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.