Welding is one of the most common, yet critical, aspects of all construction projects. Welds represent the weakest points in any system, as well as those that are subjected to the most stress, making weld-joints the most likely point of failure and the most likely places to look for signs of impending failure. Nondestructive inspection allows welds to be thoroughly examined, without altering or removing the joint.
Nondestructive welding inspection, also known as nondestructive testing or examination, encompasses a range of applications and strategies, including visual inspection, that allows items like pipes and structural connections to be examined in place. Fiber-optics, miniature robots and mobile radiography tools are just a few of the more advanced strategies in use today, ensuring better engineering and stopping failures with a high-tech welding inspection program.
Visual Inspection is the First Line of Defense
Visual inspections are the first line of defense for any welding inspection program; up-close, visual inspections are required before and after weld-joints are completed, in addition to an ongoing program of spot-inspections to ensure weld-integrity. Once pieces are in place, a visual inspection is not as easy, and requires the help of technology to get the job done.
Tethered and wireless probes featuring color-cameras and real-time transmissions provide an easy and cost-effective solution for examining welds inside working pipes and structural framework, as two of the most common applications. Fiber-optic cameras with telescoping lenses and flexible frames allow detailed, visual inspections from nearly any angle. In the hands of an experienced inspector, these tools are the best methods of spotting problems before they become failures.
Radiography and Ultrasound Techniques
Many times, particularly within industrial applications, there are multi-pass welds that consist of a group of individual welds, essentially making a fill and a joint at the same time. Within these types of welds, the root, or original weld, is the most important; the root weld is the foundation of all successive welding and the integrity of the overall weld.
Inspecting these types of welds with nondestructive techniques calls for specialized equipment, such as X-ray machines and ultrasound imaging machines. These two strategies, while not the only ones, are among the most effective and easiest to use, even in the most challenging and remote locations. Radiography and sound waves allow inspectors to quickly render images that cover the entire seam, as well as penetrating it, ensuring a quality weld all the way through.
Without these types of inspection techniques, some of the most critical aspects of infrastructure and construction would be subject to constant failure, with the only indicators of a problem presenting themselves after the fact.
Tulsa Welding School Can Prepare You for A Career In Welding Inspection
If you are interested in learning more about nondestructive welding inspection, contact Tulsa Welding School. We have campuses in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida (the welding inspection program is not offered at the Jacksonville campus) and offer training programs to suit your welding career goals. An admissions representative will be happy to answer any questions you may have.