No matter what industry you work in, it's likely that your facility has several components that can benefit from non-destructive ultrasonic examinations. This form of inspection has a broad range of benefits, and the various technologies and techniques of non-destructive testing can be utilized to inspect nearly any type of material.
A Brief Overview of Non-Destructive Testing
Non-destructive testing (NDT) refers to a broad range of testing methods that allow for the examination of parts of an industrial system without damaging or disassembling any of the individual components. This category includes basic (yet still highly valuable) methods, such as visual inspection, along with more advanced techniques, such as ultrasonic testing. The primary advantages of non-destructive testing techniques include quick examination time and reviews that are largely non-disruptive to regular operations. This makes non-destructive testing particularly well-suited to routine equipment reviews and safety checks that must be performed during normal, day-to-day activities.
Why Ultrasonic Examination Is Preferred for NDT
Ultrasonic examination is a common technique for NDT. Similar in many ways to medical ultrasounds, ultrasonic examination techniques rely on using soundwaves to penetrate a material to detect imperfections and measure depth. Although ultrasonic testing equipment requires a skilled technician to operate effectively, it can detect small cracks or other issues with a high degree of accuracy. It also boasts a high resolution for measuring the thickness of a material, which is an incredibly useful property when investigating potential corrosion issues.
Additionally, ultrasonic equipment is man-portable and easy to move from location to location. Technicians can interpret results immediately, allowing engineering teams to make determinations on-site without awaiting additional analysis. This rapid turnaround can be especially helpful in cases where safety is at stake since it will enable compromised equipment to be shut down as soon as a problem is discovered. The high resolution can often provide some insight into the details of cracks or other imperfections as well.
The Advantages of Phased Array Ultrasonic Examination
Traditional forms of ultrasonic examination make use of a single probe to inspect a material. Phased array ultrasonic equipment uses multiple probes to allow the inspection equipment to cover a larger portion of the material in a single pass. Not only does this method produce higher resolution results, but it can also resolve a greater level of detail that can help technicians to understand the exact nature of cracks, damage, or weak welds. Additionally, phased array inspections services generally take less time since the technician is not required to spend as much time sweeping the probes across the material. These advantages have led phased array examination to become one of the preferred methods for many industrial NDT applications.