The 10 Step Custom Probe Development Process | From Idea to Implementation
Phased array ultrasonics is more effective than conventional ultrasonic flaw detection in most applications as it allows more volume to be inspected, thus fewer flaws are missed and the electronic record keeping allows for more robust and resilient inspection processes.
While there are many standard configurations of PAUT probes out available at www.pautprobes.com, some applications benefit from, or even require, a customized probe for better inspection. We can manufacture your industrial ultrasound array probes developed on your own specifications for a specific application. Based on our proprietary piezo composite material, we can develop single element, annular arrays, linear or curved arrays as well as 2D arrays.
Customized probes thanks to our patented transducer technology can have a center frequency from 0.5 MHz up to 20 MHz. These probes can be delivered with your required cable length (standard 3 meters) and connector configuration (hypertronics, IPEX, etc.)
But just how does that process work?
As you can imagine, the customized components tend to be the acoustical parts. The customer can request different number of elements, pitch or elevation for the array. This often impacts the design of the housing which our team then adjusts accordingly. Sometimes the request is on the housing dimensions themselves and in this case we have to redesign the interconnect inside the probe.
But let’s take these steps one by one.
➊ The customer sends their preliminary specifications. Our team work collaboratively with the customer to ensure we have the most complete information for the needed probe (frequency, array geometrical dimensions, housing dimensions, cable connector). Sometimes this involves review of the application as well with the customer.
❷ We then review these specifications with regards to our current portfolio to determine if we have something close to offer. If yes, great, we discuss with the client. If not, we review more thoroughly through feasibility study to address the custom probe needs.
➌ Following the brief feasibility study, we work together to attain refinement of specifications with customers.
➍ We then put together a quote for the customer.
➎ After receiving the order we prepare a specification drawing to confirm specs and dimensions. This drawing has to be approved by customer before initiating the manufacturing process.
➏ We manufacture parts (acoustical components, mechanical parts, toolings, housing, cable assembly) according to the agreed upon specs.
➐ Some additional acoustical tests may be needed to assess performances of very specific designs.
➑ Final manufacture of acoustical array and assembly with cable and connector.
➒ Final acoustical testing.
➓ Shipment to customer and validation of final performances on the application.
And that’s it, an easy 10 step process to custom probe design and manufacture.
After 40+ years of probe design and manufacture, we have learned how to get the best results with minimal rework.
Plus, through utilizing a well-developed 1-3 composite, matching layer, and backing material technology our cutting-edge probe technology allows for better detection of smaller flaws. It also reduces the impedance of active materials as sound flows more freely from composite to materials of lower acoustic impedance resulting in more sensitivity allowing deeper penetration into the inspected parts. It reduces the impedance by 40%.
Not sure if you need a custom PAUT probe?
We thoroughly enjoy helping our customers tackle some of the biggest challenges in their inspection processes.
Reach out to our team today to discuss your application.