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How Tiny Flaws Make Steel Poles So Dangerous

calendar Oct. 25, 2022user-iconTXNDT

While it may be easy to take steel poles for granted, in the world of nondestructive testing, light poles take center stage in terms of inspection and maintenance.

Steel poles are constantly exposed to the elements, which puts them at high risk for damage and disintegration.

Moisture and fluctuating temperatures can cause the expansion and contraction of the metals that makeup steel poles. If not properly and frequently inspected, the heavy wear and tear on steel poles can lead to cracks, rust, and other buildup.

If these issues go unaddressed, steel poles can certainly fall due to age and weather damage, but the greatest adversary to steel poles may be human action.

Steel poles in parking lots or along roads are at a high risk for being hit by motorists. Even if the pole does not fall immediately, the damage that the poles suffer can be devastating in the near future.

Before steel poles fall, it is critical to identify the small flaws that lead to big danger. With NDT, this is possible. Here is what you need to know.

Cracked Welds and Compromised Structure

As any nondestructive testing technician knows, the welds on an asset are critical for maintaining the structural integrity of a steel pole or any other welded material.

It is imperative that welds are completed properly at every point in production so that the component is assembled correctly and is structurally sound.

When there are even tiny flaws in the weld of a steel pole, there is a significant risk of the asset’s joints pulling away from one another, failing to create a cohesive structure.

Nondestructive testing technicians can inspect welds and other parts of a steel pole throughout the production process to ensure that no steel pole leaves its manufacturing plant without complete structural security.

Nondestructive Testing for Steel Poles

Since steel pole inspection is such an integral part of the nondestructive testing field, there are a number of different NDT methods that can be used to inspect steel poles for flaws for quality assurance.

Flaws can occur in any place on a steel pole, especially at welds and on the steel base plate.

The first inspection method that can be useful for testing steel poles is visual testing.

While uncomplicated by tools or devices, visual inspection can quickly determine the location of large surface indications for quick remediation. This method is not very thorough, however, and should not be the only method used for steel pole inspection.

More elaborate methods like magnetic particle testing and ultrasonic testing can identify flaws and cracks below the asset’s surface for a more thorough inspection.

Contact TXNDT Today

Through the various methods of nondestructive testing, NDT technicians can identify even the smallest flaws in a steel pole, welds, or base plates to keep poles structurally sound.

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!