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Nondestructive Inspection

Not impair the future usefulness of the object

direct measurement of mechanical properties not possible
Common reasons :
1. To detect faulty material before it is formed into component parts

2. To detect faulty component before assembly

3. To discover defects that may have developed during service

4. For routine examination in service, permitting their removal before

failure occurs
Classification of Nondestructive Inspection

Radiographic inspection

Magnetic particle inspection

Dye penetrant inspection

Ultrasonic inspection

Eddy current inspection

Radiographic Inspection
Radiography uses penetrating radiation
The amount that is stopped or absorbed is affected by
1. material density
2. thickness differences.
These differences in absorption are recorded on film, or electronically

The radiation used in radiography testing

1. X-ray
2. Gamma-ray,
3. A higher energy (shorter wavelength) version of the electromagnetic
General principle
The part is placed between
the radiation source and the
radiographic film.

The part will stop some of

the radiation.
Thicker and more dense
area will stop more of the

The film darkness (density)

will vary with the amount of
Technique is not limited by material type or density.

Can inspect assembled components.

Minimum surface preparation required.

Sensitive to changes in thickness, corrosion, voids, cracks, and

material density changes.

Detects both surface and subsurface defects.

Provides a permanent record of the inspection.

Many safety precautions for the use of high intensity radiation.
Many hours of technician training prior to use.
Orientation of equipment and flaw can be critical.
Determining flaw depth is impossible without additional angled
Expensive initial equipment cost
Dye Penetrant Inspection

builds on the principle of Visual Inspection.

PT increases the seeability of small discontinuities

How does it work?
Ease of use.

A wide range of material types.

Large areas or large volumes of parts can be inspected rapidly and at low

Parts with complex geometries are routinely inspected.

Indications are produced directly on surface of the part .

Initial equipment investment is low.

Aerosol spray cans can make equipment very portable

Only detects surface breaking defects.

Requires relatively smooth nonporous material.

Pre-cleaning is critical. Contaminants can mask defects.

Chemical handling precautions necessary (toxicity, fire, waste).

Materials may need to be etched prior to inspection.

Post cleaning is necessary to remove chemicals

Magnetic Particle Inspection
Magnetic particle inspection can detect both production

inclusions, seams, laps, tears, grinding cracks and quenching cracks

Can detect surface discontinuities &

slightly below the surface

How does it work?
A ferromagnetic test specimen is magnetized with a strong magnetic
The discontinuity will interrupt the magnetic field flowing through the
Leakage field will occur
Finely milled iron particles coated with a dye pigment are applied to
the test specimen
These particles are attracted to leakage fields
These will cluster to form an approximate shape of the surface
projection of the discontinuity .
This indication can be visually detected under ultraviolet light.
Both surface and near sub-surface defects.

Pre-cleaning of components is not as critical

Most contaminants within a flaw will not hinder flaw detectability.

Method of inspection is fast and indications are visible directly

Considered low cost compared to many other NDI methods.

A very portable inspection method


Cannot inspect non-ferrous materials such as aluminum, magnesium

or most stainless steels.

Inspection of large parts may require use of equipment with special

power requirements.

Some parts may require removal of coating or plating to achieve

desired inspection sensitivity.
Ultrasonic Inspection

Ultrasonic testing uses high frequency sound energy to conduct

examinations and make measurements.

Sound is produced by a vibrating body and travels in the form of a


Sound waves travel through materials by vibrating the particles that

make up the material.
How does it work?
Ultrasonic waves are introduced into a material by a transducer
they travel in a straight line
At surface interfaces some of the wave energy is reflected
some is transmitted.
The amount of reflected or transmitted energy can be detected
This provides information about the size of the reflector.
The travel time of the sound can be measured and
This provides information on the distance that the sound has traveled.
Testing techniques
Inspections can be accomplished in either of the following ways:
Pulse-echo system
Through-transmission system

When should it be used ?

Sensitive to both surface and subsurface discontinuities.

Depth of penetration for flaw detection or measurement is superior to other


Only single-sided access is needed when pulse-echo technique is used.

High accuracy in determining reflector position and estimating size and shape.

Minimal part preparation required.

Electronic equipment provides instantaneous results.

Has other uses such as thickness measurements, in addition to flaw detection.

Surface must be accessible to transmit ultrasound.

Skill and training is more extensive than with some other methods.

Materials that are rough, irregular in shape, very small, exceptionally thin or not homogeneous

are difficult to inspect.

Cast iron and other coarse grained materials are difficult to inspect due to low sound transmission

and high signal noise.

Linear defects oriented parallel to the sound beam may go undetected.

Reference standards are required for both equipment calibration, and characterization of flaws
Eddy-current testing
In its most basic form the single-element ECT probe a coil of conductive wire
is excited with an alternating electrical current. This wire coil produces an
alternating magnetic field around itself in the direction ascertained by the right-
hand rule. The magnetic field oscillates at the same frequency as the current
running through the coil. When the coil approaches a conductive material, currents
opposed to the ones in the coil are induced in the material eddy currents.

Variations in the electrical conductivity and magnetic permeability of the test

object, and the presence of defects causes a change in eddy current and a
corresponding change in phase and amplitude that can be detected by measuring
the impedance changes in the coil, which is a telltale sign of the presence of
defects.[3] This is the basis of standard (pancake coil) ECT.

ECT has a very wide range of applications. Because ECT is electrical in nature, it is
limited to conductive material. There are also physical limits to generating eddy
currents and depth of penetration (skin depth)
Sensitivity to surface defects. Able to detect defects of 0.5mm in
length under favorable conditions.
Can detect through several layers. The ability to detect defects in
multi-layer structures (up to about 14 layers), without interference from
the planar interfaces.
Can detect through surface coatings. Able to detect defects through
non-conductive surface coatings in excess of 5mm thickness.
Accurate conductivity measurements. Dedicated conductivity
measurement instruments operate using eddy currents.
Can be automated. Relatively uniform parts can be inspected quickly and
reliably using automated or semi-automated equipment, e.g. wheels,
boiler tubes and aero-engine disks.
Little pre-cleaning required. Only major soils and loose or uneven
surface coatings need to be removed, reducing preparation time.
Portability. Portable test equipment is very small and light, some of the
latest equipment being as small as a video cassette box and weighing less
than 2kg.

Very susceptible to magnetic permeability changes. Small changes in

permeability have a pronounced effect on the eddy currents, especially in
ferromagnetic materials. This makes testing of welds and other ferromagnetic
materials difficult but, with modern digital flaw detectors and probe design, not
Only effective on conductive materials. The material must be able to support a
flow of electrical current. This makes testing of fibre reinforced plastics unfeasible.
Will not detect defects parallel to surface. The flow of eddy currents is always
parallel to the surface. If a planar defect does not cross or interfere with the current
then the defect will not be detected.
Not suitable for large areas and/or complex geometries. Large area scanning
can be accomplished, but needs the aid of some type of area scanning device, usually
supported by a computer, both of which are not inexpensive. The more complex the
geometry becomes, the more difficult it is to differentiate defect signals from
geometry effect signals.
Signal interpretation required. Due to the many factors which affect eddy
currents, careful interpretation of signals is needed to distinguish between relevant
and non-relevant indications.
No permanent record (unless automated). Normally the only permanent record
will be a paper print out or computer file when using automated systems.