Ultrasonic inspection (UT) is a non-destructive test method that utilizes sound waves to detect cracks and defects in parts and materials. It can also be used to determine a material’s thickness, such as measuring the wall thickness of a pipe. Because of the portability of the equipment and variety of methods available, ultrasonic testing allows for inspection of parts that are large, irregularly shaped, or unable to be transported. 

Ultrasonic inspection relies on electronic transducers that transmit high-frequency sound waves to a material. These sound waves bounce back crystal-clear images, which reveal key characteristics about a material’s properties. The images created by ultrasonic testing can indicate cracks, weld grooves and fractures, as well as indicate material thickness and outline moving components.

Because this method has higher power potential than other non-destructive test types, ultrasonic inspection can produce images that are more clearly defined than other methods, and indicate characteristics deeper than surface level. Depending upon the test requirements, parts can be tested by immersion (in-lab testing) or contact (portable/in-air) inspection.

Ultrasonic testing is often used in situations where radiographic inspection is not possible, because it requires access to only one side of the test specimen.

Ultrasonic Inspection

Standards We Test To

American Metal Society

AMS-STD-2132, AMS-STD 2154, AMS 2630, AMS 2631, AMS 2632, AMS 2634 

American Petroleum Institute 

API STD 1104

American Society of Mechanical Engineers


American Society for Non-Destructive Testing

NDT 5, NDT-UT-1001

ASTM International 

ASTM A388, ASTM A435, ASTM A577, ASTM A578, ASTM B594, ASTM E114, ASTM E164, ASTM E213, ASTM E273, ASTM E317, ASTM E428, ASTM E587, ASTM E797, ASTM E2154, ASTM E2375, ASTM E2700

American Welding Society 

AWS D1.1, AWS D1.5

Deutsches Institut Fur Normung E.V.

DIN EN 10160, DIN EN 10228-3, DIN EN 10228-4, DIN EN 10246-6, DIN EN 10306, DIN EN 10307, DIN EN 10308, DIN EN 12680-1, DIN EN 12680-2, DIN EN 12680-3, DIN EN 14127, DIN EN 583-4, DIN EN ISO 10893-10, DIN EN ISO 10893-11, DIN EN ISO 10893-12, DIN EN ISO 10893-8, DIN EN ISO 10893-9, DIN EN ISO 17640, DIN EN ISO 22825, DIN ISO 4386-1 

International Electrotechnical Commission 

IEC 60601-2-37

Military Specification 

MIL-STD-2132, MIL-STD-2154, MIL-STD-271F, MIL-STD-883, MIL-I-8950

Naval Sea Systems Command 

NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271

National Aerospace Standard

NAS 410, NAS 824

Various Customer Specifications

Including Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, GE, Hamilton Sunstrand, Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, Rolls Royce, etc.

Ultrasonic Inspection Ring Roller

Element's Unique Ultrasonic Inspection Capabilities

Element maintains full-service ultrasonic laboratories to offer in-house, onsite, and field inspections and certifications. Whether your inspection requirements are for raw materials or fracture-critical components, we offer the equipment, expertise, and capacity for the task.

Our laboratory areas feature a range of computer-controlled ultrasonic testing systems to accommodate inspections for test specimens of virtually any size.

For example, we offer:

  • Turntable immersion tanks for components up to 6 feet in diameter
  • A vertical ring rolling immersion system for components up to 12 feet in diameter
  • Immersion tanks for plate, bar, and extrusion stock up to 36 feet long
  • Tac Tic immersion line for pipe and bar
  • Contact ultrasonic for large components, plate, bar, and field services

In addition, our UT services include data acquisition, strip chart recording, and C-scan inspections.

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Comprehensive Non Destructive Testing Services

Element offers a complete range of NDT capabilities along with unparalleled expertise and worldwide capacity. Element’s NDT services can be provided both in the laboratory and at virtually any customer site across the US, UK, and Europe.

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