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Non Destructive Testing: What Can Magnetic Particle Testing Show?

calendar May. 14, 2020user-iconTXNDT
Particle testing on metal poles

As a nondestructive testing technician, you need to know a variety of NDT methods to stay at the top of your game. From renewable energy, to infrastructure, to medical imaging, the non destructive testing serves a variety of diverse industries, each of which requires different expertise to best serve clients.

That being said, it can be easy to get lost in the nuances of how nondestructive testing can be used in each field and forget some of the time-honored practices of ndt that have served technicians well for years.

There may be no better example of this than magnetic particle testing. A staple method for every NDT technician, magnetic particle testing has consistently delivered the results that demonstrate why inspections are so crucial.

Since magnetic particle testing is second nature to so many technicians, it can be easy to forget just how revealing this testing method is.

Today on the blog we answer the FAQ: What can magnetic particle testing show?

When is Magnetic Particle Testing Used?

While not all methods of testing can be used in all circumstances, magnetic particle testing is popular for a variety of reasons.

Primarily, magnetic particle testing is used because it is a low cost solution that yields inspection results quickly.

An NDT technician would use magnetic particle testing if they want to check for flaws in both the surface of a component and those slightly below the surface.

Magnetic particle testing would be most appropriate on components that are not excessively large and can only be conducted on materials that are ferromagnetic, so this should always be considered when deciding the best method of testing for an inspection.

What is Magnetic Particle Testing?

To understand what magnetic particle testing shows, it’s important to have a developed understanding of what magnetic particle testing is.

According to The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, “When ferromagnetic material (typically iron or steel) is defect-free, it will transfer lines of magnetic flux (field) through the material without any interruption . . . But when a crack or other discontinuity is present, the magnetic flux leaks out of the material. As it leaks, magnetic flux (magnetic field) will collect ferromagnetic particles (iron powder), making the size and shape of the discontinuity easily visible.”

This is precisely what magnetic particle testing reveals. Since this inspection method involves making a “current” of sorts, the inspection shows whether or not there is any interruption in that current.

An interruption in the current means that there is a crack in the material being tested, either at the surface level or directly below the surface. These cracks require immediate attention that your ndt technician can advise you on as soon as it is located.

Sign Up for NDT Certification Today

From introductory NDT courses to NDT level 3 certification, the expert instructors at TXNDT ensure that all prospective technicians are qualified and equipped to perform all job functions and remain educated on compliance needs and specifications.

Inspection methods like magnetic particle testing are crucial for evaluating the health of your assets and keeping your daily operations safe from risk. Our experienced instructors are well-versed in every NDT method from magnetic particle testing to visual testing and everything in between.

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 check out our website for more information.