Non-destructive testing (NDT) in the forging industry

NDT (Non-Destructive Testing)

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is a term used to describe inspections that provide information about an object without damaging it in any way either during or after the test. NDT is therefore appropriate at any stage of the production process, or even during the service life of a flange or other part.

Advantages of non-destructive vs. destructive testing

In contrast to destructive testing, where only a sample of a given batch can be inspected (sampling), NDT allows all pieces produced to be tested — increasing product safety, quality and reliability.

After going through an NDT inspection in our factory, the ULMA flanges that were tested can actually be used, as the testing process has not harmed them in any way.

All non-destructive tests are based on physical principles, which means that they are based on the measurement of some physical property of the material or a change in the same. This serves to measure indirectly what cannot be measured directly, making it possible to detect gaps.

Why are non-destructive inspections important?

NDT is necessary to ensure the integrity of flanges that will later be used in the Oil & Gas or petrochemicals industries, in power generation infrastructure, or as components of more complex equipment.

Nondestructive testing is used for:

  • Ensuring flange integrity and reliability
  • Preventing accidents and saving lives
  • Ensuring customer satisfaction and maintaining ULMA’s reputation
  • Assistance in product design
  • Controlling manufacturing processes
  • Reducing manufacturing costs
  • Maintaining a uniform level of quality

Main non-destructive analyses

Main non-destructive tests used at ULMA Forged Solutions and their physical principles

Visual Inspection (VT) Visible light
Penetrating Liquids (PT) Capillarity
Magnetic Particles (MT) Magnetic field
Ultrasound (UT) Elastic waves
Industrial Radiography (RT Electromagnetic waves

Who performs non-destructive testing and evaluates the results?

Obtaining a qualification to perform these tests depends on the accumulated experience in the test method and the qualification exams of the personnel.

The applicable standard in each case dictates the minimum necessary experience in hours with the test before access can be granted to the qualification examination.

This exam is divided into a theoretical part, to demonstrate understanding of the physical principles of the method, and another part reflecting best practices and even the typology of defects.

What is our working methodology for non-destructive testing?

At ULMA Forged Solutions, under the supervision of the Level 3 test manager, we do our non-destructive testing with a group of around 25 inspectors. These inspectors have Level 2 qualifications in one or more non-destructive testing methods and are in constant training.

In the Non-Destructive Testing Department, we perform the tests required by our customers as specified during the bidding process.

We support the R&D department in the process of industrializing new developments of the usual grades and exotic materials.

We work in collaboration with the purchasing department to create a robust process of approval of potential suppliers of raw materials. Our aim is to guarantee compliance with the quality requirements defined by the purchasing department in advance for the overall benefit of ULMA Forged Solutions.

We have competitive Non-Destructive Testing facilities operating to maximize efficiency and quality. We constantly keep on top of the latest technical advances in the field to evaluate including them in our processes.