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NDT, What Is It?

Nondestructive testing (NDT) is a procedure used to examine and/or inspect materials and components to locate surface and subsurface defects in a way that allows such materials to be examined without changing or destroying their original design or structure.

NDT plays a crucial role in everyday life. It is necessary to assure structural integrity, safety and reliability in aircraft, motor vehicles, pipelines, seafaring vessels, bridges, trains, tunnels, power stations, refineries and oil platforms, all of which are inspected using some method of nondestructive testing.

Nondestructive testing is also a quality assurance production and management tool which can provide impressive results when used correctly. It requires an understanding of the various methods available, their capabilities and limitations, knowledge of the relevant standards and specifi cations for performing the tests.

Materials, products and equipment that fail to achieve their design requirements or projected life due to undetected defects may require expensive repair or early replacement. Such defects may also be the cause of unsafe conditions or catastrophic failure, as well as loss of revenue due to unplanned shutdowns.

Nondestructive testing can be applied to each stage of an item’s development, manufacture or construction. Such item’s materials and assembly can be examined using NDT and either accepted, rejected or repaired. NDT techniques can then be used to monitor the integrity of the item or structure throughout its service life.

The most commonly used NDT methods are visual inspection, liquid penetrant inspection, magnetic particle inspection, Eddy current inspection, acoustic emission, ultrasonic inspection and radiography.

Spectronics Corporation manufactures a wide array of medium and high-intensity inspection lamps and products that are used to detect and identify surface and subsurface fl aws in the performance of nondestructive testing utilizing the visual inspection, liquid penetration and magnetic particle methods.