Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 3
Hours: 40 lecture per quarter (40 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: This course is limited to students admitted to the Nondestructive Testing Technician Apprenticeship Program.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: None
Grade Type: Pass/No Pass Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


This course introduces the basic principles of ultrasonics and prepares the student for straight beam inspections and thickness measurement.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Select equipment to conduct test
  2. Follow instructions to conduct UT Level 1 inspections
  3. Follow step-by-step written calibration procedure
  4. Understand all applicable industry codes and standards
  5. Interpret results with respect to applicable codes and standards
  6. Understand limitation of the test method
  7. Write test reports
  8. Conduct thickness testing on various reference materials

Course Content

  1. Personnel certification
    1. ASNT SNT-TC-1A, 2021
    2. NAS 410
    3. Training, experience and examination requirements
    4. Training requirements
    5. Certification of NDT Personnel: Level I, Level II and Level III
    6. Recommended course outlines for NDT training
    7. Required training hours
    8. Practical
    9. Quizzes and examinations
  2. Wave Modes
    1. Waves - velocity, wavelength, and frequency
    2. Wave modes: Longitudinal and shear waves
    3. Velocity of waves
    4. Factors affecting velocity - temperature
  3. Ultrasonic transducer and sound field
    1. Piezoelectric crystal
    2. Near field concept
    3. Beam spread and sound loss
    4. Reducing beam spread: Frequency and diameter
    5. Single and dual transducers
    6. Resolution in flaw detection: Frequency and damping
    7. Transducer selection: Frequency and diameter
  4. UT equipment
    1. Pulser-Receivers
    2. Instrument controls: Gain, range, velocity, delay
    3. Displays, A-, B-, and C-scans
    4. Selection of UT equipment for ultrasonic testing
    5. UT equipment demonstration
  5. Thickness measurement
    1. Thickness measurement concept
    2. Probe selection: Single vs. dual
    3. Setting the UT equipment for thickness measurement
    4. Thickness measurement practical
  6. Sound attenuation and decibels
    1. Attenuation - loss of sound with distance
    2. Maximum range of inspection
    3. What are decibels (dB)?
    4. Reducing attenuation - ultrasonic frequency
    5. Attenuation and its effects on testing of materials
    6. Attenuation and probe selection
  7. Acoustic impedance
    1. Reflection and transmission at interfaces
    2. Impedance matching
  8. Refraction and reflection
    1. Reflection and refraction at interfaces
    2. Snell's Law
    3. Mode conversion to shear waves at interfaces
    4. Introduction to angle beam testing of welds (covered in detail in UT Level 2 course)
  9. Flaw detection - straight beam
    1. Flaw detection, lamination, corrosion mapping, bolts
    2. Use of flat bottom holes for establishing reference
    3. Compensating sound loss from beam spread distance amplitude correction curves (DAC)
    4. Inspection of forgings and castings: ASTM standards

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. UT thickness machine, transducers, test/sample pieces, couplant.
2. When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with email software and hardware; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Results of written test
Results of practical test

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Hands-on training

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

American Society for Nondestructive Testing. Personnel Training Publications: Ultrasonic Testing (UT) Classroom Training Book. 2015.

This text is still widely used within the industry and is the most current text used for training.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Reading: Read Chapter 4 - UT Equipment
  2. Writing: Complete Quiz 4 on page 82. Quiz results will be reviewed in class as a group


Industrial Maintenance