Home - Education Resources - Science of NDT - Introduction


Before we get started on the fun stuff. Let's take a look at the serious side of NDT for a moment. The very unfortunate event that you are about to see in the video is used here to further introduce the field of NDT and to illustrate its importance to our everyday life. Traveling by plane is, statistically, a very safe mode of transportation. Thankfully, accidents such as what you're about to see don't happen very often. Because of all the effort that the aircraft manufactures, the material suppliers, the aircraft operators, and government regulators make to keep air travel safe, accidents like this are rare.

In the airline crash of a DC 10 at Sioux City, Iowa, a very tiny defect in a piece of material used to build the plane started a fatigue crack that grew and ultimately led to the accident. To ensure that defects, like the one you are about to see, do not find their way into airplane parts, the material producers and part manufactures perform inspections using NDT techniques. Using NDT, airplanes are periodically inspected for cracks that may have started and other damage, so that any cracks or damage are located before it becomes dangerous. Almost without exception, the defects are found before they present a problem to the airplane. Unfortunately the accident in Sioux City was one of those exceptions. After this crash occurred, improvements were made in materials and NDT methods to prevent similar accidents from happening. To watch the video click on the link below.

Video of Crash, (rm, 1M)