Tubular inspection
Internal Rotating Inspection System - IRIS

IRIS is an ultrasonic immersion pulse-echo technique for tube inspection with a transducer excited by a high frequency pulse producers.

A mirror deflects the wave to produce a normal incidence beam on the inner diameter (ID) of the tube. Echoes reflected from each metal water interface are digitized and processed to extract the time of flight and amplitude of the front wall and back wall echoes. Further processing is applied to calculate the tube inner diameter (ID), outer diameter (OD) and wall thickness (WT). Complete tube inspection is obtained by rotating the mirror. A hydraulic turbine (IRIS) or an electric motor produces the driving force. Synchronization of the rotation can be obtained by various methods like ultrasonic targets or encoders (Fig. 1).

State-of- Art IRIS systems can accommodate these synchronization modes in order to display in real time, the data either on a cross-section thickness display (B-scan), or as a surface area thickness map (C-scan). IRIS can be applied on all types of heat exchanger and boiler tube materials. It can be applied on tubes with diameter of 0.75 inch and thickness greater than 1 mm for best results

Advantages:
- Only technique that gives exact tube wall thickness.
- Will provide information on flaw profile and location i.e. on the ID or OD of the tube.
- With real time C-scan capabilities during data collection, pits as small as 1 mm diameter can be easily detected.

Limitations:
- Relatively slower speed of operation.
- Requires extensive tube cleaning.
- Limited to minimum wall thickness measurement of 0.8mm for Carbon steel tubes.

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