A look back at the origins of NDT and BINDT
Case histories going back as far as World War I show that the science of non-destructive testing was understood and practised in the UK that long ago, especially in the field of military aviation. But it was not until 1954 that there emerged a voluntary association devoting itself exclusively to NDT. Before that time the Institute of Physics had a very active industrial radiology group, under whose auspices much early discussion, experimentation and development of NDT took place. Some of the major engineering institutions also showed an interest in NDT.
The Institute of Physics group was to provide the nucleus of the first NDT Society to be formed in Britain, the Society of Non-Destructive Examination (SONDE), launched in 1954. In typically British fashion, the same year another organisation, the Society of Industrial Radiology and Allied Methods of Non-Destructive Testing, later renamed the NDT Society of Great Britain (NDTS), also first saw the light of day!
Though both Societies continued to do their own thing, there eventually dawned a realisation that to have two closely similar bodies covering the work of a limited albeit growing science was not a desirable state of affairs. This led to determined, if delicate, negotiations which preceded a merger on 1 January 1976, when the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing was formed by amalgamation of the two Societies.
Soon after the move to the present Northampton headquarters in 1978, the Institute was authorised, by grant of the Earl Marshal, to use a Coat of Arms designed by the Somerset Herald. These Arms incorporate numerous features depicting the interests of the Institute. For example, two barrulets (the wavy lines) represent water and refer to immersion testing; the chevron alludes to a ray passing through a solid bar. The centaur, often used in heraldry to convey the idea of learning, is holding a Tau cross (for its similarity to ‘T’ for testing) in one hand and a shield depicting a cog wheel symbolising machinery in the other. The motto of the Institute is indeed apt, for ‘Quaerere, Invenire, Scire’ means ‘To search, to find, to know’.
The Institute is vertically integrated and aims to cater for all
who work in NDT, from professor to student and from operator to
chartered engineer. Its purpose is to promote the advancement of the
science and practice of NDT and all other associated materials testing
disciplines - particularly condition monitoring.