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Measuring the amplitude of reflected signal is a relatively unreliable method of sizing defects because the amplitude strongly depends on the orientation of the crack. Instead of amplitude, Time of flight diffraction (TOFD) uses the time of flight of an ultrasonic pulse to determine the position of a reflector.

In this method, a diamond indenter resonated by a piezoelectric ceramic at an ultrasonic frequency is used to penetrate into the test material's surface by applying a specific test load.