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Etch Test,Micro Etch Examination,Macro Etch Examination



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Index >> Inspection and Testing of Welds >> Etch Test

Etch Test
Inspection and Testing of

Etch Test - An etch test involves inspecting the welded

test specimen after polishing and etching the same with a
Stages of Weld Inspection and
chemical reagent e.g., a dilute acid.
Destructive Testing of Welds
Tensile Test
Bend Test
Free Bend Test

Types of
There are two types of etch tests, namely
(i) Macro etch examination,
(ii) Micro etch examination.

Guided Bend Test

Transverse Bend Test
Longitudinal Bend Test
Side Bend Test
Impact Test
Types of Impact Tests
Nick Break Test

Concept and Purpose

(i) Macro etch examination:
After preparing the specimen by polishing and etching, it
is examined either by the naked eye or by low power
magnification up to X15. Macro examination gives a broad
picture of the specimen by studying relatively large
sectioned areas.

Hardness Test
Brinell Hardness Testing
Rockwell Hardness Testing
Etch Test
Non Destructive Visual
Inspection Testing of Welds
Leak OR Tightness Test on

Macro examination reveals in welded specimen

(i) Cracks,
(ii) Slag inclusion,
(iii) Blowholes,
(iv) Shrinkage porosity,
(v) Penetration of the weld,
(vi)The boundary between the weld metal and the base metal, etc

Stethoscope Sound Test

Radiography Using X-Ray and
-Ray on Welds
X - Ray Radiography

(ii) Micro etch examination: After preparing the specimen by polishing and etching, it is examined under a microscope
at magnifications from X20 to X2000.
Micro etch examination involves areas much smaller than those considered in macro etch examination and brings out
information that can never be revealed by macro examination.

Gamma Ray Radiography


Micro examination determines in a welded specimen

(i) Cracks and inclusions of microscopic size.
(ii) Grain boundaries and solidification structures of weld
metal, heat affected zone and the base metal.
(iii) Distribution of micro constituents in the weld metal.
(iv) The quality of heat treatment, etc.
Preparation of Test Specimen
(i) The specimen shall be the full thickness of the material
at the welded joint and the weld reinforcement and
penetration bead shall be left intact. The specimen shall
contain a length of the joint of at least 10 mm and shall
extend on each side of the weld for a distance that
includes the heat affected zone and some base metal

and Applications on X Ray
and Applications on Gamma
Ray Radiography
Magnetic Particle Inspection
Liquid Dye Penetrant Test
Fluorescent Penetrant
Ultrasonic Inspection
and Applications of Ultrasonic
Eddy Current Testing
and Applications of Eddy
Current Testing
Summary of Non Destructive
Testing of Welds

(ii) Specimen after being cut from the plate is filed or ground to obtain flat surface on the specimen.
(iii) Intermediate and fine grinding is carried out using emery papers of progressively finer grades, i.e., of grades, 200
grit, 320 grit, 400 grit and 600 grit (from coarse to fine).
(iv) Rough and fine polishing of the specimen* is carried out on a rotating polishing wheel. Fine polishing removes the
scratches and very thin distorted layer remaining on the specimen from the rough polishing stage. (v) Etching. The
specimen is then etched in order to make visible the grain boundaries, heat affected zone, the boundary between the
weld metal and parent metal, etc. Etching imparts unlike appearances to the metal constituents and thus makes metal
structure apparent under the microscope.
Etching is done either by
(a) immersing the polished surface (of the specimen) in the etching reagent or by
(b) rubbing the polished surface gently with a cotton swab wetted with the etching reagent.
Given below are a few etching reagents:
1. Hydrochloric Acid. The reagent contains equal parts by
volume of concentrated HCI and water. Specimen is
immersed in this reagent at or near the boiling point. This
will usually enlarge gas pockets and dissolve slag
inclusions, enlarging the resulting cavities.
2. Nitric Acid. One part of concentrated nitric acid is added
to three parts of water by volume. The reagent may be
applied to the surface of the weld either with a glass
stirring rod at room temperature or the weld be immersed
in boiling reagent provided the room is well ventilated. This
reagent is used on polished surfaces only to show the weld
metal zone as well as the refined zone. Nital contains 2CC
HNO3 Conc. + 98CC absolute methyl alcohol.

3. Ammonium persulphate. Mix one part of ammonium persulphate (solid) to nine parts of water by weight. The
reagent thus prepared is rubbed vigorously on the surface of the weld with cotton saturated with this reagent.
4. Iodine and potassium iodide. One part of powdered iodine (solid) is mixed with twelve parts of a solution of
potassium iodide by weight. The latter solution should consist of one part of potassium iodide to five parts of water by
weight. The reagent is brushed at room temperature on the surface of the weld.

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