Acoustic Wave Tube Screening

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  7. Acoustic Wave Tube Screening

In a similar fashion to conventional ultrasonic testing equipment, acoustic wave tube screening inspection uses a pulser and receiver to send and receive acoustic signals. The pulser (a speaker) sends a series of short low frequency pulses down the inside diameter of a pipe or tube. The sonic wave travels along the inside of the pipe/tube, following it around bends and even complex spirals. The receiver detects any return signals that have been reflected by a blockage, cross section reduction or from sound exiting through a break in the pipe or a leak.


  • Identifying partial or full blockages
  • Identifying holes and leaks
  • Locating stuck pigs
  • Confirming furnace tube blockages
  • Identifying blockages, restrictions, or holes in exchanger tubes
  • Determining if valves are closed, partially or fully open


  • Detects and locates troublesome blockages or leaks quickly and accurately
  • The signal can travel around bends and it is not affected by directional changes
  • Can be used to examine lengths of up to 300 m (1000 feet) of pipe/tubing
  • Can be used to inspect pipe of diameters ranging from 26.7 mm (1 inch) to over 1.2 m (48 inch); the larger the diameter the farther sound travels
  • More efficient for identifying problem areas than localized “hit and miss” inspections


  • Must have a continuous run; tee’s or branches can disrupt the acoustic flow
  • May be disrupted by excessive ambient noise
  • It is a prescreening inspection method; once located, the problem should be confirmed and assessed by more conventional inspections such as radiography