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characteristic of an object. o i.e. Inspect or measure without doing harm. Uses of NDT Methods When are NDT Methods Used? o Flaw Detection and Evaluation There are NDE applications at almost any stage in o Leak Detection the production or life cycle of a component. o Location Determination To assist in product development o Dimensional Measurements To screen or sort incoming materials o Structure and Microstructure Characterization To monitor, improve or control o Estimation of Mechanical and Physical Properties manufacturing processes o Stress (Strain) and Dynamic Response To verify proper processing such as heat Measurements treating o Material Sorting and Chemical Composition To verify proper assembly Determination To inspect for in-service damage Some Applications of NDT Methods o Power Plant Inspection: Periodically, power plants are shutdown for inspection. Inspectors feed eddy current probes into heat exchanger tubes to check for corrosion damage. o Wire Rope Inspection: Electromagnetic devices and visual inspections are used to find broken wires and other damage to the wire rope that is used in chairlifts, cranes and other lifting devices. o Storage Tank Inspection: Robotic crawlers use ultrasound to inspect the walls of large above ground tanks for signs of thinning due to corrosion. Cameras on long articulating arms are used to inspect underground storage tanks for damage. o Aircraft Inspection: Nondestructive testing is used extensively during the manufacturing of aircraft. NDT is also used to find cracks and corrosion damage during operation of the aircraft. o Jet Engine Inspection: Aircraft engines are overhauled after being in service for a period of time. They are completely disassembled, cleaned, inspected and then reassembled. Fluorescent penetrant inspection is used to check many of the parts for cracking. o Crash of United Flight 232 (Sioux City, Iowa, July 19, 1989): A defect that went undetected in an engine disk was responsible for the crash of United Flight 232. o Pressure Vessel Inspection: The failure of a pressure vessel can result in the rapid release of a large amount of energy. To protect against this dangerous event, the tanks are inspected using radiography and ultrasonic testing. o Rail Inspection: Special cars are used to inspect thousands of miles of rail to find cracks that could lead to a derailment. o Bridge Inspection: o Corrosion, cracking and other damage can all affect a bridge’s performance. o The collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967 resulted in loss of 47 lives. o Bridges get a visual inspection about every 2 years. o Some bridges are fitted with acoustic emission sensors that “listen” for sounds of cracks growing. o Pipeline Inspection: NDT is used to inspect pipelines to prevent leaks that could damage the environment. Visual inspection, radiography and electromagnetic testing are some of the NDT methods used.
Most Common NDT Methods o Visual Inspection o Radiography (X-Ray Inspection) o Magnetic Particle Inspection o Fluorescent Particle Inspection o Ultrasonic Inspection o Eddy Current Inspection Visual Inspection o Most basic and common inspection method. o The film darkness (density) will vary with the amount of radiation reaching the film through the test object. such as air ducts . plastics. resins. organic material. o X-rays and gamma rays are very hazardous. pipelines. Therefore the operator will use these inside a protective enclosure or with appropriate barriers and warning signals to ensure there are no hazards to personnel.reactors. o Robotic crawlers permit observation in hazardous or tight areas.railroad tank cars. nonmetals.The x-ray or gamma rays are placed close to the material to be inspected and they pass through the material and are then captured on film. sewer lines. o Portable video inspection unit with zoom allows inspection of large tanks and vessels . and materials – containing hydrogen . Radiography (X-Ray Inspection) o The radiation used in radiography testing is a higher energy (shorter wavelength) version of the electromagnetic waves that we see as visible light. radioactive material. This film is then processed and the image is obtained as a series of gray shades between black and white. high density materials. Gamma sources have the advantage of portability which makes them ideal for use in construction site working. magnifying glasses and mirrors. o The choice of which type of radiation is used (x ray or gamma) depends on the thickness of the material to be tested. honeycomb – structures. Special precautions must be taken when performing radiography. o The part is placed between the radiation source and a piece of film. Tools include fiberscopes. Applications Radiography (Neutron) – metals. o X-rays are produced by high voltage x ray machines whereas gamma rays are produced from radioactive isotopes such as Iridium 192 . composites and mixed materials – used on pyrotechnics. borescopes. Thicker and denser area will stop more of the radiation. The part will stop some of the radiation. The radiation can come from an X-ray generator or a radioactive source.
While magnetic particle inspection is primarily used to find surface breaking flaws. composites and mixed – usually used on dense or thick material materials – used on all shapes and forms. o The technique uses the principle that magnetic lines of force (flux) will be distorted by the presence of a flaw in a manner that will reveal its presence.Radiography (X-ray) Radiography (Gamma) metals. aerospace. electronic assemblies. suspended in a liquid. filtering or otherwise modifying beam is difficult – radiation hazards – cracks must be oriented parallel to beam for detection – sensitivity decreases with increasing thickness Radiography (X-ray) Radiography (Gamma) – access to both sides of test piece needed – radiation hazards – voltage. – used on all shapes and forms.e. aerospace. nonmetals. There are variations in the way the magnetic field is applied. Finely milled iron particles coated with a dye pigment are then applied to the specimen. electronic assemblies. But its effectiveness quickly diminishes depending on the flaw depth and type. it can also be used to locate sub-surface flaws. This indication can be visually detected under proper lighting conditions – . marine and automotive components marine and automotive components – used where thickness or access limits X-ray Limitations Radiography (Neutron) – access for placing test piece between source and detectors – size of neutron source housing is very large (reactors) for reasonable source strengths – collimating. o The flaw (for example. to the area under examination. welds. castings. o Surface irregularities and scratches can give misleading indications. castings. These particles are attracted to magnetic flux leakage fields and will cluster to form an indication directly over the discontinuity. following the application of fine iron particles. in this process magnetic particle part is magnetized. a crack) is located from the "flux leakage". o i. focal spot size and exposure time – cracks must be oriented parallel to beam critical for detection – radiation hazards – sensitivity decreases with increasing – cracks must be oriented parallel to beam thickness for detection – access to both sides of test piece needed – sensitivity decreases with increasing – not as sensitive as X-rays thickness Magnetic Particle Inspection o Magnetic particle inspection is a method that can be used to find surface and near surface flaws in ferromagnetic materials such as steel and iron. Therefore it is necessary to ensure careful preparation of the surface before magnetic particle testing is undertaken. o The iron particles can be applied dry or wet. colored or fluorescent. welds.
e. billets. Water removes the surface film as well. engine components. . Visual inspection is the final step in the process. o Developer draws the penetrant out of the crack. A developer (powder) is applied to pull the trapped penetrant out the defect and spread it on the surface where it can be seen. but penetrant in the crack is not emulsified. tubing. bars. in this process a liquid with high surface wetting characteristics is applied to the surface of the part and allowed time to seep into surface breaking defects. forgings. o The technique is based on the ability of a liquid to be drawn into a "clean" surface breaking flaw by capillary action. shafts and gears Limitations – detection of flaws limited by field strength and direction – needs clean and relatively smooth surface – some holding fixtures required for some magnetizing techniques – test piece may need demagnetization which can be difficult for some shapes and magnetizations – depth of flaw not indicated Fluorescent Particle Inspection o Fluorescent Particle inspection is a method that is used to reveal surface breaking flaws by bleedout of a colored or fluorescent dye from the flaw. castings. o Black light causes the penetrant to glow in dark. o i.Applications: – ferromagnetic materials – surface and slightly subsurface flaws can be detected – can be applied to welds. Emulsifier makes the mixture washable. The inspection is done under UV light to increase test sensitivity. o Water spray removes the emulsified penetrant. o Emulsifies is applied to the penetrant. The excess liquid is removed from the surface of the part. Emulsifier mixes with penetrant on the surface. extrusions.
aircraft and engine components – used to determine thickness and mechanical properties – monitoring service wear and deterioration Limitations – usually contacting. forgings. brazing. nonmetals and composites – surface and slightly subsurface flaws can be detected – can be applied to welds. aluminium parts. forgings. turbine blades and disks. pressure vessels. shafts. billets. immersion testing) – special probes are required for applications – sensitivity limited by frequency used and some materials cause significant scattering – scattering by test material structure can cause false indications . o Any sound from that pulse that returns to the transducer like an echo is shown on a screen which gives the amplitude of the pulse and the time taken to return to the transducer. castings. o High frequency sound waves are introduced into a material and they are reflected back from surfaces or flaws. concrete. Because of its complexity considerable technician training and skill is required. or welds in pressure vessels at an oil refinery or paper mill. billets. o Reflected sound energy is displayed versus time. It is used on aircraft. the power stations generating plant. Gray scale image produced using the sound reflected from the front surface of the coin Gray scale image produced using the sound reflected from the back surface of the coin (inspected from “heads” side) Applications – metals. either director with intervening medium required (e. tubing.Applications: – used on nonporous materials – can be applied to welds. castings. structural components. back to the transducer. distance and reflectivity can be interpreted. o Defects anywhere through the specimen thickness reflect the sound. o Usually pulsed beams of high frequency ultrasound are used via a hand-held transducer which is placed on the specimen. joints. gears Limitations – need access to test surface – defects must be surface breaking – decontamination & pre-cleaning of test surface may be needed – vapour hazard – very tight and shallow defects difficult to find – depth of flaw not indicated Ultrasonic Inspection (Pulse-Echo) o Ultrasonic inspection uses sound waves of short wavelength and high frequency to detect flaws or measure material thickness. and inspector can visualize a cross section of the specimen showing the depth of features that reflect sound. Flaw size. tubing. o High resolution images can be produced by plotting signal strength or time-of-flight using a computercontrolled scanning system.g.
eddy currents are induced into the specimen.– not easily applied to very thin materials Eddy Current Testing o Eddy current testing is an electromagnetic technique and can only be used on conductive materials. automotive. size variations. or material variation. Commonly it is used in the aerospace. wire. the impedance in the coil is altered. Applications – metals. to the rapid sorting of small components for flaws. turbine blades and disks. o Eddy current testing is particularly well suited for detecting surface cracks but can also be used to make electrical conductivity and coating thickness measurements. o When an energized coil is brought near to the surface of a metal component. o When the eddy currents in the specimen are distorted by the presence of the flaws or material variations. This change is measured and displayed in a manner that indicates the type of flaw or material condition. These currents set-up magnetic field that tend to oppose the original magnetic field. The impedance of coil in close proximity to the specimen is affected by the presence of the induced eddy currents in the specimen. automotive transmission shafts Limitations – requires customized probe – although non-contacting it requires close proximity of probe to part – low penetration (typically 5mm) – false indications due to uncontrolled parametric variables . Here a small surface probe is scanned over the part surface in an attempt to detect a crack. alloys and electro conductors – sorting materials – surface and slightly subsurface flaws can be detected – used on tubing. marine and manufacturing industries. rails. nonmetal coatings. aircraft components. Its applications range from crack detection. bearings.