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Ultrasonic nondestructive inspection of fuel tubing can be made far more uniform and reliable by placing proper priority on the various test parameters. Search units, for example, should be designed specifically for a given tube size, tube material, and quality assurance specification. It is common practice to select a standard product line search unit and juggle test parameters until some semblance of a test is achieved. Through an in-depth study of tubing inspection requirements, it has become evident that arbitrarily selected search units will rarely satisfy the actual requirements for tubing inspection.
“Spectral compatibility” in an ultrasonic inspection system is as important in achieving realistic test results as proper selection of search units. This often ignored parameter is one of the keys to uniform reproducible inspection results.
This paper discusses these significant test parameters, how they are used, and their relation to the current ultrasonic inspection procedures being used in American Society for Testing and Materials Committee B-10 on Reactive and Refractory Metals and Alloys.
zirconium alloys, nondestructive tests, ultrasonic tests, inspection, irradiation
Senior engineer, General Electric Co., San Jose, Calif.
NDT specialist, 1446 Cavan Center, Boulder, Colo.