TWI has acquired an ultrasonic immersion tank, capable of inspecting large, complex
objects using the full range of ultrasonic test types.
Purchased to support the research of students undertaking postgraduate degrees at
the newly launched National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC), the tank
will also be available for use in projects undertaken by TWI on behalf of its Member
companies. The tank was bought using funds awarded by the Higher Education Funding
Council for England to Brunel University London, an establishment with which TWI
has a long history of partnership through the Brunel Innovation Centre.
The immersion tank, located in TWI’s 3200-square-metre new engineering hall, is
a seven-axis system designed to inspect complexly shaped components weighing up
to 1.5 tonnes and up to 1m3 in size. Supplied by ultrasonic specialists Metalscan,
based in Chalon-sur-Saône, Burgundy, the system uses specialised software to calculate
the trajectory of a probe around the complex-shaped component being inspected, and
can be used for research and development work as well as production-level scanning.
As well as being capable of inspecting very large components, the tank can also
be used for scanning small items, with the multi-axis probe head enabling interrogation
from many directions for a better inspection.
Probes used can be single-element type or up to 128-element array types. The array
ultrasonic instrumentation is capable of implementing the full range of operational
modes including phased array, full matrix capture and total focusing method. The
accompanying software is based on a leading platform developed for the nuclear industry
A number of projects are already in queue to be executed in the tank. These include
the inspection of a thick-section austenitic weld for the ITER fusion reactor, complex-shaped
nozzles for the nuclear and oil and gas industries, and mooring chains.
Alongside this project work, two MSc students will be undertaking their final-year
projects in the tank during its first year of operation, taking part in ongoing
technological developments for the inspection of nozzles and mooring chains.
The ultrasonic immersion tank is an invaluable asset for forensic studies of failed
components from industry, for rapidly validating inspection techniques using the
most up-to-date instrumentation and software, and as a tool for exploring new concepts
in inspection for researchers, industrialists and students completing degrees through
For more information please
TWI Training & Examination Services, TWI Ltd, Granta Park, Great Abington,
Cambridge CB21 6AL, United Kingdom
TWI Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tel: +44 (0)1223 899500