MECSPE is the acronym for Specialized Mechanics. In Italy, it’s the most important fair for the manufacturing industry.  This fair began in Parma about twenty years ago, and in 2019 was replicated in southern Italy, with the MECSPE Bari edition.   It’s a great opportunity to meet the main exhibitors in the specialized mechanics sector and learn the latest news and market trends.

Don’t miss this opportunity to participate at this important event.

MECSPE at BolognaFiere

MECSPE is the leading Italian B2B trade fair for manufacturing technologies and innovation.

In 2022, it attracted 39,348 highly profiled visitors with decision-making powers from key manufacturing industry sectors.

In fact, BolognaFiere boasts one of the most advanced exhibition spaces, not only in Italy, but in the entire world and is home for over 80 national and international trade fairs.

Bologna is a city that combines culture and knowledge, excellent cuisine and traditions and exudes a very friendly and open mentality.

S.A.M.A. Italia is based in Viareggio, in Tuscany, Italy, but has a heavy Bolognese influence, given that one of the proprietors comes from this Emilian capital.

Furthermore, the colors of our logo are red and blue, just like the colors of the Bologna football team.


The thematic shows at MECSPE

Thanks to the synergies of 13 thematic exhibitions, MECSPE offers visitors a complete overview of materials, machines, the latest innovative technologies and of course our own name brand measuring instruments and calibration services for your quality control needs.

You will also find unique conferences and events that will surely capture your interest.

We have been actively exhibiting at MECSPE for over 10 years, and one of the most interesting aspects is certainly the very accurate organization of the fair by the Tecniche Nuove Group and in particular by Senaf.

Year after year, we’ve seen a growing improvement, which is reflected in the increase of highly specialized visitors, who come to visit our stand or the fair, in general.

Just to be more accurate and give a better idea of the potential of MECSPE, we can report a turnout of 48,562 visitors at the 2021 edition in Bologna.

Earlier, we referred to Senaf’s excellent organization, given that for several years it has been offering 13 shows that allows one to visit the best suppliers of technologies, machines and processes in the following sectors:

  1. Machines and Tools
  2. Treatments and surface finishings
  3. Machines, materials and processing of sheet metal
  4. Quality and Control (Our sector!)
  5. Digital factory
  6. Power transmissions
  7. Automation and robotics
  8. Logistics
  9. Electronic subcontracting
  10. Mechanical subcontracting
  11. Moulds – Machines for Plastics, Rubber and Composite Subcontracting
  12. Non-ferrous materials and alloys
  13. Additive manufacturing

Who is MECSPE for?

This fair is visited by people in the sector.  They are generally owners of small and medium-sized companies, or technicians and buyers with decision-making powers from large Italian and foreign companies, looking for new suppliers or to consolidate previously formed relationships.

The change of the location of the fair, from Parma to BolognaFiere in 2022 was also done with internationalization in mind, which is to say that many exhibitors like us at S.A.M.A. Italia are ready and organized to welcome foreign customers as well.

Our highly competent and friendly staff are able to welcome customers from all over the world, without any communication difficulties.

So, whether you are the owner of a small company, a technician or a buyer of a large Italian or foreign company, come and visit us at our stand for any needs related to quality control measuring instruments . Read on to find out how to get a free ticket.

quality control sama

Photo by Canva Pro

Quality and Control at MECSPE: SAMA Tools

Here is our exhibition at MECSPE, this is our world, and we will be located in Pav. 29, Stand B50.

We have already talked about how the S.A.M.A. Italia team is ready to welcome you. Now, let’s see what you will find once you come see at our stand.

Measuring instruments for checking incoming goods, goods that are in production and before they are placed for sale.

quality instruments sama tools

Non-destructive testing at MECSPE

The tools for non-destructive testing (NDT) that we produce are ideal for performing different types of checks or measurements, aimed at identifying a mechanical characteristic without damaging the state of the object.

At our stand you can find information on:

Surface roughness measurement

Control of material defects

Visual examinations

Ultrasonic thickness gauges

Thickness gauges for checking coatings

Verification of color and shine

Hardness testers for checking the hardness of materials

Video inspections

What is the latest news that we will unveil at this edition of the fair? You’ll just have to come and visit us at stand C45, Pav. 29, to find out!

Destructive testing at MECSPE

In addition to tools for non-destructive testing, you can also find tools for destructive testing here.

As the name suggests, they perform a series of checks or measurements aimed at identifying a mechanical characteristic by altering the sample.

Here are what types of tests we can talk to you about at MECSPE:

Resistance to:






Wearing of materials

Resistance of materials and coatings to atmospheric agents

Instruments for the verification of the applied force

If you want to learn more about the NDT and destructive control measuring instruments, click on the red link.

non destructive testing instruments

Photo by Canva Pro

Mechanical measuring instruments at MECSPE

SAMA Tools is a brand that also helps you in your precision mechanical workshop. Want some examples?

Here are the mechanical tools that we produce for many of you of which we can talk about at the fair to consolidate or create new collaboration opportunities.

  • Dial bore gauges
  • Zero setters
  • Eccentricity bench testers
  • Control benches
  • Magnetic bases for dial gauges
  • Gauge block sets


  • Comparative digital calipers
  • Carbon fiber micrometers
  • Vernier calipers
  • Dial calipers
  • Depth calipers
  • Digital calipers
  • Welding calipers


  • Centesimal dial gauges
  • Digital gauges
  • Micron dial gauges
  • Scribing calipers
  • Circumference tape
  • Flexometers
  • Protractors
  • Levels


  • 3-point micrometers
  • Depth micrometers
  • Indoor, outdoor and screw thread micrometers


  • Parallel vee blocks and granite surface plates
  • Depth Threads
  • Straight edge rulers
  • Thickness gauges
  • Pin gauges
  • Steel squares
  • Dial gauge stands
  • Plug and ring gauges
  • Dial test indicators
  • Height gauges

Calibration services of measuring instruments at MECSPE

The S.A.M.A Italia team will be present at the MECPE Fair to also provide information and assistance on the calibration of measuring instruments.

We offer a complete service to ensure that measuring instruments are always calibrated and working at their best to ensure maximum precision and reliability in quality control.

We will discuss your specific needs together and provide advice on the calibration of your measuring instruments.

If you are unsure why it is so important to keep your instruments calibrated, please read this article on why it’s important to calibrate your instruments.

In short, you can consider us the ideal partner for the periodic calibration of SAMA Tools name-brand measuring instruments, as well as instruments of other brands.  We provide both calibration services referable to the primary standards and Accredia calibration certificates, as well.

If you want to find out the difference between instrument calibration and adjustment, you can read another article we wrote. You can find it here.

calibration service sama

Photo by Canva Pro

Your free ticket to visit MECSPE

If you have read this far, you will surely have understood how deserving this fair is to visit in order to forge new collaborations …. with us at SAMA Tools of course!

You can come alone or with other colleagues, there is no limit to how many can visit. All professionals in the sector are welcome since it is you, who travel from all over Italy and beyond, to decree the fair’s great success, year after year.

It is precisely thanks to the presence of professionals like you, which inspire our team and who will be ready to welcome you at the SAMA Tools stand.

There is no effort that it is not rewarded by visits from our long-standing customers and all the new companies that will become so, thanks to this year’s MECSPE.

To download the free ticket, you’ll only need to register online by providing your email.

Download your free ticket now.

Plan your meeting with our staff now

The MECSPE Fair is a unique opportunity to meet the laeding exhibitors in the quality control and measurement sector. Therefore, if you are a quality control professional, or a buyer of measuring and control instruments, it is essential to plan your visit to our stand to avoid wasting time and concentrate on what really interests you.

To organize your visit to our stand, follow these simple steps:

  • Choose the day you want to visit the fair and send us an email at, stating the time in which you would like to meet us. Our technicians will be happy to welcome you.
  • Write down the day and time of our appointment in your agenda or digital calendar.

See you at MECSPE Bologna!

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.

Ultrasonic thickness measurement or simply UTM is essential in many industries, especially those where the materials are exposed to harsh environmental conditions that may lead to wear and damage due to corrosion and erosion.

What is ultrasonic thickness measurement?

Ultrasonic measurement is a common non-destructive technique used to measure the thickness of a part in detail.

This means that the integrity of the part is not affected in the process. Another important aspect is that it is possible to obtain results by measuring only one side with the help of a probe. In other words, it is not necessary to complicate the measuring process like having to go inside a metal vessel.   Measuring from the outside will do.

Why is ultrasonic thickness measurement essential in many industries?

Ultrasonic thickness measurement can be applied to many different components and structures, and it provides a simple way to detect different problems. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Material loss due to corrosion and erosion.
  • Structural and welding problems on ships hulls and other components.
  • Damage resulting from splitting materials.
  • Defects on the surface finish of a finished product.

It is also a great way to control the quality of metal sheets and coated materials, which can be useful for manufacturers to validate the products received from their suppliers.


ultrasonic thickness gauge SA8812

How to measure ultrasonic thickness?

The instrument used to measure thickness with this technique is commonly called an ultrasonic thickness gauge.

Operating an ultrasonic gauge consists of accurately measuring the time it takes for an ultrasound pulse generated by an ultrasonic transducer, known as the probe, to pass through the thickness of the sample, which gets reflected on the opposite surface, and finally returns to the probe.

After the time is measured the ultrasonic thickness gauge performs the calculation of the thickness of the material and displays the result on the digital screen, integrated within the instrument.

The calculation is performed by means of the following mathematical expression:

T = (V) x (t/2)
T = the thickness measured
V = the velocity of sound in the test material
t = the measured time

At this point, it is important to highlight that the velocity of the sound waves significantly varies from one material to the other, so it is important to calibrate the ultrasonic thickness gauge for the material being measured.

Fortunately, modern instruments like our Precision Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge – SAUT160 and Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge – SA8812 make this calibration very easy and able to measure the thickness on a wide range of materials such as:

  • Steel
  • Cast iron
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Zinc
  • Quartz glass
  • Polyethylene
  • PVC
  • Gray cast iron
  • Spheroidal iron

Another important aspect of how ultrasonic thickness measurement is performed is the fact that some instruments require the material to be free of any coating, painting and residues such as rust caused by corrosion. This makes measuring thickness difficult in certain situations.

However, for these types of applications where the material in question has an existing coating, we offer the Through Coating Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge – SAUT310D-SW and the Graphic Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge – SAUT500D-SW:   two ultrasonic gauges that are capable to measure sample thickness excluding the coating over metallic substrates.


ultrasonic thickness gauge SAUT160

What are the applications of ultrasonic thickness measurement?

As described above, ultrasonic thickness measurement is essential in many industries. Some of the sectors that commonly perform ultrasonic thickness measurement include, but are not limited to:

  • Oil and gas
  • Energy generation
  • Structural contractors
  • Foundries
  • Aerospace
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Food processing

Ultrasonic thickness measurement is generally used for quality control activities and maintenance inspections to detect corrosion on the workpiece.

Nevertheless, more specific applications are:

  • Wall thickness loss detection on piping, which require on-line and in-operation ultrasonic measurement. Different types of corrosion, and erosion due to flowing liquids and air bubbles can cause this material loss that may result in pipe failure, costly shutdowns and industrial accidents.
  • Nautical and maritime maintenance, like in the case of bulkheads, tanks, ship hulls, etc. The ultrasonic gauges capable of measuring through coating mentioned above are particularly useful for this application.  A specific thickness gauge model which is suitable for measuring materials such as fiberglass is the Fiberglass Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge.

Fiberglass is widely used in the boat manufacturing industry for recreational and work crafts.

Graphic ultrasonic thickness gauge

Graphic ultrasonic thickness gauge for fiberglass

  • The pressurized containers field, including fire extinguishers, gas tanks, industrial boilers and others. Again, the ultrasonic gauges capable of measuring through coating mentioned above are particularly useful for this application.
  • Lighting columns, also known as poles, are often exposed to harsh environmental conditions, water splashes from cars passing by and condensation on the swage joint. To avoid structural collapse, authorities are required to perform ultrasonic thickness measurements in a regular basis.
  • Tank trucks, especially those carrying toxic chemicals or flammable liquids such as gasoline, must go under regular inspections with ultrasonic thickness gauges since they are constantly subject to corrosion and erosion, and any structural damage may result in a terrible accident.
  • Maintenance inspections on bridges, especially those with metal structures which are exposed, in order the evaluate their structural strength.

How to select an ultrasonic thickness gauge?

Acquiring an ultrasonic thickness gauge should not be a challenge, and it only requires knowing the specific application required to make the right choice. Anyways, there are different aspects that require consideration when selecting the right ultrasonic thickness gauge.

The most relevant are:

  • The type of material or materials that will be inspected.
  • Whether inspections will take place on-line or in a quality control (QC) laboratory.
  • Whether through coating measurement is required or not.
  • The possible need for measuring samples with very small wall thickness values that require higher accuracy and higher resolutions.
  • The need for a graphic display and special functions for the highest professional levels.

No matter what the application, we have an ultrasonic thickness gauge for each of the aspects mentioned above. If you want to check the ultrasonic thickness measuring instruments we offer, just click here, or, if you prefer, you can contact us on Direct Industry.

However, if you are not yet sure or have any doubts about measuring thickness with an ultrasonic instrument, we recommend you contact us and one of our experts will gladly help you.


Are you looking for information on how to use an ultrasonic thickness gauge to measure the thickness of any given material reliably?
Read on to understand how you can accurately use the gauge, just like our client, Project PSC does.

What is an ultrasonic thickness gauge?

An ultrasonic thickness gauge is an electronic device that uses the emission and reception of sound waves to measure the thickness of a given material.
It comes in different sizes and has various functions.
Each sector requires one type rather than another, therefore it is important to choose the most suitable model for each need.

probe thickness gauge

How does the ultrasonic thickness gauge work?

First,  you need to know what you have to measure. Each material has a different internal sound speed, which means that sound travels through different materials at different speeds.
This is an essential part of calculating the thickness of a material, because the thickness is equal to the echo cycle time divided by the sound speed.

To accurately calculate the thickness, the device must know the speed of the sound within the material it is measuring.

Since this is specific to the material itself, it is important to set the device for the material you want to measure.
Let’s look at some of the most common materials and associated internal sound speeds.


Material Speed (m / s)

Aluminium 3040 – 6420

Brick 3600 – 4200

Concrete 3200 – 3700

Copper 3560 – 3900

Glass 3950-5000

Iron 3850 – 5130

Lead 1160 – 1320

Steel 4880-5050

Wood 3300-5000


After setting it up, the device is ready to measure the sample accurately.

The second step is to determine whether the surface you need to obtain the thickness from is covered by some kind of coating.

What is meant by coating?

Thickness gauge kit

Coating means any material that covers the surface and prevents direct contact between the probe and the surface.

Examples of coatings are:

Hairspray, etc.

If you are using a Single Echo device (such as our SA8812 or SAUT160) the layers that cover the surface will cause a discrepancy with the measurements and will give you inaccurate results.

In this scenario, it is important to ensure that the surface is clean and that an insulating gel is used to form a direct connection between the probe and the surface. For devices that can use Echo-Echo and Multiple Echo methods (such as our SAUT310D-SW or SAUT500D-SW), coating is a minor problem and can be overcome.

Echo-Echo allows the ultrasonic thickness gauge to ignore a coating of up to 8 mm thick. The measurement process includes the device that produces an ultrasonic pulse, which is sent through the material you are measuring.

Timing begins when the pulse is initially emitted by the probe and ends when the return echo is detected, which reverberates through the material after bouncing off the bottom wall.

How do the different measurement methods work?

Single Echo is the simplest and as the name suggests, uses a single timing method to measure thickness. This requires a clean sample of the material, which can be difficult to find in many areas outside controlled test environments.

Echo-Echo and Multiple Echo use two and three timers respectively to eliminate the thickness of the coating and obtain an accurate result for the sample thickness.
The second cycle of the sound wave begins at the boundary between the coating and the sample.
This is the key factor to remove the coating from the measurement, because it means that time one and time two will be slightly different.

Multiple Echo has a third timing to use, which increases measurement accuracy when the coating is thicker.
For this, times two and three are usually equal or infinitely different, so that the hardware and computing software can eliminate the coating and record only the thickness of the sample.

PROJECT PSC SRL also uses ultrasonic thickness gauge

Among our numerous customers who use our thickness gauges , Project PSC Srl uses SAMA Tools name-brand for inspections and professional training in the field of non-destructive control.
Project PSC ensures great professionalism, seriousness and efficiency in training, engineering and consulting.

Inspections with the ultrasonic thickness gauge allows one to detect both superficial and deeper defects.

PSC Project Courses and Services

Project PSC is therefore a Center that deals with the training and certification of personnel involved in the execution of Non-destructive Investigations (CND) under the supervision of Bureau Veritas and ACCREDIA.

training Progetto PSC

“Non Destructive Control is the determination of the physical condition of an object made in such a way as not to compromise the functionalities for which the object itself was built.”

ASNT(American Association For Non-Destructive Testing)

Courses are held throughout Italy, even directly on site, with personalized training plans.

It’s also a Testing Laboratory composed of level III technicians who perform preventive (non-destructive and semi-destructive) diagnostic investigations in the field.

So the aim is to detect defects and deficiencies, suggesting targeted interventions, allowing the customer to save time and money.

A summary, the activities carried out involve the following areas:


    In civil and industrial fields for the maintenance and control of buildings and plants.


    Non-destructive, semi-destructive and destructive tests for the characterization of materials and the definition of seismic risk.


    Non-destructive testing of welds and steel structures.


    Safety checks of structural and non-structural elements.

Watch the video to learn more…

For precision and usability, Progetto PSC has chosen our  SAUT310D-SW Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge model which also measures the thickness through paints and coatings.

It’s an innovative and efficient tool thanks to its high precision, exceptional ductility and ease of use.
Be like PSC Project and choose SAMA Tools for all your quality control needs!


Would you like more information or assistance?

If you are looking for information on a specific model of our ultrasonic gauges or would like to know more, write to



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.