In Summary - Radiographer - Industrial
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The Work - Radiographer - Industrial
Non-destructive testing specialists examine vitally important structures and vehicles, including aircraft, trains, bridges and pipelines. They use non-destructive testing methods (NDT), which means that after specialists have tested a component it remains useable.
Non-destructive testing specialists look for signs of corrosion, metal fatigue, cracks and other flaws. NDT is essential for safety; specialists may also use it to improve output or profitability, for example, to make sure an oilrig is working safely and at full capacity.
There are many different methods of carrying out NDT. The original method is a visual examination. With advances in technology, NDT specialists can now examine structures and components by using lenses, closed circuit television and fibre optic devices. This technology enables specialists to examine structures on the seabed, or look at components in a radioactive environment.
In liquid penetrant testing, the most common type of NDT, specialists coat an object with a visible or fluorescent dye. Any cracks in the surface will draw in the dye. After cleaning away excess penetrant, NDT specialists use a developer (which acts like blotting paper) to draw the dye back up, therefore revealing the crack.
Non-destructive testing specialists can use radiography to produce an image of an object on a film. For example, they may use X ray or gamma radiation to look for internal defects in metal castings.
They may also use ultrasonic to detect faults in solid materials. This follows a similar principle to that used in sonar equipment at sea. NDT specialists introduce sound into the test object. By looking at how the sound travels within the object, they can map the presence of imperfections (which might bounce the sound around). They use ultrasound to examine welds in nuclear reactors, and in medical imaging studies. 2 other methods are using eddy current and magnetic particles.
NDT is a very fast-moving area; specialists are developing and using new methods all the time, like acoustic emission (which 'listens' to the growth of a crack), leak testing and thermography (used to analyse temperature data).
Specialists often develop expertise in one or two methods of NDT, but they need to know how to interpret all methods. They also need to develop an understanding of the manufacturing processes they are involved in, to predict the type, position and effect of faults.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Interpret or evaluate test results in accordance with applicable codes, standards, specifications, or procedures.
- Interpret the results of all methods of non-destructive testing (NDT) such as acoustic emission, electromagnetic, leak, liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, neutron radiographic, radiographic, thermal or infrared, ultrasonic, vibration analysis, and visual testing.
- Select, calibrate, or operate equipment used in the non-destructive testing (NDT) of products or materials.
- Examine structures or vehicles such as aircraft, trains, nuclear reactors, bridges, dams, and pipelines using non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques.
- Make radiographic images to detect flaws in objects while leaving objects intact.
- Identify defects in solid materials using ultrasonic testing techniques.
- Prepare reports on non-destructive testing (NDT) results.
- Conduct liquid penetrant tests to locate surface cracks by coating objects with fluorescent dyes, cleaning excess penetrant, and applying developer.
- Document non-destructive testing (NDT) methods, processes, or results.
- Produce images of objects on film using radiographic techniques.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Training and Teaching Others Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Interests - Radiographer - Industrial
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
To be a non-destructive testing specialist, you must have strong technical knowledge and skills, to understand and use the principles of non-destructive testing. A knowledge of physics would be beneficial.
You must enjoy solving problems, and have a logical and methodical approach to this. You will need to be inquisitive and observant.
Safety is a vital aspect of this job, for example, when you deal with radiation, so you must have a strong sense of responsibility, a calm approach and the ability to follow strict procedures. You must be self-reliant because you may be working on your own.
You will need good communication skills, to work in teams with other non-destructive testing specialists, and to pass on your findings in a clear verbal or written report.