Infrastructure is generally the last thing that most people want to talk about. Planning roads and testing tunnels is hardly as exciting as passing a groundbreaking law or bill, but all of these are vital features of keeping our country safe and efficient.
Especially with the United States’ historically low-rated infrastructure, it is more important than ever that a new focus is brought to the improvement and maintenance of our country’s infrastructure.
No one wants to feel like they are taking a risk when they cross a bridge on their daily commute, and it is the dedicated nondestructive testing technicians at work daily who make sure that you never have to think twice about safety.
Today, we answer the FAQ: How can NDT help the stability of bridges across the country? Here is what you should know.
According to the Infrastructure Report Card, America’s bridges are nowhere near the level they would need to be to earn an “A” safety rating.
At this point, roughly 42% of American bridges are over half a century old. It doesn’t take an infrastructure expert to know that technology has developed significantly over those years, and a bridge built in the 20th century may not be prepared for 21st century problems.
Bridges are constantly exposed to the wind, rain, and other damaging elements. As a result, there are 46,154 bridges in the US that are in poor condition and considered structurally unsound. While “structurally unsound” does not necessarily mean that a bridge is at risk for collapse, all bridges should be as safe as possible to mitigate any possibility of danger.
According to some estimates, it would take an investment of over $100 billion to fully repair the nation’s bridges and set our country on a trajectory for optimal safety.
Until that day, nondestructive testing technicians work tirelessly to ensure that bridges stay safe and become safer.
There are a number of different nondestructive testing methods that can be used to inspect for the safety of bridges.
The simplest method used is visual testing. While visual testing is not an endgame method of inspection for bridges, it can be a great, low-cost starting point to quickly spot glaring errors to begin the process of repair.
Ultrasonic testing is another useful method for inspecting bridges. It is crucial to inspect the entirety of the bridge’s structure to test for flaws. The thickness of a concrete deck of a bridge may make it difficult (or even impossible) to check for flaws with some methods.
Ultrasonic testing uses sonar technology to inspect deep into the center of the bridge deck and determine whether or not a flaw is present.
Whatever the testing method, it is critical that our nation’s bridges are in the hands of qualified technicians if there is ever hope to restore American infrastructure.
If you are looking for nondestructive testing services to protect your assets or to become a technician yourself through NDT technician training, it’s crucial to choose the right NDT training institute to meet your NDT needs.
TXNDT is a cut above the rest with superior NDT courses, knowledgeable instructors, and hands-on coursework to prepare all emerging technicians for NDT certification. Check us out online or give us a call today at 281-231-0001 to see how TXNDT can work for you!