What is NDT?

Non-destructive testing (NDT) comes in many forms and is crucial in the global economy’s manufacturing and fabrication industries. It’s the process of inspecting, testing and evaluating different materials, components and characteristics without destroying the item or system.

NDT is used within a broad range of industrial areas and at several stages of the production chain.

Everything from airplane engines to food inspection to examining ancient artifacts. The purpose for the testing varies by application and can be used to, for example, detect cracks, geometrical faults, material thickness, welding defects, foreign objects, and corrosion.

The techniques differ depending on material and purpose. Amongst the most common are X-ray, Eddy Current, and Ultrasonic testing. X-rays are able to penetrate a wide array of materials making it an interesting alternative for a variety of applications that require the need to view and verify internal structures. Eddy Current uses electromagnetic induction for surface and sub-surface flaw detection and characterization. Lastly, Ultrasonic testing is used for inspecting internal defects through the use of ultrasonic waves.

Håkan Wirdelius, Professor at the division of Engineering Materials, Department of Industrial and materials science at Chalmers University, focus his research on theoretical mechanics and the development of mathematical models of NDE methods, primarily for use in nuclear and aerospace industries. 

Håkan is also one of the organizers behind ECNDT, the 12th European conference on Non-Destructive Testing that will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden, June 11-15, 2018.

What is the biggest challenge in NDT X-ray?

“For X-ray I think the digitalization is the biggest challenge, to embrace new innovations, the industry is driven by standards and established techniques, and it’s sometimes difficult switch to new technology”, says Håkan.

Do you agree? What do you think are the biggest challenges facing NDT, especially when using X-ray? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.