Advancements in Non-Destructive Testing Technologies: What’s New? 

Non-destructive testing, commonly referred to as NDT, is extremely important in civil, construction, engineering, aerospace and naval manufacturing industries. It keeps worksites safe and ensures equipment is functioning at a high level. Companies in these industries will benefit from keeping their own equipment up to date with the latest advancements in NDT. There are many potential benefits of employing the most innovative tools in the NDT sector. In this blog post we discuss several recent developments and explore why they should be implemented at your worksites. 

Emerging NDT Technologies 

The most-recent advances in NDT technology include proliferation of advanced ultrasonic testing techniques, the switch from film-based radiography to digital radiography and the invention of infrared thermography and laser 3-D scanning. All of these developments have many benefits associated with them, including: enhanced data collection and imaging capacity, more-thorough categorisation of defects and more-efficient evaluations of components and structures. 

Advanced Ultrasonic Testing 

The application of phased-array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) and time-of-flight diffraction (ToFD) significantly enhance engineers’ capacity to detect flaws and increase inspection speed. PAUT techniques use multiple ultrasonic waves in a variety of configurations simultaneously to provide better coverage of objects undergoing testing. The technique is particularly useful when complex shapes must undergo inspection. ToFD techniques use highly complex sound waves to interact deeply with a test object’s subsurface flaws and record the nature of these flaws in great detail. Both of these new techniques provide highly-accurate data about a material in real-time and reduce total testing time needed. 

Using Digital Radiography Instead of Film-Based Radiography 

The recent move from traditional film-based radiography to digital radiography has enabled NDT professionals to produce images of test objects at higher resolutions than ever before. The technology also makes acquiring images of test objects much faster than was previously possible. These days, digital radiographic equipment can capture images of test objects in more detail. They are also extremely fast at taking photos because no time is needed to develop film. Defects are easier to identify and can be registered more quickly because of these facts. 

Infrared Thermography 

The conception of infrared thermography has offered engineers the opportunity to identify and evaluate heat-related defects. When a material has performed its function in a thermodynamic environment it may have suffered damage. Infrared thermography identifies damage in test objects according to the varying temperature of its components and their parts. Damaged areas of relevant objects have a higher temperature than undamaged areas and this shows up on the thermographic imaging equipment. Advancements in this field have produced higher-resolution imaging techniques which makes data analysis way faster. 

Laser 3-D Scanning 

Dimensional analysis and defect detection performed using laser 3-D scanning is becoming more effective than ever. Scanning an object with a laser and replicating it in three dimensions in digital space can now be done very quickly and provide accurate detection of surface discontinuities that may hinder a component’s ability to do its job properly. Developments in this area have resulted in higher-resolution scans which result in faster testing times. 

All in all, developments in ultrasonic testing, digital radiography, infrared thermography and laser 3-D scanning have made collecting and categorising data more achievable, evaluating flaws easier and performing NDT far faster. 

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