What is Nondestructive Testing?

Training & Events

Nondestructive Testing (NDT) is like giving a “health checkup” to materials, components, or entire systems, such as pipelines, bridges, aircraft, etc. The “health checkup” allows us to see if there are any problems, like cracks or other damage, that aren’t immediately visible.

The best part about NDT is that it doesn’t damage or destroy the things it’s testing. Think of it like getting an X-ray or an ultrasound at a hospital – you can see what’s happening inside your body without any cuts or surgery.

Nondestructive Testing (NDT), also known as Nondestructive Examination (NDE), is a wide group of analysis techniques used in science and technology to evaluate the properties of a material, component, or system without causing damage. Because NDT does not permanently alter the article being inspected, it is a highly valuable technique that can save both money and time in product evaluation, troubleshooting, and research.

The common methods of NDT are:

  1. Ultrasonic Testing (UT): High-frequency sound waves are transmitted into a material to detect imperfections or changes in properties.
  2. Radiographic Testing (RT): This method involves the use of penetrating gamma or X-ray radiation to examine parts and products for imperfections.
  3. Magnetic Particle Testing (MT): This method uses a magnetic field to detect discontinuities at the surface of ferromagnetic materials.
  4. Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT): This test method involves the application of a liquid with high surface wetting characteristics to the surface of a part to find surface-breaking defects.
  5. Visual Inspection (VT): The most basic method of NDT, visual inspection involves using the naked eye or tools like borescopes, magnifying glasses, or cameras to examine components for damage or irregularities.
  6. Eddy-Current Testing (ECT): This method uses electromagnetic induction to detect and characterize surface and sub-surface flaws in conductive materials.

NDT is commonly used in forensic engineering, mechanical engineering, petroleum engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, systems engineering, aeronautical engineering, medicine, and art. In addition, it plays a key role in everyday life and is necessary to assure safety and reliability. Typical examples are the checks for structural integrity in the aviation industry, tests for welds on pressurized process vessels, and checks for safety in the nuclear industry.