Technology: Testing Without Breaking

In most U.S. companies, the quality-control department is apt to be a laboratory where technicians happily ruin a random sample of products by tearing, pulling, bending or melting them to see if they meet set standards. But in today's rapidly advancing technology, where the products are often too complex or too expensive to test by such methods, industry's scientists are turning to a new and promising science called nondestructive testing. They are using X rays, ultrasonics, magnetic pa ticles, dyes and tracer gases to spy out flaws and weaknesses that affect quality...

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