When it comes to any sort of diagnosis, everyone knows that you should start by taking a long hard look before you start addressing a problem.
A surgeon would never start cutting without examining a wound. A contractor wouldn’t start building a house without surveying the property. A lawyer would never start a case without a thorough review of the facts.
In the same way, a nondestructive testing technician would never start a process like magnetic particle testing without a rigorous evaluation of the component under inspection first by sight.
This process of evaluating a situation with only the naked eye is not just an initial step in a process, it is a vital NDT method known as visual inspection or visual testing (VT). While this may seem like a low-tech solution, VT can be the best method for inspecting your assets without wasting valuable time and money on costly equipment and labor.
Today on the blog, we examine another instance of NDT Inspector Training 101: visual inspection.
Here’s what you need to know.
As its name may suggest, visual inspection is the process by which a technician evaluates a component by sight, either using the naked eye or as aided by a magnifying glass or other tool.
Ideally, visual inspection is a part of every NDT method. Components in need of repair will always be viewed by a technician at some point, but it is quite possible that visual inspection alone could be sufficient to identify faults in an asset and plan for repairs based on that assessment.
Cracks, corrosion, misalignment of parts and discoloration can all be identified by visual inspection.
While testing methods that employ a more technological approach may seem more precise, VT is often perfectly sufficient when performed by an experienced technician.
Since it does not involve the expensive equipment or labor that other methods require, visual inspection is an excellent choice for technicians in need of a cost-effective method.
Visual inspection is also highly portable, easy to teach to new technicians, and requires very little preparation for the component under inspection. As such, visual inspection also requires little to no cleanup after testing.
Visual inspection is a great low-cost method for testing, but it may not be the best option for all circumstances. For inconsistencies below the surface of the component, visual inspection is likely insufficient. Furthermore, since visual testing relies on the human eye and intuition, mistakes can be made, especially with less experienced technicians.
Whether it is visual testing, magnetic particle testing, or ultrasonic testing, the best method for each job must be determined by a qualified technician who is experienced enough to know when visual testing is a sufficient cost-saving measure, or when a more elaborate method is best.
At TXNDT, we take pride in the fact that each technician we train is fully prepared to enter the workforce. That training includes all of the most important methods, from magnetic particle testing, to liquid penetrant testing, and everything in between.
Since the requirements of an NDT technician can change from job to job, the expert instructors at TXNDT ensure that all prospective technicians are qualified to take on whatever their next job throws at them.
From introductory NDT courses to NDT Level 3 Certification, we take an active approach to educating all of our students and encourage all prospective technicians to take an active role in their own learning.
If you or your staff are looking for ways to expand your skills and broaden your career opportunities through nondestructive testing courses, consider NDT certification.
But don’t trust just any NDT school. If you’re looking for a top-tier experience, give us a call today at 281-231-0001 or check out our website for more information.