Non-destructive materials testing: A LIMS provides sustainable support

Non-Destructive Testing

Non-destructive testing is a method of testing and evaluating the condition of a material without damaging it. This type of testing is commonly used in the aerospace, automotive, and construction industries to evaluate the quality and safety of materials. There are many different types of non-destructive testing, including visual inspection, ultrasonic testing, radiography, and magnetic particle testing.

The goal of nondestructive testing is to obtain as much information as possible about the condition of the material. This information can be used to determine whether the material can be used safely or needs to be repaired or replaced. Non-destructive testing is a valuable tool for assessing the condition of a material and preventing potential failures. LIMS software is a highly functional tool for laboratories that want to include non-destructive testing in their service portfolio.

Definition: What is non-destructive materials testing anyway?

Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a wide range of analysis and testing techniques that examine the properties of a material or component without causing damage. This makes NDT an indispensable tool for quality control and product safety, as it allows manufacturers to detect and correct defects before they become a problem.

There are many different types of NDT, but some of the most common are ultrasonic, radiography, magnetic particle inspection, and penetrant inspection. Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses, so manufacturers typically use a combination of techniques to get the most accurate picture of their product.

NDT (non-destructive testing) is not only useful for identifying defects; it can also be used to measure the thickness or composition of a material, evaluate its mechanical properties, or even detect cracks or other defects in hidden areas.

Functional principle of non-destructive material testing

There are a number of different testing methods that are used for specific applications. For example, ultrasonic testing is used to detect imperfections in materials, while radiography is used to examine the internal structure of a material. Magnetic flux leakage testing can be used to detect leaks in piping and pressure vessels, and eddy current testing can be used to identify surface defects in metal parts.

To achieve sufficient test reliability, it may be necessary to combine different test methods. Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses. To achieve sufficient inspection reliability and, for example, want to inspect a metal part for cracks, you can use both ultrasound and radiography. Ultrasound is good for detecting small cracks, while radiography is good for detecting large cracks. When you use both methods together, you can get a more complete picture of the part’s condition.

There are methods within non-destructive material testing that are based on the use of waves. Material defects, cracks, delaminations, boundary layers, etc. cause scattering. These scatterings can be detected and used to assess the condition of the material. There are a number of different types of waves that can be used for nondestructive testing, including sound waves, ultrasonic waves, and electromagnetic waves. Still, other methods are based on detecting the path of magnetic field lines generated by magnetizing the test part or inducing eddy currents. The visualization of surface-open defects with the aid of color contrasts in dye penetrant testing is also a common method for non-destructive materials testing.

Classical test methods within non-destructive material testing

  • Radiographic testing
  • Magnetic particle inspection
  • Visual inspection
  • Ultrasonic testing
  • Eddy current testing
  • Penetrant testing (PT) or dye penetrant testing
  • Acoustic emission testing (AT)
  • Thermography
  • Videoscopy/ Endoscopy

Application range of non-destructive material testing

Non-destructive materials testing is used to inspect safety and function-critical components and assemblies, and the application of the test methods is usually mandatory. Testing is used to identify manufacturing and processing defects and to prevent further processing of expensive workpieces.

Classic user industries are those in which safety-relevant parts are used, such as the automotive supply and automotive industry, the aerospace industry, and vehicle construction.

How a LIMS supports laboratories in non-destructive materials testing

Flexible LIMS software

A LIMS is a Laboratory-Information-Management-System that helps laboratories manage and track laboratory data. A LIMS can be used in many different types of laboratories, including those that perform non-destructive material testing.

LIMS systems can help laboratories that perform non-destructive material testing by helping to track and manage data. This can include information about the materials tested, the tests performed, and the results of the tests. It is only important that the results of the tests are in “readable” structures (XML, TXT, CSV, …) and the characteristics being tested should be linkable to the results obtained.

A LIMS can also help improve safety and quality control in these laboratories by providing an easy way to track results and ensure that all tests are performed consistently.

The [FP]-LIMS solution is a proven, modern, and also extremely flexible LIMS software, making it the perfect tool for laboratories that offer non-destructive materials testing and want to always be dynamic.