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About Magnetic Particle Testing

Magnetic particle testing is used for the testing of materials which can be easily magnetized. This method is capable of detecting open to surface and just below the surface flaws. In this method the test specimen is first magnetized either by using a permanent or an electromagnet or by passing electric current through or around the specimen. The magnetic field thus introduced into the specimen is composed of magnetic lines of force. Whenever there is a flaw which interrupts the flow of magnetic lines of force, some of these lines must exit and reenter the specimen. These points of exit and re-entry form opposite magnetic poles. Whenever minute magnetic particles are sprinkled onto the surface of such a specimen, these particles are attracted by these magnetic poles to create a visual indication approximating the size and shape of the flaw.

Depending on the application, there are different magnetization techniques used in magnetic particle testing. These techniques can be grouped into the following two categories:

(a) Direct current techniques: These are the techniques in which the current flows through the test specimen and the magnetic field produced by this flow of current is used for the detection of defects.

(b) Magnetic flux flow techniques: In these techniques magnetic flux is induced into the specimen either by the use of a permanent magnet or by flowing current through a coil or a conductor.