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TABLE

OF

CONTENTS

LIQUID PENETRANT INSPECTION

 

PTl

Introduction

 

..........

PTl-1

The six basic steps to liquid penetrant testing

.......

PTl - 1

Safety aspects

invo lved when using penetrants

and

 

......

PT 1 - I

Principles

stages of liquid penetrant inspection

PTl -2

Propertie s of penetrants

 

PTl-6

 

PTl-6

Typical penetration times for various materials

 

PTl-6

Control

checks on equipment performance

 

...

PTl-1 0

Techniques (including advantages/disadvantages of each system)

.....................

PTl-14

COSHH REGULATIONS

PT2

Scope

 

...........

PT2 - 1

Re spo nsibilitie s

...

PT2-l

Occupational exposure limits (EH40)

 

PT2-1

 

PT3

 

.......

PT3- I

...

PT3 -l

 

... PT4

 

.........................

PTS

PCN examination s

 

..........

PTS -1

ASNT examinations

...........

PTS- 2

  • 0 Ru•••& TP O'N•Ul

lssu• 6 03104/06

Ruane & II

T P O'Neill

Ruane & II TPO 'Nei/1

'iOT ES

10

20

, ..

Viscosity is a property of a pen et rant and. whilst important. does not affect the capillary action .

Ho wever. it does affect tir e 30

speed of entry/ex it

of tir e

pen etrant

material .

Viscosity:

77re resistance of

a fluid to flow.

M e n iscus: By using a siJ.!Idowgraplt, tir e contact 40 angle may be determined {or a penetrant on a specific material. A good penetrant is usually defined with a contact angle in the order of6- 10°.

50

60

70

It is gen erally considered as

good working practice to

always 11se the same 1ami/y' Of COIISIItnables.

BS EN 571-1 quotes 'the penetra nt a nd developer may be from mixed families (if an approved source). bill th e penetrant and remover MUST be of the same family'

80

90

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Ul~IT PTI · LIQt;ID PE~ETRANT I~SPECTIO:\'

INTRODUCTION

Penetrant testing provides a means of detecting s urfa ce opening discontinuities , such as cracks or porosity , in relatively non -absorbent mate rial s. (Porous materials are

unsuitable for ~ ral penetrant testing). It utilize s a penetrating liquid which is applied to the surface to be te sted and is drawn into any discontinuity present.

The excess penetrant is removed after a su itable p e riod of time and a white finely

divided de veloper powder is appli e d to the surface

und e r tes t . The developer ass ists in

drawing the residual penetrant from the di sco ntinuitie s, thereby revealing their location.

An early form of penetrant testing was the oil and chalk process. This method consisted of coating the work piece with a h eavy lubri cati ng oil , usually thinned out with paraffin or other light oils. After allowing penetrating time, the oil was removed with dry rags and a mixtu re of c halk and alcohol was then applied to the surface .

Pos sible defects would be indicated where the

c h alk was stained with oil.

CAPILLARY ACTION

The concave meniscus also referred to as a +ve meniscus

Ruane & II TPO ' Nei/1 'iOT ES 10 20 , .. V i scosity i

Capillary pressure is determined by:

~

Where:

S = Surface tens ion CosO = Cosine of the contact angle d = Tube diameter/flaw width

Capi llary tube The meniscus
Capi llary tube
The meniscus

THE SIX BASIC STEPS TO LIQUID PENETRANT TESTING

1.

Pre-clean.

2.

Penetration.

3.

Wash.

4.

Develop.

5.

Inspect.

6.

Final clean.

SAFETY ASPECTS INVOLVED WHEN USING DYE PENETRANTS

When the l iquid penetration method for detecting flaws in materials is used, the operator must always follow the recommended procedures and standards under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. This act states that recommended procedures and safety requirements are laid down in BS 6443 : 19 84 and BS EN 571.

Within these standards are specific requirements with regard to safety.

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Guidance note used by the Health & Safety Executive EH40, referenced in Unit

PT2.

50

60

This is particrdarly relevam with the use offluorescent penetrants. One of the worst con taminates will be the colour contrast penetrant, even minute quall(ities will quench the fluorescent abilities of the fluorescent penetrant.

70

80

Sodium based glasses may be used to improve visual contrast and will also help (rlter out the shorter UV wm•e/engths.

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U~IT PTI · LIQUID PE~ETRANT INSPECTIO~

Fire hazards

The use of electrical equipment, when involved in the inspection of materials , shall ensure that there is no risk of fire as a re s ult of equipment sparking or overheating.

The use of inflammable vapours or solvents (aerosol cans, cleaning solutions, etc.)

should always b e kept away from any

possible source of ignition. Special care should

be taken not to use such equipment in confined spaces as this cou ld provide a build up of gas, unless adequate ventilation is provided.

Electrical safety

All equipment used with the Liquid penetrant method of inspection shall comply with

electrical safety regulations . This means that

any mains equipment of IIOV or above

sha ll be fitted with an earth leakage curre nt circuit breaker of rating 30 rnA. Where

portable equipment of 24V and above is used, the requirement for a circuit breaker

is 12 rnA.

Toxic materials

When in use, some aerosol sprays and solvent cleaners may emit a toxic vapour which can cause a hazard to the health of the operator, therefore, precautions should be taken to avoid these hazards in accordance with the suppliers' instructions .

Such precautions include the use of face masks to absorb any harmful mists or vapours in the atmosphere, especia ll y when in confmed spaces. For the acceptable level in a confined space, see regulation in EH40* . Furthermore, there may remain a risk of irr itation to the skin due to the use of aerosol sprays o r solve nts. Under these circumstances, the recommended safety g arments should be worn and the extensive use of protective clothing where necessary.

Permanent testing locations

Where it is necessary to carry out liquid penetrant testing on a continuous basis, a su itable room or building shou ld be available. This should contain adequate ventilation, lighting for the inspection of materials, access to move equipment and materials , both in and out, and sufficient space for cleaning.

The location of such a room or bu il ding should be well away from any manufacturing processes which may cause airborne contamination*.

Safe use of ultraviolet light

Always ensure the safe use of ultraviolet light when inspecting a material with a fluorescent penetrant. The source of ultraviolet light should always be directed towards the wo rk piece and away from the naked eye as exposure may cause damage.

The filters used on ultraviolet light equipment should be regularly checked for cracking, as radiation waves below 315 nm can be very dangerous.

The use of photochromic spectacles should be avoided as these will darken under

ultraviolet light and increase the possibility of missing the smaller indications fluo resc ing*.

PRINCIPLES AND STAGES OF LIQUID PENETRANT INSPECTION

Preparation

As penetrant inspection is totally dependent on the ability of a penetrant to enter a surface discontinuity , contaminants such as oil, grease, paint , ru st, scale, welding flux etc., may restrict its entry. Moreover, such contaminants can absorb the penetrant, masking fine defects or making them difficult or impossible to identify or interpret.

Methods of cleaning can be divided into two main groups; physical and chemical.

() Runt & T P O'Neill

Ruane & II

TPO'Nel/1

1\0TF.S

17ze use of strong alkaline

lO

materials must also be avoided wherever possible due to the possible release of chromate ions which are opaque to ultraviolet light, he11ce again increasing the

chance of missing indications.

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so

60

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UNIT PTJ · LIQUID PENETRANT INSPECTION Physical

The physical methods, such as wire brushing o r abrasive blasting (shot blasting, metal scraping, sand blasting, etc.), essentially remove contaminants from the surface and are

generally incapable of removing any contamination which may exist within the

discontinuity, thereby stopping or reducing entry of the penetrant. If abrasive cleaning is used, it should be followed by a light acid etching prior to penetrant application in order to remove the peened surface, which is very likely to close up discontinuities so making the penetrant test ineffective. Care should be exercised when using fluorescent penetrants be cause the acid can kill the fluorescence and create poor or weak indications. Depending on the test piece material and surface fmish, physical cleaning may be unacceptable.

Chemical

Chemical cleaning can be carried out by using detergents. steam cleaning or vapour degreasing but is ineffective for removing rust or scale.

Detergent cleaning

Detergents can be either acid or alkaline, therefore a detergent which is non-corrosive to the material should be chosen. Detergents can be applied to small areas , or used in a washing tank, therefore the size and shape of the component may have to be considered.

Steam cleaning

This process is an excellent method of cleaning if the co mponent cannot be successfully cleaned by detergent or vapour degreasing. Steam cleaning is usually used on large components.

Vapour degreasing

By

applying

or immersing

are

into the degreasing agent,

the

surface

and also

th e

discontinuity

effecti ve l y

cleaned.

Trichlorethylene

is

usually

used

as

the

degreas ing agent, although this should not be used on titanium alloys as the

susceptibility of such alloys to stress corrosion may be enhanced by its use.

Sufficient time should be allowed after cleaning for drying out otherwise the efficiency

of the penetrant may be

affected.

The time interval allowed for th e evaporation of

solvents can only be determined by the prevailing conditions of temperature , humidity and the type of solvent used. Moisture from detergent cleaning can be removed by

oven drying the component:

Penetrants

Types Penetrants are usually classified according to the type of dye; visible or fluorescent.

Colour contrast penetrants

The brightly coloured, usually red (as it provides a high contrast against the white background), highly penetrating liquids are visually inspected under good daylight condi tions, or with the use of adequate artificial light.

Fluorescent penetrants With these penetrants, the

components are irradiated with an ultraviolet light (b lack

light) in a darkened area so that the yellow-green indications are readily visible .

The above classes of penetrant can be further sub -divided by the mann er in whic h they are removed from the material surface:

  • a. Solvent removable.

  • b. Water washable.

c.

Post emulsifiab le .

C Ruane & T P O'NeUI

Ruane& II

TPO 'Nei/1

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'1 ES

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Precipitation : 111e change from a solution to a suspension, e.g. the base 30 pigments come our of solution .

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Flash point : The minimum tempera111re which the vapour will ignit e wh en exposed ro a naked flame. usually determined via a closed cup me thod.

70

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Halogen free : Co ntains no chlorine, fluorin e, bromide or iodine.

100

t:l\'IT PTI · LIQUID PEl\'ETRANT INSPECTION

Alternative p enetrant sys tems i nclude dual sensitivity (reve rse fl uorescence) used i n

poor l ighting

con diti ons, filtered particle used fo r porou s materials, thixotropic used

for overhead work and LOX sensitive use d on materials like l y to come into contact

w ith liquid oxygen .

These s pec ia list systems are not covered in depth due to their

limited applications.

Application

After the surface h as been prepared and comp l ete ly dried , app l ica t ion of the p e ne trant can be by s prayi ng, pouring or dippin g, u s ing a swab or brush , o r by immers ing into a

tank. When using immersion, the test piece need o nly stay immersed until covered. The penetrant does not seep into a discontinuity, it is pulled into i t by capi ll ary action. The penetrant should be applied withi n the temperature ran ge of 4°C to 40 °C , unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer . Highe r temperatu r es will retard the

p enetrating

abi l ity b y ev apo rating the vo l atile constituents . Lower temp e r atures will

cause some precipitation of the dye and the penetrant to become more viscous.

Surface contact time of the p enetrant varies between 5 minutes and 60 minutes depending upon the temperature, material , size and type of the defect being sought, w hi c h is the primary fa c t or. The co ntact time or dwell time is usua lly betwee n 20 to 30 minutes for welds in low carbon material s.

The desirable f eatures of a good penetrant are that

c haracteristics :

it must possess the following

  • a. The ability to penetrate fin e surface discontinuities.

  • b. Must not be easily removed

from relatively co arse openings until required.

  • c. Be eas ily clean ed from the surface of the test piece.

  • d. Capable of being easily drawn from discontinuities by the deve lope r.

  • e. Have the ability to spread as a fin e film.

  • f. In possession o f inte nse colour or fluore sce nce , even as a thin film.

  • g. Have p ermanence in co lour or u ltraviolet light

fluorescence when exposed to he a t, white li ght or

  • h. Ine rt t o the materials , including containers with which it comes in contact.

1.

and stab le wh en s t ore d and in use.

 

Two

Be odourless, non - flammable , non- toxi c other properties of a penetrant are

important

and,

whilst not affecting

the

penetrating ability , they affect its use . These

are:

 

Flash point If a penetrant is

to

be

u

se d

in bulk,

it s h ould have

a

fla s h

point of 49°C to 52°C.

Below this, special insta ll ations ma y be necessary.

 

T oxicity

 

It is essential that the toxic effects of a penetrant, on inhalation of the vapour and on contact with the skin, are known and guarded against.

Special purpose penetrants

 

These

s p ec i a l

inert

p ene trant

material s

are

ava ilable

for

certain

a pplica ti ons,

in

particular, when t es tin g nickel alloys , certain

stainless s t ee ls and titanium where the

penetrants

must b e

low in sulphur and chlorine b eca u se of their detrimental effects .

 

Effects

of s ulphur

and chlorine

 

Certain alloy s t ee ls are susceptible to damage by su lphur or chlorine, especiaJly when they are heated in processing or in service . The predominant mechani sm o f damage is intergranul ar corrosion and cracking. B eca use of this detrime ntal effect, it is of the

utmost importance to remove a ll traces of penetrant, emulsifi er o r developer from these

Cl Ruone &

T P O'NdU

Ruane & II

UNIT PTI · LIQUID PE~ETRANT I~SPECTION

TPO'Nei/1

:\OTf:S

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To emulsify is to r e nde r wat er washable with th e application of a11 additional chemical.

30

Note: Water contamination ofwaier washable penetrants will reduce the penetrating quality and adversely affect th e washabilit Y.

40

BS 6443 : A maximum pressure of 2 bar (29 p.s. i.) and a t emp era ture range o[. 50

15•c- 3o•c.

** BS EN 571 : A maximum temperature of 50°C and

if a fluoresce/It penetrant. at/east 300 pWicm 1 UV-A irradian ce and a maximum ambient background lighti11g of /50 lux as to BS EN I SO 3059.

60

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80

*/) America n doc um entation often referred to h y drophilic 90 removers as 'do mestic scru bbers'.

2) In dip tank systems. the typical percentage in th e range of 3% - 20%. wh er eas if spray ecl. the percemage is more typically b etween

0.01%- 0.1%.

is

I 00

alloy steels, or use the s pe cially emu ls ifi ers and develop ers.

formulated so ca ll ed sulphur/chlorine free penetrants,

Removal of p enetrants

The method of removal depends upon the type of penetrant use d .

So lve n t re movable penetrants

The solvent can be applied by spray or by a cloth. During the initi al inspection stage, excess penetrant should be removed by app l ying the solvent to a cloth and then wiping

the surface clean . This method is used to limit the contact time of the solvent with the

penetrant to prevent it e ntering

the disc ontinuity. If the solvent was allowed to fl ood

onto the surface from a high p ressure s pray , the penetrant could be washed out from any wide , shallow discontinuities.

Water washable p en etr a nts

Se lf-emulsified or water washab l e penetrants are remov ed from the surface or components by direct water washing. Th e app lication of wate r is by using a spray or by immersing into an agitated water wash. The surface of the c omponent should b e

washed to the point whe re the excess p e netrant has only ju st been remov ed . If

fluorescent

penetrants are being used , washing should take place under ultraviole t lig ht

conditions. The penetrant/emulsifier mixture in the discontinu ity is just

as suscep tibl e to wa s hing

as the material on the su rface , so over-washing can be a very real risk .

The spray used to remov e the penetrant should be of a coarse water droplet type, with a

pressure of *30-40 p.s.i

Hig her pressure would result in washing the penetrant ou t of

.. th e discontinuity. I n a ll water washabl e methods , the water temperature should be

between ** l5 °C and 40°C.

Post emulsifiab le penetrants

TI1e post emulsifying process has been the one traditionally used to give the hi g hes t degree of sensitivity. Emu lsifiers mix with the surface penetrant and render it water was hable , the success being depend ent on the relative inabili ty of the emulsifie r to combine with the p enetrant in the discontinuity.

The emu lsifier should never be applied using a brush as this causes uneven mixing .

The origina l conception of this process was for use with a lipophilic (oi l loving) emu lsifier, this being a materia l with which the oily penetrant is mutually so lubl e. When the emulsifier is applied, it dissolves the penetrant by a process of diffusion and

consequently, correct contact time is the essence of procedure. Otherw ise, there is a

tend ency for the emu lsifier to dissolve the penetrant in sha ll ow , relativ e ly wide surface

  • d isco ntinuities and so promote their loss on subsequ ent washing.

Since the s hort comings o f lip ophilic emu lsifier systems are caused by the un l imited

mutua l so lubility

of the penetran t and emulsifier over relatively sho rt periods of time , a

different type of remov er was in troduced in which the mutual so lubility was not the prime factor.

To achi eve this res ult , it is desirable to remove most of the excess penetrant b y using a preliminary water wash , leaving only a un iform and very thin film of penetrant. The bulk of the excess penetrant is remov ed purely by the m ec hani ca l action of the water jet.

To remove the thin film , a hydrophilic (water loving) remover* is used. This is s imil ar in action to a domestic detergent and is used in a low co ncentrated form. Afte r c ompletion of the contact time , which is not too critical, subsequent washing by a water spray cleans the surface effectively without an exc ess ive tendency to wash penetrant out of shallow discontinuities and so a bette r basic flaw sensitivity is achieved.

Emu lsification time is ideally established by experimentation and it will be different for different p arts or the same part with a different s urfac e finish.

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Ruant & T P O ' Neill

Issue 6 03/04106

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Ruane & II

T PO'Neill

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Contact time: 111e time period where the ma terial is first put into comact with the component until it is finally removed.

Note: With reference to emulsifiers. th is time frame varies e normously with th e method of application, i.e . if only a chemical

70

r e a c t ion or whether a

echanical in v olved .

m

action is als o

 

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UNIT PTI · LIQt:ID PENETRA~T INSPECTION PROPERTIES OF PEI\~TRANTS

1.

Su r face t e nsion.

 

2.

Wetting ability .

3.

Viscosity.

 

4 .

Density.

5.

Toxicity.

6.

Econo my .

7.

Volatility.

8.

Flash point.

 

9.

Chemical inertness.

10.

So lub i lity .

 

Th erefo re:

 

A se nsitive pe netrant equals :

 

l.

Measure of p enetrabi lity.

2 .

Abi

lity to re main in flaw.

3.

Abi lity

to

b e

deve lo ped .

4.

Ab ility

to

be

see n in sma ll q uantities.

PROPERTIES OF EMULSIFIERS

1.

M u s t make the penetrant water washable.

2.

Blending with the penetrant must be slow enough to vary contact time .

3.

B lending must be fast e nough not t o d elay processing unduly .

4.

Su itable for u se in o pen tanks.

5.

Free from odour and non-toxic.

There are two main e mulsifiers :

  • l. Lipophilic (oil based) - typical contact time = 30 - 4 5 seco nd s .

    • 2. Hydrophi l ic (water based) - typical contac t tim e = 2 minutes.

TYPICAL PENETRATION TIMES FOR VARIOUS MATERIALS

     

Penetrant time

Material

 

Defect type

(typically)

Aluminium castings

P orosity - cold shuts

5

- 15 minu t es

Welds

C

racks

10

- 30 minutes

Magnesium f org ing s

 

Laps

10- 30 minutes

Welds

P oros ity

10

- 3 0 minutes

Sta inl ess stee l f org ings

 

Lap s

10

- 60 minutes

Welds

C

racks

20 - 60 minutes

Glass

C

ra cks

5

- 30 minutes

Ca rbon tipp ed tools

Grinding c ra cks

10

- 30 minutes

Plas tics

Cracks

2

- 30 minutes

() Ruone & T P O'Neill

Ruane & II

TPO'Nei/1

1\0TF.S

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BS 6443 : A maximum drying time of 10 minutes and the object should not exceed 50°C sUiface temperature.

BS EN 571 : A maximum of 50°C s urface temperature.

20

BS EN ISO 3452-4 states a maximum oven temperature of80°C.

30

40

50

Key points : Least sensitive developer; mainly restricted to fluorescent

penetrant systems; easily applied to large or s mall

60

areas; ideal for

rough

surface finishes

and

complex shapes but gives the best resolution of indications as the

 

developer adheres only to wet areas. which should only be discontinuities.

70

Key points : Most sensitive de veloper; may be used with both fluorescent and colour contrast penetrants; if spraye d too close to th e test s urface, the solvent carrier fluid may wash out th e penetrant from th e flaw; quick selfdrying operation.

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UNIT PTl ·LIQUID PENETRANT INSPECTION

Drying

When dry powder or solvent suspendible developers are to be used, the component must be thoroughly dried. This is preferably carried out in a thermostatically

contro lled air circulating oven . The temperature of the oven is usually in the range of 65° to 8Y'C* and the component should only remain in the oven until all surface moisture is removed, otherwise penetrant evaporation may occur. Some specifications may stipulate a low drying temperature in order to further control the penetrant evaporation.

TI1e period of drying should be the minimum required to achieve the purpose and should be established fo r each particular job, taking into conside ration its size, shape and also the nature of suspected discontinuities . It is also preferable to avoid mixing components of thin cross sections and high thermal conductivity, with large heavy components which dry at a slower rate. Excess drying may cause a reduction in definition, i.e. the sharpness of the indication is reduced.

If it is intended to use water suspendible or water soluble developers , the developer is applied immediately after the excess penetrant has been removed, whilst the surface is

still wet and before surface drying is carried out. uniform developer coating.

Drying then assists in securing a ·

Developers

The developer assists in the detection of penetrant retained in the discontinuities by aiding in the bleed-out process by acting as a blotting agent and accentuating the presence of a discontinuity by spreading out the penetrant over a greater area .

Developer is available in both dry and liquid forms and the selection of developer is in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendation for the type of penetrant used.

Types of developer

There are three types of developer in use:

Dry powder

This is a dry, loose, fluffy white powder and can be applied to the specimen by dusting (with an insuffulator or powder spray gun - electrostatic), blowing (in a dust storm cabinet or using a flock gun) or by immersing into a container of developer powder,

preferably a fluidised bed.

The main advantage of dry powder is its use to restrict

bleed-out, for it wiJI only stick to wet areas, which sho uld only be areas containing

discontinuities.

K

.

 

_

 

Solvent suspendible

-

;

yr

~

Also known as non-aqueous wet developer. It consists of fine powder suspended in a volatile solvent and is usually applied to the specimen by spraying from a pressurised spray can or gun. The developer is applied to form a thin white coat of optimum thickness for the type of discontinuity sought.

If the developer is prevented from coming in contact with the penetrant in the discontinuity because the discontinuity may be very tight, the solvent will effectively bridge the gap by bringing the penetrant to the developer.

The main problem with so lv ent suspendible developers is that operators tend to bury the discontinuities under the developer.

t.) Ru a ne & T P O'Ntlll ls.!ue 6 03/04/06

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Ruane& II TPO'Neill :\OTF: S Key points: Suspension types rarely used. now being superseded by the

:\OTF: S

Key points: Suspension types rarely used. now being superseded by the solution type; non-toxic; non- flammable; no ljust nuisance problems; either spray or dip application; possible drying problems; possibility of .r-· flocculation occurring

10

when used infrequently.

20

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U~JT PTl · LIQUID PENETRANT INSPECTION

Water based

These are sometimes called aqueous developers and can either be a suspension of absorptive white powder or a water-soluble absorptive white powd er mixed with water.

The water-soluble powder, once mixed, remains in sol ut ion whereas the suspension

type requires mild agitation to

k eep the powder particles in suspension .

After the excess penetrant has been removed and the surface is still wet, the developer is applied by ei th er immersion or spray techniques to form a smooth even coating. Care should be taken to avoid concentrations of developer in dished or hollow areas of the specimen to avoid penetrant indications being masked.

Properties required of a developer

For a develop er to carry out its function to the fullest extent, it must possess certain properties or characteristics:

a .

The developer material must have high absorptive qualities to secure a maximum

of blotting action.

  • b. It must have fine grained powder particles of a particular shape that will disperse and expose the small amount of penetrant, at a discontinuity, over as larg e an area as possible, whilst

sti ll retaining a strong and sharply defined indication.

  • c. It must be able to mask out, to a large degree, any interfering background colour

whilst providing a contrast background for indications, particularly with reference to colour contrast penetrants.

  • d. The material must be easily applicable and able to form a thin or minimum coating uniformly over the surface and be easily removed after inspection has been completed.

  • e. The developer material must not contain any harmful or toxic ingredients that may contaminate the parts being inspected or may be injurious to the operator.

Development times

This is the time allowed between th e app lication of developer and the actual viewing of

indications. It is very important in the interpretation

of indi cations because

if too littl e

time is allowed, indications may not have had time to develop. Too much time will

cause the indications to become blurred or distorted.

The correct developing time depends on the developer used and should be determined by experience only . Because a component may be rejected based on the intensity of the indication, indicating a degree of severity, development time plays a significant

part in the intensity of a given indication. Therefore, under such circumstances, inspection mus t be carried out at a stated time after a develope r has been applied.

Viewing conditions

Whether or not an indication will be seen involves the re la tive amount of light reflec ted and/or emitted as between an indication and its background.

This relationship is referred to as seeability and involves co lour, ambient light level and also contrast.

Colour contrast penetrants

Colour contrast indications must be viewed in bright white light in order to have

maximum use of the eye's ability to distinguish contrasts and colours. For optimum results, the illumination level at the surface to be inspected should b e no less than

  • 500 lux .

Fluorescent penetrants

Inspection is carried out using dyes that have the property of absorbing short wave,

invisible ultraviolet light and re-emitting this energy in longer wavelengths in the visible white light range

C> Ruane & T P O'Neill

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500

lu x , as

defined by

BS EN ISO 3059 and

 

BS 6443.

is equivalent to

I 0

either an 80 wall fluorescent tube at a distance of I m etre or a I 00 wall tungsten filament bulb (pe arl type) at a distance of0.2 metres.

 

20

BS 6443 :Maximum of

  • 10 lux ambient background.

BS EN 571 : Maximum of

  • 20 lux ambie nt background.

30

BS 6443 : Minimum of 500 pW/cm 1 at the work surface, BS EN 571 and BS EN ISO 3059 minimum of 1000 pW/cm ! at the work surface and a maximum

40

value of 5000

p Wlcn/ .

 

50

60

70

80

90

100

U~IT PTl ·LIQUID PE~ETRANT INSPECTION

The fluorescent penetrants give off light in the yellow-green or green-blue portion of the visible spectrum (520- 580 nm) .

Ultraviolet light is the term given to wavelengths that are shorter than the shortest visible violet wavelengths (400 - 100 nm). The most harmful section of these wavelengths is the range 315 - 200 nm , here ozone can be generated, bacteria can be killed and will cause sunburn and injuries to the human eye .

By using a UV-A filter, the harmful short wav ele ngths are e liminat ed leaving the

ultraviolet range from

400 - 315 nm. The radiation passed by the fllter, peaks at

365 nm, thls being the optimum for energising most of the fluorescent dyes used for

penetrant inspection purposes.

When using fluorescent penetrants, the area wh e re the inspection is to take place should be darkened. Although, because of the super brilliance of the fluorescent

penetrant, inspection can take place in dim daylight using a strong ultraviolet light.

The darkened area may be illuminated with a dull amber light and the ultraviolet light

should be allowed to achieve a full brilliance before any inspection is allow ed (approximately 15 minutes). At least 5 minutes should be allowed for the opera tor's eyes to adjust to the reduced ambient lighting.

The intensity of ultraviolet light illumination at the surface under examination should be stipulated in the job specification. The intensity can be measured with a radiometer. Dirt on the re.flector and also the filter will reduce the ligh t intensity so they must always be kept clean.

Interpretation

Since penetrant inspection can only indicate surface discontinuities, an indication can

be caused by a discontinuity on the surface or by penetrant remaining on th e surface

from some non-relevant cause. Therefore,

proper interpretation re quires familiarity

with the manufacturing process , the types of indications likely to occur and their appearance . We can break indications down into three categories; non-relevant, false and true.

Non-relevant indications

Most of the ·non-relevant indications are easy to recognise since they are related directly to some feature of the assembly that accounts for t heir presence. Indications , such as items that are press- fitted, keyed , spliced, rive te d or spot welded together, ca n be easily recognised. Also, indications appearing on the surface of th e fabrication or casting such as scale or a rough surface, e.g . a genuine bleed-out of penetrant but not from a d isc ontinuity in the product.

All these non-relevant indications must be carefully exa mined since they may interfere with th e correct interpretation.

False indica t ions

The most common source of false indications is poor washing of water-washable and

pos t- emulsifie d p enetrants. The use of an ultraviolet light during the washing process, when u sing fluorescent penetrants is essential. When using solvents, the removal process is much more likely to be thorough, although there is a danger of over-washing with solvents. Contamination can be caused by fluor escent or colour spots from operator's hands or from the insp ec tion table, e.g. an operator error allowing excess penetrant to remain on the product surface during processing.

True indications

These are caused by discontinuities. The interpretation of an indication as true is a matter of observing the indication eliminating the possibility of it being a false indication and then further determining that it is not a non-relevant indication.

All true indications immediately become subject to evaluation as to their cause (type of

discontinuity) and their effect on the service life of the specimen.

(I) Run< &. T P O 'Ntill

Issue 6 03/04/ 66

-

PTl-9

Ruane& II

TPO'Neill

:\OlfS

10

 

20

30

40

50

60

BS EN ISO 3452-2 : 2000 contains full equipment check details for bulk COIIS/IIIIab/es .

 

70

80

90

100

UNIT PTI · LIQUID PENETRA~T INSPECTIO~

True indications logically fall into four categories : continuous line, intermittent line, rounded and/or small dots and diffused or weak. Continuous line indications are caused by cracks , cold shuts , forging laps , scratches or

die marks. Cracks usually appear jagged, whilst sc ra tches and d ie marks can be seen, once all surface penetrant is removed. Intermittent line indications ore cou:.ed by the 5ome di5continuitie!; thot cou:;e continuous lines but it may be th at part of the discontinuity bas been closed by some metal working process. The intermittent lines may also be caused by too liberal application of developer. Rounded indications are usually indicative of porosity.