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Non Destructive Testing: When is Visual Inspection the Best NDT Testing Method?

calendar Aug. 03, 2020user-iconTXNDT
TXNDT contractor performing a visual inspection

When something goes wrong in your home, your first instinct probably isn’t to whip out your welding tools and have at it. When you see a leak, crack, or loose screw, most people’s first instinct would be to get a good look at the component to fully understand what has gone wrong before pulling out any heavy equipment.

What you may not have realized is that your first instinct to check over the problem before taking action is actually a pillar of nondestructive testing.

The process of evaluating a situation with just the naked eye is a vital NDT method known as visual inspection or visual testing (VT). While this may seem like an archaic, low-tech solution, VT can be the best method for inspecting your assets without wasting time and money on expensive equipment and labor.

Today on the blog we answer the FAQ: When is visual inspection the best NDT method?

Here’s what you need to know.

Visual Inspection Basics

As its name suggests, visual inspection is the process by which a technician evaluates a component by sight, either using the unaided eye or by a magnifying glass or other tool to aid view.

Ultimately, visual inspection is a part of every NDT method, as flawed components will always be viewed by a technician at some point, but it is entirely possible that visual inspection alone is enough 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 less technologically advanced than some other methods, it can often be the best choice for inspections.

Visual inspection is highly cost-effective since it does not involve expensive equipment or labor that some other methods require. 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!


There are, however, some reasons that visual inspection may not be an effective method for testing.

At its best, VT can be a great method for detecting surface flaws and cracks, but for inconsistencies below the surface, visual inspection is likely insufficient.

Visual inspection is usually only effective for large cracks and is a method at a high risk for inaccuracy. Since visual testing relies on the human eye and intuition, mistakes can be made, especially with less experienced technicians.

Contact TXNDT Today!

Whether it is visual testing, magnetic particle testing, or ultrasonic testing, the best method for inspection must be decided on by a qualified technician, experienced enough to know when visual testing is a sufficient cost-saving measure, or when a more elaborate method is best.

At TXNDT, we make sure 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.