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Non Destructive Testing

(NDT)Techniques
Basic Notes

What is NDT?
 The abbreviation NDT refers to NON DESTRUCTIVE TESTING

AS FOUND IN ASME SECTION V (2007)


 Assess the condition of a component without causing any damage to it.
 Applied physical parameters such as mechanical vibration, radiation,

localised heating, vibration, sound and electromagnetic interaction is used


test material / components.
 Indications are found based on the response from certain material or

damage related properties.


 Evaluation and interpretation of these indications results in classifications

such as non-relevant, relevant and defective.


 Related engineering actions are taken.

What are Some Uses of NDT Methods?

Flaw Detection and Evaluation


Leak Detection
Location Determination
Dimensional Measurements
Structure and Microstructure Characterization
Estimation of Mechanical and Physical Properties
Stress (Strain) and Dynamic Response Measurements
Material Sorting and Chemical Composition
Determination

When are NDT Methods Used?


There are NDE application at almost any stage
in the production or life cycle of a component.
To assist in product development.
To screen or sort incoming materials.
To monitor, improve or control manufacturing
processes.
To verify proper processing such as heat treating.
To verify proper assembly.
To inspect for in-service damage.

Six Most Common NDT (Basic)


Methods
Visual
Liquid Penetrant
Magnetic
Ultrasonic
Eddy Current
Radiation

Visual Inspection
Most basic and common inspection method.
Tools include fiberscopes, borescopes,
magnifying glasses and mirrors.
Portable video inspection unit with zoom
allows inspection of large tanks and vessels,
railroad tank cars, sewer lines.
Robotic crawlers permit observation in
hazardous or tight areas, such as air ducts,
reactors, pipelines.

Visual Inspection

What is ET?
 The abbreviation ET refers to Electromagnetic Testing
 Thus includes all Non Destructive Testing methods that rely on some kind of
electromagnetic interaction with test sample / component
 Methods include (for example):
Barkhausen noise analysis
Ground penetrating radar
Microwave inspection
Wire Rope testing
Magnetic Resonance testing
Remote field testing
Flux Leakage testing
Potential drop testing
Magnetostrictive testing (EMAT)
EDDY CURRENT TESTING (ECT)

What is EDDY CURRENT TESTING ?


 An alternating current is used to excite a primary coil which results in a varying primary

magnetic field. (Oersted)

 Brought into close proximity with a conductive material, eddy currents are generated in

the material based on a concept referred to as electromagnetic induction. (Faradays law)

 The generated eddy currents forms a secondary magnetic field that opposes the primary

magnetic field. (Lenzs Law).

 The consequent change in the coil / probe impedance is used to detect the nett change

between the primary and secondary magnetic field.

 Variation in the nett magnetic field results from material property changes (conductivity

and permeability), material dimensional changes, distance from test surface and most
importantly, due to the presence of surface and subsurface indications.

What is EDDY CURRENT TESTING ?




Eddy current testing is an indirect detection method, viz. the presence of


defect modifies a secondary parameter i.e. the generated eddy currents &
consequent secondary magnetic field.

 The change in coil impedance caused by the resultant change between


secondary and primary magnetic fields are used to detect the defect.

THUS
SUITABLE CALIBRATION AND REFERENCE
STANDARDS USED TO QUANTIFY AND
CHARACTERIZE DEFECTS ARE CRUCIAL.

What is EDDY CURRENT TESTING ?

 Eddy Current Testing could be used in the place of PT and MT with the
following added advantages:
Depth of penetration (extent of subsurface defect detection) exceeds MT,
depending on frequency selection and material properties.
Very little surface preparation is required, viz. non conductive coating /
rubber linings of up to 10mm thick need not be removed.
No direct surface contact is required.
Remote inspections are possible limited access / safety risk.
Possible to determine defect depth (under quantifiable conditions).

What is EDDY CURRENT TESTING ?


 NO

SINGLE

NDT

METHOD

IS

SUITABLE

FOR

DETECTING ALL TYPES OF DEFECTS.

 THUS

COMBINATION

TECHNIQUES

ARE

OF

REQUIRED

METHODS
FOR

AND

COMPLETE

INSPECTION.
SURFACE, SUBSURFACE & VOLUMETRIC.

Eddy Current Testing

Coil

Coil's
magnetic field

Eddy current's
magnetic field
Eddy
currents
Conductive
material

Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT)


Relatively simple but effective technique for locating
surface-breaking cracks.
Applicable to many materials.
Involves flooding surface of test object with lowviscosity fluid. Fluid soaks into crevices via capillary
action.
Penetrant is cleaned and developer (powder) is applied
to draw out penetrant remaining between crack faces.
Developer provides contrasting background and
blooming effect to enhance crack visibility.
Visual inspection is the final step in the process. The
penetrant used is often loaded with a fluorescent dye
and the inspection is done under UV light to increase
test sensitivity.

Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT)

Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT)


Penetrants can be fluorescent and viewed under
suitable light.
Portable and well suited for fieldwork.
Inexpensive and requires minimal skills. Sensitive
to small discontinuities. Can be applied to nonporous materials. Flaw orientation does not
usually pose a problem.
Only surface anomalies. Must have access to
surface. Stresses at surface can cause problems.
Significant surface preparation required. Fairly
slow due to preparation, dwell, clean-up.

Radiography Testing (RT)


The radiation used in radiography testing is a higher energy
(shorter wavelength) version of the electromagnetic waves
that we see as visible light. The radiation can come from an Xray generator or a radioactive source.

Radiography Testing (RT)


The part is placed between the radiation
source and a piece of film. The part will stop
some of the radiation. Thicker and more
dense area will stop more of the radiation.

X-ray film

The film darkness (density) will


vary with the amount of radiation
reaching the film through the test
object.

= less exposure
= more exposure

Radiography Testing (RT)


X-Rays pass through matter that is opaque to many other
wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.
As X-Rays pass through matter, they become absorbed.
The greater the thickness, the greater the level of absorption.
Some materials absorb more than others (metal versus flesh).
Higher atomic number and density gives higher absorption.
Though X-Rays are invisible, they cause photographic film to
expose.
Photographic film can be used to measure the amount of
radiation passing through a body, and from the resulting image
we can get information on the internal structure/composition
of the object.

Radiography Testing (RT)


Basic Principles:
Electrons are emitted from a tungsten filament
cathode.
A high voltage accelerates them towards the
tungsten anode.
Electrons in atoms of anode are excited to higher
energy states.
As they return to original states, they give off
energy in form of X-Rays.

Radiography Testing (RT)


Defect Sizing
Finding length/area of defect is easy and straight
forward.
Thickness can be estimated.
Volume can be estimated.

Defect Orientation
Depending on defect geometry, its orientation can

be very important in determining its


detectability.
Volume defects (e.g. porosity, cavity) equally easy

(or hard) to see from all directions.


Cracks can be very difficult to see in some directions.

Radiography Testing (RT)


As film is exposed, it goes from white (transparent) to
black opaque (when later developed).
Black areas correspond to places where more X-Rays
get through.
Light areas/shadows are regions of increased
thickness/density, for example
Inclusion of some denser material
Variation in cross-section

Dark areas are regions of decreased density/thickness,


for example
Voids
Cracks

Radiography Testing (RT)


Gamma Rays
X-Ray machines are generally large and heavy.
For field-tests (e.g. chemical plant pipework) a gamma
ray source is more convenient.
Source is a Radioisotope (radioactive material).
Source is portable, requires no power.
Radioisotope cannot be turned off: always
dangerous.
X-Ray machine only dangerous when activated.

Safety
For gamma rays and X-Rays, exposure of living tissue
to the radiation must be avoided and minimized.
Chronic exposure can cause cancer and death.
Extreme acute exposure can kill more quickly.

Ultrasonic Testing (UT)


Basic Concepts
Similar to Sonar or Radar.
Sound waves are propagated into the testpiece.
Waves interact with defects and boundaries:
Reflect or Attenuate (i.e. not propagate).
From observation of interaction, information
can be gained on internal defects and flaws.

Ultrasonic Testing (UT)

Reflective type

Transmittive type

Ultrasonic Testing (UT)


Defect Orientation
As for radiography, depending on defect geometry,
its orientation can be very important in
determining its detectability.
Cracks can be very difficult to see unless they are
perpendicular to the propagating waves.
Angle beam probes can help detect
inconveniently aligned defects.
Applying refraction principle by the use of a
Perspex wedge between the probe and the object.
Can use multiple reflections too.

Ultrasonic Testing (UT)


Defect Orientation

Refraction Method

Ultrasonic Testing (UT)


Couplant
Getting sound waves from transducer into
specimen, and back from specimen into
transducer is problematic.
Specimen needs to be smooth surfaced.
Couplant (e.g. vaseline) is used which fills in the
tiny imperfections which are still present.
Immersion tests can be used for less smooth
parts.
Specimen and transducer(s) are placed in a water
bath. Water is the couplant between transducers
and specimen.

Magnetic Particle Inspection (MT)


Ferromagnetic test piece is magnetised. Magnetic flux
leakage fields are detected through the addition of
small particles which migrate to the flux leakage.
Can detect surface or near-surface flaws.
Complex shapes readily tested. Fairly portable and
relatively inexpensive. Sensitive to small surface (or
near-surface) defects. Requires moderate skill levels.
Relatively quick results.
Limited to ferromagnetic materials. Surfaces must be
accessible. Large electric currents can be required. May
need to demagnetise object. Limited to surface and
near-surface defects. Surface finishes may need to be
removed. Flaw detection sensitive to magnetic field
orientation.

Magnetic Particle Inspection (MT)

Magnetic Particle Inspection (MT)


The part is magnetized. Finely milled iron
particles coated with a dye pigment are then
applied to the specimen. These particles are
attracted to magnetic flux leakage fields and
will cluster to form an indication directly over
the discontinuity. This indication can be
visually detected under proper lighting
conditions.

Magnetic Particle Inspection (MT)

Magnetic Particle Inspection (MT)