Specialist Consultancy and NDT

                     Saunders Morgan Harris Ltd (NDT) Non Destructive Testing

Both Hugo Morgan-Harris and Duncan Saunders have trained to use specialist NDT equipment and have passed Level 1 & 2 Exams in Ultrasound and Thermal Imaging.

Ultrasound can be used in several key areas, more normally when looking at the thickness of a hull/ mast or any other FRP skin.  Ultrasound is also ideal for inspecting hulls for damage, such as delamination/ deep cracks or viods within an FRP laminate. In short the equipment allows us to see deep within a laminate without the need to carry out destructive tests.

Saunders Morgan Harris Ltd are in a unique position whereby we are experienced surveyors who understand where the equipment can and cant be used to achive its full potential. The main areas we perform ultrasound testing is to:


1/   Check the thickness of a laminate (boat hull)
This process can be used to determine the thickness of a single hull panel or we can grid out the hull and take multiple thickness readings to allow a full analysis.  This is particulary useful for builders in order that we can verify that the hull was laid up to the builders own specification, especially when the quality of the build is in question, or to verify that the hull was laid up correctly when new build processes are used. Hull thickness readings are also very useful for boat owners and insuerers when a problem with the hull arises. In some cases we are asked to determine if a fault with a hull has occured from misuse, heavy weather or from problems that stem from build.

2/   Check the quality of a laminate 
We can comment on viods, porosity and determine if they are at normal levels for the FRP being examined or if the levels are higher than anticipated, whereby the strengh properties of the laminate have been weakned.
3/   Check for damage within a laminate, such as delaminations
Ideal for motor and sailing yacht hulls & FRP parts following damage. Prime examples are keel structures and keel stubs, impact damage on hulls and grounding damage.  The ultrasound process can save consideable time and costs when looking at larger more expensive insurance claims and can save having to cut samples into the hull, especially in good laminate.

4/   Check the quality of repairs
Following large and expensive repairs ultrasound can be used to confirm the quality of a repair, such as to confirm if a full bond has been achived and to check the the repair specification has been met. 

Thermal Imaging works by detecting variations in temperature on an FRP hull or structure using a thermal imaging camera. We are able to detect defects within the laminate or core such as:

1/         Moisture within a cored hull or deck or moisture within a monolithic skin (moisture meters do not work on carbon fibre laminates)
2/         Delamination/ damage within the cored or monolithic skin.
3/         Dry laminate/ poor repairs/ blisters and other anomalies within an FRP skin.
Both active and passive methods of thermal imaging are used pending on the specific project undertaken. 
                                                               Case Studies

Case Study 1 Using Ultrasound
We were asked to carry out a full ultrasound grid (150mm squares) of this hull to verify its condition. Delamination, sections of thin hull and poor quality laminate were identifed from this process which allowed repairs yards to provide estimates for repairs.

Case Study 2 Using Ultrasound
We were asked by insuerers to inspect the keel stub of this yacht following a grounding overseas.  The readings taken using ultrasound showed the wall of the stub to match that of the drawings supplied by the builder.  No delamination was found and the ultrasound process allowed enough information for the repair yard not to drill destructive cores into the structure, saving unecessary repairs and damage at the insuerers cost.

Case Study 3 Using Thermal Imaging
During a traditional survey moisture was detected on this boats hull in areas on the topsides, although it was difficult to determine the exact cause and location of the moisture.  Using thermal imaging Saunders Morgan Harris Ltd could trace the water from ingress into the foam frames and stringers.   

Case Study 4 Using Thermal Imaging
Image showing the keel housing on a IMOCA 60 showing the internal webbing not visable without using thermal imaging.  The location of the structure can then be verified using the construction drawings.

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