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Development of a High Temperature Ultrasonic SHM System Using Glass Couplant



Traditional in-service inspections of critical components can require lengthy plantshutdowns with very high associated costs. There is an increasing impetus to develop permanently-installed structural health monitoring (SHM) systems with the performance to replace conventional qualified ultrasonic inspections in the detection and sizing of defects of concern. This paper presents the progress made by Wood using high temperature (<450°C) transducers to construct a SHM system, and specifically a novel bonding method that has been developed to overcome the limitations of attachment by welding and clamping. Data is provided about ultrasonic performance, bond strength and the outcome of temperature cycling trials. The results of the practical work show that the glass bonding agent is likely to be a viable high temperature couplant, which opens up new possibilities in fixed transducer SHM system design.


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