Ultrasonic Shearwave Examinations are used throughout the world for locating and assessing material thickness and sub-surface weld quality. Most prevalent work in Ultrasonics is done overseas, but the United States is quickly catching up. Europe utilizes Ultrasonics to a far greater degree than the most common Radiographic nondestructive method for detecting sub-surface discontinuities.
The reasoning behind this includes the safety and high cost of isolating the work to be examined from other activities. Another may be the sensitivity to cracks considered to be one of the most severe discontinuities in construction. The United States, on the other hand, has always been comfortable with having a "permanent" record of the work examined.
Most laymen with minimum training can detect the difference in densities when looking at radiographic film. Darker densities usually indicate a discontinuity that needs to be evaluated. Ultrasonics is coming of age. The permanent records so desired can now be produced. The Ultrasonic Inspection process is being taught more frequently and starting to take hold in the United States.
Shearwave Ultrasonics (UTS)