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June 24, 2018

Testing Steam Traps with Ultrasound

Successfully Testing Steam Traps With High-Frequency UltrasoundClick Here To Download the Article PDFWhen using high-frequency ultrasound, the main question is where the sensitivity should be set to conduct the test. If the testing instrument is set to too high a sensitivity, all the steam traps will test as failed; using too low a sensitivity will indicate that all steam traps are operating properly. The solution is using a field-proven comparison method, which will provide an accurate test on each steam trap. The comparison method uses three or more test points on the steam trap station. Two of the test points are the sensitivity baseline settings on the ultrasound unit, and the third is for testing the steam trap. The comparison method allows the steam trap station assessor to establish a base reading to filter out any competing ultrasounds that can be generated upstream or downstream of the steam trap. Without using the comparison method of testing, it is very difficult to assess the steam trap’s performance because the assessor will not know the correct sensitivity setting. Each steam trap will be in slightly different installations and situations in the steam system, so the comparison method is the most accurate method for setting the ultrasound sensitivity.

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