Underwater Welding School - Divers Institute of Technology
Divers Institute of Technology

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What is an NDT Certification? How Underwater Inspection Works

An NDT certification signifies to the world that you are qualified to perform inspections on a variety of structures in industrial settings. Modern nondestructive testing is used in fabrication, manufacturing, and in-service inspections to ensure the integrity and reliability of a structure. These tests are also used to control manufacturing processes, lower production costs, and to maintain a uniform quality level. Specifically, underwater NDT is a challenging field that ensures the safety of countless people by ensuring the safety of bridges, ships, and other structures submerged in water. Commercial divers train and receive certifications to perform this type of testing.

Why is NDT important?

Nondestructive testing (NDT) is the process of inspecting structures without causing damage to the structure. For example, when oil companies test structural components of their oil rigs, they would have to completely deconstruct entire rigs to test properly. This would take a long time to execute, utilize countless resources, and be very expensive. With nondestructive testing, none of this is necessary. Commercial diving teams use NDT methods to ensure the safety and integrity of the structure. Generally, commercial divers who perform underwater NDT inspections keep ships, bridges, and all kinds of structures in the industrial world safe. 

In other settings, NDT is just as important. During construction, for example, NDT ensures the quality of materials and joining processes during the fabrication and erection of the structure. In-service NDT inspections are used to ensure that the products in use continue to have the integrity necessary to ensure their usefulness and the safety of the public. 

There are several key advantages to nondestructive testing. 

  • Doesn’t damage or require the component to be dismantled for testing
  • Less expensive than other testing methods
  • Quick
  • Very accurate

As mentioned, the largest advantage is that NDT doesn’t require the destruction of the component being tested.

Main Types of Nondestructive Testing

There are many types of nondestructive testing to ensure the security of various structures. Test method names refer to the type of equipment used to perform that particular test. 

Current NDT methods include the following. 

  • Acoustic Emission Testing (AE)
  • Electromagnetic Testing (ET)
  • Laser Testing Methods (LM)
  • Leak Testing (LT)
  • Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL)
  • Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT)
  • Magnetic Particle Testing (MT)
  • Neutron Radiographic Testing (NR)
  • Radiographic Testing (RT)
  • Thermal/Infrared Testing (IR)
  • Ultrasonic Testing (UT)
  • Vibration Analysis (VA)
  • Visual Testing (VT)

Additionally, the most frequently used test methods are RT, ET, MT, PT, UT, and VT. 

How to Obtain an NDT Certification

Obtaining an NDT certification starts with selecting an NDT program. NDT occurs in a variety of industrial settings and evaluates structures such as skyrises, railroads, airplanes, and more. As a result, choosing the right program is crucial. 

If you are looking to perform NDT underwater, a commercial diving certification program is the best choice. It is important to note that not all commercial diving programs offer extensive NDT training. In the case of commercial divers with an interest in nondestructive testing, the right program will offer some NDT training in your initial commercial diving certification curriculum. Some commercial diving schools will also offer targeted training for the certified commercial divers who are looking to specialize in NDT. 

Can you tell me more about NDT certification training?

The training for this certification is challenging yet rewarding. In short, not just anyone can perform nondestructive testing. It is a field that requires highly trained individuals. Commercial divers will need to learn how to use a range of new equipment as well as understand the processes by which they operate. For example, training includes using transducers, magnetic yokes, ultrasonic gauges, pit gauges, and cameras, and more. These are essential tools in nondestructive testing and so must be operated properly.

The American Society for Nondestructive Testing sets nationwide standards for training practices. While meeting ASNT standards, underwater NDT training focuses on the needs of the diving and other relevant industries. The program should also focus on standards and guidelines relevant to underwater inspection of subsea oil infrastructure, ships, port and terminal facilities, bridges, and pipelines. 

After completing the curriculum at an accredited school for NDT, you will receive a certificate. The certificate indicates that you can perform all major types of NDT and are qualified to pursue jobs within the industry. 

Divers Institute of Technology Can Help You

At DIT, we provide divers with the knowledge and skills required to be successful as a commercial diver, whether employed domestically or internationally. Our graduates are well-positioned to enter the workforce with the right education, industry connections, and real-world experience necessary to succeed. If you are interested in pursuing an NDT certification, then reach out to our team today to learn more about our curriculum! You can also fill out an application here.

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