October 23, 2013 § Leave a Comment
While working for Eclipse Scientific, I was given the opportunity to build a product from the ground up. The problem was that our test engineers had to bring 3 pipe scanners (sizes Small, Medium, and Large) with them to test sites for various sized pipelines. The goal of the project was to design one adjustable scanner to accommodate pipe diameters of all sizes. By the end of the work-term I was able to put together a prototype that did just that.
The adjustable pipe scanner features an aluminum frame that can hold up to 8 ultrasonic transducers. The frame is used in conjunction with Jireh’s Billy Goat drive platform, and a spring loaded encoder. This pipescanner, with it’s drop down bracket accessory is capable of accommodating pipe sizes from 6″ dia to 42″ dia.
When using this scanner to scan welds on pipes, water will flow into the billy goat through a hose, and will flow out of a manifold into the channelled acrylic blocks contacting the surface of the pipe.
As the water flows through the channel and makes its way to the pipe’s surface. It acts as a medium, bridging the surfaces of the acrylic block and pipe surface so that the ultrasonic sensor (sitting on top of the acrylic blocks) can penetrate deep into the pipe, to detect weld defects, without any noise from gaps.
The scanner will ride around the pipe with an encoder keeping track of the scanner’s position such that the exact location of any defects, if found, can be known.