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Non-Destructive Testing

Maritime Survey Australia offers hull inspection services to ensure vessels can maintain safe and effective operation while meeting applicable standards.

Non-Destructive Testing

We use proven non-destructive testing methods to assess both hull thickness, and any hull defects or damage that may be present. Hull damage could potentially grow into a larger safety hazard for both the personnel and cargo on board if left unchecked.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) requires Domestic Commercial Vessels with metallic hulls to conduct ultrasonic hull thickness testing at intervals not exceeding 10 years.

Maritime Survey Australia is able to complete NDT testing for the following applications:

  • Steel vessels – ultrasonic thickness testing
  • Alloy vessels – ultrasonic thickness testing
  • FRP & composite structure – thickness testing

Ultrasonic testing is a form of non-destructive testing which utilises high frequency sound waves to measure the thickness and condition of materials. Nearly all materials can be tested using ultrasonic sound.

In the marine industry the most common application of ultrasound is the identification & quantification of corrosion on vessels constructed of steel & aluminium. It can also be used to measure the thickness & integrity of composite structures.

Precise measurements of the hull plating & internal framing provide the experienced surveyor with an excellent indication of the condition of a vessel.

Our inspection method

Our Surveyors use the Olympus 38DL Plus. This is an innovative instrument that signals a new era in ultrasonic thickness gaging, suited for the survey of steel, aluminium & composite structures. The device uses “Thru-Coat” technology to perform thickness measurements through suitable protective coatings using only a single ultrasonic echo.

MSA provides clients with a detailed report that includes the original design thickness, current thickness, and percent wastage of the hull. Having your hull inspected can prevent costly emergency dry-docking, maintain the safety of personnel, and better assess the scope and scheduling of repair. As part of our high standard for quality, MSA make sure to integrate our inspections with your operation and schedule.

If you need a hull inspection, contact Maritime Survey Australia today.

Non-Destructive Testing

Dye Penetrant Inspection

By choosing Maritime Survey Australia for your shaft surveys and dye penetrant inspection, we can offer you a fast reaction test. We can provide the inspection service that will ensure your products or equipment is fit for purpose and meets the requirements of the applicable standard.

Maritime Survey Australia offers crack testing and inspection services for propellor shafts and other materials, and components using Liquid Dye Penetrant Testing. This testing may be completed during a Domestic Commercial Vessel (DCV) shaft survey to ensure the integrity of your propellor and rudder shaft.

Dye Penetrant Inspection (DPI), also called liquid penetrate inspection or penetrant testing, is a widely applied and low-cost inspection method used to check surface-breaking defects in all non-porous materials.

Penetrant inspection is a non-destructive method of inspection that can detect defects that manifest at the surface of a part, such as cracks or porosity to a shaft. Penetrant is applied to the test a component such as a shaft, and after adequate penetration time has been allowed, the excess penetrant is removed and a developer is applied. A very small defect, that may be completely invisible to the naked eye, produces a dye indication in the developer that is much larger, and therefore much easier for the Surveyor to see.

All forgings shall be free of cracks, crack-like indications, laps, seams, folds, or other injurious indications. At the request of the Surveyor, additional magnetic particle, liquid penetrant and ultrasonic testing may be required for a more detailed evaluation of surface irregularities.

The Benefits Of Dye Penetrant Testing

  • Instant results
  • Cost effective
  • On-site inspection
  • Water and solvent removable

MSA follows the guidance as set out by IACS Guidelines for non-destructive examination of hull and machinery steel forgings.

By choosing Maritime Survey Australia for your shaft surveys and dye penetrant inspection, we can offer you a fast reaction test. We can provide the inspection service that will ensure your products or equipment is fit for purpose and meets the requirements of the applicable standard.

Dye Penetrant Testing
Dye Penetrant Testing Results

Thermal imaging

Thermography or thermal imaging is the use of a thermal imaging system to detect, display, and record thermal patterns and temperatures across the surface of an object. Thermal imagers convert the heat given off by all objects into a two-dimensional monochrome or multi-colour image, wherein thermal patterns are represented by varying shades of grey or colour. Thermal imagery may be viewed in real time on the imager’s monitor or it may be recorded to video, electronic media, or used to produce a hardcopy print known as a thermogram.

Thermal imaging is a non-invasive inspection technique that can detect hidden anomalies or problems within a vessel’s structure. The non-destructive nature of the technique makes it a perfect tool for Marine Surveyors.

Thermography, or thermal imaging, can clearly identify and document the thermal patterns of laminates when used in the structural capacity of vessel repair or construction, and in the case of product failure such as moisture intrusion, de-lamination (dis-bonding), and voids.

MSA’s Accredited Marine Surveyors use Thermal Imaging on the Hull and Deck, Electrical and Mechanical systems.

Hull and Deck

Thermal infrared thermography may be used in determining the extent of damage from a loss related incident, quantify manufacturer defects, or evaluate materials degradation due to normal wear and tear.


Bad wiring and fuses tend to heat up as they fail, hiding from sight until the problem becomes “self-evident.” Thermal imaging makes those hot spots clearly visible so you can troubleshoot electrical systems quickly, and make repairs immediately. Scan breaker panels, fuses, connections, and more with a thermal imager and get an instant picture of impending trouble.


Monitor and troubleshoot mechanical equipment and systems with accuracy and efficiency. Scan pumps, engines, exhausts, storage tanks, and motors, to ensure your equipment is functioning well.

As you can see below the images give you definition and delineated edges for the electrical inspection. The Surveyor can identify the problem area with enough detail to provide useful advice and/or information.

Thermal Imaging
Our thermal imaging camera

Maritime Survey Australia (MSA) provide Marine Surveying services in accordance with the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012.

Contact Maritime Survey Australia to make arrangements for a Thermal Imaging inspection.

Call Maritime Survey Australia to Book a Survey

Book a Survey Form

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