Transducer Forms Wheel Or Is Within A Wheel Patents (Class 73/639)
  • Patent number: 9791418
    Abstract: A structural health monitoring system capable of maintaining electrical contact with sensors affixed to a rotating structure. One such structural health monitoring system comprises a rotatable structure, a plurality of sensors each affixed to the rotatable structure, and an interface. The interface has an inner housing and an outer housing, and maintains a plurality of individual electrical connections, each of the individual electrical connections being an electrical connection between one of the sensors and an electrical contact maintained on the outer housing, the electrical connections configured to be maintained during rotation of the structure. The inner housing is affixed to the structure and the outer housing is rotationally coupled to the inner housing, so that the inner housing is free to rotate with respect to the outer housing during rotation of the structure and the sensors, while maintaining the electrical connections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: Acellent Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Joseph Pollock, Howard Hungchi Chung, Roger Huang, Fu-Kuo Chang, Irene Li, Jeffrey Dean Bergman
  • Patent number: 9423381
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus and method for inspecting an inner surface of a hollow composite part. The inspection apparatus may have a support frame, at least one transducer attached to the support frame, an ultrasound gel pad attached to an outer surface of the transducer, and a sponge attached to the support frame. The transducer may send and receive ultrasound waves and the sponge may be positioned to leave a trail of water when moved along the inner surface of the hollow composite part, such that the water rests between the ultrasound gel pad and the inner surface once the inspection apparatus reaches a location to be inspected. The ultrasound waves may thus be transmitted through the ultrasound gel pad and then through the water before bouncing off of the inner surface of the hollow composite part. The ultrasound waves bounced off of the inner surface may be detected by the transducer and analyzed to determine if there is a defect in the composite part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2016
    Assignee: Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
    Inventors: Todd Brian Jaramillo, Kendall Ford Koerner, Allison Jean Wright
  • Patent number: 9341598
    Abstract: An ultrasonic testing apparatus includes an array probe 3 disposed to face a flange-side rim face 16 of a wheel 1. The ultrasonic testing apparatus also includes an array flaw detector having a function of transmitting transmission-reception control signals to the array probe, and a personal computer having a function of setting various parameters for the array flaw detector, and receiving signals from the array flaw detector so as to generate images such as an A-scope image and a B-scope image. When detecting a flaw, the array probe is disposed in such a manner that a transducer face thereof faces the flange-side rim face. At this time, an angle between the transducer alignment direction of the array probe and the radial direction of the wheel 1 is set to be 20 to 60° when viewed in the axial direction, and the flaw detection is carried out at this angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: NIPPON STEEL & SUMITOMO METAL CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hitoshi Murakoshi, Kenta Takahashi
  • Patent number: 9027406
    Abstract: According to one aspect of the invention, a transducer apparatus is provided that includes a core section, a transducer disposed in the core section, the transducer configured to transmit or receive signals and a tubular member mounted to the core section for relative rotation, wherein a fluid is disposed in the tubular member. The apparatus further includes a weight reduction device disposed inside the tubular member to occupy a volume inside the tubular member, wherein the weight reduction device is configured to provide a transmission path from the transducer to the tubular member via the fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Dane Eugene Hackenberger, Robert Charles Shaffer
  • Patent number: 9010187
    Abstract: An ultrasonic scanner has an encoder contacting a drum containing an array. The scanning assembly can be replaced via a snap fit formation. The encoder and drum are resiliently biased and movable relative to the chassis. The array can also be movable relative to the chassis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventor: Andrew Bond-Thorley
  • Patent number: 9003880
    Abstract: A system includes a non-destructive testing (NDT) system having an NDT probe and a processor. The NDT probe includes a testing sensor and a motion sensor. The testing sensor is configured to capture sensor data from an inspection area, and the motion sensor is configured to detect a measurement speed at which the NDT probe moves relative to the inspection area. The processor is configured to determine a speed comparison between the measurement speed and a reference speed range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Scott Leo Sbihli, Jason Howard Messinger, Francois Xavier De Fromont, Robert Carroll Ward
  • Patent number: 8813567
    Abstract: An inspection scanner [1000] is described that has a low profile construction designed to fit into tight spaces and inspect structures [10] such as weld joints [13]. Wheel frame assemblies [1100, 1200] carry a probe holder assembly [1110] with an ultrasonic (US) array [1400] that emits US beams through the structure [10] and receives reflected sound waves. The probe holder assembly [1110] extends and US beam is angled away to inspect in tight locations. The wheel frame assemblies [1100, 1200] roll on wheels [1140, 1240] that drive an encoder [1250]. Encoder [1250] provides the specific locations for the received sound waves with respect to the weld. The locations and received sound waves are used to reconstruct a signal showing imperfections inside of structure [10]. The wheels [1140, 1240] may be magnetic to hold it to the structure [10] being inspected. A brake system [1600] may be employed to hold the inspection scanner [1000] at a given location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: ALSTOM Technology Ltd
    Inventor: Jacques L. Brignac
  • Patent number: 8804458
    Abstract: The invention relates to a nondestructive testing device for detecting possible thickness anomalies (Ve) of a wall (P), this device comprising a sensor (1) including means (11) for emitting and receiving ultrasonic waves, and acoustic coupling means (2). The sensor according to the invention comprises a rigid enclosure (12, 13) sealingly defining a free internal volume (10), and the coupling means (2) comprise a solid coupling body (21) belonging to the enclosure, and a coupling liquid (L) disposed in the free internal volume (10) and in which the emitting and receiving means (11) soak.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignees: GDF Suez, Institut de Soudure
    Inventors: Dominique Gueugnaut, Stéphane Raze, Daniel Chauveau, Didier Flotte
  • Patent number: 8739631
    Abstract: A rolling search unit including an ultrasonic device and a heat exchanger mounted within a fluid-filled tire may be utilized to perform ultrasonic testing on an underlying railroad rail. The ultrasonic device may transmit or receive ultrasonic beams into or from the railroad rail, and the heat exchanger may be utilized to maintain the temperature of the fluid within the tire at a preferred level or within a preferred range. In such a manner, the results of testing obtained using the rolling search unit may be standardized regardless of the ambient temperature in the environment where the testing is being performed, and regardless of any heat gained or lost by the rolling search unit during operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Sperry Rail, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Mark Havira, Anthony Iorfino
  • Patent number: 8567252
    Abstract: An automatic sonic/ultrasonic data acquisition device that is constructed and arranged to be moved across the surface of a concrete structure, to collect data from the structure. There is a frame, a number of wheels carried by the frame, one or more sensors carried by a wheel and constructed and arranged to contact the structure as the wheels roll along a surface of the structure, and an energy source for initiating compressional and/or shear waves in the structure that are sensed by the sensors. The wheels rotate properly timed and in unison so that the pressure transducers are in contact with the surface when the sound waves are initiated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Inventor: Paul Fisk
  • Patent number: 8424387
    Abstract: An apparatus for detecting defects in a railway rail includes a search unit and preferably a roller search unit (“RSU”) mounted on a test vehicle and in rolling contact with the running surface of the rails to inspect each rail. The RSU includes a tire filled with a liquid and a transducer assembly mounted within the tire. The transducer assembly includes one or more arrays of ultrasonic transducers directed toward the running surface of the rail. A laser profiler mounted on the test vehicle in combination with a linear encoder provide profile data which is communicated to a system controller to dynamically adjust the focal laws for the one or more arrays of transducers to dynamically steer the transmitted beams to produce the ideal inspection beam sets while the test vehicle is in motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Herzog Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey B. Wigh, Richard L. Ebersold, Troy L. Elbert, Timothy J. Coolman
  • Patent number: 8347724
    Abstract: An inspection scanner [1000] is described that has a low profile construction designed to fit into tight spaces and inspect structures [10] such as weld joints [13]. Wheel frame assemblies [1100, 1200] carry a probe holder assembly [1110] with an ultrasonic (US) array [1400] that emits US beams through the structure [10] and receives reflected sound waves. The probe holder assembly [1110] extends and US beam is angled away to inspect in tight locations. The wheel frame assemblies [1100, 1200] roll on wheels [1140, 1240] that drive an encoder [1250]. Encoder [1250] provides the specific locations for the received sound waves with respect to the weld. The locations and received sound waves are used to reconstruct a signal showing imperfections inside of structure [10]. The wheels [1140, 1240] may be magnetic to hold it to the structure [10] being inspected. A brake system [1600] may be employed to hold the inspection scanner [1000] at a given location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: ALSTOM Technology Ltd
    Inventor: Jacques L. Brignac
  • Patent number: 7987719
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for the ultrasound testing of hot rolling material during the rolling procedure in one of a plurality of rolling stands in a rolling train which are arranged one behind the other, comprising at least two rolls which leave a roll gap between them, there being associated with the rolls ultrasound testing heads which are arranged such that parts of the roll body itself serve as the path along which the ultrasound waves pass on their way to the rolling material to be tested in the roll gap, which is characterised in that the rolls provided with the ultrasound testing heads are adjustable, have a straight transverse profile and a diameter which is a multiple of the width of the roll gap, with the result that a large rolling angle (?) is provided, and these rolls are arranged in one of the first rolling stands of the rolling train.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Georgsmarienhütte GmbH
    Inventors: Axel Stüber, Peter Van Hüllen
  • Patent number: 7849748
    Abstract: An ultrasonic railroad rail inspection system, apparatus and method for in situ rail inspection including a wheel assembly containing a fluid-filled tire and an ultrasonic transducer mounted within the wheel assembly. The transducer is supported in the tire such that the ultrasonic beam generated by the transducer has a beam axis that intersects a head of a railroad rail at a position offset from the longitudinal median plane of the rail to the side of the head penetrated by the ultrasonic beam. The ultrasonic beam is reflected by flaws in the rail in the form of echoes. The echoes return to the transducer identifying the location of flaws.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2010
    Assignee: Sperry Rail, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Mark Havira
  • Publication number: 20100224001
    Abstract: An inspection scanner [1000] is described that has a low profile construction designed to fit into tight spaces and inspect structures [10] such as weld joints [13]. Wheel frame assemblies [1100, 1200] carry a probe holder assembly [1110] with an ultrasonic (US) array [1400] that emits US beams through the structure [10] and receives reflected sound waves. The probe holder assembly [1110] extends and US beam is angled away to inspect in tight locations. The wheel frame assemblies [1100, 1200] roll on wheels [1140, 1240] that drive an encoder [1250]. Encoder [1250] provides the specific locations for the received sound waves with respect to the weld. The locations and received sound waves are used to reconstruct a signal showing imperfections inside of structure [10]. The wheels [1140, 1240] may be magnetic to hold it to the structure [10] being inspected. A brake system [1600] may be employed to hold the inspection scanner [1000] at a given location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2009
    Publication date: September 9, 2010
    Applicant: ALSTOM Technology Ltd
    Inventor: Jacques L. Brignac
  • Patent number: 7730785
    Abstract: An ultrasonic sensor is provided with a substrate unit where a thin-walled portion is arranged and a piezoelectric oscillator which is formed at the substrate unit. The piezoelectric oscillator includes two electrodes and a piezoelectric film positioned between the two electrodes. The thin-walled portion and the piezoelectric oscillator construct a membrane structure which will resonate at a predetermined frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Wado, Makiko Sugiura
  • Patent number: 7654144
    Abstract: In a nondestructive testing apparatus for testing normality of a blade root in a steam turbine installed in a nuclear plant or a thermal plant, an ultrasonic probe and an encoder can be mounted at the outside by only removing a casing of the steam turbine, without the necessity of withdrawing a turbine rotor, so that an automatic testing can be performed by rotating the steam turbine. Since the testing result can be digitally stored, reliability of the testing is improved. Furthermore, size of the testing apparatus is highly reduced for a tester to conveniently carry and install the testing apparatus alone. As a result, installation time and the whole testing time can be minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2010
    Assignee: Korea Electric Power Corporation
    Inventors: Byung Sik Yoon, Yong Sik Kim, Hee Jong Lee, Se Kyoung Kim, Seung Han Yang
  • Patent number: 7584062
    Abstract: An ultrasonic stimulus pulse is emitted incident to a laminar structure and recorded as pulse data. Echoes resulting from the stimulus pulse are recorded as echo data. One or more vectors are derived by way of time-shifting the recorded pulse data by respective amounts and a matrix ? is defined including the one or more vectors. An echo vector Y is defined using the recorded echo data. A solution vector X is determined in accordance with: Y=?*X, typically within a predetermined tolerance. B-scan display or other analysis of one or more distinct solution vectors enables user and/or automated identification and measurement of any anomalies within the laminate material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2009
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Hong H. Tat, Richard H. Bossi, Yuan-Jye Wu, John-Paul N. Sabino
  • Patent number: 7562578
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method, device and a circuit for detecting surface defects such as cracks, fractures and the like on a roller (2) for a rolling mill (1), in particular on the working rollers (2a) which are mounted with support roller (2b) on a vertical stand (3). The rollers (2) are verified for detecting defects in the operation position thereof, transversal ultrasonic waves (4a) whose frequency is approximately equal to 0.5-2 MHz are transmitted to the first end of the roller (2c) and are received on the second end (2d) thereof and during a measuring process an ultrasound transducer (5) and an ultrasound receiver (6) are pressed against the cylinder (2e) surface for a test time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: SMS Demag AG
    Inventor: Dieter Figge
  • Publication number: 20090151458
    Abstract: In a nondestructive testing apparatus for testing normality of a blade root in a steam turbine installed in a nuclear plant or a thermal plant, an ultrasonic probe and an encoder can be mounted at the outside by only removing a casing of the steam turbine, without the necessity of withdrawing a turbine rotor, so that an automatic testing can be performed by rotating the steam turbine. Since the testing result can be digitally stored, reliability of the testing is improved. Furthermore, size of the testing apparatus is highly reduced for a tester to conveniently carry and install the testing apparatus alone. As a result, installation time and the whole testing time can be minimized.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2007
    Publication date: June 18, 2009
    Inventors: Byung Sik Yoon, Yong Sik Kim, Hee Jong Lee, Se Kyoung Kim, Seung Han Yang
  • Patent number: 7395714
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for inspecting a structure are provided which include probes with sensing elements and are disposed proximate the opposite surfaces of a structure, where only one of the probes need be driven. A tracking probe may be magnetically coupled to a driven probe and move in coordination therewith. Ring magnets may be used in the driven and tracking probes to provide the magnetic coupling and align sensing elements disposed in the centers of the ring magnets. The probes include ball bearings such as ball and socket bearings for supporting the structure and maintaining the desired orientation and spacing of the probes relative to the structure. A fluid, such as water or pressurized air, may be used as a couplant between an ultrasonic transducer and the structure. A water column skirt may be used to with a probe employing ball bearings for support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2008
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Gary E. Georgeson, Michael D. Fogarty, Daniel J. Wright
  • Patent number: 7360427
    Abstract: An ultrasonic probe is provided in which an elongate array of transducers is disposed within an elongate coupling element which is mounted for rotation about an axle. The profile of the coupling element is chosen so as to provide a substantially uniform contact force with a surface over a predetermined area. To achieve this the radius of the coupling element varies along its length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: The University of Bristol
    Inventors: Bruce Walton Drinkwater, Corin James Brotherhood
  • Patent number: 7320249
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for inspecting a structure are provided which include probes with sensing elements and are disposed proximate opposite surfaces of a structure, where only one of the probes need be driven. A tracking probe may be magnetically coupled to a driven probe and move in coordination therewith. Ring magnets may be used in the driven and tracking probes to provide the magnetic coupling and align sensing elements disposed in the centers of the ring magnets. The probes may include a fluid bearing, such as a water bearing or an air bearing, for supporting the structure and maintaining the desired orientation and spacing of the probes relative to the structure. The fluid of a fluid bearing may be used as a couplant between an ultrasonic transducer and a structure. A flow moderating skirt may be used to with a probe employing a fluid bearing for support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2008
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Gary E. Georgeson, Michael D. Fogarty, Stanley W. Richardson
  • Patent number: 7228741
    Abstract: An apparatus and method aligning magnetically coupled inspection probes are provided. In this regard, a tracking probe may be magnetically coupled to a driven probe and move in coordination therewith. An alignment compensator for magnetically coupled inspection probes offsets misalignments between a driven probe and a tracking probe. Misalignments between magnetically coupled probes may be caused by gravity, friction, and movement of the probes. An alignment compensator may use one or more magnets, or electromagnets, to improve the alignment of the probes. An alignment compensator may include a control system for adjusting the power to an electromagnet or repositioning a magnet to offset misalignment of probes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2007
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Gary E. Georgeson, Michael D. Fogarty
  • Patent number: 6772636
    Abstract: A detector for detecting a location of a flaw on a tubular member, the tubular member having a longitudinal axis, the detector having a body, dial rotatably mounted to the body, the dial with directions indications thereon for indicating position of the dial with respect to the longitudinal axis of the tubular member, and ultrasonic probe apparatus secured to the dial for selective positioning by rotating the dial for facilitating location of a flaw of the tubular member; and, in certain aspects, detectors for measuring tubular wall thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: Varco I/P, Inc.
    Inventors: Clive Chemo Lam, Gregory Michael Vaselakos
  • Patent number: 6722202
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for inspecting a structure are provided in which probes including respective sensing elements, such as ultrasonic transducers, are disposed proximate the opposed surfaces of a structure, but only one of the probes need be driven. In this regard, a tracking probe may be magnetically coupled to a driven probe and move in coordination therewith. The apparatus and method can therefore inspect structures in which one surface is inaccessible. The probes may permit liquid to be bubbled between the ultrasonic transducer and the structure in order to couple the ultrasonic signals. By utilizing a bubbled liquid as a couplant, the apparatus and method may operate in an ultrasonic array mode. Additionally, the probes may include at least one contact member, such as a plurality of wheels, for contacting the structure in order to maintain the desired orientation and spacing of the probes relative to the structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: James C. Kennedy, Christopher L. Mares, Mark A. Negley
  • Patent number: 6688178
    Abstract: A roller transducer assembly comprises at least one core section and each core section comprises a transducer. Oil is retained within the roller transducer assembly and in particular an oil kerf isolates each core section from an outer portion of the roller transducer assembly having a nylon roller tube which is surrounded by a urethane tire outer covering. The outer portion of the roller transducer assembly rotates about each stationary core section. A pair of the ultrasonic roller transducer assemblies are arranged to provide signals for generating an ultrasonic image of an article such as a board or a log passing between the pair of ultrasonic roller transducer assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Assignee: Materials Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald E. Schmidt, John R. Hollenbeck
  • Patent number: 6571636
    Abstract: A wheel-type inspection device includes within the wheel structure a sensor head. The sensor head carries both ultrasonic transducers and a surface tracking structure maintained at fixed distance relative to the transducers. In operation, the surface tracking structure remains against the inner surface of the tire and thereby maintains a fixed distance between the transducers and the surface of the work piece under inspection. As a result, reflected sound energy analysis need not compensate for variations in distance between the transducers and the work piece because no such variations in distance occur under the disclosed device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: CF&I Steel, L.P.
    Inventor: Paul H. McWhorter
  • Publication number: 20030089172
    Abstract: The invention concerns an ultrasonic sensor with a pot-shaped diaphragm having an oscillatory diaphragm bottom and a diaphragm wall which surrounds at least sections of the diaphragm bottom. The invention is characterized in that at least sections of the diaphragm wall have a foam-like structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 4, 2002
    Publication date: May 15, 2003
    Inventors: Uwe Kupfernagel, Heinrich Gotzig
  • Patent number: 6536553
    Abstract: An apparatus for detecting an underground abject includes a container in contact with the ground surface; a medium disposed in the container; at least one acoustic sensor disposed in the medium in the container; and an output device connected to the acoustic sensor. A portion of the container in contact with the ground is substantially acoustically transparent and conforms to contours of the ground. The acoustic impedance of the medium in the container is substantially the same as the acoustic impedance of the ground. A method of detecting an underground object includes receiveing reflected acoustic noise with at least one acoustic sensor immersed in a medium, the mediukm being desposed in a container in contact with a ground surface; converting the reflected acoustic noise to electrical signals; and, using an output device, converting teh eletrical signals to a form that can be sensed by a human to determine if the undergroung object has been detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army
    Inventor: Michael V. Scanlon
  • Patent number: 6523411
    Abstract: A wheel inspection system based on electromagnetic acoustic signals and having improved inspection by the use of a noise removing system and/or a pivotal mounting system. The invention also includes an improved detection head and data analysis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: International Electronic Machines Corp.
    Inventors: Zahid F. Mian, William Peabody, Theodore Haller
  • Patent number: 6516668
    Abstract: An ultrasonic aligning device for laterally aligning a rail testing device with respect to a rail has an ultrasonic transducer formed of an array of closely spaced ultrasonic elements, with center to center distances between elements being selected to determine incremental lateral positions of the array relative to the rail. The ultrasonic elements are selectively actuated to cause the generation of ultrasonic beams towards the base portion of the rail. Reflections from the base portion are detected to produce reflection signals representative of the incidence of the ultrasonic beam onto said base portion. The reflection signals are processed by a reflection analyzer for a determination of the lateral offset of the ultrasonic array relative to the rail. A position signal indicative thereof is produced and used to laterally displace the array to achieve a desired lateral alignment of the rail testing device with the rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2003
    Assignee: Harsco Track Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Mark Havira, Joseph S. Bakach, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6513384
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and an apparatus for measuring the lift of a transport infrastructure road level and industrial floors. The apparatus comprises a wheel borne by a chassis pivotally mounted on a trailer towed by a vehicle. An unbalanced member causes the wheel to vibrate. The vertical acceleration of the chassis and of the wheel and the angle of the centrifugal force of the unbalanced member with the vertical, are continuously measured. The total force applied by the wheel, the chassis and the unbalanced member is calculated from the measurements of the accelerations, as is the deflection of the road level by double integration of the acceleration of the wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2003
    Assignee: Laboratoire Central des Ponts e Chaussees
    Inventors: Alain Quibel, Michel Froumentin, Jacques Marignier, Maurice Leroy, Guy Morel
  • Patent number: 6378376
    Abstract: The present invention provides a mounting assembly, for use with an ultrasound transducer attached to an ultrasound machine, for determining the spacial relationship between a succession of 2D image slices of a target of a subject, generated by the ultrasound machine. The mounting assembly comprises: (i) means to mount an ultrasound transducer; (ii) means to engage a surface of the subject in the proximity of the target, the means to engage a surface being moveably attached to the means to mount an ultrasound transducer; and (iii) sensing means, in communication with the means to engage a surface, to measure the movement of the means to engage a surface during acquisition of the succession of 2D image slices. Preferably, the sensing means comprises a tilt sensor and a displacement sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Life Imaging Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Derman, Shane Dunne, Aaron Fenster
  • Patent number: 6308570
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining the caliper and/or the ultrasonic transit time through the thickness direction of a moving web of material using ultrasonic pulses generated by a rotatable wheel ultrasound apparatus. The apparatus includes a first liquid-filled tire and either a second liquid-filled tire forming a nip or a rotatable cylinder that supports a thin moving web of material such as a moving web of paper and forms a nip with the first liquid-filled tire. The components of ultrasonic transit time through the tires and fluid held within the tires may be resolved and separately employed to determine the separate contributions of the two tire thicknesses and the two fluid paths to the total path length that lies between two ultrasonic transducer surfaces contained within the tires in support of caliper measurements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2001
    Assignee: Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Theodore Jackson, Maclin S. Hall
  • Publication number: 20010032513
    Abstract: An ultrasonic aligning device for laterally aligning a rail testing device with respect to a rail has an ultrasonic transducer formed of an array of closely spaced ultrasonic elements, with center to center distances between elements being selected to determine incremental lateral positions of the array relative to the rail. The ultrasonic elements are selectively actuated to cause the generation of ultrasonic beams towards the base portion of the rail. Reflections from the base portion are detected to produce reflection signals representative of the incidence of the ultrasonic beam onto said base portion. The reflection signals are processed by a reflection analyzer for a determination of the lateral offset of the ultrasonic array relative to the rail. A position signal indicative thereof is produced and used to laterally displace the array to achieve a desired lateral alignment of the rail testing device with the rail.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 5, 2001
    Publication date: October 25, 2001
    Inventors: Robert Mark Havira, Joseph S. Bakach
  • Patent number: 6138515
    Abstract: An apparatus for detecting defects in a moving cast metal strip is provided that includes at least one Lamb-wave transducer housed inside a sensor wheel made of flexible material. The sensor wheel contains an acoustic coupling fluid and is designed to come into running contact with the surface of the product to be inspected. A runner is placed upstream of the sensor wheel for contact with the surface of the strip to be inspected. Upstream of the runner, a delivery system for delivering coupling fluid onto the surface of the moving product is provided, this fluid serving to wet the surface of the strip. The runner includes a roller having a contact width the same or greater than the width of the product for uniformly spreading the coupling fluid over the product. All of these components are installed in a movable carriage which is designed to run over the metal strip surface. The apparatus is capable of detecting defects in a steel strip moving at high speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Sollac
    Inventors: Jean-Pierre Moufle, Philippe Piquemal
  • Patent number: 5969255
    Abstract: A system for ultrasonic inspection of a tubular member using an ultrasonic inspection unit having a platform, a guide member with a longitudinal axis, a wheel connected to the platform and contacting a surface of the tubular member for moving the platform along and around the tubular member relative to a rotation of the tubular member, and a bearing support connected to the platform at a location spaced from the wheel. The bearing support contacts the guide member for supporting the platform on the guide member and allowing the platform to move longitudinally in a direction along the longitudinal axis of the guide member in response to the moving of the guide wheel. A tubular member rotation mechanism receives the tubular member and rotates the tubular member around a longitudinal axis of the tubular member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Inventor: Ted McLean
  • Patent number: 5786535
    Abstract: An apparatus for detecting flaws using supersonic waves measures a thickness of a test object or a position of a cavity inside the test object by employing a pair of ultrasonic probes. By, changing a relative position of one ultrasonic probe to that of the other ultrasonic probe, a plurality of waveform data of ultrasonic reception signals is acquired. Each of the acquired waveform data is added together. Because a surface wave component of each waveform data has a shifted phase due to a difference in arrival times, a level of the surface wave component is offset and thus minimized through addition of the waveform data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: Tokimec Inc.
    Inventors: Shinichi Takeuchi, Ryo Ishiyama, Yutaka Kashiwase, Kinuko Kato, Ryohei Motegi
  • Patent number: 5777891
    Abstract: An ultrasonic real-time inspection method which is user-friendly in an interactive environment to provide ease of operation, as well as a combination of consistency, thoroughness, and speed of operation in flaw detection not achievable by other methods. The method offers significantly increased pattern recognition capability, which provides greater automation potential and reduced missed detection and false alarm rates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1998
    Assignee: Dapco Industries Inc
    Inventors: Dominick Pagano, Brian Mackay, James Norris
  • Patent number: 5686668
    Abstract: A cart for inspecting a drill pipe having a platform with an ultrasonic inspection unit thereon, a first pair of wheels connected to the platform so as to move the platform longitudinally along the drill pipe relative to a rotation of the drill pipe, and a bearing connected to the platform at a location distal of the first pair of wheels. The bearing serves to support the platform above an adjacent drill pipe and allows the platform to move longitudinally along the adjacent drill pipe in correspondence with the movement of the first pair of wheels. The first pair of wheels are canted at an angle relative to the longitudinal axis of the drill pipe. A sensor wheel extends outwardly of the platform and rotates during the movement of the platform along the drill pipe. The platform has at least one handle extending upwardly from the platform. The bearing includes a pair of rollers that have an axis of rotation which is transverse to the longitudinal axis of the adjacent drill pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 11, 1997
    Inventor: Ted McLean
  • Patent number: 5641909
    Abstract: Apparatus is disclosed for providing one hundred percent inspection of natural gas mains under operating flow conditions. The apparatus includes a scan unit assembly which is inserted into the gas main to collect data for the production of graphic images of the wall of the gas main. The scan unit includes a plurality of scan rollers, each containing an ultrasonic transducer, which traverse the surface of the wall defining the inner diameter of the gas main. The ultrasonic transducers transmit interrogating pulses into the wall of the gas main at a pre-determined spaced apart interval resulting in a helical scan pattern of interrogating pulses. The return pulses from the surfaces defining the inner diameter and outer diameter of the gas main and any imperfections and/or flaws within the wall of the main are received by the transducer and transmitted to a display unit for a visual indication (a tomograph) of the wall of the gas main.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 24, 1997
    Assignee: Gas Research Institute
    Inventors: Karl F. Kiefer, Gerard T. Pittard, Donald L. Chaffee, C. Grissom Steele, Terry P. Clifton
  • Patent number: 5602336
    Abstract: An apparatus for detecting flaws using supersonic waves measures a thickness of a test object or a position of a cavity inside the test object by employing pair of ultrasonic probes. By changing a relative position of one ultrasonic probe to that of the other ultrasonic probe, a plurality of waveform data of ultrasonic reception signals is acquired. Each acquired waveform data is added per corresponding unit of time. Since a surface wave component of each waveform data has a shifted phase due to the difference in arrival time, a level of the surface wave component is offset and thus minimized through addition of the waveform data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 11, 1997
    Assignee: Tokimec Inc.
    Inventors: Shinichi Takeuchi, Ryo Ishiyama, Yutaka Kashiwase, Kinuko Kato, Ryohei Motegi
  • Patent number: 5571968
    Abstract: An apparatus for detecting defects comprises a pair of ultrasonic probes which are gimballed onto a pair of elongate members. A pair of yokes are gimballed onto the elongate members. Springs cause an interaction between the yokes and the ultrasonic probes such that the ultrasonic beams travel in a plane parallel to the longitudinal direction of the elongate members. The elongate members are slidably mounted on a carriage and the elongate members are arranged apart at a predetermined angle. The carriage is mounted to travel on an arcuate member to scan the corner of joint between a pressure vessel and a nozzle in a direction radially with respect to the axis of the nozzle. The arcuate member is rotatably mounted to a support member to scan the corner or the joint circumferentially with respect to the axis of the nozzle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 5, 1996
    Assignee: Rolls-Royce and Associates, Limited
    Inventor: Paul S. Buckley
  • Patent number: 5505089
    Abstract: A scanner head for ultrasonic imaging of structures generates a display through an ultrasonic transceiver. The scanner head includes a transducer adapted to engage the surface of the structure. Rollers are positioned fore and aft the transducer, and one roller drives a position increment signal generator which drives the transceiver and display circuitry. A couplant delivery system includes nozzles bracketing the transducer in the direction of movement of the scanner head. The flow is controlled by a single valve on top of the head. In this manner, couplant in the desired amount is delivered correctly and concurrently as scanning proceeds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 9, 1996
    Assignee: Rohrback Cosasco Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Larry A. Weigel
  • Patent number: 5493911
    Abstract: A system for relatively accurately measuring the velocity and time of flight of ultrasonic signals in the thickness direction through moving web-like materials, such as paper, paperboard and the like, includes a pair of ultrasonic transducers disposed on opposing sides of the moving web-like material. The ultrasonic transducers are disposed in fluid-filled wheels to provide acoustical coupling between the transducers and the web-like material. In order to eliminate errors, known as trigger jitter, inherent in systems used to digitize ultrasonic signals for manipulation by a digital computer, a pulse echo box is provided to enable the capture of a reflected ultrasonic signal in addition to the ultrasonic signal transmitted through the web. By cross-correlating the transmitted and reflected ultrasonic signals in the same sample period, the error associated with trigger jitter is eliminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 27, 1996
    Assignee: Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Maclin S. Hall, Pierre H. Brodeur, Theodore G. Jackson
  • Patent number: 5404755
    Abstract: Columns, walls and other solid structures of concrete, wood, masonry or other materials are non-destructively tested by acoustic signals transmitted from a carriage. The carriage has a frame which is wheel mounted to move over the surface of the test candidate. An internally-mounted piezoelectric crystal roller as an acoustic signal generator or receiver is suspended from the carriage with two degrees of spring freedom to allow accommodation of irregularities in the test candidate surface. The assembly including the piezoelectric crystal roller and its flexible mounting are configured as a replaceable module relative to the carriage frame. The same carriage is useable as an echo type acoustic scanner or, in combination with other devices or carriages, as either an acoustic transmitter or receiver although inclusion of elements to perform both functions within the same carriage is contemplated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1995
    Assignee: Olson Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: Larry D. Olson, Dennis A. Sack, David Fidelman
  • Patent number: 5386727
    Abstract: A system and method for dynamically and non-destructively measuring the longitudinal stresses in a rail of a continuous rail track includes an ultrasonic transmitter which transmits a signature coded pulse pattern through a rail which pulse pattern is altered by the rail section dependent upon the longitudinal stress within the rail. The altered pulse pattern is then received and a data processor, in conjunction with a rail height detector, a rail temperature detector, and a rail splice detector, dynamically determines the longitudinal stresses in the rail as a function of the received pulse characteristics and calculates the stress free temperature (SFT) of the rail. A rail marker marks portions of the rail having unacceptable SFT values. Stress and related rail data are recorded on a data log. A position sensor provides milepost positions to three decimal places.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 7, 1995
    Assignee: Herzog Contracting Corporation
    Inventor: Donald S. Searle
  • Patent number: 5341683
    Abstract: A system and method for dynamically and non-destructively measuring the longitudinal stresses in a rail of a continuous rail track includes an ultrasonic transmitter which transmits coded focused shear pulses through a rail which are subsequently received by a linear array of sensors. A displacer adjusts the separation between the transmitter and the sensors to maximize the signal intensity received by a centrally located one of the sensors. A data processor, in conjunction with a rail height detector, a rail temperature detector, and a rail splice detector, dynamically determines the longitudinal stresses in the rail as a function of the velocity of propagation of the pulses, the stress free temperature (SFT) of the rail, and activates a rail marker to mark portions of the rail having unacceptable longitudinal stresses. Stress and related data is recorded on a data log. A video camera provides observed rail separation data to the data processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1994
    Inventor: Donald S. Searle
  • Patent number: 5339692
    Abstract: An ultrasonic rail web centerline detector locates the web centerline (18) of a longitudinal rail (12) having a head (80), a base (82), and a web therebetween. The detector includes an ultrasound sensor (14) acoustically coupled to the head (80) of the rail (12) for transmitting ultrasound energy through the rail (12) and for generating electrical signals corresponding to received reflected ultrasound energy. A controller (16) responsive to the electrical signals generates control signals representative of a lateral and angular displacement of the ultrasound sensor (14) with respect to the web centerline (18) of the rail. The position of the ultrasound sensor is adjusted as a function of the control signals representative of the lateral and angular displacement. The ultrasound sensor includes a center transceiver (30) and side transceivers (32, 34) which are acoustically coupled to the head (80) of the rail (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 23, 1994
    Assignee: Loram Maintenance of Way, Inc.
    Inventors: John J. Shoenhair, Alex Ivachev