NDT (Non-Destructive Testing), sometimes known as Non-Destructive examination (NDE), Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI), or Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) is a group of techniques used for the analysis of materials without degrading the material being inspected.
Its use within industry is highly valuable, due to its ability to save time, money and potentially prevent accidents from occurring. It can be used within industries such as aerospace to ensure no faults have been introduced into materials before they’re used in service. You may want to check out Learn more about non destructive testing for more.
NDT is highly sought after for health and safety applications, such as complying with HSE regulations within the UK. Various pieces of equipment, such as pressure vessels, pipelines and boilers are governed by regulations, both in the UK and abroad, often stipulating testing must take place directly, or otherwise stating appropriate maintenance must be performed. In order to show maximum action has been taken to ensure safety, a non-destructive evaluation suits both the requirements of regulations such as these, as well as the company’s need for an inspection method which will not damage their expensive equipment. NDT reports can then be analysed should an incident occur, outlining the condition of parts, and appropriate actions taken to remedy any faults found, to determine whether maximum action was taken in regards to health and safety or not.
NDT encompasses a wide variety of techniques, some providing basic information, while some providing more in depth information. There is a general positive correlation between level of information gleaned, and the time and cost for the inspection.
Some common NDT methods include;
-Dye Penetrant Inspection (DPI)
-Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI)
-Ultrasonic Testing (UT)
-Eddy Current Testing (ECT)
-Long Range Ultrasonic Technique (LRUT)
-Low Frequency Electromagnetic Technique (LFET)
-IRIS (Internal Rotary Inspection System)
-Radiographic Testing (RT)
-Acoustic Emission (AE)
-As well as many more.
NDT technicians are required to undergo rigorous certification to ensure they’re capable of discerning defects and analysing conditions correctly. There are various qualifications available however; most consist of a theory component, a practical examination, as well as a period of on the job work experience before a technician can receive a full certificate of competence. Naturally with the work involving the safety of those who might be working around the equipment in future, training and competence is taken very seriously, and testing rigorous.
Overall NDT provides an essential service to many sectors, particularly the oil and gas industries, power and energy, bulk storage, offshore, process and chemical, and aerospace to name a few.