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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Web Manual

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Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Web Manual, Version 1.0

The Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Web Manual was conceived and developed to fill in a critical knowledge gap between the practitioners dealing with bridge performance challenges on a day-to-day basis and the researchers developing and refining NDE technologies serving them. Over the last decade, there has been an explosion of new assessment tools, but their documentation is fragmented (across refereed and non-refereed literature) and not supported by actual performance data for particular technologies and products. The NDE Wed Manual’s aim is to provide concise and unbiased guidance to help practitioners navigate their way through a complex and changing landscape to identify the technologies that can serve their specific need.
To make the NDE Web Manual more accessible and useful to practitioners and transportation agencies, it was conceived as a “problem-focused” tool as opposed to a “technology-focused” one. That is, the manual presupposes the common case where a practitioner has already identified a specific infrastructure element and/or type of anticipated deterioration or defect and is seeking an NDE technology (or technologies) to provide better characterization. Through a simple interface, users can search for technologies relevant to specific materials, types of deterioration, and/or infrastructure elements and can easily find definitions and descriptions of unfamiliar terms through the comprehensive glossary.

This manual strikes a balance between treating technologies as “black boxes” and simply regurgitating the detailed technical literature that is largely irrelevant for end users. To accomplish this, the Manual provides concise descriptions of each technology, inclusive of (a) the foundational physical principle, (b) performance attributes and limitations, (c) “best-practices” test procedures and protocols, and (d) sample applications and results, among others.

Navigating the NDE web manual
  • Find Technology tab identifies applicable NDE technologies when material, structure element, and target of investigation are known.
  • Use NDE Technologies tab obtains information related to a specific NDE technology.
  • Use the Glossary tab includes the definition of scientific terms relating to NDE of highway infrastructure
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations tab covers common terms in NDE of highway infrastructure.
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The NDE Web Manual is a research product of the FHWA’s NDE Program. We acknowledge the research conducted under the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) initiative into the use of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) on infrastructure systems. SHRP2 is a national partnership of key transportation organizations: the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the Transportation Research Board.
Page last modified on November 3, 2015.