In our last post, we talked about using 3D scan data for inspection and quality control applications. In this post, we will explore a more specialized type of inspection - integrity and NDT inspections.
Corrosion Analysis & NDT Applications
Another important application for 3D scanning is integrity assessment. It is a form of inspection, but it is more specialized in the sense that there is rarely a nominal that can be used. Firstly, nominals are nearly never available to NDT companies as they are not part of the manufacturing process (at least not for damage assessment projects). Often times the equipment has been installed and in-use for many years, so it becomes difficult to track down manufacturing drawings or models. Secondly, even if there was a nominal available, any geometric deviations in the real part would cause corrosion, wear, or dent depths to be under- or over-estimated. Thus, the software we employ uses different algorithms to create estimated parent material from which we measure the damage.
Advanced damage assessment can be done on various equipment geometries, including pipes and piping, pressure vessel bodies and heads, heat exchanges, tubing, flange faces, tank floors and chines, structural beams, pipe elbows, and more. For pipes and cylinders, Creaform's VXintegrity - Pipeline software is globally used in the pipeline integrity industry to calculate estimated burst pressures and analyze dents for repair decisions.
For more advanced geometries, various software can be used including VXintegrity - Surface Damage and Damage Monitoring modules, or Control X and Polyworks. Typically, most users request a deepest points grid as a common deliverable.
The grid can be customized to be any size, typically somewhere between 1mm and 1inch. The grid is exported into an excel spreadsheet and used to complete additional engineering assessments to determine fitness-for-service.
The scan data itself is not particularly useful as a final deliverable, instead a reported deepest point grid is most often requested.
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