What is NDE?

Nondestructive evaluation, or NDE, is the use of noninvasive techniques to evaluate the integrity of a material, component or structure; or to quantitatively measure some characteristic of an object. In other words, NDE involves inspecting or measuring some feature of an item without harming its future usefulness.

Some NDE methods, such as X-ray and ultrasonic inspection, are somewhat familiar to many people due to their use in the medical industry. Manufacturers use industrial versions of these tools, as well as others. The six most widely used NDE tools are shown below. A number of additional inspection methods also exist.

Clicking on one of the highlighted methods below will take you to a basic description of that tool, briefly discussing its principle and implementation, advantages and limitations.

The discussions on these pages are only intended as simple overviews of those techniques. A more thorough explanation of NDE tools are available from various web resources, such as www.ndt-ed.org and other sites.


Magnetic Particle



Tools in the
NDE Toolbox

(These are the
six major ones.)

Liquid Penetrant





Eddy Current


Engage. Educate. Embed.

Last updated: 2/25/2016