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Inspection Procedure for Ultrasonic Thickness

Measurement
Table of Contents
Section
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
11.0

Page No.

Purpose and Scope ....................................................... 2


References .................................................................... 2
Personnel Qualifications ................................................ 2
Ultrasonic Equipment and Materials .............................. 3
Examination Surface ..................................................... 4
Calibration Procedure .................................................... 4
Method of Examination .................................................. 6
Special Technique Consideration .................................. 6
Post Cleaning ................................................................ 8
Examination Report ....................................................... 9
Acceptance Criteria ....................................................... 9
Table 2 ........................................................................ 10
Figure 1 ....................................................................... 11
Table 3 ........................................................................ 11
Figure 2 ....................................................................... 12
Figure 3 ....................................................................... 12
Table 4 ........................................................................ 12
NDE UT Report ........................................................... 13
UT Instrument Verification Report ................................ 14

1.0 PURPOSE AND SCOPE


1.1 This procedure establishes the requirements for Manual Ultrasonic Thickness
Measurement of materials and will be applied when Ultrasonic Thickness Measurement is
required in accordance with ASME Section V, Article 5 by the referencing Code. This
procedure will be used in conjunction with applicable client specifications.
1.2 This procedure will be used whenever manual ultrasonic thickness measurements per
the requirements of ASME are specified.
1.3 Ultrasonic examination shall be performed in accordance with a written procedure
which shall, as a minimum, contain the requirements found in Table 1.0.
Table 1.0
Variables of an Ultrasonic Examination
Procedure
Requirement
Material types and configurations to be examined, including thickness dimensions and product form
(casting, forgings, plates, etc.).
Personnel qualification requirements.
Personnel performance requirements, when required.
The surfaces from which the examination shall be performed.
Surface condition (examination surface, calibration block).
Couplant: brand or type.
Technique(s) (straight beam, angle beam, contact, and/or immersion).
Angle(s) and mode(s) of wave propagation in the material.
Search unit type(s), frequency (ies), and element size(s) shape(s).
Special search units, wedges, shoes or saddles, when used.
Ultrasonic instrument(s).
Calibration [calibration block(s) and technique(s)].
Directions and extent of scanning.
Automatic alarm and/or recording equipment, when applicable.
Scanning (manual vs. automatic).
Computer enhanced data acquisition, when used.
Records, including minimum calibration data to be recorded (e.g., instrument settings).
Scan overlap (decrease only)

Essential
Variable

Nonessential
Variable

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

1.4
When procedure qualification is specified, a change of a requirement in Table 1.0
identified as an essential variable from the specified value, or range of values, shall
require requalification of the written procedure.
1.5
A change of requirement identified as a nonessential variable from the specified
value, or range of values, does not does not require requalification of the written
procedure.

1.6
All changes of essential or nonessential variables from the value, or range of
values, specified by the written procedure shall require revision, or an addendum to, the
written procedure.

2.0

REFERENCES

2.1 The latest revision, or revision stated in the contract, of the following referenced
documents is applicable to and /or form the basis of this procedure:
2.1.1 ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section V Non-destructive Examination
(July 2003)
2.1.2 ASTM E-114 Recommended Practice for Ultrasonic Pulse-Echo Straight-Beam
Testing by the Contact Method (2001)
2.1.3 ASTM E-317 Standard Practice for Evaluating Performance Characteristics of
Ultrasonic Pulse-Echo Testing Systems without the Use of Electronic Measuring
Instruments (1997).
21.4 ASTM E-797 Standard Practice for Measuring Thickness by Manual Ultrasonic
Pulse-Echo Contact Method (2001)
2.1.5 AES NDE-QC-1 Qualification and Certification of Non-destructive Examination
Personnel.
2.1.6 ASNT SNT-TC-1A (2001), CP-189 (2001), and ACCP (Revision3, November 1997).

2.2 This procedure will be superseded only when an equal or more stringent requirement
is specified by the customers purchase order or contract and is approved by the ATT
Corporate Level III.

3.0

PERSONNEL QUALIFICATION

3.1 Personnel performing Ultrasonic Thickness Measurement will be certified to at least


Level I Ultrasonic Examination (UT) in accordance with procedure ATT NDE-QC-1
"Qualification and Certification of Non-destructive Examination Personnel".

3.2 A subcontractor may use their Qualification and Certification procedures when
approved by the ATT Corporate Level III and meeting the requirements of Section 2.1.6.
3.3 UT Level I, II, and lIl personnel may perform all operations necessary in accordance
with this procedure to process the objects being examined. Except that Level I personnel
shall receive the necessary supervision and guidance from certified UT Level II or Level III
personnel.
3.4 Interpretation and evaluation of ultrasonic examination results will only be
accomplished by personnel certified as UT Level II or lIl.
4.0

ULTRASONIC EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS

4.1 The
following
are
the
requirements
Measurement Examination Equipment.

for

the

Ultrasonic

Thickness

4.1.1 The instrument shall be of the pulse-echo type and must have a CRT or digital and
CRT display.
4.1.2 The instruments horizontal limit and linearity, Paragraph 8.4, screen height
linearity, paragraph 8.5 and amplitude control linearity, paragraph 8.6, shall be verified
every 3 months or prior to first use thereafter.
4.1.3 The instrument shall be calibrated at intervals no longer than 12 months to reference
standards traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) and
meet or exceed the manufacturers tolerances and specifications.
4.1.4 Any frequency and size search unit may be selected as long as it is capable of
resolving the thickness range being measured, provided that it meets the manufacturers
recommendations and client specifications.
4.1.5 The search unit may be single element, delay line, or dual element contact
transducers.
4.1.5.1 Search unit selected shall have sufficient crystal to surface contact to produce
stable readings. On smaller diameter pipe, 3.50 and less, a small diameter search unit or
curved standoff shoe may be required.
4.2 Couplant may be water, glycerine, cellulose gel (gum), oil, grease or specially
formulated commercially available materials.
4.2.1 Inhibitors and/or wetting agents may be used.
4.2.2 The chemical interaction or the corrosive nature of any couplant with the material(s)
being examined will be considered when making the choice of couplant.

4.3 The reference standards material from which the block is fabricated shall be of the
same product form, material specification or equivalent P- Number grouping, and heat
treatment as the material being examined. The finish on the scanning surface of the block
shall be representative for the scanning surface on the material to be examined and:
4.3.1 Shall have at least three steps:
4.3.1.1 The thinner step shall have a thickness within +10% of the value stated in the
column marked Lower step of table 2 for the thickness range to be tested.
4.3.1.2 The thicker step shall have a thickness within +10% of the value stated in the
column marked Upper step of table 2 for the thickness range to be tested.
4.3.1.3 The third step and the minimum thickness to be tested shall fall within the
Objective Thickness Range and between the thin and thick calibration steps. The third
step shall be machined with a flat bottomed hole in accordance with figure 1 and table 2.
4.3.2 The physical dimensions will be within + 1% of the nominal thickness of the
step.
4.3.2.1 The measurement of the steps will be performed with a calibrated mechanical
instrument, traceable to NIST.
5.0

EXAMINATION SURFACE

5.1
Surfaces will be uniform and free of loose scale and paint, discontinuities such as
pits or gouges, weld spatter, dirt, or other foreign matter which may adversely affect test
results.
5.1.1 Tightly adhering paint, scale or coatings do not necessarily need to be removed for
testing if they present uniform attenuation characteristics.
5.2 Surfaces may be ground, sanded, wire brushed, scraped, or otherwise prepared for
examination purposes when necessary.
5.3 In areas where severe pitting is experienced and where surface preparation is
not recommended, readings will be taken on high areas and pit depth will be measured by
mechanical depth gauges. As an alternate, an ultrasonic pencil tip probe may be used if
the customer desires.

6.0

CALIBRATION PROCEDURE

6.1 The proper functioning of the examination equipment will be checked and the
equipment will be calibrated by use of the reference standard, as described in paragraph
4.3, at:
6.1.1 The beginning and end of each examination;
6.1.2 When examination personnel are changed;
6.1.3 Anytime that a malfunction or improper operation is suspected (i.e., unusually high
or low readings);
6.1.4 When search units are changed;
6.1.5 When new batteries are installed or electrical outlet is changed;
6.1.6 When equipment operating from one power source is changed to another power
source or experiences power failure.
6.2
If, during a calibration, it is determined that the examination equipment is not
functioning properly or it is found to be out of calibration, all of the measurements since
the last valid equipment calibration will be retaken.
6.3 Calibration shall be accomplished using the same couplant as that to be used when
measurements are being taken.
6.3.1 When special form high temperature couplant is being used, a different couplant
may be used for calibration.
6.3.2 The temperature of the calibration block shall be within + 25 F of the test specimen.
NOTE
All ultrasonic measurements shall be made at a threshold setting of 20 %FSH.
6.4

Calibration shall be established with three known thickness.

6.4.1 Determine the objective thickness from table 3


6.4.2 Place the transducer on the thin step and adjust the instrument to read the step
within + .001 inch of the actual step thickness.
6.4.3 Place the transducer on the thick step and adjust the instrument to read the step
within + .001 inch of the actual step thickness.
6.4.4 Repeat 6.4.2 and 6.4.3 until the instrument reads both steps within the + .001 inch
tolerance without further adjustment.

6.4.5 Ultrasonically measure the objective thickness. The thickness shall be within + .001
inch of its actual thickness.
6.5

Gain transfer shall be established in the following manner:

6.5.1 Place the transducer on the reference calibration thickness closest to the
corresponding material thickness being examined. Note signal strength and gain control
setting.
6.5.2 Place the transducer on the test material in an area with a uniform back-wall
reflection free from any indications and representative of sound material.
6.5.3 Observe the signal level and adjust the gain control to produce the same signal
height or response as noted from the calibration block. Note the gain control setting.
6.5.4 Subtract the gain control value in 6.5.1 from that in 6.5.3. This number (positive or
negative) is the gain transfer.
6.6

Scanning sensitivity.

6.6.1 Place the transducer on the object step and maximize the response from the flat
bottom hole. Observe the signal level and adjust the gain control to produce a signal that
is 80% FSH.
6.6.2 Repeat the steps in paragraph 6.4 and verify the system meets the required
tolerance.
6.6.3 Add the gain transfer amount (6.5.4) to the reference setting (6.6.1).
This is the gain control sensitivity setting for scanning.
6.7
All calibrations shall be recorded. The setup parameters used, including gain,
percent screen height setting, time of calibration and the identification of the
operator performing the calibration.
7.0 METHOD OF EXAMINATION
7.1
Couplant may be applied to the search unit or directly on the component being
examined.
7.2
The extent of the examination and the location of the readings will comply with the
referencing code and the customer requirements.
7.2.1 Readings may be taken at randomly selected locations or taken in specified grid
patterns as required.
7.3

Scanning speeds will not exceed a rate of 6 in./ sec.

8.0

SPECIAL TECHNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS

8.1 Dual transducer element search units are inherently nonlinear for thickness
measurements less than 0.125".
8.1.1 If measurements below 0.125" must be made with dual transducer element search
units, calibration must be accomplished with at least 3 thickness steps below 0.125" within
the range of the expected readings. Additionally the proposed technique shall be in
accordance with manufacturers recommendations and applicable client specifications.
8.2
When testing steel at elevated temperatures, above 200F and up to 1000F,
specially designed search units and couplant shall be used.
NOTE
To compensate for reading errors due to elevated temperatures the following shall be
used. The apparent thickness reading obtained from steel walls having elevated
temperatures is high (too thick) by a factor of about 1% per 100F. Thus, if the instrument
was calibrated on a piece of similar materials at 68 F, and if the reading was obtained
with a surface temperature of 860 F, the apparent reading should be reduced by 8%.
8.3

Consideration must be given to the back-wall echo during testing.

8.3.1 When encountering wall thinning due to corrosion, the roughening of the back
surface can affect the amplitude and shape of the back- wall echo. Such a change in the
back-wall echo should be noted.
8.3.2 When encountering wall thinning caused by erosion, the back wall echo might
disappear as the sharply-angled far surface reflects the incident wave away from the
transducer. If the back wall echo disappears for this or any other reason, such as abrupt
thinning into the near surface region, the cause will be investigated with shear wave
transducers or other inspection technique, as appropriate. Such a disappearance of the
back-wall echo can indicate a critical degree of thinning and must be explored until the
reason for such a loss of signal is defined.
8.3.3 Indications being displayed at or near the back-wall may be absorbed into the
back-wall signal and initially appear to be the inner diameter (ID) connected. Interpretation
shall be performed at lower gain settings to determine if two separate signals exist. A
lower amplitude signal in front of a higher amplitude back-wall signal may indicate a near
ID inclusion. If any question exists, the area shall be investigated with a shear wave
search unit to determine if an ID corner trap exists between the indication and the backwall.

8.4

Horizontal limit and linearity

8.4.1 Couple a longitudinal transducer, 2.25 to 5.0 MHz, to an IIW block (or equivalent
thickness) as not to intercept any test holes (figure
2). The couplant used must provide stable indications during the measurements.
NOTE
All multiple positioning and position measurements shall be made with the respective
back-reflection set at 50% of full screen height.
8.4.2 Adjust the instrument gain, sweep-delay, and sweep-length controls to display
eleven non-interfering back reflections. Further adjust the sweep controls to position the
leading edge of the third and ninth back reflections at 20% and 80% horizontal screen
divisions respectively.
8.4.3 Read and record each scale position on a UT Instrument Verification Report
form (attached) and plot. Record greatest linearity error in % of full horizontal scale.
8.4.4 Horizontal limit is given by the maximum available trace length falling within the CRT
gradticule lines expressed in linear units (inches or millimetres).
Unless otherwise
noted this is also assumed to represent 100% full screen. Failure to obtain full-scale
deflection may indicate an equipment malfunction.
8.4.5 Record all data and conformance on a UT Instrument Verification Report form
(attached).
8.5

Screen height linearity

8.5.1 Couple a longitudinal transducer, 2.25 to 5.0 MHz, to a distance sensitivity (DS)
block (or equivalent) so that indications from the 2 inch and 4 inch back-reflection can be
observed (figure 3 position A).
8.5.2 Adjust the search unit position to give a 2:1 ratio of amplitude between the two
indications.
8.5.3 With the larger set at 80% of full screen height (FSH), and without moving the
search unit, adjust gain to successively set the larger indication from 100% to 20% of full
screen height in 10% increments.
8.5.4 Read the smaller indication at each setting. The smaller reading must be 50% of the
larger reading amplitude, within 5% of FSH. The settings and readings must be estimated
to the nearest 1% of FSH.
8.5.5 Record all data and conformance on a UT Instrument Verification Report form
(attached)

8.6

Amplitude control linearity

8.6.1 Couple a longitudinal transducer, 2.25 to 5.0 MHz, to a DS block (or equivalent) so
that the 4 inch back-reflection is peaked on the screen (figure 3 position B).
8.6.2 With an increase and decrease in gain, as shown in table 3, the indication must fall
within the specified limits.
8.6.3 Record conformance on a UT Instrument Verification Report form (attached 1).
9.0 POST CLEANING
9.1 Immediately upon completion of the examination, the couplant shall be removed by
a suitable cleaning method.
9.1.1 The considerations of paragraph 4.2.2 shall also apply for the cleaning agents.

10.0 EXAMINATION REPORT

10.1 The following data will be recorded as a minimum for future reference at the time of
each examination and included in the report:
10.1.1 Part number identification;
10.1.2 Operator's name and certification level:
10.1.3 Instrument description, make, model, serial number; and NIST Traceable
calibration due date;
10.1.4 Setup - couplant, cable type and length;
10.1.5 Search unit description - type, size, frequency, special shoes;
10.1.6 Reference standards, size, and material types;
10.1.7 Record required instrument settings;
10.1.8 Scanning method and any limitations;
10.1.9 Each thickness measurement and its location;
10.1.10 Reference to this procedure.

11.0 ACCEPTANCE STANDARDS


11.1 Acceptance or rejection of a component will be based on customer requirements,
and/or the minimum design thickness allowed by the referencing code.

Maximum

Thickness

Minimum

lower Step

Target

Upper Step

.03

Up to .125 incl.

.20

.10
.10
.25
.50
.50
.75
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.50
1.50
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00

over .125 through .375


over .375 through .50
over .50 through .750
over .750 through 1.00
over 1.00 through 1.25
over 1.25 through 1.50
over 1.50 through 1.75
over 1.75 through 2.00
over 2.00 through 2.25
over 2.25 through 2.50
over 2.50 through 2.75
over 2.75 through 3.00
over 3.00 through 3.25
over 3.25 through 3.50
over 3.50 through 3.75
over 3.75 through 4.00
over 4.00 through 4.25

.50
.625
.90
1.30
1.60
1.90
2.15
2.50
2.80
2.90
3.00
3.50
3.75
4.00
4.25
4.50
4.75

Table 3
Thickness Testing Reference Table for
Lower, Target, and Upper Bracket Ranges.

Figure 1
Calibration Standard

Material Thickness

Flat Bottom
Hole Dia. +1/32 in.

Up to 1 in.
Over 1 to 2 in.
Over 2 to 3 in.
Over 3 to 4 in.
Over 4 in.
GENERAL NOTE:
Flat bottom holes machined to a minimum depth of 1/8 inch
parallel to the transducer contact surface.

Table 2
Flat Bottom Hole Requirements

1/16 in.
1/8 in.
3/16 in.
5/16 in.
3/8 in.

Figure 2

Figure 3

Indication Set at

dB Control

Indication Limits

% of Full Screen

Change

% of Full Screen

80%

-6 dB

32 % to 48%

80%
40%
20%

-12 dB
+6 dB
+12 dB

16% to 24%
64% to 96%
64% to 96%

Table 4

Date:
INSTRUMENT MAKE:

INSTRUMENT MODEL

INSTRUMENT SERICAL #:

CAL DUE DATE:

ULTRASONIC INSTRUMENT VERIFICATION REPORT


COUPLANT and BATCH #:

CABLE TYPE:

CABLE LENGTH:

REFERENCE BLOCK:

TRANSDUCER TYPE:

TRANSDUCER SIZE:

TRANSDUCER FREQUENCY:

TRANSDUCER SERIAL #:

HORIZONTAL LIMIT AND LINEARITY


11

Ideal
Linearity Line

10
9

BACK
REFLECTION #

GREATES ERROR
(% FULL HORIZONTAL SCALE)

7
6
5
4
3
2

1
0
10
20
30 40
50
60
70 80
90
100
POSITION OF SIGNAL ON SWEEP TRACE - % FULL SCALE

SCREEN HEIGHT LINEARITY


2 Response 4 Response
% Error

100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20

AMPLITUDE CONTROL LINEARITY


INDICATION SET AT
% FULL SCREEN

dB CONTROL
CHANGE

INDICATION LIMITS
% FULL SCREEN

INDICATION SET AT
% FULL SCREEN

80

-6 dB

32 48%

80
40
20

-12 dB
+6 dB
+12 dB

16 24%
64 96%
64 96%

This system meets the requirements for Horizontal Limit


and linearity, screen height linearity and Amplitude Control
Linearity as stated in ASME Section V Article 4.
Technician:

Level: