Non Destructive Testing, or NDT testing, has come a long way in recent years. In the past, the majority of industrial part inspection has been carried out through three different methods:
- Touch Probe (CCM)
- Line of Sight 3D Scanning (white light or laser scanning)
- 2D X-Ray Inspection
These methods are effective in an NDT test but each has pitfalls: the speed of results, potential of part damage, and lack of accuracy of the internal part data.
The future of the NDT test lies in Computed Axial Tomography, or CAT/CT scanning. Tomography scanning is the process of generating a 2-dimensional image of a slice or section through a 3-dimensional object. You may be familiar with the use of CT scanning in hospitals to create an internal image of the body. In a hospital, a computer combines data from several X-ray images of human body and converts them into a 360 degree, cross-sectional picture. These pictures are capable of being viewed and manipulated on a computer screen from any angle. This allows the inside of a body to be viewed without cutting into it, or any other type of invasive action.
The use of CT scanning in parts inspection uses the same technology as the scanning done in hospitals. This method of parts inspection does not have the same pitfalls as the three methods used in the past. Industrial CT scanning services allow for internal and external part inspection. A 3D digital image can be constructed with no threat of damage to your product. In fact, CT scanning allows for a reduction in inspection and failure analysis costs between 25 and 75 percent over previous methods. With x-ray inspection services, part size does not matter. Parts ranging from as small as .5mm in length to parts as large as 660mm in diameter x1m in length are able to be scanned effectively. Unlike other methods of scanning, such as magnetic imaging, CT scanning can be used on a variety of materials including metal.
There are NDT inspection companies out there that offer industrial CT scanning services. Make sure you look for a qualified company with the right equipment to offer a high quality inspection service. Keep in mind that CT scanning equipment is not all the same. A good company will have varied industrial x-ray equipment to handle a variety of NDT testing jobs.