Ultrasonic testing

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Ultrasonic testing (UT) is together with radiography one of the more used nondestructive testing method. This technique was first described in 1940 by the American physicist Floyd Firestone & patented in 1942 as a "Flaw detecting device and measuring instrument". Ultrasound frequencies ranging from 0.1-15 MHz and occasionally up to 50 MHz are transmitted into materials to detect generally by reflection (& in some case, by transmission) internal flaws or to characterize physical properties of materials. A common example is ultrasonic thickness measurement. Ultrasonic testing is often performed on steel and other metals and alloys, though it can also be used on concrete, stone, wood, albeit with less resolution. In the cultural heritage area, this technique, often as a complement to radiography permits to examine statues, archaeological artefacts, historical building structures, industrial heritage artefacts to detect defects like cracks, unbondings, delaminations, voids, porosities, slags, inclusions, as well as to estimate extent of inner corrosion, or to localize interfaces of two components.

Synonyms and Related Terms

contrôle par ultrasons (Fr.); Ultraschallprüfung (Deut.)

Resources and Citations

  • A.S. Buirks, R.E.Green & P. McIntire, Nondestructive Testing Handbook, 3rd edition: Vol 7, Ultrasonic Testing, ISBN: 978-1-57117-105-4, ASNT, Columbus OH (2007)