Developing bespoke instrumentation and measurement solutions for component testing, infrastructure monitoring and in-service assessment
Non-destructive testing (NDT) allows inspection of infrastructure and systems without causing damage. It has the advantage of allowing assessments to be made in situ, enables evidence based decision making about the expected life of a component and avoids destruction of in-service parts.
Electromagnetic testing is increasingly being used for NDT, where other traditional approaches such as ultrasound or x-ray are not suitable, or as an additional inspection tool to increase confidence in existing techniques.
Using reference standards created and calibrated at NPL, we are able to relate measured electric and magnetic properties to physical characteristics of a system, such as stress or dimension. This can be of value in identifying manufacturing defects, in service damage and measuring corrosion through multiple magnetic/conductive layers.
With our extensive experience in calibration of magnetic sensors and magnetic materials measurements we assess the capability of commercial instruments for use in NDT.
Reliability and lifetime assessment are key concerns for the electronics industry. There is an increasing requirement for electronic systems to operate under stressful environments and provide unwavering performance over the planned lifetime of the device. Here at NPL, we possess extensive experience and facilities for in situ and ex situ analysis. For example, we can:
- Evaluate electronics manufacturing processes, designs and protective coatings through the in situ measurement of surface insulation resistance (SIR) and ex situ ionic contamination measurements.
- Use a fully equipped high temperature and harsh environment facility capable of inducing operational and accelerated stress conditions on electronic boards interfaced with rapid in situ resistance monitoring.
- Use extensive characterisation tools for failure analysis and ex situ monitoring of degradation mechanisms within electronic materials.