Nondestructive testing has been defined as; applying a testing method to an object, part, component or system in order to evaluate it’s integrity without destroying the product’s future usefulness. Nondestructive inspection (NDI), nondestructive examination (NDE) or nondestructive testing (NDT) are terms generally used to identify the major inspection methods to perform evaluations or the application of the method to the item under inspection. Essentially, NDT is a function of material testing that evaluates a material or structure for uniformity, quality and serviceability and whether it will perform its intended function. In the beginning NDT was used primarily for process control and secondarily as quality control, subsequently the use of NDT became a means of meeting consumer demands for better products. It became a vital tool of modern engineering practice to achieve the required standards of quality in manufacturing which has instilled reputations in manufacturers adopting this methodology.

Nondestructive Testing can further be characterized by the purpose or intended use. In general the purpose for NDT will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Determination of material properties.
  • Detection, characterization, locating and sizing of discontinuities or defects.
  • Determining the quality of manufacturing or fabrication of a component or structure to a code, specification or standard.
  • Verifying serviceability by inspecting components during use for deterioration or for failure prevention.
By detecting faulty material, thus preventing loss or failure of materials and loss of manufacturing time, nondestructive testing will increase productivity and proportionally provide economic gains to a manufacturer. Preventative maintenance inspection will provide increased serviceability of a component or part by monitoring and preventing failure. NDT reduces the potential for accidents, loss of life or property, decreases down time and reduces overall operating costs by detecting flaws prior to failure.
2005 Intermountain Testing Company