NDT Methods

NDEI's Composites Division specializes in equipment manufactured from composite materials such as Fiberglass, Furan, Kevlar, Graphite Epoxy, etc. These materials pose special challenges to the inspection and testing process. The failure modes which need to be detected in these material are markedly different than those of metal structures. Furthermore, many of the traditional NDT methods which perform exceptionally on metal structures are ineffective on composites. Therefore, the structural evaluation of a composite tank, vessel, or piping system requires a unique combination of technician expertise and specialty NDT methods. NDEI Composites Division provides this unique combination.

For Composite Equipment that falls under Process Safety Management, OSHA 1910.1 19, or EPA RMP guidelines, the Composites Division recommends a procedure that definitively meets the "Good Engineering Practice" criteria outlined in state and federal regulations. Using NDT methods including but not limited to Acoustic Emission, Digital Photography, Composite Ultrasonics, Barcol Hardness, and Visual Inspection, we provide a reliable and quantitative assessment of the tank, vessel, or piping system. Because the Acoustic Emission Test is supported by National Engineering, Testing, and Personnel Qualification Standards, it provides a high level of comfort with respect to regulatory compliance. Further, the recommended inspection/testing procedure enables the customer to implement an effective predictive maintenance program for production, equipment repairs, and capital budgeting.

New and Recently Repaired Composite Equipment are ideal candidates for our comprehensive inspection/testing procedure. New equipment can have manufacturing defects, be damaged in transport, or installed improperly. Our program can detect these problems before further damage to the equipment occurs. Field repairs of in-service composite equipment can be a risky proposition. Field repair crews must contend with inclement weather, airborne particulants, chemical contamination, possible training deficiencies, and tight schedules. Clearly, customers should be concerned with the quality of the repairs. Our comprehensive inspection/testing procedure can address both customer and regulatory concerns.

For Composite Equipment that does not fall under current safety or environmental guidelines and is not as process critical, NDEI Composites Division provides a comprehensive inspection program consisting of a Visual Inspection, Barcol Hardness Test, Composite Ultrasonics, and Digital Photography. Several of our clients utilize this program to implement and maintain strong preventative maintenance programs. This results in reduced inspection/testing costs while maintaining a proactive maintenance effort. Whichever program you choose, NDEI Composites Division can provide engineering assistance should repairs be required.

If you do not currently have a program in place for your composite equipment, one of our representatives would be pleased to meet with you and discuss your regulatory compliance and/or maintenance needs. Did you know that the date for "Mechanical Integrity" compliance under OSHA was MAY 1992. The deadline under the Environmental Protection Agency's RMP Program is JUNE 1999. If you do have an ongoing program, we would ask you to consider the following:

• Is it based on accepted national engineering and testing standards?

• Are the inspection/testing personnel certified in accordance with national standards?

• Do you feel comfortable that your program would meet the scrutiny of a state or federal inspector?

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