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Inspection of metals is used to ensure that the quality of the part or product meets minimum quality and safety requirements. There are hundreds of methods used to inspect metals during its fabrication (in-process inspection), when the part is completed and ready for delivery (final inspection), and during its service life (in-service inspection). While the three stages of inspection are addressed to some extent in this book, the emphasis is on final part inspection. Because it is not possible to address all the different inspection methods used in the industry, only the most widely used inspection methods are covered.

The first half of this book attempts to answer three questions for each of these inspection methods:

  • How is the inspection method performed?

  • When is it used?

  • How does it compare with other inspection methods?

The inspection methods covered are:

  • Visual inspection

  • Coordinate measuring machines

  • Machine vision

  • Hardness testing

  • Tensile testing

  • Chemical composition

  • Metallography

  • Liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, and eddy current inspection

  • Radiographic inspection

  • Ultrasonic inspection

The second half of the book covers how these inspection methods are used in different metal fabrication industries:

  • Castings

  • Steel bar and wire

  • Tubular products

  • Forgings

  • Powder metallurgy parts

  • Weldments and brazed assemblies

The emphasis in the second half of the book shows why certain inspection methods are selected for different product forms.

Since the purpose of this book is to cover the basics of inspection of metals, the reader is referred to more advanced texts for detailed information. In particular, for nondestructive test methods, Nondestructive Evaluation and Quality Control, Volume 17, ASM Handbook, for mechanical property test methods, Mechanical Testing and Evaluation, Volume 8, ASM Handbook, and for metallography, Metallography and Microstructures, Volume 9, ASM Handbook.

I would like to acknowledge the help and guidance of Karen Marken, ASM International, and the staff at ASM for their valuable contributions.

F.C. Campbell

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