Every product, big or small, undergoes a certain level of testing to ensure quality and durability before it enters the hands of the consumer or end-user.
In the past, destructive testing techniques have largely been implemented due to their accessibility, cost of equipment and ease of use. Most commonly used for things such as stress tests and impact, destructive testing does exactly what it sounds like: destroys the product under test.
As a result, destructive testing is limited to samples which leaves room for issues to be missed or overlooked due to a lack of a consistency. Destructive testing techniques can also prove to be time-consuming and wasteful which nulls the cost benefits associated with the equipment.
The non-destructive testing (NDT) market was valued at $12.9 billion dollars in 2015 and is expected increase within the next 4 years. By utilizing NDT techniques, essential testing can be completed without destroying product – cutting time, saving money and eliminating waste. In addition, NDT more effectively allows for the identification of discontinuities and differences in material characteristics than traditional destructive testing practices.
Due to the typically high-cost of equipment and limited know-how, NDT techniques have been slow to grow in the past and restricted to lucrative markets such as defense and the oil industry. Today, in an effort to operate more efficiently however, interest in NDT across industries is gradually increasing which means affordable and more practical solutions are needed.
Amongst big players such as ultrasonic, electromagnetic and infrared testing, terahertz NDT techniques are emerging as a solution that boasts affordability, ease of use, and unique applications.
TeTechS’ TeraGauge™ for instance, is a non-destructive testing gauge powered by terahertz waves™. It can be used to measure, identify and inspect items such as plastic bottles or car tires to ensure quality is consistent and ready for consumer use.
Until recently, terahertz has been a rather elusive player within the NDT sphere due the typically high cost associated with industrializing it; however, solutions such as the TeraGauge™ are breaking that mould.
Terahertz carries several advantages over other modalities in that it is non-ionizing (and therefore safe for those who interact with it) and is less sensitive to sample position and environment factors than ultrasound or infrared for instance.
With terahertz-powered NDT solutions emerging onto the market quickly, the future of NDT is looking “bright” as destructive testing techniques are slowly becoming a thing of the past.