Tue, 16 May, 2023
Two experts from TWI are due to present at the upcoming ‘Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) in Nuclear 2023’ conference, which is taking place in Sheffield, UK from 27-29 June.
The international event has been organised by The Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP) and is due to be held at Cutlers Hall and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC), Sheffield.
The conference follows the success of the first-ever conference in the series (held in 2019), by offering an event designed for NDE professionals from nuclear utilities, as well as inspection vendors, inspection equipment manufacturers, qualification bodies, research laboratories and other nuclear stakeholders. Attendees will be able to get information on the latest advancements in R&D and applications for NDE technologies within the commercial nuclear industry.
TWI Consultant, Channa Nageswaran will present on work completed alongside NSIRC student Xuening Zou, titled, ‘Machine Learning Techniques for Detecting and Sentencing Surface Breaking Cracks using Ultrasonic Data,’ to take place on 28 June at 9:40.
The presentation will investigate the detection of surface breaking cracks such as stress corrosion cracks and thermal fatigue cracking occurring in nuclear power plants. These faults are easy to spot if the surfaces can be inspected with visual and dye penetrant testing techniques, but more challenging if the affected surfaces cannot be accessed, such as when they occur inside pipes and vessels. In these instances, ultrasonic testing can be an effective solution. However, ultrasonic tests generate large quantities of data that can take a long time and be costly to analyse, as well as having quality issues in relation to personnel training, competence and fatigue.
Machine learning (ML) has the ability to overcome these challenges and this talk will detail the capabilities and limitations of ML techniques for ultrasonic inspection, including a case study to demonstrate strategies to validate and qualify them as a component of ultrasonic inspection systems and procedures, following guidance in ENIQ RP 13.
Channa has been working in TWI since 2003, starting with an Engineering Doctorate programme to develop ultrasonic inspection techniques for austenitic welds, conceptualising adaptive techniques to improve inspection performance. Since then he has contributed to the ultrasonic inspection of cladding for pipelines and vessels, Type IV creep damage in thermal power plant steels, high temperature hydrogen attack of refinery steels, fatigue cracking and stress corrosion cracking in nuclear plants.
Channa is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is the Chairman of the sub-commission on Ultrasonic Testing for the International Institute of Welding (IIW). He has worked on the development of ISO standards for imaging techniques using full matrix capture data from ultrasonic array probes and is currently leading the revision of the IIW Handbook for the ultrasonic inspection of austenitic welds.
The second TWI presentation also takes place on 28 June at 9:40, with TWI consultant Dr Miles Weston being joined by IVC’s Stavros Avramidis to discuss ‘ENIQ based Inspection Qualification of Novel Techniques (FMC case study).’
Organisations such as Inspection Qualification Bodies are responsible for inspection qualification in the UK nuclear energy sector according to the European Network for Inspection Qualifications (ENIQ). These ENIQ qualifications, depending on the qualification level and qualification approach selected, involve document assessment and practical trials of both procedure and personnel. The documents assessed will include as a minimum an Inspection Procedure (IP) and a Technical Justification (TJ) and the practical trials may be blind or open using representative test pieces with realistic defects. ENIQ recommended practices guide the qualification activities and the content of the documents involved.
Miles and Stavros’ presentation will assist inspection vendors and qualification bodies with planning for the qualification of novel inspection techniques through ENIQ. The talk will investigate areas that require additional attention, as well as developments and efforts from the standpoint of the inspection vendor, ENIQ and the qualification body. This will be demonstrated through the use of a case study related to the development and qualification of an FMC inspection procedure offering improved sizing accuracy for in-service inspection of a complex geometry structure within the nuclear energy sector.
Miles is responsible for development of non-destructive testing and evaluation technologies from concept through to industrialisation and deployment at TWI. With over 12-years of industry experience, he has managed teams delivering inspection solutions in sectors including nuclear, defence, aerospace and oil and gas. In 2012, he gained his Engineering Doctorate in Advanced Ultrasonic Digital Imaging and Signal Processing for Applications in the Field of Non-Destructive Testing, primarily focussed on research and development of the FMC technique. Since 2017, Miles has been heavily involved in the development of techniques, systems, procedures and technical justification within the nuclear sector for both new build and in-service inspection.
NDE Inspection Services at TWI
TWI’s NDE Inspection Services (NIS) team are experienced with the development and deployment of NDT inspection capabilities within the nuclear sector, undertaking a broad range of activities including:
Provision of inspection vendor services within the UK Nuclear Sector, including development and deployment of qualified (ENIQ methodology) ultrasonic inspection procedures
Qualification of NDT inspection procedures for use on UK nuclear plant through our Independent Qualification Body activities
The development of generic and procedure specific training material
Level 3 inspection services, audit and expert witness activities
Support with regulatory and code compliance
Provision of NDT inspection site services
Extending the state-of-the-art of industry applicable inspection techniques via research and development activity
Email the ‘Contact Us’ address, below, to get in touch with the NIS team for help with your NDE needs.
You can find out more and register for this event at the MCF website, here.