Thermography for power station environments

Ben Weekes
RWE nPower,  Imperial &
Bath University

image11Power-plants of the 1960’s are currently being decommissioned, and their replacements need new inspection methods. Recent advances in the inspection of metals by thermal NDE have made these methods widely  applicable in the inspection of typical power plant components such as turbine blades.

Active thermal NDE offers a fast and adaptable inspection, with excitation of the part typically performed by (but not limited to) high-power ultrasound, optically (such as by laser), or by electromagnetic pulses. One of the main attractions of thermal methods is that they are simpler to apply to complex geometries than, for example, ultrasound.

This project has developed specific inspections with new thermal methods and evaluated performance, with the aim of speeding up inspections and reducing the use of conventional penetrant inspection.

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics laser spot heat sources

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics laser spot heat sources

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics eddy current induction

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics eddy current induction