Time of flight diffraction is an advanced non-destructive testing method used for weld inspection.

Time of flight diffraction (TOFD) is one of the most reliable non-destructive testing methods in testing welds for both pre-service and in-service inspection. An accurate assessment of welds is vital to ensure that the stability and integrity of welded structures is not compromised by defects.
This ultrasonic method is used in a diverse range of industries including petrochemical, chemical, oil and gas, power generation and fabrication.
The benefits of time of flight diffraction include: 

  • Can take place during production work – no shutdown is required
  • No radiation with this method
  • Inspection data is recorded and can be stored digitally for future reference
  • Inspection results are immediately available
  • Quick inspection method
  • Sensitivity to all weld flaw types including cracks, slag and lack of fusion
  • Accurate sizing of defects

A pair of ultrasonic probes is placed on opposite sides of the weld or tested item. One of the probes acts as a transmitter and sends out an ultrasonic pulse that is picked up by the other probe which is the receiver.  With an undamaged item, the signals picked up by the receiver probe are from two waves – one wave that travels along the surface (lateral wave) and one that reflects off the far wall (back wall reflection).  If there is a flaw, such as crack, there is a diffraction of the ultrasound pulse from the tips of the crack.  By measuring the time of flight of the pulse, the depth of the crack can be calculated by trigonometry.
TOFD is often used in conjunction with other non-destructive testing methods such as phased array.  
Our inspectors are PCN Level 2 qualified and are highly experienced in using this testing method. Our expertise can help you to ensure that your welded structures or items are compliant with industry codes, standards or customer specifications and provide Total Quality Assurance.
Intertek offers a comprehensive range of non-destructive testing methods. Therefore we can provide the other methods used to complement time of flight diffraction such as phased array, in particular to perform single sided examinations of welds.

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