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What is Non-Destructive Testing in Industry?


Engineering students, people new to industry and those with an interest in structures and technical analysis will be interested to learn about non-destructive testing. Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a variety of techniques carried out within the scientific and industrial fields in order to check the components and the properties of a structure, a system, a material, or a part without damaging the component. Non-destructive testing may also be referred to as non-destructive examination or non-destructive evaluation (NDE), or non-destructive inspection (NDI). This technique is useful and highly popular because it does not affect the item that is under inspection and therefore saves time and money when evaluating items as well as when troubleshooting or carrying out routine testing.

What is Non-Destructive Testing in Industry

Common Non-Destructive Testing Techniques

Regular methods to carry out non-destructive testing include ultrasonic testing, liquid penetrant testing, magnetic particle tests, remote visual inspection, low coherence interferometry, and radiographic testing or x-ray testing. The technology and methods are used in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, forensic engineering and electrical engineering, as well as in medicine and even in the art world.

Methods of Analysis

The methods of non-destructive testing use electromagnetic radiation and sound in order to examine the structure of components and items. Most usually the technique requires microscopic analysis in some regard, which will help to analyze the external surface of the object. In terms of analysis of the internal structure of the component, which is a vital part of the testing, x-rays are used. The techniques described on this site show how x-ray technology is used to inspect the quality of welds, for example. In the case of ultrasonic analysis, sound waves are used instead of x-rays. The tests reveal the contrast between different areas of the component, which shows up where there is a defect. If further help is needed to illustrate the defects for clearer analysis then liquid penetrant testing is helpful.

Non-Destructive Testing of Welds

Welds are used in manufacturing to fix two metal parts together. These connections may need to bear loads and will become fatigued throughout the lifetime of the product or structure, so it is important to test the welds to make sure they are not set to fail. Typical welding defects that can be detected with non-destructive testing include cracks inside the weld, porosity, substandard fusion of the base metal and the weld, or variations in the density of the weld. Welds are frequently tested using x-rays or gamma rays. When the weld is solid and safe, the tests indicate that there are no cracks, and that there is a clear surface to the weld that shows up on the radiographic test. The test may, in the case of a problematic weld, show a flaw that must undergo further investigation or evaluation to see if it is rejectable – this is called a defect and defects are normally repaired or may be removed.

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