Nondestructive Testing for Welding and Corrosion
Fabrication defects specific to welding and fatigue-related issues present a large risk to the structural integrity of a tower. Many times, the only way to identify these issues is through nondestructive testing (NDT). NDT is used by professionals in the utility industry to inspect utility poles and transmission towers without damaging the materials themselves. This type of testing must be completed by a certified NDT technician using a range of testing methods with specific knowledge of the poles and towers they inspect. Use of nondestructive testing gives the asset owner actionable data and insights which they can use to strengthen their steel poles and lattice towers, so they perform as intended over their full lifecycle.
NDT can be used to diagnose various defects, such as weld toe cracks, porosity, lack of proper weld penetration or fusion, asset wall loss due to severe corrosion, and more. Some defects can be identified in the field on an in-service asset, some only mid-stream during the actual fabrication process. But no two structures are alike, and Exo knows the special requirements for all of your assets. Based on the asset’s physical characteristics, we will customize an inspection solution utilizing the most appropriate NDT methods.
We offer the following NDT methods:
- Ultrasonic Testing (ut): The ultrasonic testing method uses high-frequency sound waves traveling through a part of an asset to detect structural defects, similar to how ultrasounds are used by physicians to reveal what is happening in the body without making incisions.
- Magnetic Particle Testing (mt): Magnetic particle testing uses the power of magnetic fields to locate surface and near-surface structural defects in ferromagnetic materials such as steel.
- Dye Penetrant Testing (pt): Liquid Penetrant tests use the property of capillary action to find surface-breaking defects, such as fissures and voids that are open to the surface.
- Visual Inspection (vt): Visual inspection may be performed by direct line-of-sight viewing or with the aid of mirrors, borescopes, high-powered cameras, and other remote-viewing methods.
- UAS/Drone Inspection: Drone inspections use unmanned aerial vehicles to gather inspection data that would otherwise be very costly or unsafe for technicians to gather. These inspections are capable of gathering large, accurate amounts of data.
- IR Imaging (Infrared Inspection): IR imaging is a method of nondestructive testing that uses special sensors to identify various defects.
When wall thickness and overall structural integrity are compromised because of corrosion, age, and service area, an asset owner must act fast to ensure there aren’t looming catastrophic issues from fallen steel poles and lattice towers. Many asset owners don’t know the next steps to take when their poles and towers are in distress. This is why Exo is superior to other companies. We offer actionable data that will help the asset owner understand the severity of wall loss on a structure as well as how immediate repairs must be completed. In other words, asset owners have everything they need to ensure the structure reaches its full lifecycle.