Moulded Polymers for Ultrasonic Applications

New Polymer Provides Higher Conformability and Better Attenuation

The research and development team at Innovation Polymers have created a new elastomer (ACE™ 200). The new formulation enhances the conformability as well as the ultrasonic properties of the material. This new material can now easily conform to irregular shapes which includes processing into flat sheets, bladders or wheels and other custom configurations based on customer specific designs.

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Ultrasonic thickness testing is probably one of the simplest and most common applications of ultrasonic technology. However, it can be frustrating trying to get a steady signal because the surface is rough or not flat. Innovation Polymers now provides a conformable delay line in a 3-legged holder that can improve stability of thickness readings.

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Aqualene NDT Couplant for Composite Inspections

Using traditional acrylic materials for aircraft inspections can have a tendency to cause issues that ultimately end up costing you time and accuracy. Some examples of this might be maintaining coupling between your probe and the part, issues with the delay scuffing the surface of the part, and the mess of gel cleanup afterward. These examples are just referencing the easy-to-reach portions of the aircraft without even mentioning the inverted inspections under wing and the belly.

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Innovation Polymers in partnership with Materials Research Institute has developed a new and innovative phased array wedge design that improves phased array sectorial scanning of HDPE butt fusion joints. We have done this by incorporating a damping material with a low velocity refracting wedge made with Aqualink™ for pulse-echo testing.

The new design overcomes issues commonly associated with existing options in the marketplace, which include negative refraction when using hard plastics causing a weak signal. Large footprints limiting close approach when using water membranes. And easy adaptability to existing scanning systems.

Using a compact design and unique processing technique, we have been able to produce wedges that integrate with a number of widely used phased array probes.

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Applications exist where ultrasonic probes are required to be in place for long periods of time, sometimes in relatively extreme conditions. Typically, ultrasonic corrosion monitoring and ultrasonic flow metering place probes on a surface and take readings on a continuous or periodic basis. Water soluble gels eventually dry and the coupling effect is reduced and then lost.

Innovation Polymers has developed a new ultrasonic couplant that permits long term probe placement without significant coupling losses. The material is a high viscosity liquid polymer with virtually no evaporation at normal working temperatures. The tacky texture makes it an effective pressure sensitive adhesive i.e. it forms a bond when pressure is applied. One drop covering the wedge to probe contact surface can provide continuous coupling for several months.

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Multiple-angle TOFD Wedge for HDPE Inspection

High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) pipe is becoming a popular substitute for steel pipe. Varieties of polyethylene used in industry can have an acoustic velocity range from about 2100m/s to about 2600m/s. Using PMMA or polystyrene as a refracting wedge material could result in very little refraction or even negative refraction. Elastomeric materials designed by Innovation Polymers range from approximately 1025m/s to about 1600m/s, ensuring positive refraction for all applications on polyethylene.

Innovation Polymers has designed wedges specifically for TOFD applications on HDPE. Interchangeable plugs made from Innovation Polymers’ low velocity elastomeric polymers permits the user to select a refracted-angle option best suited for the TOFD inspection at hand. These wedges are primarily intended for the TOFD inspection of high density polyethylene butt fusion joints. The modular concept consists of a standard housing, replaceable plug inserts and a threaded plate to accommodate different sized probes up to 12.5mm (0.5 inch) diameter.

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Angle based on Material
Wave Analysis
TOFD Wedge for multiple HDPE materials

Multi-angle TOFD Wedge

Supports multiple HDPE materials
Moulded Polymer Product for Damage Prevention, Kitchener, ON

Damage Prevention

Phased Array coupling & protective covers

Complex Block

beam optimizing with lens or covers
Simple Moulded Polymer Block, Kitchener, ON

simple Block

Phased array and conventional

Wheel Phased Array

Area Scanning Options

Ideal for dissimilar welds

Coupling Irregular Surfaces

Targets & cavity shapes

Combine material or embed targets

Medical Applications

Example Medical Applications

Additional NDT Applications

  • HDPE pipe fusion welds
  • TOFD for polyethylene products
  • Girth weld & welds in general
  • High temperature Silicon wheel and pads
  • Wedge assemblies
  • Rail and high production Polyurethane
  • Concrete Rebar inspection

HDPE Butt Fusion Weld Inspection

Phased Array or Conventional Wedge Designs

Poor Refaction Angle - Rexolite Wedge
Good Refaction Angle - ACE™ wedge

TOFD for polyethylene Inspection

Rexolite 43° incidence
ACE™ 35.4° incidence

Using low velocity wedge material such as ACE™ provides a good velocity ratio resulting in less beam distortion. The higher refracted beams can be generated with lower incident angles. 35.4° incidence produces a 60° refracted angle in HDPE (Vel. 2330m/s) and a useful lateral wave can be obtained even with a 5MHz probe.

Our Customers

We offer moulded polymers for industrial and commercial applications. We have a wide array of products to choose from. Contact us today in Kitchener, Ontario for more information about our product or to place an order for your business needs.