Non destructive testing: a short introduction

The CT-scanner we’re improving is a relatively new method of non-destructive testing, but what is non-destructive testing exactly? describes non-destructive testing as follows:

Non-destructive testing is a descriptive term used for the examination of materials and components in such a way that allows materials to be examined without changing or destroying their usefulness. NDT or NDE can be used to find, size and locate surface and subsurface flaws and defects.

The description shows us that NDT is a range of interesting methods to detect and fix defects, without causing more problems or destruction. It’s most often used for weld verification or structural mechanics, but these methods are also extremely useful for parts produced by additive manufacturing.

Some of the most common methods are:

  • Acoustic emission testing
  • Visual inspection
  • Electromagnetic testing
  • Dye penetrant testing
  • Ultrasonic inspection
  • Leak detection
  • Radiographic testing

A more complete list can be found here

What methods do you think are interesting to explain further and can you think of some real life applications of these techniques ?


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