IIA Lab Services Part 1: From Space Travel to Baseball

May 6, 2021 | 3 min read

Lab Testing, X-Ray, and other non-destructive testing methods are used for far more than to determine if cholesterol levels are normal or if that finger or ankle bone is broken. Beyond these typical and well-known applications, these testing and inspection methods are used daily within the industrial inspection and construction worlds to make sure the world around us is as safe as it can be.

For example, you probably know that metal structures have weld joints, which means large metal structures, like bridges and skyscrapers, have hundreds if not thousands of welds. It is imperative that the welds be thoroughly inspected and deemed safe and sound.

How is this done? Radiography. Otherwise known as X-ray!

The Iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch

During the construction of the very well-known St. Louis Gateway Arch, IIA’s Lab Services completed radiographic inspection of the structure’s weld joints. Still today, several employees remember the excitement of working on this project. IIA experts provided more than 3000 radiographs for this structure to ensure its safety. IIA also inspected and analyzed the field welding process for the arch project. This is an iconic structure that is visited by millions each year, and IIA is proud to have been one of the trusted experts for this project.

Is That Water Safe?

Protecting drinking water is a top priority across the country, and many states use IIA’s Lab Services to conduct analyses of city drinking water to ensure the water is safe for its community, workers, residents, and visitors. Our tests and analyses ensure the drinking water meets or exceeds standards for regulations, which strengthens the protection of public health.

Space Travel

Another way lab testing is used in ways you may not think about, is within space travel: When astronauts transition from different environmental conditions, their equipment must be tested and deemed safe for each condition. For example, testing of the reentry face shields requires special environmental conditions, and these conditions are reproduced within a laboratory. Speaking of space travel, radiography was used to inspect the launch-pad steel that was slated to be used for the Federal Space Exploration Program.

Baseball Anyone?

Radiography has also been used to determine whether baseball bats are “loaded” with hidden weights or have been cored to make them lighter. What about the foul poles in the outfield? Failure Analysis of the metal poles can identify cracks and make sure the poles are structurally sound, or so that any issues located can be addressed.

Stay tuned for IIA Lab Services Part 2: From Medical Devices to Burgers where we’ll give you some insight on how IIA is instrumental in both the medical device and food manufacturing industry. We’ll also talk about some more of the endless uses for IIA’s Lab Services and non-destructive testing.

For now, click here to check out all of IIA’s Lab Services’ capabilities.

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