UTM is frequently used to monitor metal thickness or weld quality in industrial settings such as mining. NDE technicians equipped with portable UTM probes reach steel plating in sides, tanks, decks and the superstructure. They can read its thickness by simply touching the steel with the measurement head (transducer). Contact is usually assured by first removing visible corrosion scale and then applying petroleum jelly or another couplant before pressing the probe against metal. However, when UTM is used with an electromagnetic acoustic transducer the use of couplant is not required. These testing methods are used to inspect metal to determine quality and safety without destroying or compromising its integrity. It is a requirement of many classification societies
The techniques and technologies associated with UTM are closely related to the use of ultrasound in other contexts, such as the various other industrial ultrasonic measurements, as well as medical ultrasonography and preclinical imaging micro-ultrasound. UTM technology combined with wireless data transfer is now being used by some companies to monitor live the thickness of metals in transfer chutes.