<![CDATA[Aerial Energy Resources, LLC - Postings]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 07:15:47 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Levels of Qualification]]>Sun, 10 Apr 2016 15:23:42 GMThttp://aertesting.com/postings/levels-of-qualificationIn the nondestructive testing industry, levels of qualification determine a person's inspection capabilities. The levels of certification include trainee, level I, level II, level III, and NDT trainer. In order to move up levels, the person needs to attend trainings and complete a specified amount of working field hours. So, what exactly does a person at each qualification level do?

Trainee is not a certification, but it can be thought of as a pre-certification level. A trainee is a person who is in the process of being certified, trained, and qualified. A trainee must work with a person who is certified. A trainee may not independently conduct a test or interpret the results of any NDT test.

Level I
Level I certified individuals are able to perform NDT tests, calibrate equipment, and record inspection results. A level 1 is able to perform evaluations for acceptance or rejection in accordance with written standards, but they must be supervised by a level II or level III at all times.

Level II
A level II is able to set up and calibrate equipment, independently perform tests, and evaluate results in accordance with acceptable codes and standards. A level II is able to organize and report results of inspections, and they are knowledgeable of the capabilities and limitations of each NDT method. A level II may also be responsible for supervising and training trainees and Level I personnel.

Level III
Level III is the highest level of qualification and requires the individual to be highly knowledgeable of methods, codes, procedures, and standards. An NDT level III is capable of training trainees, level I, and level II personnel. The level III is able to develop, qualify, and approve written procedures. They are also able to determine appropriate methods for inspection scope, and have the ability to interpret results, codes, standards, and procedures.

NDT Trainer
An NDT trainer is an individual with the skills and knowledge needed to plan, organize, and present training for classroom or in-field settings. An NDT trainer is able to articulate information well through on-the-job training programs or education programs. A level II or III is able to serve as an NDT trainer.

With each certification level comes a set of responsibilities and necessary skill. However, with the multiple levels of certification available in the field of nondestructive testing, there is plenty of opportunities for career advancement.
<![CDATA[History of Ground Penetrating Radar]]>Mon, 21 Mar 2016 20:17:24 GMThttp://aertesting.com/postings/history-of-ground-penetrating-radar
Christian Hülsmeyer obtained the first patent for radar technology on April 30, 1904. Six years later, in 1910, Gotthelf Leimbach and Heinrich Löwy submitted a patent for a design using continuous-wave radar technology to locate buried objects. In 1926, a patent for a pulse-radar system was submitted by Dr. Hülsenbeck. This system's depth resolution was superior in comparison to older systems, and it is still used today.

In 1929, W. Stern used ground penetrating radar to measure the depth of a glacier. Advances in GPR technology became stagnant from the 1930's to the 1970's until military applications began to fuel research in GPR. The military explored applications for GPR such as locating tunnels in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Utility and construction companies soon became interested in the technology. They were interested in using GPR to map utility lines and pipes beneath city streets.

Affordable commercial GPR equipment was first sold in 1985 and allowed for commercial applications to grow. The first comprehensive reference books on GPR were written in the 1990's. In 1992, GPR was used to recover a large amount of cash that kidnapper Michael Sams had buried in a field. Sams had received the cash as ransom for an estate agent he had kidnapped.  

Applications for ground penetrating radar have expanded into earth sciences, nondestructive testing, archeology, military, forensics and security, construction, pipeline inspections, and more. The technology for ground penetrating radar systems is around 100 years old, but it did not become widespread until the 1970's and 1980's. Imagine what the future of GPR will look like!
<![CDATA[How Does GPR Work?]]>Wed, 09 Mar 2016 14:23:07 GMThttp://aertesting.com/postings/how-does-gpr-work
     Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a nondestructive testing method which allows us to see the unseen. It is used to detect defects and rebar in concrete, identify buried objects, inspect the structural integrity of buildings, and more. GPR can be used on a variety of materials such as concrete, structures, rock, soil, ice, and fresh water. So how does GPR work?
     GPR is a geophysical method that uses electromagnetic energy in the form of radar pulses to create an image of what is below the surface. The radar pulses are emitted from an antenna in the machine. These pulses are high frequency radio waves in the range of 10 MHz to 1 GHz. 
     The radio waves will travel through the ground until it encounters a buried object or materials that create a boundary. After encountering a buried object, the radio waves will be reflected back to the surface. Another antenna will detect the reflections and record them as an image.
     The image above depicts how GPR works. The radio waves are emitted from an antenna in the machine, and they penetrate into the soil. When the radio waves encounter a pipe buried in the ground, they bounce off the pipe and are reflected back towards the surface. The GPR antenna detects the reflected waves and analyzes their strength and time required to return, then it records the reflected waves as in image. The technician knows where the pipe is buried from reviewing the image.
The penetration depth of GPR is limited by the
electrical conductivity of the ground, the transmitted center frequency, and the radiated power intensity. High frequency radio waves do not penetrate as far as lower frequency radio waves. However, using high frequency radio waves will provide a better resolution image than low frequencies.
     In conclusion, the GPR technology works similarly to a fish finder where electromagnetic energy in the form of radio waves are emitted and their reflections are recorded. This technology allows us to detect hidden objects and see the unseen.
<![CDATA[Importance of Capillary Action In Penetrant Testing]]>Sat, 27 Feb 2016 16:02:27 GMThttp://aertesting.com/postings/importance-of-capillary-action-in-penetrant-testing          Liquid Penetrant Testing is used to detect surface defects in non-porous materials. The process includes cleaning the component to be inspected, applying penetrant, a dwelling period, cleaning off excess penetrant, applying developer, another dwelling period, and then you will be able to see any present indications.
          The penetrant moves into tiny surface flaws during the dwelling period, and the penetrant stays in those cracks when you wipe off any excess penetrant. The penetrant seeps into the small cracks through a process called capillary action. What is capillary action?
          Capillary action is the movement of water within the spaces of porous materials due to the forces of adhesion, surface tension, and cohesion. Adhesion is how the water molecules like to stick together. Surface tension is what makes water stay in a puddle on a surface. Cohesion is how the water molecules like to stick to other objects.
          Capillary action occurs when the water's adhesion to the walls of a crack are greater than the cohesion between the molecules. Surface tension limits the depth to which penetrant will seep into a crack.
          You can do some miniature experiments at home to see firsthand how capillary action works. If you stick the bottom of a paper towel in water, you will notice the water climb up the paper towel using cohesion and adhesion. If you spill a small amount of water on the table, you will see how surface tension keeps the water in one place. Another experiment you can do is to put a few drops of food coloring in a cup of water. Then, place a stalk of celery in the cup of water, and you will see how capillary action works with plants. The ends of the celery should turn the same color as the water after a few days.
          Capillary action is how water moves through adhesion, surface tension, and adhesion.
          It is important to understand the process of capillary action in order to fully grasp how liquid penetrant testing works. After the penetrant is sprayed onto the part, the penetrant will seep into any cracks through capillary action. The same forces of adhesion, surface tension, and cohesion are what makes the penetrant stay in the crack when you clean off the excess penetrant. The developer works to pull the penetrant out of the cracks, which makes the indications visible to the naked eye.
<![CDATA[Penetrant Classifications]]>Sun, 14 Feb 2016 22:38:06 GMThttp://aertesting.com/postings/penetrant-classificationsThe materials used today to perform liquid penetrant testing are much more sophisticated than the oil and whiting method used in the early 20th century on railroad tracks. Today's penetrant materials are classified by type, method used to remove excess penetrant, and sensitivity.

The two basic types of penetrant are fluorescent penetrant and visible penetrant. Fluorescent penetrant contains dyes that glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. A darkened room is needed for the inspection, so the fluorescing dye can be seen. Visible penetrant contains a red dye that contrasts against the white color of the developer. Visible penetrant is more portable than fluorescent penetrant because it doesn't not require a dark room. It is also less sensitive to contaminants such as cleaning fluid. 

Penetrants are also classified according to the method used to remove excess penetrant during inspection. The methods are:
  • Method A - Water Washable
  • Method B - Post-Emulsifiable, Lipophilic
  • Method C - Solvent Removable
  • Method D - Post-Emulsifiable, Hydrophilic
In method A, penetrants are removed by rinsing the part with water alone. Penetrants classified under method A contain a detergent that make it possible to remove the penetrant with just water. In method B, the penetrant is oil soluble, and an oil based emulsifier is used to remove the penetrant from the part. In method C, a solvent is used to clean penetrant from the part. In method D, the penetrant contains a water soluble detergent, and the detergent helps remove the penetrant with a water wash. 

Penetrants are also classified according to sensitivity levels:
  • Level ½ - Ultra Low Sensitivity
  • Level 1 - Low Sensitivity
  • Level 2 - Medium Sensitivity
  • Level 3 - High Sensitivity
  • Level 4 - Ultra-High Sensitivity
Level 4 penetrants have the strength and sensitivity to detect the smallest indications while level ½ penetrants are significantly less sensitive to detecting indications. There was originally only four sensitivity levels, but the level ½ was added later when some penetrants were discovered to have a sensitivity level much lower than the penetrants classified in level 1. 

​All penetrant materials do not perform the same, and they are designed for different applications. These classifications makes it easier to choose the right type of penetrant for a specific application. ]]>
<![CDATA[Applications of Liquid Penetrant Inspection]]>Fri, 05 Feb 2016 20:52:44 GMThttp://aertesting.com/postings/applications-of-liquid-penetrant-inspectionPicture
Liquid penetrant inspection (LPI), also known as dye penetrant inspection (DPI) and penetrant testing (PT), is a common nondestructive testing method used to detect surface flaws in non-porous materials.

Liquid penetrant testing is a commonly used nondestructive testing method due to its ease of use and flexibility. It can be used to inspect large objects or objects with odd shapes quickly and easily. Equipment is portable, making field tests available. The materials needed also cost much less than other NDE methods.

Liquid penetrant inspection can be used on objects composed of materials that are non-porous. Objects often tested using PT include castings, forgings, machined parts, manufactured products, and welds. Materials that can be inspected using PT include glass, ceramics, rubber, plastic, copper, aluminum, steel, and other metals. It can be applied to ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic materials.

Liquid penetrant inspection is only able to detect surface cracks and flaws, but it is highly sensitive. Types of flaws that can be found using PT include porosity, fatigue cracks, quench cracks, grinding cracks, overload and impact fractures, laps, laminations, and seams. Indications can be found using liquid penetrant testing regardless of size, composition, or structure of the object being tested.

In conclusion, liquid penetrant testing is common due to its ease of use and flexibility in testing non-porous materials for surface indications.

<![CDATA[Winter Slip Prevention Tips]]>Sat, 23 Jan 2016 17:54:59 GMThttp://aertesting.com/postings/winter-slip-prevention-tips
Imagine that you're running late this morning because of winter weather traffic. You get to the job site, jump out of your vehicle, and rush to the trailer to clock in. while you are rushing up the steps, you slip and fall on some ice. A tiny patch of ice brought you to the ground.

During the winter months, it is easy to slip and fall on a patch of ice, snow, or slush. Be sure to use extra caution and follow these winter slip prevention tips:
  • Wear slip resistant footwear. Be sure the shoes you are wearing have traction. Leather soled shoes have very limited traction, so they should not be worn.
  • Keep your workspace clean. Clean up spills before they freeze and turn into a patch of ice. Use signs to alert others of large spills until they are taken care of.
  • Place door mats outside of buildings so workers can wipe off any snow stuck to their shoes before entering. The snow stuck to the bottom of their shoes is very slippery when attempting to walk on hard flooring.
  • If you are carrying a bulky item, make sure you can see where you are walking. It is easier to fall when you cannot see where you are stepping.
  • Take your time. It is easier to slip when you are walking fast and in a hurry. Taking your time will allow you to identify hazards and prevent slips.
  • Be wary of ladders. Ladders can become covered in clear ice, and a fall from a ladder has the potential to be very harmful. Be sure to inspect the ladder carefully before climbing it.
  • Light your workspace. It is easier to fall when you cannot see in the dark. Use lights to make sure your workspace is easy to see in.
  • Use handrails. Holding on to something will help keep you upright in case you start to slip.
  • Have someone put salt on the ground of the work space. The salt will break up the ice and be less of a slip hazard.
  • Use caution when getting in and out of vehicles. Keep one hand on the door so you have a hold on something to keep you upright in case you start to slip.
Sometimes, even when you are taking extra safety precautions, you will slip and fall. Make sure your fall has not cause any broken bones before moving, and be careful getting up. Call for help if needed.
<![CDATA[How Do Windsocks Work?]]>Mon, 18 Jan 2016 16:55:10 GMThttp://aertesting.com/postings/how-do-windsocks-workWindsocks have a tube or sock shape and are constructed out of fabric. The fabric used is often nylon because is does not mildew or crack from being outside. They are typically orange and white striped or solid orange in color. Windsocks are designed to indicate wind direction and speed. Usually, they are located at airports, chemical plants, oil and gas sites, and construction sites where there is a change of a gas leak.

Windsocks help people determine what direction the wind is blowing. The larger opening of the windsock is attached to a pole, and the other opening is smaller. The wind is coming from the direction of the larger opening and blowing in the direction of the smaller opening. The infographic below gives a visual of how the windsock determines wind direction.
Windsocks also help people determine the relative wind speed. A windsock will be fully erect in winds equal to or greater than 17 mph. A 3.5 mph wind will cause the windsock to orient itself in the direction of the wind.

If there is a gas leak, the wind will carry the gas in the direction it is blowing. In the event of a gas leak, people are advised to move upwind. This is so they are exposed to a minimal amount of gas and are in the safest area possible. This safe, upwind area is often referred to as the "safe zone."  People can determine what direction is upwind based on the direction of the windsock. The direction of the large opening of the windsock is upwind.

Windsocks are designed to keep workers at airports, chemical plants, and oil and gas sites safe from gas leaks by indicating wind direction and speed. In the event of a gas leak, move upwind and look to the windsock for directions!
<![CDATA[Scaffold Safety Tips]]>Thu, 07 Jan 2016 16:53:52 GMThttp://aertesting.com/postings/scaffold-safety-tipsPicture
Scaffolds are used commonly on job sites so workers can safely work on areas that are high off the ground. It is common for our NDT technicians to inspect welds where they must climb scaffolding to access. It is one of the safest ways to access high areas. However, the scaffolds pose new safety threats when used carelessly or improperly. Here are some tips to help you work safely when using scaffolding.

Tip 1: Keep your workspace organized. This will prevent you or other workers from tripping over tools and supplies while on the scaffolding. It makes moving around the area much easier.

Tip 2: Inspect and maintain the scaffolding. Scaffolding should be inspected by a supervisor and competent person. This is to ensure that the scaffolding is safe for workers to use. If any boards are broken or damaged, then they should be replaced immediately.

Tip 3: Do not work underneath scaffolding. Objects could fall from the scaffolding above while other workers are using the scaffolding. To avoid falling object hazards, it is best to not work underneath the scaffolding unless there is falling object protection or barricades in place.

Tip 4: Ensure all workers using the scaffolding are trained. OSHA requirements urge anyone using scaffolding to be properly trained. This required training will cover topics such as usage, hazard recognition, load capacity, and fall protection systems.

Tip 5: Know and comply with load rating. The scaffolding can safely support a certain amount of weight, and when this weight is exceeded the scaffolding is more likely to fail. Supported scaffolds should be able to support their own weight plus four times the maximum load intended.

Tip 6: Maintain a three point grip when climbing the scaffolding ladder. Keep one hand and two feet, or two hands and one foot on the scaffolding during your climb up the ladder. Also, keep your body close to the scaffolding frame during your climb. This will minimize the chance of falling while climbing the ladder.

Tip 6: Stay at least 10 ft. away from power lines. Electricity from power lines can arc from the line to conductive materials. Scaffolds are made of conductive materials, so it is important not to set up the scaffold close to power lines.

Tip 7: Beware of weather conditions.  Do not use a scaffold if the platform is covered in ice or snow because it will be easy to slip on. Scaffolds should also not be used in heavy wind conditions because there is a risk of the scaffolding falling.
<![CDATA[Calculations]]>Wed, 30 Dec 2015 02:52:26 GMThttp://aertesting.com/postings/calculationsTelebrineller Hardness Testing Picture
The last step in finding an object's brinell hardness number (BHN) using Telebrineller hardness testing is performing the calculations. During the calculations step, the measurements and known hardness of the reference bar will be inputted into an equation and solved.

The equation used to find the test objects BHN is: X=H(Db/Ds)^2

Db= The diameter of the impression in the test bar

Ds= the diameter of the impression in the specimen

H= The known BHN of the test bar

X= The BHN of the specimen

For example: Db= 3.05mm, Ds= 3.15mm, H= 229 BHN

                      X= 229(3.05/3.15)^2

                      X= 215 BHN

These calculations can also be performed using the round Telebrineller Computer that comes with the kit. The disadvantage with using the computer is there is minimal documentation. Writing the calculations out allows you to see if any mistakes have been made.

Performing calculations is the last step in determining the Brinell Hardness Number of an object using Telebrineller Hardness Testing.