Olympus (Tokyo, Japan and Waltham, Mass.), a supplier of nondestructive testing (NDT) technologies, has announced its introduction of the RollerFORM, a new ultrasound phased array wheel probe specifically developed to facilitate high-quality, immersion-like ultrasonic testing of composites and other smooth-surfaced materials that are commonly used in the aerospace industry. Designed as a replacement for full 2-D encoding systems, the RollerFORM also offers a viable alternative to immersion techniques. The RollerFORM’s wheel tire is made from a material that closely matches the acoustic impedance of water. This design feature permits the efficient transmission of energy to the part without unwanted echoes, obtaining an optimum 1-mm near-surface resolution in composites when using the 5-MHz phased array probe model. The 3.5-MHz probe model is better suited for thicker and more attenuating materials. Since the tire material is transparent, the inspector can easily identify the presence of air bubbles or contaminants within the water chamber. Minimal pressure is required to achieve coupling, ensuring a strong signal even in difficult scanning positions.
The RollerFORM, in combination with a phased array instrument such as the OmniScan and FOCUS LT flaw detector, uses 0° ultrasonic beams for NDT of parts and materials in manufacturing and maintenance environments. Common applications include delamination sizing and quantifying porosity of composite materials, as well as wall-loss monitoring in aluminum panels. RollerFORM features an integrated indexing button, enabling the inspector to map the surface of a material by acquiring multiple one-line C-scans and combining them in real time into a single image. The built-in laser guide facilitates straight scans.