Part 3 Of Understanding Ultrasonic Testing

Travis Jolliff

Ultrasonic testing comprises a range of non-destructive testing techniques that send ultrasonic waves through an object or material. These high frequency sound waves are transmitted into materials to characterize the material or for flaw detecting. One common application for this test method is ultrasonic thickness measurement, which is used to ascertain the thickness of an object such as when assessing metal corrosion.

This 4 part article provides information that will help the reader better understand Ultrasonic Testing. Key elements include:

  • How does ultrasonic testing work
  • Why is ultrasonic testing used
  • Pulse-echo and Through-transmission ultrasonic testing
  • Contact and Immersion Ultrasonic Testing
  • What Materials Can Be Tested Using Ultrasonic testing
  • Applications for ultrasonic testing
  • Advantages of ultrasonic testing
  • Limitations of ultrasonic testing

Part 1 addressed How does ultrasonic testing work and Why is ultrasonic testing used. Part 2 addressed Pulse-echo and Through-transmission ultrasonic testing and Contact and Immersion Ultrasonic Testing. Part 3 addresses What Materials Can Be Tested Using Ultrasonic testing and Applications for ultrasonic testing. Part 4 will address Advantages of ultrasonic testing and Limitations of ultrasonic testing.

What Materials Can Be Tested Using Ultrasonic testing?

Ultrasonic testing is used in a wide range of industries due to its suitability for many different materials. Ultrasonic testing is ideally used for inspection of dense, crystalline structures such as metals. Ceramics, plastics, composites and concrete can also be successfully inspected but with reduced resolution, since the attenuation in these materials is higher.

Applications for ultrasonic testing

Ultrasonic testing has a variety of applications across industry, including testing the integrity of a material or component. This can include testing of welds to determine if there are any discontinuities present. This testing can be performed on both ferrous and non-ferrous materials as well as for thicker sections and those that are reachable from one side only. Ultrasonic testing is also capable of detecting finer defects and planar flaws which may not be assessed as readily with radiographic testing.

Applications for ultrasonic testing include those within the aerospace, automotive, construction, rail, medical and oil and gas industries

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