A simple, non-invasive test to locate and characterise any defects

The Acoustek® heat exchanger tool was developed for Phoenix Inspection Systems Limited to provide high speed, high accuracy evaluation of heat exchanger tubes using patented Acoustek® technology.

The probe is connected to each tube in the heat exchanger bank in succession. A broadband signal is then injected into each tube; the reflection sequence is measured by microphones that are housed inside the probe – nothing is physically inserted in the tubes. The custom designed acoustic signal ensures that the system is highly tolerant to background noise and as such may be used in active work environments.

Each test runs for 10 seconds and a trained operator can test up to three tubes per minute. Once testing is complete, statistical algorithms are used to locate and characterise any defects in the tube bank. The statistical algorithms allow defects such as holes, corrosion pitting, erosions, blockages, constrictions and changes in diameter to be located and characterised. In clean tubing, items as small as a sewing needle can be reliably detected, located and characterised.

The heat exchanger evaluation tool can be used in a variety of purposes including:

  • Lengthening asset life by regular condition monitoring
  • Getting valuable plant back online by rapid fault detection and characterisation
  • Ensuring quality control during the process of manufacturing a heat exchanger

This video provides an overview of how the heat exchanger inspection system was developed with the support of Phoenix Inspection Systems.