U.S. Inspection & NDT, LLC performs a full suite of testing, inspection & certification services for the construction, manufacturing, power generation, oil & gas, aviation and infrastructure sectors.
Radiographic Testing (RT) is the capability to view the internal structure of a specimen by using x-ray and gamma-ray radiation that is generated from an isotope such as iridium-192, selenium-75, or cobalt-60. With our highly trained and qualified technicians, this method gives them the ability to perceive, note, and observe any type of defect on the internal piece.
Ultrasonic Testing (UT) is a method of using short, high frequency ultrasonic waves to identify flaws in a component. Our highly trained and experienced technicians will then measure these waves to determine and identify the internal flaws. Ultrasonic testing is typically used for dimensional measurements, thickness, material characterization, and flaw detections.
UT equipment is made up with several separate units depending on the type of ultrasonic testing that is being performed. Equipment may include, pulsers, receivers, transducers, and display monitors.
The useful advantages of UT is that it is incredibly accurate and can scan on and underneath the surface.
Ultrasonic Thickness Testing (UTT)
Ultrasonic Thickness Testing (UTT) works with an ultrasonic gauge the promptly measures how long it takes for a sound pulse to travel through the test piece and returns to the inside surface or far wall. The sound pulse is conducted by small piece called an ultrasonic transducer. The measurement of thickness is calculated and then displayed on a digital monitor.
Ultrasonic thickness testing is performed on a wide variety of structures including piping, pressure vessels, and highly used in the oil and gas industry where erosion and corrosion can damage the component. Performing the UTT and help to determine how much metal as been loss and if repair or replacement work is needed or if a structure needs to be retired. The data gathered by the UTT helps customers determine if there is the adequate metal thickness needed for its design.
Shear Wave UT
Shear wave ultrasonic testing, also known as “angle beam inspections” shear wave ultrasonic testing is a UT technique that consist of a probe of an ultrasonic transducer with a plastic wedge that conducts an ultrasonic beam at an angle into the test area. The probe will move back and forth along the test area, presenting a A-scan, as it detects any flaws in the component based on the refraction of the ultrasonic beam. From there, our highly skilled technician will evaluate the gathered information.
Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT)
Phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) is an advance non-destructive technique that uses a set of ultrasonic testing (UT) probes that are made up from numerous smaller elements which are individually pulsed with computer-calculating timing. PAUT is used to inspect more complex-shaped components that are more difficult to inspect with a single probe. This method is used to detect discontinuities such as cracks and flaws and can also determine the components material quality.
PAUT has many advantages compared to the traditional UT methods. Phased array ultrasonic testing can be conducted within seconds, and repeat scans can be performed easily due to the high degree of repeatability due to the use of emitting beams. The emitting beams also help create details and accurate cross sections of a component.
Corrosion Mapping / C-Scan Inspection
Corrosion mapping is an ultrasonic technique for mapping material thickness. Due to corrosion (deterioration of a metallic material by chemical or electrochemical) and degradation issues, this method helps with identifying the materials thickness. The different types of corrosion that can be the factor of materials thickness are:
- Inter-granular- grows along grain boundaries
- Uniform- extends evenly across the surface
- Pitting- uneven and has smaller deep areas
- Exfoliation- moves along layers of elongated grains
Corrosion mapping is widely used in the oil and gas industries for the inspection of pipework, pressure vessels, storage tanks, and reactors. In the aerospace sector, corrosion mapping is referred to as “C-scan” for the inspection of composite materials.
Magnetic Particle Testing (MT) is a widely known and commonly utilized method that is used to detect surface and subsurface flaws in most ferromagnetic pipe and pipe welds. Magnetic testing is very effective for quality control, final inspections, and inspections of larger components.
The two simple and common variations of magnetic particle testing are wet magnetic particle testing and dry magnetic particle testing.
- Wet magnetic particle testing is usually black and can be used against a white contrast paint for better visibility.
- Dry magnetic particle testing is in a form of a powder with colors that varying from red, yellow, and grey.
The process for both variations starts with running a magnetic current though the component. If there is any damage or defects in the ferromagnetic material, the magnetic current will be interrupted and will cause magnetism to leak from material. The area of the damage or flaw is referred as the “flux leakage field”.
After the flux leakage field is detected, the process continues with spreading magnetic particles (dry or wet) on the component. The magnetic particles will be drawn to the flux leakage field, which will identify the approximate size and shape of the damage.
Magnetic Particle Testing advantages include being highly portable with materials stocked in our mobile darkrooms, a non-pre-cleaning service, and generally inexpensive. This method is also the most favorable when detecting fine and shallow surface cracks, no matter the size of component.
Liquid Penetrant Testing (LPT) is the method of using fluorescent dye to indicate and detect surface flaws on a component that might not be visible. This technique is based on the “capillarity attraction” which is when a liquid is able to flow into a narrow space without the assistance of an external force, such as gravity. The capillarity attraction results in making the surface flaw visible and capable for interpretation.
Liquid penetrant testing is a simple process that includes liquid penetrant to be applied to the surface of a component. With sufficient time, the liquid penetrate will dwell and detect any damages that the surface might have. The excess penetrant is then removed, and a developer is applied to the component, making it ready for examination by one of our highly trained technicians.
Liquid penetrant testing is relativity simple to use and one of the least expensive methods. LPT is ideally used for examining small surface discontinues that are not visible to the human eye, larger area, and effective on those small or large complex geometric shape components.
Aerosol spray cans of penetrant are kept in our mobile darkrooms to make materials portable as our technicians perform penetrant testing in the field.
A successful mechanical integrity program is critical to safe operation while protecting your personnel and assets. A quality mechanical integrity program will monitor the condition of your assets, help you to comply with state, federal and industrial regulations, and protect the safety of both the people that work for you and the environment around you.
U.S. Inspection & NDT provides predominant testing and approval services for welding procedures and welders qualifications. With our knowledge and experience, our welding fabricators and engineers evaluate each welding procedure to ensure its suitable and the correct technique for the material. After the procedure has been approved, the client’s welder will be tested against it to make sure they are capable of conducting the procedure properly. Our welder engineers will also offer their help to clients if they’re procedures are not up to capability in-house.
These procedures are important with welding being the most common technique to join metallic materials together. Welding fabricators and contractors will develop welding procedures to qualify welders before the welding can transpire.
There are also specific procedures to meet requirements of recognized welding codes such as ASME, AWS, or CSA. These must be followed in accordance with either statutory or customer requirements. The fundamental requirements for a welding procedure are that the welding properties meet or exceed the material properties of the joined parts. A good welding procedure, however, will also ensure simple and efficient welding and mitigate common problems with welding such as distortion, hardening and welding defects. Optimizing a welding process is an iterative science and usually depends on the skill and experience of the welder.
Our Quality Assurance and Quality Control services have been combined to provide an overall project-verification solution which ensures our clients’ compliance with quality, environmental and health/safety specifications throughout the stages of a project. By helping construction contractors, we validate that their internal operations and procedures meet the requirements recognized by the Quality Management Systems. This is accomplished by supporting them to develop, initiate, and regularly revise a Project Quality Manual that follows the quality procedures required during each phase of the project.
It is important to ensure that quality, scheduling, and cost requirements are met in each of the different stages of a project. We concentrate on our three areas of quality:
- Project- Development of a project quality manual, project quality plan to incorporate procedures and flowcharts as well as audit schedules and data packages for the project
- Procurement- Auditing the project at the client’s facilities to ensure compliance with required codes, and following of the approve project quality plans
- Construction- auditing by inspectors to ensure compliance in areas of construction management, supervision, and engineering. Also reports the results of inspections.
U.S. Inspection & NDT, LLC has a rapidly growing Heat Treatment Service Division located in Houston, TX. We have earned our reputation by providing excellent on-site services at customer facilities with our footprints spread across the United States supporting clients on various projects.