Fun Fact Friday: The Differences Between Radiographic & Ultrasonic Weld Testing

Fun Fact Friday: The Differences Between Radiographic & Ultrasonic Weld Testing

Welds can be tested using three different methods: destructive, in which the weld is destroyed to examine the physical properties of the metal and components; mechanical, which is used to determine the properties of a metal under force; and non-destructive, in which the integrity of the weld can be determined without destroying the weld itself. The primary advantage of non-destructive examinations (NDE) is the ability to examine a component’s surface, sub-surface, and internal makeup for defects while keeping the weld intact. Its two most common types are radiographic testing and ultrasonic testing.

Radiographic Weld Testing

Also known as x-ray inspection, radiographic testing involves the use of commercial x-ray or gamma units to examine visible discontinuities on the interior of the weld, including:

– Cracks

– Scattered porosity

– Blowholes

– Inclusions

– Undercutting

The process is similar to that used to take x-rays of the human body. Gamma rays are passed through a tube onto photographic film to produce an image of internal components. As in the medical field, special expertise is required to perform radiographic weld testing and interpret the results. Due to its requirement for specific equipment, highly qualified personnel, and extensive safety precautions, its cost tends to run higher than other types of testing. However, radiographic testing is acknowledged as one of the most versatile and widely accepted forms of NDE, as it’s required to meet the welding codes and standards established by many relevant organizations, such as American Welding Society (AWS) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Ultrasonic Weld Testing

Used to check for surface and sub-surface discontinuities, ultrasonic weld testing involves the direction of a high-frequency energy beam through the object. If the beam detects an interruption, sound will reflect back and be collected by the pulse-echo equipment, which then amplifies it and displays it visually in video format. Ultrasonic testing is very sensitive and can determine the exact location of discontinuities, particularly gas pores, lamination, and other defects that are too small to be observed with other methods. While it requires interfacing with computers or equipment with built-in memory to produce a permanent record, it allows for a closer inspection of joints than radiographic testing can provide. Like radiographic testing, only highly trained professionals can perform ultrasonic weld testing.

While radiographic and ultrasonic testing each offer their own advantages and disadvantages, both forms of non-destructive examinations are indispensable to the welding industry. At Encorus Group, we offer these and other NDE options, all of which meet or exceed requirements and are performed by our experienced technicians using advanced equipment. For more information, contact Director of Testing Services Jim Handzlik at 716.592.3980, ext. 148.

 

Safety Precautions to Take While Visiting a Construction Site

Safety Precautions to Take While Visiting a Construction Site

Encorus Group staff often visits the job sites where concepts are brought to reality. These visits are part of the materials testing and inspection services that Encorus offers. Our Civil Testing and NDE groups are also constantly visiting construction sites to perform testing and inspections.  Members of our design group sometimes visit jobsites as well, to obtain measurements, observe construction, or answer questions.  While visiting a construction site, it is important to remember to take safety precautions to avoid injury and prevent any work disruptions. Here are some things to keep in mind if you ever find yourself on an active construction site:

1.    Wear a hardhat

On an active construction site, workers could be transporting materials above your head, with a crane, for example, or materials may not be secured.  Hardhats will protect your head from any potential injury.  Hardhats do have a shelf life!  The date of manufacture should be printed on the inside of the hardhat, and it should be used for no more than 4-5 years from that date.  OSHA, ANSI, and the hardhat manufacturer can offer specific guidance.  In addition, factors such as excessive temperatures (ie, keeping your hardhat in your vehicle) can cause it to degrade more quickly, and be less effective in the event of an impact.

2.    Wear a high visibility vest

It is important to make sure that can be easily seen on a construction site, so high visibility vests are required. If someone wears clothes that blend in with the materials on the construction site, they can be easily overlooked and subject to injury.  High visibility outerwear makes you more noticeable, and reflective strips are essential to being seen in low light situations.

3.    Wear appropriate footwear

Appropriate footwear includes boots or shoes with hard soles and preferably steel toes. Shoes with open toes, high heels, and soft soles are strongly discouraged as there are sharp objects that can be stepped on or heavy materials that can be dropped on feet.  Construction sites are often unlevel, and appropriate footwear will decrease the chance of slipping or tripping.

4.    Wear safety glasses

Any active construction site is a hazard for your eyes.  Dirt, dust, rocks, and construction materials are constantly moving around, including through the air.  Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying objects.

5.    Wear long pants to cover your legs

Sharp object may be sticking up, and your legs may be subject to scratches and cuts. Skirts, shorts, and dresses are discouraged on the construction site. Wearing long pants will protect your legs from any harm

6.    If you have a guide, be sure to stay close to them as you move around the site

It is easy to get lost on construction sites, so if you do not know where you are going, it is best to stick with your guide on the visit.  They are probably more familiar with the site than you are as a visitor, and will be able to guide you on a safe route and avoid hazards

7.    Be aware of your surroundings

It is common sense to have a general awareness of the construction site you are visiting. If there is a place where the materials appear to be unstable or if workers are vigorously working, do not approach that area.  Make eye contact with machinery operators when crossing the machine’s path.  Safety is the first priority, and if you approach an area where people are working, they make have to stop and disrupt progress until you leave

8.    Do not touch anything

It is advised not to touch any materials on the construction site, especially any loose wires. Those wires may be live, and the materials could be sharp or recently painted.

In general, follow all instructions that your guide or the site supervisor may give you. They will know the best way for you to safely navigate the site.  You not only want to be safe, you want to be welcomed back in the future!  Remember that your safety on a jobsite affects the safety of others as well – if you get hurt, others may get hurt as well trying to help you.  Stay safe!

Radiographic Testing Is Up and Running!

Radiographic Testing Is Up and Running!

Encorus Group’s Radiographic Testing group is ready to hit the road!

Radiographic testing (RT) is a method of non-destructive examination which uses either x-rays or gamma rays to see inside the component or specimen, creating a hard copy image of the item. RT is used to inspect welds, machined parts, pipes, vessels and tanks, concrete, plate metal, and ceramics. Much like a medical x-ray or x-ray security screening at the airport, RT can reveal irregularities or defects within the object being examined without damaging it. A trained radiographer can locate a defect as well as identify its type, size and location based on subtle variations in the film density. RT has a well-established track record as an effective non-destructive inspection method. Encorus is excited to announce that we now offer mobile radiographic testing services. We will bring our mobile darkroom and trained technicians to your location! RT has a number of benefits: it provides a permanent record of an inspection (the x-ray image), it can be used to inspect assembled components without the need to disassemble, it can be used on a variety of materials, the data collected can be reproduced and analyzed at a later time, and it will detect both surface and subsurface defects. Our mobile lab means less travel time for you, and more up time for your equipment and your business. Call Jim Handzlik at 716.592.3980, ext. 148 or email jhandzlik@encorus.com to learn more about using radiographic testing to find better solutions to your toughest problems.

Fun Fact Friday: Radiographic Testing

Fun Fact Friday: Radiographic Testing

Did you hear the news?  Encorus Group now offers radiographic testing, sometimes called industrial radiography.  This week’s Fun Fact Friday talks about what radiographic testing is and what advantages it offers over other testing methods.


Radiographic testing (RT) is a method of non-destructive examination which uses either x-rays or gamma rays to see inside the component or specimen, creating a hard copy image of the item. RT is used to inspect welds, machined parts, pipes, vessels and tanks, concrete, plate metal, and ceramics. Much like a medical x-ray or x-ray security screening at the airport, RT can reveal irregularities or defects within the object being examined without damaging it. A trained radiographer can locate a defect as well as identify its type, size and location based on subtle variations in the film density. RT has a well-established track record as an effective non-destructive inspection method. Encorus is excited to announce that we now offer mobile radiographic testing services. We will bring our mobile darkroom and trained technicians to your location! RT has a number of benefits: it provides a permanent record of an inspection (the x-ray image), it can be used to inspect assembled components without the need to disassemble, it can be used on a variety of materials, the data collected can be reproduced and analyzed at a later time, and it will detect both surface and subsurface defects. Our mobile lab means less travel time for you, and more up time for your equipment and your business. Call Jim Handzlik at 716.592.3980, ext. 148 or email jhandzlik@encorus.com to learn more about using radiographic testing to find better solutions to your toughest problems.

Announcing….

Announcing….

Fun Fact Friday: Geophysical Surveying

Fun Fact Friday: Geophysical Surveying

DID YOU KNOW? #funfactfriday

Geophysical Surveying

The Fun Fact Friday post for this week will take a look at Geophysical Surveying. Geophysical Surveying falls under the category of non-destructive examination, meaning that subsurface investigations can be made without penetrating the ground or damaging the surface in any way. The main purpose of performing a Geophysical Survey is to determine what kind of unknown objects may lie underground. Some methods of conducting Geophysical Surveys include using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Magnometers, and Electromagnetic Conductivity and Resistance Meters.

Geophysical Surveying is commonly used for locating underground storage tanks and utilities, delineation of rock layers, and soil resistivity and conductivity testing. The non-destructive nature of Geophysical Surveying eliminates the risk of damaging utility lines or other objects during the excavation phase of the client’s project.

Encorus Group recently performed Geophysical Surveying at the West Valley Demonstration Project to find buried lines and other objects before the installation of a new gas line on site. The Encorus staff utilized a GPR unit, a Magnetic Flux meter, which was used to detect metal objects, and a Radio Utility Locator, which uses sound waves to locate objects under the ground. Based on the results from the survey, the client was able to determine the best route and area to drill for the installation of the new gas line.

If you or your company requires Geophysical Surveying services, contact Senior Geologist / Environmental Professional Andrew Kucserik at (716) 592-3890 x149 or at akucserik@encorus.com.