Testing materials are an integral part of the technical services that we offer here at Keighley Laboratories.
One of the main wider groups of testing that we use is Non-Destructive Testing. This analysis technique is used to evaluate the properties of a material, component or structure without causing any damage to the original part.
But what does this actually involve? We caught up with Metallurgical and Non-Destructive Testing Technician Richard Gaunt who can share his insight and experience into NDT.
Q: What are the benefits of non-destructive testing?
A: Non-destructive testing provides companies that have NDT requirements with a lot of benefits. These are:
- Fewer Waste Substances
As substances are not altered by NDT, they can continue to be used once they have been used for testing. This means that there are less wasted samples.
- Less Downtime
Using some methods, the materials can be tested even while in use. This eliminates the need to shut down operations during testing.
- Accident Prevention
Non-Destructive Testing can help prevent accidents, which helps reduce costs associated with repairs, replacement, and equipment loss and business shut down.
- Identify Areas of Concern Before Failure
Components that fail can be costly to repair or replace and may lead to an unexpected shutdown of the business or in some cases, disasters. NDT can identify these areas of concern before they become a problem.
- Comprehensive Testing
Since this type of testing does not alter substances, every component or product can be tested. There is no need for selective sampling, which tests only a portion of the components. NDT techniques can also be applied at multiple stages of development and construction, allowing manufacturers to identify and repair or replace problem pieces before construction is complete, as well as after the product has been put to use.
- Increased Product Reliability
Advanced and more comprehensive testing ensures better products. Problems can be identified and fixed before the product goes to market, and products that are already in use can be tested more frequently to ensure they continue to perform as expected.
Q: What are the type of companies that come to Keighley Labs requesting NDT?
A: Any company that has NDT requirements. We mainly work with companies in manufacturing, oil and gas, aerospace, public infrastructure, automotive and power generation industries.
Q: What different processes and analysis techniques do Keighley Labs use under the wider NDT bracket?
A: The techniques we use are liquid penetrative testing and inspection, magnetic particle inspection, ultrasonic flaw detection, positive material identification, magnetic permeability, conductivity and leeb hardness.
Q: How many years have you personally been practising non-destructive testing?
A: I’ve been working as a non-destructive testing technician for 15 years.
Q: What skills do you need to have to be a non-destructive testing technician?
A: You have to show that you are willing to work in a wide range of environments. This includes being inside structures or dangling on the outside of them. You could also be doing the testing in a factory or manufacturing environment where it is nice and warm, or outside in the cold, so this is where you have to really show your willingness.
Another skill you need is attention to detail. With everything that is going on in the testing process, you need to make sure all aspects of the job are carried out safely and 100% in line with the specifications, procedures and techniques.
Q: And finally, what is the most difficult part of the job?
A: The most difficult skill to learn is how to deal with a situation when a sample fails. You have to give a customer justification in your decision, which can be a difficult thing to do, especially when a lot of money may have been invested into the manufacturing process.
To find out more about the services that we offer in NDT, as well as other types of testing that we do, visit the technical services section of our website.