New cutting-edge welding inspection course

New and incumbent welders and inspectors will soon be able to gain real-world experience conducting ultrasonic welding inspection and evaluation at Lee College.

“This fall the college will add a new credit-bearing class on ultrasonic testing to the welding inspection curriculum,” said Welding faculty member John Elliott. “The new course will help students fulfill additional requirements for welding inspection certification at Lee College, and will also be open to industry professionals looking to advance their careers.”

Described by Elliott as “one of the most cutting edge technologies,” ultrasonic testing uses acoustical vibrations, similar to sound waves, but of higher frequency to detect subsurface flaws in welds. Unlike traditional radiographic weld inspection, which uses invisible gamma radiation and requires that areas under inspection be roped off as a precautionary measure, ultrasonic testing allows inspectors to complete testing without any interruption to workflow.

“This is especially important to the many petrochemical facilities in our area, where any interruption to workflow can create a significant financial impact,” he continued.

In addition to receiving industry-standard training on the Olympus Epoch 600 Ultrasonic Flaw Detector and StessTel UT thickness testing equipment, students enrolled in the course will also receive instruction on how to interpret and evaluate testing results using industry-accepted codes and standards.

Coupled with other requirements of the program curriculum, the new course will assist the college meet the needs of a growing industry faced with a shortfall of qualified workers.

“Welding and welding inspection are both highly skilled, and highly profitable trades,” Elliott explained. “The bulk of the knowledge and experience required by area industries is held by older, more seasoned employees. The impending wave of retirements is coinciding with much of the projected growth in our area, making it vital that we do what we can to train local students to meet this need. And that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Introduction to Ultrasonics will be offered in the Fall 2013 semester. Classes will be held from 4-6 p.m. Monday–Friday. For additional information, contact John Elliott at 281.45.6801.