What’s the Non-Destructive Testing of Welds?

In the manufacturing industries, metal or thermoplastic welding is not only essential but inevitable. While this is done, high welding standards must be observed to guarantee product safety and eliminate product recall costs. However, this is usually not always the case as signs of damage, fatigue, and deterioration begin exhibiting with time.

The integrity of these welds must be retained if safety standards are anything to consider. But how? This is where Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) comes in.

Let’s delve deeper into this to get the answer.

Non-Destructive testing of welds refers to a combination of testing and analysis methods used in the welding industry to inspect the quality of the weld products without altering or damaging them.  The main purpose of NDT in welds is to identify flaws or defects in the internal structure of the welded components.

Why NDT Is Important

In general terms, NDT is important in the manufacturing sector, where welding is inevitable. But let us highlight the specific benefits of NDT.

  • It Saves Time and Resources

Using NDT to inspect welds obviously saves time and resources because of its non-destructive abilities. The material under observation survives the inspection undamaged, giving you the peace of mind you deserve. Just for the record, destructive testing methods lead to damaged material that will require time to re-assemble. This costs you time and resources to make a new item even after having no problem.

  • It’s Safe

NDT techniques are harmless to users unless radiographic testing is employed. What else matters if an inspection method doesn’t guarantee your safety? Consider NDT methods all the time.

  • It’s Efficient

NDT techniques are not only thorough but also provide a quick evaluation of welds under inspection. With these methods, safety and job site performance is guaranteed.

  • It’s Accurate

Above all other inspection methods, NDT is predictable and accurate. It possesses all the qualities you would be looking for in an inspection method. This includes offering a safe working environment for personnel and ensuring that equipment has a longer shelf life.

What To Consider When Selecting Non-Destructive Testing X-ray Equipments

The task of choosing the right x-ray equipment for your job can be daunting.  Apart from deciding which product the equipment will be handling, you still have other factors to consider before buying that x-ray equipment for inspection. 1

1. X-ray Equipment Generator

The x-ray generator produces x-rays that are transmitted through the welded part to check if there are any discontinuities or impurities. Typically, generators with higher specifications perform better compared to those with low specifications. If you get equipment with a high-performing generator, you’re guaranteed high-quality inspection.

2. Number of Line Sensors

The majority of the x-ray machines have a single sensor and can still perform well. However, you can select one with multiple sensors to get high-quality images.

Number of Line Sensors

3. Size of the Pixels

Line sensors also have pixels just the same way your digital camera has. Typically, more and smaller pixels offer high-resolution images. This is critical for your industrial x-ray equipment since, here, image is king.

4. Rejection Speed

Rejection speed has a direct impact on the inspection process. Obviously, you’ll like a machine that quickly identifies and gets rid of weld products whose quality does not meet the set standards.

5. Certification

Getting certified equipment guarantees user safety. Additionally, certified equipment gives you confidence in the results procured and the longevity of the equipment. So, look out only for certified industrial x-ray equipment.

6. Imaging Software

While equipment hardware can display the x-ray images showing defects or impurities in the weld, these images are usually grainy and faint. To overcome this challenge, the right software is used to enhance these images and make them clear.

So, select industrial x-ray equipment whose software is easy to use and can produce clear images for easy interpretation.

 

 

 

Imaging Software

7. Training

Training is an essential aspect even when the x-ray equipment isn’t that complex to understand. Once you purchase the x-ray equipment, consider if the supplier can train you to use it safely and per the usage guidelines.

X-ray Weld Inspection Method

It’s no longer a secret that welding processes can introduce contaminants or impurities into the weld. For a weld to withstand stress from instances of severe loading, its quality must meet the set minimum quality standards.

For emphasis purposes, x-ray testing provides a detailed report on the weld’s internal structure. Additionally, x-ray methods can typically be applied to any material.

Having said this, let us now look at the X-ray weld inspection method that is commonly used in the industry.

  • Radiography

Radiography uses X-rays that come from an X-ray tube. Penetrating radiation passes through the weld onto a photographic film which then records a permanent image of the weld’s internal structure.

How Radiography NDT is Conducted

During radiography testing, radiation from the x-ray generator is directed through the weld under examination onto a photographic film. It is this film that reveals the underlying structure of the weld.

Radiography Testing is preferable in welding because it can reveal aspects of the weld, such as density which can go undetected should you choose to use visual observation.

Once you have the film with you, it can still be challenging to interpret the results if you’re an amateur.

But this won’t be the case anymore.

You can watch this video and learn how this works.

How Radiography NDT is Conducted

Similarly, you can learn how radiography is done by watching the video below.

Final Thoughts

Non-Destructive testing is preferable in checking the quality of welds and restoring confidence in the products manufactured. The welding process can easily introduce foreign objects in the welds or simply lead to welds with discontinuities that affect the products’ overall quality.

The importance of NDT cannot be underestimated. From being efficient and cost-effective to being safe and accurate, NDT can always be relied upon.

However, the right NDT x-ray equipment must be used if you want to get accurate results. Additionally, the correct x-ray well inspection method can guarantee you safety and precise results.

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