Ultrasonic Inspection

Ultrasonic testing (UT)

Ultrasonic testing (UT) is a non-destructive test technique that we utilize at NDTesting Inc. which utilizes high-frequency sound waves (ultrasonic Waves) to penetrate and interact with the material being tested and detect cracks and defects in parts and raw materials. It can also be used to determine a material’s thickness, such as measuring the wall thickness of a pipe. The principle behind ultrasonic testing is based on the behavior of these waves as they travel through different mediums. Ultrasonic testing can be performed on a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, ceramics, and composites. It is widely used in various industries, including manufacturing, construction, aerospace, automotive, and energy production, for quality control, safety assessment, and material characterization. Ultrasonic testing can be cost-effective compared to other testing methods, as it often helps identify defects early in the manufacturing process, reducing the potential for costly rework or material waste.

Ultrasonic testing is prized for its accuracy, sensitivity, and ability to provide detailed information about defects and material properties without causing damage to the tested material. However, it does require skilled operators to perform and interpret the tests accurately. Because this method has higher power potential than other non-destructive test types, ultrasonic testing can produce images that are more clearly defined than other methods and indicate characteristics deeper than surface level. 

Ultrasonic inspection methods

Depending upon the test requirements, parts are evaluated using contact or immersion ultrasonic testing. Ultrasonic inspection relies on electronic transducers that transmit high-frequency sound waves to a material. These sound waves bounce back images, which reveal key characteristics of a material’s properties. Ultrasonic testing provides high levels of accuracy and sensitivity in detecting flaws, defects, or inconsistencies in materials. This makes it suitable for detecting small defects that might not be visible to the naked eye. The images created by ultrasonic testing can indicate cracks, weld grooves and fractures, as well as indicate material thickness and moving components. Ultrasonic testing is applicable to a wide variety of materials, including metals, plastics, composites, ceramics, and more. This versatility allows it to be used across various industries, such as manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, and energy. 

Immersion Ultrasonic Inspection (Immersion UT)

Immersion ultrasonic testing is a laboratory-based inspection, useful for the detection of smaller defects, from cracking to porosity. Submersing a component or material allows for better sound travel from the transducer and provides accurate reporting of sub-surface irregularities and flaws. Immersion UT supports a broad range of requirements as it applies to any wall thickness, as well as any material. 

Contact Ultrasonic Inspection (Contact UT)

Contact ultrasonic testing is often used in situations where radiographic inspection is not possible because it requires access to only one side of the test specimen. Modern ultrasonic testing equipment is often portable and can be used in the field or at different locations within a facility. This flexibility makes it convenient for on-site inspections and quality control. Because of the portability of the equipment and variety of methods available, ultrasonic testing allows for the inspection of parts that are large, irregularly shaped, or unable to be transported. 

C-Scan Ultrasonic Inspection (C-Scan UT)

Ultrasonic testing can generate real-time images, known as ultrasonic C-scans, that provide visual representations of the internal structure of a material. These images help inspectors and engineers visualize the location, size, and shape of defects. UT provides quantitative data about the size, shape, and location of defects, allowing for more accurate assessment and characterization of flaws. This data can be crucial for determining whether a defect falls within acceptable tolerance levels. 

Why NDTesting Inc.

Our ultrasonic testing experts provide in-house, onsite and field inspections and certifications. Whether your inspection requirements are for raw materials or fracture critical components, we offer the equipment, expertise and capacity for the task.

Equipment List and Capacity:

  • Automated 6 axis turn table with c-scan & data acquisition for rotating hardware
  • Automated 6 axis bar rotator with c-scan & data acquisition for round bar up to 15’
  • Automated 3 axis rectilinear with c-scan & data acquisition for large plate up to 30’ long and 6’ wide
  • Several Manual UT immersion tanks to meet you unique requirements.
  • Contact inspection

For more information about our ultrasonic inspection services or to request a quote, contact us today