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Laser Ultrasonics Drive the Nondestructive Testing Market

Photonics Spectra
Jul 1997
Laser-based systems will drive ultrasonic testing to the forefront of the nondestructive testing (NDT) market, says an analysis of the US NDT market released by Maxtech International. The systems are designed to test composite aircraft sections and tubing used in nuclear power plants.
By eliminating the need for water couplants and mechanical scanners, lasers have cleared two major roadblocks to the growth of ultrasonic testing.
The overall US nondestructive testing equipment market is expected to grow from $408 million in 1996 to $500 million in 2001, at 4.2 percent per year, while sales of ultrasonic testing systems are projected to grow at 4.9 percent, according to the report.
Two companies have already begun supplying the laser ultrasonic systems to the US market; Textron Systems Div., based in Wilmington, Mass., and UltraOptec in Boucherville, Quebec. Five other companies have laser-based ultrasonic systems in the R&D stage, Maxtech reported.

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