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Mechanical Testing Task Group Works on Automated Ball Indentation Tests

Oil and gas pipelines, nuclear pressure vessels, and highway bridges are three examples of structures that must be tested for structural integrity and fitness for service, among other requirements, with results that must be submitted to the appropriate regulating body. A draft standard being developed by Task Group E28.06.14 on Automated Ball Indentation Test Methods, a part of ASTM Committee E28 on Mechanical Testing, includes nondestructive field procedures that would enable owners and operators to gather information about key mechanical properties of such structures for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the Department of Transportation Office of Pipeline Safety, or other agency.

The document, “Draft Standard Test Methods for Automated Ball Indentation Testing of Metallic Samples and Structures to Determine Stress-Strain Curves and Ductility at Various Test Temperatures,” provides a field alternative to other procedures that require cutting tension and fracture toughness specimens and potentially interrupting service.

According to E28.06.14 task group chair Fahmy Haggag, president and chief engineer of Advanced Technology Corp. in Oak Ridge, Tenn., “There is a need for the unique capabilities of in-situ testing and small volume testing of small and irregular welds and their heat-affected -zones, and when small samples are the only option for failure analysis or new alloy development.” This standard, which is based on methods that have been used for more than a decade, should address this need.

The standard, which has already been through an interlaboratory study and revised accordingly, is being developed by engineers, metallurgists, product manufacturers, test labs, academia, and research and development staff from the Department of Energy, Defense, and Transportation.

For technical information, contact Fahmy Haggag, Advanced Technology Corp., Oak Ridge, Tenn. (phone: 865/ 483-5756). Committee E28 meets May 17-19 during the May Committee Week in Salt Lake City, Utah. For membership or meeting details, contact Dan Schultz, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9716). //

Copyright 2004, ASTM International