After years of dedicated effort, the VUT NDT program is now a well-established career for many students nationally and internationally since this program is the only one of its kind in South Africa. VUT is the only University offering this special program. It provides a solid platform for effective NDT education in South Africa. This program seeks to promote the value of NDT for safety purposes; include increasing the awareness of modern NDT methods which integrate materials testing in all phases of production, (in-service monitoring) and environmental diagnostics.
The National Diploma in Non-Destructive Testing was first offered in the early 1980s at the Vanderbijlpark Campus of the then Vaal Triangle Technikon (VTT). At the time, less than 20 White students were sponsored by companies to study NDT at VTT. The program was structured, such that for the 1st, 3rd and 5th semesters, students had a full-time contact study; while the 2nd, 4th and 6th semesters, they were at their respective companies for experiential training.
In the mid-1990s the sponsored students dried-up and for a couple of academic years, the program had no students. In the early 2000, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences, Prof BR Mabuza immensely and passionately, revived the program starting with a cohort of students of about 35 in 2003 which now has grown to 290 in 2015.
The three-semester contact time and three-semester experiential training period has also been revised over the years to the present four-semester contact time and two-semester experiential training period. The present permanent positions established consist of three full-time lecturing posts and three full-time laboratory technician posts. There are four state-of-the-art, fully equipped laboratories catering for the basic NDT methods.
Our students are introduced to NDT projects which have the description that seeks to answer the following basic questions.
(a) What problem is addressed?
(b) Why is this work important?
(c) What new aspect will be addressed?
(d) How will objectives be achieved?
(e) Can the project be accomplished in the given time frame?
VUT NDT program has the blessing from DHET and CHE and is a registered qualification with SAQA.
NDT staff members are involved in research in a number of various capacities and at various levels. Our NDT program and research go hand-in-hand and our department is driven forward by its research. The research ambition of the department of NonDestructive Testing and Physics is motivated by the challenges facing Nondestructive testing technology (NDTT). The department is taking special pride in pioneering new frontiers in Nondestructive Testing in order to create new ideas and enhance Nondestructive Evaluation Education. The department is also identifying multidisciplinary NDT solutions in order to promote safety of humankind. The multidisciplinary research collaboration includes Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Information Technology staff.
The focus research area for the department is as follows “Theoretical, experimental and numerical applications of NDT methods”.
All NDT staff members are actively engaged in research which has resulted in the following research papers:
(a) Assessing semi-elliptical surface cracks in thin-walled pressure vessels using fracture mechanics-based methods , BR Mabuza, N Netshidavhini (International Conference on fatigue damage of structural materials X, 2014), USA.
(b) Characterization of corrosion pits on steel pipe used in the petrol industry, N Netshidavhini, BR Mabuza, (International Conference on fatigue damage of structural materials X, 2014), USA.
(c) Vaal University of Technology, South Africa, International Conference on Computational and Mathematical methods in Science and Engineering (ICCMSE), 25 – 27 September 2013, “Mathematical analysis of fracture strength in the presence of cracks”, N Netshidavhini.
(d) Vaal University of Technology, South Africa, International Conference on Computational and Mathematical methods in Science and Engineering (ICCMSE), 25 – 27 September 2013, “Fracture Mechanics: A revolution in Nondestructive Testing”, BR Mabuza.
(e) 1st South African Biennial Conference on Imaging with Radiation (IMGRAD-1), 23 – 27 September 2013, “Radiographic flaw detection of a friction stir welded Ti-6Al-4V plate”, Vaal University of Technology, IQ Sikakana, FV Cawe, R Baloyi, MF Tshatsinde.
(f) ICA 2013, Montréal, 21st International congress on Acoustics, Palais de congress de Montréal, Québec de Montréal, 2-7 June 2013, “Detection of defects in Aerostructures using non-contact”, The journal of the Acoustic Society, N Netshidavhini, BR Mabuza.
(g) ICA 2013, Montréal, “The effect of a middle layer on ultrasonic wave propagating in a three-layered structure”, 2 – 7 June 2013, Montréal, Canada, BR Mabuza, N Netshidavhini.
(h) 18th World Conference on Nondestructive Testing, 16 – 20 April 2012, ICC Durban, South Africa, “Characterization of damages in Honecomb structures using Sonatest Dryscan 410D”, W Sithole, N Netshidavhini, BR Mabuza.
(i) 18th World Conference on Nondestructive Testing, 16 – 20 April 2012, ICC Durban, South Africa, “The effect of variations of crack geometry on the stress concentration factor in a thin plate using finite element method”, M Mbandezi and BR Mabuza.
(j) 18th World Conference on Nondestructive Testing, 16 – 20 April 2012, ICC Durban, South Africa “Effects of various couplants on carbon steel, Perspex and Aluminium materials by means of ultrasonic testing”, Department of NDT and Physics, Vaal University of Technology, Johannesburg, South Africa, N Netshidavhini and BR Mabuza.
(k) 18th World Conference on Nondestructive Testing, 16 – 20 April 2012, ICC Durban, South Africa. “Numerical analysis of probability of detecting defects in Engineering materials”, Department of NDT and Physics, Vaal University of Technology, Johannesburg, South Africa, BR Mabuza.
(l) 18th World Conference on Nondestructive Testing, 16 – 20 April 2012, ICC Durban, South Africa, ”Demonstration of the capability of phased array technique for detecting defects in thick-section welds”, Department of NDT and Physics, Vaal University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology, Johannesburg, South Africa, M Bokaba, N Netshidavhini and BR Mabuza.
(m) 18th World Conference on Nondestructive Testing, 16 – 20 April 2012, “Evaluation of an X-ray digital radiography system”, Durban, South Africa, IQ Sikakana, M Thebe.
(n) 18th World Conference on Nondestructive Testing, 16 – 20 April 2012, “Radiation safety practices of industrial radiography license holders in South Africa”, Durban, South Africa, IQ Sikakana, EA Mosokotso, W Mogoru, H Neeson.
(o) Detection and characterization of flaws in the aluminium aircraft structures, B.R Mabuza N Netshidavhini, (ENDE 2012), Brazil.
(p) Emerging Technologies in Nondestructive Testing V, Ioannina, Greece, 19 – 21 September 2011, “Inspection for flaws in steel using ultrasonic testing and fracture mechanics approach”, BR Mabuza and N Netshidavhini.
(q) Emerging Technologies in Nondestructive Testing V, Ioannina, Greece, 19 – 21 September 2011, “Detection and characterization of surface defects in steel using ultrasonic surface waves”, N Netshidavhini and BR Mabuza.
(r) The International Congress on Acoustics (ICA), 23 – 27 August 2010, Sydney Convention Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, “On the study of longitudinal waves travelling through an elastic plate immersed in water”, BR Mabuza and N Netshidavhini
(s) 4th NDT Conferences, 20 – 23 September 2010, Garden court OR Tambo International airport, “Optical Testing Technology, How will this method work for your company?”, Vaal Univesity of Technology, BR Mabuza.
(t) 2nd Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Conference, Institute for International Research BV, 14 – 16, April 2008, Southern Sun Grayston, Sandton, Johannesburg, USA, “Clarification of training issues and research in NDT methodologies”, Vaal University of Technology, BR Mabuza.
(u) The International Conference on Theoretical and Computational Acoustics (ICTCA), 2 – 5 July 2007, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, “One-dimensional profile inversion for a stack of layers”, BR Mabuza and M Braun.
(v) International Science and Technology Conference, 2004, Vaal University of Technology, ISBN 0-620-33202-6, Vanderbijlpark, 2 – 4 December 2004, “The one-dimensional inverse scattering problem”, BR Mabuza, M Braun, UNISA and SA Sofianos.
(w) Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences Mini Seminar, Vaal Triangle Technikon, 6 November 2001, “On the direct and inverse scattering problems”, Vaal University of Technology, BR Mabuza.
(x) IQ Sikakana, “A diagnosis of the South African Non-destructive Testing Community”, Department of NDT and Physics, Vaal University of Technology.
• Two of staff members received merit certificates for outstanding contributions at the 18th WCNDT held in Durban South Africa in 2012, April 19 – 20.
• Prof BR Mabuza gave an Augural Address titled “Development of NDT in South Africa: Problems and vicissitudes of applying new NDT research”.
Students can either opt to complete option 1 by going on to semester 5 and then break out to do WIL for a semester in the industry or opt to complete option 2 which requires the student to break out to do WIL for two semesters in the industry after semester 4.
Head: Department of Non Destructive Testing & Physics
Dr Ike Qhubekani Sikakana
Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences
Vaal University of Technology
Private Bag X021
Fax: (016) 950 9793/9794
E-mail: Asanda Mosani