How to Improve Ultrasonic Testing Performance

12 May 2011

Centre for Advanced Transport Engineering and Research(CATER) has released its latest powerful new rail flaw detection (RFD) module that is the base of its range of rail inspection vehicles and portable inspection units.

The rail inspection industry understands that the greater the number of channels in an RFD system, the greater the amount of information collected and processed and the greater the range and type of information available for recording and analysis.

The significantly advanced CATER ULTRAWave MkIII system boasts the capability to effectively process five direct ultrasonic channels for each module. RFD systems on larger vehicles typically have anywhere from 14 to 20 ULTRAWave Modules creating the option of up to 80 channels.

Additionally, each ultrasonic beam incorporates virtual channels processing rail height, subsurface head flaw detection and loss of backwall echo (bottom), effectively multiplying the number of channels available by a factor of at least three. Over 240 channels are then possible to process and record ultrasonic information for a more complete analysis. These cutting edge functions are available on all portable and multiwheel CATER systems.

"Near commercialisation is a ten channel module with several additional virtual channels, therefore clearly indicating CATER has the industry's most powerful and comprehensive RFD system that is unlikely to be matched in the near future," commented Jeff Green, business development manager for CATER. In comparison, alternative major suppliers have recently claimed up to a rather limited 48 channels.

This enormous processing capacity allows many other functions to be allied with the ultrasonic information. The larger truck and rail bound RFD vehicles using multiple wheel probes are capable of supporting many PerWay instruments allied with the ultrasonic information.

Multiple camera (up to 8 currently) high-speed image recording of the rail and track environment and surface condition assessment using advanced eddy current and nanotechnology systems are two such examples.

CATER has a long experience using world's best practice technology to develop rail flaw detection systems that work in the real world. The CATER RFD system is based on digital processing and robust electronics and is thoroughly proven in heavy haul rail, domestic freight and passenger train environments over many years.

The focus is, and has always been, on continuous improvement and the customer can be assured that any advances made will benefit their budget outlook and ROI timing. Incorporating leading processing technology into proven mechanicals ensures a cost effective solution for all rail networks.

This is one of the most powerful, cost effective and customer configurable RFD systems currently available. CATER can tailor an RFD system to the specific needs of each network. Agents are available now in most locations for service contracting and product purchase.

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