Terra Drone Corp. recently demonstrated its non-destructive testing (NDT) capabilities by inspecting a 160-meter chimney at a thermal power plant in Japan. The inspection was conducted using an ultrasonic testing (UT) drone developed by Terra Drone group company Terra Inspectioneering.
A major component of the chimney inspection was to measure the thickness of the steel plate in the chimney flue. Conventionally, this would have been done manually by shutting down the facilities, putting up temporary scaffolding, and having human inspectors climb the chimney.
But by using Terra Inspectioneering’s UT drone, the power company was able to eliminate the need for scaffolding assembly and removal and shorten the inspection time. Leveraging unmanned robotics not only allowed the power company to save on labor costs but also managed to curtail losses that it would have incurred by facility shutdown for extended periods. The data acquired in the inspection enabled further reduction by allowing the company to formulate comprehensive chimney maintenance plans.
Terra Inspectioneering’s UT drone for chimney inspection weighs 2.5 kg. It is equipped with a patented contact catalyst (co-plant) dispenser, which allows the co-plant to be supplied to the probe even during flight, enabling efficient inspection. In addition, three high-precision cameras empower ground inspectors to check the UT graph as well as the images from the drone in real time.