Accurate, Efficient And Reliable Volumetric Examination


Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) Services
"Phased array ultrasonic testing is one of the only techniques that allows us to precisely map complex geometries and/or very large areas without moving sensors or interfering with equipment."

Phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) provides detailed visualisations of vessels, pipes or other infrastructure without the need to halt production – or establish safe zones to protect your staff from ionising radiation.

The technique is accurate, and allows you to quickly map the size, shape, depth and orientation of corrosion, cracks, flaws and other defects. It’s also cost-effective, and provides data in real-time, allowing our inspection personnel to analyse your equipment/infrastructure and produce a detailed inspection report in a matter of hours. 

Energy sector clients call on us to conduct phased array ultrasonic testing when they need to carry out: 

  • Weld inspections
  • Corrosion mapping
  • Bolt and nozzle inspections
  • Structural assessments 
  • Fitness-for-service assessments
  • Flaw analysis
  • Engineering critical assessments (ECAs)

We also provide phased array inspection services for new-build fabrication and assembly projects where there’s a need to test or certify the integrity of piping, pipelines, vessels, and structural welded members.

What is Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing?

Phased array ultrasonic testing is a non-destructive testing technique that is used to quickly and reliably map and analyse the interior of industrial assets – or assess the integrity of critical welds.  

It’s conducted using a piezoelectric sensor or ‘probe’ featuring multiple small transducers that can be individually pulsed to electronically control the focus and sweep of ultrasonic beams without repositioning the sensor, when compared with manual ultrasonics and thus use multiple groups of angles simultaneously. 

In simple terms, the technique uses constructive interference to create a highly-modifiable wavefront with a specific angle and focal point, and the speed with which this wavefront can be modified enables trained operators to quickly map out complex geometries.

Hydrofom Corrosion mapping opt

The resultant maps are highly detailed and when flaws are identified, phased array testing can then be used to hone in on the specific nature, size, depth and orientation of defects – so that detailed and well-informed plans can be made to remediate damage and/or replace infrastructure. 

Our inspection personnel can use phased array ultrasonic testing to assess various materials, including plastics, common and exotic metals, or composites and depending on the application and equipment used, thicknesses of anything between 3-200mm, may be assessed.

On-stream inspections can be carried out, depending on the temperature, with high temperature applications possible. Applicable temperatures may be dependent on factors such as application and access.

Why Use Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing?

Phased array ultrasonic testing is rapidly replacing traditional techniques like radiography for a number of reasons:

First and foremost, it is quick, affordable and can yield highly-accurate results, enabling teams to rapidly assess the condition of assets or welds in a fraction of the time it would take to test the same equipment or infrastructure via industrial radiography. 

It’s also perfectly safe and doesn’t involve the use of radioactive materials, which means that it can be deployed in radiation-sensitive environments. Being radiation-free also removes the need to set up costly and complicated safe zones – and minimises the risk to teams working in or around the assets that you’re testing. 

Nine times out of ten, phased array ultrasonic testing can be carried out while your process streams are running and your assets are fully operational, which means minimal downtime and no loss of production.

Weld Rover

And there are other advantages too: The equipment used to conduct phased array testing is relatively lightweight and portable. It can be deployed quickly, and used in tight or restrictive spaces which is essential for the in-situ testing of assets commonly used in the energy sector, including storage vessels, pipes or heat transfer equipment.  

Then there’s the output to consider: Phased array ultrasonic testing produces real-time digital or computerised maps that can be permanently stored for auditing purposes, held for review at a later date, or analysed in-situ by qualified personnel to ensure that urgent problems can be addressed in the shortest possible time frame. 

Finally, it’s worth highlighting the flexibility of PAUT techniques. Simply put, phased array ultrasonic testing is one of the only techniques that allows us to precisely map complex geometries and/or very large areas without moving sensors or interfering with equipment.

About Our Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing Services

In the majority of cases, we can deploy the equipment and personnel needed to conduct phased array ultrasonic testing within 24-48 hours. 

Although our in-house teams are located in the UK, we have global reach and experience conducting non-destructive testing in challenging environments like offshore oil and gas terminals, FPSOs and in-service wind farms.

It’s also worth noting that we’re one of the few UK companies with the expertise and infrastructure required to provide follow-on services. Irrespective of whether you need on-site machining or welding services to extend the lifespan of an asset, or specialist engineers to design replacement equipment, we’re here to support your project.

Vessel Inspection / High Pressure Steam

Our client had a vessel carrying high pressure steam. Previous manual UT thickness checks showed dubious results and highlighted a potential concern.

Read Case Study

Why Glacier Energy?

We’re a UKAS-accredited Type C Inspection Body in accordance with ISO/IEC 17020:2012 and DNV-CP-0484. We have spent the last 40 years supporting operators major operators, tier 1 and 2 contractors, service and installation companies in both the renewable and conventional energy sectors. 

Since the acquisition of Professional Testing Services (PTS) in 2014, we’ve delivered hundreds of phased array ultrasonic projects for energy-industry clients across the globe and the fully-integrated nature of our business means that we’re always well-placed to deliver a broad portfolio of complimentary services including machining, welding, heat transfer and pressure vessel solutions.

Glacier Energy offers more than experience and continuity. We’ve built our reputation on the strength of an in-house team who are unparalleled in their agility and flexibility. Innovators at heart, we excel when we’re asked to deliver phased array testing services on a tight deadline or in challenging environments.

You can rely on us to be a responsive partner that rises to the challenge, and delivers efficient and cost-effective testing services with ​​pride, professionalism, efficiency and enthusiasm.

Want to discuss your phased array ultrasonic testing requirements?

Please get in touch using the form below, one of our technical experts will be in touch to learn more about your project, discuss our capabilities and work out how we can provide you with a solution for your testing requirements.