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Method for Determining Average Wall Thickness for Pipes and Tubes Using Guided Waves

Abstract: 

A method for determining changes in the average wall thickness or the mean radius of a pipe or tube using ultrasonic and/or magnetostrictive wave probes by analyzing the dispersive behavior of waves traveling in the tube wall volume. The method examines certain wave propagation modes and identifies a cut-off frequency that is characteristic for a particular wall thickness or tube diameter. This method permits the rapid and accurate inspection of a length of pipe or tube from a single location on the inside diameter of the pipe and permits a comparison of data gathered with similar data for the structure in its original condition. Changes in the cut-off frequency, indirectly determined by the method of the present invention are inversely related to changes in the wall thickness and/or the mean radius for the cylindrical structure. In this manner the method of the present invention provides a mechanism for determining the remaining service life for such pipes and tubes.

Patent Number: 
5,970,434
Date Of Issue: 
10/19/1999
Inventors: 

Joseph W. Brophy;Hegeon Kwun