Our non-destructive testing services provide a range of analysis and techniques utilized to evaluate the properties of materials and components within an established system or structure that causes no permanent alteration. In the industry these methods also are referred to as non-destructive examination and Southern Inspection offers all of the most cutting-edge equipment and techniques to gather materials information.
Often the perfect application is the use of liquid dye penetrant which can determine failures and imperfections in utilized materials. Our inspectors first clean the materials to be tested which are then coated with a visible or fluorescent dye solution. A developer is then applied which highlights flaws in the material that cannot be seen in visual inspections.
We also offer hardness testing which determines metal hardness in order to meet industry standards and project requirements. Southern Inspection is one of the best in the business when it comes to this testing application paying great attention to structure preparation and sample extraction. All testing is done in a controlled environment to preserve the integrity of the metal. We perform a range of tests on incoming samples including the Vicker, Rockwell and Brinell applications.
Magnetic particle inspections are another testing capability of Southern Inspection. This non-destructive test detects discontinuities both on the surface and sub-surface of all ferroelectric materials. Iron, cobalt, nickel, and all alloys can undergo magnetic particle inspection which utilizes the magnetic flux of ferrous iron particles. These particles ultimately identify any surface or sub-surface discontinuity.
Positive materials identification is another service we provide. These measures can ensure proper material selection including corrosion resistance and compliance to codes and industry standards. We can determine the exact composition of alloys and provide a material fingerprint on state-of-the-art mobile testing equipment.
Our ultrasonic testing capabilities utilize high frequency sound energy to collect material information. With this technology, Southern Inspection can detect material flaws, measurements, dimensions, and characteristics all while making no permanent alterations to an existing structure or project in progress.
Our ultrasonic testing capabilities also extend into phased array testing. Southern Inspection is equipped with phased array resources to measure material thickness, weld inspections, manual UT-shear wave and more. Proper applications for phased array testing include power plants, utility facilities, refineries, petrochemical plants and transmission towers. These essential structures must meet stringent industry codes and we will detect any defects in both structure surface and sub-surface caused by fatigue, corrosion or wear.
Another non-destructive testing mechanism offered to our customers is our X-ray method. Our capabilities include onsite X-ray testing and completion of testing in our facility. Our mobile units are equipped with processing information to complete testing in the field and provide immediate results to our customers on site.
Our customers often request initial visual materials inspection both on site and in the field. Our breadth of industry knowledge ensures proper identification of material conditions adhering to non-destructive testing standards. If our staff identifies complex issues requiring further testing, it will be immediately reported to you. No matter how hard to reach your inspection site may be, Southern Inspection can get the job done.
Borescopes are used for visual inspection work where the area to be inspected is inaccessible by other means.
Borescopes are mostly used in non-destructive testing techniques for recognizing defects or imperfections.
Dye penetrant inspection (DPI), also called liquid penetrant inspection (LPI) or penetrant testing (PT), is a widely applied and low-cost inspection method used to locate surface-breaking defects in all non-porous materials (metals, plastics, or ceramics). The penetrant may be applied to all non-ferrous materials and ferrous materials, although for ferrous components magnetic-particle inspection is often used instead for its subsurface detection capability. LPI is used to detect casting, forging and welding surface defects such as hairline cracks, surface porosity, leaks in new products, and fatigue cracks on in-service components.
Southern Inspection & Testing provides on-site services for leak testing applications in many types of environments. We support various size construction projects, on-going maintenance projects, testing at welding fabrication facilities, and also, one time applications. We also provide laboratory testing services at our facility.
Our ANST certified technicians have the ability to perform leak location and quantified leakage measurement testing. Testing can be performed in accordance with ASTM standards, ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel code, API codes and to ANSI N14.5 standards.
In addition, our Test Engineer can prepare a testing procedure to meet the customer's specifications.
Our personnel are qualified as Level I, II, or III in accordance with ASNT-TC-1A , ANSI/ANST CP-189, and NAS-410. Training can require as much as 80 hours of formal classroom training, and as much as four years of leak testing experience. Technician qualifications are performed by our ASNT certified Level III examiner.
Testing staff are qualified in methods such as helium mass spectrometer, pressure change/measurement, ultrasonic, thermal conductivity, bubble, and halogen diode.
Magnetic particle Inspection (MPI) is a non-destructive testing (NDT) process for detecting surface and slightly subsurface discontinuities in ferromagnetic materials such as iron, nickel, cobalt, and some of their alloys and must be performed to worldwide standards such as EN473 and ISO9712 by qualified personnel. The process puts a magnetic field into the part. The piece can be magnetized by direct or indirect magnetization. Direct magnetization occurs when the electric current is passed through the test object and a magnetic field is formed in the material. Indirect magnetization occurs when no electric current is passed through the test object, but a magnetic field is applied from an outside source. The magnetic lines of force are perpendicular to the direction of the electric current which may be either alternating current (AC) or some form of direct current (DC) (rectified AC).
A close-up of the surface of a (different) pipeline showing indications of stress corrosion cracking (two clusters of small black lines) revealed by magnetic particle inspection. Cracks which would normally have been invisible are detectable due to the magnetic particles clustering at the crack openings. The scale at the bottom is numbered in centimetres.
The presence of a surface or subsurface discontinuity in the material allows the magnetic flux to leak, since air cannot support as much magnetic field per unit volume as metals. Ferrous iron particles are then applied to the part. The particles may be dry or in a wet suspension. If an area of flux leakage is present, the particles will be attracted to this area. The particles will build up at the area of leakage and form what is known as an indication. The indication can then be evaluated to determine what it is, what may have caused it, and what action should be taken, if any.
A technician performs MPI on a pipeline to check for stress corrosion cracking using what is known as the "black and white" method. No indications of cracking appear in this picture; the only marks are the 'footprints' of the magnetic yoke and drip marks.
Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing
A simple definition for Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing is ‘an electronic method of generating, receiving and displaying an ultrasound signal’. The process uses a conventional probe cut into many segments, which are individually ‘excited’. It does not change the physics of ultrasonics but can be accurately manipulated to provide precise data about the materials under test. Sophisticated technology allows multiple elements to steer, angle, multi-focus and scan beams using a single transducer assembly.
The principles of ultrasonic technology have been known for many years but it is only in the last 50 or so that knowledge been harnessed to great and diverse effect where surface and depth of any description needs to be tested and inspected.
Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing is also extensively utilised in the food processing, medical, biological, agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors for the same purposes as every other division– the gathering of vital data essential for product performance, health & safety, research and development.
Radiographic Testing (RT), or industrial radiography, is a nondestructive testing (NDT) method of inspecting materials for hidden flaws by using the ability of short wavelength electromagnetic radiation (high energy photons) to penetrate various materials.
Either an X-ray machine or a radioactive source, like Ir-192, Co-60, or in rarer cases Cs-137 are used in a X-ray computed tomography machine as a source of photons.
Infrared thermography (IRT), thermal imaging, and thermal video are examples of infrared imaging science. Thermographic cameras detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum (roughly 9,000–14,000 nanometers or 9–14 µm) and produce images of that radiation, called thermograms. Since infrared radiation is emitted by all objects above absolute zero according to the black body radiation law, thermography makes it possible to see one's environment with or without visible illumination. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature; therefore, thermography allows one to see variations in temperature.
In ultrasonic testing (UT), very short ultrasonic pulse-waves with center frequencies ranging from 0.1-15 MHz and occasionally up to 50 MHz are transmitted into materials to detect internal flaws or to characterize materials. A common example is ultrasonic thickness measurement, which tests the thickness of the test object, for example, to monitor pipework corrosion.
Ultrasonic testing is often performed on steel and other metals and alloys, though it can also be used on concrete, wood and composites, albeit with less resolution. It is a form of non-destructive testing used in many industries including aerospace, automotive and other transportation sectors.
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