Nondestructive testing (NDT) is the process of inspecting materials, components and assemblies in order to find discontinuities or differences in their characteristics without damaging the particular system. NDT testing through electric currents or magnetic fields or both to observe the electromagnetic response is termed as Electromagnetic NDT. The basic principle of working for Electromagnetic NDT is induction of an electric current or magnetic field into a conductive part, after which the response of the material with respect to the induced current is evaluated. These techniques are widely used to detect and measure faults, thickness, electrical conductivity, bond or weld integrity and also to perceive the presence of rebar or metals.
Stringent government regulations regarding safety and environmental issues are currently driving the market for Electromagnetic NDT. Increasing demand for NDT from the verticals such as industrial, oil & gas, automotive and aerospace, mainly for investigating the integrity of equipment and assets, are further strengthening the market growth. However, factors such as high cost of equipment and technical anomalies are holding back the market growth.
NDT differs from the other destructive testing techniques. It is used on most of the materials, components and assemblies which are used during operations, as against destructive testing, which has its application limited to few systems. Destructive tests are generally utilized for examining the physical characteristics of materials such as ductility, tensile strength, yield, impact resistance, fracture toughness and fatigue strength. On the other hand, NDT are used for discontinuities and differences in material properties, which cannot be effectively traced using destructive testing.
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Improved sensitivity to small cracks, efficient detection of surface and near surface defects, requirement of minimum part preparation are few of the significant factors driving the growth of Electromagnetic NDT market. Additionally, Electromagnetic NDT enables inspection of complex shapes and sizes of conductive materials, further propelling the adoption of these techniques in the various industry verticals.
However, the Electromagnetic NDT market growth is restrained by the high cost of equipment (which are used at several stages of testing) and lack of skilled technicians. Additionally, technical limitations encountered during Electromagnetic NDT have compelled the industry to look out for the alternatives, in turn restraining the market growth. Some of these limitations include accurate inspection of conductive materials only, significant interference of surface finish, limited depth of penetration, and mandatory requirement of roughness reference standards for setup.
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Growing demand of ensuring product reliability, maintain a uniform quality level and lower production costs, during manufacturing and fabrication stages, across various industries is expected to drive the growth of the Electromagnetic NDT market during the forecast period. Additionally, technological advances in the field of electromagnetism and related NDT techniques have increased its deployment in in complex industry operations. For instance, Electromagnetic NDT are being readily used in the inspection of reactor vessels of nuclear power plants, which earlier utilized ultrasonic techniques.
Electromagnetic NDT market is mainly classified on the basis of type and geography.
On the basis of type, Electromagnetic NDT is segmented as:
- Eddy Current Testing
- Alternating Current Field Measurement (ACFM)
- Remote Field Testing (RFT)
- Others (Barkhausen Noise Analysis (BNA) method, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI))
Among these techniques, eddy-current testing is the most commonly used and is employed for near-surface cracks and corrosion detection, in metallic objects such as tubes and aircraft fuselage.
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Key Market Players:
Key players in the industry include General Electric, Olympus Corporation, NDT Technologies, Institut Dr. Foerster GmbH & Co. KG, Zetec Inc., Magnetic Analysis Corporation and Eddyfi.