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NDT Training 101: What is Liquid Penetrant Testing?

calendar Apr. 13, 2020user-iconTXNDT

Every nondestructive testing technician knows extensive knowledge of NDT methods and techniques is crucial for top job performance.

Clients trust that the professional performing the testing vital for the preservation of their assets is knowledgeable in all of the latest methods and technologies for nondestructive testing. That being said, it is just as important that each technician knows the time-honored practices of NDT that have built and supported countless industries for years.

One of the most commonly used practices is liquid penetrant testing-- here is what you need to know.

What is Liquid Penetrant Testing?

Liquid Penetrant Testing (or LPT) is a commonly used nondestructive testing method that involves using the capillary action property to identify surface-breaking discontinuities in various materials.

In this process, a low-viscosity liquid (the penetrant) is applied to the surface of the component undergoing testing. If there are any fissures and/or voids in the surface, due to the capillary action property, the liquid penetrant will enter into any of those voids that are open to the surface.

After the appropriate amount of time has passed, excess penetrant will be removed and indications will be exposed by the remaining penetrant in the voids flowing back out.

Though this is the standard process for liquid penetrant testing, some variants in the procedure may be performed, depending on the needs of each unique job.

Advantages and Disadvantages

For every method of NDT, there are advantages and disadvantages.

Liquid penetrant testing is particularly attractive to technicians because it is a method known to save a lot of time and money. This is a fairly uncomplicated NDT method that can be used on a variety of material types, is highly portable, and is unaffected by part geometry. The technician who masters liquid penetrant testing can rest assured that they will be fully equipped to perform a number of jobs.

Technicians might also find LPT disadvantageous in some circumstances because the simplicity of the test means that it is reliable for surface indications only and it requires that the component is incredibly clean to begin with.

That being said, clean-up before and after testing is performed can be laborious. If the technician is not precise about sanitation of the component, flaws can be misinterpreted, rendering the testing inconclusive or even useless.

NDT Education

At TXNDT, we offer high-quality nondestructive testing courses for Liquid Penetrant Testing. Whether you are just starting out as a Level I Limited technician, or you already have hours of training under your belt, through these courses, you can begin and develop your understanding of this important NDT skill and get the hands-on experience you need in every method of testing.

While Liquid Penetrant is a common NDT method, and vital to every technician’s education, it is only one form of nondestructive testing, and a good technician needs to be familiar with every testing method possible.

Technicians should also seek out training in Magnetic Particle Testing, Ultrasonic Testing and Visual Inspection to become the well-rounded and highly-skilled NDT professional we seek to create at TXNDT.

Technicians looking for training in these methods of nondestructive testing can get crucial hours of hands-on experience under the guidance of seasoned professionals with NDT training from TXNDT. Check out the 2020 Course Catalog for more details on NDT course offerings!

If you’re an engineer looking for ways to develop your skills and broaden your horizons, NDT school is the perfect place to start.

From introductory NDT courses to NDT Level III certification, we ensure that personnel are qualified and equipped to best serve their job functions and stay aware of any and all compliance needs and specifications.

If you or your staff are looking for ways to expand your skills and broaden your career opportunities through nondestructive testing courses, give us a call today at 281-231-0001 or visit our website for more information.