Materials testing is an important component in any function of building and operating equipment. Knowing the properties of materials can influence the design of systems and how they may be operated. Various non-intrusive techniques and destructive measures exist to aid in compiling the data required to ensure products are manufactured and perform as specified. Through their effective implementation and use, clients may gather the data required to ensure suitability for service and/or identify areas of concern within a given system.





All industries benefit from the use of an effective materials programme. Whether the inspections being performed are to verify component material, confirm functional material properties or investigate for potential defects, the undertaking of such a programme helps to ensure the function, quality and safety of an asset.
Applus+, through its long history of dealing with both non-destructive and destructive testing measures, provides clients with the information needed to properly assess their systems and components. The overall goal of Applus+ is to provide the information 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.
Benefits of materials testing include:
  • Understanding the mechanical properties of the materials used
  • Assessing system integrity
  • Verifying the materials used throughout construction
  • Identifying potential areas of concern
  • Proving through destructive means a model of expected exposure
  • Enhancing product quality
  • Ensuring the safety of those working in areas of potential energy release

Non-destructive materials testing tests 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) encompass a variety of examinations: radiography, ultrasonic, magnetic particle, eddy current, dye penetrant and visual. Through the effective use of various non-destructive techniques, clients may identify potential areas of concern prior to a system failure or upset developing.

When engineers design equipment and structures, they specify the required physical properties of the construction materials. Destructive materials testing is used to verify that material properties meet these design specifications, which in themselves usually reference the requirements of standards and regulatory bodies. Testing may be carried out when materials are initially manufactured, for example at a steel mill. Further testing may also be required to verify that material properties have not changed during the fabrication of the equipment or structure. A common application for materials testing is to look at the properties of welds. It is usually a requirement that welds have equal, or better, material properties that the pieces being joined. Destructive testing can be carried out on representative weld samples, known as coupons, to confirm the welds’ properties


Positive material identification is an important analysis performed to confirm the intended materials are the actual materials used. Through the use of various methods of elemental detection, clients gain the chemical analysis required for code calculations and material-grade verification. General testing protocols are easily deployed and, in most cases, results may be analysed on site. Additional capabilities include lead-presence verification, requiring proper handling, and abatement, ensuring the safety of all those involved.