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Phased Arrays Explained in New ASTM International Nondestructive Testing Standard


ASTM International Committee E07 on Nondestructive Testing has developed a new standard, E 2491, Guide for Evaluating Performance Characteristics of Phased-Array Ultrasonic Examination Instruments and Systems. Guide E 2491, which is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E07.06 on Ultrasonic Method, is intended to be used for comparing instruments and systems, as well as for detecting long-term changes in the characteristics of a given instrument.
According to Ed Ginzel, a subcommittee member, development of Guide E 2491 was initiated after discussions on the technology occurred within Committee E07 meetings. It was felt that, while advantages to phased arrays had been introduced within some industrial sectors (such as aerospace and specialty metals), no standards existed that addressed the special requirements and notable differences that existed when replacing regular ultrasonic testing with phased array-based ultrasonic testing.
“The characteristics assessed include both the probe and sound-beam characteristics as well as the phased-array ultrasonic instrument,” says Ed Ginzel, a subcommittee member. “The entire standard is structured on the format developed for E 1065, Guide for Evaluating Characteristics of Ultrasonic Search Units. The guide is modular so it allows users to select a module as appropriate.”
Because of the modular nature of Guide E 2491, Ginzel notes it is likely that new sections will be added in future revisions to reflect changing technology. “I would be happy to have interested parties make recommendations and contributions to the further development of E 2491,” says Ginzel, citing phased-array probes of two-dimensional or rho-theta design as a technology that is not presently common but that someday could be added to Guide E 2491.
ASTM International standards are available for purchase from Customer Service (phone: 610/832-9585; or at For further technical information, contact Ed Ginzel, consultant, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (phone: 519/886-5071; Committee E07 meets Jan. 21-25, 2007, in Plantation, Fla. For membership or meeting information, contact George Luciw, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9710;

Release #7499

October 1, 2006

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