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What Surface Conditions Have Detrimental Effects on a Liquid Penetrant Test

calendar Sep. 07, 2020user-iconTXNDT
TXNDT liquid penetrant testing on a surface

Nondestructive testing is a crucial practice that supports the daily operation of countless industries. It is the responsibility of NDT technicians to troubleshoot the vital instruments used by professionals in the medical imaging industry, renewable energy field, and infrastructure, to name a few.

Identifying flaws and maintaining the health of important assets without causing damage to the component is the primary goal of NDT technicians. While nondestructive is a great way to produce a real time diagnosis of assets, the results can only be as accurate as the test performed. If various factors compromise the accuracy of the test, valuable time and money has been wasted conducting the inspection. If not caught quickly, inaccurate results can lead to harmful actions taken (or not taken when they should be) against the component.

Today on the blog we explore surface conditions and how they can have detrimental effects on a liquid penetrant test. Here’s what you need to know.

Surface Preparation

Ultimately, surface preparation of a component is crucial. Liquid penetrant testing can only detect surface discontinuities. To accomplish this, the method relies on capillary action for the oily penetrant to enter into or fill the discontinuity.

If anything on the component’s surface impedes the ability for the discontinuity to be filled, the penetrant stops working and the probability of detection is lowered significantly.

While easy to ignore, there are a number of surface conditions that can prevent inspections from yielding precise results.

Any of the following coatings can inhibit capillary action:

  • Grease
  • Mills Scale
  • Water
  • Dirt
  • Other Coatings

The following metal smearing operations can smear materials and stop capillary action:

  • Power wire brushing
  • Grinding
  • Shot Blasting

When it comes to gleaning an accurate appraisal of the component’s health, surface preparation is crucial. All technicians should be especially cautious to ensure that the component is properly prepared to conduct a liquid penetrant test.

Without a prepared surface, NDT technicians waste their time, the client’s time, and run the risk of improper maintenance of the asset. Technicians must conduct all inspections following all procedures to yield meaningful results.

Contact TXNDT Today!

Proper procedure is the hallmark of every skilled NDT technician. To accurately perform nondestructive testing, it is crucial to be appropriately trained under the supervision of experienced instructors.

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.

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.