As every savvy nondestructive testing technician knows, there is a wide variety of methods that can be used to perform NDT.
In some cases, only a technician with a particular level of skill can perform a certain test, so the method chosen will depend on the abilities of your technicians.
In other cases, you may opt for a particular method because of its cost, effortless cleanup or portability.
Magnetic particle testing is a go-to method for many nondestructive testing professionals, but it is not a test that can be performed on all devices and components.
Magnetic Particle Testing is a time-honored practice that has been used by NDT technicians for a number of years, but is it right for your assets’ materials?
Here’s what you need to know.
With most methods of nondestructive testing, the purpose of the test is to detect flaws in the component being inspected. The same can be said for magnetic particle testing (MP).
This method of testing employs magnetic fields to test ferromagnetic materials such as steel. Yokes, prods, coils, or central conductors are used to apply the magnetic field directly or indirectly.
During the testing process, a fine, pigmented powder is used which, when applied to the component’s surface, draws into a magnetic leakage field. If this is shown, the discontinuity is revealed through a visible indicator.
For magnetic particle testing to yield a meaningful result, the materials under inspection must be ferromagnetic.
Ferromagnetic materials refers to “those substances which exhibit strong magnetism in the same direction of the field, when a magnetic field is applied to it,” according to electrical engineering website Electrical 4 U.
Typically, ferromagnetic materials are metals, so magnetic particle testing cannot be performed on nonmetal substances. Common metallic materials like nickel, iron, steel, and cobalt are all ferromagnetic and perfect candidates for magnetic particle testing.
Aside from the specific type of material, one other factor to consider is that magnetic particle testing will only reveal surface defects. It is possible for inspection through magnetic particle testing to show that a component lacks flaws, even though there are discontinuities deep below the surface.
If you fear that the material under inspection may have flaws that go beyond surface imperfections, another method may prove more effective.
Ultimately, the decision of which method is best should be carefully considered by each NDT technician as they evaluate the first steps for an inspection. This is precisely why high quality NDT training is necessary to prepare technicians for the NDT field.
At TXNDT, we make sure that each technician we train is fully prepared to enter the workforce. That training includes all of the most important methods, from magnetic particle testing, to liquid penetrant testing, and everything in between.
Since the requirements of an NDT technician can change from job to job, the expert instructors at TXNDT ensure that all prospective technicians are qualified to take on whatever their next job throws at them.
From introductory NDT courses to NDT level 3 certification, we take an active approach to educating all of our students and encourage all prospective technicians to take an active role in their own learning.
If you or your staff are looking for ways to expand your skills and broaden your career opportunities through nondestructive testing courses, consider NDT certification.
But don’t trust just any NDT school. If you’re looking for a top-tier experience, give us a call today at 281-231-0001 or check out our website for more information.