What is Industrial Radiography?
Industrial radiography is a type of non-destructive testing that utilizes ionizing electromagnetic radiation to inspect the test components or materials. With the help of industrial radiography, the inspectors can figure out and enumerate internal and external defects and degradation in the sample material that may cause the failure of engineering structures. Hence it plays a vital role in science and technology to certify product quality as well as reliability.
Though X-ray and radiography are similar, ‘X-ray’ is a technique that helps in developing a radiograph. Hence, these two terms can be used interchangeably. Moreover, industrial radiography covers only industrial products, whereas X-rays cover an extensive range, including medical applications. This inspection technique can be stationary or portable.
In Industrial radiography testing, the test object is kept between the radiation source and detector (or film). The differences in thickness and density of the test object will reduce the level of penetrating radiation through scattering or absorption. These differences in absorption are finally recorded on film(s) or via an electronic means.
Industrial radiography is used to inspect casting, composite, or welding parts as well as helps in sorting and recycling. Hence this industrial radiography testing is usually quick, accurate, and cost effective.
Why is a radiography test required?
With the help of a radiography test, it is possible to take pictures from the interior part of the test object to ensure that there are no defects that cannot be seen from the outside. Radiography test is beneficial since it does not damage or alter the properties of the object being tested.
For instance, radiography can test metal welding, vehicle/aircraft parts, boilers, and oil pipelines.
The application of radiography testing
- Automatically inspect assembled components and measure internal flaws
- Detects and verify both surface and subsurface defects on complex structures with minimum surface preparation
- Measure angles and dimensions within the sample without sectioning
- Moreover, radiography test is sensitive to changes in corrosion, thickness, density, and flaws
The application of Industrial radiography testing:
- Automotive industries
- Transport industries
- Offshore industries
- Food industry
- Manufacturing industries
- Aerospace industries
- Petrochem industries
- Military defence
- Waste Management
- Marine industries
- Luggage control
- Power-gen industries
- Ballistics sector
- Counterfeit drug control
How many types of radiography are there?
Under industrial radiography, there are various imaging techniques to show the final image. These techniques are listed below:
- Film Radiography
- Digital Radiography
- Real Time Radiography (RTR)
- Computed Tomography (CT) (Types: 3-dimensional, 4-dimensional)
- Digital Radiography (DR)
- Computed Radiography (CR)
Particular techniques including X-ray fluorescence (XRF), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), etc. come under industrial radiography in recent times.
Radiography uses two varied radioactive sources for industrial purposes.
- X-rays emitted by an X-ray tube and powered by electricity
- Gamma-rays emitted by a radioactive isotope which do not require electricity
These radiation sources use higher energy levels at a shorter wavelength. Since radioactivity is involved in this testing, it is mandatory to ensure that the rules are followed strictly during the operation.
What is a radiography test for welding?
Radiography tests can detect cracks, inclusions, porosities, voids, etc. in the internal parts of the welds, that can be stored as a permanent record.
The principle of the radiography test for welding materials is similar to medical radiography.
After placing the radiographic film on the remote side of the target sample, transmit the radiation (X-ray/gamma rays) from one end to the spot where the film/detector is kept through the test sample. The final image can be obtained in varying degrees according to the density of radiation. The variation in the density of the final film is due to the discontinuities in the target material. The flaws like porosity or cracks with respect to the changes in thickness will appear as dark outlines. Inclusions of low density such as slags will be displayed as dark areas. Likewise, inclusions of high density like tungsten will be depicted as light areas.
A qualified and well-experienced inspector is required to perform the test and interpret the final images to detect the location and type of flaw in the test sample. It requires the expertise of experienced personnel since the false readings may drastically harm the productivity and prove to be expensive.
The use of welds plays a vital role in the manufacturing sector. Hence, they should be examined well to certify that the proper international standards were followed before they are put into service. This is where Industrial radiography ensures to help the manufacturers maintain the quality of their products by examining the defects quickly and precisely.
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