23 March 2001 Boiler tube corrosion characterization with a scanning thermal line
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Abstract
Wall thinning due to corrosion in utility boiler waterwall tubing is a significant operational concern for boiler operators. Historically, conventional ultrasonics has been used for inspection of these tubes. Unfortunately, ultrasonic inspection is very manpower intense and slow. Therefore, thickness measurements are typically taken over a relatively small percentage of the total boiler wall and statistical analysis is used to determine the overall condition of the boiler tubing. Other inspection techniques, such as electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT), have recently been evaluated, however they provide only a qualitative evaluation - identifying areas or spots where corrosion has significantly reduced the wall thickness. NASA Langley Research Center, in cooperation with ThermTech Services, has developed a thermal NDE technique designed to quantitatively measure the wall thickness and thus determine the amount of material thinning present in steel boiler tubing. The technique involves the movement of a thermal line source across the outer surface of the tubing followed by an infrared imager at a fixed distance behind the line source. Quantitative images of the material loss due to corrosion are reconstructed from measurements of the induced surface temperature variations. This paper will present a discussion of the development of the thermal imaging system as well as the techniques used to reconstruct images of flaws. The application of the thermal line source coupled with the analysis technique represents a significant improvement in the inspection speed and accuracy for large structures such as boiler waterwalls.
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K. Elliott Cramer, K. Elliott Cramer, A. Ronald Jacobstein, A. Ronald Jacobstein, Thomas L. Reilly, Thomas L. Reilly, "Boiler tube corrosion characterization with a scanning thermal line", Proc. SPIE 4360, Thermosense XXIII, (23 March 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.421047; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.421047
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