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How Does Weather Affect NDT?

calendar Nov. 11, 2021user-iconTXNDT

Nondestructive testing (NDT) can be full of variables, which is why NDT technicians need to be prepared. Whether it is deciding which testing method is best on the fly or managing issues that can crop up during inspections, knowing how to deal with adversity is an integral part of being a nondestructive testing technician.

While many external factors can be mitigated, one thing you can’t change is the weather. Here is what every technician should know about how weather can impact the performance of nondestructive testing.

Storm Damage

When it comes to weather, the greatest impact it may have on nondestructive testing is due to storm damage. Critical elements of infrastructure like utility poles are routinely inspected by nondestructive testing technicians. In the case of a storm, it is not uncommon for a utility pole to be stricken or to fall, creating a new problem for NDT technicians to approach. Weather can impact the performance of a nondestructive testing inspection, but bad weather and storms can actually be the reason that inspections need to be performed in the first place.


Performing a sophisticated nondestructive testing method can be exponentially more difficult during inclement weather. Wind, rain, and snow can all inhibit the visibility of the component if the asset or structure is outside.

In many cases, visual testing for larger assets is completed using drone technology to reduce the risk for technicians and capture more precise imagery. Capturing images when wind, rain, or snow are heavy is significantly inhibited. Even if your drones are able to take flight in adverse weather conditions, the chances are that the captured images will be blurry and imprecise.


Some nondestructive testing methods involve materials and tools that are especially sensitive. While the sensitivity of these instruments is wonderful for yielding precise results, it can make testing incompatible with adverse conditions.

The ideal temperature range for liquid penetrant testing is from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. In many places across the globe, it is not uncommon for temperatures to be below 40 degrees at any point during the year.

When temperatures are low, studies have shown that solvent takes longer to dry, dwelling times must be extended, and developing action is impeded by the low temperature.

If liquid penetrant testing is necessary for a particular job and the weather conditions are not ideal, it takes a highly skilled technician to understand the best ways to compensate for the weather and perform the inspection well.

Contact TXNDT Today!

Nondestructive testing is never easy, but unexpected weather complications can make it seem impossible. The knowledge a technician needs to perform NDT in adverse weather omes from a high-quality NDT training institute.

If you are looking for nondestructive testing services to protect your assets or become a technician yourself through NDT technician training, it’s crucial to choose the right company or school 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!