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Date: 02/07/2007

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EVALUATION GUIDELINE UTQ No.: UTQ-GL-TOFD
Rev: 01
Page: 1 of 17

Title: TOFD Evaluation Guideline

Doc. No.: UTQ-UTS-GL-TOFD

Client: UT Quality

Owner: UT Quality

Scope: Data Evaluation

Rev Date Revision Description Prepared Reviewed


(mm/dd/yy)
00 05/15/06 Initial Issue JA WB
01 02/09/07 Format Revision ST JA

Level-3 Approval: S. Thorogood OPS Approval: J. Almond

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EVALUATION GUIDELINE UTQ No.: UTQ-GL-TOFD
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1 SCOPE:......................................................................................................................................................................3
2 TOFDPRINCIPLES:.....................................................................................................................................................3
3 CHARACTERIZATIONOFTOFDDATA:.........................................................................................................................6
3.1 GENERAL:............................................................................................................................................................................6
3.2 TOFDFLAWCATEGORIES:......................................................................................................................................................7
3.2.1 Planarflaws:...........................................................................................................................................................7
3.2.2 VolumetricFlaws:.................................................................................................................................................11
3.2.3 Porosity,multiplepointreflectors,etc.................................................................................................................12
3.2.4 Interpassreflectorsand/orlaminations:..............................................................................................................13
3.2.5 ThreadLikereflectors:..........................................................................................................................................13
3.2.6 PointFlaws:..........................................................................................................................................................13
3.2.7 PointFlawIndications:.........................................................................................................................................13
3.3 BACKWALLFEATURES:.........................................................................................................................................................14
4 SIZINGFLAWS:.........................................................................................................................................................15
5 GUIDELINESFORCHARACTERIZATIONOFTOFDINDICATIONS:..................................................................................15

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EVALUATION GUIDELINE UTQ No.: UTQ-GL-TOFD
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1 Scope:
This guideline covers the methodology used by UT Quality Inc. personnel for the interpretation,
evaluation and classification of Time of Flight Diffraction (TOFD) inspection data collected with the UT
Scan system when scanning pipeline girth welds.

2 TOFD Principles:
The principle of TOFD is substantially different from conventional ultrasonic pulse-echo; a technique that
relies on the amplitude of reflected ultrasound as a measure for defect sizing.

TOFD uses two angle compression wave probes in a pitch-catch arrangement. These are placed on either
side of the weld (or inspection area). The TOFD system measures the arrival times (time of flight) of the
various signals. The area of interest is defined by a Lateral Wave Signal which is a compression wave
running just below the surface directly between the probes, and a Back wall signal see Fig #1 A & B

Figure #1 A

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Figure #1 B

Signals from any flaws in the inspection area will appear between the Lateral Wave Signal and the
Backwall Signal. Because the signals are compression waves and have the same velocity, the depth of
all sources of flaw signals can be calculated from the arrival times of the signals using Pythagoras
theorem. These calculations are performed automatically by the UT Scan system.

When an ultrasonic wave interacts with a flaw it results in the production of diffracted waves from the tips
of the flaw in addition to the normal reflected wave. This diffracted energy is emitted over a wide angular
range and is assumed to originate at the extremities of the flaw. The concept is depicted in Figure #2.

Figure #2

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Figure #3 gives a closer look at a diffraction waves being generated from an indication. Signal 1 is from
the transmitting probe. Signal 2 is the reflected signal from the indication. Signal 3 is the transmitted
energy that was able to pass though the indication. Signal 4 and 5 are the diffracted signals from the upper
and lower tips of the indication.

Figure #3

The diffracted energy is well suited for flaw detection as signals may be recorded from a range of flaws of
different orientations using a single probe pair.

It is also of use in flaw sizing since the spatial (or time) separation of the diffracted waves is directly
related to the height of the flaw. Normally TOFD uses compression waves as these arrive first,
simplifying the interpretation of the responses.

Energy from the lower tip of indication arrives at the receiver later than that from the upper tip and this
extra time delay is a measure of the flaw height. Moreover the pulses of interest are normally preceded by
a pulse due to the energy which runs along the specimen surface and are followed by a reflection from the
back wall of the specimen. In this way it is usually possible to obtain valuable information on the location
of the flaw within the thickness of the specimen.

The signals which may be produced in addition to the lateral wave and back wall signal are:
Flaw upper tip diffracted signal top of defect which has the same phase as the back wall signal.
Flaw lower tip diffracted signal bottom of defect which has the same phase as the lateral signal.
Reflected signals from flaws also are detected depending on flaw orientation.

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3 Characterization of TOFD Data:

3.1 General:
Acceptance criteria should be established in relation to the particular application prior to the inspection.
TOFD data may be evaluated and compared against existing codes.

In addition, to demonstrate that there have been no problems during collection of the inspection data, e.g.
a loss of coupling, a reference signal such as the lateral wave or back-wall echo should be monitored
during each scan.

It is possible to distinguish between defects and less serious relevant indications in a number of
ways. Consistent and safe interpretation of the record should always be easily carried out however In
doubtful cases the more serious interpretation of the flaw should always be assumed, until more data can
be collected verifying the true identity of the indication.

Usually the most common reflector observed is that of small pores or small pieces of slag. These produce
a characteristic are-shaped record which may lie at any depth within the weld.

No ultrasonic technique has the ability to fully characterize detected reflectors however but it is always
possible to group flaws into types. More detailed forms of TOFD or complementary pulse echo ultrasonic
inspection may be used to improve these assessments in critical cases. A conservative assessment should
always be made in doubtful cases.

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3.2 TOFD flaw Categories:


3.2.1 Planar flaws:
Flaws in this category include cracks, lack
of fusion, etc. Ultrasonic techniques are
not expected to distinguish perfectly
between the flaws in this class.

3.2.1.1 Planar flaws open to the near


surface:
Show up as an echo from the bottom edge
of the flaw usually accompanied by a loss
or a weakening of the lateral wave signal.
The phase is similar to that of the lateral
wave signal.
The main cause of false indications of this
type is from probe lift-off which, by
increasing the coupling thickness, makes a record similar to that from a planar flaw open to the surface. A
check should be made for a similar movement in the back-wall echo. If the back wall echo mimics the
drop in the lateral wave, probe lift of has occurred, and a rescan maybe necessary.

Figure #4

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3.2.1.2 Planar flaws breaking the far


surface:
Show up as an echo from the top edge
(opposite phase to the above) probably
accompanied by an increasing delay in
and/or weakening of the back wall echo.
The phase is similar to that of the back
wall echo. Normally a scan at reduced
gain may be essential to see the phase of
the back wall echo properly.
The main cause of false indications of
this type is echoes from large pores or
from slag lines near the back wall. These
have many of the characteristics of
echoes from planar flaws (although the
echo height is usually atypically large)
and may be difficult to eliminate with
certainty.
Where the interpretation is doubtful a rapid pulse echo ultrasonic check is possible by looking directly for
the implied corner echo.

Figure #5

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3.2.1.3 Internal planar flaws:


Show up as two echoes often with a
distinct phase change between the echoes
from the upper and lower tips. The phase
of the upper tip echo should resemble that
of the back wall echo. Normally the signal
amplitudes are substantially reduced.

The phase of the lower tip echo should


resemble that of the lateral wave.
When the height of the indication is
sufficient, the TOFD image will resolve
the echoes from both tips. The indication
height at which both tips can be resolved
is typically 2mm, but will vary based on
set-up (Probes used, frequency, material,
etc.

Figure #6

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Normally the resolution is good because the echoes are well away from the lateral/creeping wave and the
back wall. Care may be needed if the material contains many reflectors.
Common sources of false indications of this type are internal volumetric flaws. Very occasionally chance
associations of slag lines mimic the upper and lower tip echoes from a planar flaw. Usually volumetric
flaws are identified by the very disparate sizes of the upper and lower tip echoes.
Chance associations of slag lines normally lack the clear phase reversal observed with upper and lower
flaw tip echoes.
These indicators may not be clear, for instance if the flaw has a jagged outline. For this reason a
conservative interpretation should be used.

Where the interpretation is doubtful a rapid ultrasonic check is possible by looking directly for the echo
from the implied planar reflector.

3.2.1.4 Internal planar flaws near the far surface:


May need separate identification because they may need to be treated as though they were open to the far
surface. The assumption that they behave as surface breaking flaws often precludes the need to resolve the
lower tip echo, which might be close to the back wall echo. Then only the depth of the upper tip should be
resolved.

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3.2.2 Volumetric Flaws:


Internal volumetric flaws with depth
comprise a general category which
includes volumetric flaws such as root
erosion, larger slag lines, etc.

3.2.2.1 Volumetric Flaw Indications:

Indications will appear similar to planar


indications, showing the features and
phases outlined for internal planar flaws,
but the echo from the upper surface is
usually considerably greater than that
diffracted around the lower surface.

Other flaws are considered to be planar


and, if of a critical size, should be
examined in more detail. Characterization is basically a matter of distinguishing between a presumed
planar reflector and a volumetric reflector and as a supporting technique an MUT check should be done.

Figure #7

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3.2.3 Porosity, multiple point


reflectors, etc.

Indications will appear as a cascading


waterwall type effect of point
reflectors. These point reflectors will
usually be randomly distributed in depth
and circumferential location within the
weld.

Figure#8

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3.2.4 Interpass reflectors and/or laminations:


Flaws in this category include flaws with significant length but little through wall extent, typically
< 1 mm. In a TOFD search the same type of echo may be observed from long, narrow laminar flaws and
from near horizontal areas of lack of fusion.

3.2.5 Thread Like reflectors:


Thread like reflectors appear as an apparent upper edge echo (approximately in phase with the back wall
echo) with no corresponding lower edge echo. There is expected to be a phase difference between these
flaw echoes and the tip of a planar flaw but this is unlikely to be resolved by eye. The echo may be
distorted and/or the pulse length increased if the top and bottom signals are almost resolved.

In the case of a lamination in the parent metal, the indication will typically appear unusually straight (in
the though wall dimension), and will register a higher than usual amplitude. A partial loss of back wall
echo amplitude will also occur in the area of indication. A quick pulse echo check of area with a 0 degree
probe will verify the presence.

Broken lines of slag may also appear as thread like, as diffractions signals from small slag flaws at the
same depth are combined to give an appearance of a single flaw response.

3.2.6 Point Flaws:


Flaws in this category include pores, small pieces of slag, etc. They are usually the most common feature
and are not usually reportable.

3.2.7 Point Flaw Indications:


Point flaw indications have similar pulse characteristics to volumetric or thread-like flaws but have no
resolvable length (i.e. a single pore of porosity).

It may be found that some flaws are not neatly categorized by the TOFD examination alone. In these
cases MUT should be used to assist in classifying indications.

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3.3 Back wall features:


Normally the back wall echo is a fairly simple feature but it may be found to split into two or more
components. As an example the presence of high/low in a butt weld situation where fit up was not ideal.
In this situation two distinct back wall reflections at different ranges.

The difficulty is that these split features might be interpreted as flaws penetrating from the far surface.
In interpretation the following sources of back wall echo splitting should be considered;

a) Could it have arisen from the component design/manufacture? (i.e. transition weld)
b) Are both echoes broadly comparable in height with the normal back wall echo? This is unlikely if a
crack tip is causing one of the echoes.

Flaws such as lack of root penetration or undercut remain possible and are reportable.

Figure #8

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4 Sizing Flaws:
The UT Scan software used for TOFD has the capability to automatically define the depth of selected
echoes. The cursor is used to select echo positions, from which the corresponding actual depth of the echo
is determined.

The depths of the top and bottom echoes from a flaw directly define its height. Echoes diffracted from the
top of a flaw are approximately of the same phase as the back wall echo. Echoes diffracted around the
bottom of a flaw are of the opposite phase to this and are approximately the same phase as the lateral
wave. There are defined as transmitted echoes.

In defining the depth of particular echoes this change of phase should be allowed for. Thus if tile first
positive excursion of the pulse is selected as a timing reference on reflected echoes, the first negative
excursion should be selected on transmitted echoes. The actual choice of reference is not important
provided that it is used consistently.
Particular care should be exercised when echoes of widely varying amplitude are present to ensure that
the correct cycle is chosen. The number of cycles observed by eye on the record or print out may depend
on the amplitude of the echo.

5 Guidelines for characterization of TOFD Indications:


The suggested steps towards the characterization of flaw echoes in TOFD are as follows.

Interpretation based on D-scan inspection:

1) Is the indication from a point flaw?

Main clues:
A Form of the flaw echo - compare with the cursor.
B Does the flaw have any measurable height?
C Does the flaw have any measurable length?
D Amplitude generally greater than that from calibration notch.

Actions: If confirmed, report as per code requirements. If unsure, got to the next test.

2) Is the indication from a volumetric flaw with length but no measurable height?

Main clues:
A Pulse shape of the flaw echo - is it similar to that from pores?
B Single echo with no other co-linear echoes at greater or lesser depth in the specimen.
C Amplitude generally greater than that from calibration notch.
D Use of cursor shows flaw has measurable length.

Actions: If confirmed, report as per code requirements. If unsure, got to the next test.

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3) Is the indication from a volumetric flaw with length and height?

Main clues:
A Pulse shape of the flaw echo - is it similar to that from pores?
B A pair of echoes at different depths in the specimen.
C A 180 degree phase change between the pair of echoes.
D Top echo same phase to back wall echo. Bottom echo similar to lateral wave.
E Amplitude generally greater than that from calibration notch.
F Use of cursor shows flaw has measurable length and height.

Actions: If confirmed, report as per code requirements. If unsure, got to the next test.

4) Is the indication from a Planer flaw with length but no measurable height?

Main clues:
A Pulse shape of the flaw echo - is relatively straight.
B Single echo with no other co-linear echoes at greater or lesser depth in the specimen.
C Amplitude generally greater than that from calibration notch.
D Use of cursor shows flaw has measurable length.

Actions: If confirmed, report as per code requirements. If unsure, got to the next test.

5) Is the indication from a Planner flaw with length and height?

Main clues:
A Pulse shape of the flaw echo - is relatively straight.
B A pair echoes at different depths in the specimen.
C A 180 degree phase change between the pair of echoes.
D Top echo same phase to back wall echo, bottom echo similar to lateral wave.
E Amplitude generally greater than that from calibration notch.
F Use of cursor shows flaw has measurable length and height.

Actions: If confirmed, report as per code requirements. If unsure, got to the next test.
6) Is the indication from a lamination?

Main clues:
A Pulse shape of the flaw echo Is extremely straight.
B Single echo with no other co-linear echoes at greater or lesser depth in the specimen.
C Amplitude generally greater than that from calibration notch.
D Use of cursor shows flaw has measurable length.
E Back wall echo generally shows a drop in amplitude.

Actions: If confirmed, report as per code requirements If unsure, got to the next test.

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7) Is the indication from, multiple flaws with no height?

Main clues:
A Pulse shape of the flaw echo - is it similar to that from pores?
B Multiple echoes but with no other co-linear echoes at greater or lesser depth in the specimen.
C Amplitude generally greater than that from calibration slot.
D Use of cursor shows a number of features at similar depth, most with some length.

Actions: If confirmed, report as per code requirements. If unsure, got to the next test.

8) Is the indication from an OD surface-breaking flaw? (figure #4)

Main clues:
A Apparent migration of lateral wave echo to greater depths.
B Local change in character of the lateral wave echo, usually to a higher frequency content.
C Phase of echo remains similar to the lateral wave.
D Phase of echo similar to that from calibration notch?

Actions: If confirmed, report as per code requirements. If unsure, got to the next test.

9) Is the indication from an ID surface-breaking flaw? (figure #5)

Main clues:
A Migration of echo away from and back to the back wall echo. Note echo may not always meet
the back wall echo.
B Amplitude of the echo - similar to that from calibration notch?
C Phase similar to that of the backwall echo,

Actions If confirmed, report as per code requirements. If not, go to parallel scan tests.

10) Porosity, multiple point reflectors, etc. (figure #8)

Main clues:
A A complex record and pattern of acoustical noise.

Actions: Verify with MUT, and report as per code requirements.

Remaining echoes:

In the event that an indication can not be classified based on TOFD result alone, MUT shall be applied
and used to assist in the characterization of TOFD indications.

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