Industrial radiography is used for a variety of applications but is commonly performed using two different sources of radiation, X-Ray and Gamma ray sources. The choice of radiation sources and their strength depends on a variety of factors including size of the component and the material thickness.
Manufacturers know that consumers expect the products they buy to be safe, to work well and to last. This reliability becomes even more important when product failure can be expensive or dangerous.
Manufacturers also use industrial radiography to check for cracks or flaws in their products. Just like medical x-rays are used to find breaks or cracks in bones, industrial radiography uses x-rays or gamma rays to take pictures of the inside of products because they can show problems not visible from the outside. Radiography is useful because it does not damage or change the product being tested.
For example, industrial radiography is used to test:
- Gas and oil pipelines.
- Metal welding.
- Vehicle parts.
- Aircraft parts.
There are many advantages to radiography including: inspection of a wide variety of material types with varying density, ability to inspect assembled components, minimum surface preparation required, sensitivity to changes in thickness corrosion, voids, cracks and material density changes, the ability to detect both surface and subsurface defects and the ability to provide a permanent record of the inspection.
The disadvantages of radiography are: safety precautions are required for the safe use of radiation, access to both sides of the specimen are required, orientation of the sample is critical, and determining flaw depth is impossible without additional angled exposures.