Inspections or Testing are quite common in various industry sectors including Oil and Gas, Construction, Automotive, Aerospace, Mining, Fabrication, Rail and Power Generation. But some technology used in such processes tends to cause damage to the parts or materials that are being tested. Now, new cutting-edge techniques are implemented by industries to eliminate such risks, thanks to the evolution of technology. This includes Non-Destructive Testing.
What is Non-Destructive Testing?
NDT or Non Destructive Testing, as the name suggests is a technique used in engineering, manufacturing and construction applications to evaluate the properties of a material, component, or system without damaging or altering it. NDT allows industries to inspect and evaluate materials and components safely and with efficiency. It would help spot defects, flaws or any other potential risks that might later lead to failure or safety hazards.
While using Non-Destructive Testing methods, your industry can achieve its goals easily along with many other benefits. The most important one is that NDT allows you to save money by eliminating any chance of damage to your materials or components throughout the entire testing process. It helps you to ensure the safety of industrial components and the methods used are faster thereby increasing productivity. There are many more advantages to using Non-Destructive Testing. But firstly, you need to learn about the different types of NDT commonly used by industries.
Here are the 5 important Non-Destructive Testing:
1. Magnetic Particle Testing (MT)
Magnetic Particle Testing (MT) is a Non-Destructive Testing method used to detect surface and slightly subsurface defects in ferromagnetic materials like iron, nickel and cobalt and their alloys. It is an effective method for detecting cracks, porosity and laps in ferromagnetic materials.
The process of MT involves Magnetization where the test object is magnetized using a magnet or an electromagnet, Application of Magnetic Particles to the surface of the magnetized object and Interpretation where the inspector examines the surface. MT is relatively quick and easy to perform, making it a popular method for quality control and inspection of critical components. It is also a cost-effective alternative to destructive testing methods, such as cutting or grinding the material to inspect for defects.
2. Penetrant Testing (PT)
Penetrant Testing, also known as Dye Penetrant Inspection (DPI), is another NDT method used to detect surface-breaking defects in non-porous materials such as metals, plastics, and ceramics.
PT is conducted through a series of 6 steps. Firstly, Cleaning where the surface of the test object is cleaned thoroughly to remove any dirt, oil, or other contaminants. Secondly, Penetrant Application where a liquid penetrant is applied to the surface of the test object and thirdly, Dwell Time where the penetrant is left to dwell for a certain amount of time. It is then followed by the fourth step, the Removal of Excess Penetrant which leaves only the penetrant trapped in any surface cracks or voids. After that, Developer is applied which acts as a blotter, drawing the penetrant trapped in any surface cracks or voids to the surface and finally, Inspection where the surface of the test object is examined for visible indications of defects or discontinuity.
3. Ultrasonic Testing (UT)
The NDT, Ultrasonic Testing (UT) helps detect flaws and measure the thickness of materials by using high-frequency sound waves. UT is fast and accurate, allowing for a quick inspection of large areas and complex shapes. All in all, it is a valuable tool for inspection and quality control in industries where material thickness is critical.
Ultrasonic testing can be performed in diverse modes, like pulse-echo, through-transmission and phased array. In pulse-echo mode, the transducer sends out a pulse of sound waves, and the reflected waves are used to detect flaws. In through-transmission mode, the transducer sends sound waves through the material, and a second transducer on the other side of the material detects the waves. In phased array mode, multiple transducers are used to send and receive sound waves from different angles, allowing for more detailed and precise imaging. At last, the inspector interprets the A-scan to determine the location and intensity of defects.
4. Visual Testing (VT)
In Visual Testing (VT), a visual inspection of the surface of a material or component is conducted for checking defects, such as cracks, corrosion and other types of damage. In addition, VT becomes the ideal method for verifying the quality and workmanship of a finished product.
This Non-Destructive Testing is performed by Preparation where the surface of the material or component being inspected is prepared by cleaning, Inspection which involves the examination of the material or component for any signs of defects or damage and Documentation where any defects or damage found at the time of inspection are documented, including their location, size, and severity.
5. Radiographic Testing and Digital Radioscopy (RT/DR)
Radiographic Testing (RT) utilizes X-rays or gamma rays to inspect the internal structure of materials and components for defects. It can also be used to determine material thickness, identify inclusions or foreign material, and verify the integrity of welds. It is widely used in various industries such as aerospace, automotive and construction.
Digital Radioscopy, which is a modern version of Radiography, uses digital detectors instead of film. It offers several advantages, including faster processing times, immediate feedback on image quality and the ability to enhance images for better defect detection.
Bottom Line with technological advancements, Non-Destructive Testing has become a part of most industrial applications. NDT helps reduce waste and the need for hazardous materials, contributing towards the sustainability of the environment. Furthermore, it allows you to balance time, quality control and cost-effectiveness in the best possible way to achieve business success.
In a nutshell, NDT forms an essential tool for ensuring the safety, quality and reliability of materials and components across various industries. Also, while avoiding costly repair and maintenance, NDT becomes the ideal choice for any testing and inspection purposes as well as provides businesses with a competitive edge and an opportunity to improve their operations.
Are you looking for expert Non-Destructive Testing?
At Tubecare, we are committed to offering high-quality services in Non-Destructive Inspections to help support Oil & Gas industries in the best possible way. Get in touch and get started now.