We take eyesight for granted. People who sadly lose their sight as opposed to being born blind inevitably find life difficult because of their experiences before their eyesight failed. People with 20/20 vision can see with great clarity, but even they cannot see through solid objects. That is a skill that is often given to characters in science fiction. X-ray eyes give our heroes the ability to see solid objects as transparent or simply invisible so that they can see within or beyond the solid object. The term ‘X-ray specs’ is purely part of fiction. No one is walking around wearing glasses that can see through people and objects.
In real life, X-rays play a vital role in medicine and science. They produce an image that shows what is not available to the human eye. In medicine, that may be a fracture of a limb or signs of disease in the soft tissue within the body. This vision can see through clothing and skin to reach the skeleton and organs.
There are security uses for X-rays to photograph things that people may want to conceal such as weapons, and hence machines are installed in every airport or port of entry and exit for travellers. Any place where there is the slightest chance of people wanting to get into a facility with something concealed simply needs to have X-ray protection.
The general public rarely comes across the X-ray equipment used extensively in industry. Industrial sites can be a dangerous environment. Take, for example, the petrochemical industry, with seemingly miles of pipework carrying raw materials and the finished product. The job will stop immediately if there are any leaks. It makes the job of a welder critical. Equally important are the inspectors who check for any flaws in their work. They need to go out on site, and therefore they need portable equipment to do their work. An NDT portable is ideal for the job.
X-rays can see into metal and check whether there are any bubbles within the weld, or any fault lines that can compromise the quality of the pipes. With many industrial processes operating under pressure, the welding has to be good. The weakest point in any pipeline is likely to be at the weld, so the standard of the work must be exemplary.
If people actually had X-ray eyes, they would be able to see any flaws for themselves. In reality, that check needs to be done with portable equipment that can be taken to any point on the site with sufficient strength to ‘see’ through a significant thickness of metal.
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