Considerations for in-process ultrasonic phased array inspection and monitoring of fusion welding processes

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2024
Thesis identifier
  • T16868
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 201956548
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Welding is an integral part of manufacturing and plays an important role in many sectors such as transport, energy and defence. Recent global events including the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing war in Ukraine have placed significant pressures and challenges on the global manufacturing sector. Furthermore, increased focus is being placed on a move towards net-zero operations in light of the climate crisis. Challenging environments are often catalysts for adaptation and innovation, which is exactly what has been seen within manufacturing sectors worldwide. Motivation to remain globally competitive within a changing global landscape has placed advanced manufacturing at the forefront of future investment plans. Many industrial sectors employ Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) as a means of ensuring the integrity of welded components post-build and throughout their service life. In recent years there have been increasing economic and industrial drivers for the development of real-time NDE delivered at the point of manufacture. Real-time inspection and monitoring of welding processes can help to reduce fabrication costs by detecting defects as they occur, enabling more efficient and cost-effective builds whilst also supporting the assurance of asset integrity throughout the component life cycle. This thesis presents significant advancements in the field of in-process ultrasonic inspection and monitoring of fusion welding processes. The challenges associated with deployment of ultrasonic NDE during fusion welding are non-trivial. Therefore, considerable research has been required to fully understand the extent of these challenges and enable the development of techniques to address and overcome them. As a result, a system capable of ultrasonic phased array inspection during fusion welding has been realised to allow the detection of defects as they occur, thus reducing rework, repair time and helping to delivering high-quality welds right, first time. For the first time, phased array ultrasonic testing has been used to successfully interrogate the molten weld pool during deposition of gas tungsten arc welds, further reducing defect detection time. There is also significant opportunity to leverage this technique for in-process control of welding processes to prevent and reduce defect occurrence.
Advisor / supervisor
  • MacLeod, Charles N. (Norman)
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2023