The global non-destructive testing (NDT) market is evaluated at US$14.445 billion for the year 2019 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.93% reaching the market size of US$24.639 billion by the year 2026. Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a process used in industry to analyse the characteristics of a material, component, structure, or system for distinctive differences or welding flaws and discontinuities without causing damage to the original article. It refers to a set of inspection techniques primarily used in engineering industries that enable inspectors to assess and gather data about a material, system, or component without permanently altering them. Non-destructive testing (NDT) is sometimes referred to as non-destructive examination (NDE), non-destructive inspection (NDI), and non-destructive evaluation (NDE).
It is a very valuable technique that can save both money and time in product evaluation, troubleshooting, and research since it does not permanently alter the article being inspected. It is an important quality control tool in the production process since can detect surface and subsurface abnormalities in finished and work-in-progress (WIP) articles early. Factories, bridges, railway lines, and pipeline networks as well as industrial equipment are examples of industrial assets and public infrastructures where NDT is used to identify structural integrity and defects. To identify defects and damage in a wide range of goods and facilities (including buildings) in the UK, the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing reports that more than 25,000 inspections are performed in factories and on-site every day; it is estimated that more than 120,000 inspectors work globally.
The rising costs of machine breakdowns in a variety of end-use sectors are the primary driver of this industry. Other key factors driving the demand for NDT equipment in many sectors across the world include the increasing complexity of machinery and equipment, rigorous government laws governing worker safety, stringent quality control standards, and strict product usage criteria.
The rise in automation in the industrial production and infrastructure sectors has also resulted in a significant increase in the need for defect detection linked to cracks, porosity, manufacturing disorders, and so on. As a result, compliance with industrial safety standards is a key element driving the growth of the NDT market.
The Growing Demands From the Energy and Power Sector Will Fuel Market Expansion
According to the research conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA1), the global fuel failure rate is about 10-5, which translates to 1-3 faulty fuel rods for every 100,000 fuel rods in operation. The failure rate is reduced when NDT is implemented.
With the global emergence of nuclear power and an increase in the number of applications in different sectors, the demand for NDT is projected to expand in the future years. Nuclear power is used to generate energy in numerous nations throughout the world. In fact, nuclear power facilities generate more than half of the electricity in several nations (Lithuania – 81.5%, France – 78.2%, Belgium – 60.1%). The primary challenge of nuclear power engineering is ensuring the dependable and safe functioning of nuclear power facilities. It is particularly dependent on the quality of nuclear fuel and the process equipment used to generate fuel.
Furthermore, approximately 67 nuclear reactors throughout the world are expected to achieve an operating age of more than 40 years in the next four years. As nuclear power facilities age, the significance of maintenance grows, as does the demand for inspection technology.
China and India, according to the World Nuclear Association, have plans to build 43 and 14 nuclear reactors, respectively, by May 2019. As a result, the demand for power plant maintenance will rise, generating a market for nondestructive testing.
Government Rules Regarding Public Safety and Product Quality Are Stringent.
Prior evidence of infrastructure failures, such as leaks in nuclear reactors, pipeline explosions, and refinery blasts, has driven governments throughout the world to adopt rigorous safety rules. Several governmental agencies and regional bodies, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), have been established around the world to implement stringent measures for assuring instrument safety and overseeing engineering services testing. This is necessary for obtaining permissions and certificates from the appropriate authorities. This had a beneficial influence on the worldwide NDT market.
Major factors driving market expansion include the increasing complexity of machinery, the need for precise product usage specifications, and continued strict implementation of government laws to guarantee the safety of workers, as well as stringent quality control requirements.
The Scarcity of Competent and Qualified Individuals to Perform NDT and Inspection Tasks May Pose a Challenge
The demand for NDT and inspection services is growing faster than the need for NDT and inspection equipment. Furthermore, it has become crucial for players to increase their worldwide footprint while also developing a highly skilled staff to provide efficient NDT and inspection services. As a result, having a trained staff with the necessary NDT and inspection expertise is a strategic issue for businesses. Stringent government requirements, along with the high complexity of NDT and inspection procedures, result in a rising need for experienced testers and inspectors.
The Impact of the Outbreak of COVID-19 on the Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Market
The severe slump in numerous industries throughout the world has contributed significantly to the fall in demand for non-destructive testing (NDT). Furthermore, the pandemic brought the refinery industries to a halt internationally, limiting project building, exploration, and production operations. Following the initial lockdown period, some activities were permitted, but with restrictions and certain protocols that had to be followed, such as the refinery operating at a lower capacity, requiring less labor to come into contact, and social distancing had to be maintained in the premises as well. Furthermore, sales in the industry fell during the first few months of the year as a result of the lockdown, which forced merchants to close for a time. Several nations across the world experienced an oil price war as a result of a negative impact on the oil and gas sector. With sectors progressively recovering from the pandemic, the oil and gas industry is projected to function at full capacity beginning in the third and fourth quarters of 2020.