Dye Penetrant Testing Magnetic Particle Testing Ultrasonic Testing

Cause & Effect Corrosion in Amusement Rides

Corrosion on carnival/amusement rides is not only common, but it also can cause catastrophic failures as most recently seen in the Ohio State Fair accident which resulted in several injuries and one casualty. Not only is Steel City NDT LLC capable of testing for corrosion, but we are also able to tell you the extent of the corrosion.

Causes of Corrosion on Amusement Rides

  • Corrosion is an electrochemical reaction that appears in a number of different forms
  • A major cause of corrosion in amusement rides is due to acidic substances, most commonly rain, that creates rust over time
  • Rust is the result of corroding steel, which takes place when the iron particles are exposed to oxygen and moisture (even humidity)
  • When iron particles are exposed to oxygen, they become oxidized creating a cathodic area
  • A corrosion pit is then formed where the affected iron particles were, and where they are now is called the corrosion product, or rust

Effects of Corrosion on Amusement Rides

  • A decrease of tensile strength is a key effect of corrosion. The affected areas become thinned out due to corrosion, thus reducing the member’s maximum load threshold
  • A member containing pitting corrosion is known to have a 2.5 times greater maximum load carrying capacity reduction
  • A wider, larger member is said to have a lower stress threshold for crack initiation than that of a much smaller, thinner member when exposed to corrosion
  • When pitting corrosion is involved, there is a greater negative impact on buckling strength

How Steel City NDT LLC Can Help

With the most recent accident at the Ohio State Fair, it was known that the specific ride which failed only underwent a visual examination. Not only this, but there are exponentially fewer inspectors than there are amusement rides in Ohio alone. Think about this from a Nationwide standpoint and you can see the problem immediately.

At Steel City NDT LLC, we offer a wide variety of inspection methods which can assist in not only locating corrosion, but determine the extent of corrosion within a majority of the members. Methods including, but not limited to, Ultrasonic Testing, Dye Penetrant Testing, and Magnetic Particle Testing will show anything happening beneath the surface (such as corrosion that cannot be seen with the naked eye). Had the ride at the Ohio State Fair been inspected with any of these methods, the failure could have been avoided altogether. Please e-mail us at or call us at 855-638-2489 if a new or existing ride has not undergone an inspection within the past year.

Ultrasonic Testing

Ultrasonic Testing A Brief Overview

Ultrasonic Testing, or UT, is one of the most utilized and helpful Nondestructive Testing methods used. Not only can a certified inspector identify thicknesses of various metals, but they are also able to identify cracks, as well as their length and depth. Ultrasonic Testing is also widely used due to its high sensitivity abilities which allows to identify even the smallest of cracks. This method is also highly preferred due to the fact that technicians can run a full investigation while only needing to access one side of the test piece.

When did it all begin?

Ultrasonic Testing, or UT, began as early as the 1940’s, but it’s initial origins can be dated back to the early 1900’s. The first patent related to Ultrasonic Testing was issued in 1942 which was titled “Flaw Detecting Device and Measuring Instrument.” This patent was specifically issued due to this new device’s ability to investigate a test piece without destroying or compromising it. This was the first piece of equipment created which allowed for the detection and identification of subsurface flaws.

How does it work?

Ultrasonic Testing works by utilizing a piezoelectric crystal ‘transducer’ which induces periodic electrical pulses of ultrasonic frequency into the test piece. A jelly like substance, also known as couplant, is applied to both the transducer as well as the test piece. This allows for separation between the test piece and the transducer. The two common types of ultrasonic testing are known as reflection, or pulse-echo, and attenuation, or through-transmission. Their names are quite self-explanatory. When the reflection method is used, the transducer both sends and receives the sound waves from one side of the test piece. When the attenuation method is used, one transducer is used to send the sound waves and one (typically on the other side of the test piece) is used to receive them.

Ultrasonic Testing

Cause & Effect Corrosion in Piping

Corrosion in piping is not only common, but it also can cause catastrophic failures in industrial, commercial, and residential settings. Not only is Steel City NDT LLC capable of testing for corrosion, but we are also able to tell you the extent of the corrosion.

Causes of Corrosion

  • pH of the medium contained within the piping system
  • Temperature of the medium – The hotter the water, the more pronounced the corrosion
  • Velocity of the medium – Not only can excessive velocity cause corrosion, but sudden changes in direction due to elbows or turns can also do the same
  • Chemical make up – If referring to a water piping system, things like excessive calcium can cause buildup and eventually corrosion
  • Oxygen content – Oxygen is another thing that corrodes and degrades metals by converting the metal to rust

Effects of Corrosion

  • Leaks – On average, about 25% of steel pipes will have a leaking connection within it’s first 5 years of use
  • Drop in pressure – Even the slightest corrosion causes an irregular inner surface profile which causes unacceptable drops in pressure
  • Air contamination – When compressed air passes through a rusted or corroded pipe, it becomes contaminated with hydrogen ions and rust particles
  • Wasted energy – When a pipe becomes choked off by rust buildup, piping systems will consume extra power to overcome this friction