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Advanced NDT Software for Metals, Materials, and Composites

Nondestructive testing (NDT) methods, such as eddy current testing (ECT) and ultrasonic testing (UT), provide the ability to inspect for surface, subsurface, and internal discontinuities or flaws, ensuring the safety and reliable performance of welds, components, and structures. However, NDT methods are only effective if properly used. If NDT equipment isn’t set up correctly, for example, defect indications might not be visible. Likewise, defects can be missed or misclassified if technicians are not adequately trained to interpret the results.

Fortunately, these concerns can be largely addressed by facilitating as much of the inspection process as possible using NDT software tools. In this post, we will discuss how advanced NDT software can improve the value and reliability of both eddy current (ECT) and ultrasonic testing (UT).

How NDT Software Can Alleviate Testing Concerns

Whether using ECT or UT technology, an effective NDT process must be able to:

  • Consistently identify critical indications
  • Produce results quickly
  • Make it easy to see trends over time

Traditionally, analysts had to interpret NDT results off-site or in a less visually intuitive approach, which can present a few problems. This type of analysis requires highly experienced, trained technicians to identify defects accurately. The process is time-consuming, and the subjectivity involved opens the inspection process to variation.

Now, many industries may be replacing this type of analysis with advanced NDT software that can help control the scan, collect and analyze data in real-time, and generate images, greatly improving speed and consistency over legacy analysis. For example, 2D or 3D images generated by software such as UltraVision allow technicians to quickly and easily identify defects. In addition, the right NDT software produces accurate, consistent, fast, and easy results for the technician to interpret.

Below is a summary of some features NDT software can provide and how they can improve inspection processes:

Feature Advantage
Coverage MappingProvides understanding of detection capability and inspection coverage
Inspection SimulationMakes testing more predictable
Analysis ToolsReduces inspection time, makes results more repeatable/reproducible
Real-Time AnalysisProvides immediate awareness of indications
Flaw Detection and ClassificationImproves detection rate and consistency of defect classification
Noise MonitoringReduces false positives and streamlines inspection
User Configuration LockingSafeguards against errors and guarantees control over results
Historical Data ComparisonProvides early warning of problems and better understanding of process capability
For more information about software solutions for Ultrasonic Testing (UT), see our UltraVision software packages.

Industry Applications for NDT Software

The benefits of NDT software can be found anywhere UT or ECT could be employed for inspection. Below are some examples of how NDT software can improve inspection processes in the oil and gas and aerospace industries:

Oil and Gas Pipelines

UT is commonly used for weld inspection and corrosion mapping in pipelines—a time-consuming process. By implementing UT equipment with built-in NDT software, the technician can create setups and calibrate the instrument in minutes rather than hours. NDT also software allows inspection parameters to be changed on demand, saving inspection time. 

Aerospace Components

Aerospace manufacturers and operators use ECT to check for cracked bolt holes. Bolt holes may be susceptible to cracking during the manufacturing process and operation due to over-tightening fasteners. However, there is a high potential for false positives caused by burrs, scratches, or other non-critical imperfections. Even worse, noise from these indications can obscure actual defects.

ECT software can help manage signal-to-noise ratio so that technicians can more easily distinguish between burrs or scratches and fine cracks. This can greatly improve the reliability of aerospace bolt hole inspections, which can be critical to flight safety.

See our software solutions for Eddy Current Testing (ECT).

Improving Inspection with Advanced NDT Software

NDT software is growing faster, more powerful, and more user-friendly all the time, and industries are taking notice. The latest software can help simplify the inspection process, analyze data in real-time, and generate 3D visualizations while ensuring the most accurate results possible. Industries that rely on NDT processes should be aware of the software options available to perform faster, more reliable testing.

Zetec offers a wide range of NDT software solutions for UT and ECT inspection requirements. For more information on our NDT software and instrumentation, contact us today.