February 2001

Heat Transfer/Instrumentation

Is ultrasound leak detection reliable for steam traps?

Know the conditions that invalidate reliability of this method

Bazquez, V., Purgadores de Cindensado, S. L.

For decades, ultrasound has been considered a reliable method for gas and steam leak detection. Thus, it is widely used for predictive maintenance of valves and steam traps. However, it has recently been proved that certain frequent operating conditions reduce and invalidate reliability of the traditional ultrasound method for gas and steam leak detection. Basis of the method. Flow of gas or steam through small holes or clefts generates ultrasound in the band of 40 kHz. Normally, steam traps discharge condensate at low speed, and there is no ultrasound. As soon as steam traps blow, ultrasound is generated. Therefore, ultrasound presence in steam traps is associated

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