The field of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) is a very broad, interdisciplinary field that plays a critical role in assuring that structural components and systems perform their function in a reliable and cost effective fashion. NDT technicians and engineers define and implement tests that locate and characterize material conditions and flaws that might otherwise cause planes to crash, reactors to fail, trains to derail, pipelines to burst, and a variety of less visible, but equally troubling events. These tests are performed in a manner that does not affect the future usefulness of the object or material. In other words, NDT allows parts and material to be inspected and measured without damaging them.
Because it allows inspection without interfering with a product’s final use, NDT provides an excellent balance between quality control and cost-effectiveness. Generally speaking, NDT applies to industrial inspections. The technologies that are used in NDT are similar to those used in the medical industry, but nonliving objects are the subjects of the inspections.