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Zetec vs Sonatest: Comparison of Ultrasonic Flaw Detector

In this blog post, you’ll read:Still hesitate to choose ultrasonic flaw detector from Zetec and Sonatest brand? We compare the two manufacturers and their popular models, also give you more option: NDT-KITS. Hope it helps you decide which one is the best for you.

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Ultrasonic flaw detection is widely used in many sensitive sectors, including, oil and gas, power generation, and transportation, with the main use being to check the integrity and reliability of structural materials (mostly metals).   As a consequence of this, buying the right ultrasonic flaw detector cannot be overlooked.  So, how can you decide which UT flaw detector is best for your industry needs with so many manufacturers and models available in the market?

In this post, we are going to compare different manufacturers of the instrument (Zetec, and Sonatest) and some of their popular ultrasonic detector models.  We will also compare the two brands against another brand (NDT-KITS) to give you more options, and hopefully, help you decide which one is best for your business.  Let’s get to it.


I. Zetec Ultrasonic Flaw Detector


1. About Zetec


About Zetec


Zetec Corporation was founded in 1968 and has developed through the more than 50 years in the industry to become a leading manufacturer of Eddy-current and Ultrasonic testing instruments.  The company has made many huge strides in ultrasound testing innovations, with the most notable being the development of the Topaz series of PAU testers and the software called UltraVision.

Zetec has its headquarters in Washington and other offices spread across the globe in countries such as France, Korea, China, and Japan, bringing them even closer to their international clients. 


2. Popular Zetec Models



Zetec - TOPAZ16


  • Description


The TOPAZ16 is a phased array ultrasound testing instrument used for nondestructive analysis in industrial applications such as weld and corrosion inspections, and complex components inspections.  It is available in two categories, the 16/64 and 16/128 phased array channels.  The 16/128 channel is superior to the 16/64.

The advantages of using the TOPAZ16 UT instrument are the high signal quality, easy setup with probes and scanners, it is easy to use and portable weighing only 4.5kg or 10pounds, allowing you to cover more inspections within a short period.


  • Specifications


Instrument size in inches is 8.7H x 10.6W x 4.7D

Has a touch display that is 10.4 inches wide

It has a battery operation feature

Uses the ZPAC and IPEX phased array connectors

It has 2 phased array channels options, the 16/64 and the 16/128

Instrument can support multiple probes and detects probes and scanners automatically

The minimum operational temperature is -10°C and maximum is 45°C, while the storage temperature is -40°C to 70°C

It does a self-calibration check-test before every use


  • Price Range




Zetec - TOPAZ32


  • Description 


The TOPAZ32 is a 32-channel, phased array, high-performing ultrasonic testing device providing comprehensive inspection solutions in engineering, product manufacturing, and transportation applications.  One of the outstanding features of the TOPAZ32 instrument is the 2D matrix array probes support, which is provided without the requirement for additional software.

The advantage of using the TOPAZ32 is that it is a multipurpose instrument that allows you to prepare, analyze and report results all with a single touch of a button.  What’s more, it performs a calibration status check by itself before use.


  • Specifications


Dimensions in inches are 5.2H × 12.8W× 10.3D

Instrument weight is 13.9 pounds or 6.3kg

Multi-touch display is 10.4 inches

Channels for phased array are 32/128 PR or 32/128 P

The machine uses Ethernet and USB for data interfaces

Digitizing frequency of 100 MHz

Maximum pulser voltage for open circuit is 105V PA UT

Maximum number of samples it can scan is 8,192 to 16,384

Maximum data file size is 2 GB onboard and 20 GB remote


  • Price Range



③ TOPAZ64  

Zetec - TOPAZ64


  • Description 


The Zetec TOPAZ64 is a 64-channel Phased Array ultrasonic testing instrument that is completely integrated and portable, allowing for rapid and more reliable inspections, and has enhanced features that help increase productivity.

To be more specific, the TOPAZ64 uses Full Matrix Capture (FMC) and Total Focusing Method (TFM) features to measure composite materials or thick welds in different industrial applications.  The advantages of the TOPAZ64 are higher resolution therefore better results, it is fast, portable, uses less external hardware, and can be used for a longer time due to the swappable battery feature.


  • Specifications


Instrument size 34.3H × 27.8W × 15.8D in cm and weighs 9.1kg

It has a multi-touch display of 12.1 inches

It uses 2 types of phased array channels, the 64/128 or the 64/64

Able to do a self-check test before ever use

Able to do automated probe and scanner detection

Can sample a maximum of 16384 samples

Has a 2GB maximum storage capacity


  • Price Range



II. Sonatest Ultrasonic Flaw Detector


1. About Sonatest


About Sonatest


Sonatest is a renowned manufacturer of ultrasonic examination equipment, having been founded in 1958.  They have been offering reliable, portable UT flaw detection devices, which have found uses in many crucial industries and applications, including transportation, and electrical engineering.

The company prides itself in the production of multiple testing instruments ranging from Ultrasonic flaw detectors, thickness gauges, phased array flaw detectors, scanners, among others, that are all simple to use, capable, and reliable.  The most notable innovations from Sonatest are the Sitescan and Masterscan flaw detectors which have become a standard in the ultrasonic testing industry.


2. Popular Sonatest Models


① Sitescan D-50


Sonatest - Sitescan D-50 - 1 Sonatest - Sitescan D-50


  • Description 


Sonatest has always been known to produce very reliable, user-focused flaw detection equipment, and the Sitescan D-50 model continues that legacy.  It is a broadband flaw detector with a complete Video Graphics Array display, a remarkably performing battery, and is built to perform in harsh conditions including very high temperatures

It is an instrument created to be used in hardy environments both inside and outside with its applications ranging from weld fabrication, corrosion detection, forgings and castings, and general ultrasonic test inspections.  The specifications for this instrument are as stated below.


  • Specifications


It provides results at 0-5mm up to 0-10,000mm test range

Instrument probe has a 0 to 999.999 µs range

Gain is 0 to 110dB adjustable steps in 0.5, 1, 2, 6, 10, 14 and 20dB

It has pulse echo and transmit-receive test modes

Has fixed pulser of 200V

Instrument’s frequency Range is 1.0 MHz to 14 MHz


  • Price Range



② Masterscan D-70


Sonatest - Masterscan D-70


  • Description 


The MasterscanD-70 is a defect detection device that comes with a full complement of inspection instruments and software for use in any industrial application.  The Encoded B-Scan, advanced thickness measurements, and dry scan ability are among the features of this instrument.  What’s more, upgrades of the machine can be performed within the working environment further increasing its superior capabilities.

Despite the many incredible features, it is an instrument that is simple to use and maintain.  It is lightweight and can be carried around during testing helping you cover a larger surface during measurement.  Some of the specifications for Masterscan D-70 are.


  • Specifications


It has a 0-1 to 0-20,000 mm test range

It has a 256 – 16000 m/s velocity

The probe range is 0 to 1000 μs

Instrument gain is 0 to 110dB

Has a selectable damping of 50 Ohm and 400 Ohm

It has a screen update rate of 60Hz

Frequency range is 8 selectable filter bands ranging from 100 kHz – 33 MHz wideband and a low-frequency pre-amplification with Dryscan option added


  • Price Range




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


Choosing a manufacturer for the best ultrasonic flaw detector comes down to what exact applications you will be using your detector for.  Here are some specification comparisons for instruments from Zetec and Sonatest to help you decide.


For Zetec ultrasonic detectors:

  1. Sizing technique. Ultrasonic flaw detectors by Zetec use the amplitude comparison technique by employing the distance, gain, and sizing method and DAC curves for sizing a defect.
  2. Gain range. 0.5dB gain resolution
  3. Analysis and reporting. It has an inbuilt high performing processor that performs analysis and generates printable reports that can be customized for each client without the need for external software.
  4. Display. 10.4 inches touchscreen display with ultra-Brightness for indoor and outdoor use.


For Sonatest ultrasonic detectors:

  1. Sizing technique. Sonatest ultrasonic detectors employ a multitude of sizing techniques such as B Scan software, DAC, API, TCG, BEA, Interface trigger, AWS, and AVG/DGS.
  2. Gain range. The gain range for these instruments are 0 to 110dB adjustable in 0.5, 1, 2, 6, 10, 14 and 20dB steps.
  3. Analysis and Reporting. The instruments come equipped with software, (UTLity software) which provides data analysis, reporting, and storage options for the Sonatest detectors.
  4. Display. 116.16 x 87.2 mm display area on a TFT color transflective VGA with various color options and brightness.


While both manufacturers have created high-performance ultrasound testing pieces of equipment that have incredible features both for easier use and easier result reporting, the Sitescan D-50 and Masterscan D-70 from Sonatest have proven to have more capabilities because of their high-end features. 

They offer a wide array of defect sizing techniques, easy analysis, and reporting functions, together with other user-friendly features.  Price notwithstanding, Sonatest takes the lead here. 


➤ Related Article: Krautkramer vs Panametrics: Ultrasonic Flaw Detector Comparison



IV. Comparison with Other Brands of Ultrasonic Flaw Detector: Zetec vs Sonatest vs NDT-KITS


To further assist you in your important task of choosing an ultrasonic flaw detector that is best suited for your business applications, allow us to compare Zetec and Sonatest products with NDT-KITS products which are, the UE0040 digital ultrasonic flaw detector, the PA-30 phased array flaw detector and PA-20 phased array flaw detector.  They are designed for flaw detection in different applications such as steel plate inspection, weld inspection, and forging inspection.  Some of the specifications for their seamless functionality are:

NDT-KITS - Ultrasonic Flaw Detector UE0040

  1. Sizing Technique. It uses the DAC and AVG sizing curves and techniques to give out accurate results with each use.
  2. Gain Range. The gain range is 110dB with 0.1d, 2d, 6dB steps, and will automatically set the gain according to echo amplitude.
  3. Analysis and Reporting. It has operational software which the technician can use to quickly configure, save, recall, validate data and then send it to a computer in case of printing requirements.
  4. Display. The NDT-KITS ultrasonic detectors feature an easy to operate LED touch screen that works clearly in high or low lighting conditions
  5. Price.



V. Your Perfect Pick: NDT-KITS


Ultrasonic flaw detectors by NDT-KITS have multiple features to help the technician and an industry work at their optimal levels.  The UE0040 digital ultrasonic flaw detector, the PA-30, and PA-20 phased array flaw detector instruments come with a 12-month warranty and are all ISO 9001:2000 certified thereby assuring you of great quality.

Notable features of these instruments are; Seamless performance indoors and outdoors due to the battery operations and clear digital display, they give fast accurate defect detection owing to the sizing techniques they employ.  They are overall portable with inbuilt software that performs the analysis and data reporting.

NDT-KITS ultrasonic testing instruments have been designed with the technician in mind, for making your day-to-day ultrasonic testing work easier.  The company has over 40 years of experience in ultrasonic detector production with our first digital ultrasonic flaw detection equipment developed in the year 1988.  And it has only gotten better over the years.  We have a team of dedicated support staff that helps the client get an instrument best suited for their needs and applications and an after-sales service team that is always available on call for training and troubleshooting needs.


➤ Related Article: How to Import Ultrasonic Flaw Detectors from China?

➤ Related Article: How to Choose Ultrasonic Flaw Detector?





In conclusion, the only way to decide which flaw detector is best for you is by matching an instrument’s specifications to your operations. Choosing an instrument that will help you attain your work goals while making your work as easy as possible.  Instruments that do a self-calibration check, such as the NDT-KITS detectors are a plus because you are assured of accurate results.

Through the above information, we do hope that we have made your task of ultrasonic detection easier and you will be able to pick a model that will work and grow with your company.

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