluid between the ultrasonic probe and the tube portion of the gasket; and scanning at least a portion of the weld with the ultrasonic probe, where scanning the at least a portion of the weld may involve transmitting, by the ultrasonic probe, a plurality of ultrasonic waves through the coupling fluid into the tube portion, and translating the fixture in a longitudinal direction along the tube portion of the gasket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin Ostergren
  • Patent number: 9588085
    Abstract: This disclosure describes embodiments of a probe assembly and an inspection system for ultrasonic inspection. Designs for the probe assembly package components to fit into a bore of a hollow target. These designs may incorporate electronics to generate waves and to detect a wide selection of anomalies (e.g., transversal crack, longitudinal crack, and volumetric flaws) that can form in the hollow target. The probe assembly provides support structure to manipulate and operate these electronics in the bore. This support structure facilitates communication of signals, e.g., from transducer elements that operate as a phased array. The probe assembly also includes a fluid circulating system and coupling system that permits the probe device to detach and reattach to match the probe device (and other parts of the probe assembly) to the size of the bore. These systems allow for fluid and electrical signals to circulate through the probe assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Luca Scaccabarozzi
  • Patent number: 9581530
    Abstract: A non-destructive test system includes a plurality of impact devices including a knob configured to generate at least one flexural mode in a material when a surface of the material is impacted by the knob, a controller configured to independently control each of the plurality of impact devices, the controller having a communications channel for each of the plurality of impact devices, and a microphone configured to detect an acoustic response generated upon impact of the knob on the surface of the material, the acoustic response being based on the at least one flexural modes generated in the material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: Brigham Young University
    Inventors: William S. Guthrie, Brian Mazzeo, Jacob Larsen, Joseph McElderry
  • Patent number: 9395390
    Abstract: A probe for transporting a nondestructive inspection sensor through a tube, that employs wheels to reduce friction. The radial travel of the wheels are mechanically linked through a cam and axially reciprocal plunger arrangement that centers the probe at tube diameter transitions. Internal wire bending is minimized and a dynamic seal is provided to facilitate an insertion force at the probe and reduce or eliminate compressive load buckling of the flexible cable carried by the probe. Like the wheel arrangement, radial travel of the seal segments are mechanically linked to provide probe centering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Phillip J. Hawkins, Lyman J. Petrosky
  • Patent number: 9316617
    Abstract: There is provided a probe apparatus. The probe apparatus has a first end configured to connect to a rotating scanner device. The probe apparatus further has a second end with two or more eddy current elements. The second end further has a positioning mechanism configured to position the two or more eddy current elements against cavity walls of an annular cavity of a structure to be inspected with the probe apparatus, when the probe apparatus is positioned within the annular cavity. The second end further has an aligning mechanism coupled to the positioning mechanism. The aligning mechanism is configured to align the two or more eddy current elements in a perpendicular position with respect to the cavity walls of the annular cavity, when the probe apparatus is positioned within the annular cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Kim E. Graebner
  • Patent number: 9207639
    Abstract: Various approaches are described for visualizing one-dimensional A-scan data samples in a three-dimensional space. Each of the data samples represents ultrasonic signals received from a test material. The data samples are transformed into the three-dimensional space as a geometric shape corresponding to a relative amount of ultrasonic energy reflected back from the test material. The data samples as transformed into the three-dimensional space with the geometric shapes rendered therein can be displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Ralf Ratering
  • Patent number: 9146163
    Abstract: There is set forth herein a method comprising applying a drive signal to a drive element in a sensor assembly having a drive element and one or more sensor element so that responsively to the drive signal the drive element generates a magnetic flux that travels through a target, determining a strain of the target using a picked up output signal picked up by the one or more sensor element. In one embodiment, a sensor assembly can be employed for detecting a proximity of the target using a picked up output signal picked up by e.g., the drive element. In one embodiment, a drive signal can have a plurality of frequency components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2015
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Pekka Tapani Sipila, Sherrie Clark, Charles T. Hatch, Lam Arthur Campbell
  • Publication number: 20150122030
    Abstract: Tube inspections are performed by combining the use of APR technology with GW technology. The reflections measured by both technologies are compared to each other and used to more specifically identify the type and location of a flaw or anomaly that appears in the interior of the tube. Further, embodiments of novel probes to be used in GW technique for inspecting tubes with mechanical waves having bandwidth that is equal to 150 KHz or more are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 10, 2013
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Applicant: ACOUSTICEYE LTD
    Inventors: Noam Amir, Dov Furman, Harel Primack, Silviu Zilberman
  • Patent number: 8997573
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus and method for inspecting an interior surface of a hollow composite part. The inspection apparatus may have a first plug, a second plug, and a trolley positioned between the first and second plugs. The first and second plugs may form a leak-proof seal against the interior surface of the hollow composite part. The trolley may support at least one inspection probe for testing the interior surface of the composite part. A method of inspecting the composite part may include the steps of inserting the inspection apparatus into the hollow composite part, pushing or pulling the inspection apparatus with an elongated actuation element to a desired area to be inspected within the composite part, then filling a space between first and second plugs with a liquid. Finally, the method may include a step of inspecting the interior surface of the hollow composite part with the inspection probe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
    Inventor: Allison Jean Wright
  • Patent number: 8984946
    Abstract: Methods, systems, and computer program products for determining a property of construction material. According to one aspect, a material property gauge operable to determine a property of construction material is disclosed. The gauge may include an electromagnetic sensor operable to measure a response of construction material to an electromagnetic field. Further, the electromagnetic sensor may be operable to produce a signal representing the measured response by the construction material to the electromagnetic field. An acoustic detector may be operable to detect a response of the construction material to the acoustical energy. Further, the acoustic detector may be operable to produce a signal representing the detected response by the construction material to the acoustical energy. A material property calculation function may be configured to calculate a property value associated with the construction material based upon the signals produced by the electromagnetic sensor and the acoustic detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Troxler Electronic Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Ernest Troxler
  • Patent number: 8973444
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for tracking objects in conduits, especially for tracking the movement of a pig in a pipeline, are disclosed. Distributed acoustic sensing is used to obtain signal returns from a plurality of discrete longitudinal sensing portions of a fibre optic cable which is laid along the length of the conduit. The method involves detecting an acoustic signature corresponding to the object moving in the conduit. The acoustic signature may comprise a series of pressure pulses caused by the object traversing joints etc. in the conduit. Preferably the method involves detecting pressure waves caused by the object as it moves through the conduit. Detecting the characteristic pressure wave signal provides discrimination of the object from other acoustic disturbances. In pipeline applications a pig can be tracked in real time, if the pig stops moving an alert can be generated and the location of the pig will be known.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Optasense Holdings Ltd.
    Inventors: David John Hill, Magnus McEwen-King
  • Patent number: 8966984
    Abstract: An apparatus testing axle shafts including i) at least one ultrasonic probe to analyze, in a selected angular sector, selected portions of a wall exhibiting known variable internal and external radius profiles of a tubular axle shaft and thus acquire analysis data, ii) a controller to determine, as a function of the profiles and possible loading and environment of the shaft, at least one first and at least one second selected site on the external or internal surface of the wall where each probe is to be placed manually, to analyze at least one first and at least one second selected portion of the wall respectively in at least one first and at least one second selected angular sector oriented in first and second opposing longitudinal or transverse directions, and thus acquiring analysis data for various relative angular positions of the shaft in relation to the probe, and iii) a processor to create from these acquired analysis data maps representing the transverse or longitudinal orientations and the positions
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Vallourec Tubes France
    Inventors: Frederic Lesage, Alexandre Noel, Renato Nogueira de Paula
  • Patent number: 8899113
    Abstract: An apparatus for inspecting a tubular workpiece may include a probe assembly and a rotation mechanism. The probe assembly may include a transducer array positionable adjacent to an inner surface of the tubular workpiece. The probe assembly may generate transmitted sound waves and may receive reflected sound waves. The rotation mechanism may rotate the probe assembly relative to the tubular workpiece in a manner such that the transducer array passes over the inner surface in a circumferential direction during transmission of the transmitted sound waves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Navpreet S. Grewal, Peter Kuk-kyung Hwang, William R. Schell, Kate Brown Boudreau
  • Patent number: 8894772
    Abstract: An intelligent pig for pipeline monitoring comprises a single body containing signal transmitters and receivers provided with replaceable rings for centering the body within the pipeline, the rings may be provided with brushes which help center the pig within the pipeline and also aid its passage through pipelines which may contain bends and/or be of variable diameter, the pig may be used in combination with a cleaning pig to provide combined activities using a common driving force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Cokebuster Ltd.
    Inventors: John Phipps, Hugh Lewis
  • Patent number: 8806946
    Abstract: A system is provided for the detection of deposits in a fluid line that includes, but is not limited to a measuring body, and ultrasonic transducer and an ultrasonic receiver and at least one evaluation unit connected to the ultrasonic transducer and the ultrasonic receiver. The ultrasonic transducer transmits an ultrasonic signal and the ultrasonic receiver receives response signals generated by reflections in the fluid line. From known geometric changes in shape of the fluid line, resulting response signals are finally filtered out of the response signal sequence and from the remaining response signals relating to the deposits, the distances can be calculated between the ultrasonic transducer and the deposits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventors: Michael Flister, Wilhelm Lutzer
  • Patent number: 8763462
    Abstract: A probe is used to inspect the health of a corner radius within an elongate internal cavity of a structure. The probe is transported through the cavity on a carriage that maintains the probe a substantially constant distance from the corner radius as the carriage traverses changes in the cross sectional shape of the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Patrick Lee Anderson, Hien T. Bui, Steven Ray Walton
  • Patent number: 8601875
    Abstract: The invention locates impaired sections of a pipeline, such as sections where the wall of the pipeline has been weakened or thinned. It provides a moveable device which passes through the pipeline and which has a first station. The moveable device has means to locate its position accurately. There is a second station, which is mounted either on the moveable device or in association with a fixed location on the pipeline wall. Either the first station or the second station has an acoustic or seismic pulse generator, and the other has a pulse receiver. The time taken for a pulse to travel from the pulse generator to the receiver is found to vary with the condition of the pipeline wall at the location where the moveable device is located at the time it receives (or sends) the pulse. The rate of change of velocity of the pulse as the device passes different locations in the pipeline is also found to vary with the condition of the pipeline wall at such location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Pure Technologies Ltd.
    Inventor: Peter O. Paulson
  • Patent number: 8525831
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for three-dimensional visualization and analysis for automatic non-destructive examination of a solid Rotor using ultrasonic phased array is disclosed. Data is acquired by scanning a solid rotor with a phased array ultrasound transducer producing a plurality of two dimensional ultrasound scans. Each of a plurality of sample points of a plurality of two dimensional ultrasound scans are associated with a corresponding 3D image point of a regular grid. A kernel function for each of the plurality of sample points defining a size and shape of a kernel located at the corresponding image point is determined. A weight is assigned to each kernel which, in one embodiment, is based on the sample point value. A value for each image point of the regular 3D grid is determined based on kernels overlapping each image point. A three-dimensional volume representing the solid rotor is then visualized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignees: Siemens Corporation, Siemens Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Jingdan Zhang, Moritz Michael Knorr, Shaohua Kevin Zhou, Waheed A. Abbasi, Michael F. Fair, Larry C. Himes, Michael J. Metala, El Mahjoub Rasselkorde
  • Patent number: 8479577
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods are provided for non-destructive in-line pipeline inspection utilizing electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) technology wherein the EMATs are arrayed circumferentially in a belt around the body of the tool and wherein the EMAT belt includes a plurality of EMAT clusters, each cluster including a transmitting EMAT essentially sandwiched between a pair of receiving EMATs. The EMAT arrangement enables a single receiving EMAT to monitor both the test signal and the returning reflection from the pipewall defect thus providing each signal with its own internal reference. The number of transducers and their positional relationship limits the generation of interference signals, is conservative in power consumption, and provides a tool having enhanced negotiability through the pipeline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2013
    Assignee: Weatherford/Lab, Inc.
    Inventor: Yevgeniy Vladimirovich Ganin
  • Publication number: 20130133429
    Abstract: An apparatus for pipeline inspection, the apparatus comprising a body comprising a longitudinal axis, an array of ultrasonic sensors configured to inspect a pipe wall, a skid comprising an outer surface configured to run adjacent to, or in contact with, the pipe wall, wherein the array of ultrasonic sensors are arranged at a stand off from the outer surface of the skid, and a chamber comprising an ultrasonic couplant, wherein the ultrasonic couplant permits ultrasound communication between the array of ultrasonic sensors and an inner surface of the pipe wall.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Publication date: May 30, 2013
    Inventors: Robert Palma, William Herron
  • Patent number: 8438926
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method which allows simply, easily and accurately evaluating the fastening state of shoulder parts of a threaded joint for use as a joint of pipes or tubes, such as OCTG, during fastening or after fastening. The fastening state evaluation method for a threaded joint 100 of pipes or tubes according to the present invention is characterized in that it transmits ultrasonic surface waves from the internal surface of either one of the pin 1 and the box 2 toward the internal surface of the other one of the pin 1 and the box 2 through the shoulder parts 13, 23 of the pin 1 and the box 2, and on the basis of the transmitted wave intensity or the reflected wave intensity thereof, determines whether or not the fastening state of the threaded joint 100 is satisfactory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation
    Inventors: Ikuji Hoshino, Masaki Yamano, Makoto Sakamoto, Keiichi Nakamura, Jun Masubuchi, Kenta Sakai
  • Patent number: 8424385
    Abstract: An inspecting device including a detachable probe has a link structure, and thus a subject having various diameters is tested. In addition, since various probes are changeably used in a scanner housing, ultrasonic wave testing and eddy current testing are simultaneously performed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Korea Plant Service & Engineering Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Minsu Park, Jangmyong Woo, Gyungsub Kim, Sanghoon Choi
  • Patent number: 8408062
    Abstract: A scanning device (36) is useful for scanning a body, especially a stud (10), from a bore (13) which extends through the body or stud (10) and is accessible from the outside. The scanning device (36) includes a probe (15) which is fastened on a cylindrical rod (14) and can be inserted into the bore (13) for scanning the body or stud (10), which probe, by displacing the rod (14) in its longitudinal direction is longitudinally displaceable in the bore (13), and by rotating the rod (14) around its cylinder axis (34) is rotatable around the bore axis. A compact and light construction, and flexible applicability, are achieved by a compact, controllable drive unit (20), through which the rod (14) extends and which longitudinally displaces and/or rotates the rod (14) depending upon selection, for displacing and rotating the rod (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: ALSTOM Technology Ltd.
    Inventor: Markus Wiesendanger
  • Patent number: 8397575
    Abstract: Ultrasonic transducers and methods for detecting oblique flaws in cylindrically-shaped objects using pulse-echo testing are provided. By mounting one or more transducers on a rotary tester for testing manufactured objects such as tubes and bars, offsetting each transducer horizontally from its position if it were to emit a beam that is perpendicular to the object's outer surface, and actuating the transducer so as to emit an angled beam, oblique surface flaws and internal flaws may be reliably detected without reducing inspection speed, significantly adding to transducer cross-talk, or requiring significant additional hardware or processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Magnetic Analysis Corporation
    Inventor: John Venczel
  • Patent number: 8387461
    Abstract: A method of monitoring the condition of a flexible pipeline comprising the step of scanning the pipeline with an ultrasonic scanner to produce and/or record a signal indicative or the level of flooding within the annulus of the pipeline and/or indicative of the integrity of the layers of the pipeline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Flexlife Limited
    Inventors: John Nicholas Marsden, Stuart Andrew Mitchell
  • Patent number: 8373411
    Abstract: In an in-line pipe inspection tool, sensors for inspecting the pipe are mounted on sensor blocks moveable relative to the body of the tool. However, when the sensor blocks move radially to conform to different pipe diameters, the circumferential distances between the sensors changes. To ameliorate the effect of this, the sensor blocks have a shape such that one axial edge of each sensor block circumferentially overlaps the opposite edge of an adjacent sensor block. With such an arrangement, when the sensor block are operating at minimum diameter, part of one sensor block will overlap an adjacent block, in the circumferential direction. As the diameter of the pipeline in which the pig is used increases, the degree of overlap will reduce, and may even reduce to zero, but there will still be no overall axial gaps between the sensor blocks. Thus, by suitable shaping of the sensor blocks the tool can be used with a wide range of pipe diameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: PII Limited
    Inventor: Peter Couchman
  • Patent number: 8365603
    Abstract: Device forming an operating tool, for the non-destructive testing of iron and steel products, intended to extract information on possible imperfections in the product, from feedback signals that are captured by transmitting ultrasound sensors, receiving ultrasound sensors forming an arrangement with a selected geometry, assembled to couple in an ultrasound way with the product via the intermediary of a liquid medium, with relative rotation/translation movement between the pipe and the arrangement of transducers, said operating tool being characterized in that it comprises: a converter (891; 892) capable of selectively isolating a digital representation of possible echoes in designated time windows, as a function of the relative rotation/translation movement, said representation comprising the amplitude and time of flight of at least one echo, and of generating a parallelepipedic 3D graph, a transformer unit (930) capable of generating a 3D image (901; 902) of possible imperfections in the pipe from the 3D gra
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: V & M France
    Inventors: Frederic Lesage, Nidia Alejandra Segura Rodriguez, Bernard Bisiaux
  • Patent number: 8369990
    Abstract: A robot platform is provided, which is intended in particular for remotely controlled and/or autonomous inspection of technical facilities, in particular in power stations, and comprises at least a drive mechanism configured to move the robot platform, an inspection device configured to inspect the technical facility and a communication device for exchanging measurement and/or control data. Particular flexibility in use and extended areas of use are achieved in that the robot platform is modular and the communication device operates in accordance with a uniform standard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: ALSTOM Technology Ltd
    Inventors: Wolfgang Zesch, Markus Wiesendanger
  • Patent number: 8358126
    Abstract: A method of testing for defects in the bottom of an above ground storage tank, the tank bottom having a lip extending outwardly from the tank wall around the circumference of the tank. A special magnetostrictive sensor is designed to be placed on this lip. The sensor is placed over a strip of magnetostrictive material, which generally conforms in length and width to the bottom of the probe, with a couplant being applied between the strip and the lip surface. The sensor is then operated in pulse echo mode to receive signals from defects in the bottom of the tank. It is incrementally moved around the circumference of the tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: Southwest Research Institute
    Inventors: Glenn M Light, Alan R Puchot, Adam C Cobb, Erika C Laiche
  • Patent number: 8356518
    Abstract: An apparatus for inspecting a pipe comprising a body adapted for passage through the bore of a pipe to be inspected, a main transducer array comprising a plurality of circumferentially spaced transducers for transmitting ultrasound energy, the transducers being mounted on the body for movement between a retracted position, wherein the body can freely move through the bore of the pipe, and an extended position wherein the plurality of transducers are pressed into operative contact with the inner wall of the pipe. An actuator selectively urges the plurality of transducers to their extended positions. A control transmits ultrasound energy into the pipe to propagate a guided wave within the pipe walls in at least one longitudinal direction along the pipe when the transducers are in their operative position and receives the propagated wave and analyzes the wave to determine the presence or absence of defects in the pipe wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignees: Genesis Oil & Gas Consultants Ltd, Guided Ultrasonics Ltd
    Inventors: David Alleyne, Steve Banks, Brian Pavlakovic
  • Patent number: 8286491
    Abstract: Disclosed is an improved ultrasonic probe for Internal Rotating Inspection System (called IRIS) for inspecting tube-like structures from the inside of the tubes. The improved design deploys a rotor with rotor blades and a slotted stator located close to the emitting face of the transducer, to direct the flow of water such that air bubbles are carried away from a zone immediately in front of the transducer emitting face. Inspection accuracy and efficiency is significantly improved when air bubbles are effectively removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: Olympus NDT
    Inventor: Tommy Bourgelas
  • Patent number: 8265886
    Abstract: A non-destructive testing device for pipes is provided. The device extracts information on defects from signals captured by ultrasound receivers following the selective excitation of ultrasound transmitters according to a selected time rule. The receivers form an arrangement with a selected geometry, coupled in an ultrasound fashion, with relative rotation/translation movement, with the pipe. The device includes a converter that selectively isolates a digital representation of echoes in designated time windows, as a function of the movement, and by extracting an image of defects, a filter which determines presumed defect zones and properties of these, a combiner to prepare working digital inputs from an extract of images of a defect zone, a neural circuit receiving the working inputs, a digital decision and alarm stage working on the basis of the output of the neural circuit, and a sorting and marking robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: V & M France
    Inventors: Bernard Bisiaux, Frédéric Lesage, Sébastien Petit, Sylvain Deutsch
  • Publication number: 20120222484
    Abstract: A system is provided for the detection of deposits in a fluid line that includes, but is not limited to a measuring body, and ultrasonic transducer and an ultrasonic receiver and at least one evaluation unit connected to the ultrasonic transducer and the ultrasonic receiver. The ultrasonic transducer transmits an ultrasonic signal and the ultrasonic receiver receives response signals generated by reflections in the fluid line. From known geometric changes in shape of the fluid line, resulting response signals are finally filtered out of the response signal sequence and from the remaining response signals relating to the deposits, the distances can be calculated between the ultrasonic transducer and the deposits.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2012
    Publication date: September 6, 2012
    Applicant: AIRBUS OPERATIONS GMBH
    Inventors: Michael FLISTER, Wilhelm LUTZER
  • Patent number: 8215174
    Abstract: An ultrasonic inspection system useful for inspecting a tubular member provides for the use of ultrasonic transducer assembly for detecting weld flaws or other out-of range conditions in the tubular member. According to the invention, the tubular member is positioned horizontally on a rolling carriage and a predetermined amount of sound-conductive fluid is deposited into the tubular member. Wide rings secured to opposing open ends of the tubular member prevent the liquid from escaping, while forming a barrier for retaining a given level of liquid inside the tubular member. The transducers are submerged in the liquid and transmit/ receive sonic booms from reflected medium inside the tubular member. The transducers are connected to a computing control unit, which receives signals generated by the transducers and creates a report of any out-of range condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Inventor: James M. Cain, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8201454
    Abstract: Ultrasonic pipeline inspection apparatus which utilizes two different wave modes (e.g. a horizontally polarized shear mode and a symmetric Lamb wave mode) to discriminate different defect types by comparing corresponding signals collected from defects. EMATs may detect the signals. The detected amplitudes of the collected signals from both wave modes are compared to calculate a ratio, which may be compared with a distribution of ratio values for known defects to evaluate the type of defect detected. The apparatus may be a sensor module mountable on a pipeline vehicle and having a plurality of sensors distributed around its periphery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: PII Limited
    Inventor: David Paige
  • Patent number: 8196471
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe for producing a real-time three dimensional live action image (a four dimensional image), which has a long lifetime, and an improved image quality, can prevent malfunction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2012
    Assignee: Prosonic Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jin Ho Han, Dong Hyun Kim, In Seong Song
  • Publication number: 20120125111
    Abstract: The invention relates to a process for the destruction-free testing of metallic pipes, in particular seamlessly produced steel pipes, in which method the entire length of the pipe is scanned following the circumference precisely and in this case, in addition to the wall thickness (WD) and the external diameter (Da) being determined, the inner and outer surfaces of the pipe are examined for faults, the faults determined in this process are compared with a predefined permissible reference fault depth RFT (RFT=fault threshold of×% of the nominal wall thickness), the pipes are sent to reworking means if the fault threshold is exceeded, and a requisite minimum wall thickness (WDmin) has to be present in the reworked region after the processing has been carried out.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2008
    Publication date: May 24, 2012
    Applicant: V & M Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Andreas Groos, Stefan Nitsche
  • Patent number: 8127612
    Abstract: A system and method for ultrasonic examination of a threaded test object, and more particularly, the mounting threads of a compressed gas tube while the tube is affixed to a tube trailer is provided. The disclosed ultrasonic test instrument includes a probe having one or more transducers for transmission and reception of ultrasound pulses, a contoured wear plate, and a shoe of highly attentuative material having a thread-like exterior surface adapted to mate with the threaded surface of the test object. The shoe further includes a narrow window in the thread-like exterior surface such that the shoe absorbs most of the ultrasonic pulses transmitted from the piezoelectric crystal except for the ultrasonic transmissions passing through the narrow window to the test object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: Praxair Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: James R. Mitchell
  • Patent number: 8117918
    Abstract: A method for measuring the thickness of a pipe wall is provided. The method includes the steps of: 1) emitting ultrasonic signals into the pipe wall at one or more frequencies below 1 MHz and receiving reflected ultrasonic signals, and providing a sensor signal representative of the received reflected signals, including a first received reflected signal and a second received reflected signal; 2) providing a first model signal representative of the first received reflected signal and a second model signal representative of the second received reflected signal; 3) correlating the received reflected signals to the model signals, including varying a time delay between the model signals, until the model signals separated by the time delay substantially agree with the received reflected signals; and 4) determining the thickness of the pipe wall using the time delay.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Assignee: Expro Meters, Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel L. Gysling
  • Publication number: 20110314918
    Abstract: A pipe inner surface inspection apparatus that can accurately inspect the inlet portion of a pipe is provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 20, 2011
    Publication date: December 29, 2011
    Applicant: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Seiichi Kawanami, Masayoshi Nakai, Masaya Takatsugu, Masaharu Michihashi
  • Patent number: 8042399
    Abstract: A method of inspecting a substantially circular circumferential weld for connecting together an inner pipe and a coaxial outer pipe, either directly or via a junction forging, by using an ultrasound probe having a plurality of robotic multibeam piezoelectric emitter-receivers. The method is performed by: a) positioning at least one ultrasound probe inside said inner pipe; b) scanning the various ultrasound beams from the various emitters of said probe while the probe is positioned at a given position; and c) moving said probe in rotation about the axis of said pipe through a given angle corresponding to an arc length less than or equal to the size of the weld defects that are to be detected; and then d) repeating steps b) and c) until the entire circumference of the weld has been inspected. The present invention also provides a device for inspecting a circumferential weld that is suitable for use in a method of the invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 4, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2011
    Assignee: Saipem S.A.
    Inventors: Lorenzo Pasquali, Massimiliano Rossi
  • Publication number: 20110226063
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for sensing a fluid flow within a pipe is provided. The method includes the steps of: a) providing an ultrasonic sensor having a transmitter operable to transmit ultrasonic signals through the first pipe wall, the fluid flow disposed within the pipe, and the second pipe wall, and a receiver operable to receive the transmitted signal after the signal has passed through the pipe walls and fluid flow; b) disposing the transmitter adjacent the first wall and the receiver adjacent the second wall; c) disposing at least one acoustic member between at least one of the transmitter and the first wall, and the receiver and the second wall, which acoustic member has acoustic properties such that the combined respective member and pipe wall have half wave resonant frequencies that substantially match the half wave resonant frequencies of the opposite wall, or opposite wall and respective member; and d) sensing the fluid flow through the pipe walls and structure using the ultrasonic sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2011
    Publication date: September 22, 2011
    Applicant: EXPRO METERS, INC.
    Inventors: Daniel L. Gysling, Patrick Curry, ChangJiu Dang