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Methodologies for Automated Ultrasonic Testing Performance Quantification

The absence of publicly available data from independent investigators specific to girth weld automated ultrasonic testing (AUT) inspection capabilities leads to engineering critical assessment and strain-based approaches being excessively or insufficiently conservative in assumed AUT uncertainty levels. A large study sponsored by the government and pipeline industry was conducted to obtain independent data regarding the AUT detection capabilities and sizing uncertainty. The program was focused on developing a methodology for quantifying AUT systems, advancing and quantifying the AUT systems imagecapture capabilities, quantifying the performance of multiple AUT systems, and implementing the quantification methodology in field tests. This paper describes the AUT quantification process guidance and methodologies. Results from practical trials implementing the methodologies are discussed. Discontinuity sizing uncertainty and probability of detection estimates are presented and analyzed for fingerprinting and five representative AUT systems.

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