Building reliable assets take effort and dedication. Thorough testing is part of the strategy to calculate machine, component, and material reliability. One can either do destructive testing (DT) or non-destructive testing (NDT).

In this article, we’ll discuss destructive testing and its various aspects.

Source: Inspection 4 Industry, 2013.
What is destructive testing?

Destructive testing (DT) establishes the precise point of failure of machines, materials, or components. Stress is placed on the item until it is deformed or destroyed during this process. As expected, these items are not fit to be used for manufacturing or routine operations after destructive testing.

This testing is performed before an item is used in mass production as organizations need to know the materials’ limits. This test enables managers to recommend suitable operating environments and maintenance procedures for their equipment.

Who performs destructive testing ?

Destructive testing can either be done with the help of external organizations or internally.

Organizations that specialize and own facilities to conduct destructive testing do it within their facilities. Other companies hire external services to test their machinery. Material testing service providers can do destructive testing to establish whether their equipment works within the necessary parameters.

Material testing facilities have many materials whose characteristics are tested and kept track of. Materials that possess the necessary requirements can then be chosen from these facilities’ collections. The expertise of these service providers is also helpful when selecting the items in the first place. If you are based in the US, Nadcap certified testing laboratories can conduct destructive testing.

Technicians, scientists, or researchers can conduct destructive testing. This is determined by what type of testing has to be undertaken. In most cases, destructive testing is done by:

  • failure analysis experts
  • material scientists
  • regulatory compliance experts
  • chemistry and electrochemical process experts
  • metallurgical and polymer engineers
  • quality control analysts
Destructive vs. non-destructive testing

Destructive testing means damaging the item being tested, while non-destructive testing (NDT) means the product does not get harmed or damaged during the testing procedure. This, of course, means the item that underwent NDT can still be used in operations after testing has been done.

Keep in mind that these two methods are used for different purposes. DT is used for failure analysis and to determine an item’s quality before it is used in production. NDT is performed to enable early identification of degradation and eventual equipment failure. NDT is an excellent aid in predictive maintenance and condition-based maintenance.

Why is destructive testing necessary?

Even though it does not always make sense to destroy a new product to test it, it is sometimes mandatory and comes as a regulatory requirement. Equipment is made of certain materials that each have its limitations, and this means if put in an unfavourable environment, it will fail, explode, or get damaged. For example, one should avoid placing easily corroded metals in a humid environment.

What are the most common destructive testing methods?
  • Corrosion testing
  • Tensile testing
  • Hardness testing
  • Stress testing
  • Torsion testing
  • Residual stress measurement
  • Aggressive environment testing
Destructive testing will ensure machine reliability.

The reliability of equipment or machines is dependent on the quality of the parts used. Destructive testing is an effective way to ensure that suitable materials are used for the right devices in the right environment.

Suitable material and sound design are two characteristics that ensure products are high quality. This is why destructive testing is so valuable – it tests both material and design. Besides that, it ensures the safety of both manufacturers and maintenance technicians.

If constant monitoring of assets is desired, NDT is the way to go, but remember that both DT and NDT are necessary for optimizing asset performance.

For more information about asset maintenance and condition monitoring, feel free to schedule a demo, give us a call at +1 (262) 241-3845 or send an email.