What are the Basic Types of Non-Destructive Testing?

Are you interested in becoming a non-destructive testing specialist? Wondering what the basic types of non-destructive testing techniques include? You are not alone. This is an intriguing job and an exciting industry. However, before we start looking into the basic types of NDT, we can look at what non-destructive testing is.

What Is NDT?

NDT stands for “non-destructive testing.” It is product or material testing technique for extreme quality assurance. An NDT technician uses tools and techniques to identify flaws in materials and structures without causing damage or disassembling them.

An NDT technician collects data about a product or material to determine if it has any flaws through non-destructive inspection. If something is flawed with the product or material, it’s the technician’s job to report the issue to management.

What are the Basic Types of Non-Destructive Testing?

An NDT technician uses a variety of techniques to inspect materials, components, structures and systems to look for structural flaws. These flaws include corrosion, cracks and other flaws that may compromise the NDT equipment.

The basic types of non-destructive testing include:

Conducting Material Testing NDT technicians know different techniques to test products and materials, including visual inspection, liquid dye penetration testing, eddy current testing, magnetic particle testing, ultrasonic testing and radiographic testing. Each test is specific to the material, component, structure or system being tested.

Visual Examination – identifies flaws that are visible to an NDT technician. Some of the defects may include deformation, welding defects and corrosion.

Liquid Dye Penetration Testing – identifies cracks, laps, porosity and other flaws that can be penetrated by liquid dye. The process involves cleaning the surface, application of liquid dye, removal of excess liquid, application of developer, inspection of test surface and post-inspection cleaning. If liquid dye penetrates the product or material, NDT technicians advise management accordingly.

Eddy Current Testing – identifies flaws, measures the thickness of material and coating, identifies materials, and establishes the heat treatment condition of those materials. This testing method uses electromagnetism principles to detect flaws in conductive materials.

Magnetic Particle Testing – detects flaws on ferromagnetic materials. These materials can be magnetized by a magnetic field. This NDT method not only checks for flaws on the surface but also discontinuities slightly below the surface. When a crack is present, the magnetic flux leaks from the material.

Ultrasonic Testing – uses high-frequency sound energy (i.e., ultrasonic waves) to check for flaws, characterize the thickness or internal structure of materials, and make measurements of materials. The frequency of the ultrasonic testing is much higher than a human can hear — around 500 kilohertz to 20 megahertz.

Radiographic Testing – uses X-rays or gamma rays to examine the internal structure of a product or material to identify flaws and defects.

How Do You Become an NDT Technician?

A great place for training to become a non-destructive testing technician is MIAT College of Technology in Houston, Texas.* The Advanced Non-Destructive Testing Technician program at MIAT College of Technology provides hands-on training, practical experience and industry support. Classes are led by experienced instructors offering personal attention, so you get expert mentorship while you get experience in a workshop performing non-destructive testing.

Non-destructive testing is completed in scenarios with a lot of hands-on experience throughout the program. MIAT even offers Career Services to help students find entry-level positions after graduation. Career Services supports students with résumé building, interview preparation and job matching.

What are the Different Levels of NDT Technician?

The Advanced Non-Destructive Testing Technician program at MIAT College of Technology will prepare you to pursue opportunities as a Level I technician. NDT technicians are categorized in three levels.

Level I technicians perform basic procedures. Their role primarily focuses on supporting Level II technicians.

Becoming a Level II technician means learning new skills, which include setting up and calibrating the necessary NDT equipment. Besides managing Level I technicians, this level also shows how to sort through, organize and accurately report test results to management.

A Level III NDT technician is the highest rank to achieve. At this level, technicians develop, qualify and approve every NDT procedure and technique. Once the tests are finished, technicians are responsible for reporting the findings to management. Level III technicians also are eligible to mentor Level I and Level II technicians.

How Long is an NDT Technician Program?

The full-time Advanced Non-Destructive Testing Technician program at MIAT College of Technology can be completed in as little as nine months. The courses prepare graduates to enter the field as Level I NDT technicians. Continuing education can help technicians reach Levels II and III.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the basic types of non-destructive testing techniques, it is time to learn more about MIAT College of Technology. Take the first step toward a challenging career as an NDT technician, and MIAT will be with you every step of the way.

Non-Destructive Testing Technician Diploma Program

The Advanced Non-Destructive Testing Technician diploma program at MIAT College of Technology in Houston provides the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a technical career. Courses are interactive and led by dedicated instructors with years of experience working in professional settings. You’ll get one-on-one attention and personal support to help pick up new skills and gain firsthand technical knowledge.

To learn more about the Advanced Non-Destructive Testing Technician program and explore whether MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us today if you are interested in becoming a non-destructive testing technician.

*MIAT is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.miat.edu/disclosures.