Autonomous NDT with Inductively Coupled Transducer System (ICTS)

Project aims and objectives: 

  1. Improve thickness measurement performance of ICTS by eliminating the effect of misalignment and temperature. 
  1. Develop a robotic system that collects data autonomously from permanently installed ICTS sensors. 

NDT problem to be solved: 

Remaining wall thickness of structures is a safety-critical metric that determines the structural integrity of assets. Permanently installed inductively coupled transducer system developed at University of Bristol UNDT Group provides an alternative approach to measure remaining wall thickness efficiently and cost-effectively. 

Thickness measurement performance of inductively coupled transducer systems is affected by a number of factors: lateral, vertical, and angular misalignment between handheld probing unit and sensors, temperature of the structure underneath the sensor.  

This project expects to improve the thickness measurement performance of ICTS even with misalignment and temperature variation. With these environmental effects eliminated, develop a robotic system that collects data from permanently installed sensors autonomously. 

Progress so far: 

A thickness measurement optimisation method for permanently installed ICTS system has been developed to eliminate the lateral and vertical misalignment between the probing unit and sensors. The method is able to reduce the measured thickness variability from 0.2mm to 0.07mm, enabling ever smaller thickness change to be detected. A paper has been drafted and will be ready to submit to journals soon. 

Graphical user interface, text

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the inductively coupled ultrasonic transducer system.