The place I went to was a compressor station. The first thing I had to do was put on the proper clothing and gear. I had steel toe boots, flame resistant coveralls, safety glasses, and the best was my pink hardhat. My coworker pointed out the windsock to me. If anything bad were to happen on the compressor station we would want to be upwind from it, and the windsock points to which direction the wind is blowing.
While we were there we performed two different testing methods, phased array and magnetic particle testing. When using phased array, we first put a lubricant on the weld so the phased array machine would move around easily. On the screen it is all light blue, but when there is an indication it is dark blue. Larger indications show on the screen as reds, yellows, and oranges, but we did not find any large indications that day. When black lines show up on the screen, it means we are moving the phased array machine too quickly. It did not take much time at all to test a weld with phased array, and the workers were able to continue their work right next to us. My coworker explained the advantages of using phased array over radiography. With radiography, we would have had to section off a large area, and the workers would not be able to continue their work in the area. It would also take longer to set everything up, about 20 minutes for each weld. Radiography also puts all workers at risk in the area by using radiation to test the welds. The use of phased array allows our client to save time, eliminate shut down costs, and avoid radiation hazards.
The second testing method we used was magnetic particle testing. It is used to find surface indications of the weld. The welds we tested were corner welds in tight places; we would not be able to use the phased array on these welds. With magnetic particle testing we have a two prong device which must be four inches apart. One prong goes on each side of the weld, and we put fine metal shaving dust on the weld. The dust is magnetized by the probes and will find its way into cracks or indications on the weld. This testing method was also quick and workers were still able to continue their work alongside us.
When were were done testing we went into the office to do paperwork for our client. We documented everything we found during testing and reported that no welds were rejected- they were all good. We printed out all documentation to give to the client and put it on a disk for their records. Speaking with the client reminded me of how I would interact with customers when I worked at a bowling alley. We do anything to make sure they are satisfied, and we do our best to work with them.
At the end of the day, I was very tired. I have more respect for the people who do work like that every day. I would take the opportunity to go out into the field again in the future because there is always more to learn. I plan to take what I learned to help me better market the company.