Common Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Techniques

Non-destructive testing (NDT) is commonly used for quality control in the production of process plants and equipment. This set of techniques and equipment works to evaluate the structural integrity of materials and detect flaws. NDT technology has the ability to alleviate potential issues that could compromise the safety or functionality of work sites.

Here are four common forms of portable non-destructive testing equipment in use today:

Portable Hardness Testing – Rebound hammers and other forms of concrete hardness testing are the industry standards for NDT concrete testing. For nearly 70 years, the Schmidt Rebound Hammer has been the most effective and trusted tool in hardness testing as a completely portable option for on-site work. While advances in other non-destructive testing equipment have made strides, the original tool with its many upgrades still leads the way.

Corrosion Resistivity and Permeability Testing – Shifting from prescriptive specifications to performance-based specifications is natural in the evolution of the concrete industry. Performance-based specifications and testing take into account the requirements for mechanical and functional properties of concrete. While impact strength and hardness testing are still of vital importance, corrosion resistivity and permeability testing evaluates the physical and chemical properties of a structure to ensure long-lasting strength and use. 

Ultrasonic Testing – Ultrasonic testing enables detection of deep and hidden flaws within multiple types of material. Using this method, the portable device sends ultra-high frequency sound waves through the material. When a difference of composition such as a crack is encountered, part of the sonic energy is reflected, measured, and displayed on a screen. The variations in density, continuity and structure allow the device to present a visual representation of the interior of the structure being tested.

Ground Penetrating Radar – Ground Penetrating radars are becoming so advanced that live, interactive and augmented reality variations are now industry standards. By combining these tools with mobile applications, one can use a phone or tablet to visualize, evaluate and plan work beneath a surface without any form of invasive or investigative damage to the structure.

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