Since the invention of the steam engine, railways have been an integral component of the global economy. Even as the automobile, internet, and other forms of modern technology have revolutionized public discourse, travel, and nearly every aspect of modern life, trains remain crucial to the daily operations of most industries.
Even so, developing technology has presented new problems to the rail and light rail fields. As complicated issues arise with the development of the rail industry, nondestructive testing remains one of the best ways to protect rail assets and prevent risk. Understanding the role of nondestructive testing in rail and light rail requires an understanding of its needs and methods used.
A number of different aspects of the railway industry reap the benefits of nondestructive testing. Train rails are constantly exposed to harsh elements like rain, hail, snow, and sun. These elements can lead to corrosion as the metal plates and bolts oxidize over time. This sort of damage can lead to lost bolts and loose rails that present significant hazards. With the amount of heavy lifting that trains do, all rails must be firm and secure, otherwise, disaster may ensue including injury or death of bystanders.
On one hand, damaged rails can disrupt business operations and cause major delays. Not only will packages and other shipping materials arrive at their destinations late, but waiting for repairs and maintenance can cost you a lot of valuable time and money.
On the other hand, damaged rails can be a serious health and safety hazard. Passenger trains must be operating perfectly to ensure that all occupants arrive at their destinations safely and tragedy is avoided. Even in the case of freight trains, all necessary precautions must be taken to protect crews on board.
One of the most useful methods of nondestructive testing for the railway industry is ultrasonic testing. Ultrasonic testing of welds can do wonders to determine the security of rails and verify that they are sufficient for train travel.
Trains are often subject to the damage caused by daily wear and tear. Ultrasonic testing makes up for the shortcomings of magnetic flux leakage (a more rudimentary inspection method) by sending high-frequency sound waves through the component under inspection. When the reading registers on the ultrasonic testing equipment, the nondestructive testing technician can determine whether or not there is a flaw in the magnetism of the rail or another inconsistency in the materials.
It is crucial for nondestructive testing technicians to perform thorough inspections on trains and rails, both routinely and for special maintenance. Without this critical verification of safety, train occupants and crew can be put at serious risk for injury.
Nondestructive testing is all about reducing risks and increasing your returns on investments. To maximize the returns on rail travel and shipping, it is crucial to hire the right nondestructive testing technician to ensure safety and efficiency. It takes an especially skilled technician to get the job done right.
Becoming an expert technician starts with high caliber training at an NDT school like TXNDT. 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. 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.