Replica investigation is increasingly being used in industry because of its non-destructive nature and relatively quick execution. By means of a print, a replica will be taken from the material or construction to the inspected, after which the surface structure can be evaluated for the presence of cracks, defects or other.
- Replica investigation provides a reliable image of the microstructure, about 0,2 to 0,3 mm below the surface. To be able to view the result with optical microscopy at great magnification, the replica is made using a plastic foil, plasticised with acetone..
- Replica investigations are typically performed on steel trusses (after a fire), in vessels, on pipelines in the petro-chemistry industry etc., for example during a shut-down of a company. Other reasons to perform replica investigations is to assure that there are no micro cracks in the material after a cleaning, to investigate creep phenomena or to determine the material of a component.