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Est ab lish ed


26509 Township Road 543 Sturgeon County, Alberta T8T 1M1 Canada

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May, 2010

Inspection Fields & Particle Mobility

This article serves as an overview of the different types of Magnetic Fields that are applied to a work piece by Western Instruments Portable MPI Equipment (Yokes and Coils). Particle Mobility, are the forces that effect the movement of Magnetic Particles on the surface of the workpiece. The higher the Particle Mobility the faster, and more reliable, the particle will congregate to a defect or a change in surface profile. Let us first outline the fields produced by Yokes; AC Yokes: These fields provide the greatest Particle Mobility as the frequency of the power simply causes the Particle to vibrate. The polarity at each pole (leg) alternates from positive to negative at the same frequency as the electrical input current of 50 to 60 Hertz (pulses per second). Permanent Magnets simply induce a Magnetic Filed into the work piece, almost the equivalent of a Full Wave DC field. As a result, there is no change in the strength or polarity (frequency) of the field thus there is very low Particle Mobility. Battery Operated Yokes take the 12 Volts DC from the Battery and Chops the current, simply turning the field on and off at 125Hz. This Chopping of the electrical supply lowers the effective draw on the battery, thus extending the useful life of a charge. One might think that chopping would be beneficial, similar to AC, however there is no reversing change in polarity (positive to negative), thus the field has virtually no pulse in its wave form. Furthermore, the DC field produced by the internal coil of the Yoke takes approximately of a second to fully collapse after power it turned off. As the chopped current keeps re-energizing the coil, very little change is induced into the lamination Core of the Yoke. Here again, the Lamination Core further absorbs any pulsing affect, so the resulting Magnetic Field is virtually identical to that of a Permanent Magnet Yoke. Rectified AC Power that is produced by the electronic circuitry of an AC/DC Yoke produces a well defined pulse equal to the input power frequency (50 or 60 Hz), and is often referred to as Half Wave DC. As referred to above, the field takes second to collapse, is constantly re-energized, and again the Laminations absorb some of the pulsing affect. This form of DC provides the best Particle Mobility of any type of DC magnetization. To summarize the Particle Mobility of Magnetic Fields induced by Yokes, we have noted that AC provides the best Particle Mobility, with Half Wave DC being second, and lastly Battery Powered and Permanent Magnet Yokes. However, let us be mindful that a DC Field will highlight both surface and subsurface defects while AC only highlights surface

MPI Inspection Fields

indications. So in conclusion, a DC Field with a more pronounced collapse, between pulses, would be beneficial for increased Particle Mobility. Now let us discuss the fields produced by Coils, and specifically Multi-Turn, Low Amperage Coils; AC Fields produced by Coils, similarly to Yokes, provided the best Particle Mobility. However, while many think of an AC Coil as powerful, it is only testing the surface of the work piece. Producing a greater AC Field Strength provides no greater benefit to the inspection. Portable Coils that produce AC Fields are acceptable for surface inspection and demagnetizing small parts. DC Fields produced by Coils are generated by rectifying the AC Power to produce a Half Wave DC field. However, a Portable Coil has a very high inductance, and takes greater than a half second for the field to collapse. When a work piece is placed inside the coil, it again tends to absorb much of the pulsing effect. Therefore, this type of DC Coil should be considered as a Full Wave device. We use DC Fields as we find Surface and Sub-Surface sensitivities to be beneficial for finding as many defects as possible. While not discussed above, but covered in many reference specifications, it is beneficial to apply inspection media while the field is being induced by the equipment. This is called Active Field Inspection and it aids in the formation of particles around defects (Particle Mobility). With Active Field Inspection being the preferred method, Pulsed DC was added as an option to our WD-Series Coils. However, one needs to understand the type of pulses the coil is inducing. As outlined above, the DC field in a WD-Series Coil takes just over a second to collapse, so pulses are timed for one per second. This timing gives the field a chance to collapsed until the Coil is energized again. This is done on a continuous basis, while the Coil is in Pulsing Mode, which in effect jars the field. substantially aiding in Particle Mobility. While the work piece was magnetized on the very power activation or the first pulse, there appears to be an inefficiency to inducing the magnetic field repeatedly (pulsing). However, due to the wave shape (rise and fall) on each pulse, the induced magnetic field changes constantly. Therefore, pulsing the coil repeatedly does add to particle mobility and causes better formation of particles at defects. Furthermore, while in Pulsed Mode, the infinitely Variable Amperage adjustment of the power supply remains operational, but is not displayed on the meter. This allows the operator to optimize the induced field to avoid saturating the work piece. Lastly, while in Pulsing Mode, the Coil remains energized (less than 50% of the time), changing the Duty Cycle to 100%. Furthermore, the operator has two free hands, to apply the bath and to hold a UV Lamp.

MPI Inspection Fields