Heppenstall Europe employs a wide range of non-destructive testing systems in order to verify the units’ condition such as: liquid penetrate inspection, magnetic particle inspection, ultrasonic testing and X-ray testing.
The principle of liquid penetrant testing is that the liquid penetrant is drawn into the surface-breaking crack by capillary action and excess surface penetrant is then removed; a developer (typically a dry powder) is then applied to the surface, to draw out the penetrant in the crack and produce a surface indication.
This method is used for the detection of surface and near-surface flaws in ferromagnetic materials. The specimen is magnetised either locally or overall, and if there is a surface-breaking flaw, the magnetic field is distorted, causing local magnetic flux leakage around the flaw. This leakage flux is displayed by covering the surface with very fine iron particles applied either dry or suspended in a liquid. The particles accumulate at the regions of flux leakage, producing a build-up which can be seen visually even when the crack opening is very narrow. Thus, a crack is indicated as a line of iron powder particles on the surface.
Ultrasonic methods of NDT use beams of mechanical waves (vibrations) of short wavelength and high-frequency, transmitted from a small probe and detected by the same or other probes. Such mechanical waves can travel large distances in fine-grain metal, in the form of a divergent wave with progressive attenuation.
In ultrasonic testing, an ultrasound transducer connected to a diagnostic machine is passed over the object being inspected. There are two methods of receiving the ultrasound waveform: reflection and attenuation. In reflection (or pulse-echo) mode, the transducer performs both the sending and the receiving of the pulsed waves as the "sound" is reflected back to the device. In attenuation (or through-transmission) mode, a transmitter sends ultrasound through one surface, and a separate receiver detects the amount that has reached it on another surface after traveling through the medium. Imperfections or other conditions in the space between the transmitter and receiver reduce the amount of sound transmitted, thus revealing their presence.
This test allows the detection of extremely small flaws and is also able to determine their depth and thickness. Its results are immediate, hence on the spot decisions can be made
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