Extende: simulation expert for non-destructive testing

Extende is a staunch advocate of using simulation to optimize and improve the reliability of non-destructive testing. It is the sole distributor of CIVA, CEA-List’s simulation and analysis software.

CIVA worldwide distributor

Created in 2009 by a team of CEA-List research engineers, Extende specializes in simulation for non-destructive testing (NDT) and non-destructive examination (NDE).

The company has five main business lines:

  • Worldwide distribution of CIVA, the simulation software developed by CEA-List
  • Technical support for CIVA
  • CIVA and NDT reliability training
  • NDT consulting services
  • Development and marketing of a range of immersive tools for training inspectors in the main inspection techniques (TraiNDE).

Extende customers, found across the globe, are typically large industrial companies working in the nuclear, aeronautics, energy, mechanical, metallurgical, and probe manufacturing sectors.

Extende is based in France with facilities in Massy (Essonne), Grenoble (Isère), and Pessac (Gironde). It serves the North American market through its subsidiary Extende Inc., created in 2011 and based in Norfolk, Virginia.


employees (including 11 research scientists and engineers)


million of revenue, 60% of which is exports


companies using CIVA in 40 countries

CIVA 2021—the latest version—includes a new Thermography Testing (TT) module to simulate inspections using infrared thermography and electromagnetic-induction heat-generation phenomena. .

Using simulation to optimize NDT

Extende is convinced that high-quality, innovative non-destructive testing will make the world a safer place and protect the environment. The company promotes simulation to its clients as a way to optimize inspections and make them more reliable.

Simulation has several advantages: it can be used to verify the feasibility of an NDT procedure, to choose the most appropriate inspection procedure, to optimize configurations, and to verify the results of the inspection. It also makes training easier by freeing trainees from the physical constraints of an operating environment.


Advantages of simulation:

  • Reduce the number of mockups
  • Accelerate time to market
  • Demonstrate performance
  • De-risk innovation
  • Check feasibility
  • Design effectively
  • Improve reliability
  • Explain complex phenomena
  • Train more easily

Extende delivers these benefits to customers by distributing CIVA, CEA-List’s simulation tool designed specifically for NDT. It also deals directly with CIVA’s user base, providing technical support, product news and feedback, and training services.

Extende leverages this software to offer a range of NDT services including probe design, inspection process design, inspection feasibility verification, complex diagnostic simulation, and inspection reliability analysis. The company also offers TraiNDE, a range of immersive products for training NDT inspectors in ultrasonic and X- and gamma-ray radiographic testing techniques (see below).

Extende also offers training in NDT reliability, a prerequisite for qualifying inspection processes and ensuring their continuous improvement.

Continuous process improvement is also the driving force behind the company’s projects to develop functions to help operators implement their inspection processes.

More about TraiNDE

Extende’s milestones

  • 2009: Extende is founded by a team from CEA-List and an engineer from Cedrat (former distributor of CIVA)
  • January 1, 2010: Extende begins doing business
  • 2011: CIVA Inc. is created to expand the business in the United States; CIVA obtains ISO 9001 certification
  • 2019: Reliability training activities start and TraiNDE UT (operational simulator for ultrasonic testing) is introduced
  • 2020: TraiNDE RT (operational simulator for X- and gamma-ray radiographic testing) is released

World leader in NDT simulation

CIVA is the market leader in NDT simulation and is currently used by some 350 companies worldwide.

It has two main advantages:

  • It supports all the major analysis techniques: ultrasound, guided waves, eddy current, thermography, radiography, tomography, Structural Health Monitoring (SHM).
  • It provides intuitive graphical interfaces tailored to the user’s specific environment.

CIVA was created in the early 1990s by CEA-List, which owns the product and continues to develop and maintain it. The latest version—CIVA 2021—offers several new functions, including a new module for simulating thermographic inspection.

Extende distributes single-user and network versions of the product as a suite of modules that users can buy or lease either separately or as a bundle. A simplified version of CIVA is also available for the education sector (CIVA Education).

More about the CIVA platform


TraiNDE: immersive training in NDT techniques

NDT inspectors must undergo regular training to retain the mandatory certification (valid for five years) to do their job. Extende has developed TraiNDE, a range of immersive operational simulators for learning NDT processes, to help inspectors with their initial and refresher training.

Trainees wear a virtual reality headset or use touch screens to test their knowledge and movements while interacting with a realistic virtual environment. This virtual world is more convenient and less expensive to use than a real-life test environment.

There are currently two TraiNDE modules:

  • TraiNDE UT, for training inspectors in ultrasonic testing techniques
  • TraiNDE RT, for training inspectors in X- and gamma-ray radiographic testing techniques

A patent was filed for the product’s development in 2018.

More information is available on the TraiNDE website

“We are committed to improving the technical skills of NDT inspectors. We want to share our knowledge, train our customers to the highest standards, and provide them with the tools to succeed.”

Philippe Dubois

Chairman — Extende