4 April 1997 IR technique for detection of wall thinning in service water piping
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The service water piping system at nuclear power plants provides cooling for a variety of safety and non-safety related components and systems. Reliability of service water piping systems is a key consideration for safe and reliable plant operations. Conventional inspection techniques for detection of pipe wall thinning usually involve the time- intensive process of ultrasonic thickness measurements, based on a grid system, of the entire pipe length. An alternative to this process may lie in the use of active infrared thermography techniques for detection of thin wall areas in the pipe. Infrared thermography (IR), in a passive mode, has been widely used by utilities for a variety of predictive maintenance applications. For assessment of service water piping, an active IR technique, thermal injection, can be used. Application of this IRNDE technique for material evaluation can provide a rapid screening technique for identification of thin wall areas in service water piping. The EPRI NDE Center participated in a preliminary evaluation of this technology at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Based on the promising results of the Vermont Yankee activity, the Center worked with Thermal Wave Imaging, Inc. in an effort to optimize the IR thermal injection technique for service water piping applications. A series of representative pipe mock-ups were used for evaluation. Subsequent modification of the thermal injection hardware and technique yielded more uniform thermal energy transfer, improved detection capabilities, and increased effective inspection area.
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Paul A. Zayicek, Paul A. Zayicek, Steven M. Shepard, Steven M. Shepard, } "IR technique for detection of wall thinning in service water piping", Proc. SPIE 3056, Thermosense XIX: An International Conference on Thermal Sensing and Imaging Diagnostic Applications, (4 April 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.271649; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.271649

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