ASTM A388 or Ultrasonic Examination of Steel Forgings

ASTM A388 is the examination of steel forgings through pulse-echo ultrasonic examination.

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    ASTM A388 Ultrasonic Examinations of Steel Forgings

    ASTM A388 includes the straight and angle-beam ultrasonic examination procedures for contact, pulse-echo ultrasonic examination of steel forgings. The values presented in either SI or inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. An ultrasonic instrument must provide linear presentation for at least 75% of the screen height. 

    ASTM A 388 Scope

    When ultrasonic examination is required by the order or specification for inspection purposes, and the acceptance of the forging is based on limitations of the quantity, amplitude, or location of discontinuities or a combination thereof, which cause ultrasonic indications, this procedure shall be utilized. As part of the order criteria, the ultrasonic quality level must be indicated.

    ASTM A 388 Procedure

    • ASTM A388 procedure requires transducers, reference blocks, search units, attenuator, and DGS scale. 
    • The forging is provided with cylindrical surfaces for radial examination. This is in the case of round forgings.
    • End of the forging is perpendicular to the axis of the forging for axial examination.
    • In the case of rectangular forging, the face of disk and forging are machined flat and parallel to one another.

    The specified test procedures in ASTM A388 are provided in the table below.

    Test Steps Sections
    Straight-Beam Examination9.29.22
    Back Reflection Technique9.2.2.1
    Reference-Block Calibration9.2.2.2
    DGS Calibration9.

    ASTM A 388 Specimen Detail

    This examination is performed with an ultrasonic, pulsed, and reflection type of device. The forging can be rectangular, flat, or round.


    ASTM A388 is a standard test method for ultrasonic examinations of steel forgings. This examination is performed with an ultrasonic, pulsed, and reflection type of device.


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