Industrial radiography is a non-destructive testing method (also referred to as non-destructive examination or NDE) where many different components can be examined to determine surface and subsurface flaws, without damage to the item being tested. Radiographic testing can be performed utilizing either x-rays or gamma rays. X-rays and gamma rays have the shortest wavelength, which allows them to penetrate through metals such as carbon or stainless steel.
Industrial radiographic testing is important because it is used to inspect weld joints or to find internal flaws of equipment, which may be currently in service. Industrial radiography is useful in helping prevent material failures, loss of product, and possible unwanted contamination from gas, oil or harmful chemicals.
Useful in many different industries from gas and oil to aerospace, industrial radiography is used to look for defects in welds. On occasion, material left in welds from the welding process itself, called slag, could cause defects. These defects, such as voids or elongated pockets, are rejectable based on the size of the defect and the code being tested to. These defects can cause welds to fail and have catastrophic results, such as potentially hazardous material escaping from the lines or vessels which have been welded.
Radiographic testing is performed by placing a test object between a source of penetrating radiation and a recording medium, such as silver bromide film. The film is then read and interpreted by the inspector. All defects get marked up on the film for the client to review and make repairs. Repaired areas are radiographed a second time after the repair has been completed to verify that the issue has been resolved.
Radiographic testing can be performed on pipelines, above-ground storage tanks, at chemical plants, manufacturing facilities, fabrication shops, and anywhere Encorus Group’s mobile radiography unit will reach. Our mobile unit allows us to come to your location and perform radiography on large parts, or on parts that are in process and need to be tested before they begin the next stage of production or use.
Regardless of whether the testing is performed at our lab or with our mobile radiography unit, strict safety precautions are followed, including the posting of restricted areas and prohibiting access when the radiographic source is exposed.
Encorus uses both computed radiography (CR) and traditional film radiography in their inspections. Computed radiography can be used in looking for wall loss, or for estimating the remaining useful life of a piping system. CR is quicker than film radiography, but generally costs a bit more. Film radiography is a more sensitive method, but the films can only be used once. Each method has its pros and cons, and we work with our clients to help determine which method will be most beneficial for their particular situation and needs.
Encorus Group has several technicians who have completed the ASNT Industrial Radiographer Radiation Safety Program and have the knowledge and experience to help guide your through the industrial radiography process. Call Mike Harris, Encorus Group’s NDE supervisor, at 716.592.3980, ext. 168 or email [email protected] for more information.