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Top 3 Things AWS CWIs Need to Know About Nondestructive Examination

What Do AWS CWIs Need to Know About Nondestructive Examination?

Certified welding inspectors’ (CWI) work is vital to confirming the safety and quality of the projects they support—but do you know how to properly leverage the insight your nondestructive examination (NDE) reports provide?

As a CWI, you’re likely well-versed in visual testing (VT) but understanding methods like radiographic testing (RT), magnetic particle testing (MT) or ultrasonic testing (UT) and how they fit into the scope of a your day-to-day work will add critical value to your inspections. Familiarity with these methods and the report an NDE consultant will generate when examining your project is important for you to provide proper project oversight and confirm proper testing procedures were followed.

We spoke with our NDE operations manager in La Porte, Texas, Ken LeBlanc, to ask what every CWI should keep in mind when NDE is used to review your project. Here’s what he said:

1. Know what to expect with NDE
It is important that a CWI have appropriate expectations of the NDE methods employed. Some methods may not identify the defects that are expected due to their inherent limits. Knowing which methods will properly identify expected defects will, ultimately, save your project time and money.

2. Know how to confirm the quality of the NDE work performed
Radiographic images are the easiest to verify. It’s like looking at a photograph. Is the weld on and centered horizontally in the image? Are the location markers and image quality indicator present? Is the image exceedingly light or dark? Is the client, weld and other required identification information legible on the image? While this is a lot to remember to check, it’s a quality check where you don’t need specialized training and it truly will help confirm the basics of your NDE work have been completed correctly.

Similarly, basic checks can be applied to all NDE methods employed. Asking for a copy of the NDE procedure(s) is a good place start. Especially where the record isn’t as easy to review as radiography. Confirming that the service provided is being performed to an appropriate and approved procedure begins with the procedure being documented and easy to review.

It isn’t necessary for a CWI to understand the finite technical nuances of the procedure to be able to make fair judgements on the quality of the NDE provided. If you’re not sure what you should be looking for, I will review a few examples of common NDE checkpoints for CWIs in an upcoming Braun Intertec webinar.

3. Know how to review and interpret the results of an NDE report
Reports are a very critical part of NDE. In addition to a full detail of findings, the NDE report also must contain the correct date, job identification, part or weld identification and other code required data. I will also go over the details of an actual NDE report in my webinar.

Interested in more insights from La Porte, Texas NDE expert Ken LeBlanc? Check out our recorded webinar, “Nondestructive Examination Insights for Certified Welding Inspectors that Save Time”.