The process of manufacturing efficient and high-performance industrial pumps  involves a series of inspections and tests, both before and after assembly.

These inspections and tests are helpful to verify that the manufacturing processes are carried out in accordance to fabrication criteria and required standards.

It is important to keep in mind that industrial pumps are normally exposed to many factors during operation. Some of those factors are:

  • Mechanical loads.
  • Hydraulic loads.
  • Thermal variations.
  • Environmental factors.

Therefore, the manufacturer needs to make sure the pump is ready to deal with all those factors which arise in the worst-case scenarios to guarantee they will operate efficiently and reliably.

Non-destructive testing for industrial pumps

Non-destructive testing is a great way to verify the pumps being manufactured are ready to operate efficiently and reliably.

Some common non-destructive tests applied on pumps include:

Ultrasonic tests

Ultrasonic tests are a great way to verify the performance of different areas of the pumps. Common areas tested with ultrasound technology include:

  • Material thickness
  • Material hardness
  • Material cracks and other discontinuities
  • Corrosion
  • Integrity of welds

It is clear that verifying the performance of the areas mentioned above is essential during and after the production of the pumps to guarantee proper operation.

This type of tests can be performed with tools such as:

Ultrasonic thickness gauges

ultrasonic thickness measurement

In photo: ultrasonic thickness measurement SAMA Tools

Ultrasonic hardness testers

Ultrasonic hardness tester

In photo: Ultrasonic hardness tester SAMA Tools

Ultrasonic flaw detectors

flaw inspections

In photo: flaw inspections SAMA Tools

Magnetic particle detection

These types of tests can be performed by measuring instruments such as our ultrasonic thickness gauges, ultrasonic hardness testers or ultrasonic flaw detectors.

As the name suggests, this type of non-destructive test uses the magnetic particle method for the detection of possible flaws on the surface or at sub-surface levels of the materials.

This test is particularly useful to verify the integrity of welded areas and cast parts, with the possibility to identify cracks and other defects before the pump goes into operation.

Tools such as our AC/DC magnetic detector and our digital gaussmeter can be of great help when performing magnetic particle tests on pumps.

AC/DC magnetic detector and our digital gaussmeter

In photo: AC/DC magnetic detector and our digital gaussmeter SAMA Tools

Dye penetrant test

This is a typical metallurgic test to verify the integrity of materials. It takes advantage of highly capillary liquids that are used to reveal possible defects and discontinuities on the material. This helps identify problems in welds, and other critical areas of the pumps.

Some penetrating liquids we offer include:

  • Fluorescent penetrant spray
  • White penetrating spray
  • Red penetrating spray

These are three important non-destructive tests that are recommended to guarantee that pumps are ready to withstand the factors mentioned above, especially those related to the operation of machines, such as mechanical and hydraulic loads.

Nevertheless, there is another important aspect to verify during and fabrication, and even after certain operational time, when maintenance is required.

Read on as we explain further.

Penetrant spray

In photo: Penetrant spray SAMA Tools

Dealing with the environment

Pumps that are exposed to the environment, especially under tough conditions, require special protection to guarantee operation without failure.

A common practice is applying special coatings to protect against corrosion and other environmental effects. To achieve the required coating protection, both the surface of the materials being coated and the coating applied need to comply with certain requirements.

Some examples of these requirements are:

  • Adequate surface roughness
  • Proper adherence of the coating
  • Correct coating thickness
  • Expected coating elasticity
  • Specific hardness and abrasion resistance

To verify compliance with these requirements, some tests and measurements must be carried out. Tools that are necessary include:

In addition, pumps must be design to very tight tolerances and require high-precision manufacturing processes to operate at the highest possible efficiency. And those tolerances must be maintained throughout their lifespan. Moreover, thermal variations from operation or from exposure to the environment in different seasons may affect the dimensions of different parts, thus drifting away from the tolerance ranges.

A good way to ensure the parts of the pump are within the tolerance range, and identify whether thermal variations are having an impact is by performing dimensional verifications.

However, for some parts, dimensional verifications may require special measuring instruments. But any manufacturer striving for excellence knows the investment is worth it. And this is the case with several of our customers in this sector.

quality control

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Other verifications to produce industrial pumps

There are also special measuring instruments that help the customers to guarantee the dimensions of different parts in pumps and pressure units comply with their standards.

Among the most chosen tools, there are the outside micrometers with exchangeable anvils and carbide tipped measuring faces reading 0,01mm – SAX101

With these instruments, you can measure even the biggest parts of pumps, including outside coverings while ensuring the tolerances are met to values as small as 0,01 mm.

Failure to comply with dimensional tolerances could result in reduced efficiency and/or reliability of products, which may bring different consequences such as:

  • Increased customer dissatisfaction
  • Reduced profitability
  • Loss of reputation

Fortunately, all those consequences can be avoided by implementing the right quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) processes while using the right tools.

customers satisfation

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Now that you have a complete picture of what checks are needed to produce high-performance pumps, you can count on our SAMA Tools brand for the supply of both standard measuring instruments, such as external micrometers, calipers, dial gauges, and a wide variety of non-destructive testing tools.

Because our mission is to support our customers in their quality control activities, we strive to provide them with the best solutions to cover their needs.
If you need help with measuring instruments, or would like advice on the best tool for your specific case, do not hesitate to contact our technical department.
You can call us at 0584/3923420584/392453 or, alternatively, contact us by e-mail at

Flaw inspections represent the daily lives of Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) professionals, who work with flaw detectors every day in order to perform accurate inspections.

When trying to detect defects, the inspector usually focuses on finding alterations or irregularities on the sample tested.

When talking about metal part inspections, common flaw inspectors look for irregularities on the material structure.

Such irregularaties may or may not affect the usability of the product, depending on the results of the evaluation and the criteria established for product acceptability.

What types of defects can be detected by performing flaw inspections?

The most common and relevant defects that can be detected by a flaw inspections can be superficial or deep cracks, porosity on the surface and material crystallizations.

Any of these defects can be found alone or in combination on the same inspected part, which is why flaw inspections are important for quality assurance and quality control.

What are the causes of the defects found with flaw inspections?

The defects described above can have different causes.

Flaw inspections help detect those defects and evaluate them to identify the possible causes.

The most common causes include:

  • Congenital causes, meaning they are inherent to the material formation.
  • Casting process issues.
  • Heat treatment issues.
  • Hot working issues.
  • Mechanical fatigue.

What are common flaw inspection methods?

Different industries have different inspection methods to ensure quality. Here you will find three of the most common non-destructive flaw inspection methods which are used.

ultrasonic flaw inspections

In the picture above Ultrasonic flaw detector – SAFD500

UT Ultrasound Control

This non-destructive flaw inspection method takes advantage of the principle of using sound waves at very high frequencies, usually higher than those heard by the humans ear, to identify and verify defects while keeping the integrity of the sample.

Moreover, it is possible to obtain results by inspecting from only one side of the sample with the use of a probe. The operation consists of accurately measuring the time it takes for an ultrasound pulse to pass through the thickness of the inspected part, being reflected on the opposite surface, and finally returning to the probe.

During this process, if the ultrasound beam encounters a defect, there is an early reflection of the signal, which therefore highlights the discontinuity. The ultrasound check allows the identification of both surface and depth defects, including:

  • Flaws on the surface finish which may not be visible to the human eye.
  • Corrosion on the material.
  • Non-metallic inclusions.
  • Congenital discontinuities in the material.
  • Discontinuities resulting from casting processes.
  • Material cracks.
  • Defects resulting from wearing or production processes.
  • Defects deriving from hot working.
  • Defects deriving from heat treatment.
  • Fatigue failures that occur during activity.
  • Welding defects.

The main applications of UT ultrasound control for flaw inspections include, but are not limited to:

  • The metallurgical industry.
  • Welding inspections.
  • The aerospace industry.
  • The shipbuilding industry.
  • Sectors that require non-destructive inspections.

In addition, UT ultrasound control is a very versatile flaw inspection method, as it can be applied on many different materials, including:

  • Steel
  • Cast Iron
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Zinc
  • Gray Cast Iron
  • Spheroidal Iron

Check out our versatile ultrasonic flaw detector models:

Ultrasonic flaw detector

In the picture above, the operator is using the Ultrasonic flaw detector – SAFD500

PT Penetrating Liquid Method

Another non-destructive flaw inspection method is the one known as liquid penetrant inspection, which takes advantage of the penetration capabilities of a highly capillary liquid.

The idea is to make a very thin liquid flow into the superficial defect, and then drawing it out with an agent called the developer. After applying the contrast varnish spray, what was initially invisible becomes visible in normal light (in the case of visible liquids) ot through the use of a Wood lamp (in the case of fluorescent liquids). Fluorescent liquids are employed, for example, for the inspection of complex samples and / or cables not accessible to natural light.

To properly apply the PT penetrating liquid method, the following steps are necessary:

  1. Cleaning the surface by removing any contaminants such as grease, dust or any other kind of particles.
  2. Applying the chosen penetrating liquid and waiting for capillarization into the material.
  3. Removing the excess of penetrating liquid by means of water or a type of solvent.
  4. Applying the developer.
  5.  Inspecting the surface.
  6. Cleaning with corrosion protective solutions.

The main advantages of using the PT penetrating liquid method include:

  • Responsiveness to small surface defects.
  • Parts with complex geometries can be easily inspected.
  • Large areas and volumes of parts and different materials can be easily inspected at low costs.
  • The defect is visually indicated on the surface.
  • It is a portable, convenient, and inexpensive process.
  • Relative size, shape, and depth of the flaw can be revealed.
  • It is easy to perform this flaw inspection method, so there is no need for a special training.

Penetrating liquids have many fields of application and our products can be used to detect discontinuities on any type of non-porous material.

In regards to metallurgy, two applications are of particular interest: in the welding processes, to detect any process flaws (crater cracks, shrinkage cracks, porosities, slag cracks, marginal incisions) and when checking elements which are subjected to stress, to detect discontinuities due to repeated and prolonged punctual stress over time.

AC_DC magnetic detector - SAYK390

In the picture above, the AC_DC magnetic detector – SAYK390

MT Magnetic Particle Detection Method

This is another non-destructive flaw inspection method, in which a magnetic field is applied to the sample tested. Any indications present produce a variation of the flow lines of the generated field that are visible by means of magnetic powders.

The magnetic detection can be performed with magnetic liquids and fluorescent magnetic liquids.

The principle of operation is that the presence of discontinuities such as cracks and other defects disrupts a magnetic field created on the subject of inspection. So, applying a liquid containing magnetic particles on the part under such conditions will make those magnetic particles  gather and accumulate in the area by the discontinuity on the material.

Due to its operation principle, this method is mainly used to detect flaws on ferromagnetic materials such as:

  • Iron
  • Nickel
  • Cobalt
  • Some alloys

There are different tools used to implement this flaw inspection method.  Some are as follows:

There are many facilities that offer Magnetoscopic Training (MT) for operators, in accordance with UNI EN ISO 9712:2012, such as Bureau Veritas, which issues the certificate of attendance training.

This is a prerequisite for taking the exam to be certified according to the specific level.

Final considerations about flaw inspections

In this article we have highlighted what flaw inspection is, and the importance it plays in preventing the breaking of various types of pieces that we can find everywhere, around us.

All over the world, many have experienced  several cases of negligence in material checks, which have caused even fatal damage.

To make sure that this does not happen again, the work of QA and QC professionals is essential to prevent such damage by means of flaw detectors and many other inspection methods.

We provide the tools and equipment required to cover each of the flaw inspection method mentioned above. If you want to check out the flaw inspections instruments we offer, just click here.

Instead, if you’re still not sure or have any doubts about any of the flaw inspection techniques we have described here or any of our instruments, we recommend that you contact us and one of our experts will gladly assist you.

Based on the name “ultrasonic instruments”, it is clear that these are devices that use ultrasound to perform their function. So, to be able to answer the question “what are ultrasonic instruments?” , one should begin by describing what ultrasound is.

What is ultrasound?

Ultrasound makes reference to the principle of using sound waves at very high frequencies, usually higher than those the humans can hear. This means that ultrasound applies frequencies higher than 20 kilohertz with operating values reaching up to the gigahertz ranges depending on the ultrasonic instrument.
The word ultrasound is commonly heard in the health sector, where ultrasound imaging is commonplace.
Yet, when it comes to the engineering field, ultrasonic instruments are used for different purposes, such as non-destructive testing, measurement and quality control.

Ultrasonic instruments for non-destructive testing

Some ultrasonic instruments are used for non-destructive testing in order to identify and verify mechanical features while keeping the integrity of the part tested.
This type of ultrasonic instruments is especially useful for finished parts or products. They allow you to identify and test aspects such as:

  • Flaws on the surface finish which may not be visible to the eye.
  • Hardness of the material.
  • Pipe fractures that may lead to leakage.
  • Other invisible flaws.

Ultrasonic instruments - saut500

Using ultrasonic instruments for non-destructive testing provides you with a series of advantages, for example:

  • Both internal and external flaws can be detected.
  • Both volumetric and crack like flaws can be detected no matter their orientation
  • Some instruments take the exact same time to test pieces with different thickness.
  • The radiation risk present with the radiography method of testing is eliminated.

Among the most common ultrasonic instruments used for non-destructive testing, we offer:

Reference standards for non-destructive testing

Non-destructive testing is regulated by different standards which determine the verification methods to be applied according to the material, the thickness of the metal, the type of joint, etc.

S.A.M.A. Italia is associated with UNI Ente italiano di Normazione:

Being a Member allows you to participate personally in the definition of the rules, helping to define the rules of your sector of reference rather than subject them.

UNI allows members and not to consult the reference standards at any time, purchasing them online.

Italian Association of Non-Destructive Tests

AIPnD has been present in Italy since 1979.  It’s a scientific, cultural and professional organization and it’s among the first and most important in the world in its sector.

Its members belong to institutes, research centers, organizations, schools, professional firms, instrumentation manufacturers and companies that provide PnD services.

The association is based in Brescia, Italy and promotes scientific and technical knowledge.  It’s also involved in the technological development of non-destructive tests as well as enhancing the profession of those working in the sector.

Ultrasonic intruments - saut310d-sw

Ultrasonic instruments for measurement

Another group of ultrasonic instruments is formed by those used to measure parameters such as the thickness of a material or a coating with high precision.
This group uses a measuring method called “Ultrasonic Thickness Measurement” or UTM. Therefore, they are usually known as ultrasonic measuring gauges.
Ultrasonic measuring gauges are capable of measuring the thickness by using a probe that generates an ultrasound pulse and sends it through the thickness of the part being measured.
Then, the instrument calculates the thickness by a calculation that considers the time needed for that ultrasound pulse to go through, get reflected by the opposite surface of the piece and return to the probe.
With the values obtained by the instrument, it is possible to identify and verify:

  • Thickness of the material for possible wear.
  • Corrosion on the material.
  • Possibility of splitting material.
  • Accurate coating thickness.

Considered part of the non-destructive testing tools, ultrasonic instruments for measurement offer a variety of benefits, such as:

  • Not damaging the measured sample.
  • Access to both sides of the sample is not required.
  • High precision achieved.
  • Do not require laboratory like conditions to work.
  • These instruments are cheap compared to other alternatives.

Some ultrasonic measurement instruments that you can get with us include:

Watch the video we made on the graphic thickness gauge

Ultrasonic instruments for quality control

Both non-destructive testing and measurements are used to compare results with what is expected. If results match the specifications of the part or the product tested, it can be concluded that the part has the quality desired.
It is then obvious that ultrasonic instruments are an important asset for quality control. Most ultrasonic instruments provide information which is essential for quality assurance, such as:

  • Roughness measure and control.
  • Wall thickness.
  • Coating thickness.
  • Color and gloss differences measure.
  • Hardness of the material.

Therefore, benefits for the quality control department include all the benefits mentioned above, plus the fact that some of these instruments can be applied directly in the production line without the need of taking samples to a laboratory.
Also, all the ultrasonic instruments mentioned above are useful for quality control activities, but we have more. Other instruments we offer and can come in handy for quality control are:

  • Portable surface roughness testers.
  • External probe surface roughness testers.
  • Integrated probe digital coating thickness gauges.
  • External probe digital coating thickness gauges.

And this is just a small list.

ultrasonic instruments sa8825fn

What materials can be tested?

At this point, you should already known what are ultrasonic instruments, how they work and their main applications.
However, it is also important to understand which are the materials that make ultrasonic instruments the right choice.
Fortunately, these instruments work with a wide range of materials, especially if they are high-quality instruments.
For example, our precision ultrasonic thickness gauge – SAUT160 can measure the thickness of ultrasonic conducting materials such as:

  • Steel
  • Cast Iron
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Zinc
  • Quartz Glass
  • Polyethylene
  • PVC
  • Gray Cast Iron
  • Spheroidal Iron

8 Articles on ultrasonic instruments for further information

Are you interested in learning more about this topic?

We have selected these themed articles for you:

1.  Ultrasonic Thickness Measurement: definitive guide
2.  Coating Thickness Measurement
3.  Graphic Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge – SAUT6100D-SW
4.  Sheet Metal Manufactoring and Quality Control
5.  Industrial Pumps: What checks do you need to do for high performance?
6.  Quality Control of the Coating on Commercial Vessels and Mega Yachts: MCR Marine
7.  Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge: the case of Progetto PSC S.r.l
8.  Gloss vs Brightness: What’s the difference?

Final thoughts

It is clear that a short and accurate answer for the question “what are ultrasonic instruments?” could be “powerful measuring and testing tools”.

The fact that these instruments are capable of providing essential information to improve the quality of products and processes makes them a must have for any company, that takes their business seriously.

Keep in mind that ultrasonic instruments are not only for quality control, some of them are also very useful on the field to perform maintenance inspections on tanks, metal sheets, pipelines, under pressure containers, bulkheads, and other equipment where corrosion and other defects may be present.

If you are interested in acquiring any of our ultrasonic instruments, or you have any inquiries about these and any other of our products or services, do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you.