NDE Engineering: E is for Evaluation

As the field of nondestructive testing has become increasingly more science based the acronym NDE, although possibly abbreviating nondestructive examination or nondestructive evaluation, has become an umbrella term for various aspects of the process of nondestructive evaluation which is “To NONDESTRUCTIVELY EVALUATE (NDE) an object, one must describe the imperfections, and assess the severity, with respect to expected service conditions, without reducing serviceability.” For many situations … assessing the severity… is a matter of comparing some measure of a flaw with respect to a predetermined accept/reject criteria and those performing the examinations and inspections have focused more on … describing the imperfections. Unfortunately these two aspects of the NDE process also tend to fall on opposite sides of the line between technician and engineer. While certainly there are aspects associated with the inspection side which might demand consideration by an engineer for the most part these are an outcome of the evaluation side. Unfortunately because the emphasis of many working in inspection, research, development and engineering has been on the inspection side issues, where those issues where NDT expertise are needed, on the evaluation side have gone unaddressed.

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