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Non-Destructive Testing: In Nature and in Your Facility

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

In an incredibly fascinating study, New Mexico State University associate professor Ehsan Dehghan-Niri is studying the aye aye lemur to analyze and revolutionize non-destructive testing (NDT) methods. While you may think that a Madagascan Lemur is no match for advanced technology, the biological capabilities and survival mechanisms of the aye-aye species are incredibly similar to current NDT methods.

Non Destructive testing is a testing and analysis technique used by manufacturers, engineers, and maintenance professionals alike to evaluate the elements of a component, structure, or system in a plant for potential defects, leaks, or other issues without causing damage to the equipment. This not only allows for the plant to maintain and monitor asset health, but with the right equipment, non-disruptive testing can occur with little to no downtime - saving you both time and money.

The aye-aye lemur has several behaviors that not only allow it to survive in the dense rainforest but also mimic acoustic NDT processes in an industrial plant. The aye-aye utilizes its elongated middle finger to tap on tree bark. Then, its large ears and superior hearing are able to locate food. This foraging behavior is called tap-scanning or percussive foraging and allows the lemurs to locate and extract larva from trees.

Through analyzing the aye-ayes both in their natural habitat and in a laboratory environment, Dehghan-Niri has been able to identify the key components of the lemur’s auditory system: an increase in signal-to-noise ratio, creating a focal area, and increasing the peak frequency to enhance sensitivity. While these are aspects of acoustic ultrasound detection that many engineers are aware of, it is still fascinating to see these components replicated in nature.

Those three components of proper acoustic detection, a high signal-to-noise ratio, focal point, and peak frequency, are all characteristics of the most advanced acoustic ultrasound technologies such as the CTRL UL101. Compared to other detection methods like steam, vibration analysis, and listening for audible noise, acoustic ultrasound leak detection is more cost-efficient, easy to implement, and able to detect potential failures faster.

In both nature and your industrial plant, acoustic non-destructive testing practices can help you yield the best results. To “tap-in” to acoustic ultrasound technologies, contact one of CTRL’s ultrasound experts today!

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