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PDHonline Course M468 (6 PDH)

Common Nondestructive Testing NDT


Fundamentals Part 1
Instructor: Jurandir Primo, PE

2013

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CONTENTS:

Introduction

1. Visual Inspection (VT)


2. Liquid Penetrant Inspection

Detectability of Flaws
Steps of a Liquid Penetrant Inspection
Common Uses of Liquid Penetrant Inspection
Advantages and Disavantages of Penetrant
Testing
Penetrant Testing Conditions
Penetrant Testing Materials
Surface Wetting Capability
Color and Fluorescent Brightness
Ultraviolet and Thermal Stability
Removability
Developers
Developers Forms
Selection of a Penetrant Technique
Penetrant Application
Penetrant Dwell Time
Inspection of Liquid Pentrant
Penetrant Removal Processes
Use and Selection f a Developer
Control of Temperature
Convenience of the Penetrant Application
Quality Control of Drying Process
Dry Powder Developer
Development Time
Nature of the Defect
Practical Examples

3. Magnetic Particle Inspection

History of Magnetic Particle Inspection


Magnetism
Diamagnetic, Paramagnetic and Ferromagnetic
Materials
Magnetic Properties
Magnetic Field Around a Bar Magnet
Magnetic Fields Around a Horse Shoe and Ring
Magnets
Electromagnetic Fields
Magnetic Field of a Coil
Flaw Detectability
Ferromagnetic Materials
Magnetizing Current
Longitudinal Magnetic Fields
Circular Magnetic Fields
Demagnetization
Measuring Magnetic Fields
Field Indicators
Hall-Efect (Gaus/Tesla) Meter
Portable MT Equipment
Permanent Magnets
Electromagnets
Prods
Portable Coils and Conductive Cables
Stationary MT Equipment
Portable Power Supplies
Lights for MT Inspection
Magnetic Field Indicators
Dry and Wet Magnetic Particles
Suspension Liquids
Dry Particle Inspection
Wet Suspension Inspection
Inspection with Magnetic Rubber
Magnetization Techniques
Quantitative Quality Indicators (QQI) Shims
Gauss Meter Inspection
Particle Concentration
Water Break Test
Practical Examples

References

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Introduction:
Nondestructive examination (NDE) methods of inspection make it possible to verify compliance to the
standards by examining the surface and subsurface of welding and engineered materials for construction
purposes. Six basic inspection methods are commonly used: visual, liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, (discussed in Part 1), ultrasonic, eddy current and radiographic, (discussed in Part 2).

Visual Inspection (VT):


Visual inspection is often the most cost-effective method, but it must take place prior to, during and after
welding. Many standards require its use before other methods, because there is no point in submitting an
obviously bad weld to sophisticated inspection techniques. The ANSI/AWS D1.1, Structural Welding
Code-Steel, states, "Welds subject to nondestructive examination shall have been found acceptable by
visual inspection." Visual inspection requires little equipment. Aside from good eye sight and sufficient
light, all it takes is a pocket rule, a weld size gauge, a magnifying glass, and possibly a straight edge and
square for checking straightness, alignment and perpendicularity.
"Visual inspection is the best buy in NDE, but it must take
place prior to, during and after welding."
Before the first welding arc is struck, materials should be examined to see if they meet specifications for
quality, type, size, cleanliness and freedom from defects. Grease, paint, oil, oxide film or heavy scale
should be removed. The pieces to be joined should be checked for flatness, straightness and dimensional
accuracy. Likewise, alignment, fit-up and joint preparation should be examined. Finally, process and procedure variables should be verified, including electrode size and type, equipment settings and provisions
for preheat or postheat. All of these precautions apply regardless of the inspection method being used.
During fabrication, visual examination of a weld bead and the end crater may reveal problems such as
cracks, inadequate penetration, and gas or slag inclusions. Among the weld detects that can be recognized visually are cracking, surface slag in inclusions, surface porosity and undercut. On simple welds,
inspecting at the beginning of each operation and periodically as work progresses may be adequate.
Where more than one layer of filler metal is being deposited, however, it may be desirable to inspect each
layer before depositing the next. The root pass of a multipass weld is the most critical to weld soundness.
It is especially susceptible to cracking, and because it solidifies quickly, it may trap gas and slag. On subsequent passes, conditions caused by the shape of the weld bead or changes in the joint configuration can
cause further cracking, as well as undercut and slag trapping. Repair costs can be minimized if visual inspection detects these flaws before welding progresses. VT can only locate defects in the weld surface.
Visual inspection at an early stage of production can also prevent underwelding and overwelding. Welds
that are smaller than called for in the specifications cannot be tolerated. Beads that are too large increase
costs unnecessarily and can cause distortion through added shrinkage stress.
After welding, visual inspection can detect a variety of surface flaws, including cracks, porosity and unfilled
craters, regardless of subsequent inspection procedures. Dimensional variances, warpage and appearance flaws, as well as weld size characteristics, can be evaluated.
Before checking for surface flaws, welds must be cleaned of slag. Shot-blasting should not be done before
examination, because the peening action may seal fine cracks and make them invisible. The AWS D1.1
Structural Welding Code, for example, does not allow peening "on the root or surface layer of the weld or
the base metal at the edges of the weld."

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Liquid Pe
enetrant Inspectio
on:
This method
T
d was in use
e from the la
atter part of the
t 19th cen
ntury to apprroximately 1940, when the
t magneticc
particle method was intrroduced and
d found to be
e more senssitive for ferro
omagnetic irron and stee
els. The surrf
face
under examination
e
was coated
d with a lacq
quer, and aftter drying, th
he sample was
w caused to vibrate byy
t tap of a hammer. The
the
T vibration
n causes the
e brittle lacq
quer layer to crack gene
erally around
d surface de
ef
fects.
The brittle lacquer (stress coa
at) has been
n used prima
arily to show
w the distribution of stressses in a parrt
a not for finding
and
f
defec
cts.
Many of the
ese early dev
velopments were carried
d out by Ma
agnaflux in Chicago,
C
IL, USA in association with
h
Switzer Bross., Cleveland, OH, USA
A. More effe
ective penetrrating oils co
ontaining hig
ghly visible (usually red)
d
dyes
were developed
d
by Magnafluxx to enhance
e flaw detecction capability. This me
ethod, known
n as the visible or color contrast dye
e penetrant method,
m
is still used quitte extensively today.
agnaflux intro
oduced the Zyglo
Z
system
m of penetra
ant inspectio
on where fluo
orescent dye
es were addIn 1942, Ma
e to the liq
ed
quid penetrant. These dyes would then fluorescce when exp
posed to ultrraviolet lightt (sometimess
referred to as
a "black light") renderin
ng indication
ns from craccks and othe
er surface fla
aws more re
eadily visible
e
t inspectorss.
to
A very earlyy surface ins
spection tech
hnique involvved the rubb
bing of carbo
on black on glazed potte
ery, wherebyy
t
the
carbon black would
d settle in surface crackks rendering
g them visib
ble. Later, it became the
e practice in
n
railway workkshops to ex
xamine iron and steel co
omponents by the "oil and
a whiting" method. In this method
d,
a heavy oil commonly available
a
in railway workkshops was diluted with
h kerosene in large tankks so that lo
ocomotive pa
arts such as wheels coulld be subme
erged.

Liquid penetrant inspection is a method that is used to reveal surface breaking fla
aws by bleed
dout of a colo
ored
or fluorrescent dye from the fla
aw. The technique is ba
ased on the ability of a liquid to be drawn into a
"clean" surfa
ace breaking
g flaw by cap
pillary action
n.
After a perio
A
od of time called
c
the "d
dwell," excesss surface penetrant
p
is removed and a develo
oper applied
d.
T
This
acts ass a blotter. Itt draws the penetrant
p
fro
om the flaw to reveal its presence. Colored
C
(con
ntrast) pene
et
trants
requirre good whitte light while
e fluorescentt penetrants need to be used in darkkened conditions with an
n
ultraviolet "b
black light".

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After removal and careful cleaning, the surface was then coated with a fine suspension of chalk in alcohol
so that a white surface layer was formed once the alcohol had evaporated. The object was then vibrated
by being struck with a hammer, causing the residual oil in any surface cracks to seep out and stain the
white coating.
Detectability of Flaws:
The advantage that a liquid penetrant inspection (LPI) offers over an unaided visual inspection is that it
makes defects easier to see for the inspector. There are basically two ways that a penetrant inspection
process makes flaws more easily seen. First, LPI produces a flaw indication that is much larger and easier
for the eye to detect than the flaw itself. Many flaws are so small or narrow that they are undetectable by
the unaided eye. Due to the physical features of the eye, there is a threshold below which objects cannot
be resolved. This threshold of visual acuity is around 0.003 inch for a person with 20/20 vision.
The second way that LPI improves the detectability of a flaw is that it produces a flaw indication with a high
level of contrast between the indication and the background also helping to make the indication more easily seen. When a visible dye penetrant inspection is performed, the penetrant materials are formulated using a bright red dye, providing a high level of contrast between the white developer.
In other words, the developer serves as a high contrast background as well as a blotter to pull the trapped
penetrant from the flaw. When a fluorescent penetrant inspection is performed, the penetrant materials
are formulated to glow brightly and to give off light at a wavelength that the eye is most sensitive to under
dim lighting conditions.
Steps of a Liquid Penetrant Inspection:

Surface Preparation: One of the most critical steps of a liquid penetrant inspection is the surface
preparation. The surface must be free of oil, grease, water, or other contaminants that may prevent
penetrant from entering flaws. The sample may also require etching if mechanical operations such
as machining, sanding, or grit blasting have been performed. These and other mechanical operations can smear metal over the flaw opening and prevent the penetrant from entering.

Penetrant Application: Once the surface has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, the penetrant
material is applied by spraying, brushing, or immersing the part in a penetrant bath.

Penetrant Dwell: The penetrant is left on the surface for a sufficient time to allow as much penetrant as possible to be drawn from or to seep into a defect. Penetrant dwell time is the total time
that the penetrant is in contact with the part surface. Dwell times are usually recommended by the
penetrant producers or required by the specification being followed. Minimum dwell times typically
range from five to 60 minutes. The ideal dwell time is often determined by experimentation and
may be very specific to a particular application.

Excess Penetrant Removal: This is the most delicate part of the inspection procedure because
the excess penetrant must be removed from the surface of the sample while removing as little penetrant as possible from defects. Depending on the penetrant system used, this step may involve
cleaning with a solvent, direct rinsing with water, or first treating the part with an emulsifier and then
rinsing with water.
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Deve
eloper Application: A thin
t
layer of developer is then appliied to the sa
ample to dra
aw penetran
nt
trapp
ped in flaws back to the
e surface wh
here it will be
e visible. De
evelopers co
ome in a varriety of formss
that may be applied by dustiing (dry pow
wdered), dipp
ping, or spra
aying (wet de
evelopers).

Indic
cation Deve
elopment: The
T
develop
per is allowe
ed to stand on the part surface forr a period o
of
time sufficient to
o permit the extraction of
o the trappe
ed penetran
nt out of anyy surface flaws. This de
evelop
pment time is usually a minimum of
o 10 minutess. Significantly longer times
t
may be
b necessaryy
for tight cracks.

Insp
pection: Insp
pection is then performe
ed under appropriate lig
ghting to dettect indicatio
ons from anyy
flawss which may
y be present.

Clea
an Surface: The final ste
ep in the pro
ocess is to thoroughly
t
c
clean
the part surface to
o remove the
e
deve
eloper from the
t parts tha
at were found
d to be acce
eptable.

Common Uses
U
of Liqu
uid Penetran
nt Inspectio
on:
Liquid penetrant inspection (LPI) is one of the most
m
widely used nonde
es
structive
eva
aluation (ND
DE) methodss. Its popula
arity can be
e attributed to
t
t
two
main factors: its relative ease of
o use and its flexibility. LPI can be
b
pect almost any materia
al provided that
t
its surfa
ace is not exxused to insp
t
tremely
roug
gh or porous. Materials that are co
ommonly insspected usin
ng
LPI include the following
g:

als (aluminum
m, copper, steel,
s
titanium
m, etc.)
Meta
Glasss
Manyy ceramic materials
m
Rubb
ber
Plastics

p
in
nspections because
b
it can
c be applied in a large variety of applicationss
LPI offers flexibility in performing
m automotiv
ve spark plugs to critica
al aircraft co
omponents. Penetrant materials
m
can
n be applied
d
ranging from
w a sprayy can or a co
with
otton swab to
o inspect forr flaws know
wn to occur in
n a specific area or it ca
an be applied
d
by dipping or
o spraying to
o quickly insspect large areas.
a
In the image
e above, vis
sible dye pe
enetrant is being
b
locally applied to a highly loa
aded conneccting point to
o
check for fatigue crackin
ng. Liquid pe
enetrant inspection can only be use
ed to inspectt for flaws th
hat break the
e
s
surface
of th
he sample. Some
S
of thesse flaws are listed below
w:

Fatig
gue cracks
Quen
nch cracks
Grind
ding cracks
Overrload and im
mpact fractures
Poro
osity
Lapss
Seam
ms
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Pin holes
h
in weld
ds
Lackk of fusion orr braising alo
ong the edge
e of the bond line

As mentione
A
ed above, one of the major limitatio
ons of a pen
netrant inspe
ection is tha
at flaws musst be open to
o
t surface.
the
A
Advantages
s and Disad
dvantages of
o Penetrant Testing:
A
Advantages
s:

The method has


s high sensitiivity to small surface disscontinuities..
The method has
s few material limitationss, i.e. metallic and nonm
metallic, mag
gnetic and nonmagnetic
n
c,
and conductive and
a noncond
ductive mate
erials may be inspected..
Large areas and
d large volum
mes of parts//materials ca
an be inspeccted rapidly and
a at low cost.
c
Partss with complex geometric shapes arre routinely inspected.
i
Indiccations are produced
p
dirrectly on the surface of the
t part and constitute a visual repre
esentation o
of
the flaw.
f
Aero
osol spray ca
ans make pe
enetrant matterials very portable.
p
Pene
etrant materrials and asssociated equipment are relatively
r
ine
expensive.

Disadvanta
ages:

Onlyy surface bre


eaking defeccts can be de
etected.
Onlyy materials with
w a relative
ely nonporou
us surface can
c be inspe
ected.
Preccleaning is crritical since contaminant
c
ts can maskk defects.
Meta
al smearing from
f
machin
ning, grinding
g, and grit or vapor blassting must be
e removed prior
p
to LPI.
The inspector must have direct access to
t the surfacce being insp
pected.
ace finish an
nd roughnesss can affectt inspection sensitivity.
s
Surfa
Multiiple process
s operations must be perrformed and controlled.
Postt cleaning of acceptable parts or materials is req
quired.
Chem
mical handling and prop
per disposal is required.

Penetrant Testing
T
Con
nditions:
The penetra
T
ant materials
s used todayy are much more
m
sophissticated than the kerosen
ne and whitting first use
ed by railroa
ad
n
the turn
n of the 20th
h century. Today's
T
pen
neinspectors near
t
trants
are ca
arefully form
mulated to produce the level
l
of senssit
tivity
desired
d by the inspector. To perform well, a penetra
ant
must possesss a numberr of importan
nt characteristics.
A penetrant must:

Spre
ead easily ov
ver the surfface of the material
m
bein
ng
inspe
ected to prov
vide comple
ete and even
n coverage.
Be drawn
d
into su
urface breakking defects by capillary action.
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Rem
main in the de
efect but rem
move easily from the surrface of the part.
p
Rem
main fluid so it can be drrawn back to
o the surface
e of the parrt through the drying and
d developing
g
stepss.
Be highly
h
visible or fluoresce
e brightly to produce eassy to see ind
dications.
Not be
b harmful to
o the material being testted or the inspector.

All penetran
A
nt materials do not perfform the sam
me and are
e not designed to perforrm the same. Penetran
nt
manufacture
es have deve
eloped differrent formula
ations to address a variety of inspecttion applicattions. Some
e
a
applications
s call for the
e detection of
o the smalle
est defects possible an
nd have smo
ooth surface
es where the
e
penetrant iss easy to rem
move. In other applicattions, the rejjectable deffect size may be larger and a pene
et
trant
formula
ated to find larger flaws can be used
d.
The penetra
T
ants that are
e used to de
etect the sm
mallest defecct will also produce the largest amo
ount of irrele
ev
vant
indicatiions. Penetrrant materia
als are classsified in the various indu
ustry and go
overnment specifications
s
s
by their phyysical charac
cteristics and
d their perfo
ormance. Ae
erospace Ma
aterial Specification (AM
MS) 2644, Ins
spection
Ma
aterial, is now
w the primarry specification used in the
t USA to control
c
materials.
Historically, Military Standard 25135
5, Inspection
n Materials, Penetrants, has been th
he primary document
d
fo
or
s
specifying
p
penetrants
but
b this docu
ument is slo
owly being phased
p
out and
a
replace
ed by AMS 2644.
2
Othe
er
s
specification
ns such as ASTM
A
1417, Standard Practice for Liquid
L
Penetrrant Examinations, may also contain
n
information on the class
sification of penetrant
p
materials but they are generally referrred back to MIL-I-25135
5
o AMS 2644.
or
m
com
me in two basic types. Th
hese types are
a listed be
elow:
Penetrant materials

Type
e 1 - Fluores
scent Penetrrants
Type
e 2 - Visible Penetrants

Fluorescent penetrants contain a dye or seve


eral dyes th
hat fluon exposed to
t ultraviolett radiation. Visible pen
netrants
resce when
contain a re
ed dye that provides high contrastt against the white
Fluorescen
d
developer
b
background.
nt penetrant systems arre more
s
sensitive
tha
an visible pe
enetrant systtems becausse the eye iss drawn
t the glow of
to
o the fluores
scing indication.
However, viisible penetrrants do nott require a darkened
d
arrea and an ultraviolet lig
ght in orderr to make an
n
inspection. Visible
V
pene
etrants are also
a
less vulnerable to contaminatio
c
n from thing
gs such as cleaning
c
fluid
d
t
that
can sign
nificantly red
duce the stre
ength of a flu
uorescent indication.
Penetrants are
a then clas
ssified by the method ussed to removve the excesss penetrantt from the pa
art. The four
methods are
e listed below
w:

Meth
hod A - Wate
er Washable
e
Meth
hod B - Post-Emulsifiable, Lipophilicc
Meth
hod C - Solvent Remova
able
Meth
hod D - Postt-Emulsifiable, Hydrophilic
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Water washable (Method A) penetrants can be removed from the part by rinsing with water alone. These
penetrants contain an emulsifying agent (detergent) that makes it possible to wash the penetrant from the
part surface with water alone. Water washable penetrants are sometimes referred to as self-emulsifying
systems.
Post-emulsifiable penetrants come in two varieties, lipophilic and hydrophilic. In post-emulsifiers, lipophilic systems (Method B), the penetrant is oil soluble and interacts with the oil-based emulsifier to make
removal possible. Post-emulsifiable, hydrophilic systems (Method D), use an emulsifier that is a water
soluble detergent which lifts the excess penetrant from the surface of the part with a water wash. Solvent
removable penetrants require the use of a solvent to remove the penetrant from the part.
Penetrants are then classified based on the strength or detectability of the indication that is produced for a
number of very small and tight fatigue cracks. The five sensitivity levels are shown below:

Level - Ultra Low Sensitivity


Level 1 - Low Sensitivity
Level 2 - Medium Sensitivity
Level 3 - High Sensitivity
Level 4 - Ultra-High Sensitivity

The major US government and industry specifications currently rely on the US Air Force Materials Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to classify penetrants into one of the five sensitivity levels. This
procedure uses titanium and Inconel specimens with small surface cracks produced in low cycle fatigue
bending to classify penetrant systems. The brightness of the indication produced is measured using a
photometer. The sensitivity levels and the test procedure used can be found in Military Specification MIL-I25135 and Aerospace Material Specification 2644,
Penetrant Inspection Materials:
An interesting note about the sensitivity levels is that only four levels were originally planned. However,
when some penetrants were judged to have sensitivities significantly less than most others in the level 1
category, the level was created. An excellent historical summary of the development of test specimens
for evaluating the performance of penetrant materials can be found in the following reference.
Penetrant: The industry and military specifications that control materials and their use, all stipulate certain physical properties of the
penetrant materials that must be met. Some of these requirements
address the safe use of the materials, such as toxicity, low flash
point, and corrosiveness, and other requirements address storage
and contamination issues.
Other properties that are thought to be primarily responsible for the
performance or sensitivity of the penetrants. The properties of penetrant materials that are controlled by AMS 2644 and MIL-I-25135E
include flash point, surface wetting capability, viscosity, color,
brightness, ultraviolet stability, thermal stability, water tolerance, and
removability.
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Emulsifiers: When removal of the penetrant from a defect due to over-washing of the part is a concern, a
post-emulsifiable penetrant system can be used. Post-emulsifiable penetrants require a separate emulsifier to break the penetrant down and make it water-washable. Most penetrant inspection specifications classify penetrant systems into four methods of excess penetrant removal. These are listed below:

Method A: Water-Washable
Method B: Post-Emulsifiable, Lipophilic
Method C: Solvent Removable
Method D: Post-Emulsifiable, Hydrophilic

Method C relies on a solvent cleaner to remove the penetrant from the part being inspected. Method A
has emulsifiers built into the penetrant liquid that makes it possible to remove the excess penetrant with a
simple water wash. Method B and D penetrants require an additional processing step where a separate
emulsification agent is applied to make the excess penetrant more removable with a water wash. Lipophilic emulsification systems are oil-based materials that are supplied in ready-to-use form. Hydrophilic
systems are water-based and supplied as a concentrate that must be diluted with water prior to use .
The lipophilic emulsifiers (Method B) were introduced in the late 1950's and work with both a chemical
and mechanical action. After the emulsifier has coated the surface of the object, mechanical action starts
to remove some of the excess penetrant as the mixture drains from the part. During the emulsification
time, the emulsifier diffuses into the remaining penetrant and the resulting mixture is easily removed with a
water spray.
The hydrophilic emulsifiers (Method D) also remove the excess penetrant with mechanical and chemical action but the action is different because no diffusion takes place. Hydrophilic emulsifiers are basically
detergents that contain solvents and surfactants. The hydrophilic emulsifier breaks up the penetrant into
small quantities and prevents these pieces from recombining or reattaching to the surface of the part. The
mechanical action of the rinse water removes the displaced penetrant from the part and causes fresh remover to contact and lift newly exposed penetrant from the surface.
The hydrophilic post-emulsifiable method (Method D) was introduced in the mid 1970's. Since it is more sensitive than the lipophilic post emulsifiable method it has made the later method virtually obsolete. The major advantage of hydrophilic emulsifiers is
that they are less sensitive to variation in the contact and removal
time.
While emulsification time should be controlled as closely as possible, a variation of one minute or more in the contact time will have
little effect on flaw detectability when a hydrophilic emulsifier is
used. However, a variation of as little as 15 to 30 seconds can have a significant effect when a lipophilic
system is used.
Surface Wetting Capability:
As previously mentioned, one of the important characteristics of a liquid penetrant material is its ability to
freely wet the surface of the object being inspected. At the liquid-solid surface interface, if the molecules of
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the liquid have a stronger attraction to the molecules of the solid surface than to each other (the adhesive
forces are stronger than the cohesive forces), wetting of the surface occurs. Alternately, if the liquid molecules are more strongly attracted to each other than the molecules of the solid surface (the cohesive forces are stronger than the adhesive forces), the liquid beads-up and does not wet the surface of the part.
One way to quantify a liquid's surface wetting characteristics is to measure the contact angle of a drop of
liquid placed on the surface of an object. The contact angle is the angle formed by the solid/liquid interface
and the liquid/vapor interface measured from the side of the liquid. (See the figure below.) Liquids wet surfaces when the contact angle is less than 90 degrees. For a penetrant material to be effective, the contact
angle should be as small as possible. In fact, the contact angle for most liquid penetrants is very close to
zero degrees.
Wetting ability of a liquid is a function of the surface energies of the solid-gas interface, the liquid-gas interface, and the solid-liquid interface. The surface energy across an interface or the surface tension at the
interface is a measure of the energy required to form a unit area of new surface at the interface. The intermolecular bonds or cohesive forces between the molecules of a liquid cause surface tension.
When the liquid encounters another substance, there is usually an attraction between the two materials. The adhesive forces between the liquid
and the second substance will compete against the cohesive forces of the
liquid. Liquids with weak cohesive bonds and a strong attraction to another
material (or the desire to create adhesive bonds) will tend to spread over
the material. Liquids with strong cohesive bonds and weaker adhesive
forces will tend to bead-up or form a droplet when in contact with another
material.
In liquid penetrant testing, there are usually three surface interfaces involved, the solid-gas interface, the liquid-gas interface, and the solid-liquid
interface. For a liquid to spread over the surface of a part, two conditions must be met. First, the surface
energy of the solid-gas interface must be greater than the combined surface energies of the liquid-gas and
the solid-liquid interfaces. Second, the surface energy of the solid-gas interface must exceed the surface
energy of the solid-liquid interface.
A penetrant's wetting characteristics are also largely responsible for its ability to fill a void. Penetrant materials are often pulled into surface breaking defects by capillary action. The capillary force driving the penetrant into the crack is a function of the surface tension of the liquid-gas interface, the contact angle, and the
size of the defect opening.
Color and Fluorescent Brightness:
Penetrant Color and Fluorescence: The color of the penetrant material is of obvious importance in a
visible dye penetrant inspection, as the dye must provide good contrast against the developer or part being
inspected. Remember from the earlier discussion of contrast sensitivity that generally the higher the contrast, the easier objects are to see. The dye used in visible dye penetrant is usually vibrant red but other
colors can be purchased for special applications.

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DHcenter.com
m

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Honline Course M468

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nline.org

When fluore
W
escent materrials are invo
olved, the efffect of colorr and fluoresscence is no
ot so straighttforward. LP
PI
materials flu
uoresce bec
cause they contain
c
one or more dye
es that abso
orb electrom
magnetic radiation over a
particular wa
avelength an
nd the absorption of pho
otons leads to changes in the electrronic configu
uration of the
e
molecules. Since
S
the molecules are
e not stable at this highe
er energy sta
ate, they alm
most immediately re-emiit
t energy.
the
There is some energy loss in the process and
T
d this cause
es photons to
t be re-emitted at a slightly longe
er
w
wavelength
nge. The rad
diation absorption and emission
e
cou
uld take placce a numbe
er
that is in the visible ran
o times until the desired
of
d color and brightness
b
iss achieved. Two
T
differen
nt fluorescen
nt colors can
n be mixed to
o
m called casccading.
interact by a mechanism
The emissio
T
on of visible light by this process invvolves one dye absorbing ultraviolet radiation to emit a band
d
o radiation that makes a second dyye glow. Sin
of
nce the human eye is the most com
mmonly used sensing de
ev
vice,
most penetrants
p
arre designed to fluoresce
e as close ass possible to
o the eyes' peak responsse.
Penetrant Brightness:
B
nt brightnesss was errone
eously once
e thought to be the conttrolling facto
or
Fluorescen
w respectt to flaw dettection sensitivity. Meassurements have been made
with
m
to evalluate the inttrinsic brighttness of virtu
ually all com
mmercially avvailable pene
etrants and they all have about the same brightness. Intrins brightness values are
sic
a determined for thick liquid films but the dim
mensional th
hreshold of fluorescence
f
e
(discussed on
o the next page) is a more
m
importa
ant propertyy. The measu
urement of fluorescent
f
b
brightness
iss
d
detailed
in ASTM
A
E-1135, "Standa
ard Test Me
ethod for Co
omparing th
he Brightnesss of Fluore
escent Pene
et
trants."
a
Therma
al Stability:
Ultraviolet and
Exposure to
o intense ultraviolet lightt and elevated temperattures can ha
ave a negative effect on
n fluorescen
nt
materials ca
penetrant in
ndications. Fluorescent
F
an lose their brightnesss after a perriod of expo
osure to high
h
intensity UV
V light. One study
s
measu
ured the inte
ensity of fluo
orescent pen
netrant indiccations on a sample tha
at
w subjected to multiple UV expossure cycles.
was
Each cycle consisted
c
off 15 minutess of 800 miccrowatt/cm UV light and
d 2.5 minute
es of 1500 microwatt/cm
m

UV light. Tw
wo penetrantts were teste
ed in the study, water wa
ashable, levvel 3 and a post
p
emulsifia
able, level 4
4.
T results from the stu
The
udy showed that the ind
dications from
m both pene
etrants faded with increa
ased UV exxposure. Afte
er eight expo
osure cycless, the brightn
nesses of the indicationss were less than one ha
alf their original values.

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At an elevated temperature, penetrants can experience heat degradation or "heat fade." Excessive heat:
1. Evaporates the more volatile constituents which increases viscosity and adversely affects the rate of
penetration.
2. Alters wash characteristics.
3."Boils off" chemicals that prevent separation and gelling of water soluble penetrants.
4. Kills the fluorescence of tracer dyes.
This fourth degradation mechanism involves the molecules of the penetrant materials. The phenomenon of
fluorescence involves electrons that are delocalized in a molecule. These electrons are not specifically
associated with a given bond between two atoms. When a molecule takes up sufficient energy for the excitation source, the delocalized bonding electrons rise to a higher electronic state. After excitation, the electrons will normally lose energy and return to the lowest energy state.
This loss of energy can involve a "radiative" process such as fluorescence or "non-radiative" processes.
Non-radiative processes include relaxation by molecular collisions, thermal relaxation, and chemical reaction. Heat causes the number of molecular collisions to increase, which results in more collision relaxation
and less fluorescence. This explanation is only valid when the part and the penetrant are at an elevated
temperature.
When the materials cool, the fluorescence will return. However, while exposed to elevated temperatures,
penetrant solutions dry faster. As the molecules become more closely packed in the dehydrated solution,
collision relaxation increases and fluorescence decreases.
This effect has been called "concentration quenching" and experimental data shows that as the dye concentration is increased, fluorescent brightness initially increases but reaches a peak and then begins to
decrease. Airflow over the surface on the part will also speed evaporation of the liquid carrier, so it should
be kept to a minimum to prevent a loss of brightness.
Generally, thermal damage occurs when fluorescent penetrant materials are heated above 71oC (160oF). It
should be noted that the sensitivity of an FPI inspection can be improved if a part is heated prior to applying the penetrant material, but the temperature should be kept below 71oC (160oF). Some high temperature penetrants in use today are formulated with dyes with high melting points, greatly reducing heat related problems.
The penetrants also have high boiling points and the heat related problems are greatly reduced. However,
a loss of brightness can still take place when the penetrant is exposed to elevated temperatures over an
extended period of time. When one heat resistant formulation was tested, a 20 % reduction was measured
after the material was subjected to 163oC (325oF) for 273 hours. The various types of fluorescent dyes
commonly employed in today's penetrant materials begin decomposition at 71oC (160oF). When the temperature approaches 94oC (200oF), there is almost total attenuation of fluorescent brightness of the composition and sublimation of the fluorescent dyestuffs.
Removability:
Removing the penetrant from the surface of the sample, without removing it from the flaw, is one of the
most critical operations of the penetrant inspection process. The penetrant must be removed from the
sample surface as completely as possible to limit background fluorescence. In order for this to happen, the
adhesive forces of the penetrant must be weak enough that they can be broken by the removal methods
used.

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However, in order for the penetrant to have good surface wetting characteristics, the adhesive forces
(forces of attraction between the penetrant and the solid surface being inspected) must be stronger than
the cohesive forces (forces holding the liquid together). Proper formulation of the penetrant materials provides the correct balancing of these forces.
Another consideration in the formulation of the penetrant liquid is that it should not easily commingle and
become diluted by the cleaning solution. Dilution of the penetrant liquid will affect the concentration of the
dye and reduce the dimensional threshold of fluorescence.
Developers:
The role of the developer is to pull the trapped penetrant material out of defects and spread it out on the
surface of the part so it can be seen by an inspector. The fine developer particles both reflect and refract
the incident ultraviolet light, allowing more of it to interact with the penetrant, causing more efficient fluorescence. The developer also allows more light to be emitted through the same mechanism. This is why
indications are brighter than the penetrant itself under UV light. Another function that some developers
perform is to create a white background so there is a greater degree of contrast between the indication
and the surrounding background.
Developer Forms:
The AMS 2644 and Mil-I-25135 classify developers into six standard forms. These forms are listed below:
Form a - Dry Powder
Form b - Water Soluble
Form c - Water Suspendable
Form d - Nonaqueous Type 1 Fluorescent (Solvent Based)
Form e - Nonaqueous Type 2 Visible Dye (Solvent Based)
Form f - Special Applications
The developer classifications are based on the method that the developer is applied. The developer can
be applied as a dry powder, or dissolved or suspended in a liquid carrier. Each of the developer forms has
advantages and disadvantages.
a) Form a - Dry Powder:
Dry powder developer is generally considered to be the least sensitive
but it is inexpensive to use and easy to apply. Dry developers are
white, fluffy powders that can be applied to a thoroughly dry surface in
a number of ways. The developer can be applied by dipping parts in a
container of developer, or by using a puffer to dust parts with the developer.
Parts can also be placed in a dust cabinet where the developer is blown around and allowed to settle on
the part. Electrostatic powder spray guns are also available to apply the developer. The goal is to allow the
developer to come in contact with the whole inspection area.

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Unless the part is electrostatically charged, the powder will only adhere to areas where trapped penetrant
has wet the surface of the part. The penetrant will try to wet the surface of the penetrant particle and fill the
voids between the particles, which brings more penetrant to the surface of the part where it can be seen.
Since dry powder developers only stick to the area where penetrant is present, the dry developer does not
provide a uniform white background as the other forms of developers do.
Having a uniform light background is very important for a visible inspection to be effective and since dry
developers do not provide one, they are seldom used for visible inspections. When a dry developer is
used, indications tend to stay bright and sharp since the penetrant has a limited amount of room to spread.
b) Form b - Water Soluble:
As the name implies, water soluble developers consist of a group
of chemicals that are dissolved in water and form a developer layer when the water is evaporated away. The best method for applying water soluble developers is by spraying it on the part. The part
can be wet or dry.
Dipping, pouring, or brushing the solution on to the surface is
sometimes used but these methods are less desirable. Aqueous
developers contain wetting agents that cause the solution to function much like dilute hydrophilic emulsifier and can lead to additional removal of entrapped penetrant.
Drying is achieved by placing the wet but well drained part in a recirculating, warm air dryer with the temperature held between 70 and 75F. If the parts are not dried quickly, the indications will will be blurred and
indistinct. Properly developed parts will have an even, pale white coating over the entire surface.
c) Form c - Water Suspendable:
Water suspendable developers consist of insoluble developer particles suspended in water. Water
suspendable developers require frequent stirring or agitation to keep the particles from settling out of suspension. Water suspendable developers are applied to parts in the same manner as water soluble developers. Parts coated with a water suspendable developer must be forced dried just as parts coated with a
water soluble developer are forced dried. The surface of a part coated with a water suspendable developer
will have a slightly translucent white coating.
d) Form d/e - Nonaqueous:
Nonaqueous developers suspend the developer in a volatile solvent and are typically applied with a spray gun. Nonaqueous developers are commonly distributed in aerosol spray cans for portability. The solvent tends to pull penetrant from the indications by
solvent action.
Since the solvent is highly volatile, forced drying is not required. A
nonaqueous developer should be applied to a thoroughly dried
part to form a slightly translucent white coating.
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e) Form f - Special Applications:


Plastic or lacquer developers are special developers that are primarily used when a permanent record of
the inspection is required.
Selection of a Penetrant Technique:
The selection of a liquid penetrant system is not a straightforward task. There are a variety of penetrant
systems and developer types that are available for use, and one set of penetrant materials will not work for
all applications.
Many factors must be considered when selecting the penetrant materials for a particular application. These
factors include the sensitivity required, materials cost, number of parts, size of area requiring inspection,
and portability.
When sensitivity is the primary consideration for choosing a penetrant system, the first decision that must
be made is whether to use fluorescent penetrant or visible dye penetrant. Fluorescent penetrants are generally more capable of producing a detectable indication from a small defect. Also, the human eye is more
sensitive to a light indication on a dark background and the eye is naturally drawn to a fluorescent indication.
The graph below presents a series of curves that show the contrast ratio required for a spot of a certain
diameter to be seen. The ordinate is the spot diameter, which was viewed from one foot. The abscissa is
the contrast ratio between the spot brightness and the background brightness.
To the left of the contrast ratio of one, the spot is darker than the background (representative of visible dye
penetrant testing); and to the right of one, the spot is brighter than the background (representative of fluorescent penetrant inspection).
Each of the three curves right or left of the contrast ratio of one are for different background brightness (in
foot-Lamberts), but simply consider the general trend of each group of curves right or left of the contrast
ratio of one. The curves show that for indication larger than 0.076 mm (0.003 inch) in diameter, it does not
really matter if it is a dark spot on a light background or a light spot on a dark background.
However, when a dark indication on a light background is further reduced in size, it is no longer detectable
even though contrast is increased. Furthermore, with a light indication on a dark background, indications
down to 0.003 mm (0.0001 inch) were detectable when the contrast between the flaw and the background
was high.
From this data, it can be seen why a fluorescent penetrant offers an advantage over a visible penetrant for
finding very small defects. Data presented by De Graaf and De Rijk supports this statement. They inspected "identical" fatigue cracked specimens using a red dye penetrant and a fluorescent dye penetrant. The
fluorescent penetrant found 60 defects while the visible dye was only able to find 39 of the defects.

Under certain conditions, the visible penetrant may be a better choice. When fairly large defects are the
subject of the inspection, a high sensitivity system may not be warranted and may result in a large number
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of irrelevant indications. Visible dye penetrants have also been found to give better results when surface
roughness is high or when flaws are located in areas such as weldments.
Since visible dye penetrants do not require a darkened area for the use of an ultraviolet light, visible systems are more easy to use in the field. Solvent removable penetrants, when properly applied, can have the
highest sensitivity and are very convenient to use. However, they are usually not practical for large area
inspection or in high-volume production settings.
Another consideration in the selection of a penetrant system is whether water washable, post-emulsifiable
or solvent removable penetrants will be used. Post-emulsifiable systems are designed to reduce the possibility of over-washing, which is one of the factors known to reduce sensitivity. However, these systems
add another step, and thus cost, to the inspection process.
Penetrants are evaluated by the US Air Force according to the requirements in MIL-I-25135 and each
penetrant system is classified into one of five sensitivity levels. This procedure uses titanium and Inconel
specimens with small surface cracks produced in low cycle fatigue bending to classify penetrant systems.
The brightness of the indications produced after processing a set of specimens with a particular penetrant
system is measured using a photometer. A procedure for producing and evaluating the penetrant qualification specimens was reported on by Moore and Larson at the 1997 ASNT Fall Conference.
Most commercially available penetrant materials are listed in the Qualified Products List of MIL-I-25135
according to their type, method and sensitivity level. Visible dye and dual-purpose penetrants are not classified into sensitivity levels as fluorescent penetrants are. The sensitivity of a visible dye penetrant is regarded as level 1 and largely dependent on obtaining good contrast between the indication and the background.
Penetrant Application:
The penetrant material can be applied in a number of different
ways, including spraying, brushing, or immersing the parts in a
penetrant bath. The method of penetrant application has little effect on the inspection sensitivity but an electrostatic spraying
method is reported to produce slightly better results than other
methods.
Once the part is covered in penetrant it must be allowed to dwell
so the penetrant has time to enter any defect present. There are
basically two dwell mode options, immersion-dwell (keeping the part immersed in the penetrant during
the dwell period) and drain-dwell (letting the part drain during the dwell period).
Prior to a study by Sherwin, the immersion-dwell mode was generally considered to be more sensitive but
recognized to be less economical because more penetrant was washed away and emulsifiers were contaminated more rapidly.
The reasoning for thinking this method was more sensitive was that the penetrant was more migratory and
more likely to fill flaws when kept completely fluid and not allowed to lose volatile constituents by evaporation.

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However, Sherwin showed that if the specimens are allowed to drain-dwell, the sensitivity is higher because the evaporation increases the dyestuff concentration of the penetrant on the specimen. As pointedout in the section on penetrant materials, sensitivity increases as the dyestuff concentration increases.
Sherwin also cautions that the samples being inspected should be placed outside the penetrant tank wall
so that vapors from the tank do not accumulate and dilute the dyestuff concentration of the penetrant on
the specimen.
Penetrant Dwell Time:
Penetrant dwell time is the total time that the penetrant is in contact with the part surface. The dwell time
is important because it allows the penetrant the time necessary to seep or be drawn into a defect. Dwell
times are usually recommended by the penetrant producers or required by the specification being followed. The time required to fill a flaw depends on a number of variables which include the following:

The surface tension of the penetrant.


The contact angle of the penetrant.

The dynamic shear viscosity of the penetrant, which can vary with the diameter of the capillary. The viscosity of a penetrant in microcapillary flaws is higher than its viscosity in bulk, which slows the infiltration of
the tight flaws.

The atmospheric pressure at the flaw opening.


The capillary pressure at the flaw opening.
The pressure of the gas trapped in the flaw by the penetrant.
The radius of the flaw or the distance between the flaw walls.
The density or specific gravity of the penetrant.
Microstructural properties of the penetrant.

The ideal dwell time is often determined by experimentation and is often very specific to a particular application. For example, AMS 2647A requires that the dwell time for all aircraft and engine parts be at least 20
minutes, while ASTM E1209 only requires a five minute dwell time for parts made of titanium and other
heat resistant alloys. Generally, there is no harm in using a longer penetrant dwell time as long as the
penetrant is not allowed to dry.
Inspection of Liquid Penetrant:
Unlike magnetic particle inspection, which can reveal subsurface defects, liquid penetrant inspection
reveals only those defects that are open to the surface. Four groups of liquid penetrants are presently in use:

Group I is a dye penetrant that is nonwater washable.


Group II is a water washable dye penetrant.
Group III and Group IV are fluorescent penetrants.

Carefully follow the instructions given for each type of penetrant since there are some differences in the
procedures and safety precautions required for the various penetrants. Before using a liquid penetrant
to inspect a weld, remove all slag, rust, paint, and moisture from the surface.
Except where a specific finish is required, it is not necessary to grind the weld surface as long as the weld
surface meets applicable specifications. Ensure the weld contour blends into the base metal without un2013 Jurandir Primo

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der-cutting. When a specific finish is required, perform the liquid penetrant inspection before the finish
is made. This enables you to detect defects that extend beyondt he final dimensions, but you must
make a final liquid penetrant inspection after the specified finish has beengiven.
Before using a liquid penetrant, clean the surface oft he material very carefully, including the areas next
tothe inspection area. You can clean the surface by swabbing it with a clean, free cloth saturated in a nonvolatile solvent or by dipping the entire piece into a solvent. After the surface has been cleaned, remove all
traces of the cleaning material. It is extremely importantto remove all dirt, grease, scale, lint, salts, or other
materials that would interfere with the inspection.
After the surface has dried, apply another substance, called a developer. Allow the developer (powder
or liquid) to stay on the surface for a minimum of 7 minutes before starting the inspection. Leave it on no
longer than 30 minutes, thus allowing a total of 23 minutes toevaluate the results.
The indications during a liquid penetrant inspection must be carefully interpreted and evaluated. In
almost every inspection, some insignificant indications are present. Most of these are the result of the
failure to remove the excess penetrant from the surface. At least 10 percent of all indications must be removed from the surface to determine whether defects are actually present or whether the indications
are the result of excess penetrant.
Penetrant Removal Processes:
The penetrant removal procedure must effectively remove the
penetrant from the surface of the part without removing an appreciable amount of entrapped penetrant from the defect. If the
removal process extracts penetrant from the flaw, the flaw indication will be reduced by a proportional amount. If the penetrant is not effectively removed from the part surface, the contrast between the indication and the background will be reduced.
Removal Method:
Penetrant systems are classified into four methods of excess penetrant removal. These include the following:
Method A: Water-Washable
Method B: Post-Emulsifiable, Lipophilic
Method C: Solvent Removable
Method D: Post-Emulsifiable, Hydrophilic
Of the three production penetrant inspection methods, Method A, Water-Washable, is the most economical to apply. Water-washable or self-emulsifiable penetrants contain an emulsifier as an integral part of the
formulation. Method C - Solvent Removable, is used primarily for inspecting small localized areas. This
method requires hand wiping the surface with a cloth moistened with the solvent remover, and is, therefore, too labor intensive for most production situations.
The excess penetrant may be removed from the object surface with a simple water rinse. These materials
have the property of forming relatively viscous gels upon contact with water, which results in the formation
of gel-like plugs in surface openings. While they are completely soluble in water, given enough contact
time, the plugs offer a brief period of protection against rapid wash removal. Thus, water-washable penetrant systems provide ease of use and a high level of sensitivity.
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When removal of the penetrant from the defect due to over-washing of the part is a concern, a postemulsifiable penetrant system can be used. Post-emulsifiable penetrants require a separate emulsifier to
breakdown the penetrant and make it water washable. The part is usually immersed in the emulsifier but
hydrophilic emulsifiers may also be sprayed on the object. Spray application is not recommended for lipophilic emulsifiers because it can result in non-uniform emulsification if not properly applied.
Brushing the emulsifier on to the part is not recommended either because the bristles of the brush may
force emulsifier into discontinuities, causing the entrapped penetrant to be removed. The emulsifier is allowed sufficient time to react with the penetrant on the surface of the part but not given time to make its
way into defects to react with the trapped penetrant. The penetrant that has reacted with the emulsifier is
easily cleaned away.
Controlling the reaction time is of essential importance when using a post-emulsifiable system. If the emulsification time is too short, an excessive amount of penetrant will be left on the surface, leading to high
background levels. If the emulsification time is too long, the emulsifier will react with the penetrant entrapped in discontinuities, making it possible to deplete the amount needed to form an indication.
The hydrophilic post-emulsifiable method (Method D) is more sensitive than the lipophilic postemulsifiable method (Method B). Since these methods are generally only used when very high sensitivity
is needed, the hydrophilic method renders the lipophilic method virtually obsolete.
The major advantage of hydrophilic emulsifiers is that they are less sensitive to variation in the contact and
removal time. While emulsification time should be controlled as closely as possible, a variation of one minute or more in the contact time will have little effect on flaw detectability when a hydrophilic emulsifier is
used.
On the contrary, a variation of as little as 15 to 30 seconds can have a significant effect when a lipophilic
system is used. Using an emulsifier involves adding a couple of steps to the penetrant process, slightly
increases the cost of an inspection.
When using an emulsifier, the penetrant process includes the following steps (extra steps in bold): 1.
pre-clean part, 2. apply penetrant and allow to dwell, 3. pre-rinse to remove first layer of penetrant, 4. apply hydrophilic emulsifier and allow contact for specified time, 5. rinse to remove excess penetrant, 6. dry
part, 7. apply developer and allow part to develop, and 8. inspect.
Rinse Method:
The method used to rinse the excess from the object surface and the time of the rinse should be controlled
so as to prevent over-washing. It is generally recommended that a coarse spray rinse or an air-agitated,
immersion wash tank be used. When a spray is being used, it should be directed at a 45 angle to the part
surface so as to not force water directly into any discontinuities that may be present. The spray or immersion time should be kept to a minimum through frequent inspections of the remaining background level.
Solvent Removable Penetrants:
When a solvent removable penetrant is used, care must also be taken to carefully remove the penetrant
from the part surface while removing as little as possible from the flaw. The first step in this cleaning procedure is to dry wipe the surface of the part in one direction using a white, lint-free, cotton rag.
One dry pass in one direction is all that should be used to remove as much penetrant as possible. Next,
the surface should be wiped with one pass in one direction with a rag moistened with cleaner. One dry
pass followed by one damp pass is all that is recommended. Additional wiping may sometimes be neces-

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sary; but keep in mind that with every additional wipe, some of the entrapped penetrant will be removed
and inspection sensitivity will be reduced.
To study the effects of the wiping process, Japanese researchers manufactured a test specimen out of
acrylic plates that allowed them to view the movement of the penetrant in a narrow cavity.
The sample consisted of two pieces of acrylic with two thin sheets of vinyl clamped between as spaces.
The plates were clamped in the corners and all but one of the edges sealed. The unsealed edge acted as
the flaw. The clearance between the plates varied from 15 microns (0.059 inch) at the clamping points to
30 microns (0.118 inch) at the midpoint between the clamps. The distance between the clamping points
was believed to be 30 mm (1.18 inch).
Although the size of the flaw represented by this specimen is large, an interesting observation was made.
They found that when the surface of the specimen was wiped with a dry cloth, penetrant was blotted and
removed from the flaw at the corner areas where the clearance between the plate was the least. When the
penetrant at the side areas was removed, penetrant moved horizontally from the center area to the ends of
the simulated crack where capillary forces are stronger.
Therefore, across the crack length, the penetrant surface has a parabola-like shape where the liquid is at
the surface in the corners but depressed in the center. This shows that each time the cleaning cloth touches the edge of a crack, penetrant is lost from the defect. This also explains why the bleedout of an indication is often largest at the corners of cracks.
Use and Selection of a Developer:
The use of developer is almost always recommended. One study reported that the output from a fluorescent penetrant could be multiplied by up to seven times when a suitable powder developer was used.
Another study showed that the use of developer can have a dramatic effect on the probability of detection
(POD) of an inspection. When a Haynes Alloy 188, flat panel specimen with a low-cycle fatigue crack was
inspected without a developer, a 90 % POD was never reached with crack lengths as long as 19 mm (0.75
inch). The operator detected only 86 of 284 cracks and had 70 false-calls.
When a developer was used, a 90 % POD was reached at 2 mm (0.077 inch), with the inspector identifying 277 of 311 cracks with no false-calls. However, some authors have reported that in special situations,
the use of a developer may actually reduce sensitivity. These situations primarily occur when large, well
defined defects are being inspected on a surface that contains many nonrelevant indications that cause
excessive bleedout.
Developer Application Method:
Nonaqueous developers are generally recognized as the most sensitive when properly applied. There is
less agreement on the performance of dry and aqueous wet developers, but the aqueous developers are
usually considered more sensitive. Aqueous wet developers form a finer matrix of particles that is more in
contact with the part surface. However, if the thickness of the coating becomes too great, defects can be
masked.
Aqueous wet developers can cause leaching and blurring of indications when used with water-washable
penetrants. The relative sensitivities of developers and application techniques as ranked in Volume II of
the Nondestructive Testing Handbook are shown in the table below. There is general industry agreement
with this table, but some industry experts feel that water suspendable developers are more sensitive than
water-soluble developers.
Sensitivity ranking of developers per the Nondestructive Testing Handbook.
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Ranking

Developer Form

Method of Application

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Nonaqueous, Wet Solvent Spray


Plastic Film
Spray
Water-Soluble
Spray
Water-Suspendable
Spray
Water-Soluble
Immersion
Water-Suspendable
Immersion
Dry
Dust Cloud (Electrostatic)
Dry
Fluidized Bed
Dry
Dust Cloud (Air Agitation)
Dry
Immersion (Dip)

The following table lists the main advantages and disadvantages of the various developer types.
Developer

Advantages

Dry

Does not form contrast backIndications tend to remain brighter ground so cannot be used with
and more distinct over time
visible systems
Easily to apply
Difficult to assure entire part surface has been coated

Soluble

Ease of coating entire part


White coating for good contrast
can be produced which work well
for both visible and fluorescent
systems

Suspendable

Ease of coating entire part


Indications are bright and sharp
White coating for good contrast Indications weaken and become
can be produced which work well diffused after time.
for both visible and fluorescent
systems

Nonaqueous

Very portable
Easy to apply to readily accessible
surfaces
White coating for good contrast
can be produced which work well
for both visible and fluorescent
systems
Indications show-up rapidly and
are well defined
Provides highest sensitivity

2013 Jurandir Primo

Disadvantages

Coating is translucent and provides poor contrast (not recommended for visual systems).
Indications for water washable
systems are dim and blurred.

Difficult to apply evenly to all surfaces.


More difficult to clean part after
inspection.

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Control of Temperatur
T
re:
The temperrature of the
T
e penetrant materials
m
an
nd the part being inspected
can have an
n effect on the results. Temperatures from 27
7 to 49oC (8
80 to
o
120 F) are reported
r
in th
he literature to produce optimal resu
ults. Many sp
peco
o
ifications allow testing in the range of 4 to 52 C (40 to 125
5 F). A tip to
o remember is that surface
es that can be touched for an exte
ended period of
t
time
withoutt burning the
e skin are ge
enerally belo
ow 52oC (125
5oF).
Since the su
urface tensio
on of most materials de
ecrease as the
t tempera
ature
increases, raising
r
the te
emperature of the pene
etrant will increase the wetw
t
ting
of the surface
s
and the capillaryy forces. Of course, the converse is also true, so
s lowering the
t tempera
at
ture
will havve a negative
e effect on th
he flow chara
acteristics.
Raising the temperature
e will also ra
aise the speed of evapo
oration of pe
enetrants, wh
hich can havve a positive
e
o negative effect on se
or
ensitivity. Th
he impact wiill be positivve if the evaporation serrves to incre
ease the dye
e
on of the penetrant trapp
ped in a flaw
w up to the concentratio
on quenching point and not beyond
d.
concentratio
Higher temp
peratures an
nd more rap
pid evaporation will have
e a negative
e effect if th
he dye conce
entration exxceeds the concentration
c
n quenching
g point, or th
he flow charracteristics are
a changed
d to the poin
nt where the
e
penetrant do
oes not read
dily flow.
The method
T
d of process
sing a hot part
p
was oncce commonly employed
d. Parts werre either he
eated or pro
ocessed hot off
o the produ
uction line. In its day, thiis served to increase insspection sen
nsitivity by in
ncreasing the
e
v
viscosity
of the
t penetran
nt. Howeverr, the penetra
ant materialss used todayy have 1/2 to
o 1/3 the visscosity of the
e
penetrants on
o the marke
et in the 196
60's and 197
70's. Heating
g the part prrior to inspecction is no lo
onger necesss
sary
and no longer reco
ommended.
ce of the Pe
enetrant Ap
pplication:
Convenienc
The applica
T
ation of the penetrant
p
is the step off the processs that requiires the leasst amount of
o control. Ass
long as the surface bein
ng inspected
d receives a generous coating
c
of pe
enetrant, it re
eally doesn't matter how
w
t penetran
the
nt is applied
d. Generally, the applica
ation method
d is an econ
nomic or con
nvenience decision.
d
It iss
important th
hat the part be thorough
hly cleaned and
a dried. Any
A contaminates or mo
oisture on th
he surface o
of
t part or within
the
w
a flaw
w can preven
nt the penetrrant materia
al from enterring the defe
ect. The partt should also
o
o
o
be cool to th
he touch. The recommen
nded range of
o temperatu
ure is 4 to 52
2 C (39 to 12
25 F).
Additionally,, the water content of water
A
w
washa
able penetra
ants must be
b checked regularly. Water-based
W
d,
w
water
washa
able penetra
ants are che
ecked with a refractometter. The reje
ection criteria
a is differentt for differen
nt
penetrants, so the requ
uirements of the qualifying specifica
ation or the manufacture
er's instructio
ons must be
e
based, wate
er washable penetrants are checke
ed using the
e procedure specified in
n
consulted. Non-water-b
A
ASTM
D95 or
o ASTM E 1417.
Quality Con
ntrol of Drying Process
s:
The tempera
T
ature used to
t dry parts after the ap
pplication of an aqueouss wet develo
oper or prior to the application of a dry powder or a nonaq
queous wet developer, must be co
ontrolled to prevent
p
"coo
oking" of the
e
e can affect penetrants in
i a couple of
o ways.
penetrant in the defect. High drying temperature
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First, some penetrants can


c fade at high
h
temperatures due to
t dye vaporrization or su
ublimation. Second,
S
high
h
t
temperature
es can cause
e the penetrrant to dry in
n the the flaw
w, preventin
ng it from migrating to th
he surface to
o
produce an indication. To prevent harming the
e penetrant material, drrying temperrature should be kept to
o
under 71oC.. The drying
g should be limited to th
he minimum length of tim
me necessa
ary to thorou
ughly dry the
e
component being inspec
cted.

Dry Powder Developerr:


A dry powde
er developerr should be checked
c
daiily to ensure
e that it is flu
uffy and not caked.
c
It sho
ould be similar to fresh powdered sugar and no
ot granulated
d like powde
ered soap. It should alsso be relative
ely free from
m
s
specks
of flu
uorescent pe
enetrant material from previous
p
insp
pection. Thiss check is pe
erformed byy spreading a
s
sample
of th
he developer out and exxamining it under UV ligh
ht. If there are ten or mo
ore fluoresce
ent specks in
n
a 10 cm dia
ameter area,, the batch should
s
be discarded. Ap
pply a light coat of the developer by
b immersing
g
t test com
the
mponent or dusting
d
the surface.
s
Afte
er the develo
opment time,, excessive powder can be removed
d
by gently blo
owing on the
e surface witth air not excceeding 35 kPa
k
or 5 psi.

W Soluble
Wet
e Developer:
Wet soluble
W
e developer must be completely
c
d
dissolved
in
n the waterr and wet suspendable
s
e developer
must be tho
oroughly mixed prior to
o application
n. The concentration of powder in the
t carrier solution
s
musst
be controlled in these developers. The
T concenttration shoulld be checke
ed at least weekly
w
using
g a hydrome
et to make sure it meetts the manuffacturer's specification.
ter
To check for contamination, the solution should
T
d be examined weekly using
u
both white
w
light and UV light. IIf
a scum is present
p
or th
he solution fluoresces, it should be
e replaced. Some speccifications re
equire that a
clean alumin
num panel be
b dipped in the develop
per, dried, an
nd examined
d for indicatiions of conta
amination byy
f
fluorescent
penetrant materials.
m

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These deve
T
elopers are applied
a
imm
mediately after the final wash. A un
niform coatin
ng should be
e applied byy
They should
s
spraying,
flo
owing or imm
mersing the component.
c
d never be applied
a
with a brush. Ca
are should be
e
n of the devveloper solution in crevicces and rece
t
taken
to avo
oid a heavy accumulatio
a
esses. Prolon
nged contacct
o the component with the develope
of
er solution should be avoided in order to minimize dilution or
o removal o
of
t penetran
the
nt from disco
ontinuities.
Developme
ent Time:
Minimum off 10 minutes
s and no mo
ore than 2 hours before inspecting, applied to all
a non-ferro
ous materialss
a ferrous materials. Magnetic
and
M
Pa
article inspecction is often
n used for ferrous
f
mate
erials due itss subsurface
e
d
detection
ca
apability. LP
PI is used to
o detect cassting, forging
g and weldin
ng surface defects
d
such
h as hairline
e
cracks, surfa
ace porosity
y, leaks in ne
ew products,, and fatigue
e cracks on in-service co
omponents.
Nature of th
he Defect:
The nature of
T
o the defectt can have a large affecct on sensitivvity of a liquid penetrant inspection. Sensitivity iss
d
defined
as the
t smallestt defect thatt can be dettected with a high degree of reliability. Typically, the crackk
length at the
e sample su
urface is use
ed to define size of the defect. A su
urvey of anyy probabilityy-of-detection
n
curve for pe
enetrant insp
pection will quickly
q
lead one to the conclusion
c
th
hat crack len
ngth has a definite
d
affecct
o sensitivity.
on
However, th
he crack length alone does not determine whether a flaw will be seen
n or go unde
etected. The
e
vvolume of th
he defect is likely to be the more im
mportant fea
ature. The fllaw must be
e of sufficien
nt volume so
o
t
that
enough
h penetrant will
w bleed ba
ack out to a size that is detectable by
b the eye or
o that will satisfy
s
the dimensional th
hresholds off fluorescencce.

Above is an
A
n example of
o fluorescen
nt penetrantt inspection probability of detection
n (POD) currve from the
e
Nondestructtive Evaluatiion (NDE) Capabilities
C
D
Data
Book. Please
P
note that this currve is speciffic to one se
et
o inspection
of
n conditions and should not be interrpreted to ap
pply to other inspection situations.
s
In general, penetrant in
nspections are
a more efffective at fin
nding small round defeccts than sma
all linear de
ef
fects.
Small round defec
cts are gene
erally easierr to detect fo
or several re
easons. Firstt, they are tyypically volumetric defeccts that can
n trap signifiicant amoun
nts of penettrant. Secon
nd, round de
efects fill wiith penetran
nt
f
faster
than linear defectts. One rese
earch effort found
f
that ellliptical flaw with length to width ratio
o of 100, will
t
take
the pen
netrant nearlly 10 times longer to fill than
t
a cylind
drical flaw with
w the same
e volume.
Deeper flaw
ws than sha
allow flaws: Deeper flaw
ws will trap more
m
penetrant than sha
allow flaws, and they are
e
less prone to
o over wash
hing.
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Flaws with a narrow opening


o
at the surface
e than wide
e open flaws: Flaws witth narrow su
urface openings are lesss prone to ov
ver washing
g.
Flaws on sm
mooth surfaces than on
o rough su
urfaces: The
e surface roughness of the part prim
marily affectss
t
the
removab
bility of a pe
enetrant. Ro
ough surfacces tend to trap
t
more penetrant
p
in the variouss tool markss,
s
scratches,
a pits that make up the surface: Removing
and
R
the penetrant from the surface of the part is more
e
d
difficult
and a higher lev
vel of backgrround fluoresscence or ovver washing may occur.
Flaws with rough frac
cture surfac
ces than sm
mooth fractture surface
es: The surfface roughn
ness that the
e
ffracture face
es is a facttor in the sp
peed at which a penetrrant enters a defect. In
n general, th
he penetran
nt
s
spreads
fastter over a su
urface as the
e surface roughness inccreases. It sh
hould be notted that a pa
articular pene
etrant
may spread
s
slowe
er than othe
ers on a smo
ooth surface but faster th
han the rest on a roughe
er surface.
Flaws unde
er tensile orr no loading
g than flaws
s under com
mpression loading:
l
In a 1987 stud
dy at the Univ
versity
Colle
ege London, the effect of crack clo
osure on de
etectability was
w evaluate
ed. Researcchers used a
f
four-point
be
end fixture to place tenssion and com
mpression lo
oads on spe
ecimens thatt were fabriccated to cont
tain
fatigue cracks. All cracks
c
were detected wiith no load and
a with tenssile loads placed on the
e parts. How
we
ever,
as compressive loads were placed on the
t
parts, th
he crack len
ngth steadilyy decreased
d as load increased until a load was
s reached when the cracck was no lo
onger detecta
able.
xamples:
Practical Ex

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Pipe
e LP Inspec
ction

Scre
ew LP Inspe
ection

Forging LP Inspe
ection

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Casting LP Inspe
ection

Pres
ssure Vesse
el Welding LP Inspec
ction

No
on-ferrous Materials
M
LP Inspectiion

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Magnetic
c Particle Inspection:
Magnetic pa
article inspec
ction (MPI) is a nondestructive testin
ng method used
u
for defe
ect detection
n. MPI is fasst
a
and
relative
ely easy to apply,
a
and part
p
surface preparation
n is not as critical as it is for some
e other NDT
T
methods. Th
hese charac
cteristics makke MPI one of the most widely utilize
ed nondestructive testing methods.
MPI uses magnetic
m
field
ds and small magnetic particles
p
(i.e.iron filings) to detect fla
aws in comp
ponents. The
e
o
only
requirement from an
a inspectab
bility standpo
oint is that th
he component being inspected mustt be made o
of
a ferromagn
netic materia
al such as irron, nickel, cobalt,
c
or so
ome of their alloys. Ferromagnetic materials
m
are
e
materials tha
at can be ma
agnetized to
o a level thatt will allow th
he inspection
n to be effecctive.
The method
T
d is used to
o inspect a variety
v
of product forms including castings, fo
orgings, and
d weldmentss.
Many differe
ent industrie
es use magn
netic particle
e inspection for determiining a component's fitn
ness-for-use
e.
Some exam
mples of indu
ustries that use magne
etic particle inspection are
a the strucctural steel, automotive
e,
petrochemiccal, power generation,
g
and aerosp
pace industries. Underrwater insp
a
area
a
pection is another
w
where
magn
netic particle
e inspection is used to te
est offshore structures
s
and underwatter pipeliness.

Basic Princ
ciples:
In theory, magnetic
m
parrticle inspecttion (MPI) iss a relativelyy simple concept. It can be considered
c
a a combin
as
nation of two
o nond
destructive
testing meth
hods: magnetic flux lea
akage testing and
v
visual
testing. Consider the case off a bar magn
net. It has a magnetic field in and around
d the magnet.
Any place th
A
hat a magne
etic line of fo
orce exits or enters the magnet
m
is ca
alled a pole. A pole wherre a magnettic line of forcce exits the magnet is called
c
a north
h pole and a pole where
e a line of force enters th
he magnet iss
called a sou
uth pole.
When a bar magnet is
W
s broken in the center of its length
h, two
complete ba
ar magnets with
w magnettic poles on each end off each
piece will re
esult. If the magnet is just cracked but not broken
b
completely in
i two, a norrth and soutth pole will fo
orm at each
h edge
o the crack. The magne
of
etic field exitts the north pole and ree
enters
a the south pole.
at
The magnettic field spre
T
eads out whe
en it encoun
nters the sm
mall air
g created
gap
d by the crac
ck because the air cann
not support as much magnetic field
d per unit vo
olume as the
e
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magnet can
n. When the field spread
ds out, it ap
ppears to lea
ak out of the
e material and,
a
thus is called a fluxx
leakage field
d.
If iron particcles are sprin
nkled on a cracked
c
mag
gnet, the parrticles will be
e attracted to and cluste
er not only a
at
t poles at the ends of the magnett, but also att the poles at the edges of the crack. This cluste
the
er of particless
is much eassier to see th
han the actua
al crack and this is the basis
b
for mag
gnetic particcle inspection
n.

The first step in a magnetic particle inspection iss to magnetize the comp
T
ponent that is to be insp
pected. If anyy
d
defects
on or
o near the surface
s
are present,
p
the defects will create a lea
akage field. After
A
the com
mponent hass
been magne
etized, iron particles, eitther in a dryy or wet susspended form
m, are appliied to the su
urface of the
e
magnetized part. The pa
articles will be
b attracted and clusterr at the flux leakage field
ds, thus form
ming a visible
e
indication th
hat the inspe
ector can dettect.
History of Magnetic
M
Pa
article Inspe
ection:
Magnetism is
i the ability
y of matter to
o attract other matter to itself. The ancient
a
Gree
eks were the
e first to disscover this phenomenon
n in a minera
al they name
ed magnetite
e. Later on Bergmann, Becquerel, and
a Faradayy
d
discovered
that all matter including
g liquids and
d gasses were
w
affected
d by magnetism, but on
nly a few re
es
sponded
to a noticeable
e extent.
The earliestt known use
T
e of magnetiism to inspe
ect an objecct took place
e as early as 1868. Can
nnon barrelss
w
were
checke
ed for defec
cts by magn
netizing the barrel then sliding a magnetic com
mpass along
g the barrel'ss
length. Thesse early ins
spectors werre able to lo
ocate flaws in the barre
els by monittoring the needle of the
e
compass. This was a fo
orm of nonde
estructive te
esting but the
e term was not common
nly used unttil some time
e
a
after
World War
W I.
In the earlyy 1920s, William
t
magnettic particles
W
Hoke
e realized that
(colored me
etal shavings
s) could be used with magnetism
m
a a means
as
o locating defects.
of
d
Hok
ke discovered that a surfface or subssurface flaw
in a magnettized materia
al caused th
he magneticc field to disttort and ext
tend
beyond
d the part. This
T
discove
ery was brought to his attention in
t
the
machine
e shop. He noticed tha
at the metalllic grindingss from hard
s
steel
parts (held by a magnetic chuck while being ground) formed
f
patt
terns
on the
e face of the parts which
h correspond
ded to the crracks in the
s
surface.
Applying a fine
A
f
ferromag
gnetic powder to the parrts caused a build up of
powder over flaws and formed
f
a vissible indicatio
on. The image shows a
1928 Electrro-Magnetic Steel Tessting Device
e (MPI) ma
ade by the
Equipment and
a Enginee
ering Compa
any Ltd. (ECO) of Strand
d, England.
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In the early 1930s, mag


gnetic particle inspection
n was quickly replacing the oil-and-w
whiting meth
hod (an earlyy
f
form
of the liquid penettrant inspecttion) as the method of choice
c
by th
he railroad in
ndustry to in
nspect steam
m
e
engine
boile
ers, wheels, axles, and tracks.
t
Toda
ay, the MPI inspection method
m
is ussed extensivvely to checkk
f flaws in a large varriety of manufactured materials
for
m
and
d componen
nts. MPI is used
u
to che
eck materialss
s
such
as stee
el bar stock for seams and
a other flaws prior to investing ma
achining time
e during the manufacturring of a com
mponent.
Critical auto
omotive com
mponents are
e inspected for flaws aftter fabricatio
on to ensure
e that defective parts are
e
not placed into service. MPI is used
d to inspect some highlyy loaded com
mponents th
hat have bee
en in-service
e
f a period of time. Forr example, many
for
m
compo
onents of hig
gh performan
nce racecarss are inspeccted whenevve the engine, drive train
er
n or anotherr system und
dergoes an overhaul.
o
MP
PI is also used to evalua
ate the integrity of structu
ural welds on
o bridges, storage tankss, and other safety critical structuress.
Magnetism:
Magnets are
e very comm
mon items in
n the workp
place and ho
ousehold. Uses of magnets range from
f
holding
g
pictures on the refrigera
ator to causing torque in
n electric mo
otors. Most people are familiar with
h the genera
al
properties of
o magnets but
b are less familiar with
h the source
e of magnetism. The traditional conccept of magnetism cente
ers around the
t magneticc field and what
w
is know as a dipole..
The term "m
T
d
a volume of space
s
where
e there is a change in energy
e
within
n
magnetic fie
eld" simply describes
t
that
volume. This chang
ge in energyy can be de
etected and measured. The
T location
n where a magnetic
m
field
d
can be dete
ected exiting or entering a material is
i called a magnetic
m
polle. Magneticc poles have
e never been
n
d
detected
in isolation bu
ut always occcur in pairss, hence the
e name dipo
ole. Thereforre, a dipole is an objecct
t
that
has a magnetic
m
pole
e on one end and a seco
ond, equal but
b opposite, magnetic pole
p
on the other.
o
A bar magnet can be co
onsidered a dipole with a north pole at one end and south pole
p
at the other. A magnetic field ca
an be measu
ured leaving the dipole at
a the north pole
p
and returning the magnet
m
at the
e south pole
e.
If a magnet is cut in tw
wo, two magn
nets or dipo
oles are crea
ated out of one.
o
This se
ectioning and
d creation o
of
d
dipoles
can continue to
o the atomicc level. Therefore, the source
s
of magnetism
m
lies in the ba
asic building
g
block of all matter...the
m
atom.
a
T Source
The
e of Magnetism:
All matter iss composed of atoms, and
A
a atoms are
a compose
ed of protonss,
neutrons an
nd electrons
s. The proto
ons and neu
utrons are lo
ocated in th
he
a
atom's
nucleus and the
e electrons are in consstant motion
n around th
he
nucleus. Ele
ectrons carrry a negativve electricall charge an
nd produce a
magnetic fie
eld as they move throu
ugh space. A magneticc field is pro
od
duced
when
never an ele
ectrical charg
ge is in mottion. The strrength of this
f
field
is called
d the magne
etic momen
nt.
This may be
T
e hard to visualize on a subatomic
s
s
scale
but con
nsider electric
current flow
wing through a conducto
or. When the electrons (electric current) are flo
owing throug
gh the condu
uctor, a mag
gnetic field forms
f
aroun
nd
t conducto
the
or.
The magnettic field can be
T
b detected using a com
mpass. The magnetic fie
eld will place
e a force on the
t compasss
needle, whicch is anothe
er example of
o a dipole. Since
S
all ma
atter is comp
prised of ato
oms, all mate
erials are afff
fected
in som
me way by a magnetic field.
f
Howeve
er, not all materials reacct the same way.
w

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Diamagnetic, Paramagnetic and Ferromagnetic Materials:


When a material is placed within a magnetic field, the magnetic forces of the material's electrons will be
affected. This effect is known as Faraday's Law of Magnetic Induction. However, materials can react
quite differently to the presence of an external magnetic field. This reaction is dependent on a number of
factors, such as the atomic and molecular structure of the material, and the net magnetic field associated
with the atoms. The magnetic moments associated with atoms have three origins. These are the electron
motion, the change in motion caused by an external magnetic field, and the spin of the electrons.
In most atoms, electrons occur in pairs. Electrons in a pair spin in opposite directions. So, when electrons
are paired together, their opposite spins cause their magnetic fields to cancel each other. Therefore, no
net magnetic field exists. Alternately, materials with some unpaired electrons will have a net magnetic field
and will react more to an external field. Most materials can be classified as diamagnetic, paramagnetic or
ferromagnetic.

Diamagnetic: materials have a weak, negative susceptibility to magnetic fields. Diamagnetic


materials are slightly repelled by a magnetic field and the material does not retain the magnetic
properties when the external field is removed. In diamagnetic materials all the electron are paired
so there is no permanent net magnetic moment per atom. Diamagnetic properties arise from the
realignment of the electron paths under the influence of an external magnetic field. Most elements
in the periodic table, including copper, silver, and gold, are diamagnetic.

Paramagnetic: materials have a small, positive susceptibility to magnetic fields. These materials are slightly attracted by a magnetic field and the material does not retain the magnetic properties when the external field is removed. Paramagnetic properties are due to the presence of some
unpaired electrons, and from the realignment of the electron paths caused by the external magnetic
field. Paramagnetic materials include magnesium, molybdenum, lithium, and tantalum

Ferromagnetic: materials have a large, positive susceptibility to an external magnetic field.


They exhibit a strong attraction to magnetic fields and are able to retain their magnetic properties
after the external field has been removed. Ferromagnetic materials have some unpaired electrons
so their atoms have a net magnetic moment. They get their strong magnetic properties due to the
presence of magnetic domains. In these domains, large numbers of atom's moments (1012 to 1015)
are aligned parallel so that the magnetic force within the domain is strong.

When a ferromagnetic material is in the unmagnitized state, the properties are nearly randomly organized and the net magnetic field for the part as a whole is zero. When a magnetizing force is applied, the
domains become aligned to produce a strong magnetic field within the part. Iron, nickel, and cobalt are
examples of ferromagnetic materials. Components with these materials are commonly inspected using the
magnetic particle method.
Magnetic Properties:
Ferromagnetic materials get their magnetic properties not only because their atoms carry a magnetic moment but also because the material is made up of small regions known as magnetic domains. In each domain, all of the atomic dipoles are coupled together in a preferential direction.
This alignment develops as the material develops its crystalline structure during solidification from the molten state. The magnetic properties can be detected using Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) and images of the domains as shown below.

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Magnettic Force Microscopy


M
(MFM)
image showing
s
the
e magnetic properp
ties in a piece of he
eat treated carbon
c
steel.

During solid
dification, a trillion
t
or mo
ore atom moments are aligned
a
paralllel so that th
he magneticc force within
n
t domain is strong in one directio
the
on. Ferromag
gnetic materials are said to be charracterized byy "spontane
eo magnettization" sinc
ous
ce they obta
ain saturation
n magnetiza
ation in each
h of the dom
mains withoutt an externa
al
magnetic fie
eld being applied. Even though the domains are
e magnetica
ally saturated
d, the bulk material
m
mayy
not show an
ny signs of magnetism because the
e domains develop
d
them
mselves and
d are randomly oriented
d
relative to ea
ach other.
Ferromagne
etic materials
s become magnetized
m
w
when
the ma
agnetic dom
mains within the
t material are aligned
d.
T
This
can be done by pla
acing the ma
aterial in a sttrong external magnetic field or by passing
p
elecctrical curren
nt
t
through
the material. So
ome or all off the domain
ns can becom
me aligned. The more domains thatt are aligned
d,
t strongerr the magnetic field in th
the
he material. When all of the domains are aligne
ed, the materrial is said to
o
be magneticcally saturatted. When a material iss magnetica
ally saturated
d, no additio
onal amount of externa
al
magnetizatio
on force will cause an in
ncrease in itss internal levvel of magne
etization.

Unmagn
netized Mate
erial

Magnetizzed Material

Magnetic Field Around


d a Bar Mag
gnet:
As discusse
A
ed previously
y, a magnettic field is a change in energy
e
within a volume of space. The
T magneticc
f
field
surroun
nding a bar magnet
m
can be seen in the
t magneto
ograph belo
ow. A magne
etograph can be created
d
by placing a piece of pa
aper over a magnet
m
and sprinkling th
he paper with
h iron filings.
The particle
T
es align them
mselves with
h the lines of
o magneticc force produ
uced by the
e magnet. The magneticc
lines of force
e show whe
ere the magn
netic field exxits the mate
erial at one pole
p
and ree
enters the material at ano
other
pole along
a
the len
ngth of the magnet.
m
It sh
hould be note
ed that the magnetic
m
lines of force exist
e
in three
e
d
dimensions
but are only
y seen in two
o dimensionss in the imag
ge.

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It can be se
een in the magnetograp
m
ph that therre are poles all along th
he length of the magnett but that the
e
poles are co
oncentrated at the ends of the magn
net. The area
a where the exit poles arre concentra
ated is called
d
t
the
magnet''s north pole
e and the arrea where th
he entrance
e poles are concentrated
c
d is called the
t magnet'ss
s
south
pole.
Magnetic Fields Aroun
nd a Horses
shoe and Riing Magnets
s:
Magnets co
ome in a varriety of shap
pes and one
e of the mo
ore common is the horsseshoe (U) magnet.
m
The
e
horseshoe magnet
m
has north and so
outh poles ju
ust like a ba
ar magnet bu
ut the magne
et is curved so the poless
lie in the same plane. The
T magneticc lines of forrce flow from
m pole to po
ole just like in
i the bar magnet.
m
How
we
ever,
since the
t poles arre located clo
oser togethe
er and a more direct patth exists for the lines of flux to trave
el
between the
e poles, the magnetic
m
fie
eld is concen
ntrated betwe
een the pole
es.
If a bar mag
gnet was placed across the
t end of a horseshoe magnet or iff a magnet was
w formed in the shape
e
o a ring, th
of
he lines of magnetic
m
forcce would no
ot even need
d to enter th
he air. The value of succh a magne
et
w
where
the magnetic
m
field
d is complettely containe
ed with the material
m
prob
bably has lim
mited use. However,
H
it iss
important to
o understand
d that the ma
agnetic field can flow in loop
l
within a material.
General Pro
operties of Magnetic Lines of Forc
ce:
Magnetic lin
nes of force have
h
a numb
ber of imporrtant propertiies, which in
nclude:

Theyy seek the path of least resistance between


b
opp
posite magnetic poles. In a
singlle bar magn
net as show
wn to the right, they atte
empt to form
m closed loo
ops
from pole to pole
e.
Theyy never cross one another.
Theyy all have the
e same stren
ngth.
Their density de
ecreases (they spread out)
o
when th
hey move frrom an area
a of
highe
er permeability to an are
ea of lower permeability
p
.
Their density dec
creases with
h increasing distance fro
om the poless.
Theyy are consid
dered to havve direction as if flowing
g, though no
o actual movvementt occurs.
Theyy flow from the south pole to the norrth pole withiin a material and north pole
p
to south
h pole in air.

Electromag
gnetic Fields
s:
Magnets are
e not the only source off magnetic fiields. In 182
20, Hans Ch
hristian Oerrsted discovvered that an
n
e
electric
current flowing through
t
a wire
w caused a nearby com
mpass to de
eflect. This in
ndicated tha
at the curren
nt
in the wire was
w generatiing a magne
etic field.

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Oersted studied the natture of the magnetic


m
fie
eld around th
he long straight
w
wire.
He fou
und that the magnetic field existed in circular fo
orm around the
w
wire
and th
hat the inten
nsity of the field was directly
d
prop
portional to the
a
amount
of current carrie
ed by the wirre.
He also foun
nd that the strength
s
of the
t field wass strongest next
n
to the wire
w
a diminish
and
hed with disttance from the conducto
or until it cou
uld no longerr be
d
detected.
In most condu
uctors, the magnetic
m
field
d exists onlyy as long as the
current is flo
owing (i.e. an
a electrical charge is in
n motion). However,
H
in ferromagnetic materials th
he electric current
c
will cause som
me or all of the
magnetic do
omains to allign and a re
esidual magn
netic field will remain.
r
Oersted also noticed that the direction of the
magnetic fie
eld was dep
pendent on the direction
n of
the electrica
al current in the wire.
A three-dim
mensional re
epresentatio
on of the magm
netic field iss shown bellow. There is
i a simple rule
r
for rememb
bering the direction off the magnetic
field around
d a conducctor. It is ca
alled the rig
ghthand clasp
p rule.
If a person
p
gras
sps a conducctor in one'ss right hand
d with the thumb pointin
ng in the dire
ection of the
e
curre
ent, the finge
ers will circle
e the conducctor in the dirrection of the
e magnetic field.
f
A word of caution about
a
the riight-hand clasp
c
rule:
For the right-hand rule
r
to work, one importtant thing th
hat must be remembere
ed about the
e direction o
of
current flow.
f
Standa
ard convention has curre
ent flowing from
f
the possitive termin
nal to the negative terminal. Thiss convention
n is credited to Benjamin Franklin who
w theorize
ed that electric current was
w due to a
positive charge mov
ving from the positive te
erminal to th
he negative terminal. Ho
owever, it was
w later disscovered that it is the
e movement of the nega
atively charged electron that is respo
onsible for electrical
e
currrent. Ratther than changing seve
eral centuries of theory and
a equation
ns, Franklin's convention
n is still used
d
today.

Magnetic Field of a Co
oil:
When a currrent carrying
W
g conductorr is formed into a loop or
o several lo
oops to form
m a coil, a magnetic
m
field
d
d
develops
tha
at flows thrrough the center
of the
e loop or co
oil along its longitudina
c
al axis and circles backk
a
around
the outside
o
of th
he loop or co
oil. The magn
netic field circling each loop
l
of wire combines with
w the fieldss
f
from
the oth
her loops to produce a concentrate
ed field down
n the centerr of the coil. A loosely wound
w
coil iss

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illustrated below to sho


ow the intera
action of the
e magnetic field. The magnetic
m
field is essenttially uniform
m
d
down
the len
ngth of the coil
c when it iss wound tigh
hter.

The strength
T
h of a coil's magnetic fiield increase
es not only with increassing current but also witth each loop
p
t
that
is adde
ed to the coiil. A long, sttraight coil of
o wire is ca
alled a solen
noid and can
n be used to
o generate a
nearly uniform magnetic
c field simila
ar to that of a bar magne
et. The conccentrated ma
agnetic field inside a coil
is very usefful in magne
etizing ferro
omagnetic materials
m
for inspection using the magnetic
m
pa
article testing
g
method. Ple
ease be awa
are that the field outside
e the coil is weak and iss not suitable for magne
etizing ferro
omagnetic ma
aterials.
Flaw Detectability:
To properly inspect a co
T
omponent fo
or cracks or other defectts, it is impo
ortant to understand thatt the orienta
at
tion
between the magnetic lines off force and the flaw is very
v
importa
ant. There are
a two gene
eral types o
of
magnetic fie
elds that can
n be establish
hed within a componentt.
A longitudinal magnetic field has magnetic liness of force th
hat run paralllel to the lon
ng axis of th
he part. Long
gitudinal ma
agnetization of a compo
onent can be accomplish
hed using the
e longitudina
al field set up
p by a coil or
o
s
solenoid.
It can also be
b accomplisshed using permanent magnets or
o
e
electromagn
nets.

A circular magnetic
m
field
d has magne
etic lines of force that ru
un circumferre
entially
arou
und the perimeter of a part. A circu
ular magnettic field is in
nd
duced
in an article by either
e
passin
ng current through the co
omponent or
o
by passing current
c
throu
ugh a conductor surroun
nded by the component.
c

The type of magnetic fie


T
eld establish
hed is determ
mined by the
e method ussed to magn
netize the sp
pecimen. Be
eing able to magnetize
m
th
he part in tw
wo direction
ns is importa
ant because the best dettection of de
efects occurss
w
when
the lin
nes of magne
etic force are
e established at right an
ngles to the longest dime
ension of the
e defect.
This orienta
T
ation creates
s the largestt disruption of the magnetic field within
w
the pa
art and the greatest fluxx
leakage at the surface of
o the part. As
A can be se
een in the im
mage below, if the magne
etic field is parallel
p
to the
e
d
defect,
the field
f
will see little disrupttion and no flux
f
leakage field will be produced.

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An orientatio
A
on of 45 to 90
9 degrees between
b
the
e magnetic field and the defect is ne
ecessary to form
f
an indication. Sincce defects may
m occur in various and
d unknown directions, each
e
part is normally magnetized
m
in
n
t
two
direction
ns at right angles to eacch other. If th
he compone
ent below is considered, it is known that passing
g
current throu
ugh the partt from end to
t end will establish
e
a circular
c
magn
netic field th
hat will be 90
0 degrees to
o
t direction
the
n of the curre
ent. Therefo
ore, defects that
t
have a significant dimension
d
in
n the directio
on of the currrent (longitu
udinal defectts) should be
e detectable
e. Alternatelyy, transverse
e-type defeccts will not be
b detectable
e
w circularr magnetizattion.
with

Ferromagnetic Materia
als:
There are a variety of methods
T
m
that can be use
ed to establish a magne
etic field in a componen
nt for evalua
at
tion
using magnetic
m
parrticle inspecttion. It is co
ommon to cla
assify the magnetizing
m
m
methods
as either direcct
o indirect.
or
1 Magnetiz
1.
zation Using Direct Ind
duction (Dirrect Magnettization):
With direct magnetizatio
W
on, current is passed directly throu
ugh the com
mponent. Recall that whenever current flows, a magnetic
m
fielld is producced.
Using the riight-hand ru
ule, which was
w introduce
ed earlier, itt is known that
t
t magnetiic lines of flu
the
ux form norm
mal to the direction
d
of the
t current and
a
f
form
a circular field in an
nd around th
he conductor.
When using
W
g the direct magnetizatio
m
on method, care must be
b taken to ens
sure
that go
ood electrica
al contact iss established
d and mainttained betwe
een
t test equipment and the test com
the
mponent. Imp
proper conta
act can result in
a
arcing
that may damag
ge the comp
ponent. It is also possib
ble to overh
heat
componentss in areas off high resista
ance such as
a the contacct points and
d in
a
areas
of small cross-sec
ctional area..

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There are several ways


T
s that direct magnetizatio
on is commonly accomp
plished. One
e way involvves clamping
g
t component between
the
n two electriccal contacts in a special piece of eq
quipment. Cu
urrent is passsed through
h
t component and a circular
the
c
magn
netic field iss established
d in and
a
around
the component.
c
When the magnetizing
W
m
g current is stopped, a residual ma
agnetic
f
field
will rem
main within th
he compone
ent. The stre
ength of the induced
i
magnetic fie
eld is propo
ortional to the
t
amount of current passed
t
through
the component..
A second te
echnique involves using clamps or prods, wh
hich are
a
attached
or placed in contact
c
with the compon
nent. Electrical current flows th
hrough the component from contacct to contactt. The curre
ent sets up a circular magnetic
m
field
d
a
around
the path
p
of the current.
c
2 Magnetiz
2.
zation Using Indirect In
nduction (In
ndirect Mag
gnetization):
Indirect mag
gnetization is accomplisshed by usin
ng a strong external ma
agnetic field to establish
h a magneticc
f
field
within the compone
ent. As with direct magnetization, there are seve
eral ways tha
at indirect magnetization
m
n
can be acco
omplished.
The use of permanent
T
m
of establishing
e
a magnetic field.
f
Howevver, their use
e
p
magnets is a low cost method
is limited du
ue to lack off control of the
t field stre
ength and th
he difficulty of
o placing an
nd removing
g strong perrmanent mag
gnets from th
he compone
ent.
e form of an
n adjustable horseshoe magnet (called a yoke)) eliminate the problemss
Electromag
gnets: in the
a
associated
w permanent magnetss and are ussed extensivvely in industtry.
with
Electromagn
nets only ex
xhibit a mag
gnetic flux when
w
electric current iss flowing aro
ound the so
oft iron core
e.
W
When
the magnet
m
is placed on the componen
nt, a magne
etic field is established between th
he north and
d
s
south
poles of the magn
net. Anotherr way of indirrectly inductting a magne
etic field in a material is by using the
e
magnetic fie
eld of a curre
ent carrying conductor.
A circular magnetic
m
fielld can be established
e
i cylindrica
in
al components by ussing a centra
ore cylinal conducto
or. Typicallyy, one or mo
d
drical
compo
onents are hung
h
from a solid copper bar running
g through
t inside diameter.
the
d
Cu
urrent is passsed through
h the copperr bar and
t
the
resulting
g circular magnetic
m
fie
eld establish
hes a magn
netic field
w
within
the te
est compone
ents.
The use of coils and so
T
olenoids is a third metthod of indirrect magnetization. When
W
the length of a co
omponent iss several tim
mes larger
t
than
its diam
meter, a long
gitudinal mag
gnetic field can
c be estab
blished in
t compon
the
nent. The co
omponent is placed long
gitudinally in the concentrated magnetic
m
field that fills the
t
center of
o a coil or solenoid.
T
This
magnetization tech
hnique is ofte
en referred to
t as a "coil shot."
s
Magnetizing
g Current:
As seen in the
A
t previous
s pages, ele
ectric currentt is often ussed to est
tablish
the magnetic fie
eld in comp
ponents during magneticc particle

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inspection. Alternating
A
current
c
and direct current are the tw
wo basic typ
pes of current commonlyy used. Currrent from sin
ngle phase 110 volts, to
o three phasse 440 volts,, are used when
w
genera
ating an elecctric field in a
component. Current flow
w is often mo
odified to pro
ovide the ap
ppropriate fie
eld within the
e part.
1. Direct Current:
Direct current (DC) flow
ws continuoussly in one direction at a constant voltage. A batttery is the most
m
common
n
s
source
of diirect current. As previou
usly mention
ned, current is said to flo
ow from the positive to the negative
e
t
terminal.
In actuality, the
e electrons flow
f
in the opposite direcction.
DC is very desirable
d
wh
hen inspecting for subsu
urface defeccts because DC generattes a magne
etic field tha
at
penetrates deeper
d
into the
t material. In ferromagnetic materials, the ma
agnetic field produced by
b DC generra penetrattes the entirre cross-secttion of the co
ally
omponent. Conversely, the field pro
oduced usin
ng alternating
g
current is co
oncentrated in a thin laye
er at the surrface of the component.
c
2. Alterrnating Currrent:
Alternating current (AC
A
C) reverses in direction at a rate of
o 50 or 60 cycles perr second. In
n the United
d
States, 60 cycle
c
currentt is the commercial norm
m but 50 cyccle current iss common in many countries. Since
e
A is readilyy available in
AC
i most facilities, it is co
onvenient to make use of
o it for magnetic particle
e inspection
n.
However, when AC is used to inducce a magnettic field in ferromagneticc materials, the
t magneticc field will be
e
limited to na
arrow region at the surface of the component.
This phenom
T
menon is kno
own as the "skin
"
effect" and occurs because the
e changing magnetic
m
fie
eld generatess
e
eddy
currents in the test object. The
e eddy curre
ents produce
e a magneticc field that op
pposes the primary
p
field
d,
t
thus
reducin
ng the net magnetic
m
flux below the surface.
s
The
erefore, it is recommend
r
ed that AC be
b used onlyy
w
when
the insspection is liimited to surrface defectss.
3. Recttified Altern
nating Curre
ent:
Clearly, the skin effect limits the use
e of AC sincce many insp
pection applications call for the dete
ection of sub
bs
surface
defe
ects. Howev
ver, the convvenient acce
ess to AC, drives
d
its usse beyond surface
s
flaw inspectionss.
Luckily, AC can be conv
verted to currrent that is very much like DC throu
ugh the proccess of rectiffication. With
h
t use of re
the
ectifiers, the
e reversing AC
A can be converted
c
to
o a one direcctional curre
ent. The thre
ee commonlyy
used types of
o rectified current
c
are described below.

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4. Half Wave Recttified Altern


nating Curre
ent (HWAC):
When single
W
e phase alte
ernating currrent is passe
ed through a rectifier,
current is alllowed to flo
ow in only one
o direction
n. The reverrse half of
e
each
cycle is blocked out so that a one directio
onal, pulsatin
ng current
is produced
d. The curre
ent rises from
m zero to a maximum and then
returns to zero. No current flows during
d
the tim
me when the reverse
cycle is bloccked out. Th
he HWAC repeats at sam
me rate as the unrect
tified
curren
nt (60 hertz typical). Sin
nce half of th
he current iss blocked
o the amp
out,
perage is ha
alf of the una
altered AC.
This type off current is often
T
o
referred
d to as half wave
w
DC or pulsating
DC. The pulsation of th
he HWAC he
elps magnettic particle in
ndications
f
form
by vibrrating the pa
articles and giving them added mob
bility. This ad
dded mobility is especia
ally importan
nt
w
when
using dry particles
s. The pulsa
ation is reported to significantly imprrove inspecttion sensitiviity. HWAC iss
most often used
u
to powe
er electroma
agnetic yoke
es.
5. Full Wave Rectified Alternating Curre
ent (FWAC) (Single Pha
ase):
Full wave re
ectification in
nverts the negative currrent to positive current rather
r
than blocking
b
it out.
o This pro
od
duces
a pulsating DC with no inte
erval betwee
en the pulse
es. Filtering is usually performed
p
to soften the
e
s
sharp
polarity switching in the rectiffied current. While particcle mobility is not as good as half-w
wave AC due
e
t the reducction in pulsa
to
ation, the dep
pth of the su
ubsurface magnetic field
d is improved
d.
6. Thre
ee Phase Fu
ull Wave Re
ectified Alternating Currrent:
Three phase current is often used to power in
T
ndustrial equipment beccause it hass more favo
orable powe
er
t
transmission
n and line loading charracteristics. This type of
o electrical current is also
a
highly desirable
d
fo
or
magnetic pa
article testing
g because when
w
it is recctified and fiiltered, the resulting
r
currrent very clo
osely resembles direct current.
c
Statiionary magn
netic particle
e equipment wired with three
t
phase AC will usua
ally have the
e
a
ability
to ma
agnetize with AC or DC
C (three phase full wave
e rectified), providing the inspector with the adv
vantages
of each curren
nt form.
Longitudina
al Magnetic
c Fields:
When the le
W
ength of a co
omponent is several time
es larger tha
an its diametter, a longitu
udinal magnetic field can
n
be establish
hed in the co
omponent. The
T compon
nent is often placed long
gitudinally in
n the concen
ntrated magnetic field th
hat fills the center
c
of a coil
c or solen
noid. This magnetization
n technique is often refe
erred to as a
"coil shot."
The magnettic field trave
T
els through the
t component from end to end witth some fluxx loss along its length ass
s
shown
in the
e image to the right. Kee
ep in mind th
hat the magnetic lines of
o flux occur in three dim
mensions and
d
a only sho
are
own in 2D in the image.
The magnettic lines of flux are mucch more den
T
nse inside th
he ferromagnetic material
m
than
n in air beccause ferrom
magnetic materials
m
have much higher perrmeability than
t
does air.
a When the concentrated flu
ux within the
e material co
omes to the air
a at the end of the
component, it must sprread out sin
nce the air can
c
not sup
pport as
many lines of
o flux per unit
u volume. To keep fro
om crossing as they
s
spread
out, some of the
e magnetic lines of fluxx are forced out the
s
side
of the component.
c
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When a com
W
mponent is magnetized
m
along its complete lengtth, the flux loss is smalll along its le
ength. There
ef
fore,
when a component is uniform in cross secction and ma
agnetic perm
meability, the
e flux densityy will be rela
at
tively
uniform
m throughou
ut the compo
onent. Flawss that run no
ormal to the magnetic lin
nes of flux will disturb the
e
f
flux
lines and often caus
se a leakage
e field at the surface of the compone
ent.

When a com
W
mponent witth considera
able length is magnetize
ed using a solenoid,
s
it is possible to
t magnetize
e
o
only
a portio
on of the component. Only the mate
erial within the
t solenoid and about the same width on each
h
s
side
of the solenoid
s
will be strongly magnetized
d. At some distance
d
from
m the soleno
oid, the magnetic lines o
of
f
force
will ab
bandon theirr longitudinal direction, leave the pa
art at a pole on one side
e of the sole
enoid and re
et
turn
to the part
p at a oppo
osite pole on
n the other side
s
of the so
olenoid.
This occurs because th
T
he magnetizing force dim
minishes witth increasing distance from
f
the sollenoid. As a
result, the magnetizing
m
force may only
o
be stro
ong enough to align the
e magnetic domains
d
with
hin and veryy
near the sollenoid. The unmagnetized portion of
o the compo
onent will no
ot support ass much mag
gnetic flux ass
t magnetized portion and some of
the
o the flux will be forced out of the pa
art as illustra
ated in the im
mage below
w.
T
Therefore,
a long comp
ponent must be magnetized and insspected at several
s
locattions along its length fo
or
complete insspection cov
verage.

Circular Ma
agnetic Field
ds:
As discusse
A
ed previously
y, when currrent is passe
ed through a solid conductor, a mag
gnetic field forms
f
in and
d
a
around
the conductorr. The follow
wing stateme
ents can be made aboutt the distribu
ution and inttensity of the
e
magnetic fie
eld.

The field strength varies from


m zero at th
he center of the compon
nent to a maxximum at the
e surface.
The field strengtth at the surfface of the conductor
c
de
ecreases as the radius of
o the conductor increasses when
w
the currrent strength is held constant. (How
wever, a larg
ger conducto
or is capable
e of carrying
g
more
e current.)

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The field strengtth outside th


he conducto
or is directly proportiona
al to the current strength
h. Inside the
e
cond
ductor, the field strength is dependent on the cu
urrent strength, magneticc permeability of the ma
aterial, and if mag
gnetic, the lo
ocation on th
he B-H curve
e.
The field strength outside the conductorr decreases with
w distance from the conductor.
c

In the image
es below, the
e magnetic field
f
strength
h is graphed
d versus disttance from the center off the conducct It can be
tor.
e seen that in
i a nonmag
gnetic condu
uctor carrying
g DC, the intternal field strength
s
rise
es from zero
o
a the cente
at
er to a max
ximum value
e at the surfface of the conductor.
c
T external field streng
The
gth decrease
e
w distance from the surface
with
s
of the
e conductor..
When the co
W
onductor is a magnetic material, the
e field strength within th
he conductor is much grreater than iit
is in the non
nmagnetic co
onductor. Th
his is due to the permeability of the magnetic
m
ma
aterial. The external
e
field
d
is exactly the same for the
t two mate
erials provide
ed the curre
ent level and conductor radius
r
are th
he same.

Th
he magnetic field distribution in and The magnetic field
f
distribution in and
arround a solid
d conductor of a nonma
agnet- around
d a solid conductor
c
o a magne
of
etic
ic material carrrying directt current.
materiial carrying direct
d
curre
ent.
When the co
W
onductor is carrying alternating currrent, the internal magne
etic field strrength rises from zero at
a the cente
er
to a maximu
um at the surface. Howe
ever, the field is concentrated in a th
hin layer nea
ar the surface
e of the cond
ductor.
This is know
T
wn as the "skkin effect." The
T skin effe
ect is eviden
nt
in the field strength
s
verrsus distancce graph forr a magneticc
c
conductor
sh
hown to the right. The external field decreasess
w
with
increasing distance
e from the surface as it does with
h
D
DC.
A the field is constantlyy
The magnettic field distrribution in an
T
nd around It should be remembered that with AC
v
in sttrength and direction. In a hollow circular cona solid cond
ductor of a magnetic
m
ma
aterial car- varying
d
ductor
there is no magnetic field in the
t void are
ea. The magrying alterna
ating curren
nt.
n
netic
field is zero at the inside wall surface and
d rises until iit
reaches a maximum
m
at the
t outside wall
w surface.
As with a so
A
olid conducto
or, when the
e conductor is a magnettic material, the field stre
ength within the conducct is much greater
tor
g
than
n it was in the
e nonmagne
etic conducto
or due to the
e permeability of the ma
agnetic mate
erial. The extternal field strength
s
deccreases with
h distance frrom the surfface of the conductor. The
T
externa
al
f
field
is exacctly the sam
me for the tw
wo materialss provided the
t
current level and conductor radius are the
e
s
same.

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The magnetic
m
field distribution in and aro
ound The ma
agnetic field
d distribution
n in and aro
ound a
a hollo
ow conducto
or of a nonm
magnetic matterial hollow conductor of
o a magneticc material ca
arrying
carryin
ng direct cu
urrent.
direct current.

The magnettic field distrribution in and around a


T
hollow cond
ductor of a magnetic
m
ma
aterial carry-ing alternating current.

The magn
netic field disstribution in and
a around
a nonmag
gnetic centra
al conductor carrying DC
C
inside a hollow
h
condu
uctor of a ma
agnetic
material.

When AC iss passed through a hollo


W
ow circular conductor,
c
th
he skin effecct concentra
ates the mag
gnetic field a
at
t outside diameter of the compon
the
nent. As ca
an be learned from these
e three field distribution images, the
e
f
field
strength at the insiide surface of hollow co
onductor is very
v
low whe
en a circular magnetic field
f
was esst
tablished
byy direct magn
netization.
Therefore, the
T
t
direct method of ma
agnetization is not recommended when
w
inspeccting the inside diamete
er
w of a holllow compon
wall
nent for shallow defects. The field sttrength incre
eases rapidlyy as one mo
oves out (into
o
t material) from the ID
the
D, so if the defect has sig
gnificant dep
pth, it may be
b detectable
e.
However, a much bette
er method off magnetizin
ng hollow co
omponents fo
or inspection of the ID and
a OD surrf
faces
is with
h the use of
o a central conductor.
c
A can be seen
As
s
in the field distribu
ution image to the rightt,
w
when
curren
nt is passed
d through a nonmagnettic central conductor
c
(ccopper bar), the magne
etic field pro
od
duced
on the inside diam
meter surfacce of a magn
netic tube is much greate
er and the field is still strong enough
h
f defect de
for
etection on the
t OD surfa
ace.
Demagnetizzation:
After conducting a mag
A
gnetic particcle inspectio
on, it is usua
ally necessa
ary to dema
agnetize the componentt.
Remanent magnetic
m
fields can:

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affecct machining
g by causing cuttings to cling
c
to a component.
interffere with ele
ectronic equiipment such as a compa
ass.
create a conditio
on known ass "arc blow" in the weldin
ng process. Arc blow ma
ay cause the
e weld arc to
o
wond
der or filler metal
m
to be repelled
r
from
m the weld.
causse abrasive particles
p
to cling
c
to bearring or faying
g surfaces and increase wear.

Removal of a field may


y be accomplished in several
s
wayss. This rand
dom orientattion of the magnetic
m
do
omains can be
b achieved
d most effecctively by he
eating the material
m
abo
ove its curie temperaturre. The curie
e
t
temperature
e for a low ca
arbon steel is 770oC or 1390oF. Wh
hen steel is heated abovve its curie temperature
t
e,
it will becom
me austenitiic and lose
es its magn
netic properties. When
n it is coole
ed back dow
wn, it will go
o
t
through
a re
everse trans
sformation and will conta
ain no residual magnetiic field. The material should also be
e
placed with it long axis in
i an east-w
west orientation to avoid any influencce
o the Earth''s magnetic field.
of
It is often inconvenient to
t heat a ma
aterial above
e its curie te
emperature to
t
d
demagnetize
e it, so anotther method that returnss the materia
al to a nearly
unmagnetize
ed state is commonly
c
u
used.
Subjeccting the com
mponent to a
reversing an
nd decreasin
ng magnetic field will return the dipo
oles to a nearly random orientation throughout the
e material.
This can be accomplish
T
hed by pulling a compon
nent out and away from a
coil with AC
C passing th
hrough it. Th
he same ca
an also be accomplishe
a
ed
using an ele
ectromagnettic yoke with
h AC selecte
ed. Also, ma
any stationarry
magnetic pa
article inspec
ction units come
c
with a demagnetizzation featurre
t
that
slowly reduces
r
the AC in a coil in which the
e componentt is placed.
A field mete
er is often used to verifyy that the re
esidual flux has been re
emoved from
m a compone
ent. Industryy standards usually req
quire that the magnetic flux be reduced to lesss
t
than
3 gauss after.
Measuring Magnetic Fields:
F
When performing a mag
W
gnetic particcle inspectio
on, it is very important to
o be able
t determine
to
e the directio
on and inten
nsity of the magnetic
m
field. As discusssed prev
viously,
the direction off the magne
etic field sho
ould be betw
ween 45 and 90 deg
grees
to the
e longest dim
mension of th
he flaw for be
est detectab
bility.
The field inttensity must be high eno
T
ough to cause an indica
ation to form
m, but not
t
too
high to cause non
nrelevant ind
dications to
o mask relevant indicattions. To
cause an indication to form,
f
the fielld strength in the object must produ
uce a flux
leakage field
d that is stro
ong enough to hold the magnetic pa
articles in pllace over
a discontinu
uity. Flux me
easurement devices ca
an provide im
mportant infformation
a
about
the fie
eld strength.
Since it is im
mpractical to
o measure th
he actual fie
eld strength within the material,
m
all the
t devices measure the
e
magnetic fie
eld that is ou
utside of the
e material. There
T
are a number
n
of different
d
deviices that can
n be used to
o
d
detect
and measure
m
an external magnetic field
d. The two devices
d
com
mmonly used
d in magnetic particle ins
spection
are
e the field in
ndicator and the Hall-efffect meter, which
w
is also
o called a gauss meter.. Pie gaugess
a shims are
and
a devices that
t
are often used to prrovide an ind
dication of th
he field direcction and strrength but do
o
not actually yield a quan
ntitative mea
asure.

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Field Indica
ators:
Field indicattors are sma
all mechaniccal devices that utilize a soft iron vane that is deflected
d
byy a magneticc
f
field.
The X--ray image below
b
showss the inside working of a field meter looking in from the sid
de. The vane
e
is attached to a needle that rotatess and movess the pointerr for the sca
ale. Field ind
dicators can be adjusted
d
a calibrated so that quantitative
and
q
i
information
c be obta
can
ained. Howevver, the mea
asurement range
r
of field
d
indicators iss usually sm
mall due to the mechanics of the de
evice. The one
o
shown to
t the right has a range
e
f
from
plus 20
0 gauss to minus
m
20 gau
uss. This lim
mited range makes
m
them best suited for measuring the residual magneticc field after demagnetiza
d
ation.
Hall-Effect (Gauss/Tes
sla) Meter:
A Hall-Effecct meter is an
n electronic device that provides a digid
t readout of the mag
tal
gnetic field strength in gauss or te
esla
units. The meters
m
use a very smalll conductor or semicond
duct element at the tip of
tor
o the probe. Electric cu
urrent is passsed
t
through
the conductor. In a magne
etic field, a force
f
is exe
erted
o the moving electrons
on
s which tend
ds to push th
hem to one side
s
o the condu
of
uctor.
A buildup off charge at the
t sides of the conducttors will bala
ance
t
this
magnettic influence
e, producing a measura
able voltage bet
tween
the two
t
sides off the condu
uctor. The presence
p
of this
measurable transverse voltage is called the Hall-Effect
H
a
after
covered it in 1879.
Edwin H. Hall, who disc

T voltage generated Vh
The
elated to the
e external ma
agnetic field by the follow
wing equatio
on.
V can be re
V = I B Rh / b
Vh
W
Where:
oltage genera
ated.
Vh is the vo
V
I is the appliied direct current.
mponent of th
he magneticc field that is at a right an
ngle to the direct currentt in the Hall element.
e
B is the com
all Coefficien
nt of the Halll element.
Rh is the Ha
e Hall elemen
nt.
b is the thickkness of the
w either ta
angential (trransverse) or
o axial senssing elemen
nts. Probes can be purrProbes are available with
chased in a wide variety
y of sizes an
nd configura
ations and with
w different measureme
ent ranges. The
T probe iss
placed in th
he magnetic field such that
t
the magnetic lines of force inttersect the major
m
dimen
nsions of the
e
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ssensing elem
ment at a rig
ght angle. Placement an
nd orientatio
on of the pro
obe is very im
mportant and
d will be disscussed in a later section
n.
Portable MT
T Equipmen
nt:
To properly inspect a part
T
p
for crackks or other defects,
d
it iss important to
t become familiar
f
with the differen
nt
t
types
of ma
agnetic fields
s and the eq
quipment ussed to generrate them. One
O of the primary
p
requ
uirements fo
or
d
detecting
a defect in a ferromagnet
f
tic material iss that the magnetic
m
field
d induced in the part mu
ust intercep
pt
t defect at
the
a a 45 to 90 degree an
ngle. Flaws that are normal (90 deg
grees) to the
e magnetic field
f
will pro
od
duce
the strrongest indic
cations because they dissrupt more of
o the magne
et flux.
Therefore, fo
T
or proper ins
spection of a componen
nt, it is imporrtant to be ab
ble to establish a magne
etic field in a
at
least two dirrections. A variety
v
of equipment exissts to establish the mag
gnetic field fo
or MPI. One way to classs equipme
sify
ent is based
d on its porttability. Som
me equipment is designe
ed to be porrtable so that inspectionss
can be mad
de in the fie
eld and some
e is designe
ed to be statiionary for ea
ase of inspection in the laboratory o
or
manufacturing facility.
Permanent Magnets:
Permanent magnets are
e sometimess used for magnetic
m
particle inspecction as
t source of
the
o magnetism. The two primary typ
pes of perma
anent magnets are
bar magnetts and hors
seshoe (yokke) magnets. These indu
ustrial magnets are
usually veryy strong and may require
e significant strength to remove them from
a piece of metal.
m
Some permanent magn
nets require over 50 pounds of forcce to remove them
f
from
the su
urface. Beca
ause it is diifficult to re
emove the magnets fro
om the
component being inspe
ected, and so
ometimes difficult and dangerous
d
to
o place
t magnetss, their use is
the
i not partic
cularly popu
ular.
However, pe
ermanent magnets are sometimes
s
u
used
by dive
ers for inspection in
underwater environmen
nts or other areas, succh as explossive environ
nments,
w
where
electtromagnets cannot be used. Perm
manent mag
gnets can also
a
be
made small enough to fit into tight areas
a
where electromagn
nets might not
n fit.
Electromag
gnets:
Today, mosst of the equ
T
uipment use
ed to create
e the magne
etic field use
ed in MPI iss based on electromagnetism. Tha
at is, using an
a electrical current to produce
p
the magnetic field. An elec
ctromagnettic yoke is a
v
very
commo
on piece of equipment
e
th
hat is used to
o establish a magnetic field.
It is basicallly made by wrapping an
a electrica
al coil aroun
nd a
piece of sofft ferromagn
netic steel. A switch is included in the
e
electrical
cirrcuit so that the current and, therefo
ore, the mag
gnetic field can be
b turned on
n and off.
They can be powered with altern
T
nating curre
ent from a wall
s
socket
or byy direct currrent from a battery pacck. This type of
magnet gen
nerates a very strong magnetic field
d in a local area
a
w
where
the poles
p
of the magnet
m
toucch the part being
b
inspeccted.
Some yokess can lift weights in exce
ess of 40 pou
unds.

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Portab
ble yoke witth a battery
y pack

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Portable
e magnetic particle
p
kit

Prods:
Prods are handheld
h
ellectrodes th
hat are presssed against the surf
face
of the component
c
being inspeccted to makke contact fo
or passing
e
electrical
cu
urrent throug
gh the meta
al. The curre
ent passing between
t prods crreates a circular magnettic field around the prodss that can
the
be used in magnetic
m
parrticle inspection.
Prods are tyypically mad
de from cop
pper and ha
ave an insula
ated hand to help protect the
dle
e operator. One of the prods has a trigger
s
switch
so th
hat the curre
ent can be quickly
q
and easily turne
ed on and
o Sometim
off.
mes the two
o prods are connected by any insu
ulator (as
s
shown
in the
e image) to facilitate
f
one
e hand operration. This iss referred
t as a dual prod and is commonly used
to
u
for weld inspection
ns.
If proper contact is not maintained between the
e prods and
d the component surface
e, electricall arcing can
n
occur and cause dam
mage to the component.. For this re
eason, the use
u of prodss are not allowed when
n
inspecting aerospace
a
and
a
other critical comp
ponents. To help preven
nt arcing, the
e prod tips should
s
be ins
spected
freq
quently to en
nsure that they are not oxidized,
o
covvered with sccale, contam
minants, or damaged.
The followin
T
ng applet sh
hows two pro
ods used to
o create a cu
urrent through a conduccting part. The
T resultan
nt
magnetic fie
eld roughly depicts
d
the patterns
p
exp
pected from an magnetic particle inspection of an unflawed
d
s
surface.
The
e user is encouraged to
o manipulate
e the prods to orient the
e magnetic field
f
to "cut across" susspected defects.
Portable Co
oils and Conductive Ca
ables:
Coils and co
onductive ca
ables are used to establlish a longitu
udinal magnetic field witthin a compo
onent. When
n
a preformed
d coil is use
ed, the comp
ponent is pla
aced agains
st the inside
e surface on
n the coil. Coils
C
typicallyy
have three or
o five turns of a copperr cable within the molde
ed frame. A foot
f
switch iss often used
d to energize
e
t coil. Con
the
nductive cab
bles are wra
apped aroun
nd the comp
ponent. The cable used is typically extra
e
flexible
e
o extra flexible.
or
The numberr of wraps is
T
s determined
d by the magnetizing force needed and of courrse, the leng
gth of the ca
able. Normallly, the wraps
s are kept ass close toge
ether as posssible. When using a coil or cable wrrapped into a
coil, ampera
age is usuallly expresse
ed in ampere
e-turns. Amp
pere-turns iss the amperrage shown on the amp
p
meter times the numberr of turns in the
t coil.
20113 Jurandir Priimo

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S
Stationary
M Equipm
MT
ment:
Stationary magnetic
m
particle inspecction equipm
ment is desig
gned for
ost comuse in labo
oratory or production
p
environme
ent. The mo
mon stationa
ary system is
i the wet ho
orizontal (be
ench) unit. Wet
W horiz
zontal
units are designe
ed to allow fo
or batch insp
pections of a variety
o components.
of
The units have
T
h
a
tail sto
ocks (simila
ar to a lath
he) with
head and
e
electrical
co
ontact that th
he part can be
b clamped between. A circular magneticc field is pro
oduced with
h direct mag
gnetization. The tail
s
stock
can be
e moved and
d locked into
o place to acccommodate
e parts of various lengths. To assist the operato
or
in clamping the parts, the
t contact on
o the head
dstock can be
b moved
pneumaticallly via a foott switch.
Most units also
a
have a movable co
i
place
oil that can be moved into
s the indire
so
ect magnetiz
zation can be
b used to produce
p
a longitudinal
magnetic fie
eld. Most co
oils have five
e turns and can be obta
ained in a
v
variety
of sizes. The we
et magnetic particle solu
ution is colle
ected and
held in a tan
nk. A pump and
a hose syystem is used
d to apply th
he particle
s
solution
to th
he compone
ents being in
nspected.
Either the visible or fluo
orescent parrticles can be
b used. Som
me of the
s
systems
offe
er a variety of options in electrical current used
d for magne
etizing the co
omponent. The
T operato
or
has the option to use AC, half wave
e DC, or full wave DC. In some unitts, a demagn
netization fe
eature is buillt
in, which uses the coil and
a decaying
g AC.
To inspect a part using a head-sho
T
ot, the part is clamped between
m
so
olution, calle
t
two
electric
cal contact pads. The magnetic
ed a bath,
is then flow
wed over the
e surface of the part. Th
he bath is th
hen interrupted and a magnetiziing current is applied to
o the part fo
or a short
d
duration,
typ
pically 0.5 to
o 1.5 second
ds. (Precauttions should be taken
t prevent burning
to
b
or ov
verheating of the part.) A circular fie
eld flowing
a
around
the circumferenc
c
ce of the part is created
d. Leakage fiields from
d
defects
then
n attract the particles to form
f
indicatiions.
When the co
W
oil is used to
o establish a longitudinal magnetic fiield within
t part, the
the
e part is plac
ced on the inside surfacce of the coil. Just as
d
done
with a head shot, the bath iss then flowed
d over the surface
s
of
t part.
the
A magnetizzing currentt is applied to the part for
f a short duration,
d
typically 0.5 to
er
o 1.5 second
ds, just afte
coverage with the bath is interrupte
ed. (Precauttions should
d be taken to
o prevent bu
urning or ovverheating o
of
t part.) Le
the
eakage fields
s from defeccts attract the
e particles to
o form visible
e indicationss.
The wet ho
orizontal unitt can also be
e used to esstablish a ciircular magn
netic field ussing a centra
al conductorr.
T
This
type off a setup is used to inspect parts that have an
n open cente
er, such as gears, tube
es, and othe
er
ring-shaped objects. A central
c
cond
ductor is an electrically
e
c
conductive
b that is ussually made of copper o
bar
or
a
aluminum.
The bar is in
T
nserted throu
ugh the opening and the
e bar is then
n clamped be
etween the contact
c
padss. When currrent is passed through the central conductor,
c
a circular magnetic
ound the ba
ar and enterss
m
fie
eld flows aro
into the partt or parts beiing inspecte
ed.
20113 Jurandir Priimo

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Porta
able Coil

www.PDHon
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Co
onductive Ca
able

Cable used to establish magnetic fie


elds in partss.
Portable Po
ower Suppliies:
Portable pow
wer supplies
s are used to
t provide th
he necessaryy electricity to the prodss, coils or ca
ables. Powe
er
s
supplies
are
e commercia
ally available
e in a variety of sizes. Small pow
wer supplies generally provide
p
up to
o
1,500A of half-wave
h
dirrect current or alternatting currentt when used
d with a 4.5
5 meter cable. They are
e
s
small
and lig
ght enough to
t be carried
d and operatte on either 120V
1
or 240
0V electrical service.
When more power is ne
W
ecessary, mobile
m
powe
er supplies can
c be used
d. These units come witth wheels so
o
t
that
they ca
an be rolled where need
ded. These units also operate
o
on 120V
1
or 240
0V electrical service and
d
can provide up to 6,000A of AC or half-wave
h
DC
C when 9 meters or lesss of cable is used.
Lights for MT
M Inspectio
on:
Magnetic pa
article inspe
ection can be
b performed
d using partticles that
a highly visible under white lightt conditions
are
s or particless that are
a inspechighly visib
ble under ulltraviolet lig
ght conditio
ons. When an
t
tion
is being
g performed using the visible
v
color contrast parrticles, no
s
special
lightting is requirred as long as the area
a of inspection is well
lit. A light in
ntensity of at
a least 100
00 lux (100 fc) is recom
mmended
w
when
visible
e particles are used, butt a variety off light source
es can be
used.
When fluorrescent parrticles are used, spec
W
cial ultravio
olet light
must be use
ed. Fluoresc
cence is deffined as the
e property of
o emitting
radiation ass a result off and during
g exposure to
t radiation. Particles
used in fluo
orescent mag
gnetic particcle inspectio
ons are coatted with a
material that produces light in the viisible spectrum when exxposed to ne
ear-ultraviole
et light.
This "particle glow" prov
T
vides high contrast
c
indiccations on th
he compone
ent anywhere particles collect.
c
Particles that fluo
oresce yello
ow-green are
e most comm
mon becausse this colorr matches th
he peak senssitivity of the
e
human eye under dark conditions.
c
H
However,
pa
articles that fluoresce
f
red
d, blue, yello
ow, and gree
en colors are
e
a
available.
Ultraviolet Light:
Ultraviolet lig
ght or "black
k light" is ligh
ht in the 1,00
00 to 4,000 Angstroms (100
(
to 400n
nm) wavelen
ngth range in
n
t electrom
the
magnetic spe
ectrum. It is a very enerrgetic form of
o light that iss invisible to
o the human
n eye. Wave
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lengths above 4,000A fa


all into the visible
v
light spectrum
s
an
nd are seen as the colorr violet. UV is separated
d
a
according
to
o wavelength
h into three classes:
c
A, B,
B and C. Th
he shorter th
he waveleng
gth, the more
e energy tha
at
is carried in the light and
d the more dangerous
d
itt is to the human cells.
Basic Ultrav
violet Lightts:
UV bulbs co
ome in a variiety of shape
es and sizess. The more common typ
pes are
t low presssure tube, high
the
h
pressurre spot, the high pressure flood type
es. The
t
tubular
blacck light is similar in con
nstruction to
o the tubularr fluorescen
nt lights
used for office or home illumination. These lights use a low
w pressure mercury
m
v
vapor
arc. Tube
T
lengths
s of 6 to 48 in
nches are co
ommon.
The low pressure bulbs are most offten used to provide gen
T
neral illumina
ation to
large areas rather than for illumination of components to be
e inspected. These
bulbs generrate a relativ
vely large amount of white light, which
w
is conccerning
s
since
inspection speciffications req
quire less th
han two foo
ot-candles of white
light at the in
nspection su
urface.
Flood lights are also us
sed to illuminate the insspection are
ea, since the
ey provide even
e
illumin
nation over a
large area. Intensity lev
vels for flood
d lamps are
e relatively lo
ow because
e the energyy is spread over a large
e
a
area.
They generally do
o not genera
ate the requ
uired UV ligh
ht intensity at
a the given distance th
hat specifica
at
tions
require
e.
Spot lights, on the other hand, provvide concenttrated energy that can be
b directed to
o the area of
o inspection
n.
A spot light will generatte a six inch diameter circle of high intensity ligh
ht when held
d fifteen inches from the
e
inspection surface.
s
One
e hundred watt mercury vapor lightss are most commonly ussed, but high
her wattagess
a available
are
e.
High Intens
sity Ultravio
olet Lights:
The 400 wa
T
att metal halide bulbs orr "super ligh
hts" can be found
f
in som
me facilit
ties.
This su
uper bright liight will provvide adequa
ate lighting over
o
an area
a of up to
t times that covered by
ten
b the 100 watt
w bulb. Due to their high
h
intensityy, excess
sive
light refflecting from
m the surface
e of a compo
onent is a co
oncern.
Moving the light a grea
ater distance
e from the in
nspection arrea will gene
erally red
duce
this glare.
g
Another type of high intensity light ava
ailable is th
he microd
discharge
lig
ght. This pa
articular lightt produces up
u to ten tim
mes the amo
ount of UV light conven
ntional lightss
produce. Re
eadings of up
p to 60,000 uW/cm2 at 15
1 inches ca
an be achieved.
Magnetic Field Indicators:
Determining
g whether a magnetic fie
eld is of ade
equate stren
ngth and in the proper direction
d
is critical when
n
performing magnetic pa
article testin
ng. Knowing
g the directiion of the field
f
is impo
ortant becau
use the field
d
s
should
be as
a close to perpendicula
p
ar to the defe
ect as possible and no more than 45
4 degrees from
f
normall.
Being able to
t evaluate the
t field dire
ection and sttrength is esspecially imp
portant when
n inspecting with a multid
directional
m
machine,
bec
cause when the fields arre not balanced properlyy, a vector field will be produced tha
at
may not detect some de
efects.
There is acttually no eas
T
sy-to-apply method
m
thatt permits an exact meassurement of field intensity at a given
n
point within a material. In
I order to measure
m
the field strengtth, it is necessary to inte
ercept the flu
ux lines. Thiss
is impossible without cu
utting into the material and
a cutting the
t material would imme
ediately change the field
d
w
within
the pa
art.
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However, cu
utting a sma
all slot or ho
ole into the material
m
and
d measuring
g the leakage
f
field
that cro
osses the airr gap with a Gauss mete
er is probably the best way
w to get an
e
estimate
of the actual fie
eld strength within a part. Nevertheless, there are
a a numbe
er
o tools and methods av
of
vailable thatt are used to
o determine the presencce and direcct
tion
of the fie
eld surround
ding a component.
1. Gauss Meter orr Hall Effectt Gage:
A Gauss me
eter with a Hall
H Effect probe is com
mmonly used
d to measure
e the tangen
nt field stre
tial
ength on the surface of the
t part. The
e Hall effect is the transvverse electric
f
field
created
d in a condu
uctor when placed
p
in a magnetic fie
eld. Gauss meters,
m
also
o
a used to measure
m
the
e strength off a field tang
gential to the
called Tesla
a meters, are
s
surface
of th
he magnetiz
zed test obje
ect. The metters measurre the intenssity of the fie
eld in the airr adjacent to
o
t component when a magnetic fie
the
eld is applied
d.
The advanta
T
ages of Hall effect devicces are: theyy provide a quantitative
q
measure off the strength
h of magnettizing force ta
angential to the surface of a test pie
ece, they can be used fo
or measurem
ment of resid
dual magnettic fields, and they can be used rep
petitively. Th
heir main dissadvantagess are that th
hey must be
e periodicallyy
calibrated and they cann
not be used to establish
h the balance
e of fields in multidirectio
onal applicattions.
2. Quantitative Qu
uality Indica
ator (QQI):
The Quantittative Quality
T
y Indicator (QQI) or Artifficial Flaw Standard
S
is often
o
the pre
eferred meth
hod of assurring proper field
f
direction and adequate field sttrength. The
e use of a QQI
Q is also the only pracctical way o
of
e
ensuring
ba
alanced field
d intensity and
a
direction
n in multiple
e-direction magnetizatio
m
on equipmen
nt. QQIs are
e
o
often
used in conjunctio
on with a Ga
auss meter to
o establish the
t inspectio
on procedure
e for a particcular compo
onent. They are
a used witth the wet method
m
only,, and like other flux sha
aring devicess, can only be
b used with
h
continuous magnetizatio
m
on.
The QQI is a thin strip of either 0.0
T
002 or 0.004
4 inch thick AISI
o etch process is used to
o
A
1005 stteel. A photo
inscribe a specific patte
ern, such as concentric circles or a plus sign. QQIs
Q
are no
ominally 3/4 inch square
e,
but miniaturre shims are
e also availa
able. QQIs must be in intimate con
ntact with th
he part being evaluated
d.
T
This
is acco
omplished by
y placing the
e shim on a part
p etched side
s
down, and
a taping or
o gluing it to
o the surface
e.
T compon
The
nent is then magnetized
d and particles applied. When the field
f
strength
h is adequa
ate, the particles will adh
here over the
e engraved pattern and provide info
ormation abo
out the field direction. When
W
a multid
directional
technique is used, a balance of the
e fields is no
oted when all
a areas of the
t QQI pro
oduce indica
at
tions.

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Some of the
e advantage
es of QQIs are:
a
they ca
an be quantiified and rellated to othe
er paramete
ers, they can
n
a
accommoda
ate virtually any
a configurration with suitable selecction, and th
hey can be re
eused with careful
c
application and removal
r
prac
ctices. Some
e of the disa
advantages are: the app
plication pro
ocess is som
mewhat slow
w,
t parts must be clean
the
n and dry, shims canno
ot be used as
a a residual magnetism
m indicator as
a they are a
f
flux
sharing
g device, the
ey can be easily
e
dama
aged with im
mproper han
ndling, and they will co
orrode if no
ot
cleaned and
d properly sto
ored.
Above left iss a photo off a typical QQI
A
Q shim. Th
he photo on the right sh
hows the ind
dication prod
duced by the
e
QQI when itt is applied to
t the surfacce a part an
nd a magnettic field is esstablished th
hat runs acro
oss the shim
m
f
from
right to
o left.
3. Pie Gage:
G
byy
The pie ga
T
o four, six, or eight sections
age is a diisk of highlly permeablle material divided into
s
nonferromag
gnetic material. The divvisions serve
e as artificia
al defects that radiate out
o in differe
ent directionss
f
from
the cen
nter. The dia
ameter of the
e gage is 3//4 to 1 inch.. The divisions between the low carb
bon steel pie
e
s
sections
are
e to be no greater
g
than
n 1/32 inch. The section
ns are furna
ace brazed and copperr plated. The
e
g
gage
is placced on the test
t
piece co
opper side up
u and the test
t
piece is magnetized
d. After particles are ap
pplied and the
e excess rem
moved, the indications
i
p
provide
the in
nspector the
e orientation of the magn
netic field.

The principa
T
al application
n is on flat surfaces
s
succh as weldme
ents or steel castings where
w
dry pow
wder is used
d
w a yoke or prods. The
with
T
w complexx shapes, fo
or
ge is not re
ecommende
ed for precission parts with
pie gag
w
wet-method
application
ns, or for proving
p
field
d magnitude
e. The gag
ge
s
should
be de
emagnetized
d between re
eadings.
Several of th
he main adv
vantages of the
t pie gage
e are that it is
i easy to usse
a
and
it can be
b used inde
efinitely with
hout deterioration. The pie gage ha
as
s
several
disa
advantages, which include: it reta
ains some residual
r
mag
gnetism so in
ndications will prevail aftter removal of the sourcce of magnetiz
zation,
it can
n only be us
sed in relativvely flat area
as, and it ca
annot be relia
ably used forr determination of balancced fields in multidirectio
onal magnetiz
zation.
4. Slottted Strips:
Slotted strip
ps, also know
wn as Burma
ah-Castrol Strips,
S
are pie
eces of highly permeable ferromagn
netic materia
al
w slots off different widths.
with
w
Theyy are placed on the testt object as it
i is inspecte
ed. The indications pro
od
duced
on the strips give
e the inspecttor a general idea of the field strengtth in a particcular area.
Advantagess of these strrips are: they are relativvely easily ap
A
pplied to the
e componentt, they can be
b used succcessfully witth either the
e wet or dry method whe
en using the
e continuouss magnetizattion, they are
e repeatable
e
a long as orientation
as
o
to
o the magne
etic field is maintained,
m
and they ca
an be used repetitively.
r
Some of the
e

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disadvantag
d
ges are that they cannott be bent to complex configuration and
a they are
e not suitable for multidirectional fielld applications since the
ey indicate de
efects in onlly one directtion.
Dry and We
et Magnetic Particles:
As mentione
A
ed previous
sly, the partiicles that arre used for magnetic
particle insp
pection are a key ingred
dient as theyy form the in
ndications
t
that
alert the
e inspector to
t defects. Particles
P
starrt out as tinyy milled (a
machining process)
p
pie
eces of iron or iron oxid
de. A pigmen
nt (somew
what
like pa
aint) is bonded to their surfaces
s
to give
g
the parrticles colo
or.
The metal used
T
u
for the particles hass high magn
netic permea
ability and
low retentivity. High ma
agnetic perm
meability is important because
b
it
makes the particles attract easily to
t small ma
agnetic leaka
age fields
f
from
discon
ntinuities, such as flawss. Low reten
ntivity is imp
portant because the parrticles themsselves neve
er
become stro
ongly magne
etized so th
hey do not stick
s
to each
h other or th
he surface of
o the part. Particles
P
are
e
a
available
in a dry mix orr a wet solutiion.
Dry Magnettic Particles
s:
Dry magnetic particles can typicallyy be purchassed in red, black, gray
y, yellow an
nd several other
o
colors
s
s that a hig
so
gh level of contrast
c
betw
ween the pa
articles and the part being inspecte
ed can be acchieved. The
e
s
size
of the magnetic
m
parrticles is also
o very imporrtant.
Dry magnettic particle products
p
are
e produced to
t include a range of particle
p
sizess. The fine particles are
e
a
around
50 m
(0.002 inch) in size, and are abo
out three tim
mes smaller in diameter and more th
han 20 timess
lighter than the coarse particles
p
(150 m or 0.00
06 inch).
This make them
T
t
more sensitive
s
to the
t leakage fields from very small discontinuitie
d
es. However, dry testing
g
particles cannot be made exclusive
ely of the fine particless. Coarser particles
p
are needed to bridge large
e
d
discontinuiti
es and to re
educe the po
owder's dustyy nature.
Additionally,, small partic
A
cles easily adhere
a
to su
urface contamination, su
uch as remnant dirt or moisture,
m
and
d
g trapped in surface roughness
get
r
f
features.
It should also be recognizzed that fine
er particles will be more
e
e
easily
blown
n away by th
he wind; therefore, wind
dy conditionss can reduce
e the sensitivity of an inspection. Als reclaimin
so,
ng the dry pa
articles is no
ot recommen
nded becausse the small particles arre less likely to be recap
pt
tured
and th
he "once use
ed" mix will re
esult in less sensitive inspections.
The particle shape is als
T
so importantt. Long, slen
nder particless tend align
t
themselves
along the lin
nes of magn
netic force. However,
H
re
esearch has
s
shown
that if dry powde
er consists only of long
g, slender pa
articles, the
a
application
p
process
wou
uld be less th
han desirable.
Elongated particles
p
com
me from the dispenser in
i clumps and lack the
a
ability
to flow
w freely and
d form the desired
d
"clou
ud" of particcles floating
o the com
on
mponent. The
erefore, glob
bular particles are adde
ed that are
s
shorter.
The mix of globular
T
g
and
d elongated particles
p
ressult in a dry powder
p
that
f
flows
well and
a maintain
ns good sensitivity. Mosst dry particle
e mixes havve particles with L/D rattios between
n
o and two
one
o.
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W Magnetic Particles
Wet
s:
Magnetic pa
articles are also
a
agnetic partied in a wet suspension
s
n such as water
w
or oil. The wet ma
supplie
cle testing method
m
is ge
enerally morre sensitive than
t
the dryy because th
he suspensio
on provides the particless
w more mobility
with
m
and makes
m
it posssible for sm
maller particles to be use
ed since dusst and adherrence to surrf
face
contam
mination is re
educed or eliminated. Th
he wet method also makkes it easy to
o apply the particles
p
unif
formly
to a relatively
r
larg
ge area.
Wet method
W
d magnetic particles
p
prod
ducts differ from
f
dry pow
wder produccts in a number of ways. One way iss
t
that
both vissible and flu
uorescent pa
articles are available. Most
M
nonfluo
orescent parrticles are fe
erromagneticc
iron oxides, which are either
e
black or
o brown in color.
c
Fluorescent particles arre coated with
w pigmentss that fluore
esce when exposed
e
to ultraviolet
u
lig
ght. Particless
t
that
fluorescce green-yellow are mosst common to take advantage of the
e peak color sensitivity of
o the eye bu
ut
o
other
fluoresscent colors are also ava
ailable.

than those used in


The particle
T
es used with
h the wet method are smaller
n the dry me
ethod for the
e
s
in size
s
reasons me
entioned abo
ove. The parrticles are tyypically 10 m
(0.0004 inch) and sm
maller and the
t syntheticc
iron oxides have particle diameterss around 0.1 m (0.0000
004 inch). This very small size is a result of the
e
process use
ed to form th
he particles and is not particularly
p
d
desirable,
ass the particle
es are almosst too fine to
o
s
settle
out of suspension
n.
However, du
ue to their slight residua
al magnetism
m, the oxide particles are
e present mostly in clusters that settt out of suspension much faster th
tle
han the indivvidual particcles. This ma
akes it possible to see and
a measure
e
t concentration of the
the
e particles for process co
ontrol purposses. Wet particles are also a mix of long slende
er
a globular particles.
and
The carrier solutions
T
s
can be water or
o oil-based. Water-base
ed carriers fo
orm quicker indications, are generally less expe
ensive, prese
ent little or no
n fire hazarrd, give off no
n petrochem
mical fumes,, and are ea
asier to clean
n
f
from
the parrt.
Water-based
W
d solutions are
a usually formulated
f
w a corrossion inhibitor to offer some corrosion protection
with
n.
However, oil-based carrrier solution
ns offer sup
perior corrossion and hyydrogen emb
brittlement protection
p
to
o
t
those
materrials that are prone to atttack by these mechanism
ms.
S
Suspension
n Liquids:
Suspension liquids used
d in the wet magnetic pa
article inspe
ection metho
od can be eitther a well refined
r
light
oleum-based
d liquids are
e the most desirable carrpetroleum distillate
d
orr water conttaining add
ditives. Petro
riers becausse they prov
vided good wetting
w
of th
he surface of
o metallic pa
arts. Howevver, water-ba
ased carrierss
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are used more because of low cost, low fire hazard, and the ability to form indications quicker than solventbased carriers.
Water-based carriers must contain wetting agents to disrupt surface films of oil that may exist on the
part and to aid in the dispersion of magnetic particles in the carrier. The wetting agents create foaming as
the solution is moved about, so anti-foaming agents must be added. Also, since water promotes corrosion
in ferrous materials, corrosion inhibitors are usually added as well.
Petroleum based carriers are primarily used in systems where maintaining the proper particle concentration is a concern. The petroleum based carriers require less maintenance because they evaporate at a
slower rate than the water-based carriers.
Therefore, petroleum based carriers might be a better choice for a system that gets only occasional use or
when regularly adjusting the carrier volume is undesirable. Modern solvent carriers are specifically designed with properties that have flash points above 200oF and keep nocuous vapors low. Petroleum carriers are required to meet certain specifications such as AMS 2641.
Dry Particle Inspection:
In this magnetic particle testing technique, dry particles are dusted
onto the surface of the test object as the item is magnetized. Dry
particle inspection is well suited for the inspections conducted on
rough surfaces.
When an electromagnetic yoke is used, the AC or half wave DC current creates a pulsating magnetic field that provides mobility to
the powder. The primary applications for dry powders are unground
welds and rough as-cast surfaces.
Dry particle inspection is also used to detect shallow subsurface
cracks. Dry particles with half wave DC is the best approach when
inspecting for lack of root penetration in welds of thin materials. Half
wave DC with prods and dry particles is commonly used when inspecting large castings for hot tears and cracks.
Steps in performing an inspection using dry particles:
a) Prepare the part surface - the surface should be relatively clean but this is not as critical as it is
with liquid penetrant inspection. The surface must be free of grease, oil or other moisture that could
keep particles from moving freely. A thin layer of paint, rust or scale will reduce test sensitivity but
can sometimes be left in place with adequate results. Specifications often allow up to 0.003 inch
(0.076 mm) of a nonconductive coating (such as paint) and 0.001 inch max (0.025 mm) of a ferromagnetic coating (such as nickel) to be left on the surface. Any loose dirt, paint, rust or scale must
be removed.
b) Apply the magnetizing force - Use permanent magnets, an electromagnetic yoke, prods, a coil or
other means to establish the necessary magnetic flux.
c) Dust on the dry magnetic particles - Dust on a light layer of magnetic particles.
d) Gently blow off the excess powder - With the magnetizing force still applied, remove the excess
powder from the surface with a few gentle puffs of dry air. The force of the air needs to be strong
enough to remove the excess particles but not strong enough to dislodge particles held by a magnetic flux leakage field.

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e) Terminate the magnetizing force - If the magnetic flux is being generated with an electromagnet
or an electromagnetic field, the magnetizing force should be terminated. If permanent magnets are
being used, they can be left in place.
f) Inspect for indications - Look for areas where the magnetic particles are clustered.
Wet Suspension Inspection:
Wet suspension magnetic particle inspection, more commonly known as wet magnetic particle inspection, involves applying the particles while they are suspended in a liquid carrier. Wet magnetic particle
inspection is most commonly performed using a stationary, wet, horizontal inspection unit, but suspensions are also available in spray cans for use with an electromagnetic yoke. A wet inspection has
several advantages over a dry inspection.
First, all of the surfaces of the component can be quickly and easily covered with a relatively uniform layer
of particles. Second, the liquid carrier provides mobility to the particles for an extended period of time,
which allows enough particles to float to small leakage fields to form a visible indication. Therefore, wet
inspection is considered best for detecting very small discontinuities on smooth surfaces.
On rough surfaces, however, the particles (which are much smaller in wet suspensions) can settle in the
surface valleys and lose mobility, rendering them less effective than dry powders under these conditions.
Steps in performing an inspection using wet suspensions:
a) Prepare the part surface - Just as is required with dry particle inspections, the surface should be
relatively clean. The surface must be free of grease, oil and other moisture that could prevent the
suspension from wetting the surface and preventing the particles from moving freely. A thin layer of
paint, rust or scale will reduce test sensitivity, but can sometimes be left in place with adequate results. Specifications often allow up to 0.003 inch (0.076 mm) of a nonconductive coating (such as
paint) and 0.001 inch max (0.025 mm) of a ferromagnetic coating (such as nickel) to be left on the
surface. Any loose dirt, paint, rust or scale must be removed.
b) Apply the suspension - The suspension is gently sprayed or flowed over the surface of the part.
Usually, the stream of suspension is diverted from the part just before the magnetizing field is applied.
c) Apply the magnetizing force - The magnetizing force should be applied immediately after applying the suspension of magnetic particles. When using a wet horizontal inspection unit, the current is
applied in two or three short busts (1/2 second) which helps to improve particle mobility.
d) Inspect for indications - Look for areas where the magnetic particles are clustered. Surface discontinuities will produce a sharp indication. The indications from subsurface flaws will be less defined and lose definition as depth increases.
Inspection With Magnetic Rubber:
The magnetic rubber technique was developed for detecting
very fine cracks and is capable of revealing finer cracks than
other magnetic techniques. Additionally, the technique can be
use to examine difficult to reach areas, such as the threads on
the inside diameter of holes, where the molded plugs can be removed and examined under ideal conditions and magnification if
desired. Of course, the inspection times are much longer.
The techniques uses a liquid (uncured) rubber containing suspended magnetic particles. The rubber compound is applied to
the area to be inspected on a magnetized component. Inspections
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can be perfo
ormed using
g either an applied
a
magn
netic field, which
w
is main
ntained while
e the rubberr sets (active
e
f
field),
or the
e residual fie
eld from mag
gnetization of
o the component prior to
t pouring th
he compoun
nd. A dam o
of
modeling cla
ay is often used
u
to conttain the com
mpound in th
he region of interest. The magnetic particles mig
grate
to the leakage field caused byy a discontinuity. As the rubber cures, discontinu
uity indicatio
ons remain in
n
place on the
e rubber.
The rubber is allowed to
T
t completely set, which
h takes from
m 10 to 30
minutes. The rubber cast is remove
ed from the part. The rubber conf
forms
to the
e surface co
ontours and provides a reverse
r
replica of the
s
surface.
The
e rubber cas
st is examine
ed for eviden
nce of discontinuities,
w
which
appea
ar as dark lin
nes on the surface
s
of the molding. The
T molding can be retained
r
as a permanentt record of th
he inspection
n.
Magnetic ru
ubber metho
ods requires
s similar magnetizing
m
systems
used for dryy method magnetic
m
parrticle tests. The system
m may include yokess, prods, clam
mps, coils or
o central conductors. Allternating,
d
direct
curren
nt, or perma
anent magne
ets may be used
u
to draw
w the part
ticles
to the
e leakage fields.
f
The direct curre
ent yoke is the most
common ma
agnetization source for magnetic
m
rub
bber inspection.
Magnetization Techniq
ques:
In magneticc particle ins
spection, the
e magnetic particles
p
can
n either be applied
a
to th
he compone
ent while the
e
magnetizing
g force is app
plied, or afte
er it has been stopped. Continuous
bes the techC
s magnetiza
ation describ
nique where
e the magne
etizing force
e is applied and maintained while th
he magneticc particles are dusted o
or
f
flowed
onto the surface of the comp
ponent. In a wet horizon
ntal testing unit, the application of the particles iss
s
stopped
justt before the magnetizing
g force is ap
pplied; but, since
s
particle
es are still flo
owing over and
a covering
g
t surface, this is considered continuous magn
the
netization.
d
the
e technique where the magnetizing
g force is ap
pResidual magnetizatio
m
on, on the otther hand, describes
plied to mag
gnetize the component and then stopped beforre applying the magnetiic particles. Only the re
es
sidual
field of
o the magn
netized comp
ponent is ussed to attracct magnetic particles and
d produce an
a indication
n.
T
The
continu
uous techniq
que is generrally chosen when maxiimum sensittivity is requ
uired becausse it has two
o
d
distinct
adva
antages ove
er the residu
ual techniqu
ue. First, the
e magnetic flux
f
will be highest whe
en current iss
f
flowing
and,, therefore, le
eakage field
ds will also be
b strongest..

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Field strength in a component depends primarily on two variables: the applied magnetic field strength and
the permeability of the test object. Viewing the upper right portion of the hysteresis loop above, it is evident that the magnetic flux will be the strongest when the magnetizing force is applied.
If the magnetizing force is strong enough, the flux density will reach the point of saturation. When the
magnetizing force is removed, the flux density will drop to the retentivity point. The two gray traces show
the paths the flux density would follow if the magnetizing force was applied and removed at levels below
that required to reach saturation. It can be seen that the flux density is always highest while the magnetizing current is applied. This is independent of the permeability of a material.
However, the permeability of the material is very important. High permeability materials do not retain a
strong magnetic field so flux leakage fields will be extremely weak or nonexistent when the magnetizing
force is removed. Therefore, materials with high magnetic permeability are not suited for inspection
using the residual technique.
Field Direction and Intensity:
When determined the direction of the field, it is important to notice the defect must produce a significant
disturbance in the magnetic field to produce an indication. It is difficult to detect discontinuities that intersect the magnetic field at an angle less than 45o. When the orientation of a defect is not well established,
components should be magnetized in a minimum of two directions at approximately right angles to each
other.
Depending on the geometry of the component, this may require longitudinal magnetization in two or more
directions, multiple longitudinal and circular magnetization or circular magnetization in multiple directions.
Determining strength and direction of the fields is especially critical when inspecting with a multidirectional
machine. If the fields are not balanced, a vector field will be produced that may not detect some defects.
Depending on the application, pie gages, QQI's, or a gauss meter can be used to check the field direction.
The pie gage is generally only used with dry powder inspections. QQI shims can be used in a variety of
applications but are the only method recommended for use in establishing balanced fields when using multidirectional equipment.
Field Strength:
The applied magnetic field must have sufficient strength to produce a satisfactory indication, but not so
strong that it produces nonrelevant indications or limits particle mobility. If the magnetizing current is excessively high when performing a wet fluorescent particle inspection, particles can be attracted to the surface of the part and not be allowed to migrate to the flux leakage fields of defects.
When performing a dry particle inspection, an excessive longitudinal magnetic field will cause furring. Furring is when magnetic particles build up at the magnetic poles of a part. When the field strength is excessive, the magnetic field is forced out of the part before reaching the end of the component and the poles
along its length attract particles and cause high background levels. Adequate field strength may be
determined by:

Performing an inspection on a standard specimen that is similar to the test component and has
known or artificial defects of the same type, size, and location as those expected in the test component. QQI shims can sometimes be used as the artificial defects.
Using a gauss meter with a Hall effect probe to measure the peak values of the tangent field at the
surface of the part in the region of interest. Most specifications call for a field strength of 30 to 60
gauss at the surface when the magnetizing force is applied.
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Lookking for lightt furring at the


t
ends of pipes or ba
ars when performing dryy particle insspections on
n
these
e and other uncomplicatted shapes.

Formulas fo
or calculating
g current levvels should only
o
be used
d to estimate
e current req
quirements. The
T magnettic field stren
ngth resulting
g from calcu
ulations shou
uld be assesssed for ade
equacy using
g one of the
e two method
d
d
discussed
a
above.
Likew
wise, published current le
evel informa
ation should also be used only as a guide
g
unlesss
t values have
the
h
been es
stablished fo
or the speciffic componen
nt and targe
et defects of the inspectio
on at hand.
Using a Pie
e Gage:
A pie gage is placed co
opper side up
u and held in contact with the
component as the magn
netic field an
nd particles are applied. Indicat
tions
of the leakage field
ds provide a visual representation of
o defect
d
direction
witthin the component.
Pie gages work
w
well on flat surface
es, but if the surface is concave
c
o convex, inaccurate re
or
eadings may occur. The
e pie gage is a flux
s
sharing
devvice and re
equires good
d contact to
o provide accurate
a
readings.
Quantitative Quality In
ndicator (QQ
QI) Shims:
Quantitative
e Quality Ind
dicator (QQI)) flaw shimss are used to establish proper field direction an
nd to ensure
e
a
adequate
fie
eld strength during tech
hnique devellopment. The QQI flaw shim is the most efficie
ent means o
of
d
determining
balance an
nd effectiven
ness of field
ds. The QQ
QI's are also
o flux sharing devices and
a
must be
e
properly atta
ach so as no
ot to allow pa
articles to be
ecome trapp
ped under the
e artificial fla
aw.
Application using Superr glue is the preferred way
A
w of attach
hing the artifficial flaw, but does not allow for re
euse of the shims.
s
Shims
s can also be
b attached with tape applied to jusst the edge of the shim.. It is recommended that the tape be
e imperviouss to oil, not be
b fluorescent, and be 1/4 to 1/2 incch in width.
The QQI mu
T
ust be applied to locatio
ons on the component
c
where the flux density may vary. One
O example
e
w
would
be the
e center are
ea of a yoke or Y shape
ed componen
nt. Oftentime
es, the flux density
d
will be
b near zero
o
in this area. If two legs of
o a Y are in
n contact with the pad in
n circular ma
agnetization, it must be determined
d
iif
current is flo
owing evenly
y through ea
ach leg. A QQ
QI on each leg would be
e appropriate
e under such
h conditions.
QQI's can be
b used to establish
e
sysstem thresho
old values fo
or a defect of a given size.
s
By atta
aching a QQ
QI
s
shim
with th
hree circles (40%, 30% and 20% off shim thickness) to the
e component, threshold values for a
s
specific
area
a of the com
mponent, can
n be established.
Begin by ap
pplying curre
ent at a low amperage
a
and slowly inccreasing it until
u
the large
est flaw is obtained. The
e
f
flux
density should be verified
v
and recorded ussing a Hall effects probe
e. The curren
nt is then inccreased until
t second circle
the
c
is iden
ntified and th
he flux densiity is again recorded.
r
Ass the currentt is further in
ncreased, the
e
t
third
ring is identified an
nd the curren
nt values are
e recorded.
Gauss Mete
er Inspectio
on:
There are several
T
s
types
s of Hall efffects probess that can be
e used to measure
m
the magnetic field strength
h.
T
Transverse
probes are the type most common
nly used to evaluate the
e field stren
ngth in magn
netic particle
e
t
testing.
Tran
nsverse prob
bes have the Hall effectt element mounted in a thin, flat ste
em and theyy are used to
o
make measurements be
etween two magnetic po
oles. Axial probes
p
have the sensing
g element mounted
m
such
h
t
that
the mag
gnetic flux in
n the directio
on of the long
g axis of the probe is me
easured.
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To make a measureme
T
ent with a trransverse probe, the prrobe is posiit
tioned
such that the flatt surface of the
t Hall effe
ect element is
i transverse
e
t the magn
to
netic lines off flux. The Hall effect voltage is a fu
unction of the
e
a
angle
at which the magnetic lines of
o flux pass through
t
the sensing ele
ement.
The greatesst Hall effectt voltage occcurs when th
T
he lines of flux pass perrpendicularlyy through the
e sensing element. If no
ot perpendicu
ular, the outtput voltage is related to the cosine
e of the diffference betw
ween 90 de
eg
grees
and the
t
actual angle. The peak
p
field strrength shou
uld be meassured when the
t
magnetiizing force iss applied. The
T
field stre
ength should
d
be measure
ed in all areas of the com
mponent to be
b inspected.
Length to Diameter
D
Ra
atio:
When estab
W
blishing a longitudinal magnetic
m
field in compon
nent using a coil or cab
ble wrap, the ratio of itss
length (in the direction of
o the desire
ed field) to its diameter or
o thickness must be takken into con
nsideration. IIf
t length dimension
the
d
is not significa
antly larger than the dia
ameter or thickness dim
mension, it iss virtually impossible to establish
e
a field
f
strength
h strong eno
ough to prod
duce an indiccation. An L//D ratio of at least two iss
usually requ
uired.
The formula
T
a for determ
mining the ne
ecessary cu
urrent levels presented in the appendix of AST
TM 1444 are
e
o
only
useful if the L/D ra
atio is greate
er than two and
a less tha
an 15. Don't forget that the
t formula only provide
e
a estimate of the neces
an
ssary curren
nt strength and
a this stren
ngth must be
e confirmed in other wayys.
The preferre
T
ed method is
s to examine
e parts havin
ng known orr artificial disscontinuities of similar tyype and size
e,
a in the lo
and
ocation of th
he targeted flaws; or byy using quan
ntitative quality indicatorr (notched) shims.
s
A se
econd metho
od is to use gaussmetter with a tang
gential field Hall effect probe
p
to me
easure the field strength
h,
w
which
must be in the ran
nge of 30 to 60 G.
Use of End Pieces:
If the compo
onent does not meet th
he minimum L/D ratio re
equirement,
e pieces may be use
end
ed to essenttially lengthe
en the comp
ponent. The
e
end
pieces must be the
e same diam
meter or thicckness of th
he the component unde
er test and must made of ferromag
gnetic mate
erial. Somet
time
it is po
ossible to stack multiple
e parts end to end to in
ncrease the
L/D ratio. The parts mu
ust butt fairly tightly tog
gether as sh
hown in the
image.
The urge to inspect the entire lengtth of butted parts at one
T
e time must
be resisted.. This is urg
ge is especcially strong when using
g a central
conductor with
w wet-horizontal equip
pment to insspect compo
onents such
a nuts. To increase the
as
e efficiency of the inspe
ection, a num
mber of nutss are often placed
p
on a central cond
ductor
and a circular ma
agnetic field is establishe
ed in the parrts all at oncce. This is pe
erfectly acce
eptable when
n
inspecting th
he compone
ents with a ciircular magn
netic field.
However, when
w
switchin
ng to a long
gitudinal field
d, it is very tempting
t
to simply slide
e the coil outt so that it iss
centered on
n the stack of
o nuts, whicch are left in place on th
he central co
onductor. Th
his is unacce
eptable technique for a couple
c
of re
easons. Firstt, rememberr that the efffective field extends
e
a distance on either
e
side o
of
t coil centter approxim
the
mately equal to the radiu
us of the coil. Parts outsside of the effective
e
distance will no
ot
receive adequate magn
netization. Th
he parts will need to be repositioned in the coil in order to examine the
e
e
entire
length
h of the stack.
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An overlap area
A
a
of abou
ut ten percent of the effe
ective magn
netic field is required by most speciffications. Add
ditionally,
if the central conductor is left clamp
ped in the sttocks, the pa
arts will be at the cente
er of the coil
w
where
the field strength
h is the weakkest. The pa
arts should be
b placed att the inside edge of the coil for besst
results.
Particle Concentration
n:
The concen
T
ntration of pa
articles in th
he suspensio
on is a veryy important parameter
p
in
n
t inspectio
the
on process and
a must be
e closely con
ntrolled. The particle con
ncentration iss
checked aftter the suspension is prrepared and
d regularly monitored
m
ass part of the
e
q
quality
syste
em checks. ASTM E-14
444-01 requires concenttration checkks to be perrf
formed
everry eight hourrs or at ever shift change
e.
The standarrd process used
T
u
to perfo
orm the checck requires agitating
a
the
e carrier for a
minimum off thirty minu
utes to ensu
ure even particle distribution. A sam
mple is then
n
t
taken
in a pear-shaped
p
100 ml cen
ntrifuge tube
e having a sttem graduatted to 1.0 ml
m
in 0.05 ml in
ncrements for
f fluoresce
ent particles,, and gradua
ated to 1.5 ml. in 0.1 ml
m
increments for
f visible pa
articles. The
e sample is then
t
demagnetized so that the partiicles do not clump
c
togeth
her while settling.
The sample
T
e must then remain undiisturbed for a minimum of 60 minuttes for a pettroleum-based carrier o
or
30 minutes for
f a water-b
based carrie
er, unless sh
horter times have been documented
d
d to produce results similar to the lon
nger settling times. The volume
v
of se
ettled particlles is then re
ead.
Acceptable ranges are 0.1 to 0.4 ml
A
m for fluoresscent particles and 1.2 to 2.4 ml fo
or visible particles. If the
e
particle concentration is
s out of the acceptable range, partticles or the carrier musst be added to bring the
e
s
solution
bacck in complia
ance with the
e requiremen
nt.
Particle losss is often attributed to
o "dragout."" Dragout occurs
o
beca
ause the so
olvent easilyy runs off c
o
omponents
and is recap
ptured in the
e holding tank. Particless, on the oth
her hand, te
end to adherre to compo
onents, or be
e trapped in geometric features
f
of the
t compone
ent. These particles
p
willl be "drug out" or lost to
o
t system and
the
a will even
ntually need
d to be replacced.
Particle Condition:
After the pa
A
articles have settled, the
ey should be
e examined for brightnesss and agg
glomeration
. Fluorescen
nt particles should
s
be evvaluated und
der ultraviole
et light and
v
visible
particcles under white
w
light. The
T brightness of the pa
articles should be evaluated weeklly by comparing the partticles in the test
t
solution
n to those in an unused
reference so
olution that was
w saved when
w
the solution was firrst prepared.
The brightne
T
ess of the two
t
solutionss should be
e relatively th
he same. Additionally,
A
t
the
particless should app
pear loose and
a
not lum
mped togethe
er. If the brightness or
t agglome
the
eration of the particles iss noticeablyy different fro
om the referrence solut
tion,
the bath should be replaced.
S
Suspension
n Contamin
nation:
The suspension solution
T
n should alsso be examined for evid
dence of con
ntamination. Contaminattion primarilyy
comes from inspected components
c
. Oils, greasses, sand, and
a dirt will be
b introduce
ed to the sysstem through
h
componentss. If the area
a is unusually dusty, the system will pickup dustt or other co
ontaminates from the env
vironment.
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This examin
T
nation is perfformed on th
he carrier an
nd particles collected
c
forr concentratiion testing. The
T graduatte portion of
ed
o the tube is
s viewed und
der ultraviole
et and white light when fluorescent
f
p
particles
are
e being used
d,
a under white
and
w
light wh
hen visible particles
p
are being used..
The magnettic particles should be examined
T
e
for foreign particles, such
h as dirt,
paint chips and
a other so
olids. Differences in colo
or, layering or
o banding within
w
the
s
settled
partiicles would indicate contamination. Some con
ntamination is to be
e
expected
bu
ut if the foreiign matter exceeds 30 percent
p
of th
he settled so
olids, the
s
solution
sho
ould be repla
aced.
The liquid carrier portion of the solu
T
ution should
d also be insspected for contamic
nation. Oil in a water bath
b
and wa
ater in a solvent bath are the prima
ary concerns. If the
e solution flu
uoresces brightly when fluorescent particles arre being
used, this can
c be an in
ndication tha
at dye is being dislodged from the particles
p
by the mixin
ng pump.
While not te
W
echnically co
ontamination
n, this condittion should be
b further evvaluated
by allowing the collecte
ed sample bath
b
to set for
f 10 to 12
2 hours and viewed
under ultravviolet light. Iff a band tha
at fluorescess brighter than the bulk of particles is evident on
o top of the
e
s
settled
solids, the bath contains
c
exccessive unatttached fluorrescent pigm
ments and sh
hould be disccarded.
W
Water
Brea
ak Test:
A daily wate
er break che
eck is require
ed to evaluate the surfacce wetting performance
p
of water-ba
ased carrierss.
T water break
The
b
check simply invo
olves flooding a clean su
urface simila
ar to those being
b
inspeccted and ob
bs
serving
the surface film
m. If a continuous film forms over the entire surfface, sufficie
ent wetting agent
a
is pre
es
sent.
If the film of susp
pension brea
aks (water break)
b
exposing the surrface of the componentt, insufficien
nt
w
wetting
agen
nt is presentt and the sollution should
d be adjusted or replace
ed.

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Practical Examples:
One of the advantages that a magnetic particle inspection has over some of the other nondestructive evaluation methods is that flaw indications generally resemble the actual flaw. This is not the case with NDT
methods such as ultrasonic and eddy current inspection, where an electronic signal must be interpreted.
When magnetic particle inspection is used, cracks on the surface of the part appear as sharp lines that
follow the path of the crack. Flaws that exist below the surface of the part are less defined and more difficult to detect. Below are some examples of magnetic particle indications produced using dry particles.

Field Magnetic Particle Inspections

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In
ndication of a crack in a saw blad
de

I
Indication
o cracks in a weldmen
of
nt

Indicatio
on of cracks
s originatin
ng at a faste
ener hole

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Before and after in


nspection pictures
p
of cracks
c
ema
anating from
m a hole

Indica
ation of cra
acks running between attachment
a
t holes in a hinge

Underw
water MT Ins
spection

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Examples of
o Fluoresce
ent Wet - Magnetic Parrticle Indica
ations:
The indications produce
T
ed using the
e wet magn
netic particle
es are more
e sharp than
n dry particle
e indicationss
f
formed
on similar
s
defec
cts. When flluorescent particles
p
are
e used, the visibility
v
of the
t
indications is greatlyy
improved be
ecause the eye
e is drawn
n to the "glow
wing" region
ns in the darkk setting. Be
elow are a fe
ew exampless
o fluorescent wet magn
of
netic particle
e indications..

Magnettic particle wet


w fluoresc
cent indicattion of crac
cks in a driv
ve shaft.

Magne
etic particle
e wet fluorescent indication of a crack
c
in a be
earing.

Magnetiic particle wet


w fluoresc
cent indicattion of a cra
ack in a cran
ne hook.
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Magnetic particle
p
wet fluorescentt indication of a
crack at a sharp radius.

www.PDHon
nline.org

cle wet fluorrescent indication of a


Magnetic partic
crack in a casting
c

Magnetic
c particle wet
w fluoresce
ent indication of crack
ks at a faste
ener hole.
References
s:
http://www.n
ndt-ed.org
http://www.in
nspection-fo
or-industry.co
om
http://www.n
ndt.net
http://ndttestquestions.c
com
https://www.asnt.org
http://nonde
estructivetesttingcertificattion.com

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