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IMCA to Give International Endorsement to ADCI

IMCA to give International Endorsement to ADCI

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), the primary international trade organization for the maritime construction industry, is going to begin recognizing Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI), the primary trade organization for commercial dive companies in the US, diver certifications. The way the process works is very similar to how we The Ocean Corporation already issue IMCA cards. Current ADCI cardholders can go through an assessment process and upon completion will receive a new ADCI card with the added verbiage, ‘International Endorsement” indicating the IMCA recognition.

Ocean Corp. graduates have been able to receive IMCA certifications through a similar method since Ocean Corp issued the first ever IMCA card to a US commercial diver in 2005. Ocean Corp graduates can apply for an IMCA card through The Ocean Corp once they have completed the requisite depths and bottom times.

“We’re glad to see the ADCI move forward in gaining relevance on the international stage. We know this was important back in 2005 when we finalized our agreement with IMCA to issue their certifications to our Alumni.” Mike Oden, Ocean Corp Dean.

You can read the ADCI’s announcement here.

What is NDT?

Non-Destructive Testing or Nondestructive Testing, also known as NDT; is a group of techniques and methods used to evaluate the properties of a material or component without causing damage to that material or component. NDT is also referred to as Nondestructive Examination/Evaluation (NDE) and Nondestructive Inspection (NDI). All are different terms for the same sets of techniques and methods. Because NDT does not alter or damage the component or material being inspected, it is a highly valuable technique that can save both money and time in product evaluation, troubleshooting, and research.


The six most frequently used NDT methods and the six methods The Ocean Corporation trains in are eddy-current (ET), magnetic-particle (MT), liquid penetrant (PT), radiographic (RT), ultrasonic (UT), and visual testing (VT). NDT is commonly used in forensic engineering, mechanical engineering, petroleum engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, systems engineering, aeronautical engineering, medicine, and even in art.


NDT relies upon a multitude of different principles from electromagnetism (MT & ET) to sound (UT), and even capillary action (PT) to examine materials ranging from metals like steel, aluminum, and copper to plastics, concrete, and laminate like fiberglass and carbon fiber. NDT Technicians are looking for a multitude of indications in different materials such as; porosity and lack of fusion in welds, thickness variations and corrosion in piping/tubing and pressure vessels, stress fractures from material fatigue, and other types of manufacturing defects and equipment/materials degradation.





Visual Testing is the most prevalent method of NDT. VT is performed before virtually all other methods of NDT. The primary technique of VT is merely to look the component over for defects and indications that are visible to the naked eye. It can also include the use of remote viewing systems like drones/UAVs, and ROVs, as well as instruments like calipers, boroscopes, and microscopes.



Penetrant testing, also called dye penetrant inspection (DPI), or liquid penetrate inspection (LPI), is a widely applied and low-cost inspection method used to check surface-breaking defects in all non-porous materials (metals, plastics, or ceramics). The penetrant may be applied to all non-ferrous(cannot be magnetized) materials and ferrous(can be magnetized) materials, although for ferrous components magnetic-particle inspection is often used instead for its subsurface detection capability. PT is used to detect casting, forging and welding surface defects such as hairline cracks, surface porosity, leaks in new products, and fatigue cracks on in-service components.


PT is based upon capillary action, where low surface tension fluid penetrates into clean and dry surface-breaking discontinuities. Penetrant may be applied to the test component by dipping, spraying, or brushing. After adequate penetration time has been allowed, the excess penetrant is removed, and a developer is applied. The developer helps to draw penetrant out of the flaw so that an invisible indication becomes visible to the inspector. Inspection is performed under an ultraviolet or white light, depending on the type of dye used – fluorescent or nonfluorescent.


The main advantages of PT are the speed of the test and the low cost. Disadvantages include the detection of only surface flaws, skin irritation, and the inspection should be on a smooth, clean surface where excessive penetrant can be removed before being developed. Conducting the test on rough surfaces, such as “as-welded” welds, will make it difficult to remove any excessive penetrant and could result in false indications. Water-washable penetrant should be considered here if no other option is available. Also, on certain surfaces, a significant enough color contrast cannot be achieved, or the dye will stain the workpiece.



Magnetic particle testing or magnetic particle Inspection (MPI) is an NDT process for detecting surface and shallow subsurface discontinuities in ferromagnetic materials such as iron, nickel, cobalt, and some of their alloys. The process puts a magnetic field into the part. The piece can be magnetized by direct or indirect magnetization. Direct magnetization occurs when the electric current is passed through the test object, and a magnetic field is formed in the material. Indirect magnetization occurs when no electrical current is passed through the test object, but a magnetic field is applied from an outside source. The magnetic lines of force are perpendicular to the direction of the electric current, which may be either alternating current (AC) or some form of direct current (DC).


The presence of a surface or subsurface discontinuity in the material allows the magnetic flux to leak since air cannot support as much magnetic field per unit volume as metals.


To identify a leak, ferrous(typically iron) particles, either dry or in a wet suspension, are applied to a part. These are attracted to an area of flux leakage and form what is known as an indication, which is evaluated to determine its nature, cause, and course of action if any.


Limited training is required for the operator; although experience is quite valuable. Proper cleaning is necessary to assure that surface contaminants have been removed, and any defects present are clean and dry. Some cleaning methods have been shown to be detrimental to test sensitivity, so acid etching to remove metal smearing and re-open the defect may be necessary.



Ultrasonic testing (UT) is a family of non-destructive testing techniques based on the propagation of ultrasonic waves in the object or material tested. In most common UT applications, very short ultrasonic pulse-waves with center frequencies ranging from 0.1-15 MHz, and occasionally up to 50 MHz, are transmitted into materials to detect internal flaws. A typical example is ultrasonic thickness measurement, which tests the thickness of the test object, for example, to monitor pipework corrosion.


Ultrasonic testing is often performed on steel and other metals and alloys, though it can also be used on concrete, wood, and composites, albeit with less resolution. It is used in many industries including steel and aluminum construction, metallurgy, manufacturing, aerospace, automotive and other transportation sectors.


In ultrasonic testing, an ultrasound transducer connected to a diagnostic machine is passed over the object being inspected. The transducer is typically separated from the test object by a couplant (such as oil) or by water, as in immersion testing. However, when ultrasonic testing is conducted with an Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) the use of couplant is not required.


There are two methods of receiving the ultrasound waveform: pulse-echo (or reflection) and Through-Transmission (or attenuation). In pulse-echo mode (reflection), the transducer performs both the sending and the receiving of the pulsed waves as the “sound” is reflected back to the device. Reflected ultrasound comes from an interface, such as the back wall of the object or from an imperfection within the object. The diagnostic machine displays these results in the form of a signal with an amplitude representing the intensity of the reflection and the distance, depicting the arrival time of the reflection. In through-transmission (attenuation) mode, a transmitter sends ultrasound through one surface, and a separate receiver detects the amount that has reached it on another surface after traveling through the medium. Imperfections or other conditions in the space between the transmitter and receiver reduce the amount of sound transmitted, thus revealing their presence.



Radiographic testing (RT) is a method of non-destructive testing where many types of manufactured components can be examined to verify the internal structure and integrity of the specimen. RT can be performed utilizing either X-rays or gamma rays. Both are forms of electromagnetic radiation. The difference between various types of electromagnetic energy is related to the wavelength. X and gamma rays have the shortest wavelength, and this property leads to the ability to penetrate, travel through, and exit various materials such as carbon steel and other metals.


Gamma radiation sources, most commonly iridium-192 and cobalt-60, are used to inspect a variety of materials. The vast majority of radiography concerns the testing and grading of welds on pressurized piping, pressure vessels, high-capacity storage containers, pipelines, and some structural welds. Other tested materials include concrete (locating rebar or conduit), welder’s test coupons, machined parts, plate metal, or pipe wall (locating anomalies due to corrosion or mechanical damage). Non-metal components such as ceramics used in the aerospace industries are also regularly tested. Theoretically, industrial radiographers could radiograph any solid, flat material (walls, ceilings, floors, square or rectangular containers) or any hollow cylindrical or spherical object.



Eddy current testing (ET), also commonly seen as eddy-current testing and ECT is one of many electromagnetic testing methods used in nondestructive testing (NDT) making use of electromagnetic induction to detect and characterize surface and sub-surface flaws in conductive materials.


In its most basic form, the single-element ET probe, a coil of conductive wire is excited with an alternating electrical current. This wire coil produces an alternating magnetic field around itself. The magnetic field oscillates at the same frequency as the current running through the coil. When the coil approaches a conductive material, currents opposed to the ones in the coil are induced in the material, i.e. eddy currents.


Variations in the electrical conductivity and magnetic permeability of the test object, and the presence of defects cause a change in eddy current and a corresponding change in phase and amplitude that can be detected by measuring the impedance changes in the coil, which is a telltale sign of the presence of defects. This is the basis of standard (pancake coil) ET.


ET has an extensive range of applications. ET can be used on any conductive material such as copper, aluminum, and stainless steel. It is useable on ferrous(can be magnetized) metals but is particularly suited for non-ferrous(cannot be magnetized) metals like copper and aluminum. ET is used extensively is the energy and chemical industries in the inspection of heat exchangers as well as in the aerospace industry for the inspection of aircraft skins. There are though, physical limits to generating eddy currents and depth of penetration with the ideal depth being 1/8th of an inch.


Becoming an NDT Technician


If you are interested in becoming an NDT technician an earning an average entry-level income of $65,000*, then consider applying for The Ocean Corporations comprehensive 30 week NDT education program or give us a call and/or request more information to find out if this career is right for you.


*According to 2015 PQNDT Salary Survey

The Ocean Corporation Adds Night Classes To Meet Demand

“Houston’s historic vocational training school expands schedule for student flexibility and industry needs.”


To meet the explosive demand for qualified applicants for Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) inspection across multiple industries, The Ocean Corporation, Houston’s historic commercial diving and non-destructive testing (NDT) vocational school, will add night classes. Those looking to move into a fast-growing career now have more flexibility to get the specialized training they need while accommodating school, work, or family demands.

Nondestructive Testing (NDT) is a type of quality control inspection that does not damage the part being tested. NDT Inspectors use technology to look through steel, concrete and other materials to identify and diagnose flaws without disrupting the integrity of the structure. NDT is critical to maintaining safe and effective operation with minimal downtime for systems.


NDT inspectors work in oil and gas, offshore, in construction, on buildings and bridges and more.  A considerable increase in inspection demand has been wind turbines. Wind turbine farms are growing all over the US and the world. Wind turbine service technician is the number two fastest growing career in America, According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “There is a huge and growing demand for NDT inspectors in the US. That demand is outpacing our ability to train those inspectors so, we are adding additional classes in the evening to facilitate students who may not be able to attend classes with more traditional hours.” Says Mike Oden, Dean of The Ocean Corporation.


“Students” in this case means anyone wanting to enter a high-demand career, not just recent graduates out of high school or college. NDT inspection is perfect for a mid-life career change, too. NDT inspection requires technical knowledge, and practical skills taught at The Ocean Corporation but is typically not a physically demanding occupation.

Graduates of the NDT program will be prepared to perform Nondestructive Testing using NDT methods such as Visual Testing (VT), Magnetic Particle (MT), Dye Penetrant (PT), Ultrasonics (UT), Eddy Current (ET) and Radiographic Testing (RT).


A career in NDT not only helps improve everyday safety for the people around us and ourselves, but it can also provide opportunities for adventure, advancement, and other substantial rewards. Upon completion of The Ocean Corporation’s comprehensive NDT training program, graduates receive job placement assistance to gain employment in the inspection industry. NDT and drone inspection are excellent career paths for veterans and graduates. The Ocean Corporation works with veterans, offers financial aid for those who qualify, and has always worked extensively with students on job placement assistance.


The night NDT program will begin in January 2019. Classes will run from 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM, Monday – Friday. There will be five classes per year, starting every ten weeks. In 2019 The Ocean Corporation will celebrate its 50th anniversary of offering world-class vocational training in commercial diving, underwater welding, non-destructive testing, and has just incorporated drone inspection training into the NDT program.




Nondestructive Testing can be a Great Career for your Students (Or Anyone)

One of the most important things a counselor can do to help his or her students prepare for life after graduation is to help them develop a plan or strategy for post-secondary education and training. This is especially true for those 30% or more students nationwide whose post-secondary education plans will most likely NOT include attending a college or university.

According to Dr. Randall Hansen, Ph.D., post-secondary education and training are critical for success after high school, but post-secondary education does not necessarily mean college. He said there are numerous other career opportunities and choices out there that do not require a college degree (Quintessential Careers, 2015).

For example, a career in Nondestructive Testing (a.k.a. NDT) involves technicians who are trained to use specialized equipment like x-ray cameras and ultrasound machines to inspect the infrastructure of our world. NDT inspectors are not required to have a college degree and according to a 2015 salary survey from Personnel Qualified for Nondestructive Testing—entry-level NDT inspectors averaged $65,927 annually (, 2015).


What is NDT?

Everything we use in our daily lives is manufactured or manmade, and nothing manmade lasts forever. Daily news reports about bridge failures or pipeline explosions, or other tragedies are reminders that everything manufactured, MUST be inspected! This type of inspection is called nondestructive testing because the inspection methods used will not destroy or harm the object of the inspection.

NDT inspectors work in a variety of industries including aerospace, petro-chem, nuclear power, wind power, offshore, pipeline, automotive, manufacturing, defense and many more. There are also opportunities to use automated and robotic equipment such as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and drones or perform inspections using rope access equipment. Opportunities for both national & international travel are also available.

Hands-on Training

NDT inspectors are not required to have a two or four-year college degree. They are required to have a high school diploma or GED, and they will need to complete an NDT training program that includes both NDT theory and practical equipment use. The Ocean Corporation provides NDT training in the six most common NDT methods as well as job placement assistance upon graduation.

The Ocean Corporation also provides access to tuition assistance for those students who qualify through the federal student aid program as well as through Texas Workforce Commision, and The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (the professional association for NDT inspectors) annually offers scholarships to high school graduates interested in studying Nondestructive Testing. The majority of NDT education and training with The Ocean Corp will be hands-on, and the training can be completed in as little as seven and a half months.

Great Alternative to College Degree

Most people working in the NDT business today will tell you, “It’s the best job around” and “I wish I would have known about it when I graduated high school.”

NDT inspectors do not sit behind desks and work on computers. It is a hands-on career, and the work is performed either outside or in industrial warehouses.

NDT work is interesting. Inspectors examine bridges, buildings, airplanes, ski lifts, roller coasters, ships, rockets, and just about anything else you can think of that is manufactured.

The work NDT inspectors do is essential. It is a source of great pride for those who do it because it deals with safety. Inspectors must pay close attention to the details and always take their job responsibilities seriously. After all, someone’s family will be flying in the plane after you’ve inspected it, maybe even your own! The majority of inspectors in the industry are men, but the number of women has increased by at least 6% since 2010 (, 2014). Women can be found on most every inspection job there is today. NDT is not a physically demanding job. Inspectors do not repair the flaws that their inspections reveal and rarely will they be required to lift or carry anything weighing more 20 – 30 pounds.

For many high school graduates, training for a career in NDT may be a great post-secondary alternative to college. It offers young men and women an exciting, hands-on career with opportunities for travel, high-income potential and best of all—no college degree is required.

Michael W. Oden, M.A. Ed., graduated from The Ocean Corporation School of Nondestructive Testing in Houston, Texas and has worked in the NDT industry for more than two decades.



The Evolution of Commercial Diving and its Training

Earth is a water planet. Five oceans surround seven continents dotted with thousands of lakes and rivers. People have swum and dove in the waters of the world for thousands of years both for pleasure and commerce.

The commercial pursuits and opportunities for diving below the water’s surface have changed over the centuries from shallow water, breath-hold diving for pearls and sponges to our present day demands for deep water diving that require the use of large compressors to supply air and mixed gases to commercial divers hundreds of feet below the surface.

Modern day commercial divers are routinely called upon to perform construction, inspection, repairs, and salvage on a variety of structures including bridges, dams, harbors, ports, water towers, nuclear plants, and oil platforms. They perform these functions in both fresh and salt water. With the use of specialized equipment, commercial divers can also access contaminated environments such as water treatment or sewage facilities, as well as chemical and oil tankers, or even nuclear reactor.

The work of a commercial diver is very physical but can also be very exciting. It requires extensive training and knowledge to safely descend into deep and often dangerous conditions to perform challenging tasks. The Ocean Corporation, located in Houston, Texas has provided the specialized training necessary to become a commercial diver for almost 50 years.

Job and skill requirements have changed significantly since The Ocean Corp first began training men and women for oil field commercial diving in 1969. During the first decade of offshore oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), the discoveries made revealed vast reserves of crude oil and gas below the sea floor on the continental shelf. The continental shelf extends out into the GOM approximately 100 miles from the Texas coastline, and water depths on the shelf are relatively shallow, -200 ft or shallower. Commercial divers working in the GOM during the 1970’s constructed the very first platforms for oil production. They rarely dove deeper than 200 feet so, most dives were air dives. Commercial diver training at Ocean Corp during that first decade was designed to meet the demands required of the new offshore oil and gas industry and primarily focused on air diving and underwater welding/burning.

Offshore oil production increased from the late 1970’s to the 80’s. As it did, platforms grew more substantial, and they were being placed in deeper waters. As such, demand for trained commercial divers also increased during this period, and so did the level of skill required to work on the deepwater projects. Recognizing the complexities of deepwater work, The Ocean Corp incorporated mixed gas and bell diving into their training program. Increased depths and bottom times require the use of helium/oxygen breathing gas and diving bells for safe diver transportation from the ship to dive site then back from dive site to deco chambers.

Offshore Safety and Survival, rigging and Nondestructive Testing (NDT) were also added to the program shortly after the introduction of diving bells and mixed gas.

Today, many people consider commercial divers to be some of the most skilled and highly rewarded craftsmen in the world. Since 1969, many commercial divers have been able to attribute their success to the training and job placement assistance they received from The Ocean Corporation.

Students who are currently enrolled in Ocean Corp’s Ultimate Diver Training (UDT) are taught to a variety of different international standards including; SCUBA diving to NAUI Master Diver, air diving, mixed gas and saturation diving, underwater welding, underwater NDT, remotely operated vehicles, decompression chambers, rigging, Offshore Safety and Survival, and they receive a HAZWOPER certification for diving in contaminated environments.

There are almost as many reasons people become commercial divers as there are divers. When surveyed, the top three reasons given by Ocean Corp students are the challenge, love to dive and travel opportunities.

As long as we live on a planet where three-quarters of the surface is water, there will always be a demand for qualified, well-trained individuals to dive in it.