Intermediate Sized Ultrasonic Immersion Tanks
These tanks are typically small enough that they can be placed in any averaged sized room. They are generally self-contained and can usually just be placed in position and with some limited leveling that is usually limited to only adjustable feet. Then plug the electronics into the tank and the into the wall and system is ready to go.
This system was designed to meet ASTM Spec E588 for the inspection of bearing steel. The bridge and rail/drive system is the same system used on some of I.T.S.'s other tanks. The test article is a solid round steel bar ranging in diameter from 1" to 5" and in length up to 3 feet. A table with rotator drive and encoder/end-stop can be raised and lowered into and out of the tank. This table can handle bars weighing up to 225 pounds.
The platen that carried the rotators also held and indexed a solid test
block. The ability to raise and lower the specimen meant that operators do not
have to reach over and into the water to place the test specimens.
The data system consists of a Krautkramer USIP 20HR High Resolution Ultrasonic Instrument used together with Krautkramer's Ultramap software running on a Pentium PC under Windows.
The figure above shows the system with the table raised in the loading/unloading position. The image on the screen is a B-scan of one of the step areas on the end of the 2 inch diameter test bar shown on the rotators. An optional conveyor (soon to be mounted on tank side that is facing the chair) allows loading the heavy bars without impacting the tank and then rolling them laterally across the slat rails onto the rollers.
The image below shows the second system at other location. Both systems were constructed together. Here, the part table with test article has been lowered into the tank. Here you can see the separate drive motor and encoder/end stop. This setup gives a direct encoder reading off the test article avoiding errors due to diameter tolerances and drive roller slippage. The image in this photo is a C-scan of three flat bottomed calibration holes ranging in diameter from .025" down to .015" and 3/16" deep located in the full round portion of the test article.
Scan plans are entered and saved through the Ultramap software. Control can be via the keyboard, the mouse, or the knobs on the ends of the motors. All wetted parts either stainless steel, hard coated aluminum, or plastics.
The X-axis on later versions was modified to replace the rack drives with high precision pre-loaded ball screws as seen in photo above.
The Innovative Test Systems Immersion Tank is designed to be flexible in adapting to a variety of bodies of revolution or other shapes. It can be used as a research tool or production scanning. The system consists of 4 main components. The tank, the arm with changeable grippers, the 4-axis gantry style programmable transducer holder, and the data/control system with programmable transducer gates and gain.
The tank consists of a stainless steel enclosure with self contained pump and filter and heating system for continuous cleaning of the water and control of temperature to insure accurate and repeatable testing.
The arm can be rotated up out of the tank for loading and then lowered by an air cylinder into the tank. This allows for easy part attachment. The parts can be loaded by hand or with optional pick-and-place robots. The top of the arm is designed to accept a variety of grippers depending on the part to be inspected. The arm is powerful enough to handle parts to 150 pounds or greater if specified. ( The photo shows a 5 inch Navy artillery projectile weighing approx. 90 pounds)
The gripper end of the arm is also powered for rotation by a motor located outside the tank. This motor can provide continuous rotation for inspection of bodies of revolution or be used to position a part for scanning from different angles.
The gantry style transducer holder consists of 4 axis. X, Y, and Z motion as well as rotation in the horizontal plane. A second "effective" rotational axis can be obtained by raising of lowering the transducer relative to the body of revolution's centerline. All axes are mounted on linear slides with anti-lash ball screw or AGMA 10 or better gear drives. All motors are stepping motors with encoder feedback for precise control of position.
The control/data system allows control of both the transducer position and transducer ultrasonic parameters. The gate parameters of width and position as well as the receiver gain can all be adjusted on each pulse of the transducer. This allows for the scanning of complex shapes. A standard PC controlling off-the-shelf ultrasonics insures reliable operation. Part programs can be entered by direct manipulation of the transducer from the operator console or by entering preprogrammed coordinates obtained from CADD or other sources. Scan programs can be easily saved and recalled.