Experience

Guided waves

  • Simulation of guided wave inspection of a boiler spine (the central support within the boiler of the reactor) for a top nuclear power company.  An indicative inspection capability was developed using finite element analysis. This allowed the nuclear power stations to return to service safely
  • Creation of a colour map of the guided wave inspection result which displays the location and severity of any corrosion detected in a clear way
  • Development of a dispersion curve calculation technique for pipes which calculates a full set of accurate dispersion curves in a matter of seconds
  • Development of quantitative flaw sizing techniques for guided waves. Determination of the through-wall extent and circumferential extent were validated using experiments on multiple pipe sizes
  • Feasibility study for the guided wave inspection of small diameter pipes with multiple pipe intersections
  • Delivery of training for finite element simulation of guided wave propagation and dispersion curve calculation to a large NDT company

Welding residual stress and distortion

  • Simulation of electron beam welding of a shaft to wheel assembly in a turbo charger component. Finite element analysis was used to simulate the heat source following a circular path in three dimensional space. A parametric study tested different welding procedures and predicted the residual stress and distortion for each. This enabled the optimum procedure to be selected to reduce welding distortion
  • Parametric study on the LSND (low stress no distortion) technique of welding which involves travelling preheats to pre-tension the weld during welding and minimise the residual stress that arises. The position of the pre-heats is important and modelling allowed this to be calculated efficiently. In one example of this type of work, the optimised pre-heat location allowed a relatively long electron beam weld to be made for the first time in titanium aluminide alloy plates without cracking occurring
  • Multi-pass arc welding simulation of a dissimilar joint in a subsea tee connector for a top oil and gas company. Different welding sequences were investigated to predict residual stress. This was done to help with a high profile failure investigation

Non-destructive testing simulation

  • Finite element analysis of guided wave inspection of a multiple pipe intersection within a mooring dolphin. The amplitude of the transmission of waves through the joint was calculated which allowed an assessment to be made as to whether guided wave inspection was feasible
  • Finite element analysis (FEA) of conventional ultrasonic testing using Abaqus in both 2D and 3D. The reflection from a side drilled hole and angled crack was predicted and verified against known values
  • Simulation of ultrasonic inspection of creep damage using PZFlex. The damage was transferred from a micrograph into the FE model and the interaction of the ultrasonic waves with the crack was simulated
  • Simulation of wave propagation in the vacuum vessel walls of a nuclear fusion reactor to support a feasibility study of the use of acoustic emission for in-service inspection

Fracture mechanics

  • Calculation of stress intensity factors using finite element analysis for a range of crack sizes in a misaligned deck-to-leg joint of a platform in the Persian Gulf. This included the development of a novel technique to determine the 3D crack propagation behaviour using polynomial surface fits
  • Calculation of stress intensity factors for postulated cracks in the walls of the vacuum vessel of a nuclear fusion reactor

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