National Physical Laboratory

Non-Destructive Evaluation

Non-destructive testing 

The increasing use of materials in critical structural components for industries as diverse as aerospace, chemical and petrochemical, civil construction, marine, renewable energy (wind turbine and tidal) and transport, combined with stringent requirements for safety and quality, has resulted in the development of non-destructive testing (NDT) methods for characterising materials. The presence of defects in safety critical components may result in the structural integrity being compromised and increase in likelihood of failure.

NDT provides a means of identifying damage and irregularities in materials and is often the only means of obtaining information about the current 'health' of a structure. NDT can be used to detect and size in-service and manufacturing defects.

NDT is used for on-line production quality control through to in-service inspection, structural health monitoring (SHM) and life management. NPL has extensive NDT and surface analysis instrumentation and expertise able to support industry in materials characterisation, product development, and long-term performance assessment and damage monitoring. NPL aims to promote the advancement of metrology underpinning non-destructive testing, condition monitoring and diagnostic engineering (including structural health monitoring) for design and quality assurance purposes.


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