NDT stands for Non-Destructive Testing and refers to a wide range of analysis techniques that can be employed by the technological industries in order to evaluate the properties of materials and products without causing them any damage. This method of testing items without causing any damage makes NDT extremely valuable in a multitude of industries, such as many engineering sectors as well as medicine and art.
There are six main methods of testing within NDT:
Eddy-Current – Uses electromagnetic induction to outline surface and sub-surface flaws in conductive materials
Magnetic-particle – uses an electromagnetic field to show surface and sub-surface flaws
Liquid penetrant – used on non-porous materials to detect defects like hairline cracks and fatigue in welds, castings and forgings
Radiographic – uses traditional x-rays or gamma rays to show the internal structure and integrity of something
Ultrasonic – passes ultrasonic waves through an object or material to detect internal flaws as well as to characterise certain materials
Visual Testing – is the traditional form of testing with some or all of the human senses in order to draw a conclusion about an object
NDT Applications And How It Can Help Your Business
NDT is predominantly used in industry but can be found in other sectors as previously mentioned. It is used as a routine pre-emptive method in industries where the failure of a component would result in great economic loss or even a threat to human safety. Examples of these include buildings, transportation, piping and hoisting equipment, to name a few. It is regarded as a must for many businesses that could suffer substantial monetary loss if a component was to malfunction due to wear or manufacturing defects. As such, businesses in these kinds of areas rely on these testing methods in order to function.
Welding is the process of joining metal parts together, and the practice has a lot that can go wrong with it, especially if the components encounter stresses and fatigue in their lifetime. For a weld to be sufficient, the metal must reach a certain temperature and must cool a certain rate with the correct technique and equipment. If not, cracks can appear in the weld that may be invisible to the naked eye, and if the welds are on a pipe or tank, this could lead to leakages. If the weld is structural, meaning it bears weight or holds something together, a break in the weld could lead to disastrous consequences.
NDT And Technology
The advancement of technology has undoubtedly helped the development of NDT. Although NDT has been around in various forms since as early as 1860, it has been the last 50 years that the scientific age has brought about new instruments and ways of measuring and interacting with the world around us. Several NDT methods have their roots in the medical world and developments that were made in order to satisfy human health problems. These crossovers include radiography and ultrasonic testing, that have both seen significant technological advancements over the years that NDT has benefited from.