Ultrasonic testing is a type of nondestructive testing commonly used to find flaws in materials and to measure the thickness of objects. Frequencies of 2 to 10 MHz are common but for special purposes other frequencies are used. Inspection may be manual or automated and is an essential part of modern manufacturing processes. Most metals can be inspected as well as plastics and aerospace composites. Lower frequency ultrasound (50–500 kHz) can also be used to inspect less dense materials such as wood, concrete and cement. Ultrasound inspection of welded joints has been an alternative to radiography for non-destructive testing since the 1960s. Ultrasonic inspection eliminates the use of ionizing radiation, with safety and cost benefits. Ultrasound can also provide additional information such as the depth of flaws in a welded joint. Ultrasonic inspection has progressed from manual methods to computerized systems that automate much of the process. An ultrasonic test of a joint can identify the existence of flaws, measure their size, and identify their location. Not all welded materials are equally amenable to ultrasonic inspection; some materials have a large grain size that produces a high level of background noise in measurements. Non-destructive testing of a swing shaft showing spline cracking Ultrasonic thickness measurement is one technique used to monitor quality of welds.In ultrasonic testing (UT), very short ultrasonic pulse-waves with center frequencies ranging from 0
1-15 MHz and occasionally up to 50 MHz are launched into materials to detect internal flaws or to characterize materials. A common example is ultrasonic thickness measurement, which tests the thickness of the test object, for example, to monitor pipework corrosion. Ultrasonic testing is often performed on steel and other metals and alloys, though it can also be used on concrete, wood and composites, albeit with less resolution. It is a form of non-destructive testing used in many industries including aerospace, automotive and other transportation sectors. Nondestructive testing or Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a wide group of analysis techniques used in science and industry to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage. The terms Nondestructive examination (NDE), Nondestructive inspection (NDI), and Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) are also commonly used to describe this technology. Because NDT does not permanently alter the article being inspected, it is a highly valuable technique that can save both money and time in product evaluation, troubleshooting, and research. Common NDT methods include ultrasonic, magnetic-particle, liquid penetrant, radiographic, remote visual inspection (RVI), eddy-current testing, and low coherence interferometry . NDT is a commonly used in forensic engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, systems engineering, aeronautical engineering, medicine, and art.