NDE & Inspection

By applying our state-of-the-art equipment, innovative methods, and advanced mathematical modeling to facilitate inspection and assessment of complex materials and components, EWI stands at the forefront of advanced NDE techniques.

Nondestructive Evaluation

Laser-based Pipe Inspection

EWI’s Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) group designs and performs inspections for a broad range of applications. We use manual and automated inspections, custom equipment designs, and mathematical modelling, to tackle the most challenging inspection problems. In addition to evaluating welds, we inspect bulk materials and components. We continually update our capabilities to include state-of-the-art NDE techniques and work closely with EWI’s other technology groups to assure the highest standards of quality.

With over 70 years of combined experience, EWI’s NDE group boasts industry-leading expertise in phased-array ultrasonics and phased-array eddy current. We are currently expanding our capabilities into the area of computed tomography (CT). As materials joining and forming techniques evolve, so does our ability to inspect both bulk materials and completed joints. The following list provides a sample of our technical expertise.

Technical Expertise

  • Inspection of arc, friction, ultrasonic and resistance welds
  • Inspection of ferrous, nonferrous, polymeric and ceramic materials
  • Inspection of additively manufactured materials
  • Ultrasonic inspection of rail
  • Ultrasonic inspection of pipe
  • Automated inspection systems
  • Nonlinear ultrasonics and eddy current methods for prognostic monitoring of fatigue, residual stress and creep damage
  • Laser-based ultrasonics for non-contact high speed inspection
  • Giant magneto-resistive-based eddy current for thick and multilayered structures
  • Microwave-based NDE for nonmetallic materials
  • Ultrasonic, Eddy Current, X-Ray and CT mathematical modeling and simulation
  • Quantification of NDE performance through comprehensive probability-of-detection studies
  • 2-D and 3-D finite element analysis for eddy current NDE methods
  • Structural health monitoring technology with wireless capability
  • Magnetic Particle
  • Thermography
  • Radiography
  • Computed Tomography (CT)

Equipment and Lab Resources

  • 2D and 3D Matrix phased array ultrasonics
  • Ultrasonic-induced thermography and conventional thermography
  • Electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) based ultrasonics
  • Inter-digitized transducer (IDT) based surface wave ultrasonics for surface flaw and damage detection
  • Array eddy current with imaging capabilities
  • X-ray radiography up to 320 kV
  • Computed tomography (CT) capabilities enabling high-tech, 3-D visualization of components and flaws (coming soon)

Our high-impact projects have included:

  • Developing inspection procedure and inspecting oxygen- free copper conductors used to upgrade the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), a magnetic fusion devise used to study spherical plasmas at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL).
  • The development of the SpotSight™ system, an ultrasonic instrument used to nondestructively evaluate resistance spot welds. By combining OEM hardware, custom software, and advanced packaging, EWI created a hand-held device that is commercially available today (Progenero Products). Using the same technology, a flexible, automated system is currently being developed for integration onto factory floors at OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.
  • The creation of a laser inspection process for pipelines in the oil and gas industry. Using laser topography to scan the internal weld of the pipe with a pigging system eliminates many of the problems of nondestructive evaluation methods, such as the high false positive rate. EWI has now produced nearly 20 units, which use a laser scanner, three motorized axes, and a video camera, allowing the operator to rotate the video camera freely. The entire process of lining up the pig, scanning, and analyzing the results can be completed in a few minutes.

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