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interpretation 15 Film reference radiographs and

15.1 Film interpretation


The common term for film interpretation is film viewing. Film viewing in fact means the evaluation of the image quality of a radiograph for compliance with the code requirements and the interpretation of details of any possible defect visible on the film. For this purpose, the film is placed in front of an illuminated screen of appropriate brightness/luminance. The edges of the film and areas of low density need to be masked to avoid glare. The following conditions are important for good film interpretation: brightness of the illuminated screen (luminance) density of the radiograph diffusion and evenness of the illuminated screen ambient light in the viewing room film viewers eye-sight Poor viewing conditions may cause important defect information on a radiograph to go unseen. EN 25880 provides detailed recommendations for good film viewing conditions. The luminance of the light passing through a radiograph shall not be less than 30 cd/m2 and, whenever possible, not less than 100 cd/m2 (cd = candela). These minimum values require a viewing box luminance of 3000 cd/m2 for a film density of 2.0. The practical difficulties of providing the required luminance for a film density of 4.0 are considerable. The main problem with constructing a film-viewing box for these higher densities is the dissipation of heat from the lamps. However, by limiting the film area requiring such high power lighting, it becomes possible to view radiographs of a film density of 4. The light of the viewing box must be diffuse and preferably white. Radiographs should be viewed in a darkened room, although total darkness is not necessary. Care must be taken that as little light as possible is reflected off the film surface towards the film viewer. If the film viewer enters a viewing room from full daylight, some time must be allowed for the eyes to adapt to the dark. A yearly eye-test according to EN473 for general visual acuity is required while especially sight at close range needs to be checked. The film viewer must be able to read a Jaeger number 1 letter at 300 mm distance with one eye, with or without corrective aids. The trained eye is capable of discerning an abrupt density change/step of 1 %. While interpreting, a magnifying glass of power 3 to 4 can be advantageous.
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15.2 The film-interpreter


Apart from the requirements regarding viewing conditions and viewing equipment the film-interpreter (film viewer) shall have thorough knowledge of the manufacturing process of the object being examined and of any defects it may contain. The type of defects that may occur in castings, obviously, differs from those in welded constructions. Different welding processes have their own characteristic defects which the film interpreter must know to be able to interpret the radiograph. To become a qualified NDT operator, various training courses, course materials and leaflets specifying the requirements they need to comply with, exist. The European NDTindustry conforms to the qualification standards of the American ASNT organisation. So far, a training programme for film-interpreter has not been established in similar fashion. Textbooks for example are not uniform. Sometimes, the IIW-weld defect reference collection is used, beside which the instructor usually has his own collection of typical examples, supplemented with process-specific radiographs. ASTM has a reference set of defects in castings available. There are incidental initiatives to introduce classification of film-interpreters by level, in a system comparable to the qualification of NDT-personnel. Some countries have already implemented such a system.

15.3 Reference radiographs


The two main areas for the application of radiography are weld examination and examination of castings. Radiography is also used to check complex assemblies for proper construction, and for many other technical applications. The following selection of radiographs illustrates the wide variety of possibilities for detection possibilities of defects or errors.

Weld inspection:
The following examples are from the booklet published by GE Inspection Technologies, called Radiographers Weld Interpretation Reference Note: All of these examples illustrating a variety of defects in welds are also issued on poster format (60 x 90 cm) by GE Inspectio technologies.

Offset or mismatch (Hi-Lo). An abrupt change in film density across the width of the weld image

Offset or mismatch with Lack of Penetration (LOP). An abrupt density change across the width of the weld image with a straight longitudinal darker density line at the centre of the width of the weld image along the edge of the density change.

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External concavity or insufficient fill. The weld density is darker than the density of the pieces welded and extending across the full width of the weld.

Excessive penetration. A lighter density in the centre of the width of the weld image, either extended along the weld or in isolated circular drops.

External undercut. An irregular darker density along the edge of the weld image. The density will always be darker than the density of the pieces being welded.

Internal (root) undercut. An irregular darker density near the centre of the width of the weld image and along the edge of the root pass image.

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Internal concavity (suck back). An elongated irregular darker density with fuzzy edges, in the centre of the width of the weld image.

Burn through. Localized darker density with fuzzy edges in the centre of the width of the weld image. It may be wider than the width of the root pass image

Incomplete - or Lack of Penetration (LoP) A darker density band, with very straight parallel edges, in the center of the width of the weld image.

Interpass slag inclusions. Irregularly-shaped darker density spot, usually slightly elongated and randomly spaced.

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Elongated slag lines (wagon tracks). Elongated parallel or single darker density lines, irregular in width and slightly winding lengthwise.

Lack of side wall fusion (LOF). Elongated parallel, or single, darker density lines sometimes with darker density spots dispersed along the LOF-lines which are very straight in the lengthwise direction and not winding like elongated slag lines

Interpass cold lap Small spots of darker densities, some with slightly elongated tails in the welding direction.

Scattered porosity. Rounded spots of darker densities random in size and location.

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Cluster porosity. Rounded or slightly elongated darker density spots in clusters with the clusters randomly spaced.

Root pass aligned porosity. Rounded and elongated darker density spots that may be connected, in a straight line in the centre of the width of the weld image.

Transverse crack Feathery, twisting lines of darker density running across the width of the weld image.

Longitudinal crack Feathery, twisting line of darker density running lengthwise along the weld at any location in the width of the weld image.

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Casting radiography
For the interpretation of X-ray films of castings, thorough knowledge of the specific manufacturing process is required. The type of defects in castings varies for the different types of materials and casting processes. Figures 15-1 and 15-2 show X-rays of complex castings. These radiographs were made to check the overall shape and possible presence of casting defects. As it solidifies during the casting process, metal contracts and unless precautions are taken shrinkage cavities can occur inside the casting. These can take various forms, such as piping/worm-holes, (figure 15-3), sponginess or filamentary cavities, depending on the rate at which the metal has solidified. When the contracting spreads slowly through the metal, filamentary shrinkage (figure 15-4) or even inter-crystalline shrinkage (figure 15-5) may occur, while if the solidification front shifts rapidly, shrinkage cavities tend to occur (figure 15-6). Gas cavities in the form of porosity or larger gas holes can occur either due to a damp mould or release of gas from the molten metal, and can be particularly troublesome in cast light alloys (figure 15-7). Cracks can also occur in castings. If they are formed while the metal is still semi-solid they are usually called hot tears (figure 15-8); if they occur when the metal has solidified, they are called stress cracks or cold tears (figure 15-9). A collection of radiographs of defects in iron/steel castings is provided in ASTM E446, and for aluminium in ASTM E155.

Longitudinal root crack. Feathery, twisting lines of darker density along the edge of the image of the root pass The twisting feature helps to distinguish the root crack from incomplete root penetration.

Tungsten inclusions. Irregularly shaped lower density spots randomly located in the weld image. Fig. 15-1. Radiograph of an aluminium casting

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