Aircraft manufacturers increasingly rely on non-destructive testing (NDT) for continued airworthiness of their products. In order to certify and guarantee that an aircraft’s metal parts and structures are robust, without destroying them, an NDT technician performs non-destructive tests.
Several processes such as ultrasonic testing, radiography, eddy-current testing, magnetic particle or dye penetrant tests, ensure that the parts are totally free of defects.
These checks can be carried out on new parts, fresh of the production lines, before they are marketed. Similar tests can be done on used parts, the life cycle of which can then be extended. If no defects are found, the part may be marketed, certified or returned to service. But if tests reveal even the slightest defect, the part is discarded.