Let’s You Know What’s Inside
X-ray inspection, also called radiography or radiographic testing, is a very effective method of uncovering subsurface defects in materials and products. Laboratory Testing Inc. performs industrial radiography, using both digital radiography (computed radiography) and film radiography (conventional radiography) techniques. While the X-ray inspection process and imaging equipment are the same for both methods, the computed or digital process differs from conventional X-ray film by producing a digital image that can be saved to a disc, emailed to customers and easily archived. Both types of industrial radiography are performed on solid materials such as tubing, castings, weld plates, plastic injection molding, circuit boards, batteries and other manufactured products made of metal or plastic. The digital images and film created by the X-ray inspection process are reviewed and evaluated by Laboratory Testing’s certified NDT Level II and Level III technicians according to the test specifications required by our customers. Like all nondestructive testing, X-ray inspection does not harm the test piece.
The need for industrial radiography can occur during product R&D, as part of the manufacturing, fabrication or installation processes or when a product is in service. Digital radiography and conventional radiography both provide information to determine the soundness of a material or product and are valuable inspection method for a variety of purposes:
- Detect internal discontinuities such as shrinkage, cracking and porosity
- Verify the integrity of internal components
- Determine the quality of welds
- Identify the extent of corrosion
- Uncover the source in fire investigations
Most industrial X ray inspection performed at Lab Testing takes place in our 20 ft. x 20 ft. radiography vault with imaging equipment that can penetrate solid materials of varying thicknesses, including steel to 4 1/2 inches. This arrangement, along with our high-capacity forklifts and 3-ton crane, allows for the examination of large products and materials. Our capabilities also include X-ray inspection of small products such as electronic assemblies using a special X-ray camera in a small cabinet unit. Industrial radiography is performed to MIL-STD-453 and MIL-STD-271 at LTI.
The Test Process
The radiography process used to inspect industrial products is very similar to the more familiar X-ray used in the medical industry. Industrial radiography uses X-rays to penetrate test items made of solid materials so hidden defects, inconsistencies or features can be revealed. An image of the X-rayed location appearing as a negative is produced on film for evaluation by certified NDT inspectors and to create a permanent record of the internal condition of the test piece. Digital X-ray is also offered at LTI with the ability to create digital image files.
LTI Radiography Capabilities
- Processes – computed radiography (digital radiography) and conventional radiography (film radiography)
- Products Tested – solid materials
- Size Limitations – very small (e.g. electronics) to large (e.g. tubing, weld plates)
- Output – digital images, film
- Material Thickness – X-ray equipment can penetrate up to 4 1/2 inches of steel