Phased array transducers literally come in many shapes, types, and sizes and this can be confusing for even some experienced technicians. There is no magic formula for choosing the right probes for your work and that is why it is crucial to have information on the kinds of probes available, their working principles, features, and specifications, on top of the models and manufacturers.
In this post, we will compare PA transducers from different suppliers (Krautkramer, Panametrics, and NDT-KITS) . We will look at important specifications for some of their popular transducers for you to compare them and pick your best choice. Read on, for more information.
I. Krautkramer Phased Array Transducer
1. About Krautkramer
In the mid 20th century, a German physicist and his brother founded the Krautkramer company which specialized in the production of ultrasonic testing instruments. The brothers then sold the company to SmithKline, which then sold to Emerson Electric, then to General Electric, and finally to Baker Hughes under their Waygate Technologies business. With so much exchange of hands, it is amazing how Krautkramer testing instruments are still available in the market and what’s more, they have been able to keep up with modern technology, and compete with big industry names over the years.
Waygate technologies have worked to maintain the honor of the Krautkramer name through the production of testing instruments that are of good quality, efficient, precise, and technician-friendly. These same qualities have also been used in the making of their various transducers for different applications in various industries. The company has produced and supplied over 4000 probes and probe accessories to be used in different industries across the world.
2. Popular Krautkramer Phased Array Probes
General Use Probes
These are array probes that can be used for different general purposes and are available as 1D and 2D array probes. The 1D probe has fixed focal point and beam angle while the 2D array probes have elements that are arranged in 2 different directions.
– Uses 3 types of connectors
– Can be used for either linear or sector scanning
– It can be used for a multitude of applications
– Weld inspection in metallurgy industries
– Inspection of tubes, pressure vessels, and tanks
– In architecture for inspecting bridges and other metal structures
General weld inspection Probes
These are probes used for checking the quality of welds and joints on metal components. They generate frequencies of 2-5 MHz during material scanning and can be used to check either smooth or rough metal surfaces with accuracy depending on the probe frequency.
– Uses 3 kinds of connectors
– Wedges, wear caps, or delay lines can be used with these probes
– Can be used for linear and sector scanning
– Used in metal fabrication for inspection of welded parts
– In the oil and gas sector for pipe quality inspection
– Structural integrity inspections in architecture
Small Foot Print Welding Probes
These are probes that are small in size and can be able to detect flaws in small sample sizes. They employ the use of wedges for effective inspections. They can also be effectively used for checking components with hidden parts.
– Small area inspection
– Fits typical MSWS single element wedges
– There are three distinct connectors available for the probe
– Weld inspection for small objects and thin sections
– Inspection of pipes, tubes, and containers in the oil and gas sectors
– Inspection of valve housings and pumps in process and manufacturing
Composite Inspection Probes
These are probes specifically designed to check for flaws in components that are made up of different materials. The probe features a roller-like design and covers more areas of the material being scanned.
– Has 3 connecting options
– Can be used in overhead attitudes
– It is transparent to enable removal of bubbles from the fluid
– It is future-forward and can easily be serviced by the owner
– In the aeronautical sector to check for collision damage
– Inspection of composite materials
– In the manufacturing industry for flaw detection and wall thickness measurements
These are phased array transducers used for monitoring of loss of material on metal components through rusting. They are normally placed on the test material and use ultrasonic waves to collect data on the wall thickness of materials.
– 1.9mm resolution for near-surface flaw detection
– Features wear bars that are adjustable
– There are 3 different connectors for corrosion probes
– Corrosion inspection on metal structures
– Defect detection near the component surfaces
– Wall thickness and bond testing
These probes are designed to be used in water. They are waterproof and can also be connected to a water wedge and are used when either fully or partly submerged in water for inspection.
– Other fixtures such as wedges can be mounted on the probe
– Probe sound waves are matched to perform well in water
– Inspects large areas in a short time
– Industrial scanning of tubes tanks and pipes
– Inspection of metal bars and plates
– In-process wall thickness measurements
II. Panametrics Phased Array Transducer
1. About Panametrics
Panametrics is a brand of instruments that are manufactured and supplied by Olympus. The company has a combined experience of over 50 years and has acquired several brands of nondestructive testing instruments from different companies, through the years, with Panametrics being one of them.
They provide solutions for industrial testing of important components in weld inspections, corrosion inspections, among others. Panametrics has a good number of phased array transducers supplied under its name, with their main feature being versatility in their use.
2. Popular Panametrics Phased Array Probes
Weld probes are designed for checking defects in ferrous material during industrial processes. They allow for a thorough inspection of near-surface defects such as cracks and can be used on surfaces that have a paint coating with the same efficiency as on surfaces without any coatings.
– Great signal to noise ratio performance
– Measures a wide range of material thickness
– The probe is specifically designed for weld inspection
– Automated material thickness measurements
– Can be coupled with wedges for measurement in hard-to-reach areas
– Manual inspection of thick welds
Small Diameter Pipe Welds
Inspection of tubes with small diameters has for a long time been a challenge but thanks to the development of this probe, the problem is in the past. It is a clean, accurate, and fast way of checking the quality of small tubes.
– It is compatible with different kinds of wedges for angle beam applications.
– Settings can be done to enable one side pipe inspection
– Used on a wide range of pipe diameters (21mm to 114mm)
– Inspection of process pipes
– Inspection of boiler tubes
– Weld inspection for tubes with small diameters
This probe uses a pitch-catch technique for near-surface flaw detection which is a faster scanning method as compared to the standard pulse-echo technique. They have a large coverage for the beam which goes a long way in improving the productivity of your instrument.
– Accurate flaw detection near the surface of test material
– The beam can cover an area of up to 30mm
– It can be set to work on hot surfaces
– Corrosion surveys for medium and small components
– Internal corrosion surveys in pipes and tubes
Dual Matrix Array (DMA) Probes
Dual matrix probes consist of two probes on the same connector that can transmit and receive longitudinal sound beams in materials. The use of dual probes helps increase the penetration of the probe into test materials leading to faster and more accurate analysis
– The signal to noise ratio is great
– Extended range of inspection
– High penetration power in materials
– They are used in weld inspection for stainless steel
– Corrosion inspection for resistant alloys
– Inspection of dissimilar welds and austenitic material
Composite Inspection Probes
This is a roller type of probe that has been made to check the quality of composite materials with smooth surfaces. This roller design and material are made unique and are able to produce high-quality ultrasonic testing on different test positions.
– Transparent design for easy internal observations
– The probe tire material closely resembles water thus enabling easy transfer of ultrasound from the probe to the test material
– Comes in 2 different beam widths 51.2 and 128mm beams.
– Inspection of composite materials
– Wall thickness monitoring in metals for corrosion surveys
These are probes that are used to measure a tiny area of inspection materials. They are important in measuring components that have only a small part of it exposed, or hard to reach components.
– It has a flexible cable that can be used from either the back, top or front of the transducer
– Works together with a specially designed small footprint wedge for more accurate scanning
– Scribe-line inspection in aerospace
– Defect detection and defect sizing in small size components
Pipeline probes are used for inspection of the girth of welds when connected to special wedges and scanners. They give accurate sizing results, helping the technician to do the required maintenance while saving time and money.
– It has pipewizard wedges for automated weld thickness inspections
– Can be used for both automated and manual inspections
– Lateral focused probes used for defect sizing
– Inspection of the depth of welds
– Defect detection and sizing in pipes, forgings, tubes, and pipes.
Deep Penetration Probes
Deep penetration probes are used for applications which require the ultrasound produced on the probe to go to a longer depth than normal. Examples of this are in inspection of thick metal plates or for non-uniform materials.
– It is compatible to multiple wedges for different angle beam applications
– Comes with screws for anchoring the probe
– Thick plates and thick welds inspection
– Seamless inspection of rough surfaces, materials made of granules
– Inspection of shafts and other structural elements
Curved Array Probes
This is an array probe with a circular consistency that is used to do scans around curved surfaces with ease. The piezoelectric elements are arranged along the curve, resulting in an increase in the depth to which the transducer can penetrate, and a wider field of view.
– It is waterproof, and can be used in water up to 1m deep
– Immersion wedges can be used on this transducer
– Reinforced carbon polymers inspection
– Delamination applications in composite materials
III. Krautkramer vs Panametrics: Which is the Best for you?
Even though both Krautkramer and Panametrics phased array transducers have their own strengths for the applications which they are used for, there are some specification considerations which have to be looked at keenly for both transducer models.
Specifications for the Krautkramer models
- Frequency. The frequency for the different probes range from 2.25-10MHz
- Array Types. The probes are dual array and phased array types
- Probe Types. They feature 3 types of probes, angle beam probes, immersion probes and probes that are integrated with wedges
- Number of Elements. 8,16,32,64 for phased array and 32 elements for dual array probes
- Beam Steering. Probes have beam steering at different angles and different lengths of aperture
- Electronic Scanning. It offers electronic scanning for accurate results
- Customization. Probes can be customized to a client’s specification with as many elements as the customer desires
For Panametrics models
- Frequency for the different types of probes ranges from 1.5 to 10.0 MHz
- Array Types. They feature two types of arrays, dual array and phased array.
- Probe Types. there are 3 types of probes for Panametrics/ Olympus instruments, immersion, angle beam probes, and integrated wedge probes.
- Number of Elements. Instruments have 10, 16, 32, 60, 64 up to 128 elements in phased array probes and 16, 28 and 32 elements in dual probes.
- Beam Steering. Limits for beam steering are 16, 32, and 64mm aperture at 9-, 18-, and 32-degrees angles.
- Electronic Scanning. It allows for scanning without moving the probe to give accurate repeatable results
- Customization. Probes can be customized according to client specifications.
Other than the similar specifications as seen in the comparison, our pick for the company with the best choices for phased array transducers is the Krautkramer models from Waygate technologies.
➤ Related Article: Zetec vs Sonatest: Comparison of Phased Array Transducer
➤ Related Article: Top 6 Phased Array Probe Manufacturers
IV. Comparison with Other Brands of Phased Array Probes: Krautkramer vs Panametrics vs NDT-KITS
Before we can settle on one mode of transducers, let us compare Krautkramer and Panametrics models with a 3rd producer that is NDT-KITS models to further help you decide which phased array probes producer offers the best probes with specifications that are the right fit for your applications.
NDT-KITS is an instrument manufacturer and supplier with over 40 years experience in the industry. So far, the company has produced over 4000 models of phased array transducers, together with their accessories. We are a company that not only provides quality instruments at a cheaper price but also delivers in record short time.
Some specifications for NDT-KITS phased array probes are as below:
- Frequency for the different NDT-KITS probes ranges from 1.5 to 15.0 MHz
- Array Types. They feature phased array probes.
- Probe Types. 4 types of probes, linear, matrix, annular, and concave probes
- Number of Elements. Instruments have 10, 16, 32, 60, 64 up to 1024 elements in phased array probes.
- Beam Steering. Limits for beam steering are 16, to 64mm aperture at different angles.
- Electronic Scanning. It allows for electrical scanning for accurate repeatable results.
- Delivery Date. 1 to 2 weeks delivery
- Customization. The probes can be customized with up to 1024 elements and according to customer request.
V. Your Budget Pick: NDT-KITS
It is with no doubt that our budget pick for the best phased array transducers is the NDT-KITS. The industry experience, the number of PA transducers they have developed so far and the specifications for their probes, such as the high frequency values, all get a pass in our best PA probes checklist.
Apart from having 40 years’ experience, we are a company that is customer-focused ensuring we meet all of our client’s expectations in instrument manufacturing. Our professional engineers and our support team work together with the client to help you either buy or customize your phased array transducer according to your business needs.
When it comes to the question of picking the right phased array transducer for your needs, there are some factors that you need to look out for. Check for the type and array of probes, the number of elements and the frequency of the probes, it is also important to consider the model supplier or manufacturer.
No matter the kind of phased array transducer you select, ensure that they are cost effective, expensive does not always guarantee quality. You also need a supplier that will deliver in good time for you to get value for your money. With NDT-KITS, you can be sure that all your needs will be satisfied, whether you are buying a standard probe or customizing your phased array transducers.