ElcoMaster® Data Management Software for Ultrasonic NDT Applications
John Fletcher
Technical Support Manager,
Elcometer, President
of the Institute
of Corrosion (November 2016 )
Chairman, ASTM D01 Main
Committee on Paint
Chairman of ASTM sub-committee
D01.23 Physical Tests for Paints.

Ultrasonic material thickness gauges are widely used as a non -destructive testing technique for determining the wall thickness of steel pipes in service to assess the effects of internal corrosion and erosion on the original wall thickness and to confirm that there is sufficient wall thickness left for continued service

Elcometer Limited offers the ElcoMaster® Data Management Software package as support for their range of digital gauges. As each new Elcometer digital electronic gauge is launched ElcoMaster® is developed to accommodate the specific features of the new gauge.

As a data management tool, ElcoMaster® can facilitate the transfer of data from the gauge to a computer and can then analyse the data, produce reports including relevant documents, photographs and notes, share these reports electronically and then archive the data for future analysis or record keeping

When the Elcometer Ultrasonic Material Thickness Gauges (MTG) and Precision Thickness Gauges (PTG) were launched, ElcoMaster® was updated to allow the new feature of these gauges to be utilised and operated for material thickness data management.

These gauges have applications for measuring pipe wall thicknesses when only one side of the pipe is accessible and therefore they are ideal for assessing pipeline that are in service for excessive internal corrosion or erosion.

The Elcometer MTG & PTG range of gauges has a number of measurement modes available to help the user establish the most accurate thickness value. The modes available vary between models but normally increase as the model number increases. These measurement modes are summarised as follows:
  • Pulsed - Echo Mode (P-E): Ideal for pit and flaw detection, the total thickness from the base of the transducer to the material density boundary (typically the back wall) is measured.
  • Echo - Echo Mode (E-E): Sometimes known as ThruPaint™ mode, the coating thickness is ignored and the material thickness from the top surface of the material to the material density boundary (typically the back wall) is measured. A highly damped, coating thickness transducer is required.to make use of Echo-Echo ThruPaint™ mode,
  • Interface Echo Mode (I-E): A highly accurate measurement mode, Interface Echo displays the total thickness from the top surface to the material density boundary.
  • Plastic Mode (PLAS): A mode specifically used for measuring very thin plastics. A special graphite delay line accessory is required to make use of this mode.
  • Velocity Mode (VM): Velocity mode measures the speed of sound of materials and is ideal for determining the homogeneity of a material /alloy and the correct velocity of a material for calibration.
The Elcometer MTG Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge

The Elcometer MTG Range of Ultrasonic Material Thickness Gauges is a group of four products, from the entry level MTG2 through the MTG4 and MTG6 to the top-of-the-range MTG8, designed to be ergonomic, rugged, accurate and easyto -use. A wide range of potted, right angle and dual-element transducers is available for measuring various materials. Elcometer MTG transducers are 'intelligent'; when the transducer is connected it is automatically identified by the gauge.

Each of the four MTG products has a number of operational features allowing the user to select the gauge that is most appropriate for the application. The Elcometer MTG2 is supplied complete with 5MHz, ¼" transducer and is pre-calibrated for measuring on steel only with a thickness range of up to 500mm (20") in Pulsed-Echo (P-E) mode. The operational features of the Elcometer MTG2 Ultrasonic Material Thickness Gauge are as follows:
  • Single measurement mode; Pulse-Echo
  • Pre-calibrated for measuring steel
  • Pre-defined measurement rate; 4 readings per second
  • Live reading mode; USB transfer of individual readings to a PC or similar device























The Elcometer MTG2 Ultrasonic Material Thickness Gauge

With a choice of calibration options and measurement modes, the Elcometer MTG4 is ideal for taking readings on a wide range of coated and uncoated materials. The Elcometer Model MTG4 has all the features of MTG2 plus:
  • Additional measurement mode; Echo-Echo ThruPaint™
  • Choice of calibration methods; 1 Point, Material and Factory Calibration
With a choice of calibration options, measurement modes – including high speed scan mode, display options and data-logging, the MTG6 is ideal for taking readings on a wide range of coated and uncoated materials and downloading data for further analysis and reporting. The Elcometer Model MTG6 has all the features of MTG2 & MTG4 plus:
  • Additional measurement mode; Velocity
  • Additional calibration methods; 2 Point, Velocity & Thickness Set
  • User selectable reading resolution; 0.1 mm or 0.01 mm
  • User Sequential selectable measurement rate; 4, 8 or 16 readings per second
  • User definable display; Readings, Selected Statistics, Bar Graph & Run Chart
  • Batching & Gauge memory; Single sequential batch of up to 1,500 readings
  • USB & Bluetooth® data output to ElcoMaster™ and ElcoMaster Mobile Apps for Android™ and iOS Devices
The MTG8 is the top-of-the-range MTG gauge with all the features and functionality necessary for measuring material thickness and velocity on virtually any material and for a wide range of applications. The Elcometer Model MTG8 has all the features of MTG2, MTG4 & MTG6 plus:
  • Three user programmable calibration memories
  • Extra display options; Readings, Differential & B-Scan
  • Grid Batching
  • Gauge memory; up to 100,000 readings in 1,000 sequential or grid batches
  • User definable upper & lower limits with audible & visual pass/fail warnings
The Elcometer PTG Ultrasonic Precision Thickness Gauge

The Elcometer PTG Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge is a precision ultrasonic material thickness gauge with a measurement range of 0.15mm (0.006") to 25 .40mm (1.000") with ±1% accuracy, across three measurement modes, Interface Echo (IE), Echo-Echo ThruPaint™ and Plastic Mode (PLAS). These gauges use 15 MHz, single element transducers with a delay line to achieve measurements with pinpoint accuracy. The PTG series of ultrasonic precision thickness gauges has ThruPaint™ technology allowing the accurate measurement of the thickness of extremely thin substrates. There are two models in the PTG range, the Elcometer PTG6 and Elcometer PTG8.

The Elcometer PTG6 has the following features:
  • Interface Echo (I-E), Echo-Echo ThruPaint™ (E-E) & Plastic Mode (PLAS) measurement modes
  • Measurement range from 0.15mm (0.006") to 25.40mm (1.000")
  • 2-Point, 1-Point, Material, Velocity and Factory Calibration options
  • User selectable measurement rate; 4,8,16 readings per second
  • User selectable reading resolution; 0.1mm (0.01") or 0.01mm (0.001")
  • USB output to ElcoMaster ®

















Examples of Ultrasonic Transducers showing single element, dual element and delay line versions

The Elcometer PTG8 is the top-of-therange gauge with all the features and functionality necessary for measuring, with high precision, material thickness on virtually any material. With a user definable display, users can choose to view readings, statistical information, bar graph together with the highest (Hi); lowest (Lo); and average (x); reading or a trend graph of the last 20 readings.

In Scan Mode, readings can be taken at a rate of 16Hz (16 readings per second) over a large surface area. When the transducer is lifted off the surface, the average, lowest and highest thickness values are displayed.

The PTG8 allows users to store into memory up to three calibration settings. Once saved, the user can select a calibration without the need to re -calibrate the gauge, ideal for users who are measuring a variety of materials or thicknesses. Using the gauge’s alpha-numeric function, calibration memories can be re-named to suit the calibration setting.

The PTG8 has user definable upper and lower limits with audible and visual pass/fail warnings. Limits can be set for individual readings or for each batch. If a measurement is taken which falls outside the set limits, the reading value and the limit icon turns red, the red LED flashes and the alarm beeps.








































The Elcometer PTG Ultrasonic Precision Thickness Gauge





















Wireless Communication via Bluetooth between the MTG and a Smart Phone using the ElcoMaster® Mobile App

The PTG8 has Differential Mode; once a user defined nominal thickness value is set, the gauge displays the measured thickness together with the variation from the set nominal value thus indicating areas of the material which is thinner or thicker than expected.

The PTG8 offers B-Scan, a time based, cross sectional 2 dimensional graphical view of the material under test, ideal for relative depth analysis . The zoom of the B-Scan reading can either be set to automatic or can be defined by the user to focus on areas of interest.

The PTG8 can store 100,000 readings in up to 1,000 sequential or grid type batches. Using grid batching, readings are stored in a spreadsheet type format. The "Obst" feature, allows the user to record an obstruction within the grid.

The Elcometer PTG8 features can be summarised as follows:
  • Interface Echo (I-E) Echo-Echo ThruPaint™ (E-E) & Plastic Mode (PLAS) measurement modes
  • Measurement range from 0.15mm(0.006") to 25.40mm (1.000")
  • 2-Point, 1-Point, Material, Velocity & Factory Calibration options
  • Three user programmable calibration memories
  • User selectable measurement rate; 4,8,16 readings per second
  • User selectable reading resolution; 0.1mm (0.01") or 0.01mm (0.001" )
  • Scan Mode
  • Readings, selected statistics, Bar Graph, Run Chart, B-Scan & Differential Mode
  • Gauge memory; stores up to 100,000 readings in up to 1,000 sequential or grid batches
  • User definable upper and lower limits with audible & visual pass /fail warnings
  • USB and Bluetooth® data output to ElcoMaster® and ElcoMaster® Mobile Apps




















Wireless Communication via Bluetooth between the MTG and a Smart Phone using the ElcoMaster® Mobile App

ElcoMaster® and ElcoMaster® Mobile App

The Elcometer MTG6, MTG8 and PTG8 all have data output capability and can upload data to the ElcoMaster® Data Management Software and to the ElcoMaster Mobile App. ElcoMaster® is a fast, easy to use software and mobile app for all data management, reporting and quality assurance needs. Elcometer Bluetooth® enabled gauges such as the MTG8 and the PTG8 can be connected directly to iPhone, iPad and iPod or Android™ mobile phones and tablets via ElcoMaster® Mobile App. When out in the field or on site, you can review data instantly using the free ElcoMaster® Mobile App. Press 'Generate PDF' and watch the ElcoMaster® App produce a professional report instantly. E-mail the report to your client seconds after you have finished inspecting or upload it via cloud technology so it can be accessed anywhere in the world.

What ElcoMaster® can do:
  • Import and combine measurements via Bluetooth® or USB from a full range of Elcometer gauges, including; Surface Profile, Salt Contamination, Climatic Conditions, Oven Data Logging, Coating Thickness , Corrosion Thickness, Adhesion Testing, Gloss Measurements Store data in a simple file tree, by project and by inspection type.
  • Easy on screen analysis with histograms, statistics, measurements, limits, notes, diagrams and photographs.
  • Export data direct to Microsoft Excel, .csv, txt or cqatk formats to save time and prevent keying in errors.
ElcoMaster® Example

If a pipeline is to be inspected to check if the internal wall of the steel pipe has been corroded or eroded in service then the collection of the data can be set up to maximise the effectiveness of the inspection process.

Firstly the gauge can be set up to record the readings in a memory batch using the New Batch menu option.

Selecting the Batch Type allows the data collection method to be chosen for the batch or batches of data to be collected. This can be Sequential, where readings are taken along the axis of the pipe or once round the circumference at a single position, or Grid, where a matrix of rows and columns are pre-defined for the area to be inspected.

Selecting Grid provides the option to set the number of rows and columns that define the grid and to set how the data is collected, indicates the data is collected across the columns before moving to the next row, indicates the data is collected down the rows before moving to the next column.

Next the limits for the acceptance and rejection of the measurements can be set using the Limit Memories option from the Main menu.

The Limit Memories menu gives the option to select existing limits, to create new limits or to edit limits.n

The Create Limit Memory screen allows the upper and lower limit values to be entered, in the example below these limits are in mm and it is also possible to activate and set a Nominal value for the thickness of the pipe wall. There are up to 40 limit memories that can be stored in the MTG8 and the PTG8.

The gauge is now ready to collect the data in the format defined in the batch and when the data is uploaded to ElcoMaster® it can be viewed, analysed and reported using the software features.

Conclusion

Ultrasonic material thickness gauges are widely used as a non-destructive testing technique for determining the wall thickness of steel pipes in service to assess the effects of internal corrosion and erosion on the original wall thickness and to confirm that there is sufficient wall thickness left for continued service.

The new Elcometer MTG and PTG gauges can be used for this purpose and are supported by the well proven data management software package, ElcoMaster®. The gauge operating system has been developed to make the inspection and assessment of the resulting data as easy as possible and consistent with other gauges in the product range that are used for coating inspection tasks , which are also applicable to pipeline construction and maintenance