From Materials Evaluation, Vol. 70, No. 6, pp: 757–764. Copyright © 2012 The American Society for Nondestructive Testing, Inc.

Fluorescent Nondestructive Testing Sensitivity Improvement through Choice of Safety Glasses
by Richard D. Lopez*


A quantitative evaluation of the relative effect of various safety glasses on inspection sensitivity was performed. This work characterized lens transmission spectra, determined penetrant and magnetic particle test media fluorescent emission spectra, measured ultraviolet A radiation source emission spectra, and determined the effect of lens choice on the fluorescent luminance of typical test media. Experimental data showed that not all lenses are equal, and one amber lens allowed a greater amount of fluoresced light from indications through to the technician’s eyes, compared to its clear counterpart. KEYWORDS: fluorescent, penetrant, magnetic particle, safety glasses, sensitivity, clear lenses, amber lenses.

Introduction Fluorescent nondestructive testing (NDT) test media, which include liquid penetrants and magnetic particles, absorb energy from an excitation radiation source (exciter) and emit fluoresced visible light. Specimen geometry or surface finish can be such that excitation radiation is reflected into the technician’s eyes. When strong blue light or ultraviolet A (UVA) reaches the eye, test sensitivity suffers, and the technician is exposed to hazardous wavelengths (Clarke, 1954). Protective eyewear generally has clear lenses, although amber lenses also have their place in NDT. Clear lenses block only ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and allow all visible light to pass. Amber lenses block UV radiation and some visible light, transmitting only blue-green visible light and longer wavelengths. Amber safety lenses may be found in industrial fluorescent NDT, but their use has not been widely adopted. Selecting the optimal safety glass lens will maximize inspection sensitivity because indication luminance and probability of detection are directly proportional. Experiments were performed to determine which safety lens was best when utilizing fluorescent test media and common UV excitation sources. This paper represents a portion of the work reported in the author’s master’s thesis, which focused on the effect of excitation source and filtering safety lens on fluorescent NDT (Lopez, 2010). Health and Safety UV radiation is generally defined as electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between 100 and 400 nm; photons in this energy range can harm biological cells. The small subdivision of UV radiation utilized in fluorescent penetrant testing and fluorescent magnetic particle testing (MT), known as UVA, was long considered completely safe for extended exposure to the technician. UVA radiation has a wavelength between 315 and 400 nm. Recent research on UVA radiation exposure suggests that a measureable health risk is present, although this risk varies greatly with photon wavelength (Diffey, 2002). Possible deleterious effects of excessive UVA exposure are cataracts, retinal burns and skin cancer (Reed et al., 2009). These photobiological effects have been studied and defined by health and safety organizations. One domestic authority, the American

* John Deere Moline Technology Innovation Center, 1915 Scholl Rd., 283 ASC-II, Ames, Iowa 50011; (309) 749-9337.


(a) (b) Figure 1. One of ACGIH’s guidelines offers recommendations on safe exposure to UV radiation. their use with UVA sources has not been widely adopted. This work established the wavelengths emitted by eight UVA exciters. 2006. however. Blue light hazard pertains to wavelengths between 400 and 500 nm. 1979. determined the visible light wavelengths emitted by fluorescent test media. Schmidt. Proposed Benefit Amber lenses have been promoted for fluorescent NDT usage for decades (Betz. These lenses are mandatory for blue light exciters. and this action spectrum peaks between 435 and 440 nm (Algvere et al. there are two main concerns when working with non-ionizing radiation: retinal photochemical injury due to blue light exposure. Background brightness decreased while indication brightness remained qualitatively unchanged with the amber filter. 2000). Lopez et al. Radiometers and luxmeters used in NDT employ integral sensors. The ACGIH UV hazard action spectrum (Sλ) is defined between 180 and 400 nm. Luminance measurements were made on bulk test media samples with. estimated the transmission characteristics of four common safety glasses.. Five fluorescent penetrant testing indications on a testing and monitoring panel irradiated by a micro-power xenon light source and photographed while changing only the filter: (a) a clear ultraviolet A (UVA) filter was replaced by a (b) UVA and blue light blocking #2E amber photographic filter. which are assemblies consisting of a photodiode. 758 MATERIALS EVALUATION • JUNE 2012 . Figure 1 illustrates the change in visual appearance of indications on a penetrant testing and monitoring (TAM) panel irradiated with a typical micro-power xenon light (MPXL) exciter. 1975). and measured actual fluorescent luminance of typical test media.. The signal-to-noise ratio improvement was solely because of the amber (blueblocking) filter’s ability to absorb the reflected excitation energy before it reached the camera. filter set and light diffusing cover (Xu and Huang. 2004. Ness and Moss. In this case. 1983. 2005).. Zuclich et al.ME TECHNICAL PAPER w x safety glasses Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). In NDT. aperture. a thorough and quantitative analysis was required to determine if this was indeed the case. Specially filtered integral radiometer sensors that replicate blue light hazard and ACGIH UV hazard action spectra are both commercially available. Hagemaier and Bowles. maintains and periodically updates guideline values and indices for exposure to hazardous chemicals and physical agents (ACGIH. the filtering effect of safety glasses. 1996). visible light and infrared radiation. a UVA-blocking photographic filter was replaced by a #2E amber filter. The purpose of this paper is to show that amber lenses improve fluorescent indication contrast when using UVA exciters. and without. While indication luminance appeared to be unaffected in this photographic experiment. 2006. Experimental Overview Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of amber safety lenses in improving the sensitivity of fluorescent NDT. and peaks at 270 nm (ACGIH. Holden. and extended UV exposure of the skin and eyes. 2004). 1969.

This overall group of exciters represented the variety of exciters used with. A UV-visible (UV-Vis) spectrometer is a device that characterizes the emission of a UV or visible light electromagnetic radiation source in counts per integration time. Illuminance varied between exciter types. Larason and Cromer. Emission spectra (Figure 2) were gathered in relative irradiance mode. it also emitted longer wavelength red visible light. dynamic range and data resolution. The price of such spectrometers varies widely. Absolute irradiance was an important measurement.5 nm.0 correction factors were calculated for each exciter/sensor combination so that absolute measurements could be obtained (Envall et al. which are fluorescent dyes or pigments. To capture emission spectra from each exciter. Because none of the exciter’s emission spectra matched the spectrum that was used to calibrate the high-quality integral sensors. offer optimal signal-to-noise levels. High-end devices. in nanometers. 2009. spectral mismatch Figure 2. Xu and Huang. a CCD array polychromator spectrometer was coupled to a 230 µm core extreme solarization-resistant optical fiber. Field and Emery. but no measurement exceeded the 21.Ultraviolet A Exciters Excitation sources utilized in this study included a filtered medium-pressure mercury vapor lamp. 2000). as well as each exciter’s spectral width in terms of a full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) value. 2001. a filtered short-arc mercury vapor lamp. fluorescent NDT activities. which contains a linear charge-coupled device (CCD) array and stationary grating. was shown to have a broad emission spectrum mathematically centered at 372 nm. at half the height of its peak. Exciter irradiance and illuminance were measured with high-quality integral sensors. 2004. The MPXL exciter. Such a configuration allowed for rapid collection of emission data over a range of 250 to 800 nm. TABLE 1 Central or peak emission wavelength. the spectra emitted by the UVA sources varied dramatically. While the MPXL source emitted some violet visible light. because with it one could ensure that test media samples were equally irradiated by the variety of exciter types. These polychromator spectrometers cost a fraction of the price of quality double monochromator spectrometers. Normalized relative irradiance from common ultraviolet A exciters. an integrally-filtered (phosphor-coated) low-pressure mercury vapor fluorescent tube-based exciter. Spectral mismatch measurement error is unavoidable without correction factors.4 11. which has proven to be quite successful in NDT applications.3 37. and the low-cost option for obtaining spectral data is a polychromator spectrometer.. relative irradiance or absolute irradiance versus wavelength. 2006. Test Media Fluorophores. GuggHelminger et al. two filtered MPXL sources. while the fluorescent integral-filtered tube-based exciter was centered at 351 nm with the broadest FWHM of 37. Modern fluorescent test media are generally composed of at least two fluorophores: an optical brightener that absorbs UVA energy and emits blue light (with a peak near 425 nm).0 8. 1993..6 36. This red light emission was facilitated by the transmission characteristics of Wood’s glass UVA filters. As expected.5 lux limit called for in typical industrial standards.. This spectrometer was configured with a 10 µm slit and a 600 mm–1 grating groove density. and full-width at halfmaximum (FWHM) for each exciter Exciter Mercury vapor Micro-power xenon light Integrally-filtered tube-based Ultraviolet light-emitting diode 1 Ultraviolet light-emitting diode 2 Ultraviolet light-emitting diode 3 Ultraviolet light-emitting diode 4 Mercury short arc Wavelength (nm) 365 372 351 367 368 371 366 366 FWHM (nm) 2.5 7.0 14.6 nm. however. FWHM is simply the spectral emission width. and a selection of UV light-emitting diode (UV-LED) sources. Reed et al. and around. absorb specific wavelengths of excitation energy and quickly release that energy in the form of longer wavelength visible light. The historical standard medium-pressure mercury vapor exciter was centered at 365 nm with the narrowest FWHM of 2. and another fluorophore that absorbs blue light to emit the JUNE 2012 • MATERIALS EVALUATION 759 . with a maximum sensitivity at 400 nm and approximately 1 nm resolution. Table 1 summarizes the peak or mathematical central emission wavelength.4 9 . which allow radiation with wavelengths between 700 and 840 nm to pass. as captured with zero boxcar smoothing and 25-scan averaging using a polychromator spectrometer. which canceled out much of the inherent electronic noise and system error associated with the spectrometer components and optical fiber.

and Mfr D-Pen 7 peaked at 514 nm.5 1 2 3 4 Penetrant sensitivity level Figure 4. Considerable variance in the relative intensity of an emission peak near 425 nm can be seen in Figure 3. Samples were held within disposable poly(methyl methacrylate) cuvettes to avoid cross-contamination. to the highest sensitivity. 2006). 1 Normalized optical brightener amplitude 0. penetrant test media were shown to have peak fluorescent emission wavelengths between 499 and 518 nm (Figure 3).6 0. R2 = 0. This difference was deemed statistically significant through the use of a Student’s t-test analysis. where multiple batches of a given product are represented by a single data set. Average normalized fluorescent emission spectra for batches of 32 different penetrant test media. Mfr B-Pen 2 exhibited peak emission at 499 nm. peak height of the optical brightener emission increased.4 0. Mfr A-Pen 2 and Mfr B-Pen 2) were chosen for further work based on their fluorescent emission characteristics. penetrants (SAE. Mfr A-Pen 2 peaked at 509 nm.ME TECHNICAL PAPER w x safety glasses characteristic yellow-green color common to most fluorescent test media (Graham. while measuring the intensity of light emitted with a wavelength between 400 and 700 nm. 1967). Fluorescent emission spectra for 190 fluorescent penetrant and magnetic particle samples were obtained experimentally with a UV-Vis spectrofluorometer.8 0. A trend in the location of the peak emission wavelength was also noted when peak fluorescent emission wavelength was analyzed versus penetrant type (Figure 5). had the only fluorescent emission spectrum in which its 425 nm optical brightener peak was higher than its 508 nm cascading fluorophore peak. essentially all of the optical brightener’s 425 nm fluorescent emission was absorbed by the cascading fluorophore and converted into 510 nm light. This variance was analyzed. level 4. This small subset of products all exhibited relatively small optical brightener emission peaks near 425 nm. Variation in fluorescent emission peak 760 MATERIALS EVALUATION • JUNE 2012 . 1967). Figure 3.2 0 0. These samples represented 41 different products. so it is feasible that chemistry variations between post-emulsifiable and waterwashable penetrant types were the cause of this fluorescent emission peak shift. This test irradiated samples with 365 nm energy.7222. which varies from the lowest level. Post-emulsifiable (also known as Method B or D) penetrants generally had shorter wavelength emission peaks compared to the common and the biodegradable water-washable (also known as Method A) penetrants. In Figure 4. A spectrofluorometer is a device capable of determining fluorescent excitation and fluorescent emission spectra of test media. The low sensitivity of this test medium likely equated to a reduced concentration of the expensive cascading dye. which then allowed the low-cost optical brightener to dominate the emission spectrum. Normalized height of the 425 nm optical brightener fluorophore peak noted in spectrofluorometry data versus penetrant sensitivity level. Fluorescent emission results for 32 varieties of fluorescent penetrant testing test media showed that penetrants generally acted similarly. A fluorescent emission scan irradiates the sample with a single wavelength of light. Convention holds that the same yellow-green fluorophore is common across all penetrant brands. Three representative penetrants (Mfr D-Pen 7. which was the lone level onehalf sensitivity water-washable penetrant included in this study. This suggested that when cascading fluorophore concentration was low. a plot of penetrant sensitivity level versus 425 nm optical brightener peak height showed that the relative height of the optical brightener peak scaled inversely with cascading dye content. while scanning across a specific wavelength range for the emission of longer wavelength fluoresced light. Liquid penetrant testing media are classified by sensitivity. level one-half. Test medium Mfr D-Pen 1. This teamwork approach to fluorescence is known as the cascade effect. when concentration was high. A primary difference between penetrant sensitivity levels is the concentration of the more expensive cascading fluorophore (Graham. and an inverse relationship between the 425-nm optical brightener’s fluorescent emission peak height and the sensitivity level of the penetrant was noted. and included up to 13 different production years of some individual products. Conversely. With the exception of Mfr D-Pen 1.

Mfr D-Mag 1 and Mfr D-Mag 2 were selected for further experimental work based on their emission spectra. while the average for Mfr B-Mag 1 was at 522 nm. Samples from Mfr B-Mag 1. as this lamp offered strong irradiance between 260 and 800 nm. and this batch peaked at 516 nm. this time in transmission mode. so approximate transmission spectra were captured using equipment on hand. versus manufacturer and sensitivity level were not statistically significant. Peak emission for the 1996 Figure 6. When a filter was introduced into the light path. While spectra gathered in this manner were noisier than those that would be gathered using the preferred equipment. Safety Glasses Fluorescent NDT is performed with the aid of safety glasses to protect the operator from adverse health effects and to increase an indication’s contrast ratio (indication luminance versus background luminance). Amber glasses block UV radiation and begin to transmit light at a longer wavelength than clear glasses. Many amber safety glasses available for NDT applications today are designed for use with blue light exciters. Safety lens transmission spectra affect background luminance. The radiation source and optical fiber were rigidly held during experimentation to avoid positioning error. The average of Mfr D-Mag 2 emission spectra peaked at 521 nm. Characteristic transmission spectra for each filter could then be observed based on how they absorbed radiation from the source. Calibration of the spectrometer in transmission mode set transmittance to 100% for all wavelengths. 150 scan averaging. The spectrometer was set to a 3 ms integration time. they compared favorably with information available from the lens manufacturers. A small emission peak blue shifting (a shift to shorter wavelengths) was noted in the 2008 batch of Mfr D-Mag 1 with respect to other batches of the same product. Full transmission spectrum characterization of a curved safety lens would require the use of a spectrometer coupled to an integrating sphere. are preferred. showing that post-emulsifiable penetrants generally had a shorter-wavelength emission peak than water-washable and biodegradeable waterwashable penetrants. longpass-filtering glasses. An unfiltered. Post-emulsifiable Water-washable Biodegradable water-washable 500 Type Figure 5. The polychromator spectrometer described above was again utilized. which may be clear or amber in color. its optical properties altered the spectral intensity of light reaching the detector. Such a system was not available for this experimental work. as well as the maximum transmittance. A filter’s cut-on wavelength is defined in this paper as the shortest wavelength at which transmittance exceeds 50%. Average normalized fluorescent emission spectra for batches of magnetic particle test media. and their filtering cut-on wavelengths are longer so that the blue excitation energy is effectively blocked. The luminance of shorter-wavelength fluorescent emission spectra would be decreased to a greater extent than longer-wavelength spectra. One-way statistical analysis of the peak fluorescent emission wavelength versus penetrant type. and the general shape of emission peaks for MT media was identical with the exception of Mfr B-Mag 1 (Figure 6). 35 W MPXL lamp was utilized as a transmission source. and 1 nm boxcar averaging. The point at which the amber lens begins to transmit. Peak emission wavelength is important when considering the effect of filtering safety glasses because a portion of the light emitted by an indication may be removed from view. where multiple batches are represented by a single data set. An integrating sphere would capture all transmitted light regardless of the refracted angle caused by the curved safety lens. Fluorescent emission spectra from 21 samples from five varieties of MT media exhibited little variance between products. varies by manufacturer. as well as the luminance of fluorescing test media during an inspection. While photochromic (auto darkening) and neutral density glasses are poor choices. JUNE 2012 • MATERIALS EVALUATION 761 .Emission wavelength peak (nm) 520 515 510 505 through 2007 batches of Mfr D-Mag 1 was positioned between 519 and 522 nm.

2006. and this variation would be expected to affect the luminance of indications depending on the chosen safety lens. A well-selected pair of amber safety glasses. such as amber lens 1 evaluated in this study. Amber lenses 2 and 3 (Figure 7) would be expected to result in lower indication luminance values for a given set of conditions. Amber lenses all absorb UVA and many blue light hazard wavelengths (400–500 nm). Bulk samples of test media were used rather than crack indications. which greatly decreases measurement repeatability on small crack indications when manually holding the filtering lenses within the optical path (Lopez. as described above. which employed a 0. and fluorescent emission spectra of test media all interact to produce a given contrast ratio (Figure 7). The general setup for these TABLE 2 Safety lens color. and that the slight increase in maximum transmittance could offer an advantage over the clear lens. A clear lens absorbs UVA (315–400 nm). would block all reflected excitation radiation while transmitting the majority of the fluoresced light emitted by an indication. As an example. automatic neutral density front filter and photopic rear filter set. one may consider the effect of glasses on the luminance of typical fluorescent test media. Combined spectrometer and spectrofluorometer data showing why a contrast ratio improvement is possible with the optimum amber safety lens: clear safety glasses transmit a greater portion of excitation energy. As previously shown. and the curved surface of safety glasses refracts light.ME TECHNICAL PAPER w x safety glasses Figure 7. Figure 8 overlays the fluorescent emission spectra of six test media samples atop the amber lens 1 transmission spectrum. Luminance was measured with a fully automatic filter photometer. Amber lens 1 qualitatively appeared to have the highest maximum transmittance. 2006). Figure 8. The relative positions of emission spectra from NDT exciters. Test media. the peak fluorescent emission wavelength varies between test media options (Figures 3 and 6). Lopez et al. shortest transmission wavelength and approximate cut-on wavelength where the 50% transmittance threshold was reached Safety glasses Clear lens Amber lens 1 Amber lens 2 Amber lens 3 Transmission begin (nm) 390 409 488 469 Cut-on wavelength (nm) 401 469 513 501 762 MATERIALS EVALUATION • JUNE 2012 . Transmission spectrum of amber lens 1 safety glasses overlaid by the fluorescent emission spectrum of six representative fluorescent test media. were chosen based on their fluorescent emission spectra.5° aperture. while amber lens 2 appeared to have the lowest maximum transmittance and the longest cut-on wavelength. This evaluation technique was chosen for two reasons: the luminance of actual penetrant indications decreases quite rapidly with time when exposed to irradiance levels of 50 W/m–2 or greater. With approximate safety lens transmission curves. Visually. but allows some excitation energy to reach the technician’s eye. one would expect that the cut-on wavelength for amber lens 1 would have a negligible impact on indication luminance. and some amber lenses transmit less of the visible light emitted by fluorescent indications. transmission spectra of typical safety lenses.. A summary of the filtering safety glasses evaluated in this study is presented in Table 2. Luminance Measurements Experimental work was performed to measure the filtered and unfiltered luminance of six varieties of test media when each was exposed to irradiation from UVA exciters. but some amber lenses absorb a greater amount of visible light emitted by a yellow-green fluorescent indication.

which presented less photobleaching concern due to their (b) (a) (c) Figure 9. In industrial applications this would result in more light from an indication reaching the technician’s eyes and a higher expected probability of detection.experiments is presented in Figure 9.. from test media luminance measurements specific to the test conditions. was minimal (3 to 6% difference). Magnetic particle samples. UV grade fused silica is transparent to UVA and visible light. sample and exciter. and thus ideal for this work. and a UV-LED source. an MPXL source. when all exciters were considered. The removable felt-covered stand held test media samples at exactly the same height as the integral sensors. 2006). 2006. 1984). or by reducing the interaction between an excited fluorophore and air. safety lenses positioned in the optical path of the photometer. through the use of equations obtained from bestfit trend lines. which were shown to have a longer cut-on wavelength in Table 2. Lopez et al. Photometric luminance measurements were made with. While correlation was not perfect. and without. Exciters were positioned at varied heights above a black felt-covered stand. for example) were more attenuated by amber lens 2 and amber lens 3 than longer-wavelength peak emission test media (Mfr B-Mag 1 and Mfr D-Mag 2. for example). Standoff distance of the exciter controlled irradiance. 2006). The photometer was positioned and rigidly held with the aid of a geared tripod head. Luminance of the black felt was therefore subtracted. The amount of variance for a given filter. General setup for luminance experiments showing: (a) the relative position of photometer. Data show that amber lens 1 always allowed a greater or equal amount of fluoresced light emitted by a test medium to reach the detector. and efforts were made to minimize its effects. (b) close-ups of a typical magnetic particle test medium. the general trend was that luminance from test media with shorter-wavelength emission peaks (Mfr B-Pen 2 and Mfr A-Pen 2. allowed less fluoresced light to reach TABLE 3 Percent of unfiltered luminance of each fluorescing test medium when viewed through four different filtering lens options Filter type No filter Clear lens Amber lens 1 Amber lens 2 Amber lens 3 * Actual results Mfr B-Pen 2 100% 91% 92% 70% 74% Mfr A-Pen 2 100% 89% 92% 75% 78% Mfr D-Pen 7 100% 87% 89% 74% 77% Mfr B-Mag 1 100% 88% 88% 80% 82% Mfr D-Mag 2 100% 92% 92% 80% 83% Mfr D-Mag 1 100% 84% 87% 74% 78% JUNE 2012 • MATERIALS EVALUATION 763 . as compared to its clear counterpart. The fluorescent emission spectrum of a test medium is independent of excitation spectrum. Amber lenses designed for use with blue light exciters (amber lenses 2 and 3). an integrallyfiltered tube-based exciter. Photobleaching of fluorescent penetrants was a potential source of error in this work. This subtraction technique facilitated a fair analysis of the observed contrast for all exciters and test media and provided a measure of signal strength versus background noise. Luminance of the black felt increased with irradiance. and this variance was likely within the bounds of experimental error. (c) and a typical penetrant test medium sample when viewed under ultraviolet A excitation. experimental results with various exciters could be compiled to determine an average response for each filtering lens (Lakowicz. which can be minimized by reducing irradiance. and black felt on the removable stand minimized background luminance. Experimental results shown in Table 3 established the relative effect of various lens when measuring the luminance of each test media sample. These exciters could be positioned at various heights to expose test media samples to an absolute irradiance of 10 to 90 W/m–2. resin-encapsulated nature. Photobleaching is a time-dependent decrease in fluorescent luminance. Four exciters were selected for this work: a mediumpressure mercury vapor. Figure 9 also offers two views of test media samples through the photometer. were simply placed upon one fused silica window in an open configuration (Figure 9b). A sandwich-like configuration was utilized for all liquid penetrant samples (Figure 9c). Past work showed that holding a thin air-free layer of penetrant between two UV grade fused silica windows offered such protection for irradiance levels at least as high as 200 W/m–2 (Lopez. so that the distance between the exciter and sensor/sample remained constant. and it is known that fluorescent NDT relies on the contrast ratio between an indication and its surroundings (Schmidt and Robinson. therefore.

In general terms.” Acta Opthalomologica Scandinavica.J. Vol. higher probability of detection is expected. “Age-Related Maculopathy and the Impact of Blue Light Hazard. Huang. “Sources and Measurement of Ultraviolet Radiation. Lopez. pp.ME TECHNICAL PAPER w x safety glasses the detector.C.H. 3. 244. 2005. pp. Moss. 33. Graham. Thompson and D. A.” Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Nondestructive Testing.” Journal of Biomedical Optics.” The NDT Technician. 1984. Cincinnati. J.. R.” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. J. D.” American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. “Comparison of Radiation Sources and Filtering Safety Glasses for Fluorescent Nondestructive Evaluation.. pp. Reed.. 248–249.. 1982 Model.T. pp. 764 MATERIALS EVALUATION • JUNE 2012 .E. 1. and D. 5. Improper amber lenses degrade inspection sensitivity by blocking light from the indication. and X. Kärhä and E. and some were shown to be 6 to 22% worse than the top performer. 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Cut-on wavelength is key when the goal is a signal-to-noise ratio improvement.T.” Metrologia. Experimentation with 190 different fluorescent penetrant and magnetic particle media samples revealed that penetrant peak emission wavelength ranged from 499 to 518 nm.. 4–15. F. No. 1983. 2. D. No. Cromer. 11. SAE International. The optimal safety lens choice (amber lens 1) allowed significantly more fluoresced light emitted by the test media to reach the detector.D. Canada.E. T.. Ylianttila. Brasche and D. and K. 7/8. Germany. pp. Larason. 1975. and the test medium’s fluorescent emission spectrum. Schmidt. Moseley. 1969.J. New York. 235–242. 22 September 2004.. Pennsylvania. 289–297. 3. as well as a portion of the visible light spectrum. “Black Light for Inspection Use. 26A. Betz. P. 84. Springer. Montreal. Fenk and B. 21A–23A. 12. “UVA-Induced Fade of Penetrant and FPI Indications. J.D. cut-on wavelength varies with model. B. Wengraitis and D. R. 35A–38A..). Vol. pp. Vol. 2001. while three common amber lenses varied between 469 and 513 nm.O.E. AAT 1487993. No. When more light from an indication reaches the technician’s eyes. 106. pp.E. 2004.. Inspection Material. Vol. Durak. Zuclich. H.L.O. it could be assumed that indications viewed through amber lens 2 and amber lens 3 would be 6 to 22% dimmer compared to indications viewed through amber lens 1. Novar and P. P. 25A.R. No. Karlsruhe. Vol.A. B. L. Accession Order No. Coleman. Warrendale. “Investigation of Comparison Methods for UVA Irradiance Responsivity Calibration Facilities. 1–4. Envall. “Spectral Matching of Actinic Functions. 54. May 1967. use of a safety lens with a transmission spectrum like amber lens 1 is highly recommended to maximize inspection sensitivity. 28. 11. No. S27–S30. New York. “Current Concerns about Optical Radiation Safety in Fluorescent Magnetic Particle and Penetrant Methods. A. as compared to other amber-colored lenses evaluated. Schmidt. “Intercomparison of Instruments used for Safety and Performance Measurements of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Lamps. 41. 2006. Vol. A longer wavelength cut-on will result in less of the visible light emitted by yellow-green fluorescent indications reaching the eye.. Previc. J. G..L. 225–233. and C.C. Vol.” Proceedings of the 196th PhysikalischTechnische Bundesanstalt Seminar –Workshop jointly with the DAfP Traceability in UV Dosimetry – Applications and Requirements. “TLVs and BEIs Based on the Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents & Biological Exposure Indices. Conclusion Safety glasses are required for fluorescent NDT to protect the technician from harmful UV radiation. 6. N. but that is not the sole reason behind their importance.D..” Nondestructive Testing. Vol. 42. 2006. “Factors in the Use of Black Lights in Fluorescent Inspection.H. Inspection sensitivity can be maximized with an amber lens by preventing UVA. 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