Justifying the continued operation of aging plant can be a real problem unless the material properties of the plant can be reliably established. Obtaining samples from key components can, therefore, provide a significant contribution to PLEX justifications and structural integrity assessments.
Material sampling can also form an essential element in characterising any surface breaking defects discovered.
Relatively small material samples can be prepared for material characterisation under optical or high resolution scanning transmission or electron microscopy. Features such as small surface cracks, or the conditions at grain boundaries, can thereby be investigated.
For many years Rolls-Royce has utilised and continuously developed a range of material sampling techniques.Samples have been extracted through ECM, EDM, water jet cutting, as well as more conventional mechanical cutting techniques.
Rolls-Royce has over 50 years of specialist working knowledge in the fields of nuclear materials, chemistry and corrosion, providing a world-class service to the Nuclear industry. Our expertise spans:
- Irradiation Embrittlement
- Thermal Ageing
- Fatigue and Fracture Toughness
- Corrosion and Electrochemistry
- Water Chemistry including Radiochemistry
- Decontamination and process technologies
- Novel Manufacturing
- Joining and Forming Technology
- Tribology and Wear
Our capabilities include access to active and non-active materials analysis and investigation facilities, including metallographic preparation, hardness testing, optical microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscope capabilities, along with other advanced interrogative techniques.
We can provide in-situ Metallurgy and Corrosion and Condition Assessments, Remote Visual Inspection (RVI), Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) and Special Purpose Machine Tools for Sampling and Monitoring.
The complete sampling service
Whether you require material samples to support PLEX justifications, or need samples to be taken from remote locations to allow detailed examination and subsequent diagnosis of a defect or flaw, Rolls‑Royce can supply the complete sampling, analysis and reporting service.
Sampling packages are tailored to meet individual customer needs. They can vary from provision of SSam™-2 machines and operators for in-situ scoop sample removal, to full analysis and reporting of results. If necessary, bespoke machines and equipment can be designed to meet the particular requirements of a project.
The need for scoop sampling
In order to support the design and operation of plant and equipment within the power generation, processing, chemical and associated industries, it is sometimes necessary to remove small test samples from specific components for analysis.
The information obtained from scoop samples can be used to support plant safety justifications, design criteria, life extensions, remnant life assessment, maintenance and inspection requirements, failure mode investigations, etc. The relatively small amount of material provided by the scoop sampling process can provide the metallurgist with a wealth of information.
Samples can be prepared for material characterisation under optical, high resolution scanning transmission or electron microscopy. Features such as small surface cracks, or the conditions existing at grain boundaries, can thereby be directly investigated.
Test pieces can be manufactured from the samples for assessing material properties such as fracture toughness, hardness and radiation embrittlement. In addition, test coupons can be made for tensile, fatigue and creep testing, or evaluation in corrosive environments.
In conjunction with Exponent Inc, Rolls‑Royce can offer a Punch Testing service. This technique uses established correlations to provide reliable FATT data from miniature disc specimens that can be cut from the scoop samples.