Non-destructive testing specialist
  • What are the most popular pipe inspection techniques?

    The best and most popular pipe inspection techniques include pipeline radiography (RT) and ultrasonic testing (UT), including phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT). 

     

    These popular pipe inspection techniques are forms of NDT pipeline inspection and can be used to detect flaws without harming the asset. For example, advanced UT inspection methods, such as the total focus method (TFM), can accurately and cost-effectively detect manufacturing flaws, in-services flaws and parent metal flaws in pipelines. The M2M GEKKO, used by the NDT pipeline inspectors at Buffalo, is one of the most advanced tools available for pipeline inspections. It combes UT methods with advanced TFM, allowing for reliable, in-depth inspections. 

     
    What is UT in piping?
     

    UT in piping is a non-destructive testing (NDT) method. UT, or ultrasonic testing, allows NDT technicians to evaluate pipelines for potential flaws. This can be done during the construction of a pipeline or even while it is in use. 

     

    UT is one of the best methods of non-destructive testing. Ultrasonic testing works by using high-frequency sound waves to measure various material properties. UT is especially helpful in pipeline inspection because it allows technicians to determine the location, length and type of flaw that is detected. This makes UT one of the most reliable and cost-effective NDT pipeline inspection methods available today.

     
    What is pipeline integrity?
     

    Pipeline integrity refers to the condition of a pipeline. Pipeline integrity management is an important aspect of pipeline management and ensures that a pipeline, and its components, are in proper working condition. 

     

    Non-destructive testing (NDT) is used to ensure pipeline integrity. NDT offers reliable methods of flaw and corrosion detection. This not only safeguards the reliability, efficiency and longevity of the pipeline but also the well-being of the public and the environment. By using NDT to monitor pipeline integrity, proactive measures can be taken to mitigate any risk and ensure the safety of the pipeline. Pipeline integrity management, with the help of NDT, is an ongoing process.

     
    What do pipeline inspectors do?
     

    NDT pipeline inspectors use non-destructive testing methods and technology to assess pipelines for flaws, damage and corrosion. A qualified pipeline inspector will examine a pipeline using advanced NDT technology, like the M2M GEKKO, and provide a report of their findings and opinions. The higher the certification level a pipeline inspector has, the more their opinion is valued and trusted. As well, inspectors with higher certifications can perform more complex pipeline inspections. 

     

    Regardless of their certification level, all pipeline inspections should have a deep understanding of NDT technology, pipeline materials and corrosion. This knowledge will help them to accurately examine and evaluate pipelines for flaws and damage.

     
    What is the best pipeline corrosion inspection technique?
     

    Advanced total focus method ultrasonic testing (or TFM UT) is the best pipeline corrosion inspection technique. TFM UT can be used to detect corrosion on in-service pipelines. This method is fast, accurate and cost-effective. In conjunction with visual inspection and evaluation provided by API 510, 570 or 653 inspectors, TFM UT offers the most reliable option for pipeline inspection. 

     

    Currently, Buffalo Inspection Services is the only company using advanced TFM UT for in-service inspection. The advanced TFM UT used by Buffalo NDT technicians can detect corrosion on flange faces and hydrogen-induced cracking. This advanced technology prevents unexpected losses, as well as costly downtime.

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  • What is a non-destructive testing technician?

    A non-destructive testing technician is a professional that is trained and certified to use a particular NDT inspection method to evaluate metals, materials, and other structures for flaws and defects. Each NDT method requires separate training and certification, resulting in various types of NDT technicians. There are also three different levels of certification - Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. A Level 3 certification is the highest possible.

    A single technician may have multiple certifications at various levels. The more methods a technician is certified to employ, and the higher the level of their certification, the more the technician can expect to earn. In addition, technicians with multiple methods and a higher level of certification can provide more complex NDT inspector services and analysis.

     

     

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  • What are the most popular pipe inspection techniques?

    The best and most popular pipeline NDT inspection techniques include pipeline radiography (RT) and ultrasonic testing (UT), including phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT).

    These techniques are forms of NDT pipeline inspection and can be used to detect flaws without harming the asset. For example, advanced UT inspection methods, such as the total focus method (TFM), can accurately and cost-effectively detect manufacturing flaws, in-services flaws and parent metal flaws in pipelines. The M2M GEKKO, used by the NDT pipeline inspectors at Buffalo, is one of the most advanced tools available for pipeline inspections. It combes UT methods with advanced TFM, allowing for reliable, in-depth inspections.

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  • What does PAUT stand for?

    PAUT stands for Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing. This NDT inspection method is a form of Ultrasonic Testing (UT) that uses sound waves to detect irregularities in different materials.

    PAUT is often used to detect corrosion and changes in the properties of an asset, to measure the thickness of a material, and in welding to monitor quality and strength. With the use of PAUT, manufacturing flaws, in services flaws (e.g. corrosion and cracking) and parent metal flaws can be detected.

    This ensures the safety and security of an asset and alerts NDT technicians to any defects that should be repaired or assets that need to be replaced.

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  • What is a PAUT inspection?

    A PAUT inspection, or Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing, is a non-destructive testing (NDT) method that uses beam technology to detect asset flaws and defects.

    PAUT fist became available in a portable form for commercial use in the 1990s.

    The PAUT method scans an asset using multiple elements at once. In fact, NDT technicians can use anywhere from 4 to 64 elements to scan a single asset. The technician receives images of the scanned areas in A, B, C, and D forms, which can then be combined to create a 3D image of the area. This allows for a significantly higher probability of detection over traditional manual ultrasonic testing (UT) methods.

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  • What is the difference between phased array ultrasonic testing vs ultrasonic testing?

    Phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) is a form of ultrasonic testing (UT).

    The difference between phased array ultrasonic testing vs ultrasonic testing is the transducer. A PAUT transducer uses multiple elements during a scan. Beams are emitted sequentially at multiple angles allowing PAUT to create a more detailed scan. Other UT methods, on the other hand, use a single probe to analyze an asset.

    By emitting multiple beams, PAUT allows for the inspection of even the most complex assets. Complex assets can be inspected with greater ease and in less time using the PAUT method of non-destructive testing.

    One of the best and most advanced UT tools is the M2M Gekko.

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  • What is the difference between PAUT and TOFD?

    Both PAUT (Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing) and TOFD (Time of Flight Diffraction) are forms of ultrasonic testing (UT) that are used by NDT inspection services to evaluate assets for flaws and defects.

    Like PAUT, TOFD uses sound waves to detect flaws by measuring the time that it takes for the sound wave to be emitted and returned. However, the difference between PAUT and TOFD is that TOFD measures both high and low amplitude waves. That is, PAUT records only high amplitude waves that are returning from the back of the asset, while TOFD records both high amplitude waves and low amplitude waves that deflect off of the tips of flaws and defects.

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  • What are the advantages of phased array ultrasonic testing?

    The advantages of phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) include faster scans, a higher probability of detecting flaws and anomalies and the best possibility of performing an inspection.

    The PAUT method of non-destructive testing uses multiple beams to scan an asset. This allows scans to be completed faster than other inspection methods. Additionally, because PAUT uses multiple elements to steer, focus and scan beams, even the most complex assets can be inspected.

    When testing welds, many NDT inspection companies will use PAUT because this NDT inspection technology offers the ability to test from multiple angles, resulting in a greater probability of detecting flaws and irregularities.

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  • How much do NDT technicians make?

    In Canada, the more NDT methods a technician is certified to conduct, and the higher the level of their certification, the more money they will make. That is, a Level 3 technician will make more than a Level 1 technician and a Level 1 technician with three certification methods will make more than a Level 1 technician certified to conduct only one type of NDT method. As an example, a Level 2 technician who is certified to conduct three different NDT methods can expect to make approximately $45 per hour. This wage can also be expected to vary depending on the amount of work experience the NDT technician has.

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  • How many levels are there in NDT?

    There are three levels of qualification for each type of NDT certification. In order to evaluate an asset using a particular NDT method, a technician must be certified in that method. Therefore, various types of NDT technicians exist including UT (Ultrasonic Testing), RT (Radiography Testing), ET (Eddy-current or Electromagnetic Testing), MT (Magnetic Particle Testing), VT (Visual Testing), and PT (Liquid Penetrant Testing) technicians. NDT technicians can be certified as Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3.

    The higher the level of certification, the more advanced NDT services a technician can provide. In addition, the analysis and opinions of higher-level technicians are more trusted and these technicians earn more. To achieve each level of certification, technicians must obtain industry-specific experience, and complete training, as well as both written and practical exams.

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  • How do you get a level 3 NDT?

    To get a Level 3 NDT certification, technicians must complete education, training, and industry-specific work experience with an NDT inspection service provider, and pass both written and practical exams. For ET (Eddy-current or Electromagnetic Testing), RT (Radiography Testing), and UT technicians (Ultrasonic Testing, including PAUT inspection), a Level 3 certification requires eighteen months of practical work experience. For MT (Magnetic Particle Testing), PT (Liquid Penetrant Testing) and VT (Visual Testing) technicians, twelve months of experience is necessary before completing examinations. As the highest level of certification, Level 3 candidates must provide a record of their experience to their certification body in the form of a CV (curriculum vitae).

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  • How do I get NDT certified?

    In Canada, all NDT technicians must obtain certification from a Recognized Training Organization (RTO). RTOs in Alberta include the Canadian Institute for Non-destructive Evaluation, IDL Inspection Ltd., Keyano College, Metalogic Inspection Services Inc., Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Quality Control Council of Canada and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

    The Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) National Non-Destructive Testing Certification Body (NDTCB), is in charge of the program that certifies all NDT technicians. The NRCan NDTCB requires NDT technicians to be certified in each NDT method they wish to employ. To become certified in a particular NDT method, NDT trainees must complete extensive training, testing and practical work experience. After completing their work experience, the NDT trainee must pass the NRCan practical exam in order to be certified.

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  • Why is a pipeline inspection necessary?

    Pipeline inspections are necessary in order to detect faults and asset damage. Essentially, NDT pipeline inspection acts as quality assurance, ensuring the proper function and reliability of the pipeline. Regular NDT inspections also ensure that the pipeline meets its expected lifetime. The timely detection of damage can prevent failures and the need for expensive and premature replacements, repairs, and unplanned shutdowns.

    Testing allows engineers to determine the current lifecycle stage of an asset and to proactively plan maintenance, repairs, or replacements. This saves time and money in the long run, as pipeline failures can have catastrophic consequences for the health and safety of the public and the environment.

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  • How many types of NDT are there?

    There are six common methods of NDT (non-destructive testing) used in pipeline, oil and gas, mining, construction, tubing and equipment inspection. These frequently used types of NDT include radiography or x-ray testing (RT), eddy-current or electromagnetic testing (ET), magnetic particle testing (MT), dye penetrant inspection, visual testing and ultrasonic testing (UT). Ultrasonic testing may include methods such as phased array, time of flight diffraction, guided wave, etc.

    Each type of NDT has its own benefits and restrictions. In Alberta, inspection service providers most commonly use radiography testing. However, other types of NDT, such as phased array ultrasonic testing are becoming popular as well.

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  • What do NDT inspectors do?

    NDT inspectors use tools and technology to evaluate materials and assets for flaws, defects and damage. NDT inspection specialists have an in-depth understanding of materials, corrosion and operating equipment. This allows them to recognize potential problems.

    These inspectors work in many different industries, including oil and gas, pipeline, mining, construction and more. Non-destructive testing specialists require attention to detail and problem-solving skills, in addition to good vision and the ability to differentiate between colours, including shade and brightness.

    Advanced inspection techniques are also required in some circumstances. In such cases, NDT inspectors may need to have additional specialized skills. For example, when rope access is the only option for inspection, NDT technicians providing this testing are required to have advanced mountain climbing training.

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  • Which NDT method is best?

    Currently, one of the best NDT methods, and the one most commonly used by NDT inspection service providers in Edmonton, is radiography testing. Radiography is a common NDT method used in the oil and gas sector, resulting in its popularity in Alberta.

    However, additional surface flaw methods and ultrasonics are becoming popular due to advanced technologies that make them more reliable. Phased array ultrasonic testing, for example, is becoming a popular NDT method. PAUT (phased array ultrasonic testing) is an efficient and effective method that offers the greatest possibility of performing an inspection. Phased array technology has advantages over other methods, including conventional ultrasonic testing (UT), due to its ability to use multiple elements to guide, focus and scan using a single piece of equipment. This allows for the inspection of complex assets with greater ease and in less time.

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  • Where is NDT used?

    NDT is used in nearly every industry around the world as part of asset integrity programs.

    The most common industries that use NDT (non-destructive testing) in order to ensure asset integrity include oil and gas, pipeline, mining, industrial construction, manufacturing, aerospace, motor vehicle and rail. Non-destructive testing is an important part of ensuring the quality, reliability and proper function of critical equipment and facilities in these industries. Regular inspection and testing can prevent dangerous and costly malfunctions and shutdowns.

    NDT is necessary, especially in the industries listed above, in order to ensure the health and safety of the public and the environment.

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  • What are the advantages of NDT?

    NDT (non-destructive testing) has many advantages, especially over destructive testing. In addition to protecting the public and the environment from dangerous malfunctions, NDT saves businesses both time and money.

    Firstly, NDT does not damage or alter the asset in any way, therefore no replacements or repairs are needed after testing is complete, unless, of course, a fault is detected. In addition, non-destructive testing prevents the loss of revenue due to downtime, as assets can be examined while still in use.

    Costly shutdowns and unforeseen damage can also be avoided with the help of NDT. By detecting potential causes for concern before failure, companies can reduce repair and replacement costs, as well as prevent accidents from occurring. This ensures health and safety and adherence to regulations and policies.

    Wonder how NDT compares to NDE? Check out our answer on that.

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  • What are the benefits of NDT film digitizing?

    The benefits of NDT film digitizing include portability, accessibility, organizational benefits, preservation, and enhanced imaging.

    In terms of portability, digitized NDT film allows you to move files anywhere, at any time. This, in turn, means the files can be assessed more easily by peer reviewers, auditors, customers and NDT Level 3 personnel. When the film is digitized, it also allows you to archive images along with other important information such as RT reports, costing reports, location information and related documents, making for a more organized archive.

    Digitized images can be preserved much longer than conventional film - for internity if needed. While physical film will deteriorate over time, digital images can be preserved with no loss in quality. In addition, the digitized film will allow you to view, manipulate, enhance and zoom in on film artifacts. Something that is not easily possible with traditional film.

    At Buffalo Inspection Services we offer complete digitization services at affordable rates. We have the best NDT Technology available for your film digitizing.

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  • What is the difference between NDT and NDE?

    The difference between NDT and NDE is very slight. In fact, the terms NDT and NDE are often used interchangeably. Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a testing and analysis technique used to evaluate materials and structures in order to identify defects and discontinuities. This type of testing is able to recognize faults and defects without causing damage to the original material or structure. NDT also is commonly known as non-destructive examination (NDE).

    There is, however, a slight difference between NDT and NDE. While NDT is restricted to testing, NDE includes both testing and the evaluation of the results. That is, NDT is used to locate defects in an asset while NDE is used to locate defects while also measuring the size, shape, orientation, and other physical characteristics of the defect.

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