What is NDT?
Non-destructive testing, commonly abbreviated NDT is simply defined as the testing of materials for surface or internal flaws without causing any destruction or harm to the material under test.
Non-destructive testing is a career field that is relatively obscure in the minds of the general public.
The name seems totally self-explanatory, but most NDT professionals can definitely relate to the experience of trying to explain what non-destructive testing means to family members, friends and acquaintances.
Most students when considering career options are completely unaware that NDT is a very exciting and rewarding career field. `Career’ being the important word.
Every bit of knowledge acquired during training, experience and certification has to be productively put to use and most importantly the learning process never ends.
The NDT process relies on the careful approach of the technician, his dedication, thoroughness, perseverance and the usage of sound work procedures referencing codes and specifications.
As a fundamental part of the engineering, manufacturing and in-service process, NDT utilises the human senses of sight, touch and hearing, amplified by a broad selection of equipment and apparatus to interpret and evaluate materials. NDT is the most widely used chemical and physical inspection method to investigate the composition of materials by means of sound waves, electrical currents, X- and Gamma rays, magnetic fields, thermal waves and tracer liquids directed into and in most cases , penetrating the materials under test.
NDT is particularly effective at locating performance degrading conditions such as cracking, voids, inclusions, unbonded surfaces, incorrect assembly, incorrect dimension, wall (Steel) thinning, porosity, incorrect coating thickness, poorly welded fabrications, defects in castings, forgings, rolled products and defects in a host of unlimited manufacturing processes.
Essentially, Non-destructive testing assists in the detection and characterisation of material deficiencies without inhibiting the parts usefulness in any way.