Neutron Backscatter

Horizontal vessels

ScanTech’s NuScan service is primarily used for level and interface measurements inside process vessels. The neutron backscatter technique is used to obtain accurate levels through the wall of the vessel.

The physics behind the neutron backscatter theory allows our device to provide non-invasive interface level measurements based on the hydrogen concentration in the material. The NuScan (Technology or Service?) can be used to find deposits within tanks, vessels and pipelines, to determine corrosion under insulation (CUI), and to identify voids under tank floors. This technique is not limited to process plants as it has found applications offshore, under the ocean surface as well as in the food industry and security/law enforcement.

NuScan Theory

ScanTech’s NuScan is a portable device which has a neutron emitting source and electronic detector mounted side by side. As the scanner is moved along the vessel shell the readings obtained will be proportional to the amount of hydrogen in front of the scanning head. The higher the hydrogen concentration the larger the received signal.

Interfaces between hydrogen rich liquids and vapors produce a large difference in signal. An interface between two liquids will normally record less of a difference depending on the hydrogen concentration of each.



The NuScan obtains its readings in front of the scanning head so it can be used on any diameter of vessel to measure the contents next to the exterior wall. The handheld device has an extension handle to increase the reach of the operator which decreases the need for scaffolding and ladders. Applications of the NuScan include:

  • Storage tank sludge and inventory levels
  • Liquid heights on trays and in downcomers
  • Sand or deposit height in separators
  • Calibration of existing level gauges
  • Determine the location of wet insulation and corrosion under insulation (CUI)
  • Locate voids in the earthen support under tank floors

In-House Development

NuScan Scanning

The NuScan equipment was developed in house at ScanTech to provide state of the art neutron backscatter readings for a growing industry. The electronics features both analog and digital displays as well as a computer interface for recording and printing measurements.

Please inquire to our head office if you are interested in our neutron backscatter service for level measurements or CUI .

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