Quality Magazine

West Penn Testing Serves IGT Makers with Unique Automated Ultrasonic Testing Capability

October 5, 2010

NEW KENSINGTON, PA-West Penn Testing Group (www.westpenntesting.com), a provider of material testing services, supplies some of the world’s largest industrial gas turbine (IGT) manufacturers thanks to the unique capabilities of its contact, DGS ultrasonic testing unit. “It’s the largest, fully automated, ultrasonic testing unit at an independent test laboratory in the western hemisphere. It has the most advanced hardware and software and consistently provides the highest levels of test accuracy,” says Jim DeChellis, the company’s COO. “This is reassuring to IGT original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), because their power-company customers want to feel confident about the reliability in the power-generation systems they put online for consumers.”

According to Mark Pompe, Director of Technology and Level III-certified manager of West Penn’s ultrasonic unit, “We can accommodate energy disks up to 90 inches in diameter and 20,000 pounds. While we also provide the manual-contact, immersion and C-scan ultrasonic inspections many customers specify, we are moving increasingly into waveform capture ultrasonic testing, which creates a three-dimensional picture of the internal structure of a forging. The 3-D technology overcomes the limitations of manual- contact and C-scan inspections, which are one- and two-dimensional technologies, respectively.”

Typically, forgers inspect raw material before producing energy disks, but sometimes defects result from the forging process, the heat-treating process, or both. “Ultrasonic testing catches these defects,” Pompe says, “and waveform-capture technologies find defects hidden by forging geometry that other methods won’t. Capturing waveform data significantly increases the types of post-test analysis OEMs can perform and also retains a permanent record of the complete test.”