Intertek’s Non-Destructive Testing Services Department has invested in an INNOVATEST Falcon 507 Hardness Tester to carry out NDT testing of parts for the aerospace, power generation, rail, and structural industries. As UK representatives of INNOVATEST, Bowers Group provided Intertek with the Falcon 507 Vickers, Knoop & Brinell Hardness Tester to ensure the accurate testing of components.
Intertek is a leading Total Quality Assurance provider specialising in testing, inspection and certification for manufacturers and retailers, therefore the standards are required. Leigh Hobson, Testing Technician for NDT Services at Intertek said: “Precise hardness measurement is extremely important to us. The standards we work to have specific locations so positioning is important, and some parts we test are safety critical so we need to be absolutely sure of our results. Our lab technicians use the Falcon 507 on a daily basis and find it very accurate.” The hardness tester has enabled Intertek’s lab to deliver a faster turnaround of samples, and the computer control has resulted in increased accuracy.
Intertek’s Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) services provide its customers with reliable, accurate testing in order to detect defects and irregularities, and assess safety in equipment and assets, satisfying the growing need to extend equipment life, plant facilities and other assets, in addition to adhering to increased regulation.
Non-Destructive Testing helps to protect the investment made in plant infrastructure by providing companies with valuable data needed to detect, monitor and improve processes and assets. NDT also helps manufacturers to assess products and components for quality, and possible failure, therefore protecting a company’s brand and reputation by using NDT to ensure the products’ safety and reliable operation.
A common requirement for the NDT Services department at Intertek is the testing of welding joints to ensure that they meet the hardness requirements quoted in the testing standards. For example, weld joints are often required to meet BS EN 15614-1 / ASME IX standards. Intertek also carries out NDT testing on finished components used in the aerospace industry. Testing components for aerospace companies and their supply chains must be carried out in accordance with inspection standards of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) regulations, which are extremely stringent.
Intertek previously used a manual hardness testing machine with no computer controls, which was not only time consuming to use on some tests, but didn’t have the accuracy required on positioning of points. A more sophisticated solution was required to uphold Intertek’s commitment to providing the best in NDT services, giving customers assurance they need that quality and safety risks are minimised and operations are performing at optimal level.
The FALCON 500 series of hardness testing machines from INNOVATEST improves conventional hardness testing methods by focussing on the elimination of user influence on the test results. The unique force actuator system utilises an electronically controlled closed loop system and advanced force sensor technology to achieve absolute accuracy, reliability and repeatability, on each of the forces used for a test.
The IMPRESSIONS software boasts a variety of useful features including file storing, test program setting and storing, image zoom, auto focus, limit settings, conversions to other hardness scales, system setup and (remote) control, pattern testing (CHD/Nht/Rht), and widely contributes to the high reproducibility of test results. Fully automatic image evaluation combined with intuitive operator software results in reduced operator influence on the test results.
Leigh Hobson continued: “We have calibrated standards that are a specific hardness, and we use these to make sure the machine is reading accurately before use. After the initial training, using the machine is fairly straightforward to use.”
Headquartered in London, Intertek company has a network of over 1,000 laboratories across around 100 countries, providing testing services, and quality and safety assurance to industries such as construction, healthcare, food and transport.