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Zetec vs Sonatest: Comparison of Phased Array Transducer

In this blog post, you’ll read:We compare Zetec and Sonatest and their popular models for PA transducers, features and applications for you. Read and make your best choice.

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Believe it or not, a phased array transducer is one of the most important determinants for whether you get accurate or inaccurate results for your PA ultrasonic testing. In fact, using the wrong transducer can lead to serious accidents or expensive damages to materials.

There are several types of probes in ultrasonic testing with each one optimized for specific functions. Choosing the right transducer can be tedious, but when you know what you need to look for, the work becomes much easier. So, how do you ensure you get the right transducer for the right application?

The answer to this question is in this article. We will compare different manufactures and models for PA transducers, their features and applications for you to be able to make the best choice. If you are ready, let’s get to it.


I. Zetec Phased Array Transducer


1. About Zetec 


Zetec Corporation is a company that specializes in nondestructive testing solutions for industries in critical applications around the world for more than 50 years. They are a company that has become a household name because of its innovativeness which is customer-focused and driven by world-class quality. They design, manufacture, and supply instruments and probes for both eddy current and ultrasonic testing.

Zetec has a wide selection of phased array transducers which are used in different operations such as corrosion inspection, and weld inspection of thin and thick test components. What’s more, they also design and make special probes that are customized according to the clients’ specifications.


2. Popular Zetec Phased Array Probes 


Standard Phased Array Probes 

  • Description 

Special care was put into designing the Zetec standard phased array probes. They come with an ergonomic cover and skews that allow you to fix external accessories with ease. In addition to the great design, they also come in six different sizes for versatility in use for different applications.


  • Features

– Frequencies range from 1.5 MHz to 10 MHz

– Auto probe recognition, when used with Zetec’s phased array instruments and software

– Easily connected with accessories such as wedges

– All standard phased array probes come with a 5m cable


  • Application

– Weld inspection for thin metal component

– Corrosion inspection on large surfaces

– Inspection of thick components made of stainless steel


Low-profile Phased Array Probes


Low-profile Phased Array Probes


  • Description 

If your work involves flaw detection in thin wall pipes, then a low-profile phased array probe by Zetec is your go-to probe.  These transducers are fine-tuned for detecting small material defects. Moreover, they only require 11mm of clearance for operation. Therefore, low-profile PA probes are best for use when you have limited exposed space on test material.


  • Features

– Can operate in tight spaces due to the small footprint

– Are able to detect tiny defects in materials

– Offer sharp focus when designed for the total focusing method

– The TFM probes have a curved active element for better focus and resolution


  • Application

– Minute flaw detection such as cracks and corrosion in small components

– Weld integrity inspection in materials with 25mm to 100mm wall thickness

– Assessment of material damage due to high-temperature hydrogen attack


Corrosion Probes


Corrosion Probes


  • Description 

Corrosion probes work using two kinds of techniques, pitch-catch technique, and pulse-echo techniques. Zetec corrosion probes that use the pitch-catch technique have a reduced interface echo, leading to an increase in near-surface resolution.


  • Features

– The probes come in three different configurations (pitch-catch large aperture, pitch-catch small aperture, and pulse-echo probes)

– Have a frequency of 5.0MHz

– Pulse echo probes can be connected to a wedge for optimum functionality


  • Application

– Corrosion monitoring in different industries

– Near-surface defect detection in materials


Custom Phased Array Ultrasonic Probes


For specialized ultrasonic testing needs, Zetec offers customized probes according to client needs.  They work together with the client to design and manufacture PAU probes that can either be a slight modification of the available standard probes or a whole new type of transducer. The types of probes that can be customized by Zetec include:

  • 2D Matrix and 1D linear array probes
  • Probes of lower frequencies
  • 1D Linear and 2D Matrix arrays for dual configuration.



II. Sonatest Phased Array Transducer


1. About Sonatest 


Sonatest is among the world leaders in the manufacturing and supply of ultrasonic testing equipment.  Furthermore, the company boasts of being the 3rd largest manufacturer of quality UT equipment in the world, and they have over 60 years of industry experience.  

For your wall thickness measurement and flaw detection requirements, Sonatest has manufactured a wide range of high-performance phased array transducers that are used in different critical applications such as chemical, oil and gas, infrastructure, aerospace, automotive, and manufacturing industries to provide fast, accurate and safe testing solutions.


2. Popular Sonatest Phased Array Probes


X Series


X Series


  • Description 

The Xseries from Sonatest comprise of X2A and X2B phased array transducers.  X2A has fewer features but it has been designed for perfect use in manual and automatic weld inspections for objects with complex shapes.  The X2B is the more superior probe in this series and is able to do deep penetration scans to detect even the smallest flaws with high resolution instruments.


  • Features

– The X2A features high steering and focusing capabilities and can hold up to 32 elements

– X2B series features between 32 up to 64 elements and frequency range of 2.25 MHz to 15 MHz.

– They come with a 2.5m cable and cable length can be customized according to client needs.


  • Application

– Inspection of general and critical welds

– In the automotive industry for checking of motor vehicle parts

– Machine parts inspection

– Castings and flanges inspection


DAAH Series


DAAH Series


  • Description 

DAAH series features 5 different detachable active array head transducers which allow for easy separation of array heads from their respective cables.  This innovation by Sonatest is cost effective and makes repairs of transducers much easier and cheaper.


  • Features

– The transducers feature a 2m long cable that can be customized to your preference.

– They come with 2 different cable sockets namely the D1 and D5 cable sockets.


  • Application

– Castings, bars and billets inspection

– Critical and general weld checking

– Checking of automotive parts



III. Zetec vs  Sonatest: Which is the Best for you?


Both manufacturers have produced high quality phased array transducers that are great for use in their various applications. However, for you to know which type of transducer is best suited for your needs, let us compare various features for each model.


For the Zetec phased array transducers:

  1. Frequency. The Zetec probes featured here have a frequency that ranges from low frequencies of 1.5MHz to higher frequencies of 10MHz
  2. Number of Elements. PA transducers by Zetec have between 16 to 64 elements.
  3. Array Types. They have two kinds of arrays, the 1D linear array probes and the 2D matrix array probes.
  4. Probe Types. Types of probes by Zetec include standard phased array ultrasonic probes and dedicated probe models.
  5. Beam Steering. PA transducers by Zetec have the ability to focus and steer beams at different angles thus providing complete scans for flaw detection even in complex shaped materials. 
  6. Electronic Scanning. Electronic scanning is enabled in Zetec PA transducers, making it possible for you to scan a large area manually without having to physically move the probe around the test material.
  7. Customization. Phased array probes can be customized with customers preferred frequency range, number of elements and cable length.


Here are some features of the Sonatest phased array transducers:

  1. Frequency. The featured Sonatest models have working frequencies of between 2.25 to 15 MHz.
  2. Number of Elements. The X series and DAAH series have a range of 16 to 64 elements.
  3. Array Types. Linear and matrix probe are the array types for featured Sonatest models.
  4. Probe Types. Sonatest has single element and dual element probes for use in UT.
  5. Beam Steering. Beam steering in Sonatest probes enables successful accurate scanning of different geometry materials by Sonatest probes.
  6. Electronic Scanning. The dual element feature enables electronic scanning accurately without moving the probe around the test components.
  7. Customization. Sonatest customizes the PA transducers according to the number of elements and cable lengths in accordance to client needs.


According to the above comparisons, one can easily choose the phased array probes manufactured by Zetec because they offer more unique features and capabilities. Some advantages of Zetec models over Sonatest models include the low minimum frequency value of Zetec probes, and the ability to customize frequencies, element numbers and cable length for the clients. This means no matter how unique your probe requirements may be, Zetec will be able deliver.


➤ Related Article: Krautkramer vs Panametrics: Comparison of Phased Array Transducer

➤ Related Article: Top 6 Phased Array Probe Manufacturers



IV. Comparison with Other Brands of Phased Array Probes: Zetec vs  Sonatest vs NDT-KITS


We have so far looked at Sonatest and Zetec PA transducers and their advantages. Let us now compare the two manufacturers with a third manufacturer (NDT-KITS) for you to get more choosing options.

NDT-KITS is a company that has been dedicated to producing and supplying affordable high quality phased array transducers for over 40 years. We have so far produced more than 4000 models of transducers that are used around the world in applications such as aeronautical and railway transport, manufacturing and many other industries.


phased array transducer


Some features of PA probes by NDT-KITS include;


  1. Frequency. They feature frequencies that range between 1 to 15MHz
  2. Number of Elements. Our PA transducers have 8 up to 128 elements.
  3. Array Types. Linear arrays and curved arrays.
  4. Probe Types. Types of probes by NDT-KITS are Linear, Matrix, Annular, and Concave.
  5. Beam Steering. Beam steering is possible thereby eliminating the need for physical probe control during scanning.
  6. Electronic Scanning.  Electronic scanning controls in our probes help direct the beam angle, focus and the scanned area size.
  7. Delivery Date. Delivery done within 1-2 weeks after making your order.
  8. Customization. Our phased array probes can be customized with up to 1024 elements.



V. Your Perfect Pick: NDT-KITS

Phased array transducers manufactured by NDT-KITS is our chosen pick for a perfect PA probe for use in different industries.  Apart from the incredibly affordable prices of our transducers, we offer a 12 month warranty for the transducers and a fast delivery time of seven to 14 days.

Our standard phased array transducers have a wide range of frequencies (1-15MHz)  meaning they can be used in a variety of applications, whether it is for corrosion monitoring, flaw detection, and flaw sizing in thin and thick components.

The PA probes can be able to detect even small defects that may otherwise go unnoticed under other kinds of material testing.  This enabled for fast and effective material repairs and maintenance helping to save you time and money. Moreover, we are able to work with our clients through our dedicated support staff, in order to customize and manufacture phased array transducers that are specially made for your unique testing requirements.




In conclusion, there are many phased array probes by different manufacturers available today in the market.  This is good because you are able to compare the different models and specifications according to what kind of testing you do in order to come up with the best transducer choice for you.

With careful planning and considerations, you can be able to get the best PA transducer that ticks all your requirements at an affordable price and a fast delivery rate.

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