Ultrasonic flaw detection is a powerful NDT technology and a well established test method in many industries, however it can seem complex to a person who has not worked with it. This self-guided tutorial provides a basic introduction to ultrasonic flaw detection, both for newcomers and for more experienced users who want a review of basic principles. It begins with a description of what ultrasonic flaw detection is and how it works, then outlines some considerations for selecting probes and instruments. It discusses instrument calibration and some basic test procedures, outlines applications, and reviews common methods for flaw sizing. A flaw detection glossary is also provided.
This tutorial covers conventional ultrasonic flaw detection. A closely related technique, phased array inspection, is discussed in our Phased Array Tutorial. Another NDT technique for flaw detection is eddy current testing, discussed in our Introduction to Eddy Current and Eddy Current Array Tutorial.
Please note that this tutorial is intended as an overview of ultrasonic flaw detection and is not a substitute for appropriate operator training, which may include organized classroom work and hands-on experience where required by applicable regulations and codes.