The inspection of thick plates of large dimensions is a productivity challenge. While satisfying high-resolution requirements for defect detection and sizing (AA class, aerospace grade), the inspection speed must also satisfy production requirements.
Electronic scanning of only one virtual probe (VP) along the whole phased-array probe is time-consuming. One approach developed by M2M is to fire simultaneously several VPs at the same time at distinct locations of the phased-array probe. Then electronic scanning is applied to all VPs. Without compromise on resolution, the inspection speed is greatly improved.
Another approach developed by M2M is to build reception VPs while only one full parallel shot is fired. The convolution between reception patterns and transmission provides a similar beam distribution. For thick components being inspected using a long water-path (typical for plate inspection), the time required to achieve complete processing of VPs is the same a single shot. This super-fast mode provides unparalleled inspection speed.
A comparison between the three inspection modes is illustrated on the animation below.
picture of aluminum plates. Typical thickness varies between 30 and 260mm.