NDT – Introduction to Non Destructive Testing Methods and Practice
NDT (Non Destructive Testing) is really a pair of methods and techniques utilized to inspect the integrity of materials. Perhaps the most crucial point is NDT inspects materials without degrading them in any way (hence Non Destructive). Within industry NDT is accustomed to maintain the integrity of essential pieces of mechanical equipment to make sure safety and stop unexpected downtime and decrease of revenue.
Due to these benefits, safety critical, high turnover industries often take advantage of NDT over others. Industries including power, chemical, and petroleum are typical examples.
There are numerous routes into the NDT industry, engineering at degree level is a method. More highly popular are specific certifications including API 653, 510, 570, thickness gauge EEMUA 159, ECT, MPI etc. though sometimes only the willingness for the job will do. A large area of those linked to NDT will also be from the military NDT background, and can happen to be trained during their military careers.
Regardless ones route is taken, there are several technologies and techniques that make up an inspection toolkit. Some from the more widespread ones are MPI (Magnetic Particle Inspection), Dye Penetrant Inspection (DPI) and ECT (Eddy Current Testing). These have a tendency to be useful for quicker inspections, with an increase of advanced technologies and techniques being bought set for more thorough analysis or maybe more specific or complex situations. Some more advanced techniques are RFET (Remote Field Electromagnetic Technique), LRUT (Long Range Ultrasonic Technique), IRIS (Internal Rotary Inspection System) and LFET (Low Frequency Electromagnetic Technique) to call just some.
As well as standard technologies, there tends to be standard components of equipment that occur inside NDT field as well. Due to the similar nature of process related industrial equipment this isn’t surprising.
Some of the main forms of equipment encountered are heat exchangers, tubular specifically, condensers, boilers, pressure vessels, storage tanks, columns and towers and pipelines. Though in reality material can be tested by having a mix of methods, or a custom design method. Naturally companies are always changing and thus there exists never a regular pair of equipment or methods.
NDT companies themselves, vary widely of what they are able to do, with regards to technology and methods. A lot of NDT companies will only perform basic methods including magnetic particle, or dye penetrant. Some will also present much less information in reports, compared to others. Or not have a very quality assurance system set up. When looking for an NDT company bear in mind simply because the cost is good, doesn’t suggest you will be getting the same service.