Metallurgy, Inspection and Non-Destructive Testing

Brookes Bell offer technical expertise of the full life cycle evaluation of metallic components and their constituent materials. Our comprehensive range of services including best-in-class technologies, ensures you can make the most informed decisions every time.

Metallurgical Services

Metallurgy is a branch of science and engineering, relating to the study of metals and materials. By understanding the fundamental behaviour of metals, our Metallurgists can determine how a component or structure should react in a given environment or under certain mechanical loads.

We have a wide range of experience in different cases, including:

  • Recommendations on metallic design and materials selection
  • Newbuild construction, quality, and fabrication disputes
  • Technical consultancy in relation to weld repair and inspection techniques
  • Corrosion analysis and advice on corrosion prevention/protection
  • Cargo surveys and claims involving ferrous and non-ferrous cargoes, including re-bar, steel coils, aluminium sheet/ingots, and various finished products, as well as galvanised steel.
  • Quality of raw materials and finished products, and the effect of using contaminated/defective products in sound production processes.

Our inhouse analytical capabilities include:

  • High quality sectioning and sample preparation equipment
  • Advanced digital microscopy
  • Portable chemical analysis (material identification)
  • Mechanical testing instruments

Inspection and NDT services

Brookes Bell has a dedicated team of Non-Destructive Testing Technicians and Inspection Engineers to meet your complex inspection requirements. The combination, of highly competent, multi-disciplined operators using the world’s finest state-of-the-art inspection equipment, along with our advanced analytical solutions, reassures clients their assets comply with all applicable standards.

Our services are dynamic and always evolving to bring innovative solutions to complex industry problems, we help clients around the world evaluate material quality and performance.

We provide advanced NDT solutions for:

Weld Testing Methods

All aspects of surface and subsurface weld and joint fabrication testing and inspection

  • Visual Testing (CSWIP)
  • Magnetic Particle Testing (MT)
  • Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT)
  • Ultrasonic Testing (UT)
  • Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT)
  • Full Matrix Capture/Total Focusing Method (FMC)
  • Time of Flight Diffraction Testing (ToFD)
  • Tangential Eddy Current Array (TECA, SHARCK)

Heat Transfer Solutions – Tubes

Full life cycle electromagnetic testing, inspection and analysis tools for Heat Exchangers and Condenser tube bundles.

Ferrous tubes are common in the shell and tube heat exchangers of the oil, gas, petrochemical industry. Common problems we detect and mitigate are corrosion, pitting, cracking and erosion in tube bundles, including aluminium-finned carbon steel air cooler tubes by way of the following solutions:

  • Remote Field Testing (RFT, Double Driver Technology)
  • Near Field Array (NFA, Al finned CS)
  • Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL)
  • Internal Rotary Inspection System (IRIS UT)

Non-ferrous metals, like Inconel, Cupronickel and Stainless Steel are used to make tube bundles for the marine, power generation and nuclear industries owing to their resistance to corrosion and stress cracking in systems such as HVAC Chillers and in nuclear Steam Generators. Eddy current arrays are used to inspect these tubes because they are perfectly suited to non-ferrous alloys:

  • Eddy Current Array Testing (ECA, DefHi)

Trend Analysis and Reporting Software

Our non-destructive evaluation (NDE) process utilises Magnifi, the most advanced data acquisition and analysis software in the Heat Transfer industry, to evaluate electromagnetic inspection data. TubePro, our reporting software, allows us to build accurate Digital Twins of Heat Exchanger tube bundles, optimising efficiency and enabling trend analysis to be performed.

Cargo Tank, Pressure Vessel and TankTainer

Corrosion mapping solutions and surface inspections of both ferrous and non-ferrous tanks including off hire surveys and aggressive cargo disputes.

  • Eddy Current Array Corrosion Mapping (ECA, SPYNE, I-Flex)
  • Automated and Semi-automated Ultrasonic Corrosion Mapping (RMS UT, PAUT)
  • Visual Testing (Portable Stereomicroscopy)
  • Field Metallurgical Replication (FMR)

Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI)

Our innovative solution for full corrosion assessment and steel renewal estimation of deck and shell plating under thick coatings such as composite cladding, Teak or Bolidt deck.

Accurate corrosion mapping (CMAP) models can be generated for ships approaching drydock refit, intermediate or special Class survey. The process enables streamlining of schedules allowing our clients to make informed decisions in planning and preparation. These non-intrusive surveys for the Cruise, Superyacht and Passenger Ship sectors can be performed anywhere around the world while the vessel is in service, at berth, or at sea.

  • Pulsed Eddy Current Array Technology (PECA)

Field Surveys

Versatile field surveys of ship’s hull structure and machinery systems. This includes engine rooms and tanks to collect data that can be used either as part of a remote evaluation for periodic survey, or for use in retrofitting projects such as SOx exhaust gas scrubber systems.

  • 3D Laser Scanning (LiDAR, LEICAR)
  • Drone Survey, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV, CAA OPS)

Failure Investigations

Our Metallurgists are well versed in failure investigation, including securing and documenting samples and conducting forensic examination to determine the cause of failure.

We have experience in a wide range of failure investigations, including:

  • Damaged steel components. Identification of mechanical wear, fracture analysis and failure mechanisms
  • Failure of major items of vessels' structure and equipment, including:
    • Rudder horns
    • Rudder stocks
    • Camshafts
    • Crankshafts
    • Hull structure
    • Wire rope failures; crane wires; lashing wires
    • Bearing failures, including slewing bearings
    • Engine water jackets
  • Corrosion damage to stainless-steel cargo tanks and other structures within chemical products tankers, including damage caused by phosphoric acid cargoes
  • Corrosion damage to carbon steel cargo holds within bulk carriers, including damage caused by sulphur cargoes

We often provide technical consultancy services to shipyards, manufacturers and vessel Owners. This may be in cases when no failure has yet occurred, but a dispute arises over construction quality or further knowledge is needed with regard to handling metals and manufacturing processes. Given the complexity of modern-day investigation, we often work as part of a multi-disciplined team.

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