Materials testing is an important component in any function of the building and operating equipment. Knowing the properties of materials can influence the design of systems and how they may be operated. Various methods of non-destructive and destructive testing of materials exist to help compile the data to ensure products are manufactured to specified performance levels. Through effective implementation and use of materials testing and materials characterization, clients can gather the data required to ensure suitability for service and/or identify areas of concern within a given system.
Applus+, through its long history of dealing with both non-destructive and destructive material testing methods, provides clients with the information needed to properly assess their systems and components.
The overall goal of Applus+ is to provide material-characteristics and component data required by the operator to ensure minimal system upsets over the course of the asset’s life. Through the use of internal and/or external data-management software, results may be recorded and reported, trending previous data-points with a view to building predictive models and estimating potential asset life.
All industries benefit from the use of an effective materials testing and inspection programmes. By verifying the material and characteristics of the component, confirming the material’s functional properties or investigating for potential defects, our programmes for materials testing and inspection can help to ensure the function, quality and safety of an asset.
Non-destructive materials testing examines a variety of materials and components for the presence of potential flaws and defects through non-intrusive measures.
The terms NDT (non-destructive testing) and NDE (non-destructive examinations) in materials testing cover a variety of examinations: radiography, ultrasonic, magnetic particle, eddy current, dye penetrant and visual testing. Through the effective use of various non-destructive testing techniques, clients may identify potential areas of concern prior to a system failure developing.
When engineers design equipment and structures, they specify the required physical properties of the construction materials. Destructive testing of materials is part of a material verification process to check the properties meet the specifications of the engineer’s design of equipment and structures, with material compliance with regulatory body standards. Materials testing may be carried out when materials are initially manufactured, for example during a pipe mill or mill inspection. Destructive testing and material verification can also can also be included in structural welding tests to look at the properties of welds following fabrication. Welds have to be equal to, or better than, the material properties that the pieces have joined, so destructive testing can be carried out on representative weld samples, known as coupons, to confirm the properties of the weld.
Positive material identification (PMI) is an important analysis performed to confirm the intended materials meet the required specifications and characteristics. Using elemental detection methods, clients receive the detailed chemical-analysis reports required for code calculations and material-grade verification.
General testing protocols are easily deployed, and in most cases, our PMI technicians can perform the analysis on the client’s site. Additional capabilities include verifying the presence of lead in materials that require proper handling and abatement to ensure the safety of personnel.