News & Views

NDE Intro

By Sean Gleeson on Wednesday, June 30th, 2010


When someone asks me what I do for a living, I often don’t have a very good answer for them. The problem? I do Non-Destructive Evaluation. When I try explaining that to someone, most of the time I get, “What is that?” or “Wouldn’t Destructive Evaluation be more fun?” or “Non-Destructive Evaluation?? You can make money doing that?” There are lots of jobs out there that are very specialized that most people won’t recognize. Like, I don’t know what a Phlebotomist or a Pathoecologist does and I consider myself to be fairly in-touch.

The problem for me, personally, is that most of what we do in NDE is based on techniques and concepts that most people, brought up in the last century, are familiar with – even if they don’t know it. Things like X-ray, ultrasound, eddy current, dye penetrant, magnetic particle inspection, and thermography, are all based on processes developed for other industries and found to be incredibly useful in the verification and examination of our industrialized world. But when you group these concepts together under the broad category of Non Destructive Evaluation, people all look lost. That in and of itself is acceptable…….. until……someone wants me or my colleagues to inspect something and has no idea what kind of inspection to even ask for.

That brings us to the current situation, the blog. I figure that since our new website gives us a platform to present the EWI NDE blog, it’s a great opportunity to dedicate it to giving a basic understanding of the different processes in a way that everyone can understand. The idea is that every week we will present a different technique or issue in the most basic and entertaining way possible, and gradually move to more sophisticated ideas. The goal of the blog being to enable readers to ask better questions to their NDE personnel thereby increasing productivity and getting better results. In the process, I hope you will come to understand that you are much more familiar with what I do than you think you are!

Next entry…… What the heck is Ultrasound and why do I care?

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