Visual Inspection (VT)
Visual Inspection is the most widely used inspection technique. Looking for flaws in welds, overall surface area of specimens, machined components, etc., either directly or through the use of digital imaging equipment (borescopes, cameras, etc.).
Liquid Penetrant (PT)
Using a dyed penetrating agent to detect discontinuities open to the surface of the specimen, liquid penetrant is an effective testing method that shows defect location and size. Material types allowed for inspection are ferrous or nonferrous metals, plastics, and other types of components.
Magnetic Particle (MT)
MT inspection uses AC and/or DC current to produce a magnetic field and allow the magnetic particles, whether in powder form or in a wetting vehicle, to be agitated and settle in discontinuities. This testing method is used on ferrous material and can determine defects that are open to the surface as well as defects that are slightly subsurface.
Ultrasonic Testing (UTT/UT-S)
Ultrasonic testing is performed from the surface of the test specimen and uses sound waves at specific frequencies to detect or determine discontinuities within the material as well as overall material thickness. This testing technique is beneficial for erosion/corrosion applications as well as weld quality, material integrity, and other sought-after common issues in raw or completed materials.
Phased Array Ultrasonics (PAUT)
Using the same principle as standard shearwave ultrasonics, phased array can provide more detailed images and more accurate flaw locations for subsurface discontinuities. This technique is commonly used in lieu of industrial X-ray as a cost-savings measure since this method will produce accurate flaw readings without the need to stop work in specific work areas or segregate test specimens to a remote site due to radiation exposure. This method is safe to the operator and other work site personnel since it uses sound waves to detect discontinuities.
Radiographic Testing/X-ray (RT)
Used in the industry for its reliability to produce reviewable images, X-ray uses a radioactive source to penetrate materials and display the images on film that will be developed either manually or by means of automatic film developers. X-ray will find and show flaws in a material that can be traced to specific markings noting the bounds of each x-ray shot. X-ray is a valuable way to inspect field welds in remote areas as well as produce quality inspections in shop settings.
Positive Material Identification (PMI)
Materials being identifiable and traceable are key in any manufacturing environment. Being able to correctly identify materials can determine the use and repair of specimens moving forward. PMI testing is done most commonly utilizing handheld equipment that emits low-level radiation to analyze material composition and determine material type. This method is beneficial for inlaid/overlaid welded components, raw materials, etc.
Hardness testing is exactly as it sounds: testing the hardness of metallic materials to ensure the part properties match the requirements for service. By means of stationary bench or portable units, hardness testing is a simple test that uses a guided load of weight on a specific indenter to make an impression which will be relative to the part's hardness value.