About Us

Welcome To Coltraco Ultrasonics

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Founded in 1987, Coltraco Ultrasonics has been at the forefront of research, design and manufacture advanced ultrasonic instrumentation and systems for protecting safety-critical infrastructures.

Part of a larger organisation, comprising the Durham Institute of Research, Development and Invention (DIRDI) and the Centre for Underwater Acoustic Analysis (CUAA) – Coltraco is one of the UK’s premier scientific instrument makers.

We differentiate ourselves by entering every discussion with you as an integrated technical partner – providing you with the ideal solution for your needs that showcases our scientific expertise and through-life commitment to our customers.

We are grateful to be your trusted partner in the maritime, defence, energy, power generation and healthcare industries worldwide.

Our Vision

For Coltraco Ultrasonics to be the world-leader across our 120 export country markets in the design, manufacture and support of specific scientific instrumentation, systems and technologies using ultrasound, acoustics, electro-magnetism and information engineering through research and development conducted at the Durham Institute of Research, Development & Invention in an innovative private sector, public service-led, national endeavour.


Our Mission

To “see the sounds that others cannot hear”, enable people to live safer lives and secure critical national infrastructure on land and at sea by designing and manufacturing world-leading technologies, systems and instrumentation solutions operating in safety-critical environments in the maritime naval, energy, laboratory, built environment, medical and safety-engineering market sectors.

Our Strategy

Choice for customers in 120+ countries

Coming to 40+ years of experience in 2027!

The History Of Coltraco

Founded by Mr. EC Hunter and his son, Dr. CSP Hunter, the company introduced its first product, the Portalevel®, in 1987. Since then, we have expanded our product range with 28 innovations like the Portascanner®, developed in 1993 to complement our liquid-level measurement technologies. 

Coltraco Ultrasonics have now grown to be part of a wider organisation: 

  • Our Laboratory, co-located with the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI) at Durham University, UK 
  • Our Research Institute, the Durham Institute of Research, Development & Invention (DIRDI) 
  • Our Research Centre, the Centre for Underwater Acoustic Analysis (CUAA)

Decades of Expertise in Scientific Innovation and Integrity

As a high-exporting British manufacturer, Coltraco specialises in ultrasonic and acoustic systems and instrumentation. We are an advanced scientific instrument manufacturer who serve 25 diverse market sectors, from shipping and fire safety engineering to offshore energy, renewables, and the built environment. 

We work with you at every stage of your enquiry as an integrated technical partner, providing you with the solution you require. We are committed to offering through-life engineering, maintenance and training support with every instrument you purchase from us. This is what sets us apart from the rest.

At Coltraco, 90% of our manufactured products are exported, with 40% going to Asia, 10% to the Middle East, 15% to Europe, and 17% to the USA, our largest single national market. The remaining products reach customers and distributors in South America and Africa.

We are committed to uphold the Safeship™ and Safesite™ principles:


Our instruments are installed on 17% of the world’s 60,000 ships, safeguarding against catastrophic failures by monitoring watertight integrity and ensuring the safe containment of fire-extinguishing gases like CO2. These principles underpin our status as a Safeship™ company in the maritime sector.


 Serving over 20 market sectors, our instruments ensure that safety-critical systems—such as gaseous fire suppression systems, sprinkler systems, and process control equipment in high-value assets—function effectively. In the Built Environment, our technology identifies airtightness and energy loss. This commitment makes us a Safesite™ company on land.

Some of the industries we serve include:


Our instruments are utilised aboard 17% of the world’s commercial shipping fleet, including the Royal Navy and most allied Navies, and on offshore energy platforms in the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

Wind Renewable Energy

Recognised as a Top 35 Global supplier to one of the largest wind renewable energy companies, we operate in 120 countries with distributors in 80 of them.

Built Environment

Our innovative RDDE team applied the principles of fluid dynamics to airflow and created the Portascanner™ AIRTIGHT, the first portable instrument for detecting and quantifying air leaks and monitoring building airtightness. This earned us our second Innovate UK grant as part of the Net Zero Heat programme.

Fire Safety

Portagas® represents a groundbreaking advancement in the noninvasive, nondestructive monitoring of pressurised inert gas systems. In the UK, all fire impression systems must be tested to be legal, with Coltraco and our Portagas® we can keep you safe. 

Coltraco has proudly won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in 2019 and 2022, along with numerous awards in maritime safety, safety engineering, and fire safety. Our commitment to excellence extends to through-life global support and calibration of equipment types manufactured over 20 years ago.