Ultrasonic Plotting ASTM E127 FBH Block Sets
ASTM E127 Flat-bottom Hole (FBH) Block Sets are made up of (most often) cylindrical metal blocks that have a single FBH drilled into one end. They're used to evaluate the performance of ultrasonic equipment for longitudinal (straight beam) inspection, and can be used for direct contact inspection or immersion.
The block design and basic sets have existed for decades, and were historically governed by two different specifications. ASTM E127 covered aluminum alloys only, and ASTM E428 was used for all other metals. The specs were very similar, but E127 had slightly more stringent requirements and dimensional tolerances. In early 2020, ASTM subcommittee E07.06 published a massive update that combined the requirements of both E127 and E428. The new spec, E127-19 now covers all alloys, as well as special "non-standard" blocks to cover bar, billet, and forging inspections that were once found under ASTM E1158 (now withdrawn.)
A critical part of any E127 FBH Block Set is the plot / graph of the ultrasonic responses from the FBHs. The graph shows the relationship between metal travel distance (MTD) and signal amplitude (for distance amplitude sets,) or hole diameter and signal amplitude (for area amplitude sets.) Any good set of blocks should show a linear, "non-erratic" relationship from block to block. This ensures they will perform properly when used to set inspection sensitivity.
Because this ultrasonic plotting capability is so critical to our product line and the services we offer, PH Tool decided in 2018 to bring this capability into our own facility. We have invested in state-of-the-art immersion ultrasonic testing equipment, built custom fixturing for holding and articulating blocks, and procured transducers that meet the requirements of ASTM E127-19. Our ultrasonic plotting technicians are experienced professionals who are dedicated to ensuring that each PH Tool block is performing up-to-spec.
In addition to evaluating our production ASTM sets, we also recertify sets at regular intervals (schedule determined by the customer.) We will even evaluate sets made by competitors to see if they perform properly. Our large immersion tank allows us to plot sets with very long MTDs, as well as special "integrated" blocks with many FBHs of various sizes and MTDs together on one block. The response from an individual ASTM Block can also be evaluated and compared to reference values as a recertification service in cases where a FBH with a metal plug makes mechanical inspection impractical.
See below for some images of the typical "Distance" and "Area" Amplitude Plots we generate for our sets. The plots are made to meet the most recent requirements of ASTM E127-19:
With all of the manufacturing equipment and ultrasonic plotting capability under one roof, PH Tool is set up to provide the most competitive lead times and gain immediate feedback on how the flat bottom holes we manufacture perform under ultrasonic testing conditions - All without risk of damage during transit. When selecting a vendor for your ASTM FBH Blocks, make sure you choose the “Standard of Excellence” at PH Tool!