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Nondestructive testing (NDT), also known as nondestructive evaluation (NDE), includes various techniques to characterize materials without damage. This article focuses on the typical NDE techniques that may be considered when conducting a failure investigation. The article begins with discussion about the concept of the probability of detection (POD), on which the statistical reliability of crack detection is based. The coverage includes the various methods of surface inspection, including visual-examination tools, scanning technology in dimensional metrology, and the common methods of detecting surface discontinuities by magnetic-particle inspection, liquid penetrant inspection, and eddy-current testing. The major NDE methods for internal (volumetric) inspection in failure analysis also are described.

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