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Time-of-Flight Diffraction (TOFD) Weld Inspection



DenmarkUnited Kingdom

The inspection of offshore wind structures requires a combination of specialised equipment, well-trained personnel, effective inspection techniques, and a commitment to quality assurance throughout the construction and maintenance of offshore wind farm structures.

In their quest for excellence and their unwavering commitment to safety and performance, our esteemed clients, a prominent player within the offshore wind industry, contracted Bilfinger Danmark A/S to qualify a NDT technique that will provide a code compliant method for carryout weld inspection. The method must provide fully audible results, and be more effective and efficient compared to traditional conventional methods in order to ensure the long-term reliability of their offshore wind monopiles. In the dynamic world of renewable energy, offshore wind farms stand tall as the future of clean power generation. These colossal structures rely on monopiles as their sturdy foundation serve as the anchor that secures the entire wind turbine system to the seabed.

Monopiles are large, steel cylindrical structures that are installed onto the seabed to support wind turbine towers. The integrity of the welds used in their construction is paramount to withstand the harsh marine environment, including corrosion, wave loads, and wind forces. These monopiles are fabricated from high-strength steel sections that are welded together to create a cylindrical structure. Weld failures can lead to costly repairs and downtime, making thorough weld inspection crucial. Therefore the quality of these welds is paramount for ensuring the structural integrity and longevity of these assets


We selected Ultrasonic Time-of-Flight Diffraction (TOFD) inspections as the main inspection to meet the client’s specific requirements TOFD is renowned for its high precision and accuracy in detecting and sizing defects within welds, including cracks, lack of fusion, and porosity.

This level of precision is crucial for assessing the criticality of the inspected welds and determining appropriate corrective actions. The method provides comprehensive coverage of the weld and its surrounding area. It allows our inspectors to obtain real-time images detailing information about the entire weld volume, including the weld root, toe, and heat-affected zone. This comprehensive coverage minimizes the risk of missing critical defects, even at their early stages of development.

The technique is performed by our highly trained and experienced technicians. By relying on our skilled technicians, the client benefited from a team that not only possessed technical expertise, but also understood the unique requirements and intricacies of the wind industry. This expertise translated into efficient, reliable, and cost-effective inspection solutions that ultimately contribute to the safety and longevity of wind farm infrastructure.

Added value:

  • Generation of real-time imaging of the inspected weld, allowing on-the-spot decision-making for quick and reliable inspection
  • Significant inspection time reduced (cost savings) compared to conventional NDT techniques approach
  • Confidence in the technique application increased with the reduction in human factors influencing the results
  • Repeatability introduced with digital data files to allow accurate  trending of defects
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