Non Destructive Testing

Research in Non Destructive Testing (NDT) was first carried out in 1993, with papers on the Magnetic Flux Leakage technique and thermography. Since 2008, the emphasis has been on ultrasonic time-of-flight methods, using novel digital signal processing and parallelisation techniques for real-time diagnostic applications. Dr Peter Charlton was appointed in July 2010 as  a specialist in ultrasonic NDT and his collaboration with locally based international NDT companies such as TWI Ltd, Silverwing Ltd, Oceaneering Ltd (the UK’s largest offshore NDT inspection company) has added considerable research capacity. Building upon continued research in thermographic NDT by Prof Donne, this group has established itself as recognised centre of expertise. This group is supported by EPSRC and POWIS PhD scholarships.

  • Peter Charlton

Contact details:


Non destructive testing and evaluation is a key area of research UWTSD. The university is the lead academic partner in the NDT Validation Centre at ECM2 Port Talbot operated by TWI. Funding from the Welsh Assembly Government and from the EPSRC has facilitated the acquisition of state of the art equipment, including ultrasonics, infrared thermography, computerised photoelastic stress measurement and scanning laser Doppler vibrometry. In addition to these resources, the university is well equipped with conventional optical microscopy and high speed digital video facilities. Knowledge transfer is also organised though the Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies (ASTUTE) project, which aims to enable the manufacturing industry in West Wales and the Valleys to grow by adopting more advanced technologies, and at the same time improve its sustainability by reducing its environmental impact etc.

Infrared Thermography: Infrared thermography is widely used as an inspection technique in condition monitoring and has a rapidly growing range of applications in non destructive testing, particularly applied to composite materials. The university has both pulse active and passive thermography facilities, the latter being equipped with a lock-in capability, enabling the camera to follow specified points on a moving object.

Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometer: Multiple Beam Laser Doppler Vibrometer (MB-LDV) is an easy-to-use, non-contact instrument capable of simultaneously measuring vibrations at Multiple locations on a target, with extremely high sensitivity.

Photoelasticity : The Grey-field Polariscope System Components analyse photoelastic fringes which appears within a stressed specimen. A circular polarised light is passed through the object and the computer software DeltaVision measurers the amount of ellipticity to calculate the stress. The instrument can be used in transmission and in reflective mode.

Additional Facilities: In addition to the NDT facilities listed above, we also have a range of other test equipment, including a vibration rig, an accelerated weathering test rig and a ballistics test cell, with a temperature controlled target chamber, enabling impacts to be created at temperatures ranging from -10 ˚C to 50 ˚C.

Knauf Insulation: Assessment of welding procedures using CT Radiography leading to the production of a new conveyor system manufacturing specification.

Silverwing Uk Ltd: Finite element investigation into new magnetic flux leakage tool assemblies.

Oceaneering Inspection Services: Evaluation of Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer Pipe Corrosion Inspection System.

Team Precision Pipeline Assemblies: CT Radiography assessment of Copper-Aluminium brazed joint assemblies.

Cyden: Thermographic Temperature Evaluation for iPulse products.

Atech Reid GP: Microscopic and Ultrasonic Inspection of Carbon Fibre/Aluminium bondline for racing car wing mount component.

Rikoset: CT Radiography Evaluation of impact damaged composite shin pads.

Funders of research include:

  • ERDF
  • Welsh Government 

Through the work in this research area the School has active research links and collaborations with researchers and practitioners in:

Available soon.

 “Multiple Virtual Source Aperture Imaging for Non Destructive Testing”, P. Charlton, M. Sutcliffe and M. Weston, accepted for publication in Insight (British Journal of NDT), 2014.

"Full matrix capture with time efficient auto focusing of unknown geometry through dual-layered media", P. Charlton, M. Sutcliffe, M. Weston, I. Cooper and K. Donne.  Insight (British Journal of NDT), Vol. 55 No6 June 2013

A Modified Synthetic Aperture Focussing Technique Utilising the Spatial Impulse Response of the Ultrasound Transducer’, P. Charlton,  S. A. Mosey and I. Wells, eJournal of NDT,, March 2013.

‘Resolution enhancement of ultrasonic B-mode images’, P. Charlton,  S. A. Mosey and I. Wells, Insight (British Journal of NDT) Vol. 55 No2 February 2013.

‘Real-time full matrix capture for ultrasonic non-destructive testing with acceleration of post-processing through graphic hardware’, P. Charlton,  M. Sutcliffe, M. Weston, B. Dutton and K. Donne.  NDT&E International Vol. 51, October 2012.

‘Virtual source aperture imaging for non-destructive testing’, P. Charlton,  M. Sutcliffe, M. Weston, B. Dutton and K. Donne.   Insight (British Journal of NDT) Vol. 54 No 7 July 2012.

‘Determination of Convection Coefficients using Infrared Thermography’, P. Charlton,  O. Parry.  The Eighth International Conference on Condition Monitoring and Machinery Failure Prevention Technologies, June 2011.

‘An investigation into the drilling of carbon and glass fibre reinforced polymer composites’, P. Charlton,  P. Curnick, R.D. Thomas and K.E. Donne. The Eighth International Conference on Condition Monitoring and Machinery Failure Prevention Technologies, June 2011

 ‘Focusing of ultrasonic data for lateral defect positioning in time of flight diffraction’,with P. Charlton , P. Sinker and K.Donne.  NDT 2009, 48th Annual British Conference on NDT, August 2009.

‘Background noise removal in ultrasonic B-scan images using iterative statistical techniques’, P. Charlton,  S. Mosey and I. Wells.  Quality and Reliability Engineering International Vol. 24 Issue 8 December 2008.

‘Background noise removal in ultrasonic B-Scan images using iterative statistical techniques’, P. Charlton,  S.Mosey and I. Wells.  Proceedings of the 6th International Conference QRM 2007.

‘Iterative method for background noise removal in ultrasonic B-scan images’, P. Charlton,  S. Mosey and I. Wells.  Insight (British Journal of NDT) Vol. 48 No 11 November 2006.

Advanced Technologies into Welsh Manufacturing