Ultrasonic testing (UT) is a family of non-destructive testing techniques based on the propagation of ultrasonic waves in the object or material tested. In most common UT applications, very short ultrasonic pulse-waves with center frequencies ranging from 0.1-15 MHz, and occasionally up to 50 MHz, are transmitted into materials to detect internal flaws or to characterize materials. A common example is ultrasonic thickness measurement, which tests the thickness of the test object, for example, to monitor pipework corrosion and ultrasonic testing for weldment.
Ultrasonic testing is often performed on steel and other metals and alloys, though it can also be used on concrete, wood and composites, albeit with less resolution. It is used in many industries including steel and aluminium construction, metallurgy, manufacturing, aerospace, automotive and other transportation sectors.
Principle of ultrasonic testing. LEFT. A probe sends a sound wave into a test material. There are two indications, one from the initial pulse of the probe, and the second due to the back wall echo. RIGHT: A defect creates the third indication and simultaneously reduces the amplitude of the back wall indication. The depth of the defect is determined by the ratio D/Ep