Time-of-flight diffraction (TOFD) method of ultrasonic testing is a sensitiveandaccurate method for thenondestructive testing of welds for defects. TOFD originated from tip diffraction techniques which were first published by Silk and Liddington in 1975 which paved the way for TOFD. Later works on this technique are given in a number of sources which include Harumi et al. (1989), Avioli et al. (1991), and Bray and Stanley (1997).
Bray and Stanley (1997) summarized TOFD as tip-diffraction techniques which utilized the principle that the tips of a crack when struck by a wave will diffract the signals back to the other location on the surface. The depth of these tips can be determined from the diffracted energy.
TOFD was invented in the UK in the 1970s initially as a research tool. The use of TOFD enabled crack sizes to be measured more accurately, so that expensive components could be kept in operation as long as possible with minimal risk of