On this episode of FDH Tech Talks, FDH Chief Engineer Dennis Abel, PE, and Director of Technology Solutions Rakesh Khan, PE, discuss the evolution of one of FDH’s signature innovations related to nondestructive testing, or NDT.
NDT is the practice of testing critical infrastructure assets like tower structures, wind turbines, water tanks, bridges and more, without disturbing or putting out of service the asset being assessed.
FDH’s history of innovation in the use of proprietary dispersive wave propagation (DWP) techniques for enhanced NDT has set the company apart. That innovation continues today with the development of a new portable data acquisition device that enables clients to perform NDT in the field on demand with their own crews.
“NDT technology as a whole has really evolved not so much in the physics of testing and the acoustic excitations or the electromagnetic behavior, [but in] the software and the hardware that we’re able to use to collect better data in the field,” Khan says. “What this really amounts to is we’re able to see in the field a lot of what used to take several hours of analysis time in the office to get a good look at.”
FDH has designed this new NDT solution to help field crews quickly determine the type of NDT method required for the structure they are assessing and assist in the capture of clean data by incorporating artificial intelligence.
While NDT is critical for assessing current structural condition, it becomes even more valuable when paired with structural health monitoring, or SHM. SHM involves the installation of sensors to continuously monitor variables that contribute to degradations or failure of individual components and/or the entire structure over time. The symbiotic relationship between SHM and NDT allows for a more complete picture of the health of infrastructure assets.
“Structural health monitoring involves measuring the physical responses of the structure [to variables such as] gravity loads, wind loads, and seismic temperature. … These kinds of responses…. if they exceed a predefined threshold…. may indicate there’s a problem with the structure, such as too much bending or sway,” Abel says. “The owner or operator can send out engineers or technicians to inspect the structure for specific problems. So that’s where our NDT services would come in… to identify exactly what the problem is.”
Listen here: https://www.fdh-is.com/resources/podcast-series/