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NDT Methods – Ultrasonic Testing

What is ultrasonic testing?

Ultrasonic testing is a non-destructive testing method that can detect internal flaws and defects in an object. Ultrasonic testing is very useful because it can be used on a variety of different materials, including steel, other metals, and even concrete and wood. It is highly sensitive, and also has high penetrating power, which allows it to detect very small and very deep flaws.

High frequency vibrations are sent into the object, and they bounce off the far side, or cracks or other flaws if they are present in the middle. The returning waves are measured and used to determine if there are any discontinuities inside the part. Based on the magnitude of the vibrations, and the time it takes them to return, you can determine the depth and size of the defects. There are two types of ultrasonic testing: reflection and attenuation. In reflection, the waves are sent and received from the same place, however in attenuation there is a sending side and a receiving side across from it. In this case the receiving side would measure the magnitude of the waves as they arrive and compare them to the initial magnitude to gauge how much was lost, and from this the size of the defects they must have encountered inside.

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Ultrasonic Testing

Some common places that ultrasonic testing is used in are structural welds, steel beams, pipelines, aircraft engines, automobile frames, railroad rails, power turbines and other heavy machinery.


Here at AXIS we primarily do Ultrasonic Testing on splice joints for structural steel but have additional experience and qualifications aslo.    Please contact us if we can help you and your ultrasonic testing requirements.

For Links to previous Non-Destructive Testing Blogs:

Ultrasonic Testing

Penetrant Testing

X-Ray Fluorescence

Ferrite Testing

Magnetic Particle Testing


Until Next week,

Bonnie Pankratz