Types Of Nondestructive Testing Methods

Manufacturers need to know that the products and/or parts they provide to customers will perform as intended. This is why nondestructive testing (NDT) is a critical component of their processes. As the name implies, these procedures check the properties of a commodity or material without damaging it.

This type of assessment is usually performed to find flaws or defects that are not perceptible through visual scanning. These imperfections may be so small that they escape a human inspector’s notice, but they can have a serious effect on the overall quality and durability of the finished product. Leaving material unchecked could lead to unit failure, which, at best, could mean you have a faulty device that breaks when a consumer uses it. At worst, neglecting to test your goods could lead to major safety hazards and a total recall, costing time, money and your reputation.

There are a wide variety of NDT inspection methods available. What follows is a brief rundown of the most common types of NDT testing.

Commonly Used Nondestructive Testing Methods

  • Conventional Ultrasonic Testing (CUT) — Using high-frequency sound waves that travel at different speeds based on the materials they pass through, technicians can measure the thickness and weld quality of the object in question. This technique is also good for detecting corrosion.
  • Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) — This procedure is similar to CUT except it involves individually controlled sound beams to perform an ultrasonic scan of the item. This provides the inspector with greater control over the probes.
  • Automated Ultrasonic Testing (AUT) — In this technique, a motorized scanner manipulates the probes automatically. This assessment is a good choice for units that have difficult-to-access areas.
  • Time-of-Flight Diffraction (TOFD) — One of the most accurate NDT methods, this test is based on the amount of time an ultrasonic wave has to travel, as well as the diffraction caused at the end.
  • Full Matrix Capture (FMC) — This technique uses PAUT probes to construct a visual representation of the component being examined. Advanced algorithms build these images out of the data collected by the probes.
  • Electromagnetic Testing (ET) — Used for testing electrically conductive materials, this evaluation involves observing the interactions between a magnetic field source, an electrical coil and the material. The intensity variations of the current tell inspectors what they want to know.
  • Eddy Current Array (ECA) — A more advanced form of ET, this method uses multiple customizable probes to generate greater coverage and higher sensitivity. These qualities make it one of the best nondestructive examination procedures for objects with complex geometries.
  • Tangential Eddy Current (TEC) — In this method, coils are placed extremely close to the surface of the material. The perpendicular currents created help detect any flaws better than most other techniques.
  • Pulsed Eddy Current (PEC) — Often used to measure thickness and detect corrosion on insulated materials, this procedure uses magnetic fields to penetrate any coatings or linings.
  • Small Control Area Radiography (SCAR) — Using a smaller radiographic device, this process ensures that technicians are kept safe from radiation while making their work more efficient.

Trust Rhinehart Finishing

Thanks to our extensive in-house expertise, there is no better place for nondestructive testing and evaluation than Rhinehart Finishing. Our advanced technology and skilled personnel have what it takes to deliver quality, superior services. Plus, our 100,000-square-foot production facility includes a state-of-the-art laboratory that can handle your testing requirements and keep you up to code. It’s no wonder that Rhinehart Finishing has earned a reputation as one of the most capable and effective providers of NDT.

To get started, click here and read about our full capabilities. Then, contact us to find out what we can do for your products, systems and components.