A successful industry, whether it is the Aerospace or Power Generation, Petrochemical or Paper & Pulp and Automotive or Pharmaceutical, has to continue its operations round the clock, generally 365 days in the year. The system of periodic and routine inspection has to be built in so that the industry does not have to shut down. No matter which method is used, such routine inspections involve nondestructive testing (NDT) tools that could use ultrasonic testing, eddy current and magnetic testing among others.

However, there are occasions when destructive tests have to be carried out to confirm that the manufactured component will not fail while it performs within the envelope prescribed for it. Such testing comes under the purview of materials testing. There are occasions when it might become necessary to go deeper into the structure of the material in order to define its constituents, the standard of alloying or heat treatment and stress corrosion, extent of fatigue among others. This methodology is called materials analysis.

Materials testing is carried out in a metallurgical laboratory using sophisticated test equipment. The types of materials that could be tested include metals and their alloys, both ferrous and non-ferrous, ceramics and polymers. Generally such testing is destructive in nature and the results are compared with anticipated values. Thus the undercarriage of an aircraft could be subjected to repeated cyclic loading to confirm the point of failure under fatigue. A turbine blade sample could be placed under high temperature conditions to assess its resistance to creep. Similarly, materials testing could be carried out to assess the material’s properties of stress, impact, bendability UTS, weldability, proof load values and hardness among others.

Materials analysis on the other hand is a deeper form of testing and could involve the use of gas chromatography, electron microscope and spectroscopy among others. The simpler form of such analysis is carried out in a chemical or metallurgical laboratory where the material is analyzed to reveal its composition. Besides wet chemistry optical emission spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma spectrometer and other improved techniques of materials analysis could be used to achieve accurate figures.

The article is contributed by a professional article writer, having experiences of working in different industries. For further information on magnetic testing and Ultrasonic testing visit http://www.acuren.com/

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