Robotic NDE (Custom development for industry)

image46Strathclyde University’s RCNDE  research has included the development  of robotic solutions for the deployment of NDE payloads. This included the development of small robotic vehicles (below left)  which offer two distinct advantages over traditional NDE. Firstly, they allow payload delivery to locations that were traditionally unreachable, such as hazardous environments or areas of limited access, and secondly, they allow the automation of NDE inspection which can lead to improved results.  The enabling technologies  developed during this programme are also relevant to the use of large industrial robotic systems for inspection tasks during plant or component manufacture (left).

A  specific application of this research involved a collaboration between Strathclyde University and the National Nuclear Laboratory for the inspection of an essential vessel on the Magnox Reprocessing Plant on behalf of Sellafield Ltd. The project required remote robotic delivery of an ultrasonic transducer to measure the actual wall thickness (rather than an estimated wall thickness based on corrosion modelling) of the otherwise inaccessible vessel – below right. The inspection indicated that the vessel was in a good condition and confirmed the measured corrosion losses were in line with predictions. Supported by NNL and funded by the NDA.

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