Ultrasonic Technology is being rapidly adopted as a safe, easy and accurate method of identifying seal leak sites and has been quickly adopted by the Royal Navy to quickly identify any incorrectly installed MCT's. UT equipment has now been in service for 3 years aboard HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, and has also recently been adopted this year by the Indian Navy, and Indian Coast Guard.
Different models of equipment vary, but in general UT equipment consists of two main units; a generator and a receiver. The generator produces an ultrasonic modulated tone, usually at a round 40kHz which is positioned on one side of the seal. The receiver is then used by the operator from the far side of the closed seal. If at any point the seal is imperfect, the ultrasonic signal will be able to pass though the seal through the leak, which can then be detected by the receiver. Some models of ultrasonic watertight integrity tester are capable of detecting leak apertures as small as 0.06±0.02mm in size. UT testing seals can provide the sensitivity to detect the smallest leaks, and can give two different types of readout scale: linear and decibel. The linear scale provides an intuitive measurement of the leak size, whereas the decibel scale allows for comparison of standards set by international classification societies. Use of UT is far more efficient that the methods described above, taking less time, requiring no clean up and is used in a portable, light-weight model for ease of use. Due to its convenience, UT tests can be conducted more frequently and can contribute to safety management and preventative maintenance procedures on board. Moreover, the accuracy of this method is unrivalled, and leak sites can be identified and specifically located quickly for the operator. Furthermore, ultrasonic level indicators use safe and green technology; it that does not violate any environmental codes, which also means there are no IATA transportation restrictions.
Weather, water and airtight seal integrity has be shown to be of vital importance to the crew of all marine vessels, but they play an especially significant role for warships that are subject to especially harsh and sensitive conditions. The importance of continually maintaining seal integrity has been extremely undervalued, and should take a more prominent position in ship maintenance scheduling. Traditional means of integrity testing has been exposed as insufficient and ineffective, putting crew members and marine operational activities at risk. Ultrasonic Technology has been proven as the most practical and accurate form of leak site detection and seal testing, and equipment such as Portascanner® II can alert crew to failing seals early. Coltraco is constantly pushing the boundaries of scientific research to ensure the safety of operators around the world, and is developing continuous and automatic UT testing for real time ship analysis.