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25 Januarv 1991
23 JULY 1974



DISTRJBUnON STATEMENT A. Approved for public release distribution is

1. This military standard is approved for use by all Departments and Agencies of the
Department of Defense.

2. Beneficial comments (recommendations, additions, deletions) and any pertinent

data which may be of use in improving this document should be addressed to
ASDE3ES. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 454334503. by using the self
addressed Standardization Document Improvement Proposal @D Form 1426) appearing
at the end of this document or by letter.

3. n/m,-STD-410E specifies the qualification and certification requirements for

nondestructive testing/nondestructive inspection personnel. Previous revisions of this
specification addressed the requirements for personnel using penetrant, magnetic
particle, ultrasonic, eddy current and radiographic nondestructive testinglnondestructive
inspection methods. This revision adds detailed requirements for acoustic emission and
neutron radiographic methods as well as general requirements for any other
nondestructive method for determining the acceptability of a product. In addition, this
revision upgrades the designation of Level I, eliminates the Level I Special, adds an
instructor level of qualification and adds a recertification requirement for Level III.
1. SCOPE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1 Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Applicability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2.1 Common methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2.2 Other methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3 Levels of qualification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.4 Levels of certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
APPLTCABLE DOCUMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Non-Government publications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Order of precedence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
DEFINITIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Certifier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Closed book examination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Contracting agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Documented . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Employer ............................... 3
Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Examination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
General examination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Indication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Instructor . . . . . . . . . ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Interpretation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
. . training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Organ~zatlon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Outside agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Practical examination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Prime contractor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Product form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Qualification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Specific examination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Technique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Test samples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Training ......................................... 4

4. GENERAL F?EQUlREMENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.1 Certification procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.1.1 Levels of qualification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.1.2 . . duties and responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Perso'nnel 5
4.1.3 Tralnrng program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.1.4 Experience requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.1.5 Examination practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.1.6 Records and documentation administrative practices ..... 5
4.1.7 Recertification requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.2 Personnel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.3 Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.4 Compliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
4.5 Outside agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
5. DETAILED REQtJIREMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
5.1 Levels of qualification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
5.1.1 Trainee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
5.1.2 Level I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
5.1.3 Level I1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
5.1.4 Jnstructor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
5.1.5 . .ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
5.2 Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
5.2.1 Specialist personnel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
5.2.2 Exams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
5.2.3 Minimum required training hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
5.2.4 Previous training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
5.3 Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
5.3.1 Previous experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
. . experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Exam~natlons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
5.4.1 Physical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
5.4.2 General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
5.4.3 Specific . . . . . . . : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
5.4.4 Practical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Level l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Level II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 LevelIII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
5.4.5 Administxation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
5.4.6 Grading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
5.4.7 Re-examination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
5.5 Designation of instructors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
5.6 Certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
5.6.1 Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Loss of certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Reinstatement of certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Recertification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
NOTES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Level1 Special ..................................... 14
Intended Use ....................................... 14
Subject tenn (key word) listing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Changes from previous issue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
1.1 Pumose. This standard establishes the minimum requirements for the qualification
and certification for personnel involved in the application of nondestructive inspection
WI) or nondestructive testing (NDT) personnel. These requirements include training,
experience and examination.
1.2 ~oplicability.This standard applies to personnel using NDI or NDT methods to
accept materials, products, subsystems, components or systems for the Government,
prime contractors or subcontractors. It also applies to those individuals directly
responsible for the technical adequacy of the NDI and NDT methods used as well as
those providing the technical training or supervision for NDI or NDT personnel. This
standard is not intended to apply to individuals with administrative authority only over
the above identified personnel or to research personnel developing technology for use
by qualified and certified NDI or NDT personnel.
1.2.1 Common methods. This standard contains detailed requirements for the
applicable training, experience, and examination for the following methods:
Liquid penetrant (pr)
Magnetic particle 0
Mdy current m)
Ultrasonic m
Radiography (RT)
Acoustic emission (AE)
Neutron radiography (NRT)
1.2.2 Other methods. This standard may apply to other NDI or NDT methods such as
leak testing. thermography, holography, computed tomography. or any other method
that can determine the acceptability or suitability for intended service of a material,
part, component, subsystem, or.system without impairment of the intended function.
The requirements for personnel training, experience, and examination for these other
methods shall be as established by the contracting agency and shall be in accordance
with the guidelines established for the methods listed in 1.2.1.
1.3 Levels of The levels of qualification established by this standard
Level I
Level I1
Level III
1.4 Levels of certification. The levels requiring certification in accordance with this
standard are:
Level I
Level I1
Level Lll
2.1 Non-Government ~ublications.The following documents form a part of this
document to the extent specified herein. Unless otherwise specified, the issues of the
documents which are DoD adopted are those listed in the issue of-the DODISS cited in
the solicitation. Unless otherwise specified, the issues of documents not listed in the
DODISS are the issues of the documents cited in the solicitation (see 6.2).
ASNT-CP-189 - ASNT Standard for Qualification and Certification of Nondestructive
Testing Personnel
AShT Recommended Practice No. ShT-TC-1A - Personnel Qualification and
Certification in Nondestructive Testing
(Applications for copies should be addressed to the American Society for
Nondestructive Testing, 1711 Arlingate Plaza, Columbus OH 43228-0518.)

2.2 Order of ~recedence.3n . the event of a conflict between the text of this document
and the references cited herein, the text of this document takes precedence. Nothing in
this document, however, supersedes applicable laws and regulations unless a specific
exemption has been obtained.

3.1 Activiq. One of the organizational elements of an agency of the Department of

3.2 Certification. A written statement by an employer that an individual has met the
applicable requirements of this standard.
3.3 Certifier. A designated representative of the employer with the responsibility and
authority to document that an individual meets the applicable'requirements of this
3.4 Closed book examination. An examination administered without access to
reference material except that provided with or in the examination. Questions utilizing
such reference material shall require understanding of the information contained
therein rather than mere location.
3.5 Contracting agency. A government activity, prime contractor or subcontractor
procuring the product requiring testing or the nondestructive testing services.
3.6 Documented. The condition of being in written form.
3.7 Emplover. The government activity, prime contractor, subcontractor, or outside
agency employing individuals performing NDI or NDT.

3.8 Evaluation. The determination of the significance of relevant indications.

3.9 Examination. A formal, controlled, documented interrogation conducted in
accordance with a procedure.
3.10 Ex~erience.Actual performance or observation conducted during work time
resulting in the acquisition of knowledge and skill. This does not include classroom or
laboratory training but does include on-the-job training.
3.1 1 ~ e n e r a examination.
l A written examination addressing the basic principles of the
applicable NDI or NDT method.
3.12 Indication. The response, or evidence of a response, occurring during a
nondestructive inspection or test.
3.13 Instructor. An individual qualified and designated, LAW this standard, to provide
classroom or laboratory training for NDTMDI personnel and to administer and grade
qualification examinations.
3.14 Interoretation. The determination of whether indications are relevant or
3.15 Method. One of the disciplines of nondestructive inspection or testing (e.e.
radiography) within which different techniques exist.
3.16 Qn-the-iob train in^. Training. during work time, in learning insuumentation set
up, equipment operation, recognition of indications, and interpretation under the
technical guidance of a designated Level I[ or Level DI individual.
3.17 Organization. The entity, Government or private, having the responsibility of
complying with this standard.
3.18 Qutside aeency. The organization under contract for NDI or NDT services which
may include the training and examination of personnel to the requirements of this
standard. Consultants and self employed individuals are included in this definition
3.19 Practical examination. The examination used to demonstrate an individual's ability
in conducting the NDI o r NDT methods that will be performed for the employer.
Questions and answers need not be written, but observations and results must be

3.20 Prime contractor. The organization having responsibility to the government for a
system, component, or materials.
3.21 Procedure. A detailed, written instruction for conducting NDI or NDT or certifying
personnel. All procedures shall be approved by a Level ID.
3.22 Product form. Materials, parts, or components having similar NDI or NDT
characteristics. Examples of individual product forms are: castings. extrusions, plate,
aeldments, pyrotechnics, bonded assemblies, composite materials, and printed circuit
3.23 Oualification. The skills, training, knowledge and experience required for
personnel to properly perform to a particular Level.
3.24 Soecific examination. The written examination to determine an individual's
understanding of procedures, codes, standards, and specifications for a given method
used by the employer.
3.25 Techniaue. A category within a method, for example: ultrasonic immersion testing
or fluorescent dye penetrant inspection.
3.26 Test samples. Parts containing known defects and used in the practical
examination to demonstrate the candidate's proficiency in using a particular method.
Test samples will not be production parts unless the Level ID has previously
investigated the parts and documented all abnormal or out of specification conditions
within the samples. Alternatively, test samples can refer to images of actual hardware,
i.e.. radiographs, when the candidate's required proficiency is in the interpretation of
the image rather than the generation of the image.
3.27 Training. An organized and documented program of activities designed to impart
the knowledge a n d skills t o b e qualified to this standard. This program may be a mix
of classroom, laboratory, programmed self-teaching and on-the-job training as
approved by the appropriate Level III.

4.1 Certification ~rocedure.All organizations involved in any aspect of NDI or NDT

shall develop and maintain a procedure for the qualification and certification of their
NDI or NDT personnel. This procedure shall be in accordance with the requirements
of this standard. The procedure shall be available for review by the organization's
customers. The procedure, as a minimum, shall include:
4 . l . i Levels of aualification. This shall include identification of the levels of
qualification covered by the procedure. The organization may add any additional
levels that are appropriate; however, in no manner can the organization eliminate or
reduce minimum requirements of this standard in its qualification and certification
4.1.2 Personnel duties and responsibilities. This shall include the identification of the
duties and responsibilities for the different levels of qualification.
4.1.3 Trainine Droeram. This shall include-outlines of the instruction provided by the
organization as well a s sources of outside training utilized by the organization.
4.1.4 Exoerience reauirements. This shall include the techniques within the method and
the minimum amount of time for each technique.
4.1.5 Examination oractices. This shall include the designation of the individuals or
organizations that will perform the examinations as well as the number of questions.
and the specific types of physical tests to be used.
4.1.6 Records and documentation administrative oractices. This shall include the
description of the details to be recorded for each certified individual and identification
of the individuals responsible for developing, administering, and maintaining the
employer's certification program.
4.1.7 Recertification requirements. This shall include the employer's requirements for
recertification of personnel. It shall also include the requirements for the loss and
r&nstatement of certification.
4.2 Personnel. Personnel (Government. prime contractor, subcontractor, outside
agency, etc.) performing, specifying, reviewing, monitoring, supervising, or evaluating .
NDI or NDT functions for the purpose of accepting items for the Government shall be
qualified to the appropriate requirements of this standard. Personnel performing
specialized NDI or NDT, such a s ultrasonic thickness gauging or e l e d & l conductivity
tests, with equipment designed for and limited to such usage and that produces clearly
recognizable output for both acceptable and unacceptable conditions, do not require
qualification to this standard.
4.3 Methods. For the common methods listed in paragraph 1.2.1 of this standard, the
requirements for training, experience and examination are detailed in section 5 of this
standard. These requirements, as well as those requirements contained in the two
publications referenced in paragraph 2.1, shall serve as guidelines for those methods
not listed in paragraph 1.2.1.
4.4 Com~liance.Prime contractors shall be responsible for compliance to this standard
by their subcontractors. Those organizations utilizing outside sources for training or
examination of their personnel shall be responsible for assuring that the appropriate
requirements of this standard are met. The employer'is solely responsible for the
certification of its employees and cannot certify for another employer. Individuals
cannot certify themselves.

4.5 Outside agency. An employer may utilize an outside agency to develop a

certification program, train and examine NDI or NDT personnel and perform any other
Level LU function. An outside agency cannot certify personnel. The employer shall
document the suitability of any outside source selected to perform any function to meet
the requirements of this standard. This documentation shall be sufficient to justify that
the outside agency is capable of performing the required Level III functions.
5.1 Levels of qualification. There shall be five levels of personnel qualification.
5.1.1 Trainee. A trainee is an individual who is participating in a training program for
an NDI or NDT method and is not certified. Trainees shall obtain work experience
only under the direct supervision of a Level Il, Level III or Instructor in the same
method. Trainees shall not independently conduct tests, make accept or reject
decisions, or perform any other NDI or NDT functions.
5.1.2 Level I.Level I is the first certifiable qualification level. The Level 1 certification
shall be for a specific technique in a given method. The Level I individual shall have
the skills and howledge to perform specific tests, specific calibrations, and, with prior
written approval of the appropriate Level III individual, specific interpretations and
evaluations for acceptance or rejection, and document the results in accordance with
specific procedures. The individual shall be knowledgeable of any necessary
preparation of parts before or after inspection. The individual shall be able to follo\r
procedures in the techniques for which certified and shall receive the necessaiy
guidance or supervision from an Level II or Level E l individual.
5.1.3 Level II. Level I1 individuals shall have the skills and knowledge to set up and
calibrate equipment, conduct tests, and t o interpret, evaluate, and document results in
accordance with procedures approved by the appropriate k v e l LU. The individual shall
be thoroughly familiar with the scope and limitations of the method in which he is
certified and shall be capable of directing the work of trainees and Level I personnel.
The individual shall be able to organize and document NDI or NDT results. The
individual shall be familiar with the codes, standards, and other contractual documents
that control the method as utilized by the employer.
5.1.4 In~rrucror. Lnstructors shall have the skills and kn~wledgeto plan, organize, and
present classroom, laboratory, or on-the-job training programs of instruction, in
accordance with approved course outlines, in the method for which appointed. The
individual shall be familiar with the codes, standards, and other contractual documents
that control the method , a s utilized by the employer.
C/O* 5I'4LC

5.1.5 Level JD. Level III individuals shall have the skills and knowledge to interpret
codes, standards. and other contractual documents that control the method as utilized
by the employer; select the method and technique for a specific inspection; and
prepare and verify the adequacy of procedures. Only individuals certified to Level I II
shall have the authority to approve procedures for technical adequacy in the method to
which they are certified. The individual shall also'have general knowledge of all other
NDI or NDT methods utilized by the employer. The individual shall be capable of
conducting or directing the training and examination of personnel in the method
certified. The individual shall nor conduct NDI or NDT for the acceptance of parts
unless the demonstration of proficiency in this capability was included in the practical
examination upon which, in part, the certification is based.
5.2 Training. Candidates for certification as Level I or Level II shall complete
sufficient organized training to become familiar with the principles and practices of the
applicable test method and techniques. The training shall be conducted in accordance
with a detailed course outline approved by a Level El. The training shall cover basic
principles, products, equipment, operating procedures and techniques, and the
applicable specifications, codes and instructions used by the employer. The
supplements to SNT-TC-IA may be used to develop the training outlines. Subjects
not covered in the instruction shall not appear on the training outline. The training
outlines shall include the list of references from which the training material is derived.

5.2.1 S~ecialist~ersonnel.The training shall be presented by an Irstructor or a Level

IU with the exception that specialist personnel not qualified to this standard may be
used to provide instruction on highly specialized topics. Selection of such pers~nnel
must be approved by the Level ID.

5.2.2 Exams. An individual must pass-a final exam in order to receive credit for a
block of training hours. Such examinations given in conjunction with training shall not
be used to satisfy any of the qualification examination requirements of section 5.4.

5.2.3 Minimum required trainine hours. The minimum training hours for Levels I and
In are given in table I for a variety of NDIMDT methods. The minimum training hours
for those methods not covered by table I shall b e as determined by the Level III and
agreed upon by the facility's customer. There are no additional training requirements
to transition from Level II to Level ID nor can an individual have sufficient training to
allow certification to Level IU without prior certification as a Level 11 or performance
equivalent to a Level II.


~ O D [I1 I21 I31
Penetrant 8 8 16
Magnetic particle 12 8 20

Eddy current 12 40 52
Ultrasonics 40 40 80

Radiography 40 40 80

Acoustic Emission 40 40 80

Neutron radiography 28 40 68

[I ] k v e l I
[2] Level 11, with prior Level I Certification
131 Level 11, no prior Level I Certification

5.2.4 Previous training. Training obtained from a prior employer must be documented
and verified by the previous employer in order to be accepted by the current employer.
For personnel credited with training from a prior employer or those not certified within
6 months of their training, refresher training must be provided. The refresher training
shall cover the following subjects with the depth of coverage of each subject
determined by the Level III responsible for the employer's certification program:

Standardization and calibration

Operation of applicable test or inspection equipment
Specific test o r inspection procedures
Interpretation and evaluation of test or inspection results
Applicable codes, standards and specifications
5.3 Ex~erience.Candidates for certification at Levels 1. II or IU shall have sufficient
practical experience to assure that they are capable of performing the duties of the
level for which certification is sought. The minimum requirements for Levels I, II and
Dl are given in Table II.


METHOD [I1 [21 PI PI [51 , [61

Penetrant 130 hrs 270 hrs 400 hrs 4 yrs 2 yrs

Magnetic particle 130 hrs 400 hrs 530 hrs 4 yrs 2 yrs 1 Yr

Eddy current 130 hrs 1200 hrs 1330 hrs 4 yrs 2 yrs 1 yr
Ultrasonics 400 hrs 1200 hrs 1600 hrs 4 yrs 2 yrs 1 yi
Radiography 400 hrs 1200 hrs 1600 hrs 4 yrs 2 yrs 1 Yr
Acoustic Emission 400 hrs 1200 hrs 1600 hrs 4 yrs 2 yrs 1 Yr
Neutron radiography 800 hrs 2400 hrs 3200 hrs 4 yrs 2 yrs 1 yr

[I] Trainee experience for Level I. Experience in method must be at least

half this tine.

[2] Level I experience for Le\.el II. Experience in method must be at least
half this time.

[3] Trainee experience for direct certification to Level II. . Evperience in

method must be a t least half this time.

[4] Level Il experience required for Level III with no college degree.

[5] Level II experience required for Level III with technical associate
[6] Level II or equivalent work experience required for Level E
l with technical
bachelors degree. Equivalency of the work experience shall be determined and
documented by the Level III responsible for the employer's certification program.
5.3.1 Previous ex~eriencc.A candidate's experience with a previous employer may be
accepted by the current employer only if that experience is documented and verified by
the former employer.
5.3.2 Eauivalent ex~erience.For personnel certified under previous revisions of this
document or other qualification/certification programs, the equivalency of their
previous experience to the requirements of table TI will be determined and documented
by the Level III.
5.4 Examinations. The examinations to verify the physical and technical qualifications
of candidate personnel shall consist of a physical examination. a general examination,
a specific examination, and a practical examination. The requirements for the physical
examinations; the questions utilized for the general and specific examinations and the
checklist for the practical examination shall be available for review by the facility's
customers. If the actual test questions given during certification examinations are not
kept in each certified individual's records, then the listing of questions from which
examinations are derived shall be available for review by the facility's customers. The
questions shall be made available to certification candidates only during administration
of the examinations.
5.4.1 Phvsical. The physical examination shall assure that the applicants near vision
and color perception meet the following requirements. Near vision tests shall be
administered annually and color perception tests shall be administered prior to
certification or recertification. These tests shall be administered by an individual
approved by the Level III responsible for the maintenance of the certification program
or by the outside agency utilized for the examination of personnel:
Near vision - Jaeger #I test chart at not less than 12 inches, or equivalent with one
eye, either natural or corrected.
Color oerception - Distinguish and differentiate between the colors used in the methad
for which certification is sought.
5.4.2 General. The general examination for all levels shall be a closed book
examination consisting of questions that cover the cross-section of the applicable
method at the appropriate level. The questions, answers, and references in the
appliixble SNT-TC-IA supplement and other publications may be used to develop the
general examination. A minimum of 40 questions shall be used for the general
examination at each level. For Level IlI. the general examination questions will
address the general knowledge of other methods as well as the method for which
certification is sought. Possession of a current ASNT NDT Level III certificate by the
candidate shall be satisfactory evidence that the general examination requirement is
5.4.3 Suecific. The specific examination for all levels shall be a closed book
examination and shall cover the specifications, codes, equipment, operating procedures,
and test techniques the candidate may use in the performance of his duties. A
minimum of 30 questions shall be used for the specific examination at each level.

5.4.4 Practical. The practical examination shall consist of a demonstration of

proficiency by the candidate in performing tasks that are typical of those to be
accomplished in the performance of his duties. Test samples used in the examination
may be actual hardware, if the candidate is required to demonstrate proficiency in the
application of the process as well as interpretation of results, or may be images, such
as radiographs, if the candidate is only required to interpret the results and not
perform the process of generating the image. Written checklists covering the topics
detailed below shall be developed by the Level IJIto assure adequate coverage and to
assist in the administration and grading of the examination. b v e l I.The candidate shall demonstrate proficiency by using the appropriate
method to examine at least one test sample for each technique to b e used and
document the results. The test samples shall be representative of the products to be
encountered by the candidate in the performance of his duties. The checklist shall
address proficiency in the use of the procedures and equipment or materials,
adherence to procedural details and the documentation of the results. If the Level I
candidate is to accept products, then the checklist shall also include proficiency in the
interpretation and evaluation of indications. Level Il. The candidate shall demonstrate proficiency by using the appropriate
method to examine a t least one test sample for each technique. The candidate shall
interpret, evaluate and document the results of the examination of the test samples.
At least two test samples shall be evaluated for each method. The test samples shall
be representative of the products to be encountered by the candidate in the
performance of his duties. The checklist shall include proficiency in the use of the
procedures and equipment or materials. adherence to procedural details, and the
accuracy and completeness of interpretations and evaluations of indications. Level. III. The candidate shall demonstrate proficiency by preparing an
NDIMDT procedure appropriate to his employer's requirements. When the candidate's
duties will include inspection or evaluation of products, then proficiency in
performance of such tasks shall be demonstrated also. The checklist shall address the
practical and technical adequacy of the procedures prepared by the candidate, and
when applicable, the adequacy of the interpretation and evaluation of indications. In
the event that the candidate has already developed satisfactory procedures, then it is
not necessary to develop another one for the practical examination. The results of the
practical examination shall be documented. Procedures developed for a previous
employer can be used to satisfy this requirement if their adequacy can be verified and
5.4.5 Administration. A Level HI, knowledgeable and familiar with the specifications,
standards, codes, techniques and products associated with the employer, and certified
Level III in the method for which the examinations are given, shall be responsible for
the administration of all qualification examinations. The administration and grading of
those examinations using multiple choice or truelfalse type questions can be delegated
by the.level III. If an outside agency is used to provide this function, then the
employer shall assure that the individual who performs the administration of the
examinations is fully qualified. In no case can an examination be administered by
one's self or by a subordinate.

5.4.6 Grading. The candidate for certification must achieve a minimum grade of 70%
on the general and specific qualification examinations. The candidate must detect all
discontinuities or conditions specified by the Level HI during the practical examination
and achieve a minimum score of 70% on the remainder of the practical examination.
The candidate must have an average score of no less than 80% in order to be eligible
for certification. All examination scores shall be of equal weight in determining the
average score.
5.4.7 Re-examination. Candidates failing any examination (general, specific or
practical) shall receive additional training or wait at least 30 days before attempting
re-examination. The additional training shall be documented and shall address those
areas found deficient in the candidate's skills or knowledge. The re-examination shall
not utilize the same questions or specimens that were used in the initial examination.
5.5 Designation of Instructors. Instructors shall be designated by the Level JJ3
. -
responsible for the employer's certification .program
- and shall meet a least one of the
following criteria:

a. Be certified to Level in the method for which they will be designated Instructors

b. Possess the equivalent of a B.S. in engineering, physical science or technology and

have adequate knowledge in the method for which they will be designated Instructors.
c. Possess an associate's degree in physic21 science or technology and have a
minimum of 5 years experience, or equivalent, as a Level II in the method for which
they will be designated ~nstructors.

d. Possess a minimum of 10 years experience as a Level 11, or equivalent, in the

method for which they wili be designated Instructors.
5.6 Certification. Personnel who have demonstrated that they possess the appropriate
qualifications shall be certified by their employer in accordance with the employer's
certification procedure. Certification is not required for personnel who are trainees or
those who are designated as Instructors.
5.6.1 Records. The employer shall maintain certification records for personnel for as
long a s their certification is in effect. Such records shall be available for audit by the
facility's customers. The records shall include, as a minimum:
a. Name of the individual certified.
b. Level, method, and techniques for which individual is certified,
c. Results of all qualification examinations, including the separate test scores, that the
individual has taken.
d. Date and expiration of current certification(s).
e. History of all previous NDTMDI certifications with current employer.
f. Training history which identifies source and dates of training, course hours and
-grades (if given after training), and instructor's name.
g. Experience history, both with current and previous employers, sufficient to justify
satisfaction of experience requirements for certification.
h. Results of physical examinations.
i. Extent and documentation of formal education.

5.6.2 Loss of certification. Certification may expire, be suspended or be revoked.

Certification shall expire when employment is terminated or when the cenification
interval has lapsed with no recertification attempted. Certification shall be suspended
when the periodic physical examination is overdue, the individual does not perform in
the method certified for at least 12 consecutive months, or the individual's
performance is found to be deficient in any manner. Certification shall be revoked
when the individual does not perform in the method certified for at least 24
consecutive months or the individuals conduct is found to be unethical or incompetent.
5.6.3 Reinstatement of certification. Certifications which have been suspended may be
reinstated when the cause for suspension has been corrected and the correction verified
by the employer. Certifications that have expired or been revoked may not be
reinstated except by recertification.
5.6.4 Recertification. Level I and I1 personnel shall be recertified ar intervals not to
exceed three years. Level lIl personnel shall be recertified at intervals not to exceed 5
years. The physical and practical examinations, equivalent to those required for initial
certification, shall be given prior to recertification. The extent to which the
individual's knowledge of the general and specific examination subject areas is
examined shall be determined by the Level III responsible for the employer's
certification program and shall be documented in the individuals certification records.
(This section contains information of a general or explanatory nature that may be
helpful, but is not mandatory.)

6.1 Level I Soecial. The Leve! I designation in this revision is equivalenL to the Level I
Special designation of MIL-STD-410D. The MIL-STD-4IOD Level I Special was
limited to the ultrasonic and eddy current methods. Experience has shown that the
Level I Special designation is an effective way of designating the entry level
certification for nondestructive inspection and that it should be allowed a for all
methods; thus the change was made in this revision. Because of the increased
responsibilities assigned to the Level I, minimum required classroom training hours are
no? specified (see table 1).
6.2 Intended use. When invoked in a Request for Proposal (RFP),lnvitation for Bid
m), of other similar document, the contracting agency should request that a copy of
the offeror's existing qualification/certification procedure for NDI o r NDT personnel be
included with the technical proposal. If the offeror has no existing procedure or if the
existing procedure does not comply with this standard, then the contracting agency
should request that the offeror's approach for establishing a procedure that complies
with this standard b e included in the technical proposal. In addition, if the contacting
agency intends that personnel using methods other than those listed in paragraph 1.2.1
be qualified and certified to this standard, then details on the offeror's approach to
conducting such an effort should be requested as part of the technical proposal.

6.3 Subiect term (key word) listing.

Acoustic emission
Eddy current
Liquid penetrant
Magnetic particle
Neutron radiography
Nondestructive testing
6.4 Chanees from orevious issue. Marginal notations are not used in this revision to
identify changes with respect to the previous issue due to the extensiveness of the
Custodians: Preparing Activity:
Army.- MR Air Force - I1
Navy - AS
Air Force - 11
Reviewer Activities: (Project No. NDTI-0176)
Army - AR
First edition

Non-destructive testing - Qualification and

certification of personnel

Reierencc number
is0 9712:1992(E)

Non-destructive testing - Qualification and certification of . ;


This lnternational Standard establishes a system for For the purposes of this lnternational Standard, the
the qualification and certification, by a cenlral inde- following definitions apply:
pendent body, of personnel to perform industrial
nondestructive testing (NDT) using any of the fol- 3.1 authorization: Permission to work. issued by
lowing methods: the employer or responsible agency and based on
the individual's suitability for a specific job. In ad-
a) eddy-current testing; dition to the certification. amongst othels the job-
specific knowledge. skill and physical ability could
b) liquid-penetrant testing; be assessed.

c) magnetic testing; 3.2 qualilication: A demonstration of the knowl-

edge. skill. training and experience required to
d) radiographic testing; property perform NDT tasks.

e) ultrasonic testing. 3.3 certification: The orocedures. leading to a writ-

ten testimony of the 4alification of an individual's
The system described in this lnternational Standard competence in an NDT
may also apply to visual inspection. leak testing.
neutron radiography, acoustic emission and other
3.4 certificate: Written testimony of qualification.
NOT methods where national certification pm-
grammes exist.
L,;Cp J\ 3.5 naUonal ceNfying body: The agency that ad-
,,,,/ \* ministers procedures for certification of NOT per-
r- sonnel in accordance with the requirements of this
lnternational Standard.
2 Abbreviations
3.6 qualifying body: A competent organizalion. in-
The following abbreviations shall be used to identify dependent of the employer or responsible agency,
the five NDT methods covered by this International authorized by the national certifying body to prepare
Standard: and administer examinations to qualify NOT person-
English French
Eddy current f 3 CF Couranls de 3.7 candldate: The individual seeking certilication
Foucault under the qualification and certification scheme.

Liquid penetrant PT RSRessuage 3.8 employer or responslble agency: The organiz-

Magnetic MT MGMagnetoscopie ation lor which the candidate works on a regular
Radiography RT RIRayonnements basis.
NOTE 1 Candidates may be self-employed.
Ultrasonic UT US Ultrasons
Nondestructive NOT END Essais non 3.9 basic education: The minimum formal edu-
testing destructifs cation required for qualification.
'TE 2 I1 may be used to determine duralion and level b) The practical test lor levels 1 and 2 is to verify
training and experience required prior to ability to set Up and Operate test equipment, and
perform the necessary settings to yield satislac-
3.10 NDT training: A process o l instruction in the- lory test results.
ory and practice in the NDT methods in which certi-
fication is being sought, which may take the form of
training courses to an approved syllabus in addition
C-d"3.19 specific examination: The specific examination
4 includes both a written and a practical part for levels
to periods of practical work under qualified super- Iand 2. and only two written parts for level 3.
vision but shall not include the use of specimens
used in practical examinations. a) The written test is concerned with components, .
systems, equipment, operating procedures and
3.11 experience: The period during which the can- test techniques commonly used in a particular
didale performed the specific NDT method as his industry or industrial sector. It involves the dem-
main activity under qualified supervision. inciuding onstration of knowledge related to the product
personal application ofthe NDT method to materials, being tested and covers the applicable specifi-
parts or structures but not including tests performed cations, codes and acceptance criteria. For level
during training courses. 3 only, this examination includes the writing of
one or more satisfactory procedures.
3.12 NDT method: The application of a physical
principle in nondestructive testing (for example: b) The practical test involves, for levels1 and 2. the
ultrasonic testing). demonstration of familiarity with and the ability
to operate the necessary test equipment on pre-
scribed mmponents and the ability to record and
3.13 NDT technique: A specific way of utilizing an analyse the resultant informalion to the degree
NDT method (for example: immersion ultrasonlc

3.14 NDT procedure: An orderly sequence of ~ l e s

which describe in detailed terms where, how and in
.fhich sequence an NDT method should be applied
& 3.20 lob-specific examination: Any additional
examcnation concerned with the application of an
NDT methog to a specialized product not commonly
involved in a particular industrial sector. This
,o a product. examination. which supplements this International
Standard. is carried out following written guidelines
3.15 NDT inshuctions: A written document detailing with results recorded to meet quality-assurance or
the.precise steps to be lollowed in testing in ac- customer-audit requirements.
cordance with an NDT procedure.
NOTE3 This examination is outside the scope of lhis
3.16 industrial sector. A particular area in industry International Standard.
or technology where specialized NOT practices are
utilized requiring specific skill. knowledge, equip- 3.21 bainee: An individual who works under the
ment or training to achieve satisfactory perform- supervision of certified personnel but who does not
ance. An industrial sector may be interpreted to conduct any tests independently. does not interpret
mean a product (welds, castings, elc.) or an Industry test results and does not write reports on test re-
(aerospace, steel, etc.). sults. This individual may be'regislered as being in
the process of gaining appropriate experience to
3.17 qualiIica~lonexamlnauon: An examination ad- establish eligibility for qualilication lo level 1 or for
ministered by the national certifying body or by an direct access to level 2.
authorized qualifying body, which shall include a
general examination and a specific examination for 4 Levels of c o m p e t e n c e
each level of competence.

3.18 general examinauon: The general examination 4.1 Classification

includes both a written and a Practical part for levels
An individual certified in accordance with this
1 and 2. and only a written part for level 3.
national Standard shall be classified in one of three
levels depending upon the Individual's respective
a) The written test Is mncerned with the principles whereas one who has not yet
Of the method and' at least lorlevel of
attained certllicallon may be registered as a trainee,
level 3, covers basic knowledge of other NDT
melhods. of materials and pmcesses. and of
discontinuities arising through the use of various 4.2 NDT level 1
materials, manufacturing processes or service
conditions. For level 3, the requirements for An individual certified to NDT level 1 is qualified to
certification of NDT personnel are also Included. carry out NDT operalions in accordance with written
instructions and under the supervision of level 2 or 0) 5.2 National certifying body
level 3 personnel. The individual shall be able to set (/
up the equipment. carry out the tests, record the The national certifying body shall be a non-profit
resulls obtained, classify the results in accordance organization which has no direct involvement in
with written criteria, and report the results. He shall training of NOT personnel and which is recognized
not be responsible for the choice of the test method by the I S 0 member body of the country Concerned.
or technique to be used. nor for the assessment of
test results. 5.2.f Composition
4.3 NDT level 2 The national certifying body shall be Supported by
an adminislrative committee, which shall i n c l d e
An individual certified to NDT level 2 is qualified to eminent representatives of NDT societies, cum-
perform and direct nondestroctive testing in ac- mittees, users, suppliers. government departments
cordance with established or remgnized tech- and other interested parties as appropriate. The
niques. The individual shall be competent to choose NCB shall establish. In writing. the number of mem-
the test techniques to be used; to set up and cali- bers of this committee, their qualifications (including
brate equipment; to interpret and evaluate results i n education. training and experience), the means and
accordance with applicable codes, standards and extent of documentation of their qualifications. and
specifications; to carry out all duties for which a their tenure.
level 1 lndlvldual is qualifed and to check that they
are property executed; to develop NDT procedures
adapted to problems which are the subject of an 5.22 Responsibilities
NDT specification; and to prepare written in- -
structions and organlze and report the results of The national certifying body
nondestructive tests. The individual shall also be
familiar with the scope and limitations of the method a) shall initiate, maintain and promote the national
for which helshe is qualifed, and be able to exercise certification scheme as specified in this Inter-
assigned responsibility for on-the-job tralnlng and national Standard;
guidance of trainees and NDT level Ipersonnel.
b) shall administer the procedures and operations
4.4 NDT level 3 for certification in accordance with national
documents meeting the minimum requirements
An individual certified to NDT level 3 shall be capa- of this International Standard, and a stringent
ble of assuming full responsibility for a test facility code of ethics. including sanctions, which shall
and stall; establishing techniques and procedures; apply to committee members and certificate
interpreting codes, standards. specifications and holders;
procedures; and designating the particular test
methods, techniques and procedures to be used. c) may delegate, under its direct responsibility. the
The individual shall have the competence to inter- detailed administration of the certification pm-
pret and evaluate results in anordance with exist- cedure to other organizations which will act as
ing codes. standards and specifications: have a qualifying bodies and which could represent in-
sulficient practical background in applicable ma- dustrial sectors:
terials. labrication and product technology to select
methods and establish techniques and to assist in d) shall take the ultimate responsibility for the
establishing acceptance criteria where none are certilication scheme, including technical and ad-
olherwise available: have general familiarity with minislrative requirements;
other NDT methods; and have the ability to train
level I and level 2 personnel. e) 'shall approve, either directly o r through a quali-
fying body, properly stafied and equipped exam-
ination centres which it shall monitor on a
5 G e n e r a l principles of certification periodic basis and

5.1 Administration f) shall keep ail appropriate records and issue, or

delegate the issuing of, written testimonies.
The certification activity that includes ail procedures
adopted to demonstrate the qualification of an indi-
vidual to carry out tasks in a specific NDT method o r responslble agency

and leads to a written testimony of hislher com-

petence shall be adminlstered in each country by The employer or responsible agency shall introduce
the national certifying body, with the assistance. the candidate to the national certifying body and
where necessary, of duly authorized qualifying document the validity of the personal information
bodles. provided, including the declaration of educatlon.
:ng and experience needed to eslablish the el- proved by the national certifying body in that
,w,lity o f (he candidate, but shall not be directly in- method. Table 1 and annex 8 are provided for guid-
iolved in the certification procedure itself. ance; however national certifying bodies shall lake
into consideration education. certification in other
The employer or responsible agency shall be fully methods, training facilities and other factors.
responsible for all t11at concerns the authorization to
operate and the validity of the results of NDT oper-
ations. Table 1 - Minimum duration of trainina
Training hours
If the individual is self-employed, or introduces him-
NDT method
self* he shall assume all responsibilites deskribed
for the employer or responsible agency.

5.4 Examination c e n t r e s
1 Eddy-current testing 1 40 +._ 80 (
Examination centres established by the national
1 Liquid-penetrant testing
1 l6 1 40 I
certifying body o r through authorized qualifying
bodies shall, as a minimum requirement.
1 Magnetic testing

a) have adequate qualified stan; premises and Radiographic testing 40 80

equipment t o ensure satisfactory qualification
. . indus-
examinations for the levels, methods and Ultrasonic tesliog . 40 80
trial sectors concerned;

b) use only those documents and .examination

questionnaires established or approved by the
national certifying body;

use only specimens prepared or approved by the

I 1 Training hours include both praclical and lheor-
etical lrainlng courses.
2 Direct access to level 2 implies the total of the.
national certifying body for the practical examin- hours shown lor levels 1 and 2
ations conducted at that centre.

Whenmore than one authorized examination centre

exists, each shall have specimens containing com-
parable defects. Under no circumstances shall
examination specimens be used for training pur-

6.3.2 Level 3
6 Eligibility for examination
Taking into account the scientific and technical po-
tential of candidates for level 3 certification. it i s
6.1 General considered that preparation for qualification could
be done in dilierent ways: by taking training courses.
Candidates shall have a combination o f education. attending conrerences o r seminan such as organ-
training and experience adequate to ensure that ized by industrial or independent associations, and
they have the polential t o understand the principles
studying books. periodicals and other specialized
and procedures o f the applicable NDT method.
printed matter. No training hours have therefore
been specified in table 1, although references cited
6.2 Education in annex B do suggest course content and duration.

fvldence of education may be required to establish

the eligibility o f a candidate. 6.4 Experience

6.3 T r a i n i n g
6.4.1 Levels 1 and 2

j.3.1 Levels 1 and 2 To be eligible lor certification. the candidale shall

have the minimum experience Indicated i n table2
To be eligible to apply for certification in any NDT for the method in which helshe i s seeking certi-
method. the candidate shall provide evidence of Sication.
successful completion of a training programme ap- . .
Table 2 - Minimum experience requirements Table 3 - Minimum experience requirements lor
level 3
Degree Experience
NDT method (months)

four-year accred-
ited science or en-
gineering mllege
or university pro-

Successful mm-
pletion of at leas1
Wo years of en-
gineering or sci-
ence study at an
accredited college.

university or tech-
nical school
1 Work experience in months Is based on a nomlnal No degree 48
40 hlweek (175 h/month). When an lndivldual Is work- I I
Ing more lhan 40 hlweek. helshe may be credited wilh Direct access lo Graduate of a
experience based on the total hours. but helshe shall level 3 by a now four-year accred-
be required lo produce evidence of this experience.
2 For level 2 certification, lhe.intent of lhls Inter-
national Standard is lhat work experience consists of
time accrued as a level I . If the individual Is being
ceriilied -&rator
wilh experience
euuivalent to level I ited science or en-
gineering college
or university
. pro-

qualified directly to level 2, wilh no time at level 1. the Suacessful wm-

experience shall consist of the sum of the periods r e pletion of at least
quired for level 1 and level 2 two years of en-
gineering or xi-
3 Credit for work experience may be gained simul- ence study at an
taneously in two or more of the NDT melhods covered amedited college.
by this International Standard, with the reduction i n university or tech-
total required experience as follows: nical school

l a) two testing methods

time by 25 %;
- reduction of total required I No degree
NOTE - 11 the college or university degree is issued In non.

I h) three lesting methods -reduction of total required

lime by 33 %:
I deslludive testing. lhe experience required lor a m s to
level 3 may be reduced by 50 %.

I c) four or more testing methods - reduction of total

required time by 50 %.
The candidate shall be required to show Illat. for
I 6.5. V l s l o n requirements
/ ~ - - - - - - - -

each of the testing methods for which helshe seeks

certification, helshe has at least half of the lime The candidate shall provide documented evidence
required in labie2. o f satisfactory vision, in accordance with the follow-
ing requirements:

a) distant vision shall equal Snellen fraction 20130

6.4.2 Level 3
o r better In at least one eye, either unmrrecled
o r corrected;
Level 3 responsibilities require knowledge beyond
the technical scope of any specific NDT method. This
broad knowledge may be acquired through a variety
b) near vislon shall permit reading a minimum o f
Jaeger number 2, or equivalent type and size
of combinations of education, training and experi-
letters, at not less thanJ&cm on a standard
ence. Table3 details rnlnimum experience related t o
Jaeger test chart for near vision, in at least one
formal education. All candidates for level 3 certi-
eye. corrected or uncorrected;
fication in any NDT method shall have successfully
completed the practical examination for level 2 i n
that method. c) colour vision shall be sumcient that the candi-
date can distinguish and dillerentiate contrast
between the colours used in the NDT method b) the date of certification;
c) the date upon which certilication expires;
7 Examinations
d) the level o f certification;

7.1 Examination content e) the NDT method;

The qualification examination shall consist of a I) the industrial sector(s) concerned:

general and a specific examination and normally
m v e r a given NDT method as it is applied in one or g) a unlque identification number;
more specific industrial sectors.
h) the siqnature of the individual certified:
For level Iand level 2. each of these two examin-
ations shall include both a written and a practical i) a photograph o f the individual certified and

For level 3, however, besides the written general j) the cold seal of the national certifying body o r the
approved qualifying body cancelling the pholo-
examination. the specific examination shall consist
graph to avoid falsification.
of two written tests t o b e respectively designated
'specific (seclor)" and "specific (procedure)'. No
NOTE 4 By issuing the certilicale and/or the mrra
level 3 practical test as such is required. sponding wallet card, the national certifying body or the
qualifying body attests lo the qualification of the individual
In the general examination, the candidate shall but does not give any authority lo operate. There may be
demonstrate sullicient proficiency in performing the a special space on both lhe certilicale and lhe wallet card
NDT method. In the specific examination, he shall for ihe signature of the employer or responsible agency
demonstrate his ability t o use the same NDT method authorizing the holder of the cwtificale lo operale and
In the industrial sector concerned. taking responsibilily for leal results. This authorization
also serves as testimony of aclivity of the certified lndi-
-2 Administration o f examinations

All examinations shall b e conducted in examination

centres established o r approved by the national 9 Validity and renewal
certifying body. Detailed procedures for the s t ~ c -
ture, monitoring and grading of examinations by the
nalional certifying body are contained in annex A. 9.1 Validity

The period of validity shall not exceed a maximum

o f live years from the date of certification indicated
on the certificate and/or wallet card.
Criteria applicable to re-examinalion with respect to
(a) partial o r complete failure o f examination and (b) Certification shall be invalid
extension of certificalion t o other methods or sectors
are described i n annex A: subclause A.l.5 refers to a) i f the lndlvidual changes from one industrial
levels 1 and 2. and A.2.4 t o level 3. sector to another. i n which case he/she shall
successfully mmplete supplementary examin-
ations lor the new industrial sector;

b) at the option of tile national certifying body afler

8.1 Administration reviewing evidence of unethical behaviour;
Based o n the results of the qualification examin- c) i f the individual becomes physically incapable of
alions, the national certifying body, directly or perlormlng hls/her dutles. based upon the visual
through its authorized qualifying bodies, shall an- examination taken at least every second year
nounce the certification. and issue cerlificates under the responsibilily of his employer o r re-
and/or corresponding wallet cards. sponsible agency.

8.2 Certiflcates a n d wallet c a r d s

9.2 Renewal
Zertificates and corresponding wallet cards shall
bear: ARer the first period of validity. certification may be
renewed by the national certifying body, directly or
a) the name of the individual certified; through an authorized qualilying body, for a new
period of similar duration, provided the individual national certifying body will have the option of
meets the following criteria: replacing this simplified examination by an
alternative. structured credit system under its
a) helshe provides evidence at least every second control).
year of satisfactory visual examination and
if the individual fails to achieve a grade of 80 % or
b) heishe provides evidence of continued satisfac- better in the simplified examination, helshe shall
tory work activity without significant interruption. apply for new certification.

NOTE 5 A significant interruption means an absence or 10 Files

a change of activity which prevents h e certifiedindividual
from practising the duties corresponding to his/her level
in the method and the industrial sector(s) for which The national certifying body or its authorized quati-
helshe is certified, for one or several periods for a total wing bodies shall keep
time exceeding one year.
a) an updated list of all Individuals certified. classi-
If the criteria for renewal are not met. the individual fied a m r d i n g to level. test melhod and industrial
shall apply for recertification. sector;

9.3 Recertification b) an individual file for each lndividual certified and

for each individual whose certification has been
Upon completion of each second period of validity, withdrawn, containing
or at least every ten years. certification shall be re-
newed by the national certifying body. directly o r I)application forms.
through an authorized qualifying body, for a similar
period, provided the individual meets the two cri- 2) examination documents, including question-
teria for renewal and successfully completes a slm- naires, answers. descriptions of specimens,
plified examination to assess hislher current records, results of tests. written procedures
knowledge. and/or techniques, and grade sheets,

This simplified examination shall consist of: 3) renewal documents, including evidence of
physical condition and continuous activity.
a) Level I and level 2: a practical examination or-
. ganized in accordance with a simplified pro- 4) reasons for any withdrawal of certification
cedure: and details of any further penalty inflicted.

b) Level 3: a written examination which includes 20 Individual liles shall be kept under suitable con-
questions on the application of the test method ditions of safely and discretion for a period at least
in the industrial sector concerned and 5 equal to the total of the initial period of validity plus
questions on this International Standard (the the renewal period.
Annex A

Administration of examinations

A.l Examinations for l e v e l 1 and l e v e l 2

Table A.l - Required number of questions -
General examination
A.l.l Qualification examination
Number of questions
The qualification examination administered under NDT method
this International Standard shall include a general Level 1 Level 2
examination and a specific examination for each
level of competence. Each examination shall mnsist Eddycurrent testing 30 30
of a written parl and a pradlcal part The pradlcal
parl shall be of sullicient duration, complexity and Liquidpenelrant testing 30 30
smpe to verify adequately the candidate's ability to
apply the NDT method to real test situations.
Magnetic testing 30 30

Radiographic testing 40 40

Ultrasonic testing 40 40
A.1.2 Examination content

1.21 General exarnlna~on

A.1.22 Specific examlnation
In the genera! examlnation, the candidate shall
In .the specilic examlnation, the candidate shall
demonstrate proficiency in performing the relevant
NDT method. demonstrate his ability to use the relevant test
method in the industrial sector concerned.
The written test in the general examination shall in-
The written test in the specific examination shall in-
clude only questions selected from the national cer-
body's collection of basic-knowledge clude only questions selected from the national cer-
tifying body's current mllection related to all
questions valid at the date of examination. The can-
didate shall be required, as a minimum, to give an- industrial sectors or from the mllection of specific
questions maintained by an authorized qualifying
to the fixed number Of multiple-choice ' body related to the industrial sector concerned.
questions shown in tableA.1.
During the specific examination. the candidate shall
The practical test in the general examinalion is to
verify the candidate's ability to make the required be required to give to a fixed number of
settings and operate the test equipment properly in questions. as defined in tableA.2. including
multiple-choice questions. calculations. written pro-
order to obtain satisfactory results and correctly in-
cedures and questions on codes, standards and
terpret these results. The candidate shall therefore
be required to demonstrate this ability. with mm- specilications.
ments; using the means of verification>vailable for ~ h , practical test inthe specific examination is to
each test method. such as calibration blocks, verify the ability to perlorm testing of
Image-quality, indicators and magnetic-field lndi- prescribed components relating to the industrial
sector concerned, and to record and analyse the
For the radiographic test method, there shall be an resultant information to the degree required, ac-
additional examination on radiation safety. curding to specific testing instructions or specifi-
cations. and to the NDT level being sought.
The specimens used for the practical test shall be
"OTE 6 Examinations on the radiographic test method
.ay indude either X- or garnrna-radiation, or both, de- Selected from a ml~ection of representative speci-
pending upon the procedure of the national certirying mens chosen b~the national certifying body or by its
MY. authorized qualifying body.
For level 2. the candidate shall be required to dem- cedure which includes at least ten check points. 7his
onstrate the ability to prepare written instructions for procedure shall be developed by the national certi.
level 1 personnel. lying body o r an authorized qualifying body.

If the practical test in the specific examination cov- A candidate for a practical examination may use his
ers two o r more industrial sectors, the number of own apparatus. The examiner shall investigate the
specimens to be tested shall be increased pro- reliability o f the test apparatus made available to the
portionally to examine the candidate's competence candidate. and unreliable apparatus shall be re_
in each of the industrial sectors concerned. placed. as well as any apparatus that may be ren-
dered unserviceable during the course of the
examination. Any item of apparatus brought by a
Table A.2 - Required number of questions - candidate that i s unreliable o r rendered unservice-
Specific examlnation able during the examination shall be replaced by the
Number of questions candidate himself.
NDT method
Level 1 Level 2 A.1.4 Grading

15 The general examination shall be graded separately

Eddy-current testing 15
from the specific examination so that the candidate
may be examined later for certification in another
Liquid-penetrant testing 20 15
branch of industry without having t o take the general
examination again; thus a certified operator chang-
Magnetic testing 20 15 ing from one industrial sector t o another keeps the
benefit of the general examination valid for all in-
Radiographic testing 20 20 dustrial sectors.

Ultrasonic testing 20 20 To be certified. the candidate shall obtain a grade

of at least 70 % in each of tfi&ur tests I
examination ana a cumnosite arade of at least
If the written part o f the specific examination covers
two or more industrial sectors. the number of
questions shall be increased proportionately t o The composite grade for.the respeclive level shall
reasonably cover each o f the industrial sectors, and be determined by adding the weighted marks ob-
evaluated accordingly. tained from multiplying each of the four test marks
by a weighting factor t o be selected from tableA.3.
A.1.3 Conduct of examinations The total of the selected weighting factors shall
equal 1.00.
All examinations shall be conducted in examination
centres approved and monitored by the national
certifying body, either directly or through an author-'
/( Table A.3 - Weighting factors for gradlng - Levels
/c, 1 and 2
ized qualifying body.

At the examination. the candidate shall have in his

I Weighting factor
possession a valid proof o f identification and a n of-
ficial notification o f the examination, which shall be
shown to the examiner o r invigilator on request.
Level General Speciflc

Written Practical Written
Any candidate who, during the course of the exam-
ination, does not abide by the examination rules o r 1 0.2 to 0.4 0.2 to 0.4 0.2 to 0.4 0.2 to 0.4
who perpetrates, o r is an accessory to, fraudulent
conduct shall be excluded from further participation. 2 0.2 to 0.4 0.2 lo 0,4 0.2 to 0.4 0.2 to 0.4

The written and practical tests shall be conducted

and supervised by an examiner chosen among NDT
level 3 personnel and designated by the natlonal
certifying body, either directly o r through an author- A candidate failing for reasons of unethical behav-
lzed qualifying body. The examiner may be assisted iour shall wait at least 12 months before reapplying.
by one o r more invigilators placed under his re-
sponsibility. A candidate who fails to obtain the pass grade for
the whole examination may take one. and only one.
The examiner shall mark the written tests completed
by the candidate; he shall judge and mark the re- retest in a maximum o f two parts. provided the
sults of the practical tests in accordance with a oro- minimum percentage (70%) was obtained i n each
-t and that retesting takes place within 12 months A.2.1.2 Specilic examlnation
o f the failed examination.
The specific examination shall include two parts, to
A candidate for re-examination shall apply for and be marked separately. The first part is designated
take the examination in accordance with the pro- "specific (sector)" and the second "specific (pro-
cedure established far new candidales. cedure) ".
A certified operator wanting to extend certification The specific (sector) test shall include 20 questions
in a given NOT method to new industrial sectors on the application of the NDT method in each in-
keeps the benefit of the general examination and dustrial sector concerned. The necessary questions ..
shall be required to take only the related specific shall be chosen from a list maintained by the
examination. national certifying body o r by an authorized qualify-
ing body.
A2 E x a m i n a t i o n s f o r level 3 The specific (procedure) test shall require the drafl-
ing of one or more satisfactory NOT procedures.
A.21 Examination content
A.2.2 Conduct of examinations
The qualification examination for level 3 candidates
shall consist only of a written examination. normally All examinations shall be conducted in examination
covering a specified test method applied in one or centres established or approved by the national
more industrial sectors. certifying body. and shall be monitored by the
This examination shall cover national certifying body, directly or through an auth-
orized qualifying body.
a) basic knowledge relating to the test method ap- At the examination, the candidate shall have i n his
plied for and to materials, processes and dis- possession valid proof of identification and an of-
continuities; level 2 general-examination
ficial notilication of the examination, which shall be
questions relating to at least two other test shown to the examiners o n request.
methods covered by this International Standard
and selected by the candidates themselves; and Any candidale who. during the course of the exa'm-
requirements for the certification of NDT person- ination, does not abide by the examination rules o r
nel; who perpetrates, or is an accessory to, fraudulent
condud, shall be excluded from further partici-
b) specific knowledge relating to the application of pation.
the NOT method i n which the candidate is being
examined in the industrial sector concerned. in- Examinations shall be conducted and supervised by
cluding the applicable codes. standards and at least two examiners chosen among level 3 oper-
specifications, plus knowledge of the product ators and designated by the national certifying body.
being tested. directly or through an authorized qualifying body.

If the candidate is not certified to NOT level 2 at the Each examiner shall correct and grade separately
time of application, then helshe shall also success- the dillerent parts of the examination i n accordance
fully complete the level 2 practical examination in with procedures established by the national certify-
the relevant NOT method. ing body. During a meeting, each o f the examiners
shall present and explain his grades, and a n aver-
age grade shall be calculated for each part o f the
The general examination shall include only
l~iultiple-choice questions, selected from the
national certifying body's collection of basic-
knowledge questions valid at the date of the exam- The written general examination shall be graded
ination. The number of questions shall be as follows: separately so that the candidate may be examined
later for certification in another branch o f industry
a) 30 questions on the main test method and ma- without having to repeat the general examination.
terials, processes and discontinuities:
To be certified, the candidate shall obtain a grade
b) 10 level 2 questions on each of at least two ad- of at least 70 % in each part of the examination and
ditional test methods; a composite grade o f at least 80 %.

c) not less than 5 questions o n the personnel- The composite grade for the respective level shall
certification scheme. be determined by adding the weighted marks ob-
tained from multiplying the test marks in each part
of the examination by a weighting factor to be se- minimum percentage (70 %) was obtained in each
lected from tableA.4. The total of the selected part and that retesting takes place within 12 months
weighting factors shall equal 1.00. of the first failure. In the case of a second failure to
obtain the pass grade, the candidate shall be re.
examined in all three Parts.
Table A.4 - Weighting factors for grading -
Level 3 A candidate for re-examination shall apply for and
take the examination in accordance with the pro-
cedure applicable to new candidates.
A certified operator changing from one industrial
sector to another, but who keeps using the same
NDT method, retains the benefit of the general
examination and shall be required to take only the
two specific (sector and procedure) examinations
concerning the new industrial sector.
A special procedure may be apptied in the case of
A candidate failing for reasons of unethical behav- a candidate taking examinations for certification in
iour shall wait at least 12 months before reapplying. several testing methods within a period of one year.
to avoid the duolication of level 2 ouestions relatino
A candidate who fails to obtain the pass grade for to the additiorial test methods & well as thos;
the whole examination may take one, and only one, questions relating to codes or standards and the
retest in a maximum of two parts, provided the certification scheme.
Annex B

Technical knowledge of NDT personnel

[2] The cdrnpiete Recommendations o n inter- .'

6.1 General national harmonization offraining qualification
and cerfilication or nondestructive testing per-
This annex provides a bibliography of international
sonnel. Prepared by the lnternational Corn-
publications detailing course content. The minimum
rnittee on Non-Destructive Testing. adopted
hours of training recommended to confirm eligibility
November 1985. Available from tlie Foundation
for examination are detailed in the main text of this
lor the Qualification o f NDT Personnel. P.O.
International Standard.
Box 190. 27M1- AD Zoetermeer. The

8.2 References
[3] ASNT recommended praclice SNTITC-IA 1988
C13 Technical Document IAEA-TECDOC-407 (1987). Edition. Tables I-A l o I-H (recommended
Training guidelines in nondestructive testing training courses). Published by the American
techniques, International Atomic Energy Society for Non-destructive Testing. 1711
Agency, WagramrnerstraCe 5. P.O. Box 100. Arlingate Lane, P.O. Box 28518. Columbus.
A-1400 Vienna. Austria. Ohio 43228-0518. USA.
L& ,& st-\<
CD-, &Cc&o,:f..
c ~ ;.a.e:&
Liquid Penetrant testing is a quick and reliable nondestructive test method used for detecting various
types of discontinuities which are opened to the surface of a material or part.

During normal operation, critical components of aircraft engines, airframes, missiles, space vehicles,
nuclear reactors, and other modern machinery, are often subjected to extreme loads and vibrations. In
time, these extreme loads and vibrations may cause a component to develop an intemption in its normal
physical structure or configuration. This is called a DISCONTINUITY.. Although the discontinuity may not
affect the usefulness of a part when it occurs, or even alter the parts appearance to the naked eye (since
the discontinuity may be minute) repeated stresses or overloading may eventually cause that part to fail. It
can be seen therefore, that detection of small discontinuities before they progress into a DEFECT, which
is detrimental to part serviceability, is of vital importance to prevent loss of equipment and personnel.
Failure of the part may cause one of the following: $-~)s&~2 P-0
, \
1 ._Maior Repair: "Down %me" for major repair caused by part failure is expensive inc_;u) &&& ,A \
, (2 terms %st time.
2. Lpss of Eclui~meG:Total loss of equipment due to part failure is expensive in terms of

\o\\,2 . 7 lost time and equipment.
b ' -'
.$, @-'
3. Loss of Personnel: Total loss of the equipment may result in the loss of operating
personnel. -3 t
d s
Penetrant inspection can detect open to the surface discontinuities, such as:
I- p +6+.r.~
23 f ~ r a c k s Laps
. yoPorosity --:I' Leaks
" (hole through a wall)
,*'- Seams <& Pits + ,

bD ~ndercut.~ /"
Note: This is only a partial listing. A listing of all discontinuities caused by metal and non-metallic material
preparation, material forming, and material processing would be too unwieldy for this study guide.
Penetrant inspection can be used w$h reliable accuracy on the following nonabsorbent materials:

1. Aluminum 7. Cast lmn

2. Magnesium 8. Stainless Steel
3. Brass 9. Non-Magnetic Alloys
4. Copper 10. Ceramics..
5. Titanium 11. Hard Rubber
6. Bronze 12. Plastic

Caution: As some plastics, rubber, and synthetic products may be affected by oil, tests should be made
before penetrant inspecting such materials to avoid damaging the part under test.
xv*\ -*u \

The basic principle of penetrant inspection is capillary action. Capillary action is the action by which the
surface of a liquid, where it is in contact with a solid, is elevated or depressa The materials, processes,
and procedures used in liquid penetrant testing are all designed to facilitate capillarity and to make the
results of such action visible and capable of interpretation.

The forces of capillarity, or capillary action, may be obsewed when a plastic straw is inserted into a glass of
water. When the straw is inserted, the water molecules enter the straw and begin to attract other nearby
molecules, pulling them up the straw by cohesion. This process continues as the water rises higher and
higher. The water continues to rise until the pull of the surface tension is equalized. Cohesive forces
prevent the water from falling back down the straw. Capillary action as applied in n O n d e S t ~ ~ ttesting
i ~ e is
somewhat more complex, since various surface conditions hindering or assisting the action are
encountered. Liquid penetrants in nondestructive testing have low tension and high capillarity. Capillary
action is illustrated in Figure 1-1.




The basic objective of liquid penetrant inspection is to increase the visible contrast between the
discontinuity and its background. This is done by treating the whole object with an appropriag searching
liquid of high mobility and penetrating power (which enters the surface opening of the discontinuity), and
then encouraging the liquid to emerge from the discontinuity to reveal the flaw pattern to the inspecting
personnel under daylight conditions (visible dye penetrants) or, when exposed to black light (fluorescent

There are several methods by which the basic principles of penetrant inspection can be administered. -In .-
each method, however, there are certain general procedures which must be followed.


, ,
The following are general procedures for penetrant inspection:
' c>k s -
h-1 ,c,~'J\
-i k ) *L
1. Selection of the Aoorooriate
,, lnsoection Process: L. o&/'( ,,
The appropriate inspection process shall be determined by the testing facilities b,;
available, the type and amount of parts to be tested, and the results anticipate
2. Pre-Testing: If the material to be tested could be affected by oil, sulphur or c
tests shall be performed to ensure that the parts are not damaged, when placed
under penetrant inspection method test.
3. Pre-Cleaning: The part to be inspected shall be pre-cleaned in order to remove any

contaminating material. FC<

CAUTION: Inadequate pre-cleaning is the source of most of the false indications encountered.
4. Pre-Drying: Parts which have been precleaned shall be dried to remove all traces of

,yJ2L.A 2 . p
cleaning material. j
5. Penetrant Application: Penetrant shall be applied to a part under test in a manner c&'d \
appropriate to the type of part or facilities available. Sufficient dwell time shall be /.-
allowed for optimum penetration. Figure 1-2. 7 -@ . \ fee +
1 2

6. Penetrant Removal: Penetrant shall be removed from the surface of the part under test
in the manner dictated by the type of penetrant used. Figure 1-3.


7. Developer Application: Developer shall be applied to the part under test as appropriate
to the process being used and the configuration of the part under test. Sufficient dwell
time shall be allowed for optimum results. Figure 1-4.
3 , i


8. Inspection Interpretation: The part shall be inspected and the discontinuity interpreted
and evaluated to the applicable acceptance standard. Figure 1-5.


9. Post-Cleaning: The developer shall be removed after inspection interpretation and
prior to returning the part to service.
The proper selection of a penetrant to be used for penetrant inspection is dependent on many factors
such as penetrabilu visibility, particular type of discontinuity sought, configurationof part, surface
conditions, facilities and equipment available, etc. Selection of the proper penetrant, therefore, should
be based on penetrant sensitivity.

PENETRANT SENSITIVIPI: Penetrant Sensitivity is herein defined as the ability of the penetrant, along
with compatible family items in its group, to effectively find discontinuities of the type sought under the.
penetrant inspection circumstances involved. Using this definition, the penetrant most adaptable to the
majority of penetrant inspection conditions that will exist, is the proper penetrant.

COMPATIBILITY: Penetrant materials supplied by qualified producers are not compatible or

interchangeable for the purposes of penetrant inspection. Use only one manufactureCs group of
materials in an inspection line or portable inspection operation. This is known as a farnilygroup, and
intermixing of families is not permitted unless the "mixed family" has been previously qualified. + -
Penetrants: Penetrants are classified by Method and Type as follows:
Method A Fluorescent dye c+&+$\a
Method B Visible dye
TYPe 1 Water-washable
Type 2 Post emulsifiable, lipophilic, or , ,
Post emulsifiable, hydrophilic
Type 3 Solvent removable
Emulsifier: Emulsifiers are classified as either:
Hydrophilic An emulsifier that is water-soluble
Lipophilic An emulsifier that is oil-soluble and not water-soluble
Solvent Remover: Solvent removers are classified as follows:
Developers: Developers are classified by form as follows: /

Dry powder I
Water soluble
Water suspendible
Specific application (i.e.Plastic film)

All penetrant materials are supplied in either bulk form or in small pressurized canisters. ,-'

r /Y
When a specific liquid penetrant test method is not specified by the contract, the selection of a suitable
penetrant inspection process is made by the Level Ill who makes this decision based on seven basic
1. Requirements previously established by component drawings applicable documents on
material or Darts to be laced under examination.
2. Type and siie of disc&tinuity to bGetected.
3. Suriace c ~ n d i t i gof - - jw;bc4, 'mih)
i part to be examined.
4. Configuration of part to be examined.
5. The number of parts lo be examined. -+ f %.iY.3
i .
6. Facilities and equipment available. i
7. Effect of the penetrant chemicals on material being examined.




Type 1 Water Washable Penetrant (Procedure A-1)

Dry, Wet, or Nonaqueous Developer
Type 2 Post-emulsifiable Penetrant (Procedure A-2)
Lipophilic or Hydrophilic Emu!sifier
Dry, Wet, or Nonaqueous Developer
Type 3 Solvent Removable Penetrant (Procedure A-3)
Solvent Rernover/Cleaner
Dry. Wet, or Nonaqueous Developer


Type 1 Water Washable Penetrant (Procedure B-1)

Wet or Nonaqueous Developer
Type 2 Post-emulsifiable Penetrant (Procedure B-2)
Lipophilic or Hydrophilic Emulsifier
Wet or Nonaqueous Developer
Type 3 Solvent Removable Penetrant (Procedure 8-3)
Solvent RemoverICleaner
Wet or Nonaqueous Developer


Type I Fluorescent Dye
Type II Visible Dye
Type Ill Dual mode (visible and fluorescent dye)

Method A Water-washable
Method B Post emulsifiable, lipophilic
Method C Solvent removable
Method D Post emulsifiable, hydorphilic

Level 1 Low
Level 2 Medium
Level 3 High
Level 4 Ultrahigh

Form a Dry powder
Form b Water soluble
Form c Water suspendable
Form d Nonaquesous
Form e Specific application

Class (1) Hologenated
Class (2) Non-halogenated
Class (3) Specific application
The Method AType 1 Penetrant Inspection process uses a water-washable fluorescent penetrant and a
dry, wet, or non-aqueous wet developer. The penetrant has self-emulsifying properties to make it water
removable. -
Method A Type 1 Process is generally used when:
1. Examining large volume of parts.
2. Discontinuities are not wider than their depth. .
3. Surfaces are very rough (i.e., sand castings, rough weldments).
4. Examining large areas.
5. Examiningthreads and keyways.
6. The lowest fluorescent penetrant sensitivity is sufficient to detect the discontinuities
inherent to the part.
7. Removal of excess penetrant may be difficult due to rough surfaces.
8. Sulphonates in emulsifying agents will not affect nickel bearing


-- ... ..~.. ... ..
1. The use of fluorescence ensures good
visibility of flaw indications.
, 2. Process can'be cofisidered as a one-step 2. Process is not reliable in finding
i.'process and, therefore, fast and economical. ->-,. scratches and shallow discontinuities.
3. Process &n be used for detecting a wide 3. Penetrant can be affected by acids
- -.of. discontinuities.
range ard chrom!es.
4. Penetrant used can be easily washed off with 4. Process is not reliable on anodized
water. 1 surfaces.
5. Process is easily adaptable to a large volume
1 5. Process is susceptible to over-
of small parts. washing.
6. Process is excellent for rough surfaces, 6. Water contamination may destroy

keyways, and threads. ' usefulness of penetrant.

7. Process is relatively inexpensive. 17. Not good forwide shallow
discontinuities (width greater than

The Method A Type 2 Penetrant Inspection process uses a post-emulsifiable fluorescent penetrant, a
lipophilic emulsifier, and a dry, wet, or non-aqueous wet developer. The materials used in this process are
very similar to that described for Method A Type 1 process, except that these penetrants are not self-
emulsifiable. A lipophilic or hydrophilic emulsifier is used to make the penetrant water washable.


1. Examining large volume of parts. 1-

2. A higher sensitivity than Method A. Type 1 is required or

3. The part is contaminated with acid or other chemicals that will harm'water-washable ?j ,I/
penetrants. y7 1

4. Discontinuities are wider than their depth.

5. Variable, but controlled, sensitivities are necessary so that nondetrimental discon-
tinuities can be disregardedwhile harmful or detrimental discontinuities are
6. Examining parts which may have discontinuities contaminated with in-sewice soils.
7. Examining for stress, cracks or intergranular corrosion.
8. Examining for grinding cracks.
9. High visibility is required.



d@+4{ 'IJ

1. Fluorescence used in this p w s s is more 1. Process is a two-step process, and

brilliant, thus ensuring greater visibility of therefore requires more time.
flaw indications. 2. Additional equipment is required for
2. High sensitivity for very fine discontinuities. application of the emulsifier.
3. Good on wide shallow discontinuities. 3. Not as good on parts with complex
(width greater than depth) shapes (i.e. threads) as Type 1.
4. Process good for high volume production. 4. Additional material increases cost.
5. Process normally not affected by acids. 5. Emulsifier dwell time very critical.
6. Process not as susceptible to over-washing.

The Method A Type 3 Penetrant lnspection process uses a solvent-removable fluorescent penetrant, a
penetrant remover (solvent) and non-aqueous developer. The penetrant is not water-washable but is
removed instead with the solvent remover.

Method A Type 3 lnspection Process is generally used when:

1. Spot examination is required.
2. Water-rinsing method is not feasible because of part size, weight, surface
condition, no water available, no heat for drying, or field use.



1. Process can be used for spot inspection 1. Use of solvent to remove penetrant
on large parts. prohibits inspecting large areas.
2. Process can be used when water-rinsing 2. Sensitivity can be reduced by the
methods are not feasible. +- application of excessive amounts
of remover.


Method B Type 1 Penetrant lnspection process uses a water-washable visible dye penetrant and wet or
non-aqueous developer. The penetrant has self-emulsifyingproperties to make it water removable and is
of a brilliant red color.

Method B Type 1 Process is generally used when:

1. The lowest sensitivity is sufficient to detect the discontinuities inherent to the part.
2. Examining large volume of parts.
3. Discontinuities are not wider than their depth.
4. Surfaces are very rough (i.e., sand castings, rough weldments, pitted areas).
5. Examining large areas.
6. Examining threads and keyways.
7. Removal of excess penetrant may be difficult due to rough surfaces.


1. No blacklight or darkened area required. 1. Process is not reliable in finding scratches.
2. Process can be considered as a one-step 2. Process is less sensitivity for fine
process and, therefore, fast and economical. discontinuities.
3. Process can be used for detecting a wide 3. Penetrant can be affected by acids and
range of discontinuities. ch-omtes.
4. Penetrant used can be easily washed off 4. Process is not reliable on anodized surfaces.
with water. 5. Process is susceptible to over-washing.
5. Process is easily adaptable to a large 6. Water contamination may destroy usefulness
volume of small parts. of penetrant.
6. Process is excellent for rough surfaces, 7. Not good for wide shallow discontinuities
keyways, and threads. (widlh greater than depth).
7. Process is relatively inexpensive.


Method B, Type 2 Penetrant lnspection process uses a post-emulsifiablevisible dye penetrant, an
. emulsifier, and a dry, wet or non-aqueous developer. The materials used in this process are very similar to
that described for Method A, Type II process, however, the eenetrants are not self-emulsifiable. An
emulsifier is applied over the penetrant to make it water washable.

Method 8, Type 2 lnspection process is generally used when:

1. Examining large volume of parts.
2. A higher sensitivity than Method B, Type 1 is required or desired.
3. The part is contaminated with acid or other chemicals that will harm water-
washable penetrants.
4. Discontinuities are wider than their depth.
5. Examining parts which may have discontinuities that are contaminated with in-
service soils.
6. Examining finished suiiaces and other general purpose examinations.
1. No blacklight or darkened area required. 1. Process is a two-step process, and
2. High sensitivity for fine discontinuities. therefore requires more time.
3. Good on wide shallow discontinuities. 2. Additional equipment is required for :

(width greater than depth) application oi the emulsifier.

4. Process good for high volume production. 3. Not as good on parts with complex
5. Process normally not affected by acids. shapes (i.e. threads) as Type 1.
6. Process not as susceptible to overwashing. 4. Additional material increases cost.
5. Emulsifier dwell time very critical.


The Method B, Type 3 Penetrant lnspection Process uses a solvent-removable visible dye penetrant, a
- - penetrant remover (solvent) and a dry, wet or non-aqueous developer. The penetrant is not water-
washable but is removed instead with the penetrant remover.

Method 8, Type 3 lnspection Process is generally used when:

1. Spot examination is required.
2. Water-rinsing is not feasible because of part size, weight, surface condition, no
water available, or remote location.


1. Process can be used for spot inspection 1. Use of solvent to remove penetrant
on large parts. prohibits inspecting large areas.
2. Process can be used when water-rinsing 2. Sensitivity can be reduced by the
methods are not feasible. application of excessive amounts
3. No blacklight or darkened area required. of remover.
4. Process is highly portable. 3. Visibility of indications is limited.

As shown in the previous paragraphs, the test method is dependent upon the materials used. It should
be obvious that in order to achieve the desired results.the proper selection and use of materials is of vital
importance , and mandatory that the written procedure be followed to the letter.



Penetrant inspection is practical for field use, because these materials are supplied in the form of portable
kits. Both Fluorescent and Visible Dye Penetrant inspection kits are available, but it is essenlial that only
the complete family of penetrant inspection materials be employed for these field kit inspection

PORTABLE VISIBLE DYE PENETRANT KITS. Portable Visible Dye Penetrant Kits are available for field
inspection. A typical Visible Dye Penetrant Kit is illustrated in Figure 2.

A VlSlBLE DYE PENETRANT KIT usually contains:

1. Spray cans of cleaning or removal fluid
2. Spray cans of visible dye penetrant.
3. Spray cans of nonaqueous developer.
4. Wiping cloths and brushes.




Figure 2 Portable Visible Dye Penetrant Kit

PORTABLE FLUORESCENT DYE PENETRANT KITS. Portable Fluorescent Dye Penetrant Kits are
available for field inspection. A typical Fluorescent Dye Penetrant Inspection Kit is illustrated in Figure 3.


1. A portable black light and transformer.
2. Spray cans of cleaning or removal fluid.
3. Spray cans of fluorescent dye penetrant.
4. Spray cans of nonaqueous developer.
5. Wiping cloths and brushes.




Figure 3 Portable Fluorescent Dye Penetrant Kit

In summary, let's consider the advantages and limitations of the liquid penetrant test method


Materials are relatively inexpensive

Some methods are relatively fast
Sensitive: can detect discontinuities .001" or greater.
Versatile: can be used on any non-porous, non-absorbent material.


Some methods are time consuming and therefore expensive.

Can only detect discontinuities open to the surface.
Surface of part should be 60 to 125 degrees F.
Cannot be used on very rough surfaces..-----+
Procedure can be messy.
May require good ventilation.
No easy pemlanent record.


This learning module describes the interpretation and evaluation phases of NDT, discontinuity
characteristics. and the classifications of indications and discontinuities.

Since correct evaluation of a discontinuity depends on accurate interpretation the inspector is the key in
the inspection process. The success and reliability of any NDT depends upon the thoroughness with
which the inspector conducts the examination from the initial step all the way through to the final
interpretationof the indications. The inspector must carefully follow the procedure, search out indications
and then decide the seriousness of discontinuities found to determine the disposition of parts according
to the severity of the flaw indications. Remember poor processing can be worse than no inspection,
because, if improper processing yields no indications for the inspector to interpret the part would be
considered acceptable whether it is or not. In some cases, the inspector may perform only the inspection
phase of the process. At other times, the inspector may perform all phases of the process. In either case,
the success and reliability of the inspection depends on the thoroughness of the inspector, and proper
processing of the part.
The" inspector* as used in this learning module is referred to as the "examine? in the ASME Code.

The personnel performing the liquid penetrant test must be qualified and certified in accordance with S M -
TC-?A. A review of the company's "Written Practice" would be necessary to determine the specific
requiiements for qualificationto any level of competency as recommended by SNT-TGIA

- . . ..
Quite often inspectors will confuse the various terms used and will use them incorredly. Therefore, it is
important that the inspector have a clear understanding of the terms relating to liquid penetrant testing.

INDICATION: a response, or evidence of a response, that requires interpretationto determine its


DISCONTINUITY: a broad term relating to a condition that is foreign to the normal structure of a material. A
discontinuity may or may not be detrimental to the intended service life of a part and must therefore be

HelMer Associates, lnc

PTMcd4 O 1989
DEFECT: a term applied to a discontinuity which may be detrimental to the intended service life of a part,
and exceeds the limits of the applicable acceptance criteria.

INTERPRETATION: the action performed by the inspector in determining the cause of an indication.

EVALUATION: the action performed by the inspector in comparing the magnitude and severity of an
indication to a predetermined acceptance criteria in order to determine acceptance or rejection of the part.


it must be recognized that all indications are not caused by discontinuities. Some indications are the result
of faulty processing of the part, while other indications are the result of part design. The penetrant
inspector must be able to recognize the various indications that might appear. Penetrant indicationswill
fall into one of three categories:

1. False Indications
2. Nonrelevant Indications
3. True or Valid Indications

. Usually there are specik differences between all three and a well-trained inspector should be able to
determine into which of the three categories an indication is to be classified. Qualified inspectors, using
acceptable procedures and codes, can usually determine the cause and category of the penetrant

In nondestrudiwe testing, an indication that may be interpreted erroneously as a discontinuity is
considered a false indication. In all NDT disciplines, false indications can become major pmblems in the
.- . . .inspection process. Usually a thogugh knowledge of the manufacturing processes ,involved,
. the NDT
process, and previous experience of the inspector is necessary to readily and accurately classiiy a false

The most common causes of false indications are the improper or inadequate precleaning of the part, and
the improper or inadequate removal of the excess surface penetrant. If all the surface penetrant is not
completely removed in the removal process, the remaining penetrant may produce false indications. This
is true for both the fluorescent and visible penetrant methods. The use of the black light during the
removal of fluorescent penetrants is very helpful in determining that adequate removal has been achieved.

Hellier Associares, Inc

PTMcd4 O 1989
A properly cleaned part would show only a very faint, or no pink background if visible penetrants were
used, or only very faint, or no areas of background fluorescence when fluorescent penetrants are used.
False indications due to incomplete washing are usually easy to identify, since the penetrant will be in
broad areas rather than in the sharp patterns found in the true indications.

The danger of poorly cleaned parts, which produce the false indications, lies in the fact that there may be
actual discontinuities in the improperly cleaned areas which would be masked by the false indications. If
false indications interfere with interpretation of true indications found on the parts complete reprocessing
of the parts would be required.

Non-relevant indications are true indications produced by uncontrolledtest conditions. However, the
conditions causing them are present by design or accident, or other features of the part having no relation
to the damaging flaws being sought. The term signifies that such an indication has no relation to
discontinuities that might constitute defects.


and keyways will often retain penetrant at their base and produce indications despite a good removal
technique. This is particularly tiue when post emulsified penetrants are employed. Because heat-treating
or fatigue cracks often do m r at such locations it is essential that the inspector check these locations
very carefully.

NON-RELEVANT INDIGATTONS DUE TO PRESS-FIT: Anotherwndition which may create nokrelevant

indications is when parts are press-fitted into each other. if a wheel is press-fitted onto a shaft, penetrant
will show an indicationat the fit line. This is perfectly normal since the two parts are not welded together.
The only problem with such indications is that penetrant from the press fit may bleed out and mask a true
. . dis~ontinuity.

CWUliUOW: Where penetrant bleed out may mask discontinuities on press-fit parts, the time between
application of developer and inspection should be held to a minimum to prevent excessive bleed out.

Hellier Associates, Inc.

PTMod 4 Q 1989
The last classification of indications is the group of which we are most interested and is called the true
indication which is caused by a discontinuity.

True indications can be further classified into four major groups. They are: inherent, primary processing,
secondary processing, and service discontinuities. These are covered in detail in another module.
Three basic questions must be answered to facilitate proper interpretation of the flaw indications:

1. What type of discontinuity would cause the indications?

2. What is the extent of this discontinuity?
3. What effect will this discontinuity have on the anticipated service of the part?

NOTE: The answers to the first two questions are the prime responsibility of the inspector. The answer to
the third question, unless specific acceptance criteria are specified, usually requires special assistance.


Generally speaking, we can divide discontinuities into five basic types. These are:

f 1 Fine, Tight Surface Cracks. Such cracks may be shallow or deep, but their most
signifmnt characteristics is their very small and tigM surface opening. Deep
cracks of this type, once well penetrated, may provide a reservoir of penetrant, and
therefore, may be easier to show than shallow cracks.
2. Broad, Open Surface Discontinuities. Discontinuitiesof this type may be shallow
or relatively deep. Their significant characteristic is their width which tends to
permit penetrants to be removed from the discontinuity, especially when water
spray removal techniques are employed. Care must be taken to ensure this does not
3. Porosity. Generally speaking, porosity is a discontinuity having a cavity below
the surface which is connected to the surface by a very small channel. Porosity is
typically found in castings and welds and is sometimes referredto as gas holes.
4. Shrinkage: Micro or sponge shrinkage in castings which is opened to the surface
by machining and etching may be hard to differentiate from cracks. Much care
must be used in evaluating this type of indication.
5. Leaks or Through Cracks. Discontinuities of this type are cracks or openings
which pass from one surface to another.

Hellier Associates, lnc.

PTMcd4 63 1989
There are five basic types of indications which may be seen by the inspector. These indication types
caused by the discontinuities listed in the above paragraph are as follows:
1. Continuous linear indications
2. Intermittent linear indications
3. Rounded indications
4. Small dot indications
5. Diffuse or weak indications
It is possible to examine an indication of a discontinuity and determine its cause as well as its extent. such
an appraisal can be made if something is known about the manufacturing processes or the operational use
to which the part has been subjected. The extent of the indications, or acurmulation of penetrant, will
show the extent of the discontinuity.

The vividness of the visible dye penetrant on the contrasting white developer or the brilliance of the
fluorescent dye penetrant will give some indication of the discontinuity's depth. Deekdiscontinuities will
hold penetrant and therefore, will be broader and more brilliant. Very fine discontinufies can hold only
small amounts of penetrant and will therefore appear as fine lines.

In many instances, more accurate flaw evaluation may be obtained by removing the indications and
! reapplying nonaqueous wet developer so that the rate and amount of penetrant bleed out can be closely
observed to facilitate the interpretation of the flaw discontinuity.


Cracks, cold shuts, and forging laps usually show as a continuous line indication. A crack will appear as a
sharp or faint-jagged line, straight line or intermittent line, while cold shuts will usually appear as smooth,
straight, narrow lines. Scratches and die marks will also appear as straight lines, but the bottom of the
. ,di.s.continuityis usually visible.
f \


Hellier Associates. Inc

P T M w ' 4 @ 1989
The same discontinuities that appear as straight lines may also appear as linear intermittent indications.
This condition is caused by the discontinuity being pattially closed at the surface due to metal working
such as machining forging, extruding, peening, grinding, etc. As an illustration, grinding cracks are
caused by local overheating of the surface being ground, but these cracks may be partially closed by the
plastic flow of the metal over the crack caused by the high shear forces produced on the surface of the
metal. Grinding cracks can show as a craze pattern made up of a network of very fine cracks.

f \

'.'. rC


/ ,'

Rounded indications generally indicate porosity caused by gas holes or pin holes or a generally porous
material depending on the extent of the indication. Deep crater cracks in welds frequently show up as
rounded indications, since there is a large amount of dye penetrant entrapped.
The indications may appear rounded because of the volume of penetrant entrapped, ailhough the actual
defects may be irregular in outline.
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0.- * 0 Q

(r B

\ /

Hellier Associales, Inc.

PTMcd4 O 1989
Discontinuities of this nature result from a porous condition of the material. Such indications may denote
small pin holes, excessively coarse grains in a casting, or may be caused by micro-shrinkage or certain cast
alloys. A series of aligned dots might result from a very tight crack.

NOTE: Internlittent dot indications, or even a generally heavy background may also result fmm surface
corrosion pining, general intergranular surface corrosion or even an excessively mugh surface. This type
of indication may obscure indications from genuine cracks.

/ 3'

..... ....
.' .
.. .. ..
.... . . .
\ J


This condition may be caused by a porous surface, insufftuent cleaning, incomplete removal of dye
penetrant or excess developer. Weak indications extending over a wide area should be viewed with
suspicion. When this condition is encountered, the part should be completely reprocessed.

f \



Hsllisr Associalss. Inc.

PTMod4 @ 1989
Fatigue cracks or sharp shallow cracks developed while the part is in service are extremely dangerous and
represent an eventual part failure. Care must be taken to detect these discontinuities.

/ \


\ /

Hellier Associates. Inc.

PTMod4 8 1989



In order to understand how and why a magnetic particle test works it is necessary to understand the
principles of magnetism.

HORSESHOE MAGNET The most familiar type of magnet is the horsehoe magnet shown
in figure 1-1. It will attract magnetic materials to its ends where a leakage field occurs. These ends are
commonly called "north" and "south" poles, indicated by N and S on the diagram. There will be no
attraction except at these poles. Magnetic flux lines, or lines of force flow from the north to the south pole
. as long as they are external to the magnet. Since these lines of force always form a complete circuit, they
also pass through the iron or steel of which the magnet is made. Note thatwithin the magnet the lines are

Figure 1-1. Horseshoe h f q n e t

Ifthe ends of the horseshoe magnet are bent so that they are close together, as shown in figure 1-2, the
ends will sti!l attract magnetic materials. However, ifthe ends of the magnet zre benl closer together, and
the two poles completely fused or welded into a ring as shown in figure 1-3, the magnet will no longer
attract or hold magnetic materials because there is no longer a leakage field. The magnetic field remains as
shown by the arrows, but without poles there is no attraction. Such a piece is said to have a circular field,
or to be circularly magnetized, because the magnetic lines of force are circular.

Fiwre 1-2. H o m s h a e hiagnel w i t h Polci CloseTocclher

Any crack in the fused magnet or cicularly magnetized part which crosses the magnetic flux lines will
immediately create noflh and south poles on either side of the crack. (see figure 1-4). This will lorce some
01 the rnagnetic flux (lines ol force) out of the metal path and is referred to as lluxleakage. Magnetic
materials or particles will be attracted by the pole created by the crack, forming an indication of the
discontinuity in the metal part. This is the principle whereby rnagnetic particle indications are formed by
means of circular magnetization.

Figure 1-4. Cnck in Fused Horjeshoe Magnet

BAR MAGNET If a horseshoe magnet is straightened, a bar magnet is created a s shown in figure
1-5. The bar magnet has poles at either end and magnetic lines of force flowing through the length of it.
Magnetic particles will be attracted only to the poles. Such a piece is said to have a longitudinal field, or to
- -
be longitudinally magnetized.

Figure 1-5. f f o n e s h o e Magnet Straightened t o Form


MT M O D 1
A slot or discontinuity in the bar magnet which crosses the magnetic flux lines will create north and south
poles on either side ol the discontinuity (see tigure 1-6). These poles will attract magnetic parlicles. In a
similar manner, if the discontinuity is a crack even though it is very fine, it will still create magnetic poles as
indicated in figure 1-7. These poles will also attract magnetic particles. The strength of these poles wiil be
a function of the number of flux lines, the depth of the crack and the width of the air gap at the surface.
The greater the pole strength, the greater the leakage field. The strength of this leakage field determines
the number of magnetic parlicles which will be gathered to form indications: strong indications at strong
fields, or large discontinuities, and weak indications at weak fields of small discontinuities.


Figure 1-6. $lot in Bar Magnet Attracting

Magnetic Particles


I \ I


Figure 1-7. Crack in Bar Magnet AtLncting

M q n e l i c Partides

Magnelic lines of.lorce (flux lines) may be described by several characteristics,

A. They are closed loops.

B. They can be distorted (like a rubber band).
C. They return upon themselves.
'D. They never cross.
E. They seek the path of least resistance.
F. They are most densely concentrated at the poles oi the magnet.
G. They flow from north to south outside the magnet, and from south to north within the magnel.


All materials read to a magnetic field in one of three ways. They are. therefore, classilied as diamagnetic,
. paramagnetic, or ferromagnetic. When made into a rod, a diamagnetic material is repelled by a magnetic
field and will align itself at right angles to the field. When a paramagnetic or a lerromagnetic material is
made into a rod, it will be attracted by a magnetic field and will align itself parallel to the field.

1. Diamagnet~cmmaleria!s have permeabilities slightly less than unity. Bismuth has the iowest
permeability known (.9998).Other diama~neticmaterials are phosphorus, antimony, flint glass, and
mercuky. Such materials are usually consideredto be nonmagnetic.

2. Paramagnetic materials have permeabilities greater than unity. Those whose permeablities are
only slightly grealer than unity such as platimum (1.00002), are called paramagnetic and are usually
considered to be nonmagnetic.

3. Ferromagnetic materials have permeabililies great than unity and are usually Considered to be
magnetic. Ferromagnetic materials are iron, nickel, cobalt, and many alloys such as permalloy, alnico,
permivar, elc. Usually materials wiih permeabilities of 1.1000 or greater aree referred lo as lerromagnelic.

Low Carbon Content Sleel Vs. High Carbon Content steel

Low Large grain with a very simple structure

High Smaller grain size; the structure is more complex for added strenth

Example of each before a magnetizing force is applied:

Low Carbon

Figure 1-8


Hiah Carbon

Figure 1-9
When a magnetizing lorce is applied to low carbon content steel, the aloms align easily.

F i g u r e 1-10
More magnetizing force is required to align the atoms of high carbon steel into magnetic domains. As
illustrated in figure 1- 9, the atom directions are more disarranged than low carbon content in figurel-8

F i g u r e 1-11

When the magnetizing force is removed from low carbon content steel, most of the atoms return to their
normal orientation (figure 1-8), leaving little magnetism. High carbon content steel is different. Because it
is much harder to align the atoms; when the magnetizing force is removed many atoms will stay aligned
and the material will retain a greater amount of magnetism as shown in figure 1-12.

Figure 1 - 1 2
You will notice thal a malerial of high reluctance has:

1. Low permeability

.. .
2. High retentivity

3. High coercive force

4. High residual magnetism

And material with low reluctance is easy lo magnethe. It has:

1. High permeability

2. Low retentivity

3. Low residual magnetism

4. Low coercive force


Permeability High Low

Reluctance Low High

Relentivily Low High

Residual Field Low High

Coercive Force Low High




Magnetism may be induced into a material by placing the material in an already existing magnetic field. This
can be illustrated by making a screwdriver magnetic by mbbing it against a permanent magnet. An easier
method is through the use of electrical current. Ifa wire is wrapped around a screwdriver and electric
current passed through the wire, the screwdriver becomes magnetized.

Permanent magnets are sometimes used to induce magnetic fields within a test specimen. The use of
permanent magnets for magnetization has many limitations and they are, therefore, only used when these
limitations do not interfere or prevent the formation of adequate leakage fields at the site of a discontinuity.

Electric currents can be used to create or induce magnetic fields in ferromagnetic materials. Magnetic
lines of force are always at right angles (900) to the direction of the magnetizing current flow. Therefore,
the direction of the magnetic field can be altered, and is controlled by the direction of the magnetizing
current. It is important to know how to use electric currents to induce the magnetic lines of force so that
they intercept and are, as near as possible, at right angles to the discontinuity. Eiiher circular or
longitudinal magnetic fields can easily be created in a test specimen. The strength of the magnetic field
can be varied, and through the use of several types of current, variations in field strength and distribution
can be accomplished.

There are basically two types of electric current used as a magnetzing force. These are alternating current
(AC), direct current (DC). Alternating Current or AC is current that reverses its direction of flow at regular
intervals. Such current is frequently referred to as AC. Direct Current or DC, as the name implies, refers to
an electric current flowing continually in one direction through a conductor. Such current is frequently
referred to as DC.

The magnetic fields created by alternating current and by direct current differ in many respects. The most
important difference in magnetic particle testing is that the magnetic field created by alternating current is
confined near the surface of the part referred to as skin effect, while the magnetic field created by direct
current penetrates below the surface of the part.

Although different types of magnetizing current can be used in magnetic particle inspection only one
type is generally best suited for each type of inspection to be performed.

Alternating current (AC) is used for the detection of surface discontinuities only, due to the skin

Direct current (DC) or Halfwave direct current (HWDC) is used for detection of either surface or
subsurface discontinuities.

Regardless of the type of current used for magnetization, the magnetic field created in the test part will be
either a circular field or a longitudinal field.

CIRCULAR MAGNETIZATION. Circular magnetizationderives its name from the fact that a circular
magnetic fiekl atways surrounds a conductor such as a wire or a bar carrying an electric current (see figure
. 2-1). The direction of the magnetic lines of force (magnetic field) is always at right angles to the direction of
the magnetizingcurrent. An easy way to remember the direction of magnetic lines of force around a
conductor is to imagine that you are grasping the conductor with your hand so that the extended thumb
points parallel to the electric current flow. The fingers then point in the direction of the magnetic lines of
force. Conversely, if the fingers point in the direction of current flow, the extended thumb points in the
. direction of the magnetic lines of force.

Magnetic Field Surrounding an

Electrical Conductor
F i g u r e 2- 1
Since a magnetic part is in eHect a large conductor, electric current passing through this part creates a
magnetic field in the same manner as with a small conductor (see figure 2-2). The magnetic lines of force
are at right angles to the direction of the current as before. This type of mangetization is called circular
mangetization because the lines of force, which represent the direction of the magnetic field, are circular
within the part. The strength of the magnetic field is dependent upon the current passing through the

Magnetic Field in Part Used as a Conductor

F i g u r e 2- 2

CIRCULAR MAGNETIZATION WITH INSPECTION EQUIPMENT. To create or induce a circularfield in a

part with stationary magnetic particle inspection equipment, the part is clamped betweenthe contact
plates and current is passed through the part as indicated in figure 2-3. This sets up acircuiar magnetic
field in the part which creates poles on either side of any cradc or discontinuity which wns parallel to the
length of the part. The poles will attract magnetic particles, forming an indication of the discontinuity.


. Cteating n Circular Magnetic Field in a Part

On parts that are hollow or tubelike, the inside surfaces are as important to inspect as the outside. When
such parts are circularly magnetized by passing the magnetizing current through the part, the magnetic
field on the inside surface is negligible. Since there is a magnetic field surrounding the conductor of an
electric current it is possible to induce a satisfactory magnetic field by placing the part on a copper bar or
other conductor. This situation is illustrated in figures 2-4 and 2-5. Passing current through the bar
induces a magnetic field on both the inside and outside surfaces.



Figure 2- 4 Circular Magnetization of a Cyclinder

Using a Central Conductor

Figure 2- 5 Circular Magnetization of Ring-Type Parts

Using a Central Conductor
LONGITUDINAL MAGNETIZATION. Electric current can also be used to create a longitudinal magnetic
field in a piece of magnetic material. The nature and direction of this field is the result of the field around
the conductor which forms the turns of the coil. Application of the rule of the thumb to the conductor at
any point in the coil illustrated in figure 2-6 will show that the field within the coil is lengthwise as indicated.



Figure 2- 6 Magnetic Lines o f Force i n a Coil

When a part made of magnetic material is placed inside a coil as shown in figure 2-7, the magnetic lines of
force created by the magnetizing current concentrate themselves in the part and induce a longitudinal
mangetic field. Inspection of a cylindrical part with longitudinal magnetizationis shown in figure2-18. If
there is a transverse discontinuity in the part, such as that in the illustration, small magnetic poles are
formed on either side of the crack. These poles will attract magnetic particles, forming an indication of the
discontinuity. Compare figure 2-8 with figure 2-3 and note that in both cases a magnetic field has been
induced in the part which is at right angles to the defect. This is the most desirable condition for reliable
inspection. The strength of the magnetic field within a coil is dependent upon the current flowing through
the coil, the number of turns in the coil, and the diameter of the coil.



Figure 2-17 Longiludinal Magnetic Field in a Fart Placed in a Coil

1 7

Figure 2- 8 Longitudinal Magnetic Field Shows Transverse Crack

. INDUCED CURRENT MAGNETIZING. When a direct current in a circuit is instantly cut off, the field
surrounding the conductor collapses, or falls rapidly to zero. The rapid change of field tends to generate a
voltage (and current) which is opposite in direction to that which had been established in the circuit. When
ferromagnetic material is under the influence of such a collapsingfield, the effect is greatly increased.
I Under certain conditions the rapid collapse of the field can generate very high currents inside
ferromagnetic material, and the phenomenon can be made useful in some magnetizing problems. An
extremely useful application of a collapsing field method fo magnetization has been developed for the
magnetizing of ring-shaped parts such as bearing races, without the need to make direct contact with the
surface of the part. Regardless of the type of magnetizing current employed, whether DC, AC or half-
wave, the induced current method is usually faster and more satisfactory than the contact method. Only
one operation is required and the possibility of damaging the part due to arcing is completely eliminated
since no external contacts are made on the part.

CURRENTIPARTICLEAPPLICATION. Two methods of processing are used in magnetic particle

inspection. The Continuous Method and the Residual Method. Which of the two methods to use in a
given case depends upon the magnetic retentivity of the part being inspected and the desired sensitivity t
of the inspection to be made. The continuous method must be used on parts having low retentivity.
Highly retentive parts may be inspected using the residual method. For a given magnetizing current or
applied magnetizing field the continuous method offers the greatest sensitivity for revealing discon-

CONTINUOUS METHOD. This method implies that the magnetizing force is acting while the magnetic
particles are applied. When the current is on, maximum flux density will be created in the part for the
magnetizing force being employed. In some cases, usually when AC or half-wave DC is being used as the
magnetizing current, the current is actually left on, sometimes for minutes at a time, while the mangetic
particles are applied. This is more often needed in dry method applications than in the wet. Leaving the
current on for long periods of time is not practical in most instances, nor is it necessary when using the wet
method. The heavy current required for proper magnetization can cause overheating of parts and contact
/ burning or damage to the equipment if allowed to flow for any appreciable length of time. In practice, the
magnetizing current is normally on foronly afractiin of a second at a time. All that is required is that a
sufficient number of magnetic particles are in the zone and free to move while the magnetiiing current
flows. The bath ingredients are so selected and formulated that the particles can and do move through
the film of liquid on the surface of the part and form strong, readable indications. The viscosity of the bath
and the bath concentration are important, since anything that tends to reduce the number of available
particles or to slow their movement tends to reduce the build-up of indications.

RESIDUAL MRF1OD. The residual method is a method of inspection in which magnetic particles are
applied to parts after the parts have been magnetized. The residual method is used only when parts are
magnetized with DC and the parts have sufficient retentivity to form adequate magnetic particle indications
at discontinuities. Usually the use of the residual method is limited to the search for discontinuities which
are open to the surface, such as cracks.

The magnetic particles may be applied to the surface of the test part in the form of a wet suspension, in
which the magnetic particles are held in suspension in a liquid vehicle, which is flowed over the test part,
or in the form of dry powder which is dusted over the test part. The particular method to be used would be
determined by the test conditions, or dictated by specification. Each method has distinct advantages and
WET METHOD ADVANTAGES AND LIMITATIONS. As is true of every process, the wet method has both
good points as well as less favorable characterisitics. The more important good points of the wet method,
which constilute the reason for its extensive use, as well as the less attractive characteristics are tabulated
as follows:
a It is the most sensitive method for very fine surface cracks.
b. It is the most sensitive method for very shallow surface cracks.
c. It quickly and thoroughly covers all surfaces of irregularly-shaped parts, large or small, with
magnetic particles.
d. It is the fastest and most thorough method for testing large numbers of small parts.
e. The magnetic particles have excellent mobiliy in liquid suspension.
f. It is easy to measure and control the concentration of particles in the bath, which makes
for uniformity and accurate reproducibility of resuls.
9. It is easy to recover and reuse the bath.
h. It is well adapted to the short, timed shot technique of magnetization for the continuous
i. It is readily adaptable to automatic unit operation.
j. It is not usually capable of finding defects lying wholly below the surface if more than a few
thousandthsof an inch deep.
k. It is messy to work with, especially when used for the expendable technique, and in field
I. A recirculatingsystem is required to keep the particles in suspension.
rn it sometimes presents a post-inspection cleaning problem to remove magnetic particles
linging to the surface
Fluorescent magnetic particles used in suspension in liquids have the same unfavorable characteristics

which go with the usual wet visible method techniques. There is the additional requirement for a source of
black-light, and an inspection area from which the white light can be excluded. Experience has shown that
these added special requirements are more than justified by the gains in reliability and sensitivity.

GENERAL. The dry powder method is primarily used for the inspection of welds and castings where the
detection of defects lying at or very close to the surface is considered important. The particles used in the
dry method are provided in the form of a powder. They are available in red, black, yellow and gray colors.
The magnetic properties, particle size and shape, and coating method are similar in all colors making the
particles equally efficient. The choice of powder is then determined primarily by which powder will give the
best contrast and visibility on the parts being inspected and the degree of sensitivity desired.
ADVANTAGES AND LIMITATIONS. The dry powder method has good points and less favorable
characteristics. These advantages and disadvantages which may influence its use for a specific
application are summarized in the following list:

Excellent for locating defects wholly below the surface and deeper than a few
thousandths of an inch.
Easy to use for large objects with portable equipment.
Easy to use for field inspection with portable equipment.
Good mobility when used with alternating current (AC) or half-wave direct current
Not as messy as the wet method.
Equipment may be less expensive.
Not as sensitive as the wet method for very fine and shallow cracks.
Not easy to cover all surfaces properly, especially of irregularly-shaped or large parts.
Slower than the wet method for large numbers of small parts.
Not readily usable for the short, timed shot technique of the continuous method.
Difficult to adapt to a mechanized test system.

GENERAL. Considerations involved in the selection of magnetic particle inspection equipment include
the type of magnetizing current and the location and nature of inspection. Magnetic particle inspection
equipment serves two basic purposes, which dictate requirements for the size, shape and functions.
These two purposes are to provide convenient means for accomplishing proper magnetization and to
make possible, rapid inspection of parts, with assurance that the inspection results will be reliable and

STATIONARY EQUIPMENT. A typical stationary horizontal wet magnetic particle inspection unit of
intermediate size is shown below. The unit has two contact heads for either direct contact or central
conductor, circular magnetization using a copper rod between the heads or a cable connected to a
contact block between the heads. Units contain a coil used for longitudinal magnetization. The coil and
one contact head are movable on rails. The other contact head is iiied; the contact plate on it, being air
cylinder operated, provides a means for clamping the part. The unit has a self-contained power supply
with all the necessary electrical controls. Magnetiuing currents are usually three phase full-wave DC or AC
depending upon usage requirements. The units are made in several different sizesto accomodate
different length parts and with various maximum output currents. A full length tank with pump, agitation
and circulating system for wet inspection media is located beneath the head and coil mounting rails. A
hand hose with nozzle is provided for applying the bath. On special units automatic bath application
facilities are provided.

Typical Wet Horizontal Magnetic Particle Test Unit

This unit is used tor the wet method with either the visible or the fluorescent magnetic particles. The unit
is equipped with a black light seen mounted on the back rail, and a hood and wrtains which may be drawn
to exclude white light when the fluorescent particles are used in the wet suspension.

Direct current up to 6,000 amperes, derived from full wave rectified three phase AC, is delivered to the
adjustable contact heads, for circular magnetization. A built-in coil is provided for longitudinal magnetiza-
tion. This unit is equipped with the infinitely variable current control by means of a saturable core reactor,
and also with the self-regulating current control.

A great number of variations of these typical magnetizing units is available. These variations are in size, in
current output and kinds of current, in the methods of current control, and in numerous types of fittings to
expedite magnetization of odd-shaped parts. In addition there are many accessories, such as contact
pads, automatic bath applicators, contact clamps, leech contacts, steady-rest for heavy shafts, prod
contacts. special shaped coils, powder guns, etc.

MOBILE EQUIPMENT A versatile mobile inspection unit is shown below. These units are available in
several sizes ranging from 2000 to 6000 amperes of AC and HWDC oulputs. The units have remote con-
trol current out-put, ONIOFF and MAGlDEMAG controls which permit one-man operation at the site of the
inspection. The units are used with either rigid or cable wrapped coils for longitudinal magnetization and
demagnetization. Cables connected to a part or passing through it are used for circular magnetization or
demagnetization. Mobile units can be easily moved to any inspection site where suitable line input
voltages and current capacity are available.

Typical AClHWDC Mobile Magnetic Particle Test Unit

\' ,q'

MOI7 7
PORTABLE EQUIPMENT A small portable unit which can be handcarried is shown below. These
units have both AC and HWDC outputs and must be used with a portable coil or cable wrapped coils to Ion
gitudinally magnetize, or with prods or clamps for circular magnetization. The units usually have a remote
ONlOFF control permitting a one-man operation for many applications. They can be used wherever an
adequate 115 volt AC power source is available. A

MAGNETIC YOKES Magnetic yokes are small and easily portable. They are very easy to use and are
adequate when testing small castings or machined parts for surface cracks and for weld inspection. They
induce a strong magnetic field into that portion of a part that lies between the poles or legs of the yoke.
The induced field flows from one leg of the yoke to the other in an orientation as shown below and yokes
and probes are available with either fixed or articulated legs, also shown below. Yokes are available for
operation from a 115 volt, 60 hertz AC outlet, and some are equipped with a rectifier so HWDC may be
used. A permanent magnet yoke is also available, permitting inspections to be performed without the use
of electric current.

in order to properly and accurately intrepret and evaluate magnetic particle indications the magnetic
particle inspector should understand certain definitions which are used in connection with this inspection i

method. Since these terms are used frequently in this learning module, the inspector must fully
understand the meaning of each of the following.

INDICATION. in magnetic particle inspection an indication is an accumulationof magnetic particles being

held by a magnetic leakage field to the surface of a part. The indication may be caused by a discontinuity
(an actual void or break in the metal) or it may be caused by some other condition that produces a leakage

DISCONTINUIN. A discontinuity is an interruption in the normal physical structure or configuration of a

part. These discontinuities may be cracks, laps in the metal, folds, seams, inclusions, porosity, and similar
conditions. A discontinuity may be very fine or it may be quite large; it will generally be a definite
separation or void in the metal.

DEFECT. A defect is a discontinuity which exceeds the limits of the acceptance criteria and, therefore,
interferes with the usefulness of a part.

BASIC STEPS OF INSPECTION. Magnetic particle inspection can be divided into these three basic

a. Producing an indications on a part.

b. Interpreting the indication
c. Evaluating the indication.

PRODUCING AN INDICATION. In order to produce a proper indication on a part it is necessary to

magnetize the part using the proper magnetizing force necessaryto produce the desired magnetic flux
oriented in the proper direction (i.e. circular or longitudinal).

INTERPRETING THE INDICATION. After the indication is created, il is necessary to interpret that
indication. Interpretation is the deciding of what caused that indication, what magnetic disturbance has
attracted the particles in the particular pattern found on the part. If the operator knows something about
metal processing, it is possible to determine from the appearance and location of an indication the cause
of the indication.

NATURE AND TYPE. It is possible to magnetize parts of certain shapes in such a way that magnetic
leakage fields are created even though there is no discontinuity in the metal at the point. Such indications
are sometimes called erroneous indictions or false indications. They should be called "non-relevant
indications" since they are actually caused by distortion of the magnetic field. They are real indications but ..
since there is no interruption in the metal they do not affect the usefulnessof the part. It is important that
the operator know how and why these non-relevant indications are formed and where to look for them on
the parts being inspected.


MAGNETIC WRITING. This is a condition caused by a piece of steel wbbing against another piece of steel
which has been magnetized. Since either or both pieces contains some residual magnetism the rubbing
or touching creates magnetic poles at the points of contact. These local magnetic poles are usually in the
form of a line or scrawl and for this reason the effect is referred to as magnetic writing.

COLD WORKING. Cold working consists of changing the size or shape of a metal part without raising its
temperature before working. When a bent nail is straightened by a carpenterwith a hammer the nail is
being cold worked. Cold working usually causes a change in the permeability of the metal where the
change in size or shape occurs. The boundary of the area of changed permeability may attract magnetic
particles when the part is magnetized.

HARD OR SOFT SPOTS. If there are areas of the part which have a different degree of hardness than the
remainder of the part these areas will usually have a different pemteabirQ. When a part w l h such areas of
different permeability is inspected with magnetic particle inspection, the boundaries of the areas may
create local leakage fields and altract magnetic particles to form indications.

BOUNDARIES OF HEATTREATED SECTIONS. Heat treating a part mnsists of heating it to a high

temperalure and then cooling it under controlled conditions. The cooling may be relativity rapid or it may
be done quite slowly, depending upon the characteristics of the metal which are desired. It is possible to
increase or decrease the hardness or the grain size of the metal by varying the temperature and the rate of
cooling. On a cold chisel the point is hardened to cut better and to hold an edge. The head of the chisel,
which is the end struck by the hammer, is kept softer than the cutting edge solhat il won't shatter and
break. The edge of the hardened zone frequently creates a leakage field when the chisel is inspected
with magnetic particle inspection.

ABRUPT CHANGES OF SECTION. Where there are abrupt changes in section thickness of a magnetized
part, the magnetic field may be said to expand from the smaller section to the larger. Frequently
thiscreates local poles due to magnetic field leakage or distortion. These leakage fields will attract
magnetic particles thereby creating an indication. The non-relevant indication will usually be "fuzzy" like an
indication which is produced by a discontinuity beneath the surface.


INTERPRETATION. It may at first appear to the operator that some types of non-relevant indications
discussed and illustrated in the preceeding material would be difficult to recognize and interpret. For
example, the non-relevant indications shown in figures 9-5 and 9-6 may look like indications of subsurface
discontinuities. However, there are several characteristics of non-relevant indications which will enable
the operator to recognize them in the example cited and under most other conditions. These charac-
terisitics of non-relevant indications are:

a. On all similar parts, given the same magnetizing technique, the indications will occur in
the same location and will have identical patterns. This condition is not usually en-
countered when dealing with real subsurface defects.
b. The indications are usually uniform in direction and size.
c. The indications are usually "fuzzy" ratherthan sharp and well defined.
d. Non-relevant indications can always be related to some feature of construction or cross
section which accounts for the leakage field creating the indication.

ELIMINATION OF NON-RELEVANT INDICATIONS. Although non-relevant indications can be recognized

in most cases, they do tend to increase the inspection time, and under certain condiiions may mask or
cover up indications of actual discontinuities. Therefore it is desirable to eliminate them whenever

In most cases non-relevant indications occur when the magnetizing current is higher than necessary for a
given part. consequently, these indications will disappear if the part is demagnetized and reinspected
using a sufficiently low magnetizingcurrent.

TRUE OR VALID INDICATIONS. If the indication is caused by a discontinuity it is termed a true indication
or a valid indication.

If the indication is caused by a discontinuity at the surface of the part the particles are usually tightly held to
the surface by a realtively strong magnetic leakage field. The line of particles is sharper and well defined
and there is a noticeable "build-up" of the particles. This build-up consists of a slight mound or pile of

MOD 2 15
particles which on deep surface cracks is sometimes high enough above the surface of the part to cast a
shadow. If such an indication is wiped o f f the discontinuity can usually be seen.

Ifthe indication is caused by a discontinuity below the surface it will be a broad fuzzy looking accumulation
of particles rather than being sharp and well defined. The particles in such an indication are less tightly
held to the surface because the leakage field is weaker.


After the indication has been formed and has been interpreted, it must be evaluated. It is necessary for
the operator to decide whether that indication in that particular location on that particular part will affect the
usefulness of the part.

Evaluation is the determination of whether the part can be used in spite of the indication, whether the
cause of the indication can be removed without affecting the strength of the part, or whether th epart must
be scrapped.

As a guide, the following basic considerations may be used in conjunction with the operatoh knowledge
and experience to help in the evaluation of indications.

a. A discontinuity of any kind lying at the surface is more likely to be harmful than a
discontinuity of the same size and shape which lies below the surface
b. Any discontinuity having a principal dimension or a principal plane which lies at right
angles or at a considerable angle to the direction of principal stress, whether the discon
tinuity is surface or subsurface is more likely to be harmfulthan a discontinuity of the
same size, location and shape lying parallel to the stress.
c. Any discontinuity which occurs in an area of high stress must be more carefully con
sidered than a discontinuity of the same size and shape in an area where the stress is low.
d. Discontinuities which are sharp, such as grinding cracks or fatigue cracks, are severe
stress-raisers and are more harmful in any location than rounded discontinuities such as
e. Any discontinuity which occurs in a location close to a keyway or fillet must be considered
to be more harmful than a discontinuity of the same size and shape which occurs away
form such a location.



In order to properly and accurately interpret and evaluate magnetic particle indications the magnetic
particle inspector must understand certain definitions which are used in connection with this inspection
method. Since these terms are used frequently in this learning module, the inspector must fully
understand the meaning of each of the following.

INDICATION. In magnetic particle inspection an indication is an accumulationof magnetic particles being

held by a magnetic leakage field to the surface of a part. The indication may be caused by a discontinuity
or it may be caused by some other condition that produces a leakage field.

DISCONTINUITY. A discontinuity is an interruption in the normal physical structure or configuration of a

part. These discontinuities may be cracks, laps in the metal, folds, seams, inclusions, porosity, and similar
conditions. A discontinuity may be very fine or it may be quite large; it will generally be a definite
separation or void in the metal. The word "Discontinuity covers the condition before it is determined
whether it is a defect or not. The cause of magnetic particle indications is usually a discontinuity - whether
physical or magnetic. And if we exclude those discontinuities that are present by design and consider
only those present in the metal by accident or as the result of some manufacturing process, these may still
not make the part defective in the sense that t s service performance will be affected unfavorably. we
come, therefore, to the conclusion that a discontinuity is not necessarily a defect.
It is a defect only when it will interfere with the performance of the part or material in its intended service.

So we should be careful to refer to a discontinuity as a defect only when it makes the specific part in which
. occurs unsuitable for the purpose for which it was designed and manufactured.
... . it

DEFECT. A defect is a discontinuity.whichinterferes with the usefulness of a part.

Magnetic particle inspection can be divided into these three basic steps:
a. Producing an indications on a part.
b. Interpreting the indication.
c. Evaluating the indication.

Hellier Associates, Inc.

MTMcdS 0 1989
In order to produce a proper indication on a part it is necessary to have some knowledge of the principles
of magnetism, the materials used in inspection, and the technique employed. Since these subjects have
been covered in previous learning modules observance of the procedural steps outlined should insure
that a proper indication is produced.

Aiter the indication is created, it is necessary to interpret that indication. Interpretation is the deciding of
what caused that indication, what magnetic disturbance has attracted the particles in the particular pattern
found on the part. If the operator knows something about metal processing, it is possible to determine
from the appearance and location of an indication the cause of the indication.



It is possible to magnetize parts of certain shapes in such a way that magnetic leakage fields are created
even though there is no discontinuity in the metal at the point. Such indications are sometimes called
erroneous indications or false indications. They should be called "non-relevant indications" since they are
actually caused by distortion of the magnetic field. They are real indications but since there is no
interruption in the metal they do not affect the usefulness of the part. It is important that the operator know
how and why these non-relevant indications are formed and where to look for them on the parts being

NOTFFThe use of fluorescent magnetic particles on parts with non-relevant indications is recommended
since they emphasize the contrast between the particle build-up at a relevant discontinuity and that due to
the non-relevant field.
.. .-...
Non-relevant indications are divided into the following five classes depending upon their cause:
a. Magnetic writing.
b. Cold working.
c. Hard or soft spots.
d. Boundaries of heat treated sections.
e. Abrupt changes of section.

Hellier Associales. Inc.

MTMod 9 C3 1989
This is a condition caused by a piece of steel Nbbing against another piece of steel which has been
magnetized. Since either or both pieces contains some residual magnetism the ~ b b i n or
g touching
creates magnelic poles at the points of contact. These local magnetic poles are usually in the form of a
line or scrawl and for this reason the effect is referred to as magnelic writing. In figure 9-1 the part in the
top view is magnetized wilh a circular field. If another part made of magnetic material is ~ b b e against
d or.
comes into contact with the magnetized part, as in the second view, a weak field will be induced into the
smaller part. Afler the smaller part has been removed the circular field in the original part will be altered or
distorted to some extent as shown in the bottom view. Since there is no force to change the direction of
the altered field, there will be some leakage at the point of distortionwhich will attract magnetic particles.


Hellier Associates. Inc.

MTMod9 G3 1989
COLD WORKING. Cold working consists of changing the size or shape of a metal part without raising its
temperature before working. When a bent nail is straightened by a carpenterwith a hammer the nail is
being cold worked. Cold working usually causes a change in the permeability of the metal where the
change in size or shape occurs. The boundary of the area of changed permeability may attract magnetic
particles when the part is magnetized.


If there are areas of the part which have a different degree of hardness than the remainder of the part
these areas will usually have a different permeability. When a part with such areas of different permeability
is inspected with magnetic particle inspection, the boundaries of the areas may create local leakage fields
and attract magnetic particles to form indications.


Heat treating a part consists of heating it to a high temperature and then cooling it under controlled
conditions. The cooling may be relativity rapid or it may be done quite slowly, depending upon the
characteristics of the metal which are desired. It is possible to increase or decrease the hardness or the
grain size of the metal by varying the temperature and the rate of cooling. On a cold chisel the point is
hardened to cut better and to hold an edge. The head of the chisel, which is the end struck by the
hammer, is kept softer than the cutting edge so that it won't shatter and break. The edge of the hardened
zone frequently creates a leakage field when the chisel is inspected with magnetic particle inspection.


Where there are abrupt changes in section thickness of a magnetized part, the magnetic field may be said
to expand from the smaller section to the larger. Frequentlythis creates local poles due to magnetic field
leakage or distortion. If a part as shown in figure 4 2 is magnetized in a coil, poles are set up at each end
and some leakage occurs at A and B. also, the change of section at C is quite abrupt and there may be a
.-- across this angle as shown. These leakage fields will attract magnetic particles thereby creating an
indication. The indications formed at A and B are usually very easily interpreted; that at C may be more
difficult to recognize as being non-relevant. If the indication is continuous around the shaft it should be
suspected as being caused by the shape of the part ratherthan by a discontinuity. The non-relevant
indication at C will usually be "fuzzy" like an indication which is produced by a discontinuity beneath the
surface. If there is a crack ordiscontinuity in that area it will usually produce an indication which is sharper
and it probably will not run completely around the part.

Hellier Associates, Inc.

MTMod 9 01989

On parts with keyways a circular magnetic fieki can also set up non-relevant indications as in figure 9-3.
Particle accumulations may occur at A where there are leakage fields. A keyway on the inside of a hollow
shaft may also create indications on the outside as indicated at area B in figure 9-4. Here the magnetic
field is forced out of the part by the thinner section at the keyway.

Figure 9-3 Concentration of Field in a Keyway Figure 9 4 Exlernal Leakage Field Created
by an Internal Keyway

Hellier Associates, Inc.

MTMod 9 0 1989
The gear and spline shown in figure 9-5 were magnetized circularly by passing current through a central
conductor. The reduced cross section created by the spline ways constricts the magnetic lines of force
and some of them break the surface on the outside diameter. Particles gather where the magnetic lines of
force break through the surface thereby creating indications.

Fgure 4 5 Gear and Shaft Showing Non-relevant lndicalions Due to Internal Splines

Figure 9-6 shows a non-relevant indication on the under side of a bolt head. The indication here is caused
by&e slot in the head.

Figure 9-6 Non-relevant indications under head, created by slot on top of head

Hellier Associates, Inc.

MTMod 9 @ 1989

It may at first appear that some types of non-relevant indications discussed and illustrated in the
preceeding material would be difficult to recognize and interpret. For example, the non-relevant
indications shown in figures 9-5 and 9-6 may look like indications of subsurface discontinuities. However,
there are several characteristics of non-relevant indications which will enable the operator to recognize
them in the example cited and under most other condiiions. These characteristics of non-relevant
indications are:
a On all similar parts, given the same rnagnefiing technique, the indicationswill occur in the
same location and will have identical patterns.
b. The indications are usually uniform in direction and size.
c. The indications are usually "fuzzy" rather than sharp and well defined.
d. Non-relevant indications can always be related to some feature of condruction or cross
section which accounts for the leakage field creating the indication.


Although non-relevant indications can be recognized in most cases, they do tend to increase the
inspection time, and under certain conditions may mask or cover up indications of actual discontinuities. It
is-therefore,desirable to eliminate them whenever possible.

In most cases non-relevant indications occur when the magnetizing current is higher than necessary for a
given part. consequently, these indications will disappear if the part is demagnetized and reinspected
using a sufficiently low magnetizing current. Under most conditions the value of magnetizing current
which is low enough to eliminate non-relevant indications will still be sufficient to produce indications at
actual discontinuities. This will be true where the non-relevant indication is magnetic writing, and for
. sewml other types, but may not hold where there are abrupt changes of section. It is therefore desirable
to determine whether the non-relevant indication was caused by an abrupt change of section before

The proper procedure is to demagnetize and reinspect using a lower value of magnetizing current,
repeating the operation with still lower current if necessary until the non-relevant indications disappear.
Care must be taken not to reduce the current below the value required to produce indications of all actual
discontinuities. Where there are abrupt changes of section two inspections may be required: one at a
fairly low amperage to inspect only the areas at the change in section, the other at a higher current value to
inspect the remainder of the part.

Hellier Associates, lnc.

MTModS 01989

If the indication is caused by a discontinuity it is termed a true orvalid indication. Ifthe indication is caused
by a discontinuity at the surface of the part the particles are usually tightly held to the surface by a relatively
strong magnetic leakage field. The line of particles is sharper and well defined and there is a noticeable
"build-up" of the particles. This build-up consists of a slight mound or pile of particles which on deep
surface cracks is sometimes high enough above the surface of the part to cast a shadow. If such an
indication is wiped off the discontinuity can usually be seen.

If the indication is caused by a discontinuity below the surface it will be a broad fuzzy looking accumulation
of particles rather than being sharp and well defined. The particles in such an indication are less tightly
held to the surface because the leakage field is weaker.

The difference in appearance between indications of surface and subsurface discontinuities is clearly
shown in figures 9-7 and 9-8. Notice the sharpness and definition of the line of magnetic particles in figure
9-7. The pattern in figure 9-8 is much broader than that in figure 9-7 and is quite typical of the indications
formed over subsurface discontinuities.

Figure 9-7 indication of surface discontinuity

Figure 9-8 Indicationofsubsurface dismntinuS

Helliar Associates, lnc.
MTMcd9 0 1989 8
Lastly, after the indication has been formed and has been interpreted, it must be evaluated. It is
necessary for the operator to decide whether that indication in that particular location on that particular part
will affect the usefulness of the part.

Evaluation is the determination of whether the part can be used in spite of the indication, whether the
cause of the indication can be removed without affecting the strength of the part, or whether the part must
be scrapped.

As a guide, the following basic considerations may be used in conjunction with the operator's knowledge
and experience to help in the evaluation of indications.
a. A discontinuity of any kind lying at the surface is more likely to be harmful than a
discontinuity of the same size and shape which lies below the surface.
b. Any discontinuity having a principal dimension or a principal plane which lies at right
angles or at a considerable angle to the direction of principal stress, whether the
discontinuity is surface or sub-surface is more likely to be harmfulthan a discontinuity of
the same size, location and shape lying parallel to the stress.
c. Any discontinuity which occurs in an area of high stress must be more carefully
considered than a discontinuity of the same sue and shape in an area where the stress is
d. Discontinuitieswhich are sharp, such as grinding cracks or fatigue cracks, are severe
stress-raisers and are more harmful in any location than munded discontinuities such as
e. Any discontinuity which occurs in a location close to a keyway or fillet must be considered
to be more harmful than a discontinuity of the same size and shape which occurs away
form such a location.

Hellier Associates, Inc.

MTModQ @3 1989

Radiography is an important part of the inspection and development process within

It is used to check structural materials, castings and weld integrity in the construction of . . ...<
buildings, power stations, pressure vessels, pipelines, bridges and oil drilling platforms. It
is also used in the routine inspection of materials and component parts for the
airrrafrlaerospace, automotive, and shipbuildingindusnies. . -
Radiography is recognized by various organizations thfoughout the world as a reliable non-
destructive inspection technique for revealing hidden defects that might lead to failure in
. , - . . -
Radiographic inspection is superior to other methods in a number of applications:

I) It is a nondestructive test method

2) Reveals the internal condition of the materid.

3) Applicable to mast materials.

4) Discloses fabrication and assembly errors.

5) Reveals structural discontinuities.

6) Provides a permanent visual representation of the object L ?a c f l 4 IQ erod)

RadiographiciDspection has s e v d inhumtlimhtions:

1) Two-sided acccxibility of the spechen is required.

2) Specha sizt and coafigun;ltionmay limit the exteat to which a specimen
may be radiographed
3) Radiography wiU not ddece all discontinuities.
4) T i invoIved and equipmeat costs makeradiography apemiye.
5) Presents a potential safety hazard.
Radiopphy uses X or &&on to produce an image on a f i l m

A radiograph records the radiation that has A defect in a component such

passed through a component so thatflaws can as a bIow hole is deteaed by
be derectcd A comwnent of uniform seaion producing a darker image on
without flaws or defects allows the radiafion to the film.
pass through the film and produce a uniform

Beam of radiation

Film in a caswttc

. . I

~ hcomponent
t to be tested orinpxted is placed betweenaliadiation s o m and a speiAIY
prepared film Precautions are taken to wure that unauthorized persons are kept away from the
area to.preventU n I l M a r y exposnre to radiation.

When the equipment is operated some radiation penetrates the component and is recorded on the
film.After cxposnre the film is p e in a darkmom m M o p the image.
.,- -.

AU matter whether solid, liquid or gas consists of elements, or combiinations of elements. . '
An element is a substance which cannot be broken down into simpler substances by
chemical m a s . . -

Two or more dements can combine chemically to form compounds as follows:

1) at room temperature, sodium and combine chemically to form the solid

sodium chloride (NaCI).

2) !hydrogen and oxygen combine to form water (HzO).

3) carbon and hydrogen combine toform the gas methane (m).

There are 92 mmally d g dements. If an element is qeatedly divided a stage wilI
b e d e d where it can no longer be subdivided and still possess its chemical form.
These individual particles of matter, whose existence was suggested by the Greeks, are
called 'atoms'.


The atdm is the basic building block of all matter. The the d e s t particle that
possesses all the chamcteristics of an element

~ ~ ~ i s ~ ~ & ~ ~ l ~ ' .~ ;.'''.~ Atd.l&-of&atomisthe-'Z'.Y

~ ~ ; ~ ~ h : ' .
planets orii~ting-the
sun. bulk or 'nude& which is positively

. .
. .
, .,..
. . - ...........
.. . . . . .,..
.,.: . charged Whirling around .
'. - n u c l e u s i. nthep ~ ~ ... ..
i m ~ ~
. . . . . .
. . .
. . . . . ::" .: .- .4d&&& *. *& are & & ~ Y Y . "-;i>:... ...
I .. s! .. .. .. . . . ...,
. . a . :. .. ... . , ;:jr;.;
'charged !'> -.:...;; . ': .: ,
, -. . --...?,. ..
.. . . . ->c.

.... .. . . . \ ..
Prolon +vc

. - . - Prolor6


charge charge

The nucleus itselfis EIelectrons are 1840 ?he total negative charge of all
made up of two types timeslighter than h e elelectrons orbiting the
of paaicles of protons or neutrons, nucleus balances the positive
appro-Y equal and have negligible. m e o f theprotonsin the
mass: 'protons' . mass. nucleus. The atom as a whole
which are positively therefore has no e l d c a l
charged and charge.
'neutrons' which
cany no charge.

EICC~O& the ~udens y paths or shells, Each shellcontainsa catainnumbex

in c ~ defined
of elechons. The oqta shall has fcwaclccwns t&anit can @kcIt'is pnpand to khan:'.the . '

s other atoms. This aIIows one atamto combine ch+caIIy with

'vacantplaceswitfi c l c m u ~from ...
anotha: . .

A . t m of a particuk clementhave a fixed andequal nambcrofelectrons and protons Mdanormal
ciratmma The numbm of protons in the n u d w of aparthhclanent is known as tfie
atomic number of the clrmcnt
MASS NUMBER ("A" number)
_ -,.
? h e m s of an atom is fix& by the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.
L .

13 Protons
2 Neutrons 14 Neufrons


Hydrogen Helium
1proton + 0 neutrons s 2 neutrons
2 p ~ t o nt 13protons t 14neutrons
Mass number = 1 Mass number = 4 Mass number =27

Theatomic n u m b i s the number of protons, and is a ~ c m i s t iofc thc atom of a

pm m
i d~nent, for example:

The atoms of each elemerit kiitain aJe6nite number of protons but may have a different
number of neutrons. The& atoms are called 'isotopes' and are given an identifying number
related to the weight of the nucIeus. Such atoms have the same chemical properties, but
have different weights and radiation properties.
The three different isotopes of hydrogen are an example. These isotopes are chemically .: ...
identical but are written:

Other well known isotopes used for indastrial radiography are:

1) Cobalt 60 Nore: the fop number
represents he total
number of prorons
and neutrons in the
nudm Ehe alorm-c
weight. The bottom
number representr
the as~micnrunber.
3) Iridium 192

.Th& arc isot~pcswfiich;givt off some form of ionizing radiatioa In the process they
may themscva be mnsfhmd into otfierelements by lmingpartides.fromthtnuclcus.
1sornpcs chat have a @eat& number of neutrons than pmmns in tfie n&cIeusan said to be
'unsta&'. Unstable isotopes try to s t a b i i themselves spontaneously by a nnmba.of

1) -
by nlcasingneutrons .thatis ejectingneutrons frmnthe nucleos.
2) by s p W g neutrons into anew proton plos an electron, which fIies off at hi&
The isotopes which arc usefnlforradiography give offgmmaradiation as a aof some
of these spontaneouschanges. Gammamdiation is vay pen- and affects i
photographic fiIa - hence its uxfdness.
- . - - '

Dlning the radioactive decay process, caused by the splitting of the neutrons, radiation is
released in three different forms:

1) alphapdcles (a)
2) betaparticles (p)
3) gamma rays (Y)
Alpha particles - are 2 neutrons and 2 protons (helium nucleus) bound together to
behave as one fundamental particle. Alpha particles are emitted from heavy nuclei
containing a large number of nucleons (neutrons and protons) such as Americium 241, an
anificial elment

Beta particles - arc high speed elecEons which are emitted from the nucleus. Beta
particles are emitted dlning the decay of Iridium 192 and Cobalt 60.
Gmitna rays are electromagneticradiations (as are radio waves and Light waves)
that are emitted from the nucleus. After the emisdon of alpha and beta particles, the
nucleus can re-adjustits ehergy still fkther by the emission of gamma rays. This emission
does not ftnther change the element These gamtna rays are used for radiography.
Apart fromxntudy oarnringradioisotopes, it is also possible to produceradioactivity in
n d y stable elements by the use of a nuclear reactor,or a high energy particle
amelemlor. This is done by introducingenergy into the stable nucleus in the form of an
energetic paaide such as a neutron. The nuc1ev.s then loses this excess energy by giving
off radiation in the form of gamma rays
Radioisotopes are producbi in nuclear reactors by twomethods:
1) They can be sepaiatedout of fission hgments, ifenemfedwhen afnel element like
uranium 235 is used E m m ~ l of - rxoducedin
e ~comma nidioiitopes . this manner
are cesium. 137, strontium90 and krypton 85.
2) '~$ble~ents&bcmaderadi~by~adngthrmina~e~d~onina
ndearreactor, shieldtd by specially designed aaxssholes. Nentrons originating
f h m the mxta are used to irradiate thcsestable clancats. Examples of
mdioisotopes prodnced by this m&od am cobalt60 from cobaIt59, iridium 192
fromiridium 191,'and thulium 170f r o m t h h 169.
All these radioisotopes may be used for i n d d radiography. .
It is vital thatpeople who use and operate X-ray and gamma-ray equipment obsave the
proper safety standards. Radiation may damage your health and shorten your Iife. Your . ;
safety is of utmost importance.
- -

Ionidngradjationsarc pa&cularly dangerous becanstthey arc invisible and cannot be

detected by the human senses.
They can canse injury to human tissues and organs, for example those that prodnce red
blood corpuscles in bone marrow.

&tcn&e dosesof ionizing mdiations can m n ~localized

e damage such as radio&m&is
or gangrene. They may also cause wad h& disordas, such as Ieukaunia, {cancer of
ffie bl&) which may eventualIylead to death.
?he darnaee that on be done to vow Some effects ofradiation accumulate
health by &nidng radiations m$ also with time. Each radiadon dose
affect future generations. received adds to those already gained,
However. X-raysarid gamma rays used for industrialpurposes cannot make a room or an object or
the air radioactivt. When m s u r e is over the radiomhed o b i a i s hamless and can be
approached and handled dsafety. A m e y met& n k bc t b d after each expasme to ensure
that the sourceis safe to approach.


Employers and employees are rcqkedto do aIl t h i s rmsonably praaicablc m restrict the
extent to which people an:exposed to ionizing radiations.

?he unit of mdiation dosc is the REM Forpractical~nrposcs when measming X and
gamma &on the rem can bc considered to be apvahu to the RAD or the Rocntgeo

\ -:
?he statutory regulations'sI;ecify' h<hurndose of ionizing radiation you may receive
from any fadioaaive substanceor any machine or apparatus which pmduces ionizing
The permitted levels are dependent upon the parts of the body expsed to the radiation. To
controI doses within the permitted levels, dose rates are nx%mredin the wo*g -
environment. If the relevant dose rate is exceeded,appropriate action, such as restricting '.
access or opemtional time,must be taken. - -

. . ..
~adiationdoseratr:ismwsm?edwidi.'. .: .. . Thtaccnmnlatedwllo'lebody
aradiationmetcrorm o n k S o q ' ... dose of ionizingradiation
typesuseGdga:m~tnbcstodetcct ~ rnonimnd
I X W ~ V Cby
gamma or X-rayi o n i d o n and m pmsoPQM)nnel must not ex&
battayoperatcd. 'Ihtrcadontscalc 125 remiper calendar quarter
i s i n r ~ ~ t g u i s p e r h o n r, .a n d ~ t g e 'n s ..
' - or 5remiper year.
per hour. . :.. . .
. . - _ -._

To ensure that you are efEectivelyproteaed from ionidngradiaton ahd that the ma%imum
dose rates are not wrceedwi, statutory @tiom appIy to aU industrial radiographic
These legularions are cantakedinthe Ccde of Federal Regulations and State Regulations.


This is the most important item of eqnipmcnt far yoar safety and protection. .Thesnrvcy
- per
nebx is a dclicatc inshmnmt usually calibrated in milliroentnens
.. - hour (mdhr).
~ndicationofthe dose ratcisdirect-it is used to:
1) . Check theposition at which bmim should be set up.
A m e y meter shouId always be available to each nvliogaphy team.
The survey meter s h o d be a p p r o p for
~ the type of radiation in use. Where necessary
scale conversion data s h o d be available.
Survey mters should be tested by a qualifiedperson before use. niey must be calibrated
at 90 day intends and afta: dl repairs. Rtconls of calibrations must be kept by your


Theseinstrwnentsindicatethcprcse~xof~onbyanaudibIehignaL w a n d e r
and Wter thanthc smvey m e and an designed to be canid on your paw& They
. gi~cwamiogofhighdoselatc~~mustbenvirdrcdondrtrSngchewhokpaiodof
ps@leep~sure.l k y m p a r t i c n l a r y v a h a b I e w h e n u S i n g X - ~ ~ y m ~ ~ o n
. ionizingradiatioa

Regulations require you to wear a H.mbadge so that thc amount of radiation you are
exposed to is documented Thc f%n badge consists of a photomphic film in a special
holder, which you should attach to your trousers belt or to the outside of your normal





radiation received. The film badge pmvidcr a -record of your dose. Your
p a x d radiation dose noprdis kzpt by yonr cmploya. Yon may ask to see it at any
misonable time.
~ ~ ~ 6 ~ n a , ) m a y b e n s e d ~ o f a f i l m b a a g e t o m a &
your personal dose. A TLZ) is a phosphor in a solid cyrstd shactnre that, when cxpostdto
lonizlngradiationsbncs~~ergy. W h W h e n h e a t c d t h c ~ i s n l ~ i n & e f o r m o-f.
Wwhich is p e o n a l to tkc exposing radiation. ..
Always wear your film badge or TLD on the outside of your normal clothing, at the fmnt
of your body. - . .- ^ 2

1 '00
. :p-

If you remove your coat or coverall when wotking,.make sare that you W e r the film
- badge to either your shirt or tronsem.

Dating "offwork" paiods keep your film badge away fium high tcmperahncs, such as hot
pipes andradiators. Protea it frompssibIe ch* attadc,and do not keep it near
. luminous articles sach as alarm docks,watches, compasses,and mdhtion sources.
wear y o u r f i badge dming6e If yo0 notice any defects in the film
whole w0rki.a~M o dincIuding badge holder, partiaxlady if any of
preparation 6tmnspt, d g themctaIinserts aremissing, orif
up and storing equipmat you 10%or damage it, inform your
snpavisor at once.
R+hnn yoor film badge pmmpfly at
thetimespccifie& Alwayscnsore
thatyou have a new badge to wear
before giving up the old one.


A dinxX nadingpocbdosimctarteadingform0 to at lease200 mR must be wom in

addition to a film badge to detamine your acaunnlateddose. It is not an acceptable :
substimtc for a filmbadge, but is an optionalcheck. Thc major a d m g e of &edimx
nading pocloct dosimeter is thatit gives an imnmbfcindicationof your wgosmc dose.
An darning dosimeter pmvi&g
.- -
an audible alarm whenever the dose rate equals or
J 0'

ex& must be worn in addition the the film badge and direct reading pocket
500 mR&rmWhr
Allequipment must be maintained in a good, cIean, safe, working order. It must be '[
chccked b e f q and afteruse by the raaiographer at each site. A record of these checks
shouId be kept showing details of any defects, and the action taken to remedy them. In the
case of ga& expos& devices, a &ey meter must be used during the exinination.
reading, check with another survey &w.Report a~unwual readi;lgs.
- no
This will aIso confirm that the survey meter is wod6.u~.Ifthe survey meter pives

Esniprmnt must have a k of Gamma containes are fitted

pmmting useby d & withdtherabyoraspecial
people. X-ray equipmenti s usually typc of lock. You mnst
fittedwith akcy switch on the corn1 cnsmethat it is kept locked at
panel or box. The key s h d be in the dlti- cxocpt during
custody of themiiograph'?~IImnst exgosure. The key should be
.only be used when the equipment is in Inthe custody of the
m o v e d aftetuse. mdiographer.
Everybody in the area w h & - i o ~ ~ is ~ being
o n usedmust be protected fiom
radiation. In a prmauent instalIation shielding is provided by an enclosure of thick walls.
On sites where it is not reasonably practicable to provide walled enclosures alternative
protection must be ananged
Distance is an effeclive protection from radiation. ?he greater the distance from the source,
the lower the radiation level will be. For example, at Mice the distance fiom the source,
the radiation level wilI be a quarter of its original level. Thisfollows the inverse square
law. . -
. - -.
TOmake sure that otherpeopl'oii the site are adequately protected you must set up a
suitabIy marked area, to keep out a l l except authorized persons
If for good reason this barrier is not set up at the 2 mWhr dose rate boundary it must be so
indicated and explained on the daily repod
- . _ - --
People working wirh ionizing radiations an:categorized amrdhg to heir degree of
Radiographefs Assistant
- -
involvement There are three categories: Radiation Safetv Officer, Radiographer,
- . and

The Radiation Safety Officer is usually a supervisor appointed by the Licensee who . ..
has the knowledge of, responsibility for, and authoriey to enfom appropriate radiation
protection rules, standanls, and practices on behalf of the liceme.
- -
The Radioeraoher is an individual who perfom or who, in attendance at the site
where the &tion exposure device or sealed source is being used, personally supervises
radiographic operations and who is responsible to the licensee for assuring compliance with.
the re-dati~niand conditions of the license.
The Radiographer's Assistant & an individual who, under the personal supervision
of a radiographer, rises radiographic wgosme devices, sealed sources or related handling
tools, or radiation survey instruments in radiography.
When a sourceis not in usc or in must cnsunthat it is kept in a secure storaEe
a m . Ihestorage area m& be ~ d et r h c ~ ~ ofoan nddperson, who keeps a
record of thc utilization of somces, and who has castody of the keys.
Waming notices mnst be fixed to the ootdde of the storage area. Tne notices mast include
L. the internationally agreed symbol for ionizing radiation.


W D E[AT110N

1) Enson'thatit is id:a locked, shielded containez Check thatit is suitably shielded by

usbga m e y meter.

2) Enson thax you know its type, andactivity.

3) Enson that yon an wearing a film badge cn-'ED, a d i m readingdosimeterand an
alarming dosimeter.
4) . Follow tlteFeda& State a n d l o w l r e ~ o o s .
Note: you should chcck that every sealed source containeryou receive k marked with a
proper labelb h @ t n g the cu~otdarts,
anda "RodiwaivekiA.iataial"label.
.- LESSON 103
l.,-RT A .



X-rays Light rays

X-raysare elecfmrnagneticradiarions and have rhe same nature as'radiowaves,light and

ultra-vi01e light They mvel at the same speed as light and obey most of the same laws.
They differin that their wavdength is much shorter than Iigkrays.
Ilis this cbaracttaistic thaf forms the basis of the a b i i of X-lays to penetrate solid


Whm electrons travelling at bigh speed collide wit&rnattcrin any form, heat and X-rays are
produced. To do this the following are nccdcd:
I) a source of ibe elections.
2) a rneans of acoclera(ing them to high s p e d
3) a m&od of stoppingthua
This is done within the modem X-ray tube - a glass or ceramic tube or envelope in which a i
vacuum has been produced- Two e l d e s are placed inside the tube: an anode or
positive electrode and a cathode or negative electrode. These are connected to e l e a r i d
circuits with a Iow voltage and a u m ~flow
t on the cathode side and a high voltage induced
into the anode by a transformer. Electrons are produced by:
Heating the &ent of the cathode with an decwic current libxxtes the electrons.
Increasing the cunrent raises the temperam of the ilamentand hence increases
the number of electrans liberated.


Cathode &ode

2) Applying a high voltage across the anode and cathode a beam of electrons
from the cathode towards a target faceon the anode.


Cathode h d e

3) The electrons arc stopped by ailowingthrm m hit the target hon the an& Whcn the
cleumns are brought to an abmpt halt by the target Eacc a BnalI amomof their energy
All the controls necessary for the 6puadon of the X-ray tube head are collected together in
a control box or in an operating paneL
?he diagram shows an example of a portable conlroIarrangement that 'Alows the
mdiogmpher to carry it to a convenient, safe opemting position It is made of sheet stwi,
has a lid and wxyhg handle and is weatherproof. It includes the following f e a m . . -.

RcmovabIe safety Ley vhi& bm&s the p o w happy to give the ~ o g r a p h s
control against accidentalradiation.
X-rays on button
X-rays off button.
Delay light
CabIe connector to power supply.
CaJdeconnector for anxiIiary powcr to warning system.
CabIc conneaor to mbe head
MiEmpaage control to alta the quantifyof radiatian.
Kilovoltage control to aZtapeeetratingpowaof racktion.
Rilovoltagc metawhi& may also indicate the line voItagc
T iwith automatic wtposm\: met ,

Note: on some wmolpanels theremay be other wmning lighrs:

Red light tube head on orX-rays on. Green light - tube head off orX-rays ofi
. Some ako have ma~mnhcwarning of ' q o about
~ to begin', or 'exposmeon'. Thuc
may be &le or light wmnings. (---I

Hellier, Inc.
,. - L

The x-ray tube is enclosed in a metal cannister, connected to gcounci, and f i e d with an
insulating liquid (oil) or gas. It also houses a aansformer, supplying high and low voltage,
and a cooling system (as a lot of heat is generated). The tube head provides shielding
against unwanted radiation.
.X-rays emerge from a window made from a material which allows the passage of most of. ...
the radiation Some windows on low kiIovoltage units are made of BeryLIium which has a
low rate of absorption of X-rays.
- -
A red light may be incorporated in the head which flashes a warning when X-rays are
W i g generated

&ss-section of a tube head

The X-ray tube is made of a toughened glass such as pVrex. It is shielded to restrict the

escape of radiation and contains an anode and a cathode seaIed in a vacuum
The calho& is connected to the ncguivcpole of the high voltage circuit At the end of the
tube there is a fiIament madcof tungsten as it ha5.a high melting point
~ hnumber
c of electrons c&tted depends on the Wqemimereached by the filament on the
cathode, when it is heated by the eI&c ammt Varying the cumnt varies the
tcmpaahne and So in tmn controk the emission of elabnns.

The m&is co~ccted to the positivepole of thc voltage Wt, ?he anode usually
consists of a solid block of coppawith its end cnt away to form an an& of about 709
Thisprovides a focal spot of &dent size, and spreads the heat so that the target does not
mcIt Thetarget is made of tungsten set into tfic faceof the anode. As much heat is
. generated at thc anode, a large area of impact is desirable.
The elecrron beam of negativeIy charged electronsi s accelerated towards the anode by
appIying a very high voItagc to the cathode. This voltage is rimmedin kilovolts 0.
The tube c m t from the cathode to the anode is low and is measured in x d J i a n ~
The impact ofdeamns on the target faceof the anode generafesxgys. Theinteaityo
the X-rays emitted by the Eube are in proportion to the tube current
Note: only thew&X-ray shown. X-rays are hawever ememrned
b m i% in all directions
. from rhe uugetface.

A bmm of radiation can be produced either laterally, axblly or obliquely panoramic

depending upon the shape of the target face.
X-ray equipment commercially a v W l e for i n d u s t r i a l m d i ~ ~ ~work
h i c is class3ied
according to maximumkilovoltage. The choice of equipment depends upon the type of
work to be undertaken There are other types of X-ray equipment but they are not suitable
for work on site locations.

Approximate thickness of steel which it is practical to examine using X-rays

Self-rectified wuivment onstant potential equipment
routine maximum mutine r~aximum
Ak&num (kV) work thickness work thickness
kilovoltage inches inches inches inches

Hellier, Inc.
RT Lesson 103


ww 1) -
Portability gammaradiography is
paaiahdy Snitable for use on site
2) Accessibility - gamma-ray
source containas are
locations, becansc it is portable and genaallysmallandcanbe
requires no power supply or cooling takEninto places which are
system. lnacccssibleto X-ray

3) -
SmaIf source-to-film distance a gamma-ray somce is suitable where a small source-
to-filmdistance is necessary, such as when radiographing weMs on small diameterpipes.

-- - IIC.
Hellier, ~n
High penetrating power some gamma-ray sources have a very high energy
(penetrating power) which makes it possible to reduce the time of l e exposure, and obtain
satisfactory radiographs of very- metal components.

Capital outlay Iow ove& cost compared to X-ray equipment
6) -
Scatter less scatter compared to X-rays.
1) Gamma radiation cannot~bkwitchedoff. Thereforeradiographers need to be
protectad at all times from these penctratingrays by c o d y designed equipment
and procedures.
2) The quality of the radiograph cannot be readily controlled as it can with X-rays.
The gamma-ray wavelength caonot be altexed using the same isotop~
3) Gamma rays give a higher energy r a w o n than X-rays, with less contrasting
images. This makes the radiographs more difficult to interpret . -
4) The activity of some radioactive isotopes with a shoa haJf-life decreases quickly in
a short time. It is therefore necessary to periodically replace thc source.

5) Precautions are essential when storing or tranrpo&g the s o w and container.


The gamma-ray source is eontainedinside a radiation shield known as an exposure device.
- - exposure device has a source holder and is fiped with an
Each type of radiogmphic
arrangement for exposing the source when required.
Exposure devices used for site indusb3 radiography fall ioto two geneml categories:
shutter tweand umiection me. There are manv variations of each. Radiomnhm must ..
ensure &I they &-familiar&h any special f&es of h e equipment to be-usad
Employers are responsible for providing traiaing in the use of this equipment
- -
W~tha shutter type device the sealed source is exposed for radiography without the source
leaving the W + o fthe container. ?his is done by either swingingaside, or rotating part of
the shielding.

1) Front shutter
The radiation beam is exposed by raising theh n t shutter. These containers are
mggcd,rcliab1e and s u i t a b 1 e f o r r m o s t ~ otedniqoes,
n exceptpipewelds.

2) Rotating shutter
In this type the s
ow is exposod by rotating the shntttr by hand, or by ranotc
cable o p d o a When s o m of high adivity are used the shutter should be
o p t e d by remote w n t d
Care must be taken to ensure that the source is exposed away frorn the radiographer.
Rotating shutter type devices are us& for radiography of pipe and other applications
qujring a directiondl exposure.
The s o w is moved along a guide tube to an external working position by means of a
cable. The cable is driven forward bv the radiomphu. using a hand&& wind-out
gear. At the end of the exposure the &ble is retfaced to &the source to its shielded
position. . -

Projector I

Control Cable
/ Lbl Source i n Transit

(c) Source at Radiographic Site
To protect radiographers, 0the.r workers on the site and the public, there an:a number of C
regulatory agency reqkments that must be compIied with by anyone usingradioactive
sounzs. In addition, each lecensee must prepare an Operating andEmergency Prowdim
Manual which contains deiailed instruction for the operation of the equipment, safety
p&m, anddetailed instructions in the event an equipment malfunction, an accident or
other unusual incident occurs.

1) Radiographas most be given proper safety inshuctions on thc dangersofionizing

radiation,and the use ofequipment.
2) ThqymnstwmrafilmbadgeorTIl)torccordthe~tion&s~dved,
Rtcords ofpefional dose must be mainrainedby the anpIoyer.
3) 73ey mnst war a direct rcadingpockct dosimeter to snpp1&ent the film badge or
'ILD for personal monitodng.
Establisl> ~ e s t r i c t e dArea

5) ?hey must take reasonable precautions to minimize exposure to radiation by

establishing the unrestricted area around the workplace on the site. Limiting the
useful b&m to the minimum sizepracticable will aIso minimize exposme and
reduce the size of the radiation area. Any additional shielding that can be utilized
wiU also minim& exposure.

6) They must use a qxkymeter to checkthe level of radiation at regular intervals, and
at source contajnm after every exposure.

7) - - Thcy must ensm~ that gamma radiation cxpmx~ devices arc kept locked at all
times except when acmally bdng used for radiographic q o m m .

8) They must ensm~ that -radiation somces am stored scantly in a dcsignatcd,

locked storage area when not bdng used on ajob site

Hellier, Inc.

Most Nms used for radiography have emulsion on both sides, however, films with emulsion on
only one side are availble. Single-sided &requires much longer exposure times than double-
: <
sided films.
. -
An x-ray film is made up of seven layers:
1. The super-marum which is a thin layex of clear hardened gelatin which protects the
underlying emukion from damage during normal handling. (a)
2. The &ion which is sensitive to X-rays, b r a y s , light, heat, pressure and some
chemicals. The mulsion consistsof a large nnmbw of minute grains of silver *bromide
(silver halide) embedded in a supportingmedium of gelatin. When radiation strikes the
emulsion a change takes place kihe physical stTuctme of the grains. effed:is called
' which is invisible.untilthe filmis chemically p~~ @)

3. A substratumwhich wnsistr;of a mi- of and a b i g m a w It ensures that

the thin emulsion Layer adheres irmly to the base dtuing the stages of processing. lhisis
particularly important in high tempaatrne automaticpmming techniques, and processing
under tropical conditions.,..(c)
4. ?he base which is a ce11ulose tciacate or polyster such as 'Esta~'which forms a tough,
transparent, but flexible base. (d)

protective coating (a) # , -53

Protective coating (a)

. - . . -
The word 'latent' means hidden and it is used to It is these grains,suspended in the
indicate the invisiblephysical change that takes gelatin on both sides of the pliable
place when the grains of silver bromide base, that form the image that is
suspended in the gelatin are affected by light, visible after the frlm is processed
X-rays, gamma rays or other radiations. This
small physical change is then exploited by
development, the farmaton of tiny grains of
black, metallic silver, to produce a visible image. . -

RcMive Relative
speed expo-

d-- -gcain
(mediumhigh speed)

Note: thesefigures rd2.r to a rypicul range of- .

The nature of the emnIsion, and the onxxssin~of the film. moduces a 'imkiness'
" in the imam=
which is the random clnmphg of G s i l v a ~&IS. The &a t.t&i&b.d @VQbromide

the less graininess t h a t will be in the image. The grain s i z is dated m the smsitivirv ofthe film
to radiati0~& d y , fine grain is associatedw& slow speed films. and & wibhip$
-films. i
Fdm cassettes can be flexible, &-h*d or rigid The flexible cassette is made fmrn strong, vinyl
and is used extensively for site radiography because it can be readily adapted to various shapes and
sections, such as pipework and circumference welds. There are two designs:
1) Double envelope cassettes 2) Single envelope cassettes
These have an inner and outer envelope. ?hex have a nylon press . .
The outer envelope is closer to the film down fastener which gives
size than is possible with a rigid cassette. good light-tight sealing. It
- This makes accuratepositioning of the also enables the-cassetteto be
film for exposure easier. opened or closed at a touch.

3) Semi-rigid cassettes
Theseconsistof a cardboardfront and back hinged together with flaps on the inside that are
folded ovetthe filmto pmduce aligkt-tigfitmvclope. Although not as flexible as the
previously desuibed cassettes they can be formed around a large -ex pipe or casting.

4) Rigid cassettes
T~.CFCcon& of a thin albminiuinot had plastic front andbackwiih a felt prcssmr:pad
attachedta thehideof th'ebackto'keepthcfiImandscrceztmdkces ininbmtecontact F.,.3
Thcsc a m used when farming tfie film.mundthe part is not nqoinxl. :..-...

Hellier, Inc.
RTLesson IOS

The d e w of photographic effect of X-rays and gamma rays depends on the amount of radiation
enerm that is absorbed by the sensitized C O ~ M ~of: the f i This is about 1 per cent for radiation
of m7&um penebrating power. The remaining % per cent of radiation pass&through the fh and
is not used. To overcome this. the film mav be sandwiched between two intensWnt! - - meens. .
Under the action of X-rays and gamma rays
these screens either emit electrons (lead screens) or '

fluoresce (fluorescent screens) which results in an e m photographic effect upon the film emulsion
layers. Intimate contact between the f h and the screens is necessary to obtain sharp images.
. -
There are three main types of screen in general use: lead foil, salt or fluorescent and fluorometallic.


These are used extensively for industrial radiography. The intensifying effect is caused by the
liberation of electrons fium the lead foil under the excitation of radhion. These electrons strike the
film creating and intensification of the photographic action in the emulsion of the film. This
intensifying actions results in a reduction in exposure t h up to 75 per cent ?he lead screens also
absorb the low energy smaer &tion resnlting in improved contfdst

Lead screens art made np from thin Flaws on scrtens,.such as scratches or mcks
sheets of lead foil, which is d~ in the d a c e of the metaL are visiile on the
uniform in stcuc& and stu& on t6 radiographic image. T h d o r e damaged
a thinbase, such as stiff paper or card. m n s shonId not b c ' d
Narmally two lead screeos are nsed. The thickness of the front screen mustbe matched to the
M e s s of the radiation used Thisis to allow the primary radiation m pass throur31, while
stouuing as much as ~ossib1eof the secondanr radiation k . which h&i a Ionm&veheth

The front screen is usually 0.005" thick, and the rear screen about 0.10" thick. It is however
possibIe to use two screens of the same thickness.
Lead i u t a s i f y k g scnens arc not particulariy effective w i t .x-ray equipment below about 120 kV.

. . -
These consist of a thin flexible. base coated with a fluorescent layer made up from fine crystals of a
suitable metallic salt usually calcium tungstate. Two main types are used in industrial
1) high definition (fine grain) screens, made of small salt c~ystals
' 2) screens giving Figh intensification (rapid or high speed screens) made of larger salt

Exposun to X-rayscauses the salt crystals to Theradiographic film isplaced

glow with a blue light 'ilk light a6E& the bctwccn two screens coated with
fihandproducest%emainpaiiof thelatent thescsalts,sothatthesaltcoatingis
film image. in contaa with the film
Salt screens rcducccxposnn time and allow Thtscnensandthcfilmarcthen
a lower kilovoltage to be used. However, p W in a mml or plastic c8ssette.or
definition is affeded by salt screens. film holdex. so that thcv arc in
dcpendingonthcrjzc6f thesaltaykals.
Faster smms givc the worst &ect
Salt screens shouId be examined frequently to ensorc tfiat they are &txh mdust and dia. They
can be cleaned with a sIightly soapy sponge, or wad of cotton wool, applied gently until all traces
of dirt have been removed. At no time shonld thc sponge or cotton wool be wet enougfi to allow
b p s of water to fall on the scrceps. over once with a iwistcneddmp cloth wad. Dry with
a clean so& cloth f k e from loose fibres.
Note: salr screensare rarely used with gmnma radiation

Hellier, Inc.
RT T~.v.vnn7nF
- -..
These meens are a combination of &&I& screen and the salr screen giving the elecmn emission
effect and the fluorescent effect They consist of pairs of s m m s made up of flexible or mrd
support thin lead foil layer of fine grain fluorescent salt They are normally used with fine grain,
high conblast direct type fikn giving an i n t d c a t i o n which can reduce the exposure by a s much
as nine times, yet without losing too much sensitivityof flaw detection They are made in different ,
grades to suit different X-ray and gamma-ray energies.
Their use is largely confined to routine inspection when speed of exposure is essential but when
ordinary salt ScTeens would give too great a loss in critical inspection. . -


This is express as the ratio of the exposure without using screens to that of using screens as
Intensification factor = JZmosurewithout screens
Exposure with srreens
It varieswith the kilovoltage andfhe circuitry of the X-ray set b e i g used.
The graph shows the intemiEcatibn factor with the kilovoItageused for salt and lead screens.

With salt screens the maximum &&is o b ~ e atdabout 200 kilovolts. With I& screans the
inleosification dfect is only obtained above 120kilovolts.

R T T ~ r m n1 n F

A radiopph is a shadow picture of a component which has been placed between an X-ray tube,or
a gamma-ray source and the film. The appearance of the shadow picture produced is influenced by
the relafive positions to each other of the items in the diagram

that i n d m radiographm are f a d i a r with the geometricalprinciples of image

It is imp0rc1.1~
formation. Because X-rays and gammarayshavdin straight lines like rays of E a t , the shadow
or image foxmation they produce is easia to wcplain in tams of light as shown in the diagrams.

If a beam of light firoma fh&@t shines through a hole in a card onto an object placed between
the card and a screen,then aprimary shadow image of the o b j a wilI be formed on the s a e u ~
This primary shadow is r c f d to as the umbra.
T3e sharpness of the shadow image of the object depends on the items in the diagram.
. - .. ..

. .

Ethcseitems or factors are not correctthe wnbra will bG surroundedby a secondary shadow
refened to as the penambra, The width ofthc nmXnalW o w is n : f d to as g e o d e
m s If the width of thc pea&
~ ~ t ~ h a r p(Ug. shadow docr not exceed 0.020.. the image
will. appear sharp to the unaided eyc In practice, since the source always has sorne dimension
there will always be sorne peII~bra1 shadow.


The foIIowing conditionswilI implove tttc sharpness of the shadow image:
1) Use the smaUat possible focalpoint or source
2) Ensnre thc d e s t possible distance bctwm the oobject and the screen (fSlm).

. 3) ~nsartthe&possib~e~Ct~~somccandthe~(~)
.- *. .

If the size. of the sourceor focal spot is inaeased from a small source to a larger source,the
resulting shadow image of the object wiU be less sharp, (ie. the penumbra increases).

The distance betweenthe focal pint and the film is known as the s ~ m t o - f i l m
distancc Kthe s o m is moved farther away from the film the amoont of shadow ovcdap - or
puuunbra is nduoed. t h d y pmkcing a sl'larper image.

When the sourceis close to the screen

or 6lm it produces alarge penumbral
shadow, resulting in an unsharp image.

When the source is moved Wier away

from the smm or film it produces a
nantowcr penumbral shadow, thatby
. reducing the geomefric unsharpness.
. . - & < 1.

This is always calculated as the distance berwmthe s o w side of the object aridthe film It is
essential that the image of any discontinuitiespresent in the objectshould be as sharp as possible.
A space b e ~ e the n objea and the film.should be avoided as this has an adverse effect upon the
sharpness of the irnage.

When the object is movcd When the obj& is moved close

awayhmthcscnxnorf3m tothesmmorortilmit gives a
it gives an increastd shadow reduced shadow overlap and a
owdap and an nnsharp h k g e sharper image.
2) To prevent distortion the f h 3) The plane of the object and the fih
or screen should be at right- *. d. or screen should be paallel to give a
angles to the source of radiation sharp image and reduce distortion.


A sharp image has a small width of penumbra (I0.020")med to as geometric unsharpness
(Ugj. This is obtained uskig the d e s t avaiIabIe somoe, the longest pracfical source-to-film
distance with the object placed in mntaa with the film hoIder.
The size ofthe peuumbm (Ug)can be CaICnlatedfromthediagram using the following formula:

u g = fxd Ug = h'ze of source3 x (obicb-to-filrn distance)

D source-to-obj& distance


The minimum sourceto filmdisthce that would prodnce an image with a Ug of 0.020"can be
dcuIated using the following formnla:

Sotmeto-fiImdismnce = focal mot size x obiect-to-fiIm distance i objea-to-fitn distance

(tninimm) Imximmugpermittcd
- _ .. -
The rype of source used, ie. Iridium 192 or Cobalt 60, wiU determine the energy (penetrating
power) of the radiation. Since S e r g y o f a m of source remains constant the only way- .
To change the energy used is to change &e ty@of so&.
The activity of the source in Curies govems the inteusity of the r a w o n emitted and it cannot be
varied. 'Ihe intensity of ~adiatiouis proportional to the d e strengthof a source and will affect the
exposure time required to produce aradiograph oE a given dMsity. That is, radiographs of equal
density would be produced if the s a m specimen is radiographed with a 50 Curie source with an
exposure of two minutes and with a 100 Curie source with an exposun: of one minute.
It is esse;ltial that the s o w decay chart be availabIe as the exposure rime must be adjusted as the
activity of the source'decreases thpugh decay.

C o n s i d d o n of other factors such as source-to-film distance, film-type,intensyfing screens, and
processing would be the same as4&scu.sed with an x-ray exposure.



Methods of detumining c o w radiographic exposure are by:
I. Rcfaence to acposmc charts these provide exposure conditions r t q M for a given
thichcss of matcdat ~ hcxposm
t is usnaIly cxpnssed in tams of u n d s or

An cxponnc chaa is a graphplotted on semi-log graph paper. Tht exposurerequired to

achieve a fixed density isrdated to the ma& thlckmss. An exposurcchact is dcvdoped
for a particolarX-rayma&ine using a fixedset of conditions such as matuial type, film
type,SFD, iil&,.pmcessing, processing a n d d t i n g dens%%y.If any of these
factors changethe c q c m b chartis no longer valid and some compensation must be made.
2. Rcfuwicc to pnxious cxposmcmrds.. theseprovide infounation to pmducc coxrect
cxwmw, but the data may not always bc awBabIc or sai3icicnt for the uarti&

3. ..
both in teams of time and tilm. This method of demmmng an exposure is not
recommended except in u n d W.

To detemine the proper exposure,enter the chart at the base for the thichess of the specimen and
move vertically to intersect the desired Kv. Move horizontally to the left h r n this intersection
point and read the required exposure in mAS or mAM
X-ray Exposure Chart- 160 KvP Unii
These cham are used although sbnie&hii't&s to x-ray exposure charts are different in that the
exposure time must be determined using the formula shown on the chart
Iridium 192 f3pasure Chart

1 ,
/ I
I - -




After exposing the film to radiation rhe hlm must be processed (developed) to make the latent
image visible. This is carried out in a darkroom under subdued light (safelight) of a color and
intensity that will not affect the film.
High quality results depend upon deanIiness, the quality and concentration of the processing
solutions and the c o w combination of temperatme, time and agitation.
There are two main methods of pmxssing, manual and automatic, which incolporate the essential
steps oE ---" i'&b-d"k~?
ep e\
+,!$I ;ki. development
s i l v r ~J t ; l - ' + @ ~ g
/lAex& wrc 4

@ washing

The filmsare suspendedvertically in the tanks on suitable hangers or clips so that s e v d films can
be processed together. The operator agitates the films and transfers thuniium one tank to another.
Check that the developer solntiou'is nady and at the right n o d y 6SF (2O0C).

Check that the darkroomis seam, the white light off and a n d m safety Light on.

Undo the 41 of the cassette carefully. Place the cassette on a bench with the
W~thdrawthe film.and screensfrom the backside up. 0p.u and careNly pick
. cassette, slowly, to <void excess friction. up the 61mby its edges. T d e r the
Remove the lead d place them on film into avatical position with a
one side. Handle the film by one comer flowing motion, avoiding bending it.
or by the edges and not by the emulsion
Radiographic films are sensitiveto pressme, acashg, kinking and friction. Friction may produce
an clectdcal dkharge known as 'static' which causes marldngs on the film.
Aaach the film to the hanger, asming that the clips hold it m t l y and GY
on the hanger.


Processing is canied out in deep tanks containing ch& solutions. The tanks are immersed in a
-. jach m help corn1the tcflperatmc of thc solution.

Whcn the film is pnxxssed,it is i m m d in each of the tanksfor artcommended period of time. i- 1
A timer.isused to control the time.
Film processing comprises five stages which are numbered in the iUustradon.
. . - . .. -.
1) Immerse the f h fully in each tank in ',
sequence for the time periodrecoq~n~ended
by the manufacturers of the p&sing

2) Tap the hanger on the tank after

immsing the film to free any air
bubbles which may be attached to it

3) Agitate the fiIm up and dawn for

about ten seconds when it is first
immersed and then for about ten
seconds eveq minute during the
developing time.
4) When d e u i n gfilm from tank to
tank, drainback smpIns so1ntion off
one tank to another. Use running
water in the washing tank If a static
wattrtankisustd, agitate thefilm
when washing and change the wam

5) 'Ihn&erthcfilmfromthe~~
tankand place in a drying cabiiet for
approximately.twenty minutes, or .
nnriIit is dry. Do not placc wet films
over or near films already drying. Do
not place films too close together as
hey may touch and stick togethir as
they dry.

This allows radiographic films to be processed and dried automatically, without constant operator
attention It is quicker than manud pnx~ssingand can be kept working for 24 hours a day if
require&. .

The filmis fedin through a sIot and fecd OncetheiiImhas beenfedinto.tht

tray fium the darkroom side of the walL processor, it is tcansprted at constant
speed through developer, fuccr, wash
The processcdradiograph is delivered so and drying sections by three racks of
thatit can b checked as it comes out of the mllers immersed in deep tanks.
The controlpanel has warning lights to indicateconditions inside the processor.


g-* u;arnincthcfiImfor~gfanlls(~)~andchtckthe5density.
P b it m apmtcctiw avelope,madcthe unnlope with thenfqlpce nmbmofthe f3.m and .


It is important that radiographs b&kc of in the arm ofintarst as they may bt cause for rejection
of the radiograph. It is important not only to rtcognizc film aaifacs,but to also undastand their
cause and how to remedy them. . '


- -
'Pre-exposure or 'doubte- Insufiicient protection Make sure that frlm
exposure' to X-rays or of film fmm radiation is stored or
gamma rays giving either in storage or in transport transported under
overall fogging of film or radiation proof
showing other inexplicable conditions
patterns (Emrn intervening
objects). Image present on Elmi left in the vicinity of Keep films away
both sides of f i . L,/ tube or somce while making fiom tube or
exposures source during
Back scatter Use adequate
backing sheet
during exposures
G M d mottle and greater 1) Film has been stored for too 1) Do not over-stock

fim t r y t o m
film a t h i .about
P- 9


C I '
Note: thisfbr@ab is rare $hameacalEy sakipackage is unbroken.

Wavy mottlc with a 'watay' -~*-gt Ston in dry place and

conditions avoid constant
dampness in dark
room comparatively
rarefault with modem

\9 .&


0- Overall veiling or fogging.

Image may be discernible
Excessive exposure to
safelight, or faulty safelighting
Test safelights before
use; follow maker's
on one side only (usually instructions
by physical test) particularly with
regard to wattage of
lamps and handling

Patches of heavy density Improperly closed cassettes Check that cassettes.

or streaks of density near or film holders and fiIm holders are
edges of Wm . closed before

Darkdots with lines radiating

fiam them
charge cause&&
p f i g film out of package
W~thdrawfilm slowly
from packet
Image on bob sides of61m tfao
. , 1
E'" @'
-fl Pressure on or buckling of Handle carefully.
fiImswhile loadinginto Avoid buckling or
cassettes or holde?;~ bending hlm

As above but dark areas As above but caused after As above. This is a
Cyi'mb W r K expoSnE fairly rare fault

D& cr&ceat Lhumb nail' Heavy prcssmc or kink marks Avoid 'czimpii or
marks, often s m u n d e d by kinking fiIm while
lighter areas hmdhg. This fault is
more likely with large
filmsor whith long
lengths of film

Light or dark marks Pressun of heavy specimen Forheavy objects use

corresponding to contour on film; more likely when rigidcassettes
ofspedmen usiagenvelope wrapped film preferably, or pIace
or ffcxibk holdax May be due themcarefully on
to ovUti@t binding of film on envelapcpackedfilm,
weId surface Avoid overtightening .-*:x,
f .;.,:...j
securingstraps .-
- . . -.


Small sharp spots of Dust trapped between CIean screens and

reduced density. Images intensifying screens and avoid dust in -
may be on both sides of film darkroom as much as
film but do not coincide possible. This fault is
commonplace but not
usually confusing

Light or discololned Inseaion of Om for processing Wash and dry all

streaks along film, usually into a channel hanger which is hangers thoroughly
on one side only contamhtd with fixer before use.
F PeriodicalIy
thoroughly clean all
. hangers and clips
^ ,.
Dark rounded spots or Developer splashedprior to Keep loading bench
smears on one side of film processin& Bad darkroom dry. Do mt splash
iayont a d gross ~ e s s n e s s distrlcalsh a b o r n

Gght spots as h e Irisplashes As above

Light or dark spots but not Warmsplashes Iffilmis As above

as obvious as above two developedimmktely these
may not show. If left for some
time they may bc d&

. Light fogging - excessive Attempted impdon in Use timeand'

I""-veil - front of safelight during
development Incorrect
temperature method of
development Do not
safelighting ' h e l o p by
-- --

' Solarisation: partjalor Exposure during development I) Check safelamps

complete rev& to a to:
positive instead of a 2) Makesure white
negative image I) Unsafe lighting Iight is off
2) White light This fault is rare

Uneven development Patchy.
streaky and mottled @ns.
k g e s on both sides

e/\ d).A
2 9
4- 1) Lack ofagitation

2) Overshortdevelopment
in wann soIutions

3) Attanpfingto
over-sure conpeaate
by under
md -
1) Asitate adequateIy
as recommended
2) Give coma time
for development

inspCCtion1is bad
3) 'Developmeat by

s ' YVF development pmctice. Conect

expm.timc and
always qroixss

Flow marks, bromide Lack of agitationcausing properly. ie,

sfmamers, dark areas nnevcn development, dae 10-15seconds on hrst
below light areas and to rclease of by-products in immersion and
vice versa developmentprocess 5-10 seconds in each
subsequent minute

Undeveloped, unfixed or Failrne to maintain solution RcpI&tanksas

unwashed area at top edge levels WP&~
offilm ....

Hellier. Inc.

Reticulation: fine network of Gmss temperature Mainrain solutions

lines on surface of film diaFerence bween at recommended
various processing temperatures. This . %. .

solutions fault is rare with most

modern Nms

Dichrornic fog. p W h colour 1) Contamina~onof 1) Discard

when viewed by transmitted developer by fixer or contaminated
light, greenish coIour when vice versa developer
viewed by reflected light
2) ~nade~uatk
rinse or stop 2) Make sure rinse
NL bath water is i s g ,
or renew stop
bath more often
3) Make- acid
fixer bath
- -


- -

-- Small blisters oruinkled

spots on film; areas of
emulsion missing
Excessive washing, usually
by allowingfilm to remain in
static water at higher than
Wash in cold running
water for not more
than half an hour (ten
minutes is usually
- adequate)

Drying rm& usually light 1) Failure to use wetting-agent 1) Use wetting-agent

spots with slightly darkex rinse after washing bath to promote
edges, or can be streaks. ~ v wa g
Visible on one side only
- - 2) Poor drying discipline 2) Do notput wet
films above dry or
nearly dry films in
/ drying cabinet

Patches of density change Density change due to uneven Avoid placiog films
usndlIy darkerand in
central area of film ( 2 2 * W g
too close tog&er in
hot air c a b i i In

\ '
/y d i. ,,(
may stick together

Hellier, Inc.
RT T-evnn ln7 60
4m Designation: E 748 - 90

Standard Practices for

Thermal Neutron Radiography of Materials'
Thir rlmbrd is isucd ""dcr ,hc Crcd dciignxion E 7": Ihc nurnkr thc drrbgn3lion indicalrr ihc ? u i a i
original adoption or. in ihc nw ofrcririan. thc )czr uilrsl rcvirion. A nurnkr in prcnth- itiJlcatr\ ille ?car liilall rc$npra\al. A
rumrwnpl cprilon (,) indintcs zn Ldir~rirldangc rincc ~ h cIan rclirion or rapprov3l.

I. Scope graphs, film processing. and record keeping, refer to Guide

I. I Purpose-A practice lo be employed for the radio- E 94. (See Section 2.)
1.6 Perso~i~~cl.lor T/~c,r~iial
Neuron Radiographic Inspec.
graphic examination of materials and components with
rion-Training and certification of personnel to perform
thermal neutrons is outlined herein. It is intended as a guide
thermal neutron radiographic examinations is imponant to a
for the production of neutron radiographs that possess successful neutron radiologic operation. For additional infor-
consistent quality chancteristics, as well as aiding the user to mation refer to American Society for Nondeitrucrive Teiting
consider the applicability of thermal neutron radiology Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-IA.
(radiology, radiographic, and related terms are defined in 1.7 The agency performing the testing or examination
Terminology E 1316). Stitemens concerning preferred pnc- shall meet the requirements of Practice E 543.
t i e are provided without a discussion of the technical 1.8 This sra~rdarddocs nor purpon ro address all offhe
background far the preference. The nffenary technial safery problcnrs associared wirlr irs use. Ir is [he responribiliry
background can be found in Refs (1-24).~ of rhe user qfrlris standard ro esrablislr appropriate safay and
I 2 Limirafiom-Acceptance standards have not been hedrh praciices and defermine rhc applicabiliry of reooulafory
established for any material or production process. Adher- limirationr prior ro use.. (For more specific safety precau-
ence to the practice .will, however, produce reproducible tionary information see , I .4.)
rsults that could serve as standards. Neutron radiography,
whether performed by means of a racror, an acceferator, 2. Referenced Documents
subcritical assembly, or radioactive saurc+ will be consistent
in sensitivity and resolution only if the consistency of all 2.1 A S T M Srandards:
details of the technique, such as neutron saurce, collimation. E 94 Guide for Radiographic Tening'
gmmefq film, ctc., is maintained through the practices. E 543 Practice for Evaluating Agencies that Perform
These practices are limited to the use of photographic or Nondertructive Testing3
radiographic film in combination with conversion screens for
E 545 Method for Lktermining' Image Quality in Direct
Thermal Neutron Radiographic Examination"
image remrding; other imaging systems arc available. Em-
E 1316 Terminology for Nondeitructive Examinations"
phasis is placed on the use of nuclear reactor neutron 2 2 ASNT Srandard:
SNT-TC-IA Recommended Practice for Personnel Qual-
L .3 Inierprelafion and Acceprance Standnrds-Interprew- ification and Cerlificationi
lion and acceptance standards are not covered by these
practices. Designation of accept-reject standards is iecog-
nirred to be within the cognizance of product specifications. 3. Signifiance and Use
1.4 Safay Prarfices-General problems of personnel pro- 3.1 This practice includes typ& of materials to be exam-
teaibn against neutron and anociated radiation peculiar to ined, neutron radiographic examination techniques, neutron
the neutron radiologic pr- are discussed in 15.1. For production and collimation methods, radiographic film, and
further information on this important as* of neutron convener meen selection. Within the p m m state of the
radiology, refer to current documents of the National Com- neutron radiologic a this practice is genelally applicable to
mittee on Radiation Protection and Measuremen& the specific material combinations, processes, and techniques.
Federal Register, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Bureau of 4. Neutron Radiography
Standards, and to applicible state and l a d codes. 4.1 The hfe~lrod-Neutron radiography is basically sim-
1.5 Orher Aspecls offhe Neutron Radiographic Pracess- ilar to X radiography in that both techniques employ
For many important aspects of neutron radiography such as radiation beam intensity modulation by an object to image
technique, files, viewing of radiographs. storage of radio- macroscopic object derails. X rays or gamma rays are
replaced by neutrons as the penetrating radiation in a
through-transmission examination. Since the absorption
'Thcrr: pndm arc undcr ihc juridictian of ASTM Curnrnittcc El7 on characterinin of matter for X rays and neutrons differ
N a n d m c u ' ~Tcning m d arc lhc dirm mpocuibiliry of Submrnmitrcc E07.05
an Nmlmn Padiopphy.
Cumnt dilian rppmvn( k c . 28. 1994. Publirhcd Fcbrunp 1991. Orifjnally
publhhd z E 748 80. L a picviour cdilion E 748 89. - 'Annual Bad < ! l ' . t T . WSmndord~.Vol 01.03.
'Anil;lblc from lhc Arncriun k c t y lor Nondcnmnivr Tci~ing. 171 1
Thc boldfxr nurnkn in mrrn,h- icicr 10 ihc list of mkrcncn 31 ihc cnd
Adinslc I-lnr P.O. b x 18518. Calurnhur. 01-153223-11518.
Fast Neutron Source '-
i Anerlure ' --i
ot ~ , ~ ~ D, , t ~ ~
tinic span. 'IFiic higll nculroti intcl>silymakcs it possible
provide a liglllly collimated k x n > : ~hcrcforc.Iri~h-resolutio,,
radiographs w ~ bc i produced.
5.3 Subcri~icol ~s.~e~?tb/j-Asubcritical assembly is
achieved by the addition of suficienl fissionable material
surrounding a moderated source oT neutrons, usually a
radioisotope source. ~ l t h o ~ gtlie h total thermal neulron
yield is smaller than that o f a nuclear reactor, such a systenl
olTen the attractions of adequate image quality in a r-n-
able exposure tinie. relative eare oT licensing. adequate
I I I neutron yield Tor most industrial applications, and the
Maderalor Gamma cay @vevg Obiecl
possibility of tfanspomblc operation.
Fillel Neutron 5.4 Acccl~~ralor So~rrces-Acceleraton used for thermal
neutron radiography have generally been of the low-voltage
FIG. 1 Typical Neutron Radiography Facility with Divergent type which utilize the 'H(d,n)'He reaction, high-energy
X-ray machines in which the (x,n) reaction is applied and
Van de GraalT accelerators which employ the 'Be(d,n)I0~
dradcally, the two techniques in general serve lo c O m ~ l e - reaction. I n all cases, the mrgeLs are surrounded by a
ment one another. moderator lo reduce the neutrons to thermal energies. The
4.2 Faciliries-The basic neutron radiography facility total neutron yields of such can be in theorder of
consists o i a source of f a neutrons, a moderator, a gamma ~ ; thermal neutron flu of such sources before
1 0 1 2 . ~ . ~ -the
filter, a collimator, an object. a conve~ionscreen. a film collimation can be in the order of', for
image recorder or other imaging system. a cassene, and example, the yield from a Van de Graaff a d e m o r .
adequate biological shielding and interlock systems. A sche- 5.5 ]soropic Sortrcr3-Many isotopic sources have been
matic diagram of a representative neutron radiography employed Tor neutron radiologic applications. Those that
facility is illustrated in Fig 1. have been most widely utilized are outlined in Table 2.
4.3 Thermalimion-The p r o c w of slowing down neu- ~ ~ dsources i ~ the ~ best~ posibjty
~ i for pomble
~ ~
trans by permining the neutrons to come to 'Iherma1 operation. However, becauie of the relatively low neutron
equilibrium with their surroundings. yield. the exposure times are usually long for a given imaze
quality. The isotopic soura: Z52Cf offers a number of
5. Neutron Sources advantages for thermal neutron radiology, namely, low
5.1 General-The thermal neutron beam may be ob- neutron energy and small physical size, both ofwhich lead to
dried from a nuclear reactor, a subxitical asembly, a eficient neutron moderation. and the posibility for high
radioactive neutron source, or an accelerator. Neutron total neutron yields.
radiography has been achieved successfully with a l l four
sources. In all cases the initial neutrons generated possess 6 . imaging Methods and Conversion Screens
high energies and must be reduced in energy (moderated) to 6.1 General-Neutrons are nonionizing particulate radia-
be useful for thermal neutron radiography. This may be tion that have little dirm effea on radiographic film. T o
achieved by surrounding the source with light materials such obtain a neutron radiographic image on film, a canversion
as water, oil, plastic, paracf~n,beryllium, or graphite. The screen is normally employed, upon neutron capture, screens
preferred moderator will be dependent on the constraints emit prompt and delayed decay products in the form of
dictated by the energy of the primary neutrons, which will in nuclear radiation or light. In ail cases the screen should be
turn be dictated by neutron beam parameters such as placed in intimate contact with the radiographic film in
thermal neutron yield requirements, cadmium ratio, and order to obtain sharp images.
beam gamma ray contamination. The characteristics of a 6.2 Direcr h4e1110d-In the direa method, a film is placed
particular system for a given application are left for the seller on the source side of !he conversion screen (front film) and
and the buyer of the service to decide. This is an easier task exposed to the neutron beam together with the conversion
in the erase of neutron radiography than that of X radiog- screen. Electron emission upon neutron capture is the
raphy. Characteristics and capabilities of each trpe of source mechanism by which the film is exposed. The screen is
are referenced in the References section. A comparison of generally one of the following types: ( I ) a free-standing
s o u r m is shown in Table 1. gadolinium metal screen accessible to film on both sides; ( 2 )
5.2 Nuclear Reaclors-Nuclear reactors are the prererred a sapphirei-oated, vapordeposited gadolinium screen on a
thermal neutron source in general, since high neutron fluxes substrate such as aluminum; or (3) a light-emitting fluores-
are available and exposures can be made in a relati\'ely short cent screen such as gadolinium oxysulfide or 6LiF/ZnS.

TABLE 1 Cornoarisan of Thermal Neutron Sources

Type 01 Sam% Typcwl RadagrJphlc Flux, n/a7iz.s Radlagiaphc Resdutlar UWIJCLemlrZ
Nudear readw lO5lto l V excclbt S W opaaucn ml pcrtable
S~bcntml assrmMy lo' to 1@ @ s W opaabm. px!amy dfollt
Aoceleratm l@ to l@ &turn ar-dlopenthn
Radiwatw lo' to l~l' paoc lo m e d ~ n st* openm w l t y pos~lble
TABLE 2 ~ ~ d i ~Sources i ~ e lor Thermal Neulron Radiography
~ ~ t Employed
Iiail.Llle Commmls'
"'Sb-Qe 1i.n) 60 days s h m hait.LIe and high ~~bachground.low rieulian energy is
advanlaqe lor modcrallan. high yield source
"OPo-ae lo.") 138 days shed hattJde. ww 7-background
2"Am-Be (=."I 458 yea's long hall4fe. easily shieldca ,-bachgrouna
11l.n) 163 days shEn hallJ8le. high nculron yvcld
251c( SPonlanMuS lissl~n 2.65 years long hallJile. hjgh neulrw yield. nmall slle and low energy oncr
advanIa~e5in moderalsan
A mese comments canpare w r c e s m lne table

Exposure of an additional film (without object) is often

Fast Neutron Source
useful to resolve anifacts that may app&r in radiographs.
Such anifam could result from screen marks, excess pres-
sure, light leaks, developmen\ or nonuniform film. In the ol Diameler 0
case of light-emitting conversion screens, it is recommended
that the spectral response of the light emission be matched as
closely as possible to that of the film used for optimum
results. The direct method should be employed whenever
high-resolution radiographs are required, and high beam
contamination of low-energy gamma rays or highly radioac- Film
tive o b j w do not preclude its use.
6.3 Indirecf Merhod-This method makes use of conver-
Gamma Ray

sion screens that can be made temporarily radioactive by Filler Beam

neutron capture. The conversion screen is exposed alone to FIG. 2 Pinhole Catlimatar
the neutron-imaging beam; the film is not present. Candidate
conversion materials include rhodium, gold, indium, and examination is placed as close to the imaging system as
dysprosium. Indium and dysprosium are recommended with possible to decrease both magnification and image
dysprosium yielding the greater speed and emitting less unsharpnes due to the finite neutron source s'm.Several
energetic gamma radiation. It is recommended that the types of collimators are available. These include the widely
conversion xreens be activated in the neutron beam for a used divergent type, multichannel, pinhole, and slraight
maximum of three half-lives. Further neutron irradiation collimators. The image spatial resolution properties of the
will result in a negligible amount of additional induced beams are generally set in part by the diameter or longest
activity. ffier irradiation, the conversion sueens should be dimension of the collimator entrance port (D) and the
placed in intimate contad with a radiographic film in a distance behyeen that apetture and the imaging system (L).
vacuum cassette, or other light-tight assembly in which good An exception is the multichannel collimator in which D is
contact can be maintained between the radiographic film the diameter of a channel and L is the length of the
and radioactive screen. X-ray intensification screens may be collimator. It should be noted that the detection system used
used to increase the speed of the autoradiographic p r o m if in conjunction with a multichannel collimator will register
desired. For the indirect type of exposure, the material from the collimator pattern. Registry can be eliminated by empir-
which the cassette is fabricated is immaterial as there are no ically adjusting the distance between the collimator and the
neutrons to be scatIered in the exposure process. In this case, imaging system until the pattern disappears. Ratios of LID as
as in the activation process, there is litde to be gained for low as 10 are not unusual for low neutron yield sources,
conversion screen-film exposures extending beyond three while higher resolution capability systems ohen will display
half-lives It is recommended that this method be employed LID values of several hundred or more. The actual spatial
whenever the neutron beam is highly contaminated with resolution or image unsharpness in a particular radiologic
gamma rays, which in turn cause fdm fogging and reduced examination will depend, of course, on factors additional to
contran sensitivity, or when highly radioactive objects are to the beam characterinics. Thex include the object size, the
be radiographed. In shorf this method is beam gamma- geometry of the system. and scatter conditions. The size of
insensitive. the X-radiologic source. F. would be replaced by the size of
6.4 Orher Imaging Sysrems-The scope of these practices the eReaive thermal neutron radiologic source (D) in the
is limited to fdm imaging (see 1.3). However, other imaging calculation of geometric unsharpness. The geometrical as-
systems such as track-etch or real-time are available. pects ofthe problem are discussed in Guide E 94.
7.2 Divcrgcnr Collimaror-The divergent collimator is a
7. Neutron Collimators tapered reentrant porl into the point of highest thermal
7.1 General-Neutron sources for thermal neutron radi- neutron flux in the moderator. The walls of the collimator
ology generally involve a sizeable moderator region in which are lined with a thermal neutron absorbing material to
the neutron motion is highly multidirectional. Collimators permit only unscattered neutrons from the source to reach
are required to produce a beam and thereby produce the object and the image plane. This type of collimator is
adequate image raolution capability in a neutron radiology preferred when larger objects will be radiographed in a single
facility. It should be noted that in the definitions of colli- exposure. It is recommended that the divergent collimator be
mator parameters, it is assumed that the object under lined with a neutron absorber which produces neutron
capture decay products that \\.ill ,I<,( result in background in tl~ec r l , ~ ~ u ar cx a illatcri3ls ~1131sca11~rO r enlit radiatio,,
fogging ofthe film. sucl~a s " ~ cjrt~onalc.
i A typical divergent 3s discussed it1 Scctiot~9. nacksr~itcrcan minimized I,,.
collimating SYS1Cm is illustrated in t l ~ eschematic diagram of placing 3 neutron absorbcr sucll as g~doliniumbehind 11,;
Fig. I . cassette.
7.3 A~rillicl~onnelCaflinraror-The multichannel colli-
mator is an array of tubular collimaton stacked within a I I. Cassettes
larger coliima1or envelope. It is recommended as a means of 1 1 . 1 ,\forcriol oJ COI~X~I-rmio11-The
casseue frame and
achieving a high degree of collimation within a shon back may be fabricated of aluminum or magnesium as
collimation length. When this type of collimator is em- employed in standard X-ray film cassettes. Aluminum or
ployed, a suitable collimator to detector distance should be magnesium entrance window X-ray cassettes can be used
maintained to avoid regin? of the collimator pattern on the directly for neutron radiography. Special vacuum cassettes
radiologic image. designed specificall? for neutron radiography are preferred'io
7.4 Slraiglrr Colli~naror-A straight-tub? reentrant port conventional X-ray cassettes. Plastic window X-ray cassettes
can also be used instead ofthe tapered assembly described in should not be used. The plastic entrance face may be
7.2. Although such collimaton were widely used in early replaced with thin, 0.010 to 0.062-in. thick 11OO reactor
neutron radiologic work. the need to examine larger objects grade, or 6061T6 aluminum, or magnesium lo eliminate
and to achieve higher resolution has fostered the use of image resolution degradation. The use ofhydrog-*nous mate-
divergent collimators. rials in the construction of a cassette can lead to image
7.5 Pinhole CoIIirriaror-Higher resolution can be ob- degradation and the use of these materials should be consid-
tained with a straight collimator when it is employed in ered carefully.
conjunction with a pinhole iris. The pinhole is generally 1 2 a c u i Cassctrres-Whenetfer possible, vacuum
fabricated from a neutron-opaque material such as Cd, Gd, cassettes should be employed to hold the converter foil or
or 'OB. The rmlution attainable will be dependent on the scintillator screen in intimate contact with the film both in
pinhole diameter D. A schematic diagram ofthis system is the direct and indirect exposure methods. Cassettes of the
illustrated in Fig. 2. type that maintain vacuum during the exposure or that must
be pumped continuously during the exposure are equally
8. Beam Filters applicable. Vacuum norage minimizes atmospheric corro-
8.1 Thermal Neurron Radiograpl~y--In general, filters sion of dysprosium conveners and subnanually increases
may not be neassary. 11 may be desirable to employ Pb or Bi their useful life.
filters in the neutron beam to remove beam gamma-ray
contamination. Whenever Bi gamma-ray filters are em- 12. Thermal Neutron Radiographic Image Quality
ployed in a high neutron flux environment, the filter should 12.1 irnage Quali~yIndicaors-Image quality indicator;
be encased in a sealed aluminum can to contain alpha for thermal neutron radiography are described in Method
particle contamination due to the 2'0Po produced by the E 545. The devices and methods d a a i b e d therein permit:
neutron capture reaction in '@Bi. Gamma rays can cause (I) the measurement of beam composition, including relative
Glm fogging and reduced contrast sensitivity. In particular, thermal neutron to higher energy neutron composition and
xinlillator converter screens exhibit sensitivity to beam relative gamma-ray content; and (2) devices for indicating
gamma-ray contamination. This effect can be minimized by the sensitivity of detail visible on the neutron radiograph.
careful selection ofthe screcnffilm combination.
13. Contrast Agents
9. Masking 13.1 I~~rproved Conrrasr--Contrast agents are useful in
9.1 General-In general, masking is not ofien used in thermal neutron radiology for demonstrating improved con-
thermal neutron radiology. Where it is desirable to reduce trasto f a tagged material or component. For thermal neutron
scatter or to reduce unusual contrasts, the choice of masking radiography even simple liquids such as water or oil can
materials should be made carefully. Materials that scatter serve as efkctive contrast agents. Additional useful marker
readily, such as those containing hydrogen or materials that materials can be chosen from neutron-at~enuatingmaterials
emit radiation that may be readily detected, for example, as such as boron. cadmium. and gadolinium. Of coune, the
indium, dysprosium, or cadmium, should be avoided or used deleterious effect of the contrast agent employed upon the
with exceptional care. Lithium-containing materials may be test object should be considered.
useful for masking purposes. Background fogging may result
from the 470 keV gamma ray from boron. 14. Types of Materials To Be Examined with Thermal
Neutron Radiography
10. Effect or Materials Surrounding Objwl and Cassette 14.1 General-This section provides a categorization of
10.1 Backscarrer-As in the case of X radiography, effects applications according to the characteristics of the object
of back-scattered radiation. for example, from walls, etc., can being examined. The following paragraphs provide a general
be reduced by masking the radiation beam to the smallest list of four separate categories for which thermal neutron
practical exposure area. Effects of backscatter can be deter- radiographic examination is particularly useful. Additional
mined by placing a neutron-absorbing marker of a material details concerning neutron attenuation are discussed in
such as gadolinium and a gamma-absorbing marker of a Appendix XI.
material such as lead on the back of the exposure cassette. IT 14.2 Derccrio~r a[ Similar Densir)! hfarerials-Thermal
problems with backscatter are shown, one should minimize neutron ndiognphy can oNer advantages in c a w of objects
of similar-density materials. that can represent prohlems for 15. ~ ~ t ior Objects
~ ~ t and i 13sposurc
~ ~ i\lalerials
X-radiography. Some brazing mntcrials, such as cadmium 15.1 Obj~,c[s-Cenain objccts pl3ctd i n the neutron beam
snd silver for example, are rcadily shown by thermal neutron may be activated, depending upon the incident neutron
adiography. Contrast agents can help show materials such as energy, intensity and exposurc time, and the material activa-
ceramic residues in investmentian turbine blades. Inspec- tion cross section and half-life. Therefore, objects under
tion of castings for voids or uniformity and of cladding examination may become radioactive. In extreme cases this
materials can often be accomplished with thermal neutron could produce lilm fogging, thereby reducing contrast. Safety
radiography. Material migration in solid-stale electronic is a nrong consideration; radiation monitoring of objects
components, electrolfle migration in batteria, difusion should be performed after each exposure. Objects that
between light and heavy water, and movemenr of moisture exhibit a radiation level too high for handling should be set
through concrete are examples in which thermal neutron aside to allow the radiation to decay to acceptable levelk In
radiography has proved useful. practice, since neutron exposure times are normally short, a
14.3 The Detection of LowDensity Conipoiienls and Ma- short decay period will usually be satisfactory.
terials in High-Densiry Con!ainmenrs-This recommended 15.2 Casselles-Radiographic cassettes containing mate-
category includes the examination of metal-jacketed explo- rials such as aluminum and steel can become activated,
sive devices, location and measurement of hydrogen in padcularly on multiple exposures. Monitoring of radiation
cladding materials and weldmenrs, and of moisture in to determine safe handling levels can alleviate safety prob-
assemblies, location of fluids and lubricants in metal con- lems and minimize film fogging. Activated cassettes, screens,
tainment systems, examination of adhesive bonds in metal and objects should be kept away from unexposed film.
parts including honeycomb, locadon of liquid metals in Converted X-radiography cvsettes are virtually worthless for
metal par&, location of corrosion products in aluminum high-resolution industrial neutron radiography. Vacuum
airframe components, examination of boron-filament com- cassettes should be employed whenever poaible to maintain
posites, studies of fluid migration in sealed metal systems, the film and convener foil in intimate contact during the
and the determination of poison distribution in nuclear exposure. This holds for both the direct and indirect
reactor fuel rods or control plates. methods.
14.4 The Examination of Higl11v Radioadive Objecls- 15.3 Coiisersion Screens-Conversion screens used for
The technique of indirect neutron imaging is insensitive to direct exposure methods are usually chosen for low activa-
gamma radiation in the imaging beam or from a radioadive tion properties. Conversion meen materials such as
object that could produce fogging of the film with the gadolinium, boron, or lithium seldom cause problems.
resulting loss in contrast sensitivity. This category of r F m - However, conversion screens for the indirect exposure
mended examinations includes the inspeaion of irradiated method are chosen for high-activation potential. Therefore,
reactor fuel capsules and plates for cracking and swelling, the exposed and activated screens such as indium, dysprosium,
determination of highly enriched nuclear fuel distribution in rhodium, or gold should be handled with care. Screens
assemblies, and the inspeaion of weld and braze joints in should be handled with gloves or tongs and should be moved
irradiated subassemblies. in a shield. High-radiation exposures to the fingers are a
14.5 D~FerentiafionBerween Isoropes of the Same Ele- potential hazard. A cassette will shield much of the beti
menl-Neutron anenuation is a function of the particular radiation emitted by the commonly used indirect exposure
isotope rather than the element involved. There are certain converter screens. Conversion screens should normally be
isotopes that have either very high or very low anenuation allowed at leas a three half-life decay period before reuse to
and, therefore, are subject to detection by thermal neutron prevent double exposures.
radiology. For example, lI3Cd is the only isotope of cad-
mium with a high thermal neutron attenuation. Also, one 16. Keywords
can differentiate baween isotopes such as 'H and 'H or 13'U 16.1 neutron attenuation; neutron collimator; neutron
and ='U. radiography; neutron sources
X I . I A major advantage oi using neutrons for radiog- T A B L E X1.1 Conlinucd
raphy is that radiologic observation of certain material cam- Etnnen~ Crassna'% (barnslo Linear Anenualcon
binations is easily accomplished \\*ith slow neutrons where. No, Scatler,n9 Coellicien,, ern-,
because OFauenuation difkrences. problems will arise with
56 Ba 8.1 1.2 0.143
X rays. For example, the high attenuation of slow neutrons 57 La 9.3 9.0 0.49 ..
by elements such as hydrogen, lithium, boron, cadmium. 58 cc 4.7 0.63 0.154
59 Pr 3.3 11.5 0.412
60 Nd 160 50.5 1.68
T A B L E X1.l Thermal Neutron Linear Anenuation Coeniuenls 61 Rn ... 60 density unxnown
Using Average Scanering and Thermal Absorption Cross 62 Srn ... 58W 179
Sections lor the Naturally Occuning ElementsA 63 Eu 8.0 4600 95.3
0 0 5 5 Sedion (barns)'
64 Gd ... 49 WO 1497
Eiwoenl lhw Anenualii 65 Tb 20.2 25.5 1.446
~ l o m i cNO. symba( scanenng ~bwxplian hff-'.on-' 66 Oy 100 930 36.1
67 Ho 9.4 66.5 2.43
1 H 38.0 0.332 9"
68 Er 11.0 162 5.68
2 He 0.8 0.0 9" 69 Tm 12.2 103 3.83
3 Li 1.4 70.7 335
70 Yb 25 38.6 1.50
4 Be 6.14 0.0092 0.76
71 Lu 8 77 2.85
5 a 3.6 759 99.4
72 HI 8 102 5.3
6 C 4.75 0.W3 0.535 73 Ta 6.2 21 1.5
7 N 10.6 1.85 9as 74 W 5 18.5 1.49
8 0 3.76 0.00 5 a 75 Re 11.4 88 6.60
9 F 4 .o 0.010 5 s 76 0s 15.2 ( a h ) 15.3 2.17
10 Nc 2.42 0.04 77 Ir 14 426 30.9
11 Na 32 0.530 0.095
78 Pl 112 10.0 1.40
12 Mg 3.42 0.053 0.150
79 Au 9.3 98.8 6.39
13 Al 1.49 0230 0.104
80 Hg 20 375 16.1
14 Si 2.2 0.16 0.122
81 Tl 9.8 3.4 0.46
15 P .5.0 0.18 0.183
82 Pb 11.4 0.170 0381
16 S 0.98 0.52 0.052
83 Bi 9 0.033 026
Cl 16.0 33.2
17 5 s
84 PO ... ... ...
85 At ... ... density u n b w n
20 Ca 32 0.44 0.0849
86 Rn ... ... g=
21 ' Sc 24.0 26.5 1.69
87 Fr ... ... densityunknawn
22 Ti 4.0 6.1 0.n
88 Ra ... 130 1.69
23 V 4.93 5.04 0.702
89 AC ... 510 density unkrour.
90 TI, 12.7 7.40 0.60
24 Cr 3.8 3.1 056
25 Mn 2.1 13.3 122
91 Pa ... 15W ( f a ) W.4
92 U 9.0 7.68 0.788
26 Fe 10.9 2.55 93 Np ... 9 W (fks'osion) densify unkwr*
27 M 6.7 37.2 4.W
94 Pu ... 160 (nrsion) 7.96
28 Nt 17.3 4.43 1.99
29 Cu 7.9 3.8 0.99 a Updaled I r a n prevaus edilion v i l h data pimarily fcan BNL 325.3rd ed..\'oJ
30 Zn 42 1.1 0.35 1.1973.
31 Ga 6.5 2.9 0.48 OAIl cross.seclbn v a l m arc mas1 p r h k values.
32 Ge 7.5 2.3 0.44
33 Ar, 7 4.3 0.52
34 se 10.0 11.7 0.797 and several rare earths means that these materials can readil!
35 8, 6.1 6.8 027 be shadowed with neutrons even when they are combined ir
36 Kr 7.5 25 9"
37 Rb 6.2 0.37 0.071 a n assembly with some high atomic weight material such a:
38 Sr 10.1 1.21 0203 steel, lead, bismuth, o r depleted uranium. Although thl
39 Y 7.60 1.28 0.330 heavy material would make X radiography difficult, neutrol
40 Zr 6.40 0.185 0279
41 ~b 5.0 1.15 0.341 radiography should yield a succasful inspection. Further, th
42 MO 5.8 2.7 0.54 diKerences in slou, neutron attenuation ohen found betwec:
43 Tc 5.0 22.0 demilymknawn neighboring materials in the periodic table offer a n a d \ w
44 Ru 7.5 2.56 0.723
45 ~h 5.0 150 11.3 tage for neutron radiologic discrimination between material
46 PO 5.1 6.9 0.77 that have similar X-ray artenuation characteristics.
47 Aq 6.2 63.6 4.10
5.7 2450 113.4
X1.2 This advantage is illustrated in Fig. X l . l in whit
48 Cd
49 I" 2.2 193.5 7.50 the mass attenuation coefficients pJp are plotted as
50 Sn 4.0 0.625 0.171 function of atomic number o f the attenuating element fi
51 Sb 4.2 5.4 '0.36 both X rays (about 120 kVp energy) and slow neutron
52 Te 5.5 4.7 0.30
53 I 3.6 6.2 0.23 There are many apparent attenuation differences. T h e
54 Xe 4.30 24.5 gas ficient plp is normally used in attenuation calculations in (1
55 cs 7.0 29.0 0.306 exponential relationship
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
FIG. XI.? Approximate Mass Anmuation Coeffiaents as a Function of Atomic Number



FIG. X1.2 Calculated Themal Nwlron and 100 & 500 KEV X-Ray Linear AHenuation Coefficients as a Fundion of Atomic Number

= p-~w~e~ox (1) X1.3 For neutrons, it is more convenient to have the
relationship between attenuation coellicient and cross sec-
ratio of emergent radiation intensity to the intensity
incident on a material,
lion, as rollOws:
11= +
Po, = 40, 0,) (2)
= linear attenuation coefiicient, where:
= density, and
P = number of nuclei per cm3 o i attenuating material,
= thickness.
I., a,""

- 01NI.'10".1WI

--1,. m,."l*F,,,,.WUI.U."rEIn
c0,,w,,0 UYO( ,*I-
U",.OII,LO*I*,rn'", r.. ' C . C l U 1 . 3 . <,I
..Y,m*UOnUI..",$. I,,"
.#.n"rn.'"olwi<lr8w, lo 0I.tDl.Oi.
*I1CILi( ".,lxtl"C. M U ~.0,,"0,^U "Uannr.l~l*;i
'. ' " .",U'"*<rn"'<".". "A,?" U u U l l . ,mu,-

FIG. X1.3 Half-Value Layers of Selecled Materials fat Thermal Neutrons

Courtesy ol Aeroresl Operations. Inc.

a, = total cross section (cm'), equal to the sum ofabsorption XI .4 In radiologic situations, radiation that is transmitted
and scattering moss sections (a, = a%),and through the object being examined is recorded so that those
p = the linear attenuation coefficient (cm-I). areas in which radiation has been removed, either by
A tabular listing of linear attenuation coefficients is shown in absorption or by scattering, may be observed. Equations (I )
Table X1.I and a comparative plat is given in Fig Xl.2. The and (2) are valuable in assessing the relative change in
data presented in fig. XI .3 give half-value-layer thicknesses transmitred radiation intensity for several materials and
for thermal neutrons for many materials. thicknesses within an object of interest.


X2.1 Ifthe material under examination contains only one )1 = linear attenuation coefficient of the compound, cm-'.
element, then the linear attenuation coefticient is as follo\vs: p = compound density,',
A' = Avogadro's number = 6.023 X LO2' atoms.g-mol-'.
fl = P -
A4 = g n m molecular weight of the compound,
u , = number of absorbin2 .atoms of ith kind uer compound
where: molecule. and
p = linear auenuation coefficient, cm-I, a , = total cross section of the ith atom, cm'.
p = material density,', X2.3 As an esample. consider the calculation of the linear
N = Avogadro's number = 6.023 x 10'' a1oms.g-mol-'. attenuation coeflicicnt. p. for the compound polyethylene
a = total cross section, cm', and Cliz:
A = gram atomic weight of material.
X2.2 If on the other hand, the material under cxarnina-
tion contains se\ceral elements, or is in the form o i a
compound, then the linear attenuation coefficient is as where:
iollows: p = 0.9 l g.crn-'.
N = 6.023 x 10" atonis,g-mol-I,
A4 = 14.0268 g.

Lecture Guide: UT Basic Principles

Ultrasonic testing
- introduces high frequency sound waves into test object
- to obtain information about object
- measures two quantities
- time for sound to travel
- amplitude of received signal

Primary Applications
- Thickness measurement
- Discontinuity detection
- Material properties

Ultrasonic Signal Terminology

- Indication: displayed s i p d
- Reflector: source of an echo
- Discontinuity: interruption of the test materid
- Defect: unacceptable discontinuity
Advantages and Limitations


- deep penetration
- portable equipment
- pulse echo testing requires access to only one side of test object
- accurate for thickness measurement and discontinuity location
- permits volumehic examination
- suitable for go / no-go testing: audio and visual alarms
- no known hazards


- test object must be able to conduct sound

- liquid couplant is required
- need a nained operator
- dead zone: discontinuities just beneath surface may not be detectable

Sound is the passage of mechanical energy, in the form of vibrations, through a

The medium provides two properties required for vibration to occur
- Mass: matter that the energy can move
- Elasticity: restoring force

. Sound can propagate in all three states of matter

- solids
- liquids
- gases
. Ability to propagate depends upon:
- type of sound wave
- material composition
- sonic wavelength

. Transducer (often called a search unit or probe)

- A device which converts energy from one form to another
. An ultrasonic transducer is the link between the instrument and the test object
. Operates on piezoelecnic principle

- piezoelecDic crystals develop a voltage when subjected to mechanical

pressure (i.e., when deformed)
. piezoelectric process will operate in reverse
- piezoelectric crystals change shape (and be caused to vibrate) when a
voltage is applied to them
. Transducer assembly (contact type)

- crystal element: thickness determines frequency of vibration

- elemcdes: establish electrical contact with the crystal
- frontal member
- Contact transducers: wear plate provides protective contact surface .
- damping block: controls crystal ringing; absorbs rear sound waves

Damping >;
8 Wear
i Plate


. Types of Transducers

- straight beam: introduces sound perpendicular to the test surfaces

- single crystal: for testing thicker materials

- dual crystal: for testing thinner materials

- especially thickness gauging of corroded and eroded materials

- delay line: high resolution for near surface flaw detection, plus thickness
gauging on thin materials

-paintbrush: long, rectangular active area, usually made from a "mosaic" of

crystals, for rapid scanning of large surfaces
- angle beam: introduces sound at an angle to the test surface

- immersion: for use in a liquid environment

- focused: concave surface

The Test Sequence

- instrument's timebase (sweep generator) initiates time/distance display

- insmment's pulser emits initial pulse
- to activate transducer, sending sound into test object
- initial pulse appears on display
- sound travels through test object
- sound reflects from material boundaries and discontinuities
- these reflections strike transducer, are converted into electrical signals
and displayed
. TimelDistance Relationships

- sound travels at different speeds in different materials

- speed of sound is constant in a given material

- ~hereforcwe can measure distance by measuring sound travel time

roo i -
............. :..............:..............:..............:............. .............:..............:..............i:..............:..............:


............. ...........:....
3". ' Ti. ......"!..............................:........ :
i i -'
. . . .'..............
. . . . . ............. . . . . '. 5.. ..........:.............:............ :..............
. :

1.............i..............1........... i -
40 .... ..".'"............:..............:i..............:..-.........i.............i'."........ ........:.............. ...........:
" .L i""" f.

1............'..............'..............!.............. -I :. ...........:................... :............"! :

20 i... ..........i..............'..............:.............. ...... .............! ............:............ ..... :..............:
.......... ..............'..............

I I ~ I ~ ~ I I I ~ I I I I ~ I I I I ~
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0

. Delay a n d range controls

- provide time base adjustment

- DELAY control horizontally shifts reflections without altering space
between them
- RANGE control expands or contracts space between reflections
Echo Amplitude/Signal Height Relationship

Echo amplitude determines height of the echo signal on the display

Gain control provides amplitude adjustment

Wavelength and Its Elements

Properties of sound waves include:

- velocity
- frequency
- wavelength

Velocity is defined as the speed of sound

- i.e., distance mveled per unit time

- velocity depends on:

- density and elasticity of test material
- wave mode (shear, longitudinal, surface, etc.)
- material temperature
Frequency is the rate of vibration

- i.e., the number of complete waves that pass a given point in one second
- a wave is generated from one full cycle of transducer vibration
- frequency depends on the number of cycles per second
- frequency units
- Hertz (Hz): cycles per second
- Kilohertz (KHz): thousands of cycles per second
- Megahertz (MHz):millions of cycles per second

Importmt frequency ranges

- audible (human hearing) range: 20 to 20,WO Hertz
- ultrasound: above 20,000 Hertz
- commercial testing range: lOOICHz to 25 MHz+

a sound wave is sonic vibration in motion

- apuise or wave wain is a series of sound waves

- defrned as the distance from one point on a wave train to
the next identical point

- also defined as the distance sound travels within the duration of one complete

Wavelength (mm) = Velocitv (kmlsecl

Frequency (MHz)

Sound reflects when it strikes an acoustic interface

An echo is a reflection from an acoustic interface

An acoustic interface is the boundary between two materials of different acoustic


. Acoustic impehnce is the opposition that a material offers to the passage of sound

. Acoustic impedance =Velocity x Density (2 =V x r)

s The greater the acoustic impedance difference, the greater the percentage of

. Echo performance also affected by size, shape, orientation, and texture and
thickness of reflector

. Sound can be absorbed and scattered as it mvels b u g h a given material

- because the material's structure may include grain boundaries, porosity,

or impurities

Basic Test Method

Coupling Technique

Wave Travel Mode

. Sound Travel Geometry

Data Presentation Method

Basic Test Method


- sound is transmitted in one direction thru object

- Received at the other end of the object

- Test sample compared with reference sample

- Reduced amplitude indicates interruption of sound travel

-Display shows amplitude of received signal

- Requires fucturing of transducers

- Requires access to both sides of test object

- Does not provide individual echo signals for each reflector

Pulse-cclm technique

Test object information provided by reflected sound energy

- Individual echo signal for each reflector

- Displayed Information: echoes reflected from acoustic interfaces

. Resonance tests were used for thickness measurements

- Resonance occurs when material thickness equals 112 of wavelength

- has been replaced by pulse-echo method

. Coupling

. Liquid couplant is needed to exclude air and act as medium for hansmitting
ultrasound into test material because:

- high reflectivity due to impedance mismatch at air interfaces

- wavelength is too short in air at the high frequencies used for testing

. Couplant considerations:

-Wetting ability

- Viscosity

- Should not damage test material

- Ease of removal

. Typical couplants:


- oil

- cellulose and water mixture

- grease
Contact testing technique: couplant is applied to test surface

- Advantages of contact testing

- portability

-allows the transducer to be moved by hand over complex part geometries

- requires a lower initial investment in equipment



. Immersion testing technique: transducer and test object are immersed in water

- the water usually contains additives (wetiing agent,

anti-fungicide, etc.)
- Advantages of immersion

- uniform coupling

- high speed testing

- recording of test results

- virtually immune to transducer wear caused by abrasion

- allows use of higher frequency transducers

- abiity to angulate transducer

- ability to use focused transducers

- precise control over transducer movement

. Surface Condition

- smooth surface is preferred

- rough entry surface scatters the sound, reducing test sensitivity

. Wave Motion

Sound waves travel through a material by displacing tiny particles (molecules) in

the material

Various wave modes

- longitudinal, shear, surface, plate

. Wave rZ1odesare defined by particle movement in relation to direction of navel

Longitudinal waves

- also known as compressional waves

- particle motion parallel to wave travel

- alternating zones of compression (high particle density)

and rarefaction (low particle density)

- travel in solids, liquids, and gases

- highest velocity wave mode

Transverse waves

- also known as shear waves

- particle motion perpendicular to wave travel

- alternating zones of peaks (upward particle displacement)

and troughs (downward particle displacement)

- travel in solids only

- approximately h q the velocity of longitudinal waves

. Rayleigh waves

- also known as surface waves

- travel across material surface

-velocity is 90 percent of shear waves

-penetrates to approximately one wave length

. Plate waves

- propagation occurs only in thin sheet materials

- when material thickness is less than three wavelengths

- two modes; symmetrical and asyinmebical

Sound Travel Geometry

. Maximum sound reflection is obtained when sound beam is perpendicular to

reflecting surface

- discontinuity pardel to the sound enhy surface: straight beam transducer

- discontinuity obliquely oriented to the test surface: angle beam transducer

n /1
Display presentation techniques

- A-scan

- horizontal scale: distance I time

- vertical scale: echo amplitude I transducer output voltage

- B-scan; side view of test object: profile of interfaces reflecting sound
- C-scan: plan(top) view through test object

. Introduction

- Ultrasonic test instruments are comparirors

- Therefore ultrasonic instruments must be calibrated prior to use

Ultrasonic Instrument Functions

. Clock Circuit (Timer, Synchronizer)

- Clock initiates the chain of events that results in one complete cycle of an
ultrasonic test

- Clock sends mgger signal, at regular intervals, to sweep generator and


- Trigger signal is repeated at a given frequency, called pulse repetition rate

-When repetition rate is too fast, wraparound (display of echoes from

previous test cycles) occurs
Display: Conventional Cathode Ray Tube

- Provides a visual display of test signals

- Contains an electron gun which generates a narrow beam of elections

directed toward front of tube
Sweep generator

- generates a display of sound travel time on the horizontal scale

- for distance readout

- RANGE control adjusts horizontal scale for desiml distance range

- scale will be valid for a given sound velocity only

- horizontal display is adapted for different material velocities using a

M A T E W VE%ClTY contml
. Pulser

- Emits electrical signal which activates transducer

- Called initial pulse or main bang

- Duration of transducer ringing determines the length of the dead zone

- Dead zone is the depth range in test material from which no indications can
be displayed

- DAMPING and/or PULSE ENERGY adjust initial pulse


- Receiver circuit processes and amplifies signals enroute to CRT

-Processing is provided by detector and filter subcircuits

- Filtering is a cosmetic change to the signal that removes test information

- Videoflters smooth out pulse cycle information

- Frequency filter selects of either narrow band or broad band display .

- Narrow band display provides an improved signal to noise ratio

. ,

- improves test sensitivity

- Broad band display is for high resolution testing

. Amplifier

- A subcircuit in the receiver circuit

- Multiples the voltages of signals

- Controlled by GAIN control

- Gain controls are calibrated in decibels (dB)

-Decibel values are logarithmic

- To estimate discontinuity size

- determine difference in echo amplitude between discontinuity signal and

reference signal, with use of a calibrated gain control

-REJECT control adjusts the amplifier's input sensitivity

- prevents the display of undesired low amplitude signals

- for example: grass or hash (metal noise signals such as echoes

from material grain boundaries or inherent fine porosity)

. Sound Beam Geometry

- The sound beam consists of a near field (Fresnel zone)

and a far field (Fmunhofer zone)

- The end of the near field (and the beginnjmg of the far field) is called the
- Point sources: Sound originates on the crystal surface as a number of
individual point sources radiating spherical waves

- As the waves progress outward from the transducer, they interfere with
each other
- the interference in the near field causes varying wave amplitudes

- therefore, it is difficult to estimate reflector size in the near field

- at the yo point, waves combine into a single spherical wave front

- far field: predictable decrease in sound pressure as distance from the

transducer increases

- therefore, reflector size can be estimated in the far field

Laws of Distance

- Infinite reflectors

-- intercepts the entire sound bearn

- Small reflectors

- intercept only a portion of the sound bearn

Material Loss Attenuation

- amplitude losses caused by the structure of the test material

- scattering of sound by coarse grain structure or fine porosity

- conversion of sound into heat by absorption

- Distance Am~litudeCorrection IDAC) curve techniaue: a curve showing
amplitude versus distance for a given reflector is manually or electronically plotted
on the CRT screen

- Electronic distance am~litudecompensation techniaue: the test i n s m e n t varies

gain as a function of distance so that a given reflector exhibits the same displayed
amplitude at all distances

- Test block technique: reflectors in test objects are compared to machined

reflectors in standardized test blocks

-Test block (ASTh4 Block) specifications

- Area Amplitude Blocks Set (Alcoa A)

- 8 blocks
- 314 deep flat-bottomed hole in each block
- labeled #1- #8 for 64th~of an inch hole diameter
- used to check test system linearity

- Distance Amplitude Blocks Set (Alcoa B)

- 19 blocks
- 314 deep flat-bottomed hole in each block
- lengths vary to provide metal paths of 1/16" - 5-314" from
test surface to hole interface
- used to evaluate discontinuities, set sensitivity, set DAC

- Basic Blocks Set

- 10 blocks, each 2" in diameter
- combination of portions of area amplitude and distance amplitude block sets

- a Penerratiorl: the ability to pass through a material interface of a given

size (e.g., grain boundaries and inherent porosity). Penetration improves
by decreasing test frequency.

- b. sensitivity: the ability of the test system to display small reflectors, to

display a given size reflector of a given distance along the sound beam axis.
Sensitivity depends primarily on five factors:

(1) Beamspread: As beamspread is decreased, more sound

pressure per unit area strikes a reflector, thus increasing echo
amplitude. Beamspread is decreased by increasing
transducer area and/or increasing frequency.

(2) Near Field Len&: As near field length varies, the position
of a reflector relative to the yo point likewise varies.
Sensitivity is optimized when the reflector is positioned near
the beginning of the far field.

(3) Freauencv Bandwidth: As bandwidth is decreased,

sensitivity increases. Bandwidth i s decreased by decreasing
transducer damping.

(4) Transducer Crvstal Material: Piezoelectric crystal materials

vary in their efficiency as both transmitters and receivers of

(5) Test Svstem Simal to Noise Ratio: Signal/Noise Ratio

depends on a number of factors such as penetration and test
instrument design.
- c. Resolun'on: the abiity of the test system to individually display
reflectors located at slightly different depths along the sound beam.
Resolution depends primarily on Frequency Bandwidth. As bandwidth is
increased resolution increases.

Straight beam transducers are only effective for detecting flaws parallel to the test surface

. Angle beams are required for detecting flaws obliquely oriented to the test surface

Angle beams are produced in the test material using the principle of refraction

Refraction is the bending of a sound beam when it passes through an interface between two
materials of different velocity

In contact angle beam testing, the transducer crystal element is mounted on an

angle wedge to produce refraction

. In immersion angle beam testing, the transducer is "an,dated" to produce refraction

Angle Beam Transducer Assembly

Sound beam approaching interface is called incident beam
. Sound beam is reflected at the interface

Angle of reflection equals the angle of incidence

Mode Conversion

- occurs when a sound beam is incident to an interface at an angle other than

90 degrees

- A pomon of incident beam's energy converts at the interface to a h a m of

the opposite wave mode

- reflects at an angle other than the angle of incidence

:Mode Converted
. Refraction

- When a sound beam passes at an angle other than perpendicular to the interface,
between two materials of different acoustic velocity, a change in beam direction
called refraction occurs

:Mode Converted

Shear Beam

. Snell's Law defines the relationships between incident and refracted sound beams:

Sjn (Incident) - Velocity (Incident)

Sin (Refracted) Velocity (Refracted)
. Critical Angles

- Thefirst critical angle is the incident a n p l ~that causes the refracted

longitudinal wave to be refracted 90 degrees

: Mode Converted
: Beam

- The second critical angle is the incident angle that causes the refracted
shear wave to be refracted 90 degrees

I Mode Converted

: Surface Waves

- A surface wave starts to develop at the second critical angle

Lecture Guide: ET Basic Principles


Summarv of the Eddy Current Test Process

- An alternating current generator applies an alternating voltage
to a coil, causing ac current to flow through the coil.
- The current flow in the coil causes an alternating magnetic
field to develop around the coil.
- When the coil is brought near to an electrically conductive
test object, the alternating magnetic field develops circulating
electrical currents in that object.
- The current flow provides test information that can be
displayed and interpreted.

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr bsociates, Inc.

= Maior aoulication areas
- In-service inspection of tubing at nuclear and fossil fuel power
utilities, at petrochemical plants, on nuclear submarines and in
air conditioning systems
- Inspection of aircraft structures and engines
- Production testing of tubing, pipe, wire, rod, and bar stock

Eddy current applications result from sensitivity to several


Conductivity variations

Presence of surface and subsurface discontinuities

Spacing between test coil and test material (18-08


Material thickness

Thickness of plating or cladding on a base metal

Spacing between conductive layers

Permeability variations

Copyright 1993 HeUier Associntes, Lnc.

Advantages and Limitations

The advantases are:

1. Sensitive to numerous material variables

2. Much of the equipment is portable, lightweight, and battery


3. The method is virtually nondestructive

- No couplants, powders, or other physical substances are
applied to test material; aaugnetic field is the only-

4. Test results are usually instantaneous

- Exception: computer analysis of recorded multi-channel test

5. Ideal for "go/no-go" testing

- Audible and visual alarms available for high speed testing
- Alarms triggered by threshold gates or box gates

6. No known safety hazards

7. Material preparation is usually unnecessary; cleanup is not required

Copyright 1993 Hellicr Associates. Inc.

The limitations are:

1. Sensitive to numerous material variables

Test material must be electrically conductive
- 4---

- But it is possible to measure thickness of nonconductive

coatings on conducting materials
/ 1
' d)(i
f l ,, 3. Eddy currents normally cannot penetrate ferromagnetic materials

Consequently, testing on ferromagnetics is limited to surface

defects only
- unless material has been magnetically saturated using
direct current field coils

Magnetic saturation limited to certain test geometries only

- Likely demagnetization after testing is completed.

4. Limited penetration even on nonferromagnetic materials

- Penetration limited to fractions of an inch in most

5. Requires a trained, skilled, experienced operator

Copyright 1993 Hellicr Associntcs. Inc.

= Magnetism
- A magnet's force field can be visualized as a number of closed loops
- The magnetic loops are called lines of force orflux lines
- the lines of force flow from the north to the south pole around the
outside of a magnet; and from the south to the north pole within the

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Ass?ciatrs. Inc.

- Field intensity depends on flux density
- Flux density is the number of flux lines per unit area perpendicular
to direction of flow
- Gauss is the unit of measure for flux density
- One gauss is one line of force per square centimeter
- Flux density is greatest within the core of a magnet and at the poles
- Flux..density.decreases with distance from the magnet according to
the inverse square law

i.e. flux density is inversely proportional to the square of the

distance from the poles of the magnet

Flux Field

Copyright 1993 Hellier Associates. Inc.

* Electromagnetic Principles
The Induction Process

1. An alternating current generator applies alternating voltage to a coil

circuit. A portion of this voltage, (VR), is applied across the
resistance of the coil wire.

2. (VR), causes a current (Ip) to flow through the coil.

Copyright 1993 Hellicr Associates. Inc.

3. Electromagnetism occurs.
- The alternating current flowing through the coil causes an
alternating magnetic field (CDp) to develop around the coil.

3. Self induction occurs.

- The coil's alternating magnetic field induces a back voltage
(VL) into the coil.
- According to Faraday's Law, the quantity of induced voltage is
proportional to the rate of flux variation.
- Since the flux is varying the most through 00,1800, and 3600;
and varying the least through 900 and 1800, the back voltage is
900 out of phase with the coil current and flux.

Copyright 1993 Hellier Associates. Inc.

4. Inductive Reactance occurs.
- Since the back voltage is 900 out of phase with the coil current,
it will oppose changes in the coil current.
- Since amplitude change is the very nature of alternating
current flow, opposition to change in AC is effectively
opposition to flow of AC.

Copyright 1993 Hellicr Associntcs. Inc.

5. If a secondary circuit is placed in proximity to the primary, a voltage will
be induced into it, current will flow through it, and an aItemating magnetic
field will develop around it.

- Lenz's Law will take effect: the direction of current flow in

the secondary will be opposite in direction to current flow in
the primary.
- In addition, the polarity of the secondary flux will be opposite
to the polarity of the primary f l u .

' Copyright 1993 Hellicr Assacintcs. Inc.

6. Due to Lenz's Law, the secondary flux will be opposite in polarity to the
primary flux.

- the secondary flux will therefore cancel some of the primary flux.
- this reduces the amplitude of peak primary flux
- which reduces the rate of variation of primary flux
- less variation of primary flux results in reduced back voltage
- which results in a reduction of inductive reactance
- when the coil is moved toward a more conductive portion of the test
material test coil inductive reactance decreases

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associates. Inc

Summarv of Induction Process Terminology

. Electromagnetism

- electric current flowing thr~ugh-g~~~&~u_ctor causes a magnetic


f a d to develop around that conductor, .-perpendicular

- to i F
- A more concentrated magnetic field can be obtained by
winding the conductor into a coil
- Rux density decreases with distance from a magnet according
to the inverse square law

* Electromagnetic induction (Faraday's Law)

- relative motion between a magnetic field and conductor causes
an electrical current flow in that conductor
D Self Induction

- Relative motion between an AC magnetic field and the

conductor developing that field induces a voltage into that
. Back Voltage (Back EMF)

- The voltage induced as the result of self induction

- Because it is induced 90 degrees out of phase with the coil
current, back voltage will oppose changes in the coil current

Copyright 1993 Hellier Associntcs. Inc.

. Inductive Reactance

- The opposition to change in alternating current flow caused by

back voltage
- Since amplitude change is the very nature of alternating
current flow, opposition to change in AC is effectively
opposition to flow of AC

- Inductive reactance depends on coil design and test frequency

- When more flux lines cut across more coil turns per unit time,
inductive reactance increases
- Hence, the formula:
X ~ = 2 n f L

- Lenz's Law

the direction of an induced current will be such that its own

magnetic field will o d the induced

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associates. Inc.

Eddy Current Test Process
- Circulating electrical currents induced in an isolated, electrically
conductive object by an alternating magnetic field
- In contrast to electricity conducted along the length of a wire, the
electricity generated by the test coil's lines of force has a circular . ;

eddy-like pattern

Seauence of Events During an Eddv Current Test

The test instrument and coil assembly function together, so that:

1. The test instrument's AC generator applies alternating voltage to the

test coil, causing an alternating current to flow through the coil

The frequency of the eddy currents alternating in the test material depends on the
test instrument's ac frequency generator

Copyright 1993 Hellier Associates. Inc.

2. The current in the coil develops a magnetic field around the coil (the
primary flux)

- the primary flux induces a back voltage into the coil, causing
inductive reactance

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associntcs, Inc.

3. The primary flux also induces a voltage into the test material,
causing eddy currents to circulate

Copyighr 1993 Hcllicr Associntes. Inc.

5. The eddy currents generate a magnetic field of their own (called the
secondary flux)

- which reacts with the primary field that the coil is generating

- test material conditions (defects, conductivity changes, thickness

changes) affect the flow of eddy currents
- changes in the flow of eddy currents cause changes in the secondary
- changes in the secondary field cause changes in the impedance of the

4. Changes in the impedance of the coil cause a change in the indication

on the display (test output).

Copyright 1993 Hcllier Associates. Inc.

Eddy Current Characteristics

* Flow Patterns
- They flow in closed loops
- They flow in concentric circular paths

parallel to the turns of the coil

perpendicular to the coil's flux

- orientation of eddy current flow in the test material therefore

depends upon the orientation of coil flux to the test material

which, in turn, depends on the orientation of the turns of the

coil to the test material

orientation of the coil's turns and, thus, eddy current

distribution are determined by the coil's configuration

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associates. Inc.

- Eddy current flow is least disturbed by discontinuities oriented
parallel to their flow paths
- Most disturbed by discontinuities oriented perpendicular to their
flow paths
- In their attempt to flow in unbroken loops, eddy currents follow the
path of least resistance around nonconducting obstacles

Copyiight 1993 Hellier Associates. Inc.

- eddy currents behave like compressible fluids

the flow paths are circular as long as the eddy currents are
undisturbed by nonconducting material boundaries and

the flow paths will distort and compress to accommodate

intrusion of theiqflow

- The direction of travel continually alternates between clockwise and

counter-clockwise movement

Copyright 1993 Hellicr Associatcs. Inc.

Skin Effect
-. -

- Eddy currents are subject to skin effect

current density is maximum at the material surface and

decreases rapidly (exponentially) with depth

standard depth of penetration (6) is the material depth at which

current density decreases to 36.8% of surface current density

skin depth refers to the layer of material thickness extending

from the surface to the standard depth of penetration

the skin depth formula applies to thick materials only (t > 56)

* Phase Lag
- Eddy currents experience a linear phase lag with depth

as depth increases, eddy current activity is progressively


phase lag in the test material proceeds at the rate of one radian
(57.3") per standard depth of penetration

Test Output

- During an eddy current test, a primary circuit (the test coil) induces
eddy currents into a secondary circuit (the test material)
- The test material behaves the same as a single turn secondary coil
- Variations in the test material change the test coil's inductive
reactance and effective resistance, producing indications on the
instrument display

Copyright 1993 Hcllier Associntcs. Inc.
- Note the use of the term effective resistance

the resistance of the coil's wire does not change

however, the eddy currents circulating in the test material

cause friction and dissipate a part of their energy as heat

thus the secondary acts as a load on the primary, causing a

resistance change on the display

Copyright 1993 Hellicr Associ;ltes. Inc.

* Impedance
- When resistance and inductive reactance are combined they produce
a quantity called impedance
- Impedance amplitude is the magnitude of the vector
"* .,-- sum of inductive
reactance andFsl3Eice

impedance amplitude is the coil's total opposition to current


as inductive reactance and/or resistance increases, impedance

amplitude increases
- Impedance phase angle is the proportional relationship
between inductive reactance a n d resistance

as inductive reactance increases relative to resistance,

impedance phase angle increases

as resistance increases relative to inductive reactance,

impedance phase angle decreases

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associntcr. Inc.

- With most eddy current instruments, the coil assembly is connected
to the instrument via a bridge circuit

at the start of the test, the instrument operator balances the

bridge to provide a reference signal

during testing, the display provides a readout of bridge

imbalance caused by interaction of the coil with the test
- When an instrument is balanced during test setup, it is balanced for
impedance values at a particular point on the impedance plane

- the balance point serves as a display reference during testing

Copyright 1993 Hellicr Associates. hc.

Impedance Plane Display

- The impedance plane is a graphic plot of values present in the test

- The total voltage affecting coil current consists of two components

voltage across the coil's resistance

induced back voltage that causes inductive reactance.

- The voltage across the coil's resistance is in phase with the current
- The induced back voltage is 90 degrees out of phase with the current
- A graph of these two voltages would therefore place them on axes
that are 90 degrees opposed
- Likewise, a plot of the impedance components associated with these
voltages, inductive reactance and resistance, would require axes that
are 90 degrees opposed
- Resistance values are shown on the X axis
- Inductive reactance values on the Y axis
- Such a plot is called an impedance plane and is used for displaying
eddy current test data.
- Impedance plane display instruments present both impedance
amplitude and phase angle simultaneously on a CRT screen

Copyright 1993 Hellicr Associalcs. Inc

Signal Analysis
- Test information on an impedance plane instrument is interpreted by
observing the movement of the display dot on a cathode ray tube
screen while the test coil interacts with the test material
- Each type of condition that an eddy current test can detect is
characterized by a certain pattern of display dot movement
- Test variables are arranged along curves or "loci" on the impedance
- Generally, there are separate curves for each variable
- Distribution of information on the impedance plane can be altered by
changing test frequency
- Redistribution of information on the impedance plane by adjustment
of frequency is a key technique in optimizing test performance

Copyright 1993 Hellicr Associalcs. Inc.

Lift-Off Curves
- The zero conductivity point, also called the coil in air or empty coil
point is typically located at a position of low resistance, but high
inductive reactance

Resi s t a n c e

- This is the impedance point for a coil whose flux is not near any
conductive material

Copyright 1993 Hcilier Associatrr. Inc.

- As a coil is moved toward a conductor, secondary flux changes the
coil's impedance and the display dot moves

Res i s t a n c e

- The position where movement terminates depends on the

conductivity of the test material

Copyright 1993 Hellier Asxrciatcs. Inc.

- The more conductive the test material, the greater the cancellation of
primary flux
- Thus, the greater the drop in inductive reactance, the further
downward the display dot moves
- In addition, since the coil and test material are mutually coupled, the
test material acts as a load on the coil and the effective resistance of
the coil changes
- The movement of the display dot is therefore a combination of
variations in both inductive reactance and effective resistance.

I Resistance

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associates. Inc.

Conductivity Curve
- The conductivity curve originates at the zero conductivity point and
terminates at the infinite conductivity point

counterclockwise extreme represents zero conductivity

clockwise extreme represents infinite conductivity

sometimes called the comma curve because of its shape

Copyright 1993 HcUier Associntes. Inc.

- Different positions along this curve represent nonferromagnetic
materials of different conductivities

whose thicknesses are infinite relative to electromagnetic


i.e., the flux lines entering the material, as well as the eddy
currents that they generate are not touching the bottom surface
of the material

d Rir Point



Capyight 1993 Hcllicr Associatcs. Inc.

- As frequency is increased, the impedance points for the various
conductivities move clockwise along the curve

- Thus, as frequency is increased, the lower conductivity materials

spread apart along the curve while the higher conductivity materials
become compressed at the bottom end of the curve
- Higher frequencies provide greater separation fdr conductivity tests
on lower conductivity materials

Copyright 1993 HeUicr Associntes. Inc.

- As test frequency is decreased, the impedance points for the various
conductivities move counter-clockwise along the curve

$ R i r Point


- And, as frequency is decreased, the higher conductivity materials

spread apart while the lower conductivity materials become
compressed at the top end of the curve
- Lower frequencies provide greater separation for conductivity tests
on higher conductivity materials

Copyright 1993 Hellicr Associntes. Inc.

- Frequency adjustment also helps separate the lift-off and conductivity

At low frequencies, lift-off curves for low conductivity materials are

almost parallel to the conductivity curve

As frequency is increased, the operating point moves clockwise along

the coaductivity curve, increasing the angle between the lift-off
curve and conductivity curve

Maximum separation is achieved at the so-called "knee" of the

conductivity curve, where the lift-off curve approaches it almost

Coil Diameter
- Increases in coil diameter move the display dot clockwise on the
conductivity curve
- Decreases in coil diameter move the display dot counter-clockwise
on the conductivity curve

Copyright 1993 Hcllier Associarcs. Inc.

Thickness Curves

- As stated above, the conductivity curve consists of impedance points

for materials whose thicknesses are infinite, relative to
electromagnetic penetration
- At lesser thicknesses, eddy current flow in the material becomes
restricted and the impedance point spirals away from the
conductivity curve
- As, the impedance point approaches the
zero conductivity point
- One standard depth of penetration is approximately located on
thickness curves at a point slightly to the right of initial intersection
with the conductivity curve

Copyright 1993 Hellier Associates. Inc.

- Frequency adjustment is again available to optimize performance
- As frequency is decreased, material penetration increases, but
thickness resolution on thinner materials decreases
- As frequency is increased, material penetration decreases, but
thickness resolution on thinner materials increases

- .,
I t


Copyright 1993 Hcllier Associntcs. Inc.

Discontinuitv Signal Displav

- A discontinuity causes an interruption of current flow

- The magnitude of an eddy current discontinuity signal depends on
the quantity of interrupted current flow
- Eddy current density decreases exponentially with depth
- Discontinuity volume, shape, and position all affect signal
- The depth of the disturbance, however, causes a linear phase lag of
the signal

Copydghl 1993 Hellier Associntcs. Inc.

Test Variables
a Test Performance Parameters

- Eddy current test performance is generally defined by the following


Sensitivitv: The minimum size of discontinuity that can be

displayed from a given material depth

Penetration: The maximum depth from which a useful signal can

be displayed for a particular application

Resolution: The degree to which separation between signals can be


Copyright 1993 Hellicr Associnm, Inc.

Control of Test Performance

- Test performance is primarily influenced by conductivity,

permeability, frequency, and coil design
- In that only test frequency and coiI design are selectable, these two
are the primary controls over test performance
- Conductivitv: The greater the conductivity of the test material, the
greater the sensitivity to surface discontinuities, but the less the
penetration of eddy currents into the material


As the coil's flux field expands, voltage is induced first

on the surface and then at increasing depths in the test

In high conductivity materials, a considerable eddy

current flow and thus a strong secondary flux field is
developed at the surface

This results in a substantial cancellation of primary flux

Because the primary flux has been greatly weakened,

less primary flux is available to develop eddy currents at
greater depth
- Permeability: As material permeability increases, signals
resulting from permeability variations increasingly mask eddy
current signal variations

this effect becomes more pronounced with increased depth

permeability thus limits effective penetration of eddy currents

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associates. Inc.

- Freauencv: As test frequency is increased, sensitivity to surface
discontinuities is increased, permitting increasingly smaller surface
discontinuities to be detected

as frequency is decreased, material penetration is increased

the test frequency for obtaining standard depth penetration in.a

given material can be estimated from a Penetration Chart

because of the number of variables affecting eddy current

behavior, standard depth should only be used as a starting

the optimum frequency is best determined by experimentation

- Coil Desi~n: Penetration and sensitivity are affected by coil


penetration: larger coils produce flux fields that extend

further in both the lateral and depth dimensions.
Rule of thumb: eddy current penetration is limited
to coil diameter

sensitivity: since a small surface defect would cause a

proportionally greater disturbance in the field of a smaller
coil, smaller coils are preferred for detection and localization
of small surface defects
Rule of thumb: coil diameter should not exceed the length of
he discontinuity that is to be detected

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associarcs, Inc.


- Response of the test system to the test material can be classified

according to three types of test material variable:

J I. Conductivity

2. Geometry

3. Permeability

Copyright 1993 Hellier Associates. Inc.

- Conductivity is the ease with which electrons pass ihrough a given
- Conductivity depends on relative ability of a material's atoms to
allow electron flow
- Each metal is assigned a conductivity value on a scale called the
International Annealed Copper Standard (IACS)
- .
::,.:.>,,,zd.. :,-:
.::;.< ;~L-

- - are rated in percent,

According to the IACS, conductivity values
with the conductivity of pure copper being 100%
- Factors causing conductivity variations include:

1. Variations in chemical comoosition: The various metallic

elements and alloys can be sorted as long as none of the
materials has overlapping conductivities

2. Mechanical processing: Cold working affects lattice structure,

causing minor conductivity changes

3. Thermal processing: Heat treatment causes hardness changes

that are detectable as conductivity variations

4. Unrelieved residual stresses cause unpredictable conductivity

variations. Thus. it is a undesirable variable

- 5. Variations in thickness of plating or cladding are a

combination of both conductivity and geometric variables

6. Material temperature: As material temperature increases,

conductivity decreases
- an undesirable variable

- Variations in temperature can be caused by

environment, materials processing, and eddy currents

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associates. Inc


- Geometric variables result from restriction of eddy current flow due

to differences in distance or size:

1. Material thickness can be measured because changes in

thickness affect eddy current the.test material

As the material becomes thinner, eddy current flow becomes


Eddy current density is greatest at the material surface and

decreases exponentially with depth (skin effect)

Eddy current sensitivity to thickness variations also decreases

with depth

Recall that at standard depth of penetration eddy current

density decreases to 36.8% of surface density

Optimum performance is obtained up to this depth

2. Material discontinuities cause indications to the extent that

discontinuity dimensions and depth disturb eddy current flow

discontinuities whose major dimensions are perpendicular to

eddy current flow paths and which are located near the test
surface will provide the strongest indications, since eddy
currents attain peak amplitude progressively later with depth

Copyright 1993 Hellier Aswcintcs. Inc.

3. Material boundaries. Restriction of current flow called "edge
effect" occurs when an eddy current surface coil approaches
the end of a plate

a current flow restriction called "end effect" occurs when an

encircling or internal coil approaches the end of a tube or pipe

Both effects produce strong signals

The effects are intensified by the wider eddy current fields

developed by large diameter coils and lower test frequencies.

Smaller diameter coils reduces edge effect; use of shielded

coils virtually eliminates it

When a surface coil is drawn perpendicularly toward a

material edge, an edge effect signal increases in amplitude

If ~e field simultaneously intercepts a discontinuity during

this approach, the two conditions will produce a combined
signal, rather than separate edge and discontinuity signals

Copyright 1993 Hellier Associates. Inc.

Thus the discontinuity may not be detected

The problem can be eliminated by scanning the coil parallel to

the material edge at a constant distance from the edge; this
technique maintains edge effect at a constant value. Intercep-
tion of a discontinuity will then cause a signal change. Simple
fixtures to accomplish this can be easily fabricated

Copyrighl 1993 Hellier Associates. Inc.

4. Coil couvling. When distance between the test coil and test
material varies, the intensity of the flux field induced in the
test material likewise varies

The spacing between a surface coil and the test material is

called "lift-off'

The spacing between either an internal coil or encircling coil

and concentrically positioned test material is caIIed "fill
factor" Coupling effectiveness between inner diameter probes
and the inner wall of the tube is calculated as fill factor

Lift-off is useful for measuring the thickness of paint or other

nonconductive coatings on the surface of a metal

Lift-off can also be used to measure the thickness of

nonconductive materials, as long as such materials are placed
on a conductive surface

Fill factor deflections can indicate material variations such as

wall thickness changes or ovality conditions

Fill factor is calculated from the following formula:


7! ~ 5 ; -fiw rC
e /'

Copyright 1993 Hcllier Associatcs. Inc.

* Permeability

- Permeability is the measure of a material's ability to be magnetized,

that is, a material's ability to concentrate magnetic flux
- Permeability is quantitatively expressed as the ratio of flux density to
magnetizing force
- A hysteresis loop is a plot of a material's flux density variations as
magnetizing force is varied

C o m p l e t e d H y s t e r e s i s Loop

Copyiight 1993 Hellier Associates. Inc.

- Saturation occurs at that point on the loop where further increases in
magnetizing force do not cause significant increases in flux density

Copyright 1993 Hcllier Associates. Inc.

- Residual magnetism is the amount of flux density remaining in the
material after the magnetizing force has been reduced to zero


Copyright 1993 Hcllier Associates. Inc.

- Ferromagnetic metals, including iron, carbon steels, 400 series
stainless steel, nickel, and cobalt, have high permeability
- The alternating magnetic field of an eddy current coil becomes
highly concentrated in such materials and overpowers the eddy
current response, causing the test system to display permeability,
rather than conductivity, variations

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associntcs, Inc.


Instrument Overview

- All eddy current instruments require at least three circuit elements:

AC generator, coil, and processing/display circuitry
- During testing, the instrument should be checked at regular intervals
against the reference standard to ensure that it is operating properly
and is still set up correctly for the test being performed
- If a variation in instrument performance or setup is discovered, all
material tested since the last verification of proper performance and
setup should be retested.

Single Frequency Instruments

- The AC generator of a single frequency instrument drives the test
coil with only one frequency.

Basic Control Functions

- Frequency: Adjusts the frequency at which the ac generator drives
the test coil
- Gain (Sensitivity, dB): Adjusts amplification of the bridge output
signal for display
- Phase Rotation: Rotates the direction of dot deflection
- Balance (Null, Zero): Adjusts impedance to be identical on both
sides of the bridge

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associntcs. Inc.

- The AC generator@) of a multi-frequency instrument drives the test
coil with two or more frequencies.
- Multi-frequency instruments offer potential for substantial
enhancement of performance. Use of more than one test frequency
has two advantages:

1. Use of -multiple frequencies aLIows more than one

frequency-dependent performance variable to be optimized

For example: during in-service tube inspection using internal coils, a

higher frequency provides sensitivity to inner diameter
discontinuities, with a lower frequency for sensitivity to outer
diameter discontinuities

2. Test signals generated by the various frequencies can be "mixed" to

prevent display of undesirable signals

Suppression of signals from steel supports during inspection of

nonferromagnetic tubes is an example

Each e.dditiona1 frequency enables the mixing out of an additional


Copyright 1993 Hcllier Azsociatcs. Inc.


- Two classifications of eddy current test coils

I. Basic configuration: determines how the coil physically "fits" the . ..

test object

2. Absolute vs differential operation: determines how the coil assembly

is wired to the instrument's circuitry, which determines the material
conditions to which the system is sensitive
- Coil design, as well as magnitude and frequency of the applied
current, all affect the electro~~lagnetic
field developed by the coil.

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associates. Inc.

* Configurations

- Surface Coils are built into probe type housings for scanning
material surfaces
- In addition, the coil can be wound around a ferromagnetic core for
even more field strength
- Wide surface coils permit rapid scanning and deeper penetration, but
cannot pinpoint the-location of small discontinuities

They are useful for conductivity testing because they tend to

average out localized conductivity variations along material
- Narrow coils are preferred for detecting and pinpointing the location
of small surface discontinuities

Because of their smaller diameter electromagnetic fields,

narrow coils are less susceptible to edge effect

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Assxiafcs. Inc.

- Encirclin~Coils completely surround the test material
- normally used for production testing of rods, wire, bar stock, pipes
and tubing
- Material tested with encircling coils should be centered in the coils
by means of guides, so that the entire circumference will be tested . ..
with equal sensitivity
- Because of "center effect", eddy currents oppose and therefore
cancel themselves at the center of solid cylindrical materials tested
with encircling coils

Thus, discontinuities located at the center of rods and bar stock

cannot be detected with encircling coils
- Encircling coils inspect the entire circumference of the test object,
but cannot pinpoint the exact location of a discontinuity along the

Coppight 1993 Hcilier Associntcs. Inc.

- "Spinning coils", which are actually surface coils that revolve around
cylindrical test material, are employed when identification of circum-
ferential location is required in encircling coil applications
- Since spinning coils couple to only a limited segment of test material
circumference, they are not subject to center effect
- However, spinning coils inspect with a spiral pattern, so their
material coverage depends on coil rotation speed versus material
transport speed

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associates. Inc

- Internal Coils pass through the cores of pipes and tubes, and are
normally employed for in-service inspection
- Like encircling coils, standard bobbin-wound internal coils inspect
the entire circumference of the test object at one time
but cannot pinpoint the exact location of a discontinuity along. ..
the circumference

Copyright 1993 Hellier Associates. Inc.

- Absolute, differential, and external reference modes can be used with
any of the three basic coil configurations: surface, encircling, and
internal coils
- With most eddy current instruments, the coil assembly is connected, ..
to the instrument via a bridge circuit
- The bridge must be balanced by connection of matching impedance
values to each side of the bridge
- The display,circuit is connected across the bridge to provide an
indication whenever there is an impedance variation between the two
sides of the bridge
- Absolute coil configurations place a single coil on the test material
and employ a balance load, remote from the test material, to balance
the bridge
- Absolute coils detect any'condition which affects eddy current flow

Copyright 1993 Hellier A s s x i a m . Inc.

- Differential self-comuarison configurations use a matched pair of
coils to perform a comparison.

both coils are coupled to the test material, with one portion of the
test material being compared to another

Conditions sensed by both coils cancel and are not detected

Conditions sensed by only one coil are detected

Differential coil signals are difficult to interpret

The displayed signal represents the difference between two

coil's impedances, rather than the impedance of a single coil's
interaction with the test material

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associates. Inc.

Other Coil Setups
- External Reference employs one coil coupled to the test material,
with the other coil coupled to a reference standard

provides an indication whenever the test material differs from

the standards

Copyright 1993 Hcllier Associotcs. Inc.

- Transmit-Receive configurations use one coil assembly to induce
eddy currents into the test material and a second coil assembly to
sense the secondary field
\Reflection coils employs two coils on the same side of the test object

c Display

Through transmission coils position transmitting and receiving coils

on opposing sides of the test object.


a," \,\-

Copyright 1993 Hcllicr Associates. Inc


Defiaai.tion - NDT method used:
1) for the detection and location of leaks
and 2) for the measurement of fluid leakage
in either pressurized or evacuated systems
or components

Leak - the physical hole that exists not the

quantity of fluid passing through the hole

Leaks can be due to cracks, crevice, fissure, hole

or passageway, that contrary to what is intended
admits water, air or other fluid or lets fluids

Leakage - the flow of fluid through a leak

without regard to the physical size of the hole
through which flow occurs

Leak rate - amount of fluid passi-ngthrough the

leak per unit of timeof t h e under a given set of
conditions (expressed as units of quantity or
mass per unit of time)
Minimum detectable leak - smallest hole or
discrete passage that can be detected

Minimum detectable leak rate - smallest

detectable fluid-flow rate

Leaks can have influence on the safety or

performance of a system

Leak Testing performed for:

1) prevent material loss which can interfere
with system operation
2) prevent environmental contamination .
hazards or nuisances caused by accidental
3) to detect unreliable components and those
whose leakage rates exceed acceptance

Sensitivity - how small a physical leak can be


Part surface must be clean of any contaminents

that could interfere with the test and be dry
Types of leaks:
1) real leaks - localized leak such as a hole
2) virtual leak -gradual desorption of gases
from surfaces or escape of gases from nearly
sealed components within a vacuum system

Mean Free Path - the average distance that a

molecule travels between successive collisions
with the other molecules in the gas phase

Types of flow in leaks:

1) permeation - passage of a fluid into,
throughand out of a solid barrier having no
holes large enough to perinit more than a
small fiaction of the total leakage to pass
through any one hole
2) molecular flow (< 10-6 atm cm3Isec) -
when mean fiee path of the gas is greater
than the largest cross-sectional dimension of
the leak
3) transitional flow (10-4 to 10-6 atm
cm31sec) - when mean free path of the gas is
approximately equal to cross-sectional
dimension of the leak
4) viscous flow - when mean fiee path is
smaller than the cross-sectional dimension
of the leak (consists of laminar and
turbulent flow)
5) laminar flow (10-2 to 10-6 atm cm3isec) -
where velocity distribution of the fluid in
the passage or orifice is parabolic; particles
follow straight lines
6) turbulent flow (>lo-2 atm cm31sec) -
particles follow very erratic paths
7) choked flow - if upstream pressure is held
constant and downstream pressure is
gradually lowered, the velocity of the fluid
through the passage will increase until it
reaches the speed of sound

Four (4) primary leak testing methods

Bubble Testing (BT)
Halogen Diode Leak Testing (ELIIT)
Pressure Change Measurement Test
Mass Spectrometer Leak Test (MSLT)
Sensitivih ranges of the leak testing methods
Sensitivity range in cm3/second
Bubble test - liquid film 10-1 to 10-5 10-1 to 10-5.
Bubble test - immersion 1 to 10-6

Pressure - increase 1 to 10-4 1 to 10-4

Pressure - decreaselflow 1 to 10-3

Halogen (heated anode) 10-1 to 10-6 10-1 to 10-5

Mass spectrometer 10-3 to 10-5 10-3 to 10-10

A gas pressure differential is first established

across a pressure boundary, therefore preventing
the test liquid fkom entering or clogging the

Gas leakage through pressure boundary is then

detected by the formation and observation of
bubbles in the dectection liquid at the exit points
of leakage
Provides immediate indications of the existence
and location of large leaks

Three classifications of bubble testing

1) Liquid immersion technique
pressurized test object or system is
submerged in test liquid
e bubbles form at exit point of gas leakage
and rise to the surface of the test liquid

2) Liquid film application technique

thin layer of test liquid is flowed over
the low pressure surface of test object
bubbles form at exit point of gas leakage

3) Foam application technique

used for detection of large leaks
test liquid is applied as thick suds or -
rapid escape of gas tiom large leaks
'blows a hole' through foam blanket
indicating leak
relatively simple, rapid and inexpensive
fairly sensitive technique
location of exit points of leaks very
in immersion technique, entire
pressurized component can be inspected
simultaneously on exposed surfaces
visible to the examiner
large .leaks can be detected first and
sealed or repaired, then smaller leaks
can be detected with more refined
testing apparatus
required level of operator training and
skill is minimal

contamination of test spechan surfaces
improper temperature of part surface
contamination or foaming test liquids
improper viscosity of test liquids
excessive vacuum over surface of test
low surface tension of test liquids
leading to clogging of leaks
prior use of cleaning liquids that might
clog leaks
* air in test liquids or outgassing from test
surfaces causing bubble formations


In a halogen leak detector, minute quantities of

halogen vapor enter a detector cell and are
ionized catalytically on a heated platinum anode

Ions are collected on a cathode electrode which

has a negative potential

A current proportional to the rate of ion

formation flows in an external circuit to produce
an indication on a meter

Rate at which ions are formed is proportional to

the halogen concentration in the gas which
passes into the detector cell
A unique feature of the dector cell is that the
ionization process can take place at atmospheric

Ionization process is specific to halogen vapors

produced by halides

Halides are produced by elements containing

halogens such as chlorine, iodine, bromine,
fluorine and astatine

Most common tracer gas used in this method are

those containing chlorine such R-12 and R-22

R- 12 Dichlorodifluoromethane CC12F2
R-22 Monochlorodifluoromethane CHClF2

Since R-12 liquifies at 70 psig and R-22

liquifies at 122 psig at 70F, systems tested at
room temperature can not have 100% tracer gas
pressure greater than these pressures
Pressurized air is added to tracer gas when
testing at higher pressures or to minimize the
quantity of tracer gas used due to cost

Dilution with air without increasing the pressure

will reduce the testing sensitivity

Test instrumentation will also respond to solid

particles of iodides, chlorides, bromides and

These may be found in cigarette smoke, solder

fluxes, cleaning compounds and aerosol

Items such as rubber and plastic tubing should

be avoided since halogen gases are absorbed by
these and could interfere with test readings

Test sensitivity can be effected by background

contamination caused by a large leak masking a
signal from a small leak nearby
Five classifications of halogen diode leak testing

1) Direct halogen leak testing with no

significant halogen contamination in the
atmosphere with a standard halogen
halogen pressurized component is
sniffed locally with probe
2) Direct halogen leak testing with
significant halogen contamination in the
atmosphere with a proportional detector
halogen pressurized component is
sniffed locally with probe
3) Shroud Test
air is passed over a halogen
pressurized component which is
contained in a close fitting container
or shroud and the discharged air is
sampled by the halogen detector -
useful for components with
maximum cross sectional diameters
of 2"
4) Air curtain shroud
a coniponent previously subjected
to bombing (pressurized with a
halogen gas) is placed in an open
top shroud and the lower end of the
shroud is sampled by the halogen
leak detector
useful for high production testing of
small items such as transistors
5) Accumulation test
a halogen gas blanket is between an
outer shroud and the component
exterior surface and the internal
atmosphere of the component is
sarnpled by the halogen detector
useful for components up to several
cubic meters in volume

In pressure change measurement testing, leakage

rates are determined by quantitative
measurement of pressure changes or flow rates
of air or pressurizing gases, without requiring
use of tracer gases.
Typical gases - atmospheric air and i~itrogen
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FIG. 2 Vacuum Box
FIG. 1 Vacuum Chamber Technique
recommended Tor stainless steel nuclear applications. .
polyethylene or structural plastic, the test fluid must not 8.4 Proced~rres:
promote environmental stress cracking (E.S.C). 8.4.1 Pressurized Tesr Specilnetz:
7.7 Ifthe test fluid is to be used on oxygen systems it m u a Specimens Sealed at Elevored Pressures-Place
meet the requirements of MIL-L-25567D. the test specimen or area being tested in the selected test fluid
and observe for a minimum period of 2 min. Interpret as
leakage a stream ofbubbles originating from a single point or
8. Immersion Technique two or more bubbles that grow and then release from a single
8.1 Applicafion-This technique is applicable to test spec- ~inl.
imens whose physical size allows immersion in a container of Very S m l l Specimens Sealed as Ambienr or
fluid when the test specimen can be sealed prior to the test. Reduced Pressures-Place the test specimen in a pressure
8.2 Techniquesjbr Creasing Pressure D~rerenfialr chamber and expose to an elevated pressure. The actual
8.2.1 Pressurizcllion of Terr SpecimenSeal components pressure is dependent on the specimens. Place the specimen
and apply an elevated pressure, or if accessible, increase the in the selected test fluid within 2 min after removal from the
internal pressure for test purposes. pressure chamber and observe for a minimum period of 2
8.2.2 Elevased-Temperasure Tesf Fluid-Heat the test min. Interpret as leakage a stream of bubbles originating
fluid to a temperature not exceeding the maximum rated from a single point.
temperature of the test specimen. This will cause expansion 8.4.2 Elevrued Temperasure Test Fluid-Place the test
of the gas inside the test specimen, creating a pressure specimen in the test fluid which is stabilized and maintained
differential. This technique is usually limited to use on very at an elevated temperature at a temperature dependent on
small parts. the specimen. Observe for a stream of bubbles originating
8.2.3 Vacuum Technique-Immerse the test specimen in from a single point or two or more bubbles that grow and
the test fluid and then place the test fluid container in the then release from a single point Interpret either as indicating
vacuum chamber. Reduce the pressure in the chamber to a leakage. The time of observation shall be dependent o n the
point that does not allow the test fluid to boil, thus creating a internal volume of the specimen and the case materials of the
presure differential. This technique is normally used on very enclosure. Dwell time must be sufIicient to allow a pressure
small parts. increase to a pressure dependent on the specimen.
8.3 Test Fluids Used in Immersiorl Technique-The fol- 8.4.3 ifaantum Teclmique-Place the test specimen in a
lowing test fluids mav be used. orovided thev are not container of the selected test fluid and place the container in
d e m m e n ~ lo
l the component being'tested: a vacuum chamber with viewing porn. Reduce the pressure
8.3.1 Wafer-Should be treated with a wetting agent up in the vacuum chamber and observe for a stream of bubbles
to % by volume to reduce surface tension and promote originating from a single point or two or more bubbles that
bubble gowth. grow and then release from a single point. The amount of
8.3.2 Mefhyl Alcohol (Teclinical Grade). Undilufed-Not vacuum used will be dependent on the test fluid and should
suitable for the heated-bath technique or the vacuum tech- be the maximum obtainable without the test 'fluid boiling.
nique. This technique is also applicable to unsealed components or
8.3.3 Ethylene Glj~col(Technical Grade), Undiluted. specimen sections by use ofthe apparatus s11own in Fig. I.
8.3.4 Mineral Oil-Degreasing of the test specimens may
be necessary. This is the most suitable fluid for the vacuum
technique. 9. Liquid Application Tccl~nique
8.3.5 Fl~ioracarbo~is or Glj~ccrfn-Ruorocarbons are nor 9.1 Applicarion-This technique is applicable to any test
specimen On which a pressurc din.ercnti3i can he c r a t e d over the bubble lest nuid. In testing equipment, such as
across the area to be examined. An example oftl>istechnique storage tank floors and roofs, place the vacuum box over a
is the application ofleak-test solutions to pressurized gas-line section of the weld seam and evacuate to 3 psi (20.68 kPa)
joints. It is most useful on piping synems, p r w u r e vessels. (or what the applicable nandard requires) and hold for a
tanks, spheres, pumps, or other large- a .~.n a r a t u son which the minimum time Of 15 s.
immersion techniques are impractical. 10. Precision and Bias
9.2 Locotion of B~tbblcT m Fl~tid-Apply the test liquid
to the low-pressure side ofthe area to be examined and then 10.1 A c c t r r a q ~ T h emethods are not intended to mea-
examine the area for bubbles in the fluid. Take care in sure leakage rates but lo locate leaks on a go, no-go basis.
Their accuracy for locating leaks of lo-' atm.cm3/s (1. x
applying ihe fluid to prevent formation ofbubbles. Flow the
Pa.m3/s) and larger is t5 %. Accuracy for locailng
slution on the test area. Joints must be completely coated. smaller leaks depends upon the skill of the operator.
The pressure dinerential should be created before the fluid is 10.2 Rcpcorobili1.1~-On a go, no-go basis, duplicate testr;
applied, to prevent clogging of small leaks. by the same operator should not vary by more than 2 5 % for
9.3 Tj'pe o/Bubble Tesi Fluid-A solution of commercial leaks of I x lo-' atm-cm3/s (I X loes Pa.rn3/s),
leak-testing fluids may be used. The use of soap buds or 10.3 Rcprod~tcibiliry--On a go. no-go basis, duplicate
household detergents and water is not considered a satisfac- tests by other trained operaton should no1 vary by more than
tory leak-test fluid fur a bubble test, because of lack of 10 % for leaks of I x lo-'' atm.cm3/s (I X lo-') Pa.m'/s
sensitivity due to masking by foam. The fluid should be 2nd larppr
capable of being applied free- of bubbles so that a bubble
appears only at a leak. The fluid selected should not bubble 11. Keywords
except i n response to leakage. 11.1 bubble leak resting; film solution leak test; immer-
9.4 Vaoium Technique-Place a vacuum box (see Fig. 2) sion leak test; leak testing; vacuum box leak testing

T w Amer~canSmrly tor Tesl,ng an0 IAalerfiJlrIJhcr noposn.on nupenmg 11s *Jlldfly ot a n / p l e n l ngatr S e n e a .o cannecr.on
wnh any .lcm mnl.oncd .n lhsr rieoaard Urcn 01 Inn rtandara ale erpesrty aavaw lnal dererm rwl on 01 the talo!ly 01 an, such
plmt n(mlz. me rrsX 01 mlr~ngemenlor sucn rqhlr. ore cnllretf I e s r own reSpn%b Icy

Thk slandard ir subjen to revision a1 any time by the respansible lechnical and m M be reviewed evwy five years snd
ilmt rsvirw: eilhvreapprovedor wllhdrawn. Ywrmments are invilw'eilherlor rwtsion 01lhk standardor far edd8b.d standards
and should be addressed to ASTM Headquarlers. Ywr mmmenls wiN receive carefulamideration a1 a meeting ot the responrlblc
t&nical cammhee. which yw may attend. 11 yw 1-1 lhal yaur ramments have nol received e fair hearing you lhwld make y w r
vkw Wown to the ASTt.4 Cammatee M Slandards. 1916 Race St.. Philadelphia, PA 19103.
d STb Designation: E 427 - 94

Standard Practice for

Testing for Leaks Using the Halogen Leak Detector
(Alkali-Ion Diode)'
Thjr standard ir i\>urd undcr Grcd dniUnrtalrn I: 417, 8Iv znuinl*.i tn~nlnlurrl?I;tlltl~(ttl~
Ibr ~I~-.~~nrlt~tul
caw .n icrtsinn. ,hc :cny orbs rc.>sitin. A nunthrr in p.rcnll,ru-. ~ndlmbn! l a !.mr of la<$rr.ppia\a~. A
o<ginal adogisnn or. tn $I>:
Jupcncripl cp8lon 1.) indirdlrs 2 0 rdltondl chlngr llncc ihc 1a1I rvvlutln ni rr4nprov=l

I. Scope 4. Summary or l'racticc

1.1 This practice covers procedures for testing and lo- 4.1 Section 1.6 of NASA's Loukugc T~~srinl: Hundhook'
cating the sources of gas leaking af the rate of I x lo-' will be of value lo somc users in determining which leak test
Standard cm3/s ( I x lo-' Pa m3/s). The tcsf may he method lo use. Section I I of the .4SAfT T<,.~iili,r:
conducted on any device or component across which a may also be of value.
pressure differential of halogen tracer gas may be created. 4.2 Thex methods require halogen leak detection equip-
and on which the effluent side of the area to be leak tested is men1 with a full-scale readout ofat least 3 x lo-? Std cm3/s
accessible for probing with the halogen leak detector. (3 x 10-"' Pa m3/s) on the most sensitive range, a maximum
1.2 Five methods are described: I min drift of 0 and sensitivity drift o i f 1 5 percent of full
1.2.1 A4ethod A-Direct probing with no significant halo- scale on this range. and f 5 percent or less on others (see
gen contamination in the atmosphere. 8.1.5).
1.2.2 Atefhod B-Direct probing with significant halogen 4.3 Method A (Fig I ) is the simplest test. requiring only
contamination in the atmosphere. that a halogen tracer-gg pressure be created across the area
1.2.3 Method C-Shroud test. to be tested. and the xarching of the atmospheric side of the
1.2.4 Method D-Air-cunain shroud test. area with ihe detector probe. This method detects leakage
1.2.5 Melhod E-Accumulation test. and locales its source or sources, when used in a tesi area free
1.3 The vaIus stated in inch-pound units are to be re- from significant halogen contamination in the atmosphere
garded as the standard. The metric equivalents of inch- (see 7.1). Experience has shown that leakdetedon down to 1
pound units may be approximate. x Sld cm3/s (1 X. lo-' Pa m3/s) in factory environ-
1.4 This standard does nor prtrpon lo address the safii!? ments will usually be satisfaclory if reasonable precautions
concerns f i j a , associared lvifh hs use. If is the responsi- are taken against releasing halogens in the building If a ten
bility of rhe user of rhis standard tu estubiish appropriae booth is constructed so as to be purged with clean outdoor
sajely a n d health practices and defermine !he opp/icabi(ilj?of air, this level may be reduced to 1 x lo-' Std cm3/s (1 x
reerqIdoqr limilaionr prior to itse. Pa m3/s). Testing down to I x Std crn3/s (I x
IO-"' Pa m3/s) will require additional halogen removal. This
can be accomplished by paning the ten-booth purge air
2. Referenced Documents through a bed of activated charcoal.
2.1 ASTM Sfandard: 4.4 Method B (Fig 2) is essentially the same as Method A,
E 1316 Terminology for Nondestructi\*eExaminations' except that the amount of air drawn by the probe from the
2 2 Orher Documents: test area is reduced, and the required sample flow is made up
ASNT "Leak Testing Handbook" Volume One of :Non- with pure ( b l is, zero-halogen) air. This reduced sample
destructive Testing Handbook"' intake has the disadvanmge of reducing the vacuum-cleaner
SNT-TC-IA Recbmrnended Practice for Penonnel Quaii- efiect of the larger flow and thus requires closer and more
fication and Certification in Nondest~ctiveT a i n g 3 careful probing However, the tolerance to atmospheric
ANSIIASNT CP-189 ASNT Standard Tor Qualification halogen can be increased up to 100 times. Also, large leaks
and Certification ofNondestructi\.e Testing Personnel' beyond the range ofMethod A can be accurately located (but
not measured) by Method B.
4.5 Method C (Fig. 3A and B) is suited for leak testing
3. Terminology items which have an approximate cross-section dimension of
3.1 Definitions-For definitions of terms used in this 2 in. (50 mm), but may be as long as 30 fi (10 m). In this
standard, see Terminology E 1316, Section E. method, air, either atmospheric or purified, is passed over
the halogen-pressurized which is inside a close-fining
container. The discharge air from the container is sampled
'Thir pmcricc k undcr lhc jurisdiction 01 ASTM Commiltcc E-7 an by the halogen detector, and any additional halogen content
N o n d a ~ c t i v ~ T a u ' n g a nislfrcdimt
d rrspanribilil?ol'Submmmiller 07.08 on indicated. The shroud principle may be applied in a manner
h k T a i n g Mcrhod.
C u m n l edition appro& March IS. 1994. Published May 1994. Origirwlly
PUblkhcd ;rs E427-71. hp,nviour edition E 4 2 7 -911.
' Annirol B w k Slondurds. Val 03.03.
' Available from Arncrion Saciny far Nondcnmciiw Tcrtinr. 171 1 ArIin~x18e
f'hZ3. P.0. Box 28518. Columbus. OH 43228451X.
as sirnplc 3s Fig. 3l3, wllcrci,l :,
l l i ~ ~ .orc 13pC I \ 3ppliCti Ic;~hs:IS small 3s I x 10-' Std crn3/s ( I x lo-' Pa mr/s).
around a flanged joint to bc tested. or as complete as in Fig 4.6 MeLhod D (Fig. 4) is userul for high-produclion testing
3A. T h e latter provides isolation of the detector rrom orsmall items such as transistor; which have been previously
atmospheric halogens, a pure-air reference supply, and a subjected to a halogen gas prcsure above atmospheric
convenient calibration means. This enables detection of (bombed), or testing the sealed-offend o f a till tube, and the
like. In this method, the end or the shroud is always open,
and the detector always draws a sample from the lower end.
Hologcn Leok 0r:cctor t4clnod C
Atmospheric halogens arc prevented from entering by a
laminar-flow pure-air curtain. When any leaking object is
insened below the flow division level, the leakage is t!lcn
picked up by rhe detector. This method is useful for deteciing
leaks down to 1 X 1 OT7 Std cmr/s (1 X 1 0-a Pa m3/s) in size.
4.7 Method E (Fig. 5) is similar to Method C (Fig. 3A),
except it provides for testing p a r 6 up to several cubic meters
in volume. This is accomplished by allowing the leakage to
accumulate in the chamber for a fixed period, while keeping
it well mixed with a fan, and then testing the internal
atmosphere for an increase in halogen content. The practical
sensitivity attainable with this method depends primarily on
two things. First, o n the volume between iheshroud and the
object; and second, o n the amount of halogen outgassing
produced by the object. Thus, a part containing rubber,
plastin, blind cavities o r threads cannot be tested with the
FIG. 1 Halogen Leak Detedor. Method A sensitivity obtainable with a smooth metallic pan. The
sensitivity of the test and net volume of the system are
related as follows:
Propo<lianing P r a b c
Hologcn Leak Oeleclor Melhod 8
A, = the rate of halogen increase in the volume, Std cm3/s2,
L = the leak rate into the volume, Std.cm3/s.
F = the flow rate in the detector probe, Sld m 3 / s , and
V = the net volume o f the system, em3
For practical operating considerations, the minimum value
of A, that should be used is about 2 x lo-" Std crn3/js2 (2 x
RG. 2 Pmpwtioning Pmbe, Halogen Leak Detector, Method 6 10-12 Pa m3/s). (This will give a detector readout of 100 x

Air(S0-100 psiql Shroud Leak Test Method C

'90- Plug Valve

Close-filling Cover 0 I
Pressurizing Cann
(If Requiredl tMinirnum Clearance
FIG. 3 A Shroud Leak Test. Method C
Sample Shioud L e o k ierf ,,,elhad c appropriate ior NDI' I 11 qualilication according to
Rccommcndcd I ' r a ~ ~ i c c No. SNT-TC-IA or the American
O p e n l o g In Tape Tape O v e r G a p B e l w e e o Society for Nondestructive Testing or ANSIIASNT Standard
L a TWO ~ l a n g e s CP-189.
6. Significance and Use
6.1 Halogen leak testing can be used to indicate the
Pipe presence, loca~ionand magnitude of leaks in a closed vesscl.
Flong~ This test method is normally used Tor production examina-
tion. Its use with halogenated refrigerant gases has been
declining because orconcerns about the efict of these gases
FIG. 38 Simple Shroud Leak Test, Methad C on the ozone layer.
7. Interferences
7.1 .4r1i1o.~plreric
Hulu,q~~tis--When direct probing (Meth-
ods A and B) is used to locate leaks, the leak detector probe
is drawing in air from the atmosphere. If the atmosphere is
contaminated with halogen to a degree that produces a
noticeable indication on the detector, the detection of
halogen from leaks becomes much more difficult. Significant
3.5 A l m . r r l r t r atmospheric conramination with halogen' is defined as the
o..,rr level where the detector response, when the probe is moved
scrceo from zero-halogen air to test-area atmosphere, exceeds that
expected from the s m a l l a leak to be detected. For reliable
testing, atmospheric halogen must be kept well below this
FIG. 4 Air-Curlain-Shroud Leak Tesf Method 0 level.
7.2 Halogens Ourgassed jrom Absorben1 Materials-
Accumutotian Leak Test Method E When leak testing is done in enclosures which prevent
atmospheric conramination from interfering with the test
(Methods A, B, and C), halogen absorbxi in various nonme-
tallic materials (such as rubber or plastics) may be released in
the enclosure. If the amount released starts to approach the
amount from the leak in the same period of time, then a
reliable leak test becomes more difficult. The amount of such
materials in the enclosure, o r their exposure to halogen must
then be reduced to obtain a meaningful test
7.3 Pressurizing wiih Tesr Gas-In order to evaluate
leakage accurately, the test gas in all paris of the device must
contain subnantially the same amount of tracer gas. When
the device contains air prior to the introduction oftest gas, or
when an inen gas and a tracer gas are added sepmely, this
may not be true. Devices in which the effective diameter and
length are not greatly different (such as tanks) may be tested
satisfactorily by simply adding tracer gas. However, when
kyessurizing Connection
long or restricted systems are to be tested, more uniform
FIG. 5 Accumulation Leak Tesf Method E tracer distribution will be obtained by lint evacuating to a
few tom, and then filling with the test gas. The latter must be
or I x Std cm3/s ( 1 x 10-lo Pa m3/s) after a 50-s premixed if not 100 percent tracer.
accumulation period.) Thus, (based on F = Std cm3/s) a 5 X
Std cmvs leak ( 5 x lo-" Pa m3/s) may be detected in 8. Apparatus
a system of 10' cm3 net volume, or a 5 x 10-5-Std cml/s 8.1 Hologerl Leak Defector-To perform leak tests as
or Pa m3/s) leak in a 10'-cml system. Where specified in this standard, the leak detector should meet the
variables, time, volume, and leak rate permit, values of following minimum requirements
readout should be set in the lo-' or 10-8-Std cm3/s range for 8.1.1 Scnsor-Alkali-ion diode or electron capture.
less critical operation. Methods C, D, and E are well adapted 8.1.2 Rcadoltr-Panel instrument or digital readout.
for automation of valving and material handling. 8.1.3 Ra~lge(Linear)-l x 104 to I x Std cml/s ( 1
x lo-' to I X lO-'"a m3/s) full scale.
5. Personnel Qualification 8.1.4 Response Tinie-3 s or less.
5.1 It is recommended that personnel performing leak 8.1.5 S~obilifyof Zero and Sensirivirp-A maximum
testing attend a dedicated training coune on the subject and variation of 21 5 percent of full scale on most sensitive nnge
pass a written e\amination. The training course should be while probe is in pure air; a maximum variation of 2 5
pcrcent O r rull sc3le on otl,cr ranges, I;,~period ol. I riiiri 9.2. I .4 SII;III ilc rcasonabl? frcc rrom rust. din, oil, etc.
8.1.6 Co~rtrolr.
~ . 9.2.2 I'rod~rc~ioitoj 1'11l.r' .-lil: 0). Otln,). Gus-Air or gas ol. Range-Preferably i n s o l e steps or about 3 times suitable purity, may be produced by first passing it through a
or 10 times. conventional filterdrier (ir necessary.) and then through Zero-Automatic zeroing option is desirable. activated charcoal.
8.2 Halogen Leak Standard-To perform leak tests as
specified in this standard, the leak standard should meet the 10. Olibrntion
following minimum requirements: 10.1 The leak detectors used in making leak tests by these
8.2.1 Ranges-I0 x lo-'' to 10 x 1 0 ' ' ~Std cm3/s (lo-' methods are not calibrated in the sense that they are taken to
to lo-" Pa m3/s) full scale. thestandards laboratory, calibrated, and then returned to the
8.2.2 Adjusrabiliry-Adjustable lwk standards are a con- job. Rather, the leak detector is used as a comparaior
venience, but are not mandatory.. between a leak standard (set to the specified leak size) which
8.2.3 Accurac)i-225 percent of full-scale value or better. is pan of the instrumentation, and the unknown leak.
8.2.4 Temperarure Coeflcienr-Shall be srated by manu- I-iowever, the sensitivity of the leak detector is checked and
facturer. adjusted on the job so that a l a k of specified size will give a
8.3 Orher Appamlus-Fixtures or other equipment spe- readily observable, but not off-scale reading. More specific
cific to one test method are listed under that method. details are given in Section I I under the test method being
used. To verify detection. reference to the leak Standard
9. Material should be made before and after a prolonged test. When
9.1 Tesr G a r rapid repetitive testing of many items is required, refer to the
9.1.1 Tesr-Gas Requtreme~irs-To be satisfactory, the test leak standard alien enough to assure that desired test
gas should be nontoxic, nonflammable, not detrimental to sensitivity is maintained.
common materials, inexpensive, and have a response factor
of one. R-12 (dichlorodifluoromethane, CCI,F,) and R-22 11. Procedure
(monochlordfluoromethane, CHClF,) have these charac- I I. I General Cansiderarions:
teristics. R-12 is commonly used unless the higher pressure I 1.1.1 Tesr Speci/icarions-Use a testing specification
of the more expensive R-22 is needed (130 psig versus 70 that includes the following:
psig at 70 F). If the test specification allows leakage of f X The gas pressure on the high side ofthe device to
loe5 Std cm3/s (I x lo4 Pa m3/s) o r more, or iflarge vessels be tested; also on the low side if it need differ from
are to be tested,oonsideratidn shouId be given to diluting the atmospheric.
tracer gas with nonhalogen gas such as dry air or nitrogen. The test gas composition, if there is need to
This will avoid operating in the nonlinear portion of the specify i t
sensor output, or in the case of large venels, save tracer-gas The maximum allowable ieak rate in standard
expense. However, the balogen content of the qxdication cubic centimeters per second.
leak should remain compatible with the expeded level of Whether the leak rate is for each leak or for total
atmospheric halogen and the test method as outlined in leakage of the device, and
Seaion 4. if an 'each leak" spedfication, whether or not
NOTE I-Whm a vcacl is not evacuated prior to adding t a t gsr, the areas other than seams, joints, and fittings need to be tested.
Lana is automatially d~lutedby I atm orair. 11.1.2 Safe1.v Factor-Where feasible, ascertain that a
9.1.2 Producing Premixed Tesr Gas-If the volume of the reasonable safety factor has been allowed between the actual
device or the quantity to be tested is small, premixed gases operational requirements of the device, and the maximum
can be conveniently obtained in cylinders. The user can also specified for testing Experience indicates that a factor of at
mix gases by batch in the same way. Continuous mixing least 10 should be used when possible. For example, if a
using calibrated orifices is another simple and convenient maximum total leak rate for satisfactory operation of a
method when the test pressure does not exceed 50 percent of device is 5 x 10" Std cm3/s (5 x Pa m3/s), the test
the tracer gas pressure available (Note 2). Another method is requirement should be 5 x Std cm3/s (I x Pa
to pars the nonhalogen gas through the liquid tracer. This mvs) or less.
produces test gas containing the maximum amount of tracer 11.1.3 Tesl Pressure-Test the device at or above its
gas. operating pressure and with the pressure drop in the normal
direction, where practical. Take precautions so that the
NOTE2: Gution-Thc liquid tnccr gar supply should not be h a t e d device will not fail during pressurization, or that the operator
abve ambient tcmpenture. is protected from the consequences of a failure.
9.2 Pure Air, Air J?om Which Halogens Have Been 11.1.4 Disposition or Recovery of Tesr Gas-Do not
Removed la a Level oJless Than 1 ppb (or Ofher Suirable dump test gas into the test area if further testing is planned.
A'onhalogen Gas. Such as Nirrogen). Either vent it outdoors or recover for reuse if the volume to
9.2.1 Requiremenrs: be used makes this wonhwhile. Less than I ppb of halogen. 1 1.1.5 Derrimenral Effecrs o j R-12 and R-22 Tracer Less than 10 ppm of gases reactive with oxygen, Gases-These gases are quite inert, and seldom cause any
.uch as petroleum-base solvent vapors. problem with most materials, patticularly when used in Dew point IB'F (IO'C) or more below ambient gaseous form for leak testing and then removed. Test gas
temperature, and should not be left in the device unless it h d q and sealed, as
most halogens in the presence 01.moisture acccleratc corro- Svan tile detector. warm up and adjust in accor-
sion over a period of time. When tiicrc is a question as to the dance with the nru~~uCdcturci's instructions Tor detection of
compatibility of the tracer with a particular malerial, an leaks of size of I, using the "Manual Zero" mode.
authority on the latter should be consulted. This is panicu- Remove the probe from the pure-air supply to
larly true when the material may be subject to chloride stress the test area, and note the reading, and also minimum and
corrosion under conditions of use. maximum readings for a period or I min.
I 1.1.6 Correlario~io j TCSI-GosL<,akagc ~eirhOrlrcr Gascs Rezero the instrument. place the probe on the
or Liqlrids a1 Di//i'~-cvir O[~e,zlri~~g I ~ r r s s ~ ~ r r s - 4 i v the
en leak standard, and note the reading.
normal variation in leak geometry. accurate correlation is an Nore 4-ll neccrwv to obtain a rwmnahlc inslrumcnt denemion in
impossibility. However, if a safety factor of ten or more is and lI.Z.Z.5. relurn the p r a k lo lhc pure-air supply. adjun i l ~ c
allowed (see 1 1.1.2) adequate correlation for gas leakage -nnge' control and rczcro il ncccswry.
within these limits can usuall!. be obtained by assuming IT is larger than or if the I-min
V ~ K O U Sflow and using the following relation:
variation is more than 30 percent of lake steps to
Q2 = Q,(N/KI)[P?2- /',')/(PI1 - P3')1 reduce the atmospheric halogen content of the test area
where: before proceeding with the leak test.
Q, = test leakage. If the "automatic zero" mode is to be used.
Q, = operational leakage. increase the sensitivity by a factor of three.
= viscosity of test gas (Note 4). Evacuate (if required) and apply test gas to the
= viscosity of operational gas (Note 4). device at the specified pressure.
N, Probe areas suspected of leaking. Hold the probe
p,, P I = absolute pressures on high and low sides at test,
and on or not more than 0.2 in. (5 mm) from the surface of the
P,, P3 = absolute pressures on high and low sides in opera- device, and move not faster than I .O i n . 1 ~(30 mm/s). If leaks
tion. are located which cause a "reject" indication when the probe
Experience has shown that, at the same pressures, gar leaks is held 0.2 in. ( 5 mm) from the apparent leak source, repair
smaller than I x Std cm3/s ( 1 x will not show visible all such leaks before making final acceptance test. If a
leakage of a liquid, such as water, that evaporates fairly marginal indication is observed while detecting in uauto-
rapidly. For slowly evaporating liquids such as lubricating matic zero" mode, reduce the sensitivity by a factor of rhree,
oil, the gas leak should be another order of magnitude switch to the 'manual zero" mode and compare the leak
smaller, 1 x lod Std cm3/s.* reading on the leak standard and on the device. Maintain an orderly procedure in probing the
NOTE3-Viwosity difiercnm between gasa is a rcladvely minor required areas, preferably identifying them as tested, and
cITcci and u n bc igno~dif daircd.
plainly indicating points of leakage.
11.2 Method A (See 2.3 and Fig. I): 1 At the completion of the tesf evacuate or purge,
11.2.1 Appararw or both, the test gas from the device.
11.2.1 .I Test specification. Write the test report, or athenvise indicate test Halogen leak detector; standard probe type. results as required. Halogen leak standard, upper 9/10 of scale to 1 1.3 Merhod B (See 4.4 and Fig. 2):
include halogen content of maximum leak in accordance 11.3.1 Apparafw-Same as for Mehod A (see 11.2)
with the specification, with response factor correction. except, halogen leak detector to be proportioning Test gas, at or above specification pressure. probe type. Pressure gages, valves and piping for introducing 11.3.2 Procedure-Same as for Method A except as fol-
test gas, and if required, vacuum pump for evacuating lows:
device. Use a self-contained pure-air supply. Activate by Pure-air supply, if not part of halogen leak closing the probe tip valve tightly, which sends 100 percent
detector. pure air to the sensor. Test booth or other atmospheric contamination in open the probe value wide (about
control, if shown to be necessary by 11.2.2. two turns), which sends 100 percent atmospheric sample to
11.2.2 Procedure: the sensor. Set the halogen leak standard at the maximum If the conditions of are met, proceed
halogen content of the specification leak. Exanrple: if the with the test. If not. partially close the probe valve until they
maximum leak rate is 1 x lom4Std cm3/s (I x lo-' Pa m3/s) are. However. do not reduce the valve ouenine below the
and the test gas is I percent R-12 in air. set the standard at I ~ o i n at
t which the resuonse to the leak standard is reduced
X lo4 x .O1 = I x lo4 Std crn3/s (I X lo-' Pa m3/s). 30 percent. Stan the pure-air supply and adjust to flow in 11.4 hferliod C (See 4.5 and Fig. 3):
excess of that of the leakdetector probe, couple the probe 1 1.4.1 Apparalw:
loosely to the supply, so that air is not forced into the Test specification.
detector. Purge the sample detect and calibrate unit
(PSDC), Fig. 3A, plus the shroud to fit the device under test
(the upper 9/10 of halogen leak standard scale shall include
'Sanlclcr. U. I.. and blollcr. T . W.. "Fluid Flaw Convcrrian in k 3 L s and
Gpillrria." I'acorrn Sy!ttpri,,n! Tronronionr. 1956. p. 29. Alu, Gcncnl E l c n k halogen content of maximum leak in accordance with the
Ca. Kcpan R56GL261. speciliotion, with response factor correction).
1 Test gas, at or above specification pressure if the return the valve to the original (standby) position. Remo\sc.
device is not already pressurized. the dummy device.
I 1.4.2 Procedure: Insert the device to be leak-tested (and which has Set the halogen leak standard at the maximum previously been "bombed" or which is pressurized with
halogen content of the specification leak (see halogen tracer) in the shroud. Adjust the air pressure. air flows (except purge
valve V1) and valves V4 and V7 as indicated in the diagram NOTE5-Any pan or the device rhnr is lo be luk-lesled must be
below lh~.purge air omning.
for this method. (The addition of flowmeters and pressure
gages at appropriate places in the circuit to facilitate these Read the leakage, if any. An indication on the
adjustments is recommended.) leak detector greater than that obwined during calibration Start the detector, warm up and adjust in accor- (see shows leakage greater than that allowed by'the
dance with the manufacturer's instruction for detection of specification.
leaks of size 1, using the "manual zero" mode. Remove the device and record the test results as Place a device not containing halogen (dummy) desired.
in the shroud and open valve V2 for as long as is required to If a large leak is detected, the clean-up of the
purge the shroud of a~mospherichalogens. shroud and sensor can be expedited by turning valve V7 to Turn valve V7 to "calibrate" and valve V4 to the "standby" for a few seconds. This will purge shroud, lines
"sample" position, note detector indication, adjust the sensi- and sensor with pure air.
tivity if required, and return the valves to the original 11.6 Method E (See 4.7 and Fig. 5):
("standby") positions. Remove the dummy device of 1 1.6.1 Apparatus: 1 Test specification. I m r t the device to be tested inside the shroud PSDC unit (Fig. 3A) plus shroud as in Fig. 5 (the
and connect the evacuate or pressurize line, or both. if device upper 9/10 of halogen leak standard scale shall include
is not already pressurized with tracer gas. halogen content of maximum leak per specification, wirh Open valve V2 for as long as is required to purge response factor correction).
the shroud of atmospheric halogens. Test gas, at or above specification pressure, if the .Turn valve V4 to the "sample" position. device is not already pressurized. If the device is already pressurized, read the 11.6.2 Procedure:
leakage, if any, on the detector. 11.62.1 Set the halogen leak standard at maximum If the device is not pressuriml, check the leak halogen content of the specification leak (see
detector for indication of incomplete purging, then pres- Adjust the air pressure, air flows (except purge
surize and read the leakage, if any. An indication of the leak valve V 3 as indicated on the diagram for this method.
detector greater than that obtained during calibration
, Start the detector, warm up, and adjust in shows leakage greater than allowed by the accordance with the manufacturer's instructions for de-
tion. tecting leaks of size of 1, using- the "manual zero"
1 1 If the device has been pressurized with halogen mode.
tracer for the leak test only, exhaust the test gas outside the Place a device not containing hatogen (dummy)
test area, or r m v e r for reuse. under the shroud. Remove the device from the shroud and write Open valve V2 for as long as is required to purge
the test report, or othenvise indicate the results of test as the shroud of atmospheric halogen.
required. Turn valve V7 to the "calibrate" position, allow
1 1.5 Method D (See 4.6 and Fig. 4): an appropriate ammulation period (with fan running), turn
1 1.5.1 A p p a r a w valve V4 to the "sample" position, and note detector
1 Test specification. indication. If necessary adjust the sensitivity and repeat PSDC unit (fig. 3A) plus shroud as in Fig. 4 to fit and Remove the dummy device.
device (the upper 9/10 of the halogen leak standard scale Insert the device to be tested inside the shroud
shall include halogen content of maximum leak in accor- and connect the evacuate or pressurize line, or both, if device
dance with the specification, with response factor correc- is not already pressurized with tracer gas.
tion). Open valve V2 for as long as is required to purge
1 1.5.2 Procedure: the shroud of atmospheric halogens. Set the halogen leak standard at the maximum Turn valve V4 to the "sample" position.
halogen content of the specification leak (see If the device is already pressurized, note Adiust the air Dressure and flows as indicated in whether the detector reading increases (in the allotted
the diagram fo; this metho>. Valve V2 is open, and valve V4 accumulation period) beyond that obtained during calibra-
is set at the "sample" position continuously. tion (see If so, reject the device. Stan the detector, warm up, and adjust in 1 If the device is not pressurized, check the leak
accordance with the manufacturer's instruction for detection detector for indication of incomplete purging, then pres-
of leaks of size, using the "manual zero" mode. surize and proceed as in Place a device not containing halogen (dummy) Alternatively, sampling for leakage (V4) may be
in the shroud. Turn valve V7 to the "calibrate" position, note delayed until the end of the accumulation period. However,
detector indlcatlon, adjust the sensitivity if required and if this is done, time is lost and the sensor will be subjected to
a more concentrated halogen sample, ifthc device has a large the lest repon (Fig. 6). or otherwise indicate the results or the
leak. test as required. If the device has been pressurized with halogen
tncer for leak tesl only, exhaust rhe test gas outside the r a t 12. Keyords
area, or recover for reuse. 12.1 rreon leak testing; halogen leak testing; heated anode Remove the device from the shroud and write halogen detection; leak testing

Tesl witnessed by
Dale al Test -
TeslW per ASTM Sld. Melhcd -
No. accepled
- NO. pieces -
NO. rejected -
- ..
Mar. kakuge, acn?(lledpa. x 10 Sld, cm31s
TOM -a eachwl- leakage
Device evacualed belae chaiging -
II evawaled, pessuie T
Test pessure- psg
Tesl gas: - -
I _ Tram: - g a s
Atmospheric h&gm equivaienl -
x 10 -
Leak Denectw SeMl No.
Leak Standard S e a No.

FIG. 6 Sample Test Report Form

J n e h r . w n Soc,c!y i m Tallog and Malcrrsls lanes ncposllmrespMmng Ihv a l d i f 01 any wren1 r ~ g n :arrcncdm cmnmlao
ant, any ncm mcnlsonw in rncs s t m a d U s m a1 l h n slamiad z e w a d y Z O d r s M lnal aclcrm n.?l,oo 01 ine ,~l,dby 01 on, swn
palcnl r,ghlr and the r d r ~ol mlr ngcmcnl d s w h ngnlr am eNlrely tiwr a n rcspwibla,

This slmdard is subjecl lo revision e( any lime by lhe mpmsible lachnicalmmhee wd mosl be reviewed every live y e u s and
Nnol rwised, &her reappoved or wahdrawn Your m m m m s ere imiled &her lor revision 01l h k srandard or lor sddifiwldmdards
&shooM be addrerred lo ASTM Headquarrers. Your mmmems will receive carefulm i d e r a l i o n a1 a meeling o( Lhe rerpwr;lble
IRhnM emmillee, which you may Mend. H you feel the1 yaur m m M s have md received a lab hearing you should make your
view known lo <heASTM CNnmineo on Standards. 1916 Race St.. Philadelphia, PA 19103.
451b Designation: E 499 - 94

Standard Test Methods for

Leaks Using the Mass Spectrometer Leak Detector in the
Detector Probe Mode',2
Thtl rlandard is irrucd undcr tllc fixed dcsignaion E199: lhc nunihcr imrnedhicly iollorlnp ihc di-rienat~anindsr3lcr the ?car a1
aripnrl adopsion or. in ihc caw orrcuirion. llic ?.car o i l a n revision A numbcr in w r c n l h c a l indlcaicl lhc ?car arlarl rc~pprourl.A
lurnwnpt imilao (.) indicxca an cdisonal r h a n y sinrc lhc Ian rcvirion or rapliro\.al

I . Scope standard cm3/s) on the mosi sensitive range, a maximum

1.1 These test methods cover procedures for testing and I-min drin of zero and sensitivity of f S % of full scale on
louting the sources of gas leaking at the rate of I x this range, and 2 2 % or less on others (see 7.1). The above
P a m3/s (1 % standard cm3/s) or greater. The test may sensitivities are those obtained by probing an actual standard
be conducted on any device or component across which a leak in atmosphere with the detector, or sampling, probe,
pressure differential of helium or other suitable tracer gas and nor the sensidvity of the detector to a standard leak
may be created, and on which the emuent side ofthe leak to attached directly to the vacuum system.
be tested is accwible for probing with the mass spectrometer 4.3 Test hlerhod A. Direcr Probing (see Fig. I), is the
sampling probe. simplest test, and may be used in pans ofany size, requiring
1.2 Two test methods are described: only that a tracer gas pressure be created across the area to be
1.2.1 Tesr Merhod A-Direct probing, and tested, and the searching of the atmospheric side of the area
1.22 Tesr Merhod B-Accumulation. be with the detector probe. This test method detects leakage
1.3 This standard does nor purport ro address ihe sa/cry and ils source or sources. Experience has shown that leak
concerns, $any, associared,n~irhirs tise. I r is [he responsi- tesing down to 1 x lo-' Pa.m3/s ( I x 10" standard cm3/s)
bility o/ rhe user ofrhis standard ro esrablish uppropriare in factory environmenls will usually be satisfactory if reason-
saJery and health pracrices and derermine rhe applicabiliry of able precautions against releasing gas like the tracer gas in the
reguiafory limirarionsprior lo use. ten area are observed, and the effects of other interferences
(Section 6) are considered.
2. Referenced Documents 4.4 Tesr Merhod 8. Accumulaion Testing (see Fig 2),
2.1 ASTM Srandard: provides for the tesiing of parts up to several cubic metres in
E 1316 Terminology for Nondestructive Examinations3 volume as in fig. 2(a) or in portions of larger devices as in
2.2 Other Documens: Fig 2(b). This is accomplished by allowing the leakage to
SNT-TC-1A Recommended Practice for Personnel Quali- aocumulate in the chamber for a f i e d period, while keeping
fication and Certification in Nondestructive Testing4 it well mixed with a fan, and then testing the internal
ANSIjASNT CP-189 ASNT Standard for Qualification atmosphere for an increase in tracer gas content with the
and Certification of Nondestructive Testing Personnel4 detector probe. The practical sensitivity attainable with this
method depends primarily on two things &f on the
3. Terminology volume between the chamber and the objed; and second, on
3.1 Dejinilions-For definitions of terms used in this the amount of outgassing of trdcer gas produced by the
standard, see Terminology E 1316, Section E. object Thus, a pan having considerable exposed subber,
plastic, blind cavities or threads cannot be tested with the
4. Suuunaty of Test Methods sensitivity of a smooth metallic part. The time in which a
4.1 W o n 1.8 of the Leakage Testing will be andb book' leak can be detected is directly proportional to the leak rate
and inversely proporiional to the volume between the
ofvalue to some uses in determining which leak test method
to use. chamber and the pan. In theory, extremely small leaks can
4.2 These test methods require a leak detector with a be detected by this test method; however, the time required
full-scale readout of at leas I x Pa. m3/s ( i x 1 OM' and the effecrs of other interferences limit the practical
sensitivity of this test method to about I x Pa.m3/s ( I
x standard cm31s) for small pans.
'nae id mclhodr arc u n d a the j u r l d i d a n of ASTM Cammilicc E-7 on
Nanduwaitivc: Tcriinc and are ihc d i r m raoonsibililv of Subcommiticc E07.08
on Lnk T d n g . 5. Personnel Qualification
C u m n l cdilian aoorortd March 15. 1994. Pubiirhd May . 1994. Orieinallv
- .
P U M Wa E 499 -71. ~ uprrviour t &lion ~ 4 9 -91. 9 5.1 It is recommended that personnel performing leak
'(Almmpheric prmurc cxenwl. p-urc abavc =~rnarphcricinlemall. This testing a dedicated uaining course on the subject and
dnument (he D c t m o i Pmbc Modedcraibcd i n Guidc E 412.
' A n n u l sod. 01.4n Sondordr.
.v VOI 03.01. pass a written examination. The training courje should be
' A ~ h b k i r o mAmninnSadcly l a r N o n d a r u a i v c T m ~ i n g .1711 Arlingrlc appropriate for NDT level I1 qualification according to
P k 4 P.O. Box 28518. Calumbu. OH 432286518. Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-1A of the American
'Ulrr. 1. Willism. -Leakage T a i n g H a n d b m k " prrpand ror Liquid Prapul-
1 Scctian. la Prooulrion Labaniom. Natioml Acronaudcs and S D ~ CAdmin- C Society NondeStrucrive Or Standard
-Inllon. Pmdcna. CA. Conlnn NAS 7.196. Junc 1961 CP-189
4m E 499
6. Significance and Use five pans per million (ppm) ofhelium, which is being contin.
6.1 Test Method A is frequently U O U S ~ Y drawn in by the detector probe. This background
to test large systems
and complex piping installations that can be tilled with a must be "zeroed out" before leak testing using helium an
trace gas. Helium is nomally used. ~h~ test method is used proceed. Successful leak testing is contingent on the ability of
to locate leaks but cannot be used to quantify except for the detector to discriminate betwen normal atmospheric
approximation. Care must be taken to provide sufficient helium, which is very c o n m n S and a n increase in helium
ventilation to prevent increasing the helium background at d u e '0 a leak. Ifthe normally stable atmospheric helium level
the test site. Resulu are limited by the helium background is increased by release of helium in the test area, the refer-
and the percentage of the leaking trace gas wptured by the ence level b e ~ ~ m unsmble,
es and leak testing more diflicuit.
probe. 7.2 Heliuni Ourgassed fiom Absorben1 Malerials--.~~.
6.2 Test Method B is used to increase the concentration of lium absorbed in various nonmetailic materials (such as
trace gas coming through the leak by capturing it within a n mbber or plastics) may be relased during the test. If the rate
enclosure until the signal above the helium background can and magnitude of the amount released approaches the
be detected. By introducing a calibrated leak into the same amount released from the leak, the reliability of the test is
volume for a recorded time interval, leak rates can be decreased. T h e amount of such materials or their exposure to
measured. helium must then be reduced to obtain a meaningful test.
7.3 Pressurizing wilh Tesf Gas-in order to evaluate
leakage accurately, the test gas in all pans of the device must
7. Interferences contain substantially the same amount of tracer gas. When
7.1 Almospheric Heliltm-The atmosphere contains about the device contains air prior to the introduction of test gas, or



Rovgh Pump Pump Rough Pump

Leak. Note That Probe O o a Not Pick Up All of the Lcakrge

FIG. 1 Method A


I 9" Dctecror



a ] Accumulation Leak Test, Complete Device in Chamber

bl Accumulation Leak Test. Flexible Shroud over a Small Portion of Device

FIG. 2 Method B

when an inert gas and a tracer gas are added separately, this 8.1.5 Sfabilify of Zero and Sensifivily-A maximum
may not be true. D e v i w in which the effective diameter and variation of &5 % of full scale on the most sensitive range
length are not greatly different (such as tanks) may be tested while the probe is active; a maximum variation of 2 2 % of
satisfactorily by simply adding tracer gas. However, when full scale on other ranges for a period of 1 min.
long or restricted systems are to be tested, more uniform NOTE I-Variations may he a funmion of cnvironmenwl interfcr-
tracer distribution will be obtained by fim evacuating to less cnm rather than equipment limiulions.
than 100 Pa (a few tom), and then filling with the test gas. 8.1.6 Conrrols:
The latter must be premixed if not 100 % tracer. Range, preferable in scale steps of 3x and lox.
7.4 Dirt and Liquih-As the orifice in the detector probe Zero, having sufficient range to null out atmos-
is very small, the pa- being tested should be clean and dry pheric helium. Automatic null to zero is preferred.
to avoid plugging. Reference should be frequently made to a 8.2 Heliltnz Leak Sfandard-To oerfonn leak tests as
standard leak to ascertain that this has not happened. specified in this standard, the leak standard should meet the
following minimum requirements:
8. Apparatus 8.2.1 Ranges-1 x to Pa.m3 (lo-' to lo-%
8.1 Helium Leak Defecfor, equipped with atmospheric standard cm3/s) full scale calibrated for discharge to atmo-
detector probe. To perform tests as specified in this standard, sphere.
the detector should be adjusted for testing with helium and 8.2.2 Adjusfabilify-Adjustable leak standards are a con-
should have the following minimum features: venience but are not mandatory.
8.1.1 Sensor Mass Analyzer. 8.2.3 Accuracy, &25 % of full-scale value or better.
8.1.2 Readour, analog or digital. 8.2.4 Temperalure Coeficienf, shall be stated by manufac-
8.1.3 Range (linear)-A signal equivalent to 1 x lo-' turer.
Pa.m3/s (1 x standard cm3/s) or larger must be 8.3 Helium Leak Sfandard, as in 8.2 but with ranges of
detectable. iOmRor Pa.m"s (lo-' or lo-% standard cm31s).
8.1.4 Response lime, 3 s or less. 8.4 01Aer Apparalus-Fixtures or other equipment spe-
increasing the prL.rsurc u.!iil : I ~ , , I Ilrss
, c ~r.,l,cns,ve &35. such 2s air. 1 At cornplelton of thc test evacuate or purge tesl
gas from the device. if required.
11.2 Tesr Mmhod A (refer to 4.3 and Fig. I): Write a test repon or otherwise indicate test
I 1 .2. 1 Apparart~s: results as required.
I 1.2.1. I Tesr SpeciJkorioi~. NOTE 5-lr neceswry l o obwin a rwronablc inslmmcnl deflecrion. Nclitrm Leok Derecror. with atmospheric de- adjusl range, rczero if nccesww, and reapply s;lmpling probe lo leak
tector, sampling probe. slandard.
1 Heliu~vLeok Slandard, discharge to atmosphere. 1 1.3 Tessr A4erhod B (refer to 4.4 and Fig. 2):
Size equal lo helium content of maximum leak rate per 11.3.1 ilppara1li.r-Same as for Test Method A. except
specification. that equipment for enclosing all or part of the item to be
1 Heliuti~Leok Srandard. discharge to vacuum. tested is required as shown in Fig. 2.
Size: anywhere between I x lo-' and I x Pa-m3/s ( I 1 I .3.2 Procedure:
x and 1 x lo-' standard cml/s), unless otherwise I Ser-up-Same as I through 1, Test
specified by maker of leak detector. Method A, except that somewhat larger variations in atmos- Tesf Gas, at or above specification pressure. pheric helium can be tolerated due to the isolation of the pan
1 Pressrrre Gages. I/alves, and Piping, for intro- during test.
ducing test gas, and if required, vacuum pump for evacu- Sensitivirj~Setring-In general, it will be advan-
ating device. tageous to use the maximum stable sensitivity setting on the Liquid Nirrogoi. if required. leak detector, in order to reduce the accumulation time to a
1 1.2.2 Procedure: minimum. Set helium leak standard at maximum helium Insert the pan to be tested (unpressurized), the
content of specification leakage. Example: leak standard ( 1, and the detector probe in the Fig. 2
Maximum leak rav: I X lo-' Pa.m'/s ( I x lo-' standard cm3/s). enclosure.
Tat gas I lo helium in air, w1 the standard a1 Note the rate of increau: of detector indication.
1 x 10-'XU.01 or I X 10-'Pa.m3/s(I x 104cm'h). Remove the leak standard, pressurize the pan Start detector, warm up, fill trap with liquid with test gas, and again note rate of rise. if any. If
nitrogen if required, and adjun in accordance with manufac- exceeds 1, reject part.
turer's instructions, using leak standard attached to Remove the part from the enclosure and purge
vacuum system. out any accumulated helium. Attach atmospheric detector probe to detector Evacuate or purge test gas from the pan, if
sample port in place of leak standard and open valve of required.
detector probe, if adjustable type is being used, to maximum Write a test report or otherwise indicate test
leak rate under which detector will operate properiy. results as required. Rezero detector to compensate for atmospheric 12. Precision and Bias
helium. 12.1 Precision With orifice of leak standard (1 12.1.3) in a 12.1.1 Tesr Melhod A-No statement on precision is
horizontal position, hold the tip of the detector probe made.
direaly in line with and 1.5 +. 0.5 mm (0.06 k 0.02 in.) away 12.1.2 T a r Method B-Replicate tests by the same oper-
from the end of the orifice, and observe reading (Note 5). ator with the same equipment should not be considered
112.2.6 Remove probe from standard leak and note suspect if the results agree within j125 %. Replicate tests
minimum and maximum readings due to atmospheric from a second facility should not be considered suspect if the
helium variations or other instabilities. results agree within +SO %. If is larger than 30 % of, take 12.2 Biax
steps to reduce the helium added to the atmosphere, or to 12.2. t . Test Merhod A-Due to the nature of the test no
eliminate other causes of inskbility. If this cannot be done, statement of bias is possible. Calibration standards are used
testing at this level of sensitivity may not be practical. only to ensure that the leak detector is funciioning properly. Evacuate (if required) and apply test gas to device No leak measurement is intended.
at specified pressure. 12.2.2 Test Method B-Bias of leak rates between lo-' Probe Areas Stcrpecred of haking-Probe shall and (lo-'' to 10-I standard cm3/s) are typically
be held on or not more than I mm (0.04 in.) from the surrace +25 %.
of the device, and moved not faster than 20 mm/s (0.8 in.1~).
If leaks are located which cause a "reject" indication they 13. Keywords
must be repaired before making final acceptance test. 13.1 bell jar leak test; bomb mass spectrometer leak test; Mainrain an orderly procedure in probing the helium leak test; helium leak testing; leak testing; mass
q u i r e d areas, preferably identifying them as rested, and spectrometer iwk testing: sealed object mass spectrometer
plainly indicating points of leakage. leak test
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43"s due ,O Allpilen a", lo uoileuiw,ajap ley1 par!hpe Alssa~draale plcpuelr r j y l l o ma9n 'Pleouels s!ul ul pauo!luaw wat! Aue yl!m
, ~ B U ~ S ES ~ S ~ Gluaied
, , o , I M ~ ~ oQ II ou saxe, sle!,al,alc8v Due 6ulrsal lo1 Ala!aos ue3rraruv a q l
Aur l o Al,ptlen JOI Gutl>adss~u o ! ~ r o d

66P 3
rlSb Designation: E 1 6 0 3 - 94

Standard Test Methods for

Leakage Measurement Using the Mass Spectrometer Leak
Detector or Residual Gas Analyzer in the Hood Mode'

1. Scope 4.2 7'c~rA,i~ri~od A-This test method is used to helium

1.1 These test methods cover procedures for testing the leak test objects that are capable of being evacuated to a
sources o l gas leaking at the rate of 4.4 x lO-I4 molesjs ( I x reasonable test pressure by the LD pumps during an accept-
standardim3/s at O'C) or greater. These test methods able length of lime (Fig. 1). miis requires that the object be
may be conducted on any object that can be evacuated and clean and dry. Auxiliary vacuum pumps having greater
to the other side of which helium or other tracer gas may be capacity than those in the LD may be used in conjunction
applied. The object must be structurally capable of being with them. The leak test sensitivity will be reduced under
evacuated to pressures of 0.1 Pa (approximately tor). these conditions.
1.2 Three test methods are described; 4.3 Tesr Merhod B-This test method is used to leak test
1.2.1 Test Merhod A-For the object under test capable of equipmenl that can provide its own vacuum (that is,
being evacuated, but having no inherent pumping capability. equipment that has a built-in pumping system) at least to a
1.2.2 Tesl Merhod B-For the object under test with level of a few hundred pascals (a few torr) or lower. Refer to
integral pumping capability. Fig. 2.
1.2.3 Tesr Merhod C-For the object under test as in Ten 4.4 Tesr Merhod C-When a vacuum system is capable of
Method B, in which the vacuum pumps of the object under producing internal pressures of less than 2 x 105 Pa (2 x
test replace those normally used in the leak detectar (LD). 104 ton) in the presence of leaks,these leaks may be located
1.3 The values mted in SI units are to be regarded as the and evaluated by the use of either a residual gas analyzer
standard. The values given in parentheses are for informa- (RGA) or by using the specVometer tube and controls from a
tion only. conventional MSLD, provided that the leakage is within the
1.4 This standard doer nor purporr 10 addrers ail of rhe sensitivity range of the RGA or MSLD under the conditions
safely wncerns, $ any, arsociafed u~ifh IS use. [I! is rlre existing in the vacuum system. Refer to Fig. 3.
responsibility of the user of fhis srandard io er~ablishappro-
priare s&y and health pradices and determine the applica- 5. Personnel QualiIiuGon
biliry ofregulafary limi[afions prior to use 5.1 It is recommended that personnel performing leak
testing attend a dedicated training m u m on the subject and
2. Referenced Documents pass a written examination. The training course should be
2.1 ASTM Srandard: appropriate for NDT Level I1 qualification in accordance
E 1316 Terminology for Nondestructive ExaminationZ with Recommended Practice SNT-TC-1A or ANSIIASNT
2.2 Ofher Documenls= Standard CP-189.
SNT-TC-IA Recommended Practice for Personnel Quali- 6. Significance nnd Use
fication and Certification in Nondestructive Testing3
ANSIIASNT CP-189 ASNT Standard for Qualification 6.1 Tesl Merhod A-This test method is the most fre-
and Certification of Nondestructive Testing Personnel3 quently used in leak testing components. Testing of compo-
nents is correlated to a standard leak, and the actual leak rate
3. Terminology is measured. Acceptance is based on the maximum system
3.1 Dejinirions-For definitions of terms used in these allowable leakage. For most produetion needs, acceptance is
test methods, see Terminology E 1316. based on acceptance of pans leaking less than an eslabliihed
leakage rate, which will ensure safe performance over the
4. Summary of Test Methods
4.1 These test methods require a helium LD that can ------ _yTaat Enclosure (Hood)
provide a syslem sensitivity of 10 % or less of the intended
leakage rate to be measured. I
m e t
'Thcw <a mclhodr arc under lhc jurirdinion of ASCh4 Commitlnr E-1 on
( canpanont I
Nandcnruclivc Tcning and r m ~ h cd i m raponribilily o f Submmmillcc E07.08
on L n k Taiing Method.
Cumnt miition rpprovcd Mar& 15. 1994. Publishmi May 1994.
t -...----- J

a A n n u l Bwk oJASljl{ Slandordr. Vol03.03.

' Awilahlc imm A m c r i a n Sacicly far Nondcnrunivc Tmling. 171 1 Arlingalc
P l u r P.O. Box 28518. Columbus OH 432284518. FIG. 1 Test Meihad A
Toat Encloauro ( I l o d l
- - - - - - - -6-- - - - - hours lo build u p llie partial pressure of helium in [llc
volumc belu,ecn the two leaks so that enough helium enlers
1 I I
the vacuum syslem lo be detected by the LD. This type or
r I 1
leak occurs frequently under the following conditions:
I Toat 1 II 7.1.1 Double-welded joints and lap welds,
I compncnt I 1 7.1.2 Double O-rings.
I I ( nigh Vacuum Pump
7.1.3 Threaded joints.
1 7.1.4 Ferrule and flange-ppe tubing liltings.
I--- -----I
7.1.5 Casling will1 internal voids.
I I 7.1.6 flal polymer gaskers. and
I I ~~~~~~Q 7.1.7 Unvented O-ring grooves.
-I - - - - - J 7.2 In general. the solution is proper design lo elimina~e
FIG. 2 Test Method B there conditions; however, when double seals must be used,
an access pon belween them should be provided for attach-
------- men1 to the LD. Leaks may then be located from each side of
the seal. The access port can be sealed or pumped continu-
I ously after repair by a holding pump (large vacuum system).
'I 6 Teat e n c l a a u r a (flood)
7.3 Temporarily plugged leaks often occur because of
poor manufacturing techniques. Water, cleaning solvent,
plating, flux. grase. paint, etc. are common problems. These
problems can be eliminated to a large extent by proper
preparation of the p a m before leak testing. Proper
degreasing. vacuum baking, and testing before plating or
painting are desirable.
I I 7.4 The time constant for evacuation and for the rise of
the helium signal is invenely proportional to the pumping
speed and directly proportional to the volume being evacu-
I I sigh vacvvm P m p

Low-condumnce tubing, or any other flow impedance, can

reduce the pumping speed of the system very significantly,
FIG. 3 Test Method C thus extending the system response time constant. If such an
impedance connects two volumes under test, a LD connec-
projected U e of the component. Care must be exercised to tion to each volume should be provided.
ensure that large systems are calibrated with the standard 7.5 When unusually long pumping times are necesr;uy, aU
leak located at a representative place on the test volume. As of the connections not being tested should be protected from
the volume tends to be large (>I m3) and there are often low continuous exposure to the helium. This will reduce unde-
conductance paths involved, a check of the response time as sired high-helium background levels due to permeation of
well as system sensitivity should be made. helium through the O-rings. This can be effected by donble-
6.2 Tesc Method B-This test method is used for testing seals (with evacuation of the space between), or sometimes
vacuum systems either as a step in the final test of a new by more informal shielding approaches.
system or as a maintenance practice on equipment used for 7T.57 MEIHOD A-HELIUM
manufacturing, environmental test, or conditioning paN. As COMWNENIS/SYSTEMS USING THE LD
with Test Method A. the reswnse time and a system
sensitivity check may be requireb for large volumes. - 8. Apparatus
6.3 Test Method C-This test method is to be used only 8.1 Leak Derecror, having a minimum deteciable lcak rate
when there is no convenient method of connecting the LD to as required by the test sensitivity.
the outlet of the high-vacuum pump. I f a helium LD is used 8.2 A t ~ ~ i l i a Pumps,
r!~ capable of evacuating the object to
and the high-vacuum pump is an ion pump or cryopump, be tested lo a low enough pressure that the LD may be
leak testing is best accomplished during the roughing cycle, connected.
as these pumps leave a relatively high percentage of helium 8.3 Suirable Connecror and Valves, to connect to the LD
i n the high-vacuum chamber. This will limit the maximum test port. Compression fitting and metal tubing should be
sensitivity that can be obtained. used in oreference to a vacuum h o w

8.4 ~iandardLcaks of Borh Capsrile o p e (Containing 11s

7. interferences Own Ifeliutn Stipply) and Capillary Type, an actual leak that
7.1 Series leaks with an unpumped volume between them is used to simulate the reaction of the test system to a helium
present a difficult if not impossible problem in helium leak leak. The leak rate of the standard lcak used for the system
testing. Although the &atrace gas enten the first leak readily calibration shall be equal to or lrss then one half of the
enough since the pressure difference of helium across the first acceptance level (maximum permissible leakage rate). Tem-
leak is approximately one atmosphere. it may take many perature correction of the permeation capsule-type swndard
Calibration Setup w i t h a capillary CL 9.2 Adjust the LD readout to correspond to the temperd.
lure-corrected standard leal, value in accordance with tile
manufacturerz' instructions.
NOTE I-Valve closurn mnv be accom~lishcdautomalimllv
~, n,,
s a m c LDr ~ n some
d C O U ~ I C ~ O U - I Y htS1.D~
W ( = q u i r t conlinucd UU.
the rouy>xlng purnc, dunng terl~np, Refcr lo lhc m ~ n u l ~ c l u r c rown,,,,,!
9.3 Disconnect tile capsule standard leak from the LD
and connect the test system to the LD.
10. System Calibration and Test Procedure
10.1 For small-volume tests (a few litres and less) or when
the standard leak cannot be attached directly to the test
component, the instrument calibration shall be used for the
system calibration. The correction factor (CF) used to
multiply the instrument calibration value for the system leak
rate is one.
10.2 For large-volume systems, attach one of the slandard
leaks to the test system at a location that provides the lowest
Calibration S e t u p with a Capsule CL conductance path to the LD.
NOTE 2-11 using a capsule l u k . open the calibtated I& (CL)and
pump isolation wlva. and clow the ulibntion vslvc. Turn on the CL
vacuum pump. Refer to Fig. 4.
10.3 Evacuate the device to be tested until near equilib-
rium pressure is reactikd on the rough vacuum gage. Open
the valve to the LD and check the background helium
concentration. When the helium background is equal to or
less than one half the acceptance level (maximum permis-
sible leakage rate), close the valve(s).to the roughing pumps.
10.4 System Calibraion or Procedure Quolifiiccion:
10.4.1 Record the helium background level.
10.4.2 Open the valve of the system standard leak (cali-
bration valve) attached to the test component/system (Fig.
NOTE3-Iiusing a clpillary leak, apply helium of one atmosphere to
FIG. 4 Calibration Setups the smndard l u k For the clpsule standard Ids, dmc the pump
isolation valvc immcdiatdy prior to opening the calibration valvc.
leaks should be performed when the ambient temperature 10.4.3 Graph the LD response as a function of time until
has a difference of 3C (5F) from the calibration tempera- a steady-state condition is reached. Refer to Fig 5.
ture of the standard leak. The leakage rate error may become 10.4.4 Close the standard leak valve, and reduce the
significant (>I2 %) without temperature correction. helium background of the test componentlsystem to the
8.5 Vacuum Gage, to read the pressure before-the LD is same level as that obtained before system calibration. It may
connected. be necessary to open roughing pump valves and use the
8.6 Heliwn Tank and Replalor, with attached helium roughing pumps to expedite the reduction of the helium
probe hose and jet. background.
8.7 Test Component/Sysrem Enclosure (Hood)-Either a 10.4.5 Calculate the LD C F for adjusting the instrument
rigid structure or heavy plastic cover to contain and sur- calibration reading to a system calibration reading. For tests
round the test pan totally in helium tracer gas. on large-volume systems, the amplitude response of a leak in
the system is less than the amplitude response from the
9. Instrument Cdibration instrument calibration standard leak .-
9.1 Attach the capsule leak to the LD and tune the LD to This CF should be calculated at either the time gt
achieve the desired sensitivity scale in accordance with the which a steady-state response (SS) is reached or at the time at
manufacturer's instructions. Allow sufficient time for the which the LD response is 63 % of the change. This shall be
flow rate from the capsule leak to equilibrate. The perme- the minimum test period. The formula for the C F at this test
ation-type capsule leak should be stored with the shutoff time is as follows:
valve (if present) open, and the leak should be allowed to
equilibrate to ambient temperature for several hours. Capil-
lary-type capsule leaks should be stored with the shutoff
valve closed to prevent unwanted decay of the reservoir where:
pressure. CL,. = temperature-corrected standard leak rate,
Steady S t a t e value
MSLD ---

I/;; I
t I

level 'c Sr
T e s t Time

v z = system time constant

x = - v I volume of test system
o s r; Pumping speed of eystem

r = 6 3 s of amplitude change cauned by C L

5r = 99.9% of amplitude change (Steady State condition)
FIG. 5 System Time Constanl

LR = indicated LD reading (0.63 SS or SS) at the end of the tion. All connections should have as high a conductance as is
test period (T or 57 respectively), and practical.
BR = background reading (initial reading). 12.2 Attach the standard leak to the vacuum chamber of
10.5 Set the LD on the appropriate range. the object to be tested and as far as practical from the inlet to
10.6 Close the valves to the roughing pump(s) if they were the pumping system. Refer to Fig. 4.
opened to expedite the reduction of the helium background. 12.3 Operate the equipment until equilibrium vacuum is
10.7 Fd the test wmponent/system enclosure with he- reached in the vacuum chamber.
lium or place the test patt in the enclosure. Large, enclosures 12.4 Slowly open the inlet valve to the LD. Do not allow
should be purged sumciently to remove the trapped air. For the LD pressure to exceed the manufacturer's recommenda-
any concentration other than 100 % helium atmosphere, the tions.
system aoxptance level should be adjusted for the reduced 12.5 if the inlet valve can be opened fully without
sensitivity. exceeding the safe LD operating pressure, close the equip-
10.8 Keep the test wrnponent/system in the test enclo- ment roughing pump valve slowly. If this valve can be closed
sure for the test period established in accordance with 10.4.5 completely. the maximum sensitivity of the test will be
and record the LD reading at the end of the period. achieved.
N m 4--The system time raponst may be longer than tile innru-
men1 rapomtime. 13. instrument Glibration
13.1 See Section 9.
10.9 Calculate the system leakage by multiplying the LD
reading by the C F to obtain the corrected system leakage. For
14. System Calibration and Test Procedure
tests in which a system calibration was not performed (that
is, test volumes less than a few litres), use a C F of one. 14.1 See Section 10.
10.10 Write a test report. or otherwise indicate the test
results as required. TEST hlETl1OD C-USE 01:RCA OR OF HELIUM MSLD
15. Apparatus
15.1 RGA or lCfSLD and Cottlrols. tunable to the tnce
11. Apparatus gas.
15.2 Standard Leak, of approximately the size of the
11.1 Helium LD-Same apparatus as Section 8. minimum leak to be located.
15.3 Slrirable Filling and Isolaling Valves, for attachment
12. Preparation of Apparatus to the hi&-vacuum chamber.
12.1 Connect the inlet valve of the LD of the foreline of 15.4 Liquid ~ i t r o g e nCold Traps, to be used if the system
the object to be tested. If possible, insert a valve in the conta~nscondensable vapors harmful to the RGA or the
foreline between the mechanical pump and the LD connec- MSLD
16. Preparation of Apparatus to he left in place. Refer to Fig. 4 for the calibration setun
16.1 Attach the RGA or the MSLD tube to the high-
vacuum section of the test object to he tested. The connec- 17. Instrument Calibration
lion should be located near the pumped end of the system 17.1 See section 9.
and attached with as short and as lame a diameter tube as
practical. Maximum test sensitivity & obtained when the 18. System Calibration and Test Rocedure
high-vacuum pumps are throttled, by means of the high- 18,1 seesection
vacuum valve. so as to maintain as hi& a oressure in the
volume under'test as is safe for the LL
~n'imlationvalve 19. Precision and Bias
may be used between the detector and the system to allow
servicing the detector without loss of vacuum in the system 19.1 Precision-The precision of these test methods..will
and to protect the detector from contamination when nor in vary with each instrument and the sensitivity level of the leak
use. When a liquid nitrogen trap and isolating valve are both test.
being used, the cold trap should be located between the test 19.2 Biu-The bias of the leak t a t will be equal to that
ofthe standard leak used for the system calibration when test
object and the isolating valve.
16.2 Attach a standard capillary or permeation leak to the conditions are the same as the system operating conditions.
system as far away from the pumps as possible, using the
lowest conductance path. A small high-vacuum valve should 20. Keywords
be used between the standard leak and the system, and a dust 20.1 helium leak test; helium mass spectrometer leak test;
cap should be provided for the capillary standard leak if it is hood leak test; leak testing; mass spectrometer leak test

Ths nK1ric.w W r y lor Testing and Malerials lakes m p a r h ~ q c I i n gthe validi7y dany w e n 1 righls asserted in mnnedion
wifh any i(Mt memiaoed in lhb standad. US- d l h b slandard are eqxdy advised lhal delenniMiion ol the validify d any such
wen(righls, and ihe rirk d i n f r i m olslhh rigMs, are direly their avn respnsibil#y.
Thb slandard is sobjeQ 10 revision al any W-9 by ihe respririMe l & n b l m m i n e e andmusl be rev- wew live yesrs and
fndrrnired, ei7herresppro"edorwilhd-. Y o u r c ~ m w m a r e i n u ~ e d ~ I ~ ~ r ~ o l l h i
and shooM ba a d d w lo ASTM Hea+&es. Ywr cMmwm wiilreccire M u 1 m M e ( a l i o n a1 a meeling d lhe r s s p ~ ~ i b l e
l&nW m m e e . Which you may anand. H you lee1 lhal your mmmnls have nd mceh'ed a fair hearing you shwld make your
views kMwn lo Uw ASTM Commnec an Si&s. 1916 Race Si. Philad#@ia. PA 19103.
. all methods in which heat sensing devices are used to measure temperature variations in
components, structures, systems or physical processes
. used for detection of subsurface flaws or voids, provided depth of flaw is not large
compared to its diameter
. can inspect complex shapes or assemblies of similar or dissimilar materials
. need only one side accessibility

Basic Principles of Thermography

. thermography uses non-contact infrared scanning equipment to detect invisible infrared
radiation (heat) and converts this energy
-- to visible light, -
- or an electrical simal to be -



. involves the measurement or mapping of surface temperatures when heat flows from, to or
through a test object
. thennograph - map of isotherms or contours of equal temperatures, over a test surface
. examples of detectable changes - heat leaking out of a component causes a hot spot on the
part surface or unbonded area on a component which so uniformly heated will produce a
hot spot since the heat does not flow to the substructure compared to the normal area
the larger the imperfection and the closer it is to the surface, the greater the temperature
Heat Transfer Mechanisms
. heat flows from hot to cold within an object by conduction and between an object and its
surroundings by conduction, convection and radiation
. electromagnetic radiation is emitted from a heated body when electrons within the body
change to a lower energy state. Both the intensity and the wavelength of the radiation
depend on the temperature of the surface atoms or molecules
Material Heat Transfer Characteristics
. Material characteristics that affect conduction and convection
1) Specific heat (c) - the amount of heat a mass of material will absorb for
a given temperature interval.
2) Density (p) - the mass per unit volume of the material
3) Thermal conductivity Q - the amount of heat that flows in a given direction
when there is a temperature difference across the
material in that direction
4) Thermal diffusivity (a)- the speed at which the heat flows away from a region
of higher temperature to the surrounding material
5) Convection heat transfer coefficient @) - a measure of how efficiency heat is
. between a surface and a flowing - gas
- or
6) Temperature Q - a measure of the heat energy ( local thermal agitation)
contained at each point in the test object
. Important material characteristic in radiation heat transfer is the emissivity (E) of a test
. Emissivity indicates the efficiency of a surface as a radiator (or absorber) of electromagnetic
e blackbodies, the most efficient radiators or absorbers of electromagnetic radiation, have an
emissivity of 1.0, all other bodies have an emissivity less than 1.0
o emissivity is a function of several variables such as color and surface roughness
e variations in emissivity change the power of the radiation emitted at given temperature and
thus affect infr-dlwl.temperature measurements

Surface Preparation
e surface condition can affect test results i.e. roughness, cleanliness, foreign materials,
uniformity and condition of paint or other surface coatings
Establishing Heat Plow
. test piece to be inspected by thermography are considered to be either active or passive
. passive - test pieces are artificially heated or cooled during the inspection to obtain a thermal
. active - test pieces that use the heating or cooling effects inherent in normal service durini
Inspection Equipment
. Temperature sensors used in thermal inspection can be separated into two categories:
noncontact temperature sensors (used for thermography) and contact temperatures sensors
. Noncontact sensors depend on the thermally generated electromagnetic radiation from the
surface of the test object This energy is typically in the infrared region
A. Infrared imaging svstems
1) hand held scanners - respond to wavelengths (h)of 8-12 pm emitted by objects
at or near room temperature but have poor imaging qualities and are not suitable for
accurate measurement of local temperature differences
2) high resolution infrared imaging systems - these systems use either pyroelectric
vidicon cameras with image processing circuitry or cryogenically cooled mechanical
scanners to provide good image resolution (150 pixels, or picture elements per scan
. Temperature sensitivity to 0.1" C (0.2" E)
[some claim down to 0.001" C (0.002 " F)]
. Response time < 0.1 second to detect transient temperature changes or
. Systems use either a gray scale or a color scale which are correlated to
temperature ranges to depict the temperature distribution within the image
3) the& wave interferometer systems - use modulated laser excitation with rapid
phase and amplitude sensing that can be scanned across a surface to produce an
. system senses the interaction between the thermal waves of the laser and the
thermal variations from coating defects and thickness variations
B. Radiometers and pyrometers
Devices for measuring radiation, or spot or line temperatures, without the spatial
resolution needed for an imaging system usually have slow response time, so they
are good for monitoring constant or slow varying temperatures
Pyrometers - used as noncontacting thermometers for temperatures of 0" - 3000" C
( 32" - 5400" F)

Both radiometers and pyrometers are low cost devices that can be, used for long
term monitoring of processes
. Contact Temperature Sensors - include material coating an thermoelectric devices
. advanta~es- usually low in cost
. disadvantages - provides qualitative temperature measurements which can show
small changes in temperatures and coatings can change the thermal characteristics of
the past surface
A. Cholesteric liquid crystals
. greaselike substances that can be blended to compounds hive color
transition ranges at temperatures from -20 to 250 " C (-5 to 480" F)
. Compounds can have a color response for a particular temperature range and
differentials of 1' - 50" C (2' - 90" F)
B. Thermally quenched phosphors
. organic compound that emit visible light wwhh excited by ultraviolet light.
. brightness of phosphorus inversely proportional with temperature over a range
from room temperature to - 400' C (750" F)
. some can change as much as 25% / "C or 14% 1 "F
. other coatings - heat sensitive paints, therrnochromic compounds, heat sensitive
papers, meltable frosts and waxlike substances can indicate surface temperatures.
C. Thermoelectric devices
Thermocouples - consist of a pair ofjunctions of two different metals. As the
temperature of one of the junctions is raised, a voltage
relative to the other (reference)junction is produced that is
proportional to the temperature difference between the two
Thermopiles - are multiple themocouples used electrically in series to
increase the output-voltage. They have greater output (which
results in greater sensitivity) but have a slower response time
due to the increased mass.
Thermistors - are electrical semiconductors that use changes in electrical
resistance to measure temperature
Acoustic emission

Reprinted from ResearchlDwelooment. May 1971, Volume 22, Number 5. oases 20-24
Acoustic emission
Does metal 'shriek' when it's under stress or strain? -.
Indeed it does. . . and instruments and methods have been developed
to 'listen in' on materials and predict failures before they occur

President, ~ u n e G nR e e a r d ~ o r ~ a r a t i b n
and A. S. Tetelrnan
Schwl of Engineering. UCLA

Acoustic emission &ling offen a new method for the opportunity to prevent (fie failure in such wses.
performing nondestructive tating of materials, manu- The family physician employs one form of acoustic
facturing processes and suuctural components. When emission Lcsting when he listens to the human heart-
a material is strained beyond its elastic limit, it emits a beat with a stethoscope. From the pulse rate and
characteristic noise signal thal is called ucomic c m b
sion. T h e total amount of acoustic emission increases
- amplitude of the e m i M sound, h e determines wheth-
er there are any defects in the heart However, the
until the material fractures. Detedion of acoustic sound emitted by a deforming metal o r nonmetallic
emission signals allows an engineer o r scientist to structure is much more difFicult to detect Sensitive
predict when a material is about to fail and gives him pieuxlearic transducers must be u t i i i i to hear the
key events o f deformation and fracture and convert
these p u b s to cleclmnic signals. Filters are required
to screen out unwarranted background o r extraneous
noise. T h e electronic signals need to he amplified,
pro& and presented to the user in a simple dis-
Digital printer play. Finally, the scientist o r engineer must have some
bo \ or computer understanding of the "software" of this technique if
he is lo use it efficiently.
A great deal of r and d effort has been expended on
acoustic emission testing during the last several years.
Reamplifier An acoustic emission working group is in existence
and, in c a p e r a t i o n with ASTM, is sponsoring a two-
Transducer day technical conference on emission tesiing in Flor-
ida in Decemher 1971. Apart from the original efforts
Alarm of Kaiser in Germany. almost all of the work has been
performed in the U.S. Acoustic emission techniques
AJ haqe been fouhd to be one of the most informative
methods of determining material behavior and stNc-
Fig. 1. Simplified block diagram of acoustic emission
system. Sensing transducer in contact with structure turd performance. T h e techniques have been used
being investigated converts low-level stress waves to for nondesmctive inspection of ordnance and pres-
electrical signals that are amplified, filtered and pro- sure vessels, for determining the efficiency of welding
cessed in varietv of wan. and adhesive bonding processes: and for understand-
ing [he microscopic proccsscs o i iatiguc, slress corro-
sion cracking and composite failure. Malcrials such as
steel, titanium, aluminum. concrete, woad aod fiber
reinforced resins have been investigated.

How It Works
Acoustic emissions are the impulsively generated
small amplitude elastic stress wavcs created by defor-
mations in a material. T h e rapid release of kinetic
energy from the deformation mechanism propagates
elaslic waves from the source, and these arc detected
as small displacements on the surface of the specimen.
The emissions indicate the onset and continuation o f
deformation and may be used to locate the source of
deformation through Lriaugulation techniques. Strain
A particular feaNre which makes acoustic emission
analysis a most useful tool for the study of the beha- Fig. 2. Acoustic emission rate data observed fmm metal speci-
vior o f materials is that the pattern of emission u men pulled in tension. Note that emission rate is maximum
near yield strength and decreases in workhardening range.
determined by the lime distribution of the impulsive
deformations that occur within the material. Coose-
quently, the study of local defects can be carried out
without prior knowledge of their location, o r even
existence. In addition. emission data dscribe the vol-
umetric deformation p r o c m not adquately avail-
able from surface phenomena (such as strain), thus
permining a mom comprehensive insight into the
deformation p r o e s e s (such as plastic flow, fracture
and phase transformations) that occur.
The application o f acoustic emission technology
involves a f f i n g the senson to the article under i n v s -
ligation; the detected emissions are then amplified,
selectively filtered. and conditioned, and then counted
either on a periodic basis, as a rate of emission, o r as a
cumulative total. Typically. inflection points in the Renure
data curves obtained through either counting method
are used to determim such items as the onset o f Fig. 3. Typical summation of acoustic emission curves o h
tained from identical pressure vessels with different initial
plasticity a n d l o r crack growth, continuatioo of slow flaw sizes. Slopes increase rapidly prior to failure. Data can
o r stable crack gmwth. and .the transition to unstable be used to predict failures before they occur.
crack growth. Emission signals are frquently also
recorded on magnetic tape for post-test analysis.
Figure 1 is a simplified block diagram showing the
detector in cootad with a strudurc. T h e sensing
transducer is normally constructed from a piaoelec-
tric crystal that converts low level s t r w waves in the
structure to electrical signals that are amplified, band
pars filtered and processed in a variety of ways. T h e
signals are usually transient in nature and tend to ring
the detection transducer a t resonana. This rrcults in
an electrical signal that is a damped sinusoid with a
carrier frequency strongly dependent on the traosduc-
er characteristics.
In many cases the signals are counted with a digital
counter. This count is converted to a dc voltage and
displayed on an x-y recorder. The digital counting
technique has other advantages in the event one
wishes to process the data with a digital computer.
The use of several acoustic emission channels on a
large structure can be used lo triangulate to a source
and thereby locate a flawed area. This is accomplished
in much the same manner as louting sources o f

.+Applications k e e p growing
Acoustic emission testing techniques are rapidly Fig. 4. Summation acoustic emission as function of time for
being used in many a r e a . Metallurgisls and materials three different heat treated specimens of an aluminum alloy
engineers are finding useful information concerning under load i n 3 per cent salt solution.
increase in cn~issionprior to failure was observed in
all cases for failures bclow general yield. Many limes
the beginning of this rapid build up in activity occurs
at approximately 70-80 per cent of [he failure pres-
sure. This allows failure to be anticipated in snme
Thin-wall vessels constructed from tough materials.
and containing small Raws often show a peak in the
acoustic emission data prior lo failure. similar to the
unflawed tensile specimen. It is then marc difficult to
make failurc predictions based on the slope of the
emission data. However, predictions can sometimes be'
made by periodically holding the vessel at constant
pressure on the increasing pressure cycle. Almost all
malerials 'containing flaws exhibit a creep effect at
some percentage of the critical stress where failure
occurs. This results in continuing acoustic emission
during t h a e constant-pressure hold periods. Labox-
tory tests on fracture specimens can determine at
what percentage of the critical stress intensity factor
this creep effect ocmm and the pressure vessel test
can be used to estimate wheiher the stress intensity at
the largest flaw is above o r below this value. In many
materials the stress intensity factor must be 89 lo 90
per cent of the critical value Kcbefore tnc c m p effect
crack area (square inches\ is observed.
Predicting suxrptibility to strm cormSon cracking
~ i g . 5 . Summation of awustic emission signals a s func- and hydmgen embritUemenL Many materials exhibit
tion of area of hydmgen-induced cracking for several susceptibility for subcridcal u a c k gmwth when cx-
values of stress intensity factor K.
posed to a combim~ionof certain environments, high
s@cscs. c, and pre-existing Ram of length a. This
phenomenon is known a s sires w m i o n cracking.
the deformation mechanisms operating in materials. Acoustic emission techniques can easily detect
These cover the gamut from glass and ceramics, st- corrosion cracking long before any visible evi-
through conventional metals, into the more modern dence of attack is p r e x n t To demonsbate ihu effect,
composites. three compact tension fradure specimens of an alu- -
Figure 2 shows the typical awustic emission re- minum alloy, containing sharp machined notches
sponse normally observed from a metal tensile speci- were loaded to the same value of Ncss intensity
m e n T h e eminion rate is maximum near the yield factor, K = (-)k, and subjected to a salt water
strength of the material and dsreases in the work- solution. Acoustic emision tranducers were at-
hardening range The type of activity observed from tached, and the notched region of the specimens were
an nnftawed specimen of this kind is related to micro- placcd in a 3 per a n t salt solution. The spacimem had
scopic dislocation pmcascs and requirs a high sensi- becn heat treated prior (D the test to such an extent
tivity instrumentation system to be detected. T h e sig- that one was s w r p t i b i e to strsr c o r n i o n cracking
nal levels can vary by orders of magnitude depending and the other two were n o t
on such factors as the crystallme sWclure of the The summation of acoustic erninion counts p r s e n t
materials, yield strength and past history. t o m each specimen was then plotkd as a function o f
Flaw de(ectioa The introduction of a Baw into a time for a n 8 h o u r period. The d t i n g curves are
material significantly changes the awustic c m k i o n shown in Fig. 4. Note that specimen A shows aaivity
pattern in comparison to the unflawed specimen. T h e after only 20 minufm in thesolutionand goes to 10,000
data in Fig. 2 are primarily due to a uniform, homo- counu in less than an hour. Specimens B and C
geneous yielding that occurs in the gage section; in were not expected to besusceptible to theenvironment.
this situation the emission incrcves to a maximum. As expected; C did not show any activity over the 8-
and decreases in the work-hardening region. When a hour period. In subsequent tesesIs,C was held for as
flaw is introduced, l o c a l i i yielding will occur in the long as 86 hours with n o activity occurring. Spetimen
vicinity of the Baw even though the gross stress in the B did showsome susceptibility to stress corrosion. a[-
specimen is weU below the yield stress. If the Baw is though in a much less dramatic manner Lhan A.
large enough to caw failurc below g e n e d yield, a Following ~e 8-hour test the spccirncns were re-
continuous build up of crnission will occur until the moved and examined a t 8 X magnification. No visible
specimen fails. difierenas were observed b e t w m the specimens. In
Any anomaly that will c m t e l o c a l i i yielding will subsequent 86-hour t a u . A began to show a small
result in awustic emission. Figure 3 shows typical crack in the vicinity o f the notch tip. Most p r s e n t
data from p r m r c vascls containing flaws o f suffi- . methods of determining stress corrosion suweptibiity
cient sizc to cause failure to c o x r below general yield. involves loading many specimqns simultaneously and
Note the large incrwwr in the Slopes of the summa- waiting for failures to occur. Thus. w n k s and months
tion of acoustic emission-prcnure curves prior to fail- are required to obtain the needed data. Acoustic
ure. Over 100 pressure vessels of different materials . emission techniques can shorten the time considerably
have been monitored over lhe past 8 years. This rapid and arc idcally suilcd for determining whether or not
a particular cnvironmunt is hostilc to a given m~lcrial.
The role or dissolved hydrogen in promoling (r;lc-
lure or high strength stecl components has been the
object o f numerous investications.
- The acoustic emis-
sion resulting from the initiation of microcracks and
crack propagation can be easily recorded, and a quan-
titative relationship has been established between the
acoustic emission data and the amount of crack area
Figure 5 shows the rclationshi~between the sum-
mation of acoustic emissions present as a function of
the amount of hydropen-induced crack extension in a
cathodically chirgedTspecimen of 4340 steel. Note
that the number of counts present for a given amount
o f crack area swept out is strongly dependent on the
stress intensity factor K present at the crack tip.
Acoustic emission testing can thus be used to con-
tinuously monitor slow crack growth in cadmium
plated steel fasteners, and predict when a bolt is
approaching failure (when K -tKJ.
Mevuring coating thickness. There are many coat-
ing processes for protecting materials from erosion o r 0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1.0 1.25 1.50 1.75 2.0 2.25
corrosion under dilierent environmental conditions. Hours
Anodizing is used by the aluminum industry. Thermal
oxidation can occur when materials such as titanium Fig. 6. Sqmmation acoustic emission as function of
time of exposure at 1500 F for 6A1-4V titanium dia-
alloys are subjected to high temperatures in the pres- phragms pressurized to 3000 psi.
ence of oxygen. Both of these processes result in the
formation of brittle coat on the surface of the mate-
rial. When the materials are deformed, the resulting
microcracks generated in this coating give rise to with little attenuation in most engineering materials;
acoustic emission signals that can he easily recorded. and therefore the transducers can be located at some
A technique has been developed for measuring ano- distance from the activity without a loss of data.
d ' i coating thickness. It involves recording the total One example of the use of this "wave guide" prin-
number of counts for a given pressure from clamped ciple is shown in Fig. 7. A Rene' 41 tensile specimen
diaphragm specimens of thin aluminum with varying containing a transverse weld was tested at 1400 F i n a
anodized coating thickness. gleeble machine. T h e determination of the on& of
Experiments have been performed recently on dia- microcracking was of ~ r i r n a r yinterest. The soecimen
phragm specimens of 6 A I 4 V titanium alloy sub- was heated ti 1403 F during ;he first three mihutes. a t
jectcd to IS00 F in air, for different lengths of time. which time load was applied until a preset stress was
The diaphragm specimens were clamped at the edges obtained. At this point constant displacement was
and subject2 to ;n increasing hydro&tic pnsrure>n maintained on the specimen. The signals from the
one side, while acoustic emissions were recorded from transducer (mounted on the water-uxrled grips exter-
the opposite s i d e The summation of acoustic emission nal to the hot environment) were accumulated and
counts were recorded up to 3M)O psi on each speci- plotted as a function of time.
m e n The total number of counts observed from each The acoustic emission data (Fig. 7) shows consid-
was plotted as a function of the time of exposure of erable activity during Load application; the emission
each diaphragm to the 1500 F environment These quiets down a s the displacement is held constant.
data. are presented in Fig. 6. Note that the longer After approximately 30 seconds at constant displace-
exposure results in a higher number of wunts to the menl, crack initiation begins and continues. amlcrat-
maximum prusure. Since the oxide coating thickness ing until complete failure occurs. The emission data
is proportional to some function of the time of expo- provided detailed insight into a time dependent phe-
sure, a test of this type can be used to determine the nomenon, controlled by applied stress, temperature
average wating thickness. The 3000 psi was not suffi- and material composition. The acquisition of these
cient lo plastically deform the diaphragm to such an data was conveniently accomplished even under fairly
extent that a noticeable dimpling occurred. It was severe elearical and thermal noise conditions.
determined that a few hundred psi was sufficient to
distinguish t h e difference between specimens; thus, a Future Applications
device can be envisioned that would pressurize a given
area on a sheet specimen and provide a measure of the All materials and structures contain defects of one
wating thickness in a nondes&ctive manner. sort or another. 'Generally, these defects wuse no
Delcctinc- hich
- temuenture failure. Many measure- reduction in the strength of a part. However, if the
ment techniques such as strain gaging, holography defects reach a certain range o f size, they become
and eddy currents, require access to the surface o f the dangerous and can cause a substantial reduction in
material. at o r adjacent to the area to be measured. strength. AET offers the possibility of detecting these
Thus, certain limitations are present when high tem- cracks before they reach this critical size range.
perature closed environmental conditions are present. TO understand how this is accomplished, it is neces-
On the other hand, acoustic emission signals gener- sary to digress a bit and consider the mechanics of
ated in materials will propagate for large distands crack growth. Briefly, a crack of length o residing in
10 applicd to thc dctcctlun ol cracks and their suhcritical
Crack ini!ia$ion
growth by continuous niunitoring oi a structure.
Holding conaant However, i n practical usage, cxccssive bockground
8 dirplocemcnt noise during service. such as accun in aircraft
. .. nuclear power generating facilities, eliminates this
7 ;, . . .. .
and failure procedure i n many cases. As a n allernative to contin.
- , ... ..-.. ... .. . . - uous monitoring, a procedure lhat lakes advantage of
. . :, .,-. .
. , , the irreversibility of acoustic emission is possible.
For example, i f a cracked structure is loaded to a
5.: ." '- ,,~B W
a i n =85 db
= 1W-300 KHz particular value of K and (hen unloaded, emission will
4 ' : ' Differential not occur during reloading until this previous value o f
transducer K is exceeded. I t is therefore possible to take advan:
3 tage of this irreversible nature to determine whether
or not a crack has grown during service loading, by
2 periodically overstressing the structure to a stress level
higher than the service stress and simultaneously mon-
, .. ,
,, itoring for acoustic emission. If Raws have grown
.... ... .. . since the previous overstress, then the applied stress
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6 intensity factor during the new overstress application
Minuter will have increased. and emission will be observed.
Fig. 7. Summation acoustic emission as function of Alternatively, if no Raw extensions had occurred, the
time for welded Rene' 41 tensile specimen. Specimen applied stress-intensity-factor would remain as before
was heated to 1400 F in a gleeble machine loaded to a and no new plastic deformation, and hence no emis-
constant displacement and held until failure occurred. sion would occur. 1t is entirely f e G b l e that this
technique could be used to periodically overstress
selected structural components to determine if fatigue
a n elastic volume under a tensile stress s is described cracks are growing in critical areas.
by a stress-intensity-factor K. This concept of using.acoustic emission and a
K= (1) scheduled applicalion of stress to estimate service life
may be applied to the case of turbine discr. Many of
- ... K gives a measure of the local strain energy concen-
the discs that are retired after a specified life could
tration, G. at the crack tip. For example. K =
(EG)H, where E is the elastic modulus. Unstable undoubtedly experience further safe usage, provided
(rapid, final) crack propagation occurs when G nondestructive testing techniques couid reliably pre-
reaches a critical value, G,, such that K reaches a dict that any parricular disc would be safe for a
critical value specified period of additional service life.
During each cycle of loading. combinations of
K, = (EG,)" (2)
stress, time. and temperature produce some creep and
From Eq. 1. we see that the fracture s ~ e s or s is rhen fatigue damage which may, in turn, be accelerated by
given by metallurgical changes that occur during service.
eF = Kc/ (a~,)" (3) From Eq. 5 , we see that a certain number of
where a, is the critical flaw size. Kc is called the frac- acoustic emission signals, TN, (or also a certain
ture roughness. This key equation indicates that in acoustic emission rate, N) indicates that a crack is
brittle materials (K, low), small flaws will become approaching K c and that the disc should be removed
critiul a t a particular slress level, whereas a, will be from service. If the acoustic emission number is below
large in tough materials (Kc high). XN, then it is p w i b l e to guarantee that K is below a
Flaws that are smaller than critical size when intro- particular value and that the disc has a certain guar-
duced into the suucture (by poor welding) can sfill anteed lifetime remaining to it, depending on the
grow out to critical size under random loads (fatigue) exact form of equation (4).
o r in reactive environments (stress corrosion crack- The problem of estimating !he residual life of a
ing). Rare of slow crack growth also depends on K. turbine disc is but one of a number of problems that
da/dr = f(K) = ffd;io)*) (4) might be solved by AET. Consider weld cracking as
It is necessary to detect a crack when its K I K , ratio is another example. Many failures of welded high
low, if the stress is to be removed and brittle fracture strength steel p a m resulting from the growth of
is to be prevented. cracks are .difficult to detect by conventional NDI
Slow crack consis& of a series of dis- methods. However, it should be possible to detect the
crete movemenls within the structure. Each move- formation of a weld crack from the sound emitted
ment rapidly removes the strain energy G stored near during the growth of the crack. Continuous AET
the crack tip. A portion of this released energy is spent monitoring during welding should reduce the inci-
by the increased crack-surface area as surface energy, dence of undetected weld cracks.
while another portion is released as elastic waves in Bridges, dams and aircraft are all struc~uralsystems
the form o f acoustic emissions. The results of rising in which failure occurs by slow crack extension prior
load tests have shown that the total number of acous- to failure. If this crack growth can be monitored.
tic emission signals, ZN, can be directly related lo either periodically o r continuously, it should be pos-
the applied stress-intensity-factor K, through a re- sible t? determine when K approaches K,, and hence
lationship o f the form when'structural failure is impending. The one major
I N = AK- (5) problem thal remains involves the screening out of
where nr is a constant for a material and ~hickness. extraneous noise. but in many instances this is non-
Eq. 5 suggests thal acoustic enlission could be existent or can be ovcrcome with existing technique$. 0


The Acoustic Emission Phenomenon Acoustic Emission Nondestructive

Testing ..
I, J?,'
" Acoustic emission is _ & e - e b t i w
that is spotane-
, , '
? \ ously releazed by materials when they u n e o r m a t i o n . Acoustic emission examination is a rapidly maturing non-
., ?!.
J In the early 1960s.a new nondestructie testing technology destructive testing method with demonstraid capabilities
. 'I 41 was born when it was r e c o g n i d that for monitoring structural integrity, deteain l e a k and
i! discontinuities in pressure versels 5
incipient failures in mechanical equipment, an for charac-
monitoring their acoustic emission.-- - signals. AIthou
tic emission is7he most wbel usedte;;iiiTior this p enome-
non, it has also been d i edY stress waoe emission, stress
amus- terinng materials behavior. T h e first documented applica-
tion of acoustic emission to an engineerin s t t u b was
published in= and all of the a ~ i l a b 1 e . i n 8 dapplica-
mw, microseirm, microsdmiic adimty and mdc noise. tion exp5rience has been accumulated in the comparatively
Formally defined acoustic emission is "the ckrs of phe- short time since then.
nomena where transient elastic w a w are generged by the
rapid release of energy f m m I& sourcer within a ma-
terial, o r the transient elastic wavs so generated.": This is a Comparison with Other Techniques di5 h ! i k&\a
debition embracing bath the process of wave generation h&ec+ecS LJ
and the wave itself. Amustic emission differs from most other nondem~ctive 4
methods in tw significant respects. Fi.the ene that is
detected is released from within the test obi& S e r tfian
Source Mechanisms being supplied by the nondestructiw met!&, as in ultra-
Sources of acoustic emission include many different sonics o r radiography. Second, the acoustic emission
mechanisms of deformation and fracture Earthquakes and method is capable of detecting the d y ~ m i pnxerses c asso-
dation of stmctud integrity. Crack fj
rockbursts in mines are the largest naturally occurringemir
sion sources. Sources that haw been i d e n a d in metals
include crack gmvth, moving dislocltions, slip, hvinning,
ciated with the d
& $ " .
and plastic eformahon an: major s o u r n of acouz- 4
h m m i o n . Latent drswnhnuities that enkrge under load
grain boundary sliding and the fracture and demhesion of G E F a z i v e sources of acoustic emission by virlue of their
inclusions. In composite materials, sources indude mahir size. location or orientation are also t h e most likely to be sig-
cracking and the debonding and fracture of fibers. These nificant in t e q of structural integrity.
mechanisms typify the classical response of matelials to ap- Usually, certain areas within a structural system will de-
plied load. \dop local instabilities long before the structure fails. These
Other mechanisms fall \\<thin the definition and are de- instabilities result in minute dynamic movements such as
tectable with acoustic emission equipment. These include plastic defonnation, slip o r crdck initiation and propagation.
leaks and cavitation; friction (as in rotating bearings); the Although the s t r e s ~ e s 7 i T : a ~ a l I , ~ % a ~well
b e below the
realignment or gravth of mag~leticdomains (Barkhausen ef- elastic design limit, the regtoion near a crack tip may undergo
fect); liquefaction and solidilic;ition; and solid-solid phase plastic delbniGtGn as ;I resr~ltof high l w d l stresses. In this
trdnsfont~ations.Son~etimestliese s o u m s are &led scc- situntion, t l ~ epropag;tting disco~ltinuitl/acts as a source of
orldanj sources or pselldo s o ~ ~ r cto
c sdistinguish them front stress waws ind l ~ c o ~ n eans active acoustic emission
the classic acoustic ernission due to mechanical deformation Sotlice.
of stressed materials. A unified e~planationof the sources or +cornustic elnissiuo csaivlit~ation is no~tdirectiond. Most
acoustic emission does not ~t exist. Neitlter does a com- acoustic emission sources appear to functio~ias point source
plete analytical description of tlte stress wale energy in h e emitters that r.idi;ttc wauefmnts. Often.
vicinih of nn acoustic emissioti source. Hmwver, encourag- a sei~sorlwittrd int of anacoustic
ing pro~rcsshas been ~ n a d ei n rl~esehvo ke\. resesrch areas. etniszion source c;111drtect tlle resulting acoustic emission.
.- -

This is in contrast lo other i~>cthods or tnu~idest~uctiwtest- rlniissiu~itests. lbhle 1 gives all overview of tlie ,"anner by
ing, which depend on prior knowledge of tlie probable loca- \\*hicllv~riotts11i:tterial properties and testing conditions in,-
tion and orientation or a discclntinuit). in order to direct :I Ihtencr acm~sticel~iissionresponse arnplitnides.The Llctors
beam o l energv through the structure on a path tliet will ~liotlldgenerzilly be runsidered as indicative. rather than ils
intersect tine area or interest. nbsolttte.

Advantages of Acoustic Emission Tesu

Tlie acoustic emission ~iiethodoKers the followi~igit(lvai~-
Application of Acoustic
tages over other nondestructive testing methods: Emission Tests
1. Acoustic emission is a dynamic inspection mew in A classilication of the runctionnl categories of amustic
that it provides a response to discontinui~gmwthun- emission applications is given belo\":
der an imposed structural stress; static discontinuities
will not Renerate amustic emission sippals. 1. mechanical pmperty testing and characterization;
2. ~mustkemissiona n detect and ev&ate the signil,. 2 ~reseg.9 pmol tezting; -
u n c e ofdiscontinuities throughout an entire structure 3. in-%,* (requalifiution) testing;
during a single test. 4. qn-linh~onitoEng;
3. Since only limited access is required, discontinuities 5. in-process weld.,. monitoring;
may be detected that are inaccessible to the more tn- 6. m!l%id?ignature anabis;
ditional nondestructive methods. Zleak detection and-l--%o<-and -&
4. Vessels and other pressure systems can often be re- 8. geological a=.
quali6ed during an in-5e~c-cinspection that r e q u i r e
little o r no downtime By definition, on-line monitoring may be continuous o r
, 5. ?he acoustic emission method may be used to p s n t intermittent, and may involve the entire structure o r a lim-

c c a t a s t q h i c failure of systems with unlolown discunti-
nuities. and to limit the maximum pressure during
ited mne only. Although leak detection and amustic signa-
ture analysis do not involve acoustic emission in the shictest
containment system tests. sense of the tenn. amustic emission twhniques and equip-
/.y57? ment are used for these applications.
Amustic emission is a wave ohenomenon and acoustic
. emission teaine user the amibutes of particular wdw to Structures and Materials
y help character& the material in which the waw are trawl-
A wide variety of structures and materials (metals, non-
ing. \ F z e n z l a n d _ - m p l i t u d @ are -pIez.of &eS-
f6rm paramete? that are +ady monitored in acoustic metals and various combinations of these) can be monitored

WBLE 1. Factors that affect t h e relatfve a m p l i t u d e of acoustic emlsslon response

Factors That Tend t o Increase Acoustlc Factors That Tend t o Dmease Acoustic
Emlnlon R e y x x u e Amplitude Emblcn Reponre Amplitude
High mength LOW mength
High main rate LOW srrain rate
LOW temperature High temperature
AZ!imtrow tsotropy
Nonhomogeneity Homogeoeity
Thitk smiom Thin senions
Brittle failure [cleavage) Ductile failure (shear)
Material containing dixonunuities Material withwt dixoncjnuiries
Manemitic phaw rransformations Diffusion-controlledphase transformations
Crack propagation Plastic deformation
Casl materials Wrwghr materials
Large grain size Small grain size
Mechanically induced Thermally induced twinning

11y acoustic emission t e c l i ~ ~ i ~during

u e s the application of a11
external stress ( l o a d ) . l l ~ pri~naryacoustic
e emission mecha- Acoustic Emission Testing Equipment-
nism varies with different materials and should be cliar~c-
t e d M o r e applying amustic emission techniques to a Equip~nent for processing acoustic emission siglals is
new type of material. Once tlie cliaracteristic amustic emis- available in a varie? of fonns ranging from small prtaI,le
sion response has been defined, acoustic emission tests can iastru~iie~~tsto large multichannel systems. Conipo~ie~its
be used to evaluate the structural integrity of a mmponent. m~iiniouto all systems are sensors, preamplifiers, filters and
amplifiers to make the s i ~ i a measurable.
l Methods used Tor
mwuretnent. display an2 storage my more widely accord-
Testing of Composites ing to tlie demands of the appliation. Figure 1 shows a
Amustic emission nionitoring of fiber reinforced c n m p s - block diagram of a generic four-channel acoustic emission
ite materials has proven quite effecthe when compared wvitll system.
other nondestructive testing methods. H-r. attenuation
of the amustie emission signals in fiber reinforced materials Acoustic Emission Sensors
presents unique problems. ENediw acoustic emission mon-
itoring of fiber reinforced components requires much doser When an amustic emission wavefront impinges on the
sensor spacings than would be the case with a metal mmpo- surface of a test object, w r y minute mduements of the sur-
nent of similar size and configuration. With the proper num- face molecules m u r . A sensois function is to detect this
ber and location of sensors, monitoring of composite struc- mechanical m m m e n t and conwrt it into a specific, usable
tures has p m n higbly effective for detecting and locating electric signal.
areas of fiber b k g e , d e l a m i n a t i o ~and other types of The sensors used for acoustic emission testing often re-
s h u d degradation. semble an ultrasonicsearch unit in configurationand gener-
ally utilize a piemelectric tnnzducer as the electro-
mechanical conversion device h e sensors may be resonant
Pressure System Tern o r broadband. The main considerations in sensor selection
are (1) operating frequency; (2)sensitivity; and (3) environ-
pressure are sd using h
t- tacit or
other pressure t e s t The level of stress s o d d normally b e
held &Iw the r e l d -. B ~ i ~ lg & a~ b e in-
mental and physical characteristics. For high tern &re
tm. W ' W i d e s may b e ud to isolate the sensor E r n the
d u c e d to beamed ~ ~sherses ~ be i envimnment
~ Tbis
~ is a convenient
~ l alternative to the use of
generated in rotary shafts. h e r m a l ztresses may b e created high temperalure sensors. Waveguides haw also been used
l d Y .Tension and bending messes either be uni- to ~ m d i t i o the
n acoustic emission signat as an interpre-
tation aib
lateral o r +C to best simulate service induced stresses.
Issues such as wave type and directionality are difficult to
handle in this technology, sin= the naturally occumng
amustic emission mntains a complex mixture of we
Successful Applications
Examples of proven app~iutions for the amustic emission and Frequency.
P~~E!~!/fiers ~...
~ Selection

method include those listed belmv. The preamplifier must be located J o s e to the sensor. Of-
ten it is actually in+rated into tbe sensor housing. T h e
1. Periodic o r continuous monitoring of pressure vessels preamplifier provides required filtering, gain (most corn-
and other pressure mntainment SFtems to detect and monly 3 dB) and cable drive ca&-&ty. F F i l t e ~ gin tbe
locate active dismntinuities. preamplifier (together with sensor selection) is the primary
2. Detection of incipient fatigue failures in aerospace and meam of defining the monitoring frequency for the amustie
other eneineerine
,. ..structures. ..
emission test. This may be suoolemented by additional fil-
3.' Monitorin materials behavior tests to characterize at the n'ainframe-
various fai ure meclianisms. Choosing the ~nonitoringfrequency is an operator func-
tion, since the acoustic emission wurce is esseniially wide
4. Monitoring fusion or resistance weldmen6 during band. Reported frequencies range from audible clicks and
welding o r during the cooling period. rnwxks
.- .= to 50 MH-I
un ~~ ~ .~

5. Monitoring acoustic emission response during stress Although noTal\vaF fully appreciated by operators, the

J -
corrosion crackine.. and ii\drocen embrittlement sus- . ..
obsened frequr~icvspectrum of amustic emission sienals is
significantly ~ n f l t ~ r ~ i bv
c e dthe resonance and tnnsmission

FIGURE 1. Schematic diagram of a basic four-channel acousric emission testing system






characteristics of both the specimen (geometry as well as emisdon. A widely accepted rimuktor is the Hsn-Xielsen
acoustic properties) and the sensor. In p h c e , the h r source. a modirted s-d n d &at prwide5 a re-
3 uency limit is governed by backgmund noise; it is unu-
to go below 10 kHz e~ceptin microseismic work f i e
upper frequency limit is governed by wave attenuation that
markably reproducible simulatdPamustic emission signal
when the lead is broken against the test structure.
restricts the uzehrl detection range; it is unusual to go above
1 M H z The single mcst common frequency range for Microcornputen in Acoustic
acoustic emission testing is 100 to 300 kHz
Emission Test Systems
' System Mainframe
The first elements in the mainframe are the main amplifi-
ers and thmholds, which are adjusted to determine the test
Signal Processing and Displays
Nearly all modem acuusiic emission Nstems use micm-
sensitiviv. Main amplifier gains in the range of 20 to 60 dB mmputen in various configurations. as determined by the
i are most commonly used. Thereafter, the available proc- system size and performance requirements. In e ~ i c a im- l
essin depends on the size and cost of the G e m . In a small plementations, each acoustic emission signal is meamred by
, portafle instrument. acoustic emission events or threshold hardware circuits and the measured parameters are passed
crossings may simply be counted and the count then con- through the central microcomputer to a disk fie of signal
verted to an analo voltage for plotting on a chart recorder. descriptions. The customary signal description includes the
In more a d v a n 2 hardware systems, pnnisions may be threshold crossing counts, amplitude, duration, rise time
made for energy or amplitude measurement, spatial filter- and often the energy of the signal, along with its time of oc-
ing, time gating and automatic alarms. currence and the values of slowly changing variables such a?
load and background noise l e d .
Acounic Emission System Accessories During or after data recurding, the mtem
for graphic displays and hardcopy report. Common displays
Accessory items often used in acoustic emission w r k in- include history plots of acoustic emission versus time or
clude oscilloscopes, transient recorders and s+wm a d ? - load, distribution functions, cmqlots of one signal descrip-
zrs, magnetic tape recorders, rms voltmeters, special cali- tor against another and source location plots. Installed sys-
bration instmnients, and devices for simulating acoustic tems of this t y p range in size from 4 to 128 channels.

, O p e r a t o r Training a n d System Uses Some ;illo!.s :i~tdt~i;lte!i:~l>itt:ir in)l cslli1)it ; I I I ~t~ieasur&le

Kaiser effect el ;ill.
h4icrocomputer based systems are i~sually\*en \rr;atile. Becmise or the Kaiser d k c t , e;lcl~acoustic signal 1n;iy
allowing data filtering (to remove noise) and exte~lsivepost- only occur once so 11131 itisliectinns ]lave a nmv-or-never
test display capability (to analyze and interpret results). Tllis qnalily. In this respect. iicot~sticemission is at a dis-
versatility is a great advantage in new or difficult applica- ;idvant~ge\when compared to tecl~niquesthat can 1% ap-
tions, but it places high demands on the knwletlge auld plied again and again. I I differer~t
~ operaton or with differ-
technical training of the opentor. Other kinds o f ~ ~ u i p ~ n e ~ ic tt ~ tinstn~me~lts.wvilhot~t ;iffecting the stnrcture or the
have been dewloped for routine industrial appliritio~~ it1 the discontinuity.
hands of less highly tnined penonnel. The outcome in practical terms is that acoustic ernission
Examples are the systems used for bucket truck testing must be used at carefully planned times: during p m f tests.
(providing preprugrammed data repoits in a m d a n c e with before plant shutdowns or during critical moments of con-
ASTM recommended practices) and systems for resistance tinuous operation. This seeming restriction sometimes
weld p r o c w control (these are inserted into the current h o m e s the biggest advantage of the i&ustic emission
control system and terminate the welding process automat- techniques. By using acoustic emission during service, pro-
ically as m n as ~ u l s i o nis detected). duction can continue unintermpted. Eqienzive and time
Acoustic emission equipment was among the first nonde- consuming processes sucli as tlie erection of scaffolding and
structive testing equipment to make use ofcomputers in the extensive surface preparation can be completely awided.
late 19605.Performane. in terms of acquisition speed and
real-time a n a l e capability, has been much aided by ad-
vances in miemcomputer technology. Trends apected in
the future include advanced kin& of wdveform analysis.
more standardized data interpretation p d u r e s and more
Acoustic Emission Test Sensitivity
dedicated industrial products. . Althou h the acoustic emission method is quite sensitiw,
cornpare lw.t h other nondestructiw methods such as ultra-
- sonic testing o r radiographic testing, the sensitivity de-
creases with i n d g distances behveen the amustic emir-
Characteristics of Acoustic don source and the sensors. T h e same Cadors that affect the
Emission Techniques propagation of ultrasonic waves a h affect the propagation
of the acoustic (stress) waves used in acoustic emission
The acoustic emission test is a passive method that moni- techniques.
tors the dynamic redishibution of stresses within a material. Wave mode conversions at the surfaces of the test object
o r component. ThereTo% acoustic emission monitorin is and other acoustic interfaces. combined with the faa that
only effeaive while the material o r structure is subject$ to direrent wave modes propa ate a t diilerent velodties. are
an introduced stress. Examples of these strenes include factors that complicate anafysis of acoustic emission re-
pressure testing of vessels o r piping, and tension loading o r sponse signals and produce uncertainties in d m l a t i n g
bend loading of stmctunl components. acoustic ernission source locations with hianguiation o r
other source locating techniques.

Irreversibility a n d t h e Kaiser Effect

- ,.~
-Background Noise a n d Material Properties
An important feature aflecting acoustic emission applica-

, ; tions is the generally irreversible response from ~iiostmet-

als. in practice, it is often found that once a given load has

In principle, overall acoustic emission system sensitivily
depends on the sensors as tvell as the cl~aracteristicsof the
k e n appliedand the acoustic emission fmnl a w r ~ i m o d a t - specific instrumentation system. In practice, houwer, the
ing that stress has ceased, additional acoustic emissio~iwill se~isitivityof the acoustic emission metl~odis often primarily
z,fl not OM^ until that s t i b s level iraceeded. ewn if t l ~ eb a d
is mn~pletelyremoved and then reapplied. This oftell useful
limited by ambient background noise considentions for
engineering materials with good acoustic transmission
, , , - $ (and sometimes troublesome) behavior has been nnn~edthe
cv I Kniscr@kt in h s ofthe researcher who first reported it.
\\'hen monitoring structures made of materials that ex-
3,. ? T h e degree to which' th-mt is present varies Ilil>ithigh acoustic attenuation (due to scattering or absotp-
,/ behwen metals and may even disappear completely after tion), tlie acoustic properties of the material usually limit
, , s w r d hours (or days) for alloys that esliibit apprecktble the t ~ l t i ~ ~ ltest
a t e sensitivily and will certainly impose !imits
;.; .'d ;
tempemlure annealilig (remveYl cliar;lrlc~~istics. 0x1 the maximum sensor spacings that can lx used.
,. , j '
, \

Effecuof System Sensors i'r~-,enIive llle;~s~~r<~s CII:II, ti<~c~~ss:tt~ to ])rovidc sr!r[icivti[

c:lect~ic:~l or ;icotbstioil ir'<~l:tti<)~i to ;tcl;ic?.ceSfecti\c a a i ~ t s t i ~
Sensor coul~lilig:rtrd reproducilrilit).ciiiol rcsputi\c arc iln-
etnission irio~iitorinfi.
portant factors that nust l>econsi<lereclwlretr al)l)lyi~~g 1nl11- \';iriot~sprwtrcl~trrsI r ; ~ \ r licc-1111sed to re(liicc lire cfr~cts
tiple acoustic ernissio~isensors. Glrer~~I c;~libr;~tiotr
clrecks of l>;tckgro~~nd iroise sottrces. In~.lrxledalrlong tlrcse are ine-
sl~ouldbe performed before, nl~erand sometimes durilrg clr;i~ricidand amr~sticisol;~tiul~; elect~icalisulatio~~; elec-
the acoustic emission nro~iitorilrgprocess to ensure that $111 tronic filtering within the acoustic eliiission system: nilxlifi-
channels of the instrurne~~tatioir are uperatitrg properly ;Ir catio~rsto the iiiecl~i~~riwl or li!dr:rrtlic 1o;rditrg process;
the correct sensitivities. special sensor cunfi~uratiotisto co~itlolelectronic gates for
For nost engineering structures, sensor wlectioli and noise blocking; and statistically l~.uedelectronic currnter-
placement nrust be carefully clrosen based on a detailed Ineasures includi~rgautorurrelatic~nilrd cross mrrelatioti.
howledge of the acoustic properties of the material and the
geometric conditions that will Le encountered. For emin-
ple. the areas adjacent to attacl~~nents, nudes and penetra-
tions or areas where the w t i o o thickness changes usually The Kaiser Effect
require additional senson to achieve adequate caverage.
Furthermore. discuntinuities in such locations often cause Josef Kaiser is credit& as the founder of niodem acoustic
high Iodized stress and these are the areas where maxi- emission tecl~nolo~y and it was his pioneeringwrk in Ger-
many in the 1950s that triggered a connected, continuous
mum coverage is needed.
flow of sul)seyoent de\rrloprnent. He made two major dis-
caveries. The first w w the near uni\eIsality of the acoustic
emission phenomenon. He observed emission in all the ma-
Interpretation of Test Data terials he studied. The second was the e K i that bears his
Proper interpretation of the acoustic emission response in translation of llis own words: 'Tests on various mate":
obtained during monitoring of presmrized systems and ah (metals. woods or mineral materials) have shown that larv
other structures +ly requires considerable technical level emissions begin even at the lawst strw levels (less
nence with the acoustic emission than 1 MPa or 100 psi). They are detectable all the way
b&en the acous- tl~mughto the failure load. but only ifthe material has expe-
tic emiaion system opentos, the data inte retation per- r i e d no previous loading. This phenomenon lends a spe-
sonnel and those conhulling the pprocess o?-ing the dal significance to acoustic emission
shucture by the measurement of emission
Since most computeri& multichannel acoustic emission dusion can be dram about the
+ems handle m i p n s e d a in~ a pseudo batch p d u r e , loading experienced prior to tile test by the material under
an intrinsic d a d time m r s durine the b t a transfer o m - investigation. In this. the magnitude and duntion of die
ess. This is usually not a problem b$ can &onally -it earlier loading and the time between the eariier loading and
in anal* ermn when the quantity of acoustic emission sig- the test loading are of no imp~rtance."~
nals is Nffiaent to mrload the data handling capabilities of Thu &ect has attracted the attention ofacousticemission
the acoustic emission system. workers ever since. In fa<+.all the yean of acoustic elnission
reseadl have yielded no other generalization ofcomparable
power. As time went 11y. lmth practical applications and con-
Compensating for Background Noise trowrsial ex&-ptions to the rules were identified.
When acoustic emission monitoring is used during hydro-
static testing of a vessel or other pressure sytem, the acous-
tic emission system will often prwide the first indieation of
The Dunegan Corollary
leakage Pump noise and other vibrations. or leakage in the The first nwjor application of the Kaiser efiect ;I test
pressurizing y t e m , can also generate background noise stntegv for diagnosing dainage in pressure vessels and other
that limits the aerall systeni sensitivity and hamlxn acr.rt- engineering stnlctttres."lre s t n t e v included a clarifica-
rate interpretation. tion of the I>elrn\iorexpected o f i ~pressure wssel subjected
Special precautions and fhturing may be necessary to re- to a series of lo;idi,rgs (to a prwfpressure w i t 1 1 inten-ning
duce such background noise to tolenble levels. Acoustic periods at a Iwer working pressure).
emission monitoring of production processes in a manufac- Should the \essel sufier no damage during a particular
turing environment inwl\.es special problems related to the working period, tlie Kaiser erect dictates that no elaissioo
high ambient noise levels (lmtl~electrical and acoustical). will be obsenjed during tlie si~bsequent loading. I n

the event of discontinuiy gr~nvilidunlig a uwrking peliid. that colitest. Btlt actuiilly. K~iscr'sidc:~;il)plies 1110ref~x~ida-
subsequent proof loading twuld s~~bject the inaterial at tlie mentally to stress in a 111:iterili. hiolcriols entit a,ily itnrlcl:
discontinuity to higher stresses tli;io I d o r e and tile discu~i- rrr~pircrdenle(lssfrer.7 is the root principle to wnsider. Eval-
tinuity would emit. Emission during the proof loading is uated point-hyimi~it tllro~tglithe threedi~nensionalstress
therefore a measure of damage eq~eriencedduring the pre- field witliin the structure. this principle h;u wider truth than
ceding working period. the statemelit that structures enlit only under unprece-
This socalled Dunegao wrollonj Ixrame a standard di- dented load. Pmided that tlie microstnictr~rehas not been
agnostic approach in practical field testing. Field operators altered between loadings. the Kaiser principle 1119 men
learned to pay particular attention to emission behueen the have the universal \.alidi? that the Kaiser eKwt evidently
w o h g p m r e and the pnmf pressure. and thereby made lacks. at l w t for acthe deformation and discontinuity
many effeaive diagnoses. A superficial &ew of the Kaiser growth.
eR& might lead t; the concluhon that practical application In composite materials. an important acoustic emission
of amustic emission technioua reauires a series of ever in- mechanism is friction b e b e e n free surfaces in damaeed
creving loadings. ~cnwwr,'effecti$ engineering diagnoses rrgions. Frictional acoustic emission is also p b s e d fGm
can be made by. repeated
- -.
applications of the same proof fatigue cracks in metals. Such source mechanisms contn-
prersure vene both the Kaiser eKect and the Kaiser princi~le,but
they can be important for p r a c t i d detection of damage and
The Felicity Effect
T h e second major application of the Kaiser effect arose
from the study of rases where it did not occur. Specifically
in fiber reinforced components, emission is often ob- . .
s e n d at loads lower ihylthe previous maximum, especially Overview of Acoustic
when the material is in poor condition o r close to failure.
l%s breakdown of the Kaiser effect war; s u d u l l y used to
Emission Methodology
predict failure loads in composite pressure vessels4 and
bucket huck booms.s . ?hir Nonderrrudice Testing Handbmk volume contains
The W was inhod'& to ddescribethe detailed descriptions of acoustic eminion sou-, a rich
breakdownof the Kaiser effect and thefeIi* was de-
topic that involves the sciences of material, deformation
vised as the d t e d quantitative measure The felicity ra- ,a fracture Another topic appwing in this ,,lume is the
tio has p d to be a valuable diagnostic too1 in one of the subject ofwax: propagation, the pmcerr shaper the sig-
most succeszful or emission a plicationr;, the nal and brings the information from source to sensor. Atten-
of fib*^ w s e l s and fionge d . 6 1' &ct- the uation d the wave d d e n n i n u .i d e t d h f i i t y and
Kaiser effect maybe as a caseof the
effect (a felidty ratio 1).
therefore be considered when placing sensors; howledge of
the wave> velocity is a h needed for precise source lacation.
The of cases where the Kaiser eKect breaks These are uncontrolled factors that must be avessed for
down was at firstquite confusingand contmrsial but even- tested,
some Furtherjnsighls emerged. The Kaiser Measurement and ana+& of the acoufic sig-
mo* no'iceabl~h situations where time dependent nals is another major component of tile tecllno\ogy -red
nisrns conmil the deformation. The rheological flow or re- this Acoustic emission from de-
kxation of the matrix in highly stressed mmposites is a fornation may be so rare that a single detectedevent
prime -pie. 'Iow of the matrix "lour the prwi- is enough to wanant rejeaion of the object under test. Or.
ous maximum can transfer stress to the fibers, causing them they may be so frequent that the acorntic signal is
to break and emit. Other cases where the Kaiser ellkct will continuous. Compoundin interpretation diflicul-
fail are corrosion processes and hydrogen embrittlement, ties are amplitudes of the reive% signals that range mer
which are also time dependent. five orders of magnitude. T h e time diflerenes used to
l o u t e acoustic emission sources range from less than a
microsffond to liundreds of milliseconds. In addition to
The Kaiser Principle handling all of these variables. an acoustic emission system
Further insight can he gained b!. considering load on a should allow any of several techniques for reducing back-
structure versus stress in the material. I n pnctical situa- ground noise and spurious sigoals that orten interfere
Hans, test specimens or eiigineerina structures e\-pcrience acoustic emission measurements.
loading and most discussiotis o f t h e kiiser erfect come from Tile acoustic emission t e c l w o l ~cwmprises
~ a ranee of

powerflll t ~ h n i q r t e s fur e ~ p i o i l i $tile

~ ~11:lturai ;tcoustic is still i r l tile ~ ! : i rst:i$c;.
\~ Advx!tvc~\t ~ % \ l l ~ i l fc>? ] ~ l~\iscoi~ti.
tittity c h ; ~ r ; ~ c t e r i z by
~ l i~ ~~ ~: ~I l\ I ~ :111:1ixsis
~ I ~ I I ;lre'\vy prh~alis.
emission process and for piit~inj; l)ri~ctical\,due Fro111t l l r
available information. These teclltli~~ues include ~~lell~cnls iog. 1)ut it retll:tit>s I 0 1%. l ~ ~ ~ l ~ ~ r\ ~l ~l l lic~t ~~thy l er rl will
~ sig.
lor cllaracterizing tile aruustic e1nissi1111 ~ W I I i)artio~lar
I 111:t- t~ific:ts~tly ~llfvct1 1 1 X ~ J~ ~)r:tctic:~l i ~ c ~ ~ ~eiiIissi1111
t s t i c t s t i t ~ gis
terials a t ~ dprocesses; methods fur eli~llinntiojinoise; I i ~ r p < , r k w ~ ~ ~ e ~ l .
checking wave propagation properties of engioeeri~lgstntc- Tile t e c l ~ t ~ o 1:tclisl o ~ ~~ni\.ers:~l rvz~t~ersarks lor tile de.
tures and applying the results to test deign; lor loadi~lgtlvzt scripti1111of ~oaterkllet~~issi\ities and the interpretakion or
will optimilz the acoustic e~nissio~i data ftnm a structure structural test data. T l ~ e r ris a w ~ ~ s t a need a t to improve in-
without causing appreciable damage; for louting acuustic strumentation p r f o n l ~ a n c c111d noise rejection t e c l ~ n i ~ u e s
emission sources, either mugllly or precisely; methods of 3s acoustic enlission is pressed illlo service ill tougller enti-
data analysis and presentation; and rnet11od.s for acceptance. mnments and more demanding applintions. 6 d e accep-
rejection or further inspection of the test stmdure. tance is continuing b11t slmvly. Perl~apsmost ofall, there is a
The field olacoustic emission testing is still growing n g - major need to useft11 inlonnation in assimilable
orously and presents many challenges. Signifiunt wearc11 form to the many nonspecialists who 11ak a use for acoustic
uestions are still unanswered. The mathematid theory of emission testing but find the subject difTicult to ap roach
%e acoustic emission source llas been developed beginning This wlurne or the Notldcstntdiu: Tiiity: IfondbmEis one
in the inid 1970s and tile pra~iicalapplication olthir; theor?l way of satisfying tliat in~l)ortantneed.


The oldest and most commonly used NDE method is Visual Testing (VT).
It may also be the least understood and least effectively used of all methods.
There is a difference between just looking at an object and really seeing it .
through a trained eye. VT may be defined as "an examination of an object using
the naked eye, alone or in conjunction with various magnifying devices,
without changing, altering, or destroying the object being examined."

In VT the most important tools are the ones you were born with, your
eyes. Visual acuity is of prime importance to the visual examiner. According
to recent stati~tics, at least fifty percent of the American population over
twenty years of age are required to wear some type of corrective lenses.
However, in the early stages of eyesight failure, either many persons are not
aware that they need corrective lenses or they just do not wear them.

As with any sensitive tool, the most important tools in visual

examination must b e checked for accuracy at regular-intervals to ensure that
they remain accurate and sensitive. Most standards require that visual
examiners have annual eye examinations to check:

Near vision acuity,

Far vision acuity, and
Color perception.

Although the eyes are the most important tool, in many situations they
are not sensitive enough, not accurate enough, or cannot get to the area to be
examined. In those cases, the use of optical aids is necessary in order to
complete the visual examination.


VT is the observation, either directly or indirectly, o f ' a specimen by an

. . . . . examiner .in -.such 'a .fashio.&' as 30 determine :the .piesence or,absknce of. swiqde:'.
. .
disr5ohti"uities br irregularities: VT should .be the' first NDE &thod
' td' be
applied to a specimen. Other NDE methods may or may not be required after
VT. The procedure is usually quite simple:
1. Prepare Surface
2. Assure adequate illumination
3. Observe

Visual Testing is composed of the following six basic elements that

interact with each other, with each affecting the end results:

1. The examiner
2. The test object
3. Illumination of the test object
4. Optical aids
5. Mechanical aids (measuring devices)
6. Recording method

2.1 Examiner

The visual examiner must be competent. Many specifications and codes

require that visual examiners be qualified through formalized training
programs and on-the-job experience, and certified to ensure their competency.
SNT-TG1A (1988 edition).'has included VT as a recognized NDT method and
recommends that an indiiidual with a high school education have a minimum of
24 hours formal training and at least 3 months on-the-job experience in order
to qualify as a Level 11.

2 Jest Obiect

The test object's size, shape, and surface condition are important in
determining what optical aids and mechanical tools need to be used to
complete the examination, and what illumination will be required. Some of the
test object factors to be considered include the following:

Size of the test object;

Configuration of the test object;
Accessibility of areas; .. . .
. .. .
'., . . . '. .. . : : Dire~tioh.
. d f . view:
',: :. ...
. . . .. .. .... . .. . .. . .. . . . ... ..
. ..
Surface reflectivity; and
Discontinuity type, size, and shape.

2.3 Illumination

lllurnination of the examination surface is extremely important for the

effectiveness of any VT. lllurnination is usually measured in footcandles. A
footcandle is the amount of light given off by a candle
at a distance of one foot from the eye. A standard 100 watt incandescent bul6
provides about five footcandles at a distance of five feet.

Some specifications establish minimum light intensity for VT while

others only specify "adequate illumination." Adequate illumination levels for
different types of examinations are referenced in some standards and

An example of one means of establishing illumination levels is"the

requirement of being able to resolve a 1/32-inch black line on an 18 percent
neutral gray card when held within 24 inches of the eye, at an angle of not less
than 30 degrees to the surface of the card. Figure 1 illustrates this method.

.2.4 . Qotical Aids

Optical aids that may be used in visual examination include the



2.4.1 Mirrors. Mirrors provide the examiners with the ability to look
inside castings, pipes, threaded and bored holes, and around corners. The
mirrors most commonly used in VT include the dental mirror and the pivoting
end mirror.

2.4.2 fvlaanifiers. Magnifiers are used as an aid in almost every type .of . . .
VT: to b'rjng - out:sinalt details .and .for close 'ex.amiriati.on of discontinu[ties. :The.. ..'
magnifiers most commonly used in visual examinations include t i & fbllowing:
Single lens magnifier,
Headband magnifier,
Pocket comparator, and
Eye loupe magnifier.

The single lens magnifier is normally used when 1 . 5 X to 10X

magnification is needed. It usually is a single bi-convex lens 1 to 3 inches in
diameter mounted in a holder.

The headband magnifier (which is a pair of lenses in a frame attached to

a headband) is normally used for fine detailed examination of small objects
because it leaves the hands free for manipulating the object.

The pocket comparator measuring magnifier is a hand-held, double- lens

magnifier that may be from 7X to 20X, with any one of several available scales
or reticles, that allows measurements in inches, millimeters, angles, and
circle diameters.

The eye loupe magnifier, similar to a pocket comparator magnifier

without the measuring reticule, is usually attached to a headband or a clip
that attaches to regular eyeglasses. The loupe, with a magnifying lens from
5X to 30X, is normally used when extremely fine detail is required for
examination of small items.

2.4.3 Borescopes and F i b e r s c o ~ e ~Borescopes

. and f i b e r k p e are used
for examining pipes and tubes, deep holes, long bores, pipe bends, and other
internal surfaces that cannot be viewed by direct viewing because of
inaccessibility. Borescopes come in many sizes from tiny needle-like
instruments to large instruments 6 inches in diameter and 100 feet long. Most
borescopes are equipped with a light source near the tip to illuminate the area
being examined, as illustrated in figure 2A.

The fiberscope is a flexible instrument used when access to the surface

to be examined is such that the examination instrument must go around
corners and curves. The fiberscope is made up of a bundle. of numerous very
fine glass fibers that transmit light... .Fiberscopes. provide. a .light 'source
through the tip tb illuminate the area of interest (also 'i~lustratkdin figure
2.5 Mechanical Aids

To early man, measurements were related to different body part sizes,

even though they were not standard. For example, a cubit was the length of a
man's arm from the tip of the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. Depending
upon the length of his arm, Noah's ark, which was 300 cubits long, could have'
been from about 400 feet to about 500 feet long. Figure 3 illustrates this

Since Noah's time, man has been improving the science of measurement
(metrology). Today many different measuring instruments are used by the VT
examiner, some of which are very simple devices such as the &inch scale
while others ar.e more complex precision measuring devices. The following
.., are
examples of measuring devices used by the VT examiner:

Steel rules
Vernier calipers
Dial indicating calipers
Micrometers (OD, ID, and depth)
Dial indicators
Combination squares
Thread pitch gages.
Thickness gages
Weld gages (Fillet, Palmgren, Hi-Lo)

2.5.1 Steel Rules. Steel rules are available in a wide variety of

sizes and graduations to suit specific needs. The most popular is the 6-inch
rule with gradation of and inch,. and 0.01 and 0.1 inch, as shown in
figure 4-4. Steel tapes are available in lengths up to at least 100 feet and are
reasonably accurate for non-precision measurements of long parts.

.2.5.2 Vernier Caiioers. Vernier calipers are more precise measuring

devices than rules because they allow measurements to the thousandth of an
inch. Vernier calipers .are available i n standard lengths from 6 inches to 48 ' ..
inches (see figure 5).
2.5.3 Dial lndicatina Calioers. Dial indicating calipers are very similar
to the vernier calipers, have gradations on the bar and a dial indicator is used
rather than the vernier plate (see figure 6) to indicate the precision
measurement (thousandth of an inch).

2.5.4 Micrometers. Micrometers allow the examiner to obtain

measurements within 0.0005 inch with an accuracy of 0.0001 inch.
Micrometers are available in a variety of types and sizes, to enable the
examiner to make OD or length measurements, ID measurements. or depth
measurements. Figure 7 illustrates a standard micrometer.

2.5.5 Dial Indicators. Dial indicators are the most commonly used
measuring devices for VT examinations. The dial indicator is an instrument
consisting of graduated dial, an indication hand, a contact point attached to a
spindle, and an amplifying mechanism. The dials, which are graduated"to
indicate at least 0.001 inch, are generally used with a base stand having an
adjustable arm or a magnetic base stand with an adjustable post and arm (see
figure 8).

2.5.6 Combination S a w . The combination square set consists of a

blade (a 12-inch steel rule), and ttiree interchangeable heads: a square head, a
center head, and a protractor head. W h e n equipped with the square head, the
tool can be used as a depth gage, a height gage, or a scribing gage, and also for
checking if surfaces are plumb andlor square. When equipped with the center
head, it is useful i n locating the center of round stock; when equipped with
the protractor head, it becomes a bevel protractor and permits measurement
of angles. Figure 9 illustrates a combination square set.

2.5.7 B r e a d Pitch Gaaez. Thread pitch gages are used to determine the
number of threads per inch and the thread pitch on screws, bolts, nuts, pipe,
and other threaded parts (see figure 10). The teeth on the various leaves of
the thread pitch gage, which correspond to the standard thread forms, are used
like a profile gage.

2.5.8 . Thickness Gases. Thickness gages such as bevel protractors are

used for gaging clearance between objects such as bearing clearance, gear
play, pipe-pipe flange clearance, or gaging narrow slots. Commonly called
feeler gages, they are available in sets that contain leaves ranging in
thickness from 0.0015 to 0.200 inch.
2.5.9 Levels. Levels are tools designed for use in determining whether a
plane or surface is truly horizontal or vertical. Some levels are calibrated to
indicate the angle on inclination in degrees in relation to a horizontal or
vertical surface (see figure 11).

2.5.10 Weld Gaoes. Weld gages come in a variety of designs either for
general purpose or for specific detail gaging. Some of the weld gages can be
used to make quantitative measurements while others are used for go-no-go
judgment only.

Figure 12 illustrates a Palmgren weld gage. Figure 13 shows how a

fillet weld gage is used to measure a convex weld. A fillet weld gage can also
be used to measure the size of fillet welds and concave conditions (see
.. figure

The Hi-lo welding gage (figure 15A) can provide measurements of

internal alignment on the inside after fit-up, pipe wall thickness after
alignment, length between scribe lines, root opening, 37112' bevel, fillet weld
leg size, and reinforcement on butt welds.

The Deerman Hi-lo'gage (figure 158) has functions similar to the Hi-lo
welding gage but it is mdie applicable to small diameter pipe. This gage can
provide measurement of inside diameter mismatch after fit-up, root opening,
undercut and pit depth, weld reinforcement height and outside diameter offset.

The information gathered from the VT examination may be recorded

either as a hard copy or by the subjective method. .

The hard copy method produces a visual record by means of a photograph,

videotape, or movie film. This method permits comparison of the present
condition to a set of standards or to previously recorded conditions to
determine what, if any, changes have taken place. Eye fatigue is minimized
.. for differences in individuals' visual acuity can easily be
and corrections
accomplished. The hard copy provides more objective data and therefore a
higher degree of accuracy.
The subjective method is used when the visual examiner makes an
immediate decision based solely on what he or she sees and an interpretation
of what is seen. Although this is the most commonly used method of data
recording, it makes standardization difficult as it relies heavily on the visual
examiner's memory. visual acuity, and competence. Therefore, the degree of ,

accuracy is less than when data is recorded on hard copy.


In summary, VT is the oldest, the first recorded, and the most commonly
used NDE method. It requires a high degree of training and skill on the part of
the visual examiner and should always precede any other NDE method to be

- Speed
Low cost (usually)
Extensive training usually not necessary
Minimal equipment needed
Can be performed while specimen is in use

3.2 Limitations

Only surface conditions can be detected or measured

Poor or variable resolution of eye
Some equipment is expensive
oper Viewing Ang

\ 4 /
\ ,' .- ,P
.i3 '
\ ,/
: cw\.
,$ .
'. (7
~ \
. c)


Figure 1. Basic Test for Adequate Illumination






/ ,\L'
'i . > 9
. ) '-

. . . .
. , ,
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . ..
. . . .. . . .
Lamp . . .
. . \-
. . . . . . . . . . . .. . .
,, F '
\..; c? . .
, . .

( \,.
.p "

Figure 2. Typical Borescope and Fiberscope
foot 1-

Figure 3. Early Modes of Measurement

. . , . . . . . ,
. , . .., . . .. . -... " '
. .. .

Figure 4. Steel Rule (A) and Double Hook Rule



RlER LOCK .. '





Figure 5. Vernier Caliper










Figure 6. dial Indicating Calipers

Outside Micrometer

Figure 7. Micrometer
Figure 8. Dial Indicator


Figure 9. combination Square Set


Figure 10. Thread Pitch Gages

. . . . .

Figure 11. Levels

To determine the size of the convex To determine the size of a concave
fillet weld fillet weld

To check the permissible

To check the permissible
tolerance of convexity tolerance of reinforcement

Figure 12. Palrngren Weld Gage

Figure 13. Measuring Convex Fillet Weld Size
Figure 14. Measuring Concave Fillet Weld Size
1 118" Mismatch




Internal Misalignn
Fit-Up or Alignment

A. Hi-lo Welding Gage B. Deerman Hi-lo Gage

Figure 15. Weld Gages

C H A P T E R 7: C O M P A R I S O N A N D S E L E C T I O N O F N D T P R O C E S S E S


Paragraph Page

GENERAL .....................
BURST ......................
COLD SHUTS ...................
GRINDING CRACKS ................
HEAT-TREAT CRACKS ...............
THREADCRACKS .................
TUBING CRACKS ..................
HYDROGENFLAKE ................
INCLUSIONS ....................
INCLUSIONS ......................
LACK OF PENETRATION ..............
LAMINATIONS ...................
LAPS AND SEAMS .................
LAPS AND SEAMS .................
MICROSHRINKAGE .................
GAS POROSITY ..................
UNFUSED POROSITY ................
STRESS CORROSION ................
HYDRAULIC TUBING ...............
MANDREL DRAG ..................
SEMICONDUCTORS ..................
HOT TEARS ....................

Figure Page

Liquid Penetrant Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... I

7-1 7-3 I
7-2 ...............
Magnetic Particle Test 7-4
7-3 ...................
Ultrasonic Test 7-4
7-4 .................
Eddy Current Test 7-4 .a

7-5 ..................
Radiographic Test 7-5
7-6 ................
Burst Discontinuities 7-9
7-7 ...............
Cold Shut Discontinuities 7-11 I
7-8 ..............
Fillet Crack Discontinuity 7-13
7-9 .............
Grinding Crack Discontinuity 7-15
7-10 ...........
Convolution Crack Discontinuities 7-18
7-11 ......
Heat-Affected Zone Cracking Discontinuity 7-20
7-12 ...........
Heat-Treat Crack Discontinuities 7-22
7-13 .........
Surface Shrink Crack Discontinuities 7-25
7-14 .............
Thread Crack Discontinuities 7-27
7-15 ..............
Tubing Crack Discontinuity 7-29
7-16 .............
Hydrogen Flake Discontinuity 7-32
7-17 .........
Hydrogen Embrittlement Discontinuity 7-34
7-18 ..........
Weldment Inclusion Discontinuities 7-36
7-19 ...........
Wrought Inclusion Discontinuities 7-38
7-20 ..........
Lack of Penetration Discontinuities 1-40
7-21 ..............
Lamination Discontinuities 7-43
7-22 .....
Lap and Seam Discontinuities in Rolled Threads 7-45
7-23 ....
Lap and Seam Discontinuities in Wrought Material 7-47
7-24 .............
Microshrinkage Discontinuity 7-49
7-25 ..............
Gas Porosity Discontinuity 7-52
7-26 ............
Unfused Porosity Discontinuity 7-54
7-27 ............
Stress Corrosion Discontinuity 7-56
7-28 ...........
Hydraulic Tubing Discontinuities 7-57
7-29 .............
Mandrel Drag Discontinuities 7-59
7-30 ............
Semiconductor Discontinuities 7-61
7-31 ...............
Hot Tear Discontinuities 7-64
7-32 .........
Intergranular Corrosion Discontinuity 7-66 I


mjs chapter summarizes the characteristics of various types of disconti-
*uities, and lists the NDT methods that may be employed to detect each
type of discontinuity.

m e relationship between the various NDT methods and their capabilities '
and limitations when applied to the detection of a specific discontinuity is
shown. Such variables as type of discontinuity (inherent, process, or
service), manufacturing processes (heat treating, machining, welding,
grinding, or plating), and limitations (metallurgical, structural, or proces-
sing) also he@ in determining the sequence of testing and the ultimate
selection of one test method over another.


Figures 7-1 through 7-5 illustrate five NDT methods. Each illustration
shows the three elements involved in all five tests, the different methods in
each test category, and tasks that may be accomplished .with a specific


Figure 7-1. Liquid Penetrant Test


The discontinuities that are discussed in paragraphs 706 through 732 are
only some of the many hundreds that are associated with the various
products of today's industry.' During the selection of discontinuities for
inclusion in this chapter, only those discontinuities which would not be
radically changed under different conditions of design, configuration,
standards, and environment were chosen.
r 1




Figure 7-2. Magnetic Particle Test




Figure 7-3. Ultrasonic Test





Figure 7-4. Eddy Current Test





Figure 7-5. Radiographic Test


Each of &e specific discontinuities are divided into three general

categories: inherent, processing, and service. Each of these categories is
further classified as to whether the discontinuity is associated with ferrous
or nonferrous materials, the specific material configuration, and the
manufacturing processes if applicable.

1. Inherent Discontinuities

Inherent discontinuities h e those discontinuities that are related to the

solidification of the molten metal There are two types.

a. Wrought. Inherent wrought discontinuities cover those disconti-

nuities which are related to the melting and original solidifica-
tion of the metal or ingot.
b. Cast. Inherent cast discontinuities are those discontinuities
which are related to the melting, casting, and solidification of
the cast article. It includes those discontinuities that would be
inherent to manufacturing variables such as inadequate feeding,
gating, excessively high pouring temperature, entrapped gases,
handling, and stacking.

2. Processing Discontinuities

F'rocessing discontinuities are those discontinuities that are elated to the

various manufacturing processes such as machining, forming, extruding,
rolling, welding, heat treating, and plating.
3. Service Discontinuities

Service discontinuities cover those discontinuities that are related to the

various service conditions such as stress corrosion, fatigue, and wear.



"Discontinuity characteristics," as used in this chapter, encompasses an

analysis of specific discontinuities and references actual photos that
illustrate examples of the discontinuity. The discussions cover:

a. Origin and location of discontinuity (surface, near surface, or

b. Orientation (parallel or normal to the grain).
c. Shape (flat, irregularly shaped, or spiral).
d. Photo (micrograph andlor typical overall view of the
e. Metallurgical analysis (how the discontinuity is produced and a t
w h a t stage of manufacture).


1. General

The technological accomplishments in the field of nondestructive testing

have brought test reliability and reproducibility to a point where the design
engineer may now seiectively zone the qecific article. Zoning is based
upon the structural application of the end product and takes into
consideration the environment as well as the loading characteristics of the
article. Such an evaluation in no way reduces the end reliability of the
product, but evaluation does reduce needless rejection of material that
otherwise would have been acceptable.

Just as the structural application within the article varies, the allowable
discontinuity size will vary depending on the configuration and method of
manufacture. For example, a die forging that ;has large masses of material
and extremely thin web sections WOUIC not require the same level of
acceptance over the entire forging. 'Re forging can be zoned for rigid
..-r.. .I ...L-..- +ha ~ t n % n + ~ .1-rn'-
lml --- L:-h-- --.a 7--- -
:J ,.
, The nondestructive testing specialist must also select the method which
will satisfy the design objective of the specific article and not assume that
all NDT methods can produce the same reliability for the same type of

L 2. Selection of the NDT Method

In selecting the NDT method for the evaluation of a specific discontinuity
keep in mind that NDT methods may supplement each other and that
several NDT methods may be capable of performing the same task. The
selection of one method over another is based upon such variables as:

a. Type and origin of discontinuity

b. Material manufacturing processes
c. Accessibility of article
d. Level of acceptability desired
e. Equipment available
f. Cost.

A planned analysis of the task must be made for each article requiring NDT

The NDT methods G t e d for each discontinuity in paragraphs 706 through

732 are in order of preference for that particular discontinuity. However,
when reviewing the discussions, it should be kept in mind that rapidly
developing new techniques in the NDT field may alter the order of test

3. Limitations

The limitations applicable to the various NDT methods will.vary with the
applicable standard, the material, and the service environment. Limita-
tions not only affect the NDT method but, in many cases, &o affect the
structural reliability of the test article. For these reasons, limitations that
are listed for one discontinuity may also be applicable to other disconti-
nuities under slightly different conditions of material or environment. In
addition, the many combinations of environment, location, material, and
test capability do not permit mentioning all limitations that may be
associated with the problems of locating a specific discontinuity. The
intent of this chapter is fulfilled if you are made aware of the many factors
that influence the selection of a valid NDT method.

1. Categorx. Processing

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous Wrought Material

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface or internal. Straight or irregular cavities varying in size from wide

open t o very tight. Usually parallel with the grain. Found in wrought
material that required forging, rolling, or extruding. (See Figure 7-6.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

a. Forging bursts are surface or internal ruptures caused by

processing at too low a temperature, excessive working, or
metal movement during forging, rolling, or extruding operation.
b. A burst does not have a spongy appearance and, therefore, is
distinguishable from a pipe, even when it occurs a t the center.
c. Bursts are often large and are very seldom healed during
subsequent working.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Ultrasonic Testing Method.

(1) Normally used for the detection of internal bursts.
.(2) Bursts are definite breaks in the material and resemble a
crack, producing a very sharp reflection on the scope.
(3) Ultrasonic testing is capable of detecting varying degrees
of burst, a condition not detectable by other NDT
(4) Nicks, gouges, raised areas, tool tears, foreign material,
or gas bubblei on the article may produce adverse
ultrasonic test results.
b. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not normally used. Testing is
restricted to wire, rod, and other articles under 0.250 inch (6.35
mm) diameter.


..,,. . '..
. ,:



Figure 7-6. Burst Discontinuities

c. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.
(1) Usually used on wrought ferromagnetic material in which
the burst is open to the surface or has been exposed t o the
(2) Results are limited to surface and near surface
d. LiquidtPenetrant Testing Method. Not normally used. When
fluorescent penetrant is to be applied to an article previously
dye penetrant tested, all traces of dye penetrant should first be
removed by prolonged cleaning in applicable solvent.
e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not normally used. Such
variables as the direction of the burst, close interfaces, wrought
material, discontinuity size, and material thickness restrict the
capability of radiography.

1. Category. Inherent

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous Cast Material

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface and subsurface. Generally appear as smooth indentations on the

cast surface resembling a forging lap. (See Figure 7-7.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Cold shuts are produced during casting of molten metal. They may result
from splashing, surging, interrupted pouring, or the meeting of two
streams of metal coming from different directions. Cold shuts are also
caused by the solidification of one surface before other metal flows over it,
the presence of interposing surface films on cold, sluggish metal, or any
factor that prevents fusion where two surfaces meet. Cold shuts are more
prevalent in castings formed in a mold having several sprues or gates.


Figure 7-7. Cold 'shut Discontinuities

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.

(1) Normally used to evaluate surface cold shuts in both
ferrous and nonferrous materials.
(2) Indications appear as a smooth, regular, continuous or
intermittent line.
(3) Liquid penetrants used to test nickel base alloys, certain
stainless steels, and titanium should not exceed 1% sulfur
or chlorine.
(4) Certain castings may have surfaces that are blind and
from which removal of excess penetrant may be difficult.
(5) The geometric configuration (recesses, orifices, and
flanges) of a casting may permit buildup of wet developer
thereby masking any detection of a discontinuity.
b. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.
(1) Normally used for the evaluation of ferromagnetic
2 The metallurgical nature of 431 corrosion-resistant steel
is such that, in some cases, magnetic particle testing
indications are obtained which do not result from a crack
or other harmful discontinuities. These indications arise
from a duplex structure within the material, wherein one
portion exhibits strong magnetic retentivity and the other
does not.
e. Radiographic Testing Method.
(1) Cold shuts are normally detectable by radiography while
testing for other casting discontinuities.
(2) Cold shuts appear as a distinct dark line, or band, of
variable length and width, and definite smooth outline.
(3) h e casting configuration may have inaccessible a r e a .
that can only be tested by radiography.
d. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not recommended. Cast structure
and article configuration do not, as a general rule, lend
themselves to ultrasonic testing.
e. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not recommended. Article
configuration and inherent material variables restrict the use of
this method.


1. Category. Service

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous Wrought Material

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface. Located a t the junction of the fillet with the shank of the bolt
and progressing inward. (See Figure 7-8.)



Figure 7-8. Fillet Crack Discontinuity

4. Metallurgical Analysis
Fillet cracks occur where a marked change in diameter occurs, such a s a t
the head-toshank junction where stress risers are created. During the
service rife of a bolt repeated loading takes place whereby the tensiIe Ioad
fluctuates in magnitude due to the operation of the mechanism. These
tensile loads can cause fatigue failure starting a t the point where the stress
risers occur. Fatigue failure, which is surface phenomenon, starts a t the
surface and propagates inward.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Ultrasonic Testing Method. 1

(I) Used extensively for service associated discontinuities of
this type.
(2) A wide selection of transducers and equipment enable on-
thespot evaluation for fillet crack.
(3) Since fillet cracks are a definite break in the material,
the scope pattern will be a very sharp reflection.
(Propagation can be monitored by using ultrasonics.)
(4) Ultrasonic equipment has extreme sensitivity, and estab-
lished standards should be used to give reproducible and
' reliable results.
b. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method. 1
(1) Normally used during inservice overhaul or

May be used for both ferromagnetic and nonferromagnetic
bolts, although usually confined to the nonferromagnetic.
Fillet cracks appear as sharp, clear indications.
(4) Structural damage may result f k m exposure of high-
strength steels t o paint strippers, alkaline mating
removers, deoxidizer solutions, etc.
(5) Entrapment of penetrant under fasteners, in holes, under
splices, and in similar areas may cause corrosion due t o
the penetrant's affinity for moisture.
c. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.
(1) Only used on ferromagnetic bolts.
(2) Fillet cracks appear as sharp clear indications with a
heavy buildup.
(3) Sharp fillet areas may produce nonrelevant magnetic
(4) 17.7 pH steel is only slightly magnetic in the annealed
condition, but becomes strongly magnetic after heat

treatment, when it may be magnetic particle tested.
Eddy Current Testing Method. Not normaIIy used for detection
of fillet cracks. Other NDT methods are more compatible to
the detection of this type of discontinuity. !

e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not normally used for detection I

of fillet cracks. Surface discontinuities of this type would be
difficult to evaluate due to size of crack in relation to the
thickness of material.
- *.

1. Category. Processing

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous

3. . Discontinuity Characteristics

surface.' Very shallow and sharp a t the root. Similar t o heat-treat crack
and usually, but not always, occur in groups. Grinding cracks generaus
occur a t right angles to the direction of grinding. They are found in highlj
heat-treated articles, chrome plated, case hardened, and ceramic materials
that are subjected to grinding operations. (See Figure 7-9.)



! Figure 7-9. Grinding Crack Discontinuity
4. Metallurgical Analysis

Grinding of hardened surfaces frequently introduces cracks. These thermal

cracks are caused by local overheating of the surface being ground. The
overheating is usually caused by lack of, or poor, coolant; a dull, or
improperly ground, wheel; too rapid feed; or too heavy cut.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.

(1) Normally used on both ferrous and nonferrous materials
for the detection of grinding cracks.
(2) Liquid penetrant indication will appear as irregular,
checked, or scattered pattern of fine lines.
(3) Grinding cracks are the most difficult discontinuity to
indicate and require the longest penetration time.
4 Articles that have been deareased may still have solvent
entrapped in the discontinuity and should be allowed
sufficient time for evaporation prior t o the application of
the penetrant.

b. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.

(1) Restricted to ferromagnetic materials.
(2) Grinding cracks generally occur at right angles t o grinding
direction, although in extreme cases a complete network
of cracks may appear, in which case they may be parallel
to the magnetic field.
(3) Magnetic sensitivity decreases as the size of grinding
crack decreases.

c. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not normally used for detection

of grinding cracks. Eddy current equipment has the capability
and can be developed for a specific nonferrous application.
d. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not normally used for detection of i
grinding cracks. Other forms of NDT are more economical,
faster, and better adapted to this type of discontinuity than
e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not recommended for detection
of grinding cracks. Grinding cracks are too tight and small.
Other NDT methods are more suitable for detection of grinding


1. Category. Processing

2. Material. Nonferrous

3. Discontinuity characteristics

Surface. Range in size from microfractures t o open fissures. Situated on

the periphery of the convolutions and extend longitudinally in direction of
rolling. (See Figure 7-10.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

The rough "orange peel" effect of convolution cracks is the result of either
a forming operation that stretches the material or from chemical attack
such as pickling treatment. The roughened surface contains small pits that
form stress risers. S-dbsequent service application (vibration and flexing)
may introduce stresses that a c t on these pits and form fatigue cracks as
shown in Figure 7-10.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Radiographic Testing Method.

(1) Used extensively for this type of failure.
(2) The configuration of the article and the location of the
discontinuity limits detection almost exclusively to
(3) Orientation of convolutions t o X-ray source is very
critical since those discontinuities that are not normal to
X-ray may not register on the film due to the small
change in density.
(4) Liquid penetrant and magnetic paGticle testing may
supplement but not replace radiographic and ultrasonic



Figure 7-10. Convolution Crack Discontinuities

(5) The type of marking material (e.g., grease pencil on
titaniux) used to identify the area of discontinuities may
affect the structure of the article.

b. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not normally used for the detection

of convolution cracks. The configuration of the article (double-
walled convolutions) and the prescence of internal micro
fractures are all factors that restrict the use of ultrasonics.
c. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not normally used for 5+
detection of convolution cracks. As in the case of u k E ~ c i c
testing, the configuration does not lend itself to this m e t M ?f

d. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method. Not recommended for t*

detection of convolution cracks. Although the discontinuitis
are surface, they are internal and are superimposed over
exterior shell which creates a serious problem of entrapment.

e. Magnetic Testing Method. Not .

applicable. Materid


1. Category. Processing (Weldments)

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface. Often quite deep and very tight. Usually run parallel with the
weld in the heat-affected zone of the weldment. (See Figure 7-11.)

4. hietallurgical Analysis

Hot cracking of heat-affected zones of weldments increases in severity

with increasing carbon content. Steels that contain more than 0.30%
Carbon are prone to this type of failure and require preheating prior to

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.

(1) Normally used for ferromagnetic weldments.

(2) Prod burns are very detrimental, especially on highly
heat-treated articles. Burns may contribute to structural
failure of article.
(3) Demagnetization of highly heat-treated articles can be
very difficult due to metallurgical structure.


Figure 7-11. Heat-Affected Zone Cracking Discontinuity

b. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.
(1) Normally used for nonferrous weldments.
(2) Material that has had its surface obliterated, blurred, or
blended due to manufacturing processes should not be
penetrant tested until the smeared surface has been
(3) Liquid penetrant testing after the application of certain
types of chemical film coatings may be invalid due to the
covering or filling of the discontinuities.
c. Radiographic Testing Method. Not normally used for the
detection of heat-affected zone cracking. Discontinuity orien-
i tation and surface origin make other NDT methods more

d. Ultrasonic Testing Method.

(1) Used where specialized applications have been developed.
(2) Rigid standards and procedures are required t o develop
valid tests.
(3) The configuraticn of the surface roughness (i.e., sharp
versus rounded root radii and the slope condition) are
major factors in deflecting the sound beam.

e. Eddy Current Testing Method. Although not normally used for

the detection of heat-affected zone cracking, eddy current
testing equipment has the capability of detecting nonferrous
surface discontinuities.


1. Category. Processing

2. Material . Ferrous and Nonferrous Wrought and Cast Material

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface. Usually deep and forked. Seldom follow a definite pattern and
can be in any direction on the part. Originate in areas with rapid change of
material thickness, sharp machining marks, fillets, nicks, and discon-
tinuities that have been exposed to the surface of the material. (See
Figure 7-12.)


Figure 7-12. Heat-Treat Crack Discontinuities

4. Metallurgical Analysis

During the heating and cooling process, localized stresses may be set Up by
unequal heating or cooling, restricted movement of the article, or unequal
:rosssectional thickness. These stresses may exceed the tensile strength
of the material causing it to rupture. Where built-in stress risers occur
(keyways or grooves) additional cracks may develop.
5. NDT Methods AppLication and Limitations

a. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.

(1) For ferromagnetic materials, heat-treat cracks are

normally detected by magnetic particle testing.
(2) Indications normally appear as straight, forked, or curved
(3) Likely points of origin are areas that would develop stress
risers, such as keyways, fillets, or areas with rapid
changes in material thickness.
(4) Metallurgical structure of age-hardenable and heat-
treatable stainless steels (17.4, 17.7, and 431) may
produce nonrelevant indications.

b. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.

(1) Liquid penetrant testing is the recommended method for

nonferrous materials.
(2) Likely points of origin for heat-treat cracks are the same
as those listed for magnetic particle testing.
(3) Materials or articles that will eventually be used in LOX
qystems must be tested with LOX compatible penetrants.

c. Eddy Current Testing Method. Although not normally used for

the detection of heat-treat cracks, eddy current testing
equipment has the capability of detecting nonferrous surface .

d. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not normally used for detection of

heat-treat cracks. If used, the scope pattern wiU show a
definite indication of a discontinuity. Recommended wave
mode would be surface.

e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not normally used for detection

of heat-treat cracks. Surface discontinuities are more easily
detected by other NDT methods designed for surface

1. Category. Processing (Welding)

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface. Situated on the face of the weld, fusion zone, and base metal.
Range in size from very small, tight, and shallow, to open and deep.
Cracks may run parallel or transverse to the direction of welding. (See
Figure 7-13.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Surface shrink cracks are generally the result of improper heat application,
either in heating or welding of the article. Heating or cooling in a
Iocalized area may set up stresses that exceed the tensile strength of the
material causing the material t o crack. Restriction of the movement
(contraction or expansion) of the material during heating, cooling, or
welding may also set up excessive stresses.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

'a. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.

(1) Surface shrink cracks in nonferrous materials are normally

detected by use of liquid penetrants.
(2) Liquid penetrant equipment is easily portable and can be
used during in-process control for both ferrous and
nonferrous weldments.
(3) Assemblies that are joined by bolting, riveting, intermit-
tent welding, or press fittings will retain the penetrant,
which will seep out after developing and mask the
adjoining surfaces.
(4) When articles are dried in a hot air dryer or by similar
means, excessive drying temperature should be avoided t o
prevent evaporation of penetrant.


Figure 7-13. Surface Shrink Crack Discontinuities

b. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.

(1) Ferromagnetic weldments are normally tested by mag-

netic particle method.
(2) Surface discontinuities, that are parallel to the magnetic
field will not produce indications since they do not
interrupt or distort the magnetic field.
(3) Areas such as grease fittings, bearing races, or other
similar items that might be damaged or clogged by the
bath or by the particles should be masked before testing.

c. Eddy Current Testing Method.

Normally confined to nonferrous welded pipe and tubing.
A probe or encircling coil could be used where article
configuration permits.

d. Radiographic Testing Method. Not normally used for the

detection of surface discontinuities. During the radiographic
testing of weldments for other types of discontinuities, surface
indications may be detected.

e. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not normally used for detection of

surface shrink cracks. Other forms of NDT (liquid penetrant
and magnetic particle) give better results, are more econom-
ical, and are faster.

Category. Service

Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous Wrought Material

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface. Cracks are transverse to.the grain (transgranular) starting at the

root of the thread. (See Figure 7-14.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Fatigue failures of this type are not uncommon. High cyclic stresses
resulting from vibration and/or flexing act on the stress risers created by
the thread roots to produce cracks. Fatigue cracks may start as fine
submicroscopic discontinuities or cracks and propagate in the direction of
applied stresses.



Figure 7-14. Thread Crack Discontinuities

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Liquid penetrant Testing Method.

(1) Fluorescent penetrant is recommended over

(2) Low surface tension solvents such as gasoline and
kerosene are not recommended cleaners.
(3) When applying liquid penetrant to components within an
assembly or structure, the adjacent areas should be
effectively masked to prevent overspraying.
b. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.

(1) Normally used to detect cracks a t the threads on

ferromagnetic materials.
(2) Nonrelevant magnetic indications may result from the
thread configuration.
(3) Cleaning titanium and 440C stainless in halogeneated
' hydrocarbons may result in structural damage to the

c. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not normally used for detecting

thread cracks. The article configuration would require special-
ized equipment if adaptable.

d. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting

thread cracks. Thread configuration does not lend itself t o
ultrasonic testing.

e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting

thread cracks. Surface discontinuities are best screened by
NDT method designed for the specific condition. Fatigue
cracks of this type are very tight and surface connected.
Detection by radiography would be extremely difficult.


1. Category. Inherent

2. Material. Nonferrous

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Tubing cracks formed on the inner surface (I.D.), parallel to direction of

grain flow. (See Figure 7-15.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Tubing I.D. cracks may be attributed to one or a combination of the





Figure 7-15. Tubing Crack Discontinuity

a. Improper cold reduction of the tube during fabrication.

b. Foreign material may have been embedded on the inner surface
of the tubes causing embrittlement and cracking when the cold
worked material was heated during the annealing operation.
c. Insufficient heating rate to the annealing temperature with pos-
sible cracking occurring in the 1200-1400F (645-760C) range.
5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Eddy Current Testing Method.

(1) Normally used for detection of this type of discontinuity.

(2) Tube diameters below 1 inch (2.54 cm) and wall thick-
nesses less than 0.150 inch (3.8 mm) are well within
equipment capability.
(3) Testing of ferromagnetic material may be difficult.

b. Ultrasonic Testing Method.

(1) Normally used on tubing.

(2) A wide variety of equipment and transducers are available
for screening tubing for internal discontinuities of this
(3) Ultrasonic transducers have varying temperature
(4) Certain ultrasonic contact couplants may have high sulfur
content, which will have an adverse effect on high-nickel

c. Radiographic Testing Method. Not normally used for detecting

tubing cracks. Discontinuity orientation and thickness of
material govern the radiographic sensitivity. Other forms of
NDT (eddy current and ultrasonic) are more economical, faster,
and more reliable.

d. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method. Not recommended for

detecting tubing cracks. Internal discontinuity would be
difficult t o process and interpret.

e. Magnetic Particle Testing Method. Not applicable. Material is

nonferrous under normal conditions.

1. Category. Processing

2. Material. Ferrous

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

lternal fissures in a fractured surface, flakes appear as bright silvery

reas. On an etched surface they appear as short discontinuities.
oinetimes known as chrome checks and hairline cracks when revealed by
~achining. Flakes are extremely thin and generally align parallel with the
rain. They are usually found in heavy steel forgings, billets, and bars.
h e Figure 7-16.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

lakes are internal fissures attributed to stresses produced by localized

:ansformation and decreased solubility of hydrogen during cooling after
ot working. Usually found only in heavy alloy steel forgings.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Ultrasonic Testing Method.

(1) Used extensively for the detection of hydrogen flake.

(2) Material in the wrought condition can be screened
successfully using either the immersion or the contact
method. The surface condition will determine 'the method
most suited.
(3) On the A-scan presentation, hydrogen flake will appear as
hash on the screen or as loss of back reflection.
(4) All foreign materials (loose scale, dirt, oil, grease) should
be removed prioi to any testing. Surface irregularities
such as ~ c k s gouges,
, tool marks, and scarfing may cause
loss of back reflection.

b. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.

(1) Normally used on finished machined articles.

(2) Flakes appear as short discontinuities and resemble
chrome checks or hairline cracks.


Figure 7-16. Hydrogen Flake Discontinuity

(3) Machined surfaces with deep tool marks may obliterate

the detection of the flake.
(4) Where the general direction of a discontinuity is question-
able, it may be necessary to magnetize in two or more
c. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method. Not normally used for
detecting flakes. Discontinuities are very small and tight and
would be difficult to detect by liquid penetrants.

d. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting

flakes. The metallurgical structure of ferrous materials limits
their adaptability t o the use of eddy current.

e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not recomniended for detecting

flakes. The size of the discontinuity and its location and
orientation with respect to the material surface restricts the
application of radiography.


Category. Processing and Service

Material. Ferrous

Discontinuity Characteristics

:ace. Small, nondimensional (interface) with no orientation or direction.

nd in highly heat-treated material that was subjected to pickling and/or
ing or in material exposed t o free hydrogen. (See Figure 7-17.)

Metallurgical Analysis

.ations such a s electroplating or pickling and cleaning prior t o electro-

ng generate hydrogen at the surface of the material. This hydrogen
trates the surface of the material creating immediate or delayed
ittlement and cracking.

NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Magnetic Particles Testing Method.

(1) Magnetic indications appear as a fractured pattern.

(2) Hydrogen embrittlement cracks are randomly oriented and
may be aligned with the magnetic field.
(3) Magnetic particle testing should be accomplished before
and after plating.



Figure 7-17. Hydrogen Embrittlement Discontinuity

(4) Care should be taken so as not to produce nonrelevant

indications or cause damage to the article by overheating.
(5) 301 corrosion resistant steel is nonmagnetic in the
annealed condition, but becomes magnetic with cold
b. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method. Not normally used for
detecting hydrogen embrittlement. Discontinuitites on the
surface are extremely tight, small, and difficult to detect.
Subsequent plating deposit may mask the discontinuity.

c. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not normally used for detecting

hydrogen embrittlement. Article configurations and size db
not, in general, lend themselves to this method of testing.
Equipment has capability of detecting hydrogen embrittlement.
Recommend surface wave technique.

d. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not.recommended for detecting

hydrogen embrittlement. Many variables inherent in the
specific material may produce conflicting patterns.

e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting

hydrogen embrittlement. The sensitivity required to detect
hydrogen embrittlement is in most cases in excess of radio-
graphic capabilities.


1. Categorg. Processing (Weldments)

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous Welded Material

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface and subsurface. Inclusions may be any shape. They may be

metallic or nonmetallic and may appear singly or be linearly distributed or
scattered throughout the weldment. (See Figure 7-18.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

r Metallic inclusions are generally particles of metals of different density as

compared to the density of the weld or base metal. Nonmetallic inclusions
I are oxides, sulphides, slag, or other nonmetallic foreign material entrapped
1 in the weld or trapped between the weld metal and the base metal.


Figure 7-18. Weldment Inclusion Discontinuities

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Radiographic Testing Method.

(1) This NDT metbod is universally used.

(2) Metallic inclusions appear on the radiograph a s sharply
defined, round, erratically shaped, or elongated white
spots and may be isolated or in small linear or scattered
(3) Nonmetallic inclusions will appear on the radiograph as
shadows of round globules or elongated or irregularly
shaped contours occurring singly, linearly, or scattered
throughout the weldment. They will generally appear in
the fusion zone or a t the root of the weld. Less absorbent
material is indicated by a greater film density and more
absorbent materials by a lighter film density.
(4) Foreign material such as loose scales, splatter, or flux
may invalidate test results.

I b. Eddy Current Testing Method.

(1) Normally confined to thin wall, welded tubing.

(2) Established standards are required if valid results are to
be obtained.

I c. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.

(1) Normally not used for detecting inclusions in weldments.

(2) Confined t o machined weldments where the discontinu-
ities are surface or near surface.
(3) The indications would appear jagged, irregularly shaped,
individually or clustered, and would not be too
(4) Discontinuities may go undetected when improper contact
exists between the magnetic particles and the surface of
the article.

d. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not normally used for detecting

inclusions. Specific applications of design or of article config-
uration, however, may require ultrasonic testing.

e. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method. Not applicable. Inclusions

are normally not open fissures.


1 1. Category. Processing

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous Wrought Waterial

.' <. 3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Subsurface (original bar) or surface (after machining). There are two types:
! one is nonmetallic with long straight lines parallel to flow lines and quite
I 7-37
tightly adherent. Often short and likely to occur in groups. The other type
is nonplastic, appearing as a comparatively large mass not parallel t o flow
lines. Found in forged, extmded, and rolled material. (See Figure 7-19.)




Figure 7-19. Wrought Inclusion is continuities

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Nonmetallic inclusions (stringers) are caused by the existence of slag or

oxides in the billet or ingot. Nonplastic inclusions are caused by particles
remaining in the solid state during billet melting. Certain types of steels
are more prone to inclusions than others.
5. NDT Methods Applications and Limitations

a. Ultrasonic Testing Method.

(1) Normally used to evaluate inclusions in wrought material.

(2) Inclusions will appear as definite interfaces within the
metal. Small, clustered condition or conditions on 'dif- '
ferent planes cause a loss in back reflection. Numerous
small, scattered conditions cause excessive "noise."
(3) Inclusion orientation in relationship to ultrasonic beam is
(4) The direction of the ultrasonic beam should be perpendic-
ular to the direction of the grain flow whenever possible.

b. Eddy Current Testing Method.

(1) Normally used for thin wall tubing and small diameter
(2) Eddy current testing of ferromagnetic materials can be

c. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.

(1) Normally used on machined surface.

(2) Inclusions will appear as a straight intermittent or as a
continuous indication. They may be individual or
(3) The magnetizing technique should besuch that a surface
or near surface inclusion can be satisfactorily detected
when its axis is in any direction.
(4) A knowledge of the grain flow of the material is critical
since inclusions will be parallel t o that direction.

d. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method. Not normally used for

detecting inclusions in wrought material. Inclusions are
generally not openings in the material surface.
e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not recommended. NDT
methods designed for surface testing are more suitable for
detecting surface inclusions.


1. Category. Processing

2. ~ a t e r i * Ferrous and Nonferrous Weldments

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Internal or external. Generally irregular and filamentary occurring a t the

root and running parallel with the weld. (See Figure 7-20.)




Figure 7-20. Lack of Penetration Discontinuities

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Caused by root face of joint not reaching fusion temperature tjefore weld
metal was deposited. Also caused by fast welding rate, too large a welding
rod, or too cold a bead.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

l a. Radiographic Testing Method.

(1) Used extensively on a wide variety of welded articles to

determine the lack of penetration.
(2) Lack of penetration will appear on the radiograph as an
elongated, dark area of varying length and width. Lack of
penetration may be continuous or intermittent and may
appear in the center of the weld at the junction of
multipass bends.
(3) Lack of penetration orientation in relationship to the
radiographic source is critical.
(4) Sensitivity levels govern the capab&ty t o detect small or
tight discontinuities.

I b. Ultrasonic Testing Method.

I (1) Commonly used for specific applications.

I (2)
Weldments make ultrasonic testing difficult.
Lack of penetration will appear on the scope as a definite
break or discontinuity resembling a crack and will give a
very sharp reflection.

I c. Eddy Current Testing Method.

(1) Normally used to determine lack of penetration in non-
ferrous welded pipe and tubing.
(2) Eddy current testing can be used where other nonferrous
articles can meet the configuration requirement of the

I d. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.

(1) Normally used where backside of weld is visible.
(2) Lack of penetration appears as an irregular indication of
varying width.

e. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.

(1) Normally used where backside of weld is visible.
(2) Lack of penetration appears as an irregular indication of
varying width.
(3) Residue left by the penetrant and the developer could
contaminate any rewelding operation.


1. Catezory. Inherent

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous Wrought Material

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface and internal. Flat, extremely thin, generally aligned parallel t o the
work surface of the material. May contain a thin film of oxide between the
surfaces. Found in forged, extruded, and roIled material. (See
Figure 7-21.)

4. ;vietallurgical Analysis

Laminations are separations or weaknesses generally aligned parallel t o the

work surface of the material. They may be the result of pipe, blister,
seam, inclusions, o r segregations elongated and made directional by
working. Laminations are flattened impurities that are extremely thin.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

I a. Ultrasonic Testing Method.

(1) For heavier gauge material the geometry and orientation
of lamination (normal to the beam) makes their detection
limited to ultrasonic testing.
(2) Numerous wave modes may be used depending upon the
material thickness or method selected for testing. Auto-
matic and manual contact or immersion methods are



Figure 7-21. Lamination Discontinuities

(3) Laminations appear as a definite interface with a loss of

back reflection.
(4) Through transmission and reflection techniques are appli-
I cable for very thin sections.
b. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.
(1) Articles fabricated from ferromagnetic materials are
normally tested for lamination by magnetic particle
testing methods.
(2) Magnetic indication will appear as a straight, inter-
mittent indication.
(3) Magnetic particle testing is not capable of determining
the overall size or depth of the lamination.
c. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.
(1) . Normally used on nonferrous materials.
(2) Machining, honing, lapping, or blasting may smear surface
of material and thereby close or mask surface lamination.
(3) Acid and alkalines seriously limit the effectiveness of
liquid penetrant testing. Thorough cleaning of the surface
is essential.
d. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not normally used to detect
laminations. If used, the method must be confined to thin sheet
e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting
laminations. Laminations have very small thickness changes in
the direction of the X-ray beam, thereby making radiographic
detection almost impossible.


1. Category. Processing

2. . Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous Rolled Threads

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface. Wavy lines, often quite deep and sometimes very tight, appearing
as hairline cracks. Found in rolled threads in the minor pitch, and major
diameter of the thread, and in direction of rolling. (See Figure 7-22.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

During the rolling operation, faulty or oversized dies, or an overfill of

material may cause material to be foIded over and flattened into the
qurface of the thread but not fused.



Figure 7-22. Lap and Seam Discontinuities in Rolled Threads

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.

(1) Compatibility with both ferrous and nonferrous materials
makes fluorescent liquid penetrant the first choice.
(2) Liquid penetrant indications will be circumferential,
slightly curved, intermittent or continuous indications.
Laps and seams may occur individually or in clusters.
(3) Foreign material may not only interfere with the pene-
tration of the penetrant into the discontinuity but may
cause an accumulation of penetrant in a nondefective
(4) Surface of threads may be smeared due to rolling opera-
tion, thereby sealing off laps and seams.
(5) Fluorescent and dye penetrants are not compatible. Dye
penetrants tend to kill the fluorescent qualities in
fluorescent penetrants.
b. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.
(1) Magnetic particle indications of laps and seams generally
appear the same as liquid penetrant indications.
(2) Nonrekevant magnetic indications may result from
(3) Questionable magnetic particle indications can be verified
by liquid penetrant testing.
c. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not normally used for detecting
laps and seams. Article configuration is the restricting factor.
d. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting
laps and seams. Thread configurations restrict ultrasonic
e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting
laps and seams. Size and orientation of discontinuities restricts
the capability of radiographic testing. !


1. Category. Processing

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous Wrought Material

3. Discontinuity Characteristics
a. Lap Surface. Wavy lines -usually not very pronounced or
tightly adherent since they usually enter the surface a t a small
angle. Laps may have surface openings smeared closed. Found
in wrought forgings, plate, tubing, bar, and rod. (See
Figure 7-23.)


Figure 7-23. Lap and *am Discontinuities in Wrought Material

b. Seam Surface. Lengthy, often quite deep and sometimes very
tight; usually occur in parallel fissures with the grain; and, a t
times, spiral when associated with roUed rod and tubing.

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Seams originate from blowholes, cracks, splits, and tears introduced in

earlier processing and elongated in the direction of rolling or forging. The
distance between adjacent innerfaces of the discontinuity is very small.

Laps are similar to seams and may result from improper rolling, forging, or
sizing operations. During the processing of the material, corners may be
folded over or an overfill may exist during sizing that results in material
being flattened, but not fused into the surface. Laps may'occur on any part
of the article.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.

(1) Magnetic particle testing is recommended for ferromag-
netic material.

(2) Surface and nearsurface laps and seams may be detected
by this method.
(3) Laps and seams may appear as straight, spiral, or slightly
curved indications. They may be individual or clustered
and continuous or intermittent.
(4) Magnetic buildup a t laps and seams is very small. There-
, fore a magnetizing current greater than that used for the
detection of cracks is necesssry.
(5) Correct magnetizing technique should be used when
examining for forging laps since the discontinuity may lie
in a plane nearly parallel to the surface.
b. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.
(1) Liquid penetrant testing is. recommended for nonferrous
(2) L q s and seams may be very tight and difficult to detect
especially by liquid penetrant.
(3) Liquid penetrant testing of laps and seams can be
improved slightly by heating the article before applying
the penetrant.
c. Ultrasonic Testing Method.
1 Normally used to test wrought material prior to
(2) Surface wave technique permits accurate evaluation of
the depth, length, and size of laps and seams.
(3) Ultrasonic indications of laps and seams will appear as
definite inner faces within the metal.
d. Eddy Current Testing Method.
(1) Normally used for the evaluation of laps and seams in
tubing and pipe.
(2) Other articles can be screened by eddy current where
article configuration and size permit.
e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting
laps and seams in wrought material.

1. Category. Processing

2. Material. Magnesium Casting

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Internal. Small filamentary voids in the grain boundaries appear a s concen-

trated porosity in cross section. (See Figure 7-24.)



Figure 7-24. Microshrinkage Discontinuity

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Shrinkage occurs while the metal is in a plastic or semimolten state. If

sufficient molten metal cannot flow into different areas as it cools, the
shrinkage w U leave a void. The void is identified by its appearance and by
the time in the plastic range it occurs. Microshrinkage is caused by the
withdrawal of thelow melting point constituent from the grain boundaries.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Radiographic Testing Method.

(1) Radiography is universally used t o determine the accept-
ance level of microshrinkage.
(2) Microshrinkage will appear on the radiograph as an
elongated swirl resembling feathery streaks or as dark
irregular patches that are indicative of cavities in the
grain boundaries.
b. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.
(1) Normally used on finished machined surfaces.
(2) Microshrinkage is not normally open t o the surface. These
conditions will, therefore, be detected in machined areas.
(3) The appearance of the indication depends on the plane
through which the microshrinkage has been cut. The
appearance varies from a continuous hairline to a massive
porous indication.
(4) Penetrant may a c t as a contaminant by saturating the
microporous casting affecting its ability to accept a
surface treatment.
(5) Serious structural or dimensional damage to the article
can result from the improper use of acids or alkalies.
They should never be used unless approval is obtained.
c. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting
microshrinkage. Article configuration and type of discontinuity
do not Iend themselves t o eddy current testing.
d. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting
microshrinkage. Cast structure and article configuration are
restricting factors.
e. Magnetic Particle Testing Method. Not applicable. Material is


1. Category. Processing

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous Weldments

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface or subsurface. Rounded or elongated, teardrop shaped, with or

without a sharp discontinuity a t the point. Scattered uniformly throughout
the weld or isolated in small groups. May also be concentrated a t the root
or toe. (See Figure 7-25.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Porosity in welds is caused by gas entrapment in the molten metal, too

much moisture on the base or filler metal, or improper cleaning or pre-

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Radiography Testing Method.

(1) Radiography is the most universally used NDT method for
the detection of gas porosity in weldments.
(2) m e radiograhic image of a "round" porosity will appear as
oval shaped spots with smooth edges, while "elongated"
porosity will appear as oval shaped spots with the major
axis sometimes several times longer than the minor axis.
(3) Foreign material such as loose scale, flux, or splatter will
affect validity of test results.
b. Ultrasonic Testing Method.
(I) Ultrasonic testing equipment is highly sensitive, capable
of detecting microseparations. Established standards
should be used if valid test results are to be obtained.
(2) Surface finish and grain size will affect the validity of the
test results.



Figure 7-25. Gas Porosity Discontinuity

C. Eddy Current Testing Method.

(1) Normally confined t o thin-wall welded pipe and tube.
(2) Penetration restricts testing t o a depth of more than one-
q u a r t e r inch.
d. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.
(1) Normally confined to inprocess control of ferrous and
nonferrous weldments.
(2) Liquid penetrant testing, like magnetic particle, is
restricted to surface evaluation.
(3) Extreme caution must be exercised to prevent any
cleaning material, magnetic (iron oxide), and liquid pene-
trant materials from becoming entrapped and contamin-
ating the rewelding operation.
e. Magnetic Particle Testing Method. Not normally used to detect
gas porosity. Only surface porosity would be evident. Near
surface porosity would not be clearly defined since indications
are neither strong nor pronounced.


1. Category. Processing

2. Material. Aluminum

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Internal. Wafer-thin fissures aligned parallel with the grain flow. Found in
wrought aluminum that has been rolled, forged, or extruded. (See
Figure 7-26.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Unfused porosity is attributed to porosity in the cast ingot. During the

rolling, forging, or extruding operations it is flattened. into wafer-thin
shape. J f the internal surface of these discontinuities is oxidized or is
composed of a foreign material, they will not fuse during the subsequent
processing, which results in an extremely thin interface or void.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Ultrasonic Testing Method.

(1) Used extensively for the detection of unfused porosity.
(2) Raw materials may be tested in the "as received"
(3) Ultrasonic testing fixes the location of the void in all
three directions.
UNFUSED POROSIW 10.40 mm). 3/64 IN. 11.17 mm) 5/64 IN. 11.98 mm)
AND 8/64 IN. (3.18 mml lleftto ri&tl


Figure 7-26. Unfused Porosity Discontinuity

(4) Where the general direction of the discontinuity is

unknown, it may be necesary to test from several
(5) Method of manufacture and subsequent article configura-
tion will determine the orientation of the unfused porosity
to the material surface.
b. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.
(1) Normally used on nonferrous, machined articles.
(2) Unfused porosity will appear as a straight line of varying
lengths running parallel with the grain. Liquid penetrant
testing & restricted to surface evaluation.
(3) Surface preparations such as vapor blasting, honing,
grinding, or sanding may obliterate possible indications by
masking the surface discontinuities, thereby restricting
the reliability of liquid penetrant testing.
(4) Excessive agitation of penetrant materials may produce
c. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not normally used for detecting
unfused porosity.
d. Radiographic Testing Method. Not normally used for detecting
unfused porosity. Wafer-thin discontinuities are difficult to
detect by a method that measures density or that requires that
the discontinuity be perpendicular to the X-ray beam.
e. Magnetic Particle Testing Method. Not applicable. Material is


1. Categorx. Service

2. Material. Ferrous and Nonferrous

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface. Range from shallow to very deep, and usually follow the grain
flow of the material; however, transverse cracks are also possible. (See
Figure 7-27.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Three factors are necessary for the phenomenon of stress corrosion to

occur: 1) a sustained static tensile stress, 2) the presence of a corrosive
environment, and 3) the use of a material that is susceptible to this type of
failure. Stress corrosion is much more likely to occur a t high levels of
stress than at low levels of stress. The type of stresses include residual
(internal) as well a s those from external (applied) loading.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.

(1) Liquid penetrant is normally used for the detection of
stress corrosion.
Figure 7-27. Stress Corrosion Discontinuity

(2) In the preparation, application, and final cleaning of

articles, extreme care must be exercised t o prevent
overspraying and Contamination of the surrounding
(3) Chemical cleaning immediately before the application of
liquid penetrant may seriously affect the test results if
the solvents are not given time t o evaporate.
(4) Service articles may contain moisture within the dis-
continuity which will dilute, contaminate, and invalidate
results if the moisture is not removed.
b. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not normally used to detect
stress corrosion. Eddy current equipment is capable of
resolving stress corrosion where article configuration is com-
patible with equipment limitations.
c. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not normally used to detect stress
corrosion. Discontinuities are perpendicular to surface of
material and require surface technique.
d. Magnetic Particle Testing Method. Not normally used to detect
stress corrosion. Configuration of article and usual non-
ferromagnetic condition exclude magnetic particle testing.
e. Radiographic Testing Method. Not normally used t o detect
stress corrosion. Surface indications are best detected by NDT
method designed for such application. However, radiography ,
can and has shown stress corrosion with the use of the proper '


1. Category. Processing and Service

/I 2. Material. Aluminum 6061-T6

I 3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface and internal. Range in size from short to long, shallow to very
tight and deep. Usually they will be found in the direction of the grain flow
with the exception of stress corrosion, which has no direction. (See
Figure 7-28.)




Figure 7-28. Hydraulic Tubing Discontinuities

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Hydraulic tubing discontinuities are usually one of the following:

a, Foreign material coming in contact with the tube material and
being embedded into the surface of the tube.
b. Laps which are the result of material being foIded over and not
fused. .
e. Seams which originate from blowholes, cracks, splits and tears
introduced in the earlier processing, and then are elongated
during rolling.
d. Intergranular corrosion which is due to the presence of a corro-
sive environment.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Eddy Current Testing Method.

(1) Universally used for testing of nonferrous tubing.
(2) Heavier-walled tubing, 0.25 in. (6.3 mm) and over, may
not be successfully tested due to the penetration ability of
the equipment.
(3) The specific nature of various discontinuities may not be
clearly defined.
(4) Test results will not be valid unless controlled by known
(5) Testing of ferromagnetic material may be difficult.
(6) All material should be free of any foreign material that
would invalidate the test results.
b. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method. Not normally used for
detecting tubing discontinuities. Eddy current is more econom-
ical, faster, and, with established standards, is more reliable.
c. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not normally used for detecting
tubing discontinuities. Eddy current is recommended over
ultrasonic testing since it is faster and more economical for this
range of surface discontinuity and nonferrous material.
d. Radiographic Testing Method. Not normally used for detecting
tubing discontinuities. The size and type of discontinuity and
the configuration of the article limit the use of radiography for
screening of material for this group of discontinuities.
e. Magnetic Particle Testing Method. Not applicable. Material is


1. Category. Processing

2. Material. Nonferrous Thick-Wall Seamless Tubing

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Internal surface of thick-wall tubing. Range from shallow even gouges to

ragged tears. Often a slug of the material will be embedded within the
gouged area. (See Figure 7-29.)


Figure 7-29. Mandrel Drag Discontinuities

During the manufacture of thick-wall seamless tubing, the billet is ruptured
as it passes through the offset rolls. As the piercing mandrel follows this
fracture, a portion of the material may break loose and be forced over the
mandrel. As it does, the surface of the tubing may be scored or have the
slug embedded into the wall. Certain types of material are more prone t o
this type of failure than others.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Eddy Current Testing Method. I

(1) Normally used for the testing of thin-wall pipe or tube.
(2) Eddy current testing may be confined to nonferrous
(3) Discontinuities are qualitative, not quantative indications. I
(4) Several factors simultaneously affect output indications.
b. Ultrasonic Testing Method.
(1) Normally used for the screening of thick-wall pipe or tube
for mandrel drag.
(2) Can be used to test both ferrous and nonferrous pipe or
(3) May be used in support of production line since it is adapt-
able for automatic instrumentation.
(4) Configuration of mandrel drag or tear will produce very
sharp and noticeable indications on the scope.
c. Radiographic Testing Method. Not normally used although it
has been instrumental in the detection of mandrel drag during
examination of adjacent welds. Complete coverage requires
several exposures around the circumference of the tube. This
method is not designed for production support since it is very
slow and costly for large volumes of pipe or tube. Radiograph
will disclose only two dimensions and not the third.
d. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method. Not recommended for
detecting mandrel drag since discontinuity is internal and would
not be detectable.
e. Magnetic Particle Testing Method. Not recommended for
detecting mandrel drag. Discontinuities are not close enough to
the surface to be detectable by magnetic particles. Most
mandrel drag will occur in seamless stainless steel.


1. Category. Processing and Service

2. Material. Hardware

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Internal. Appear in many sizes and shapes and various degrees of density.
They may be misformed, misaligned, damaged, or may have broken internal
hardware. Found in transistors, diodes, resistors, and capacitors. (See
Figure 7-30.)



Figure 7-30. Semiconductor Discontinuities

4. Metallurgical Analysis
Semiconductor discontinuities such as loose wire, weld splash, flakes, solder
balls, loose leads, inadequate clearance between internal elements and
case, and inclusions or voids in seals or around lead connections are the
product of processing errors.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Radiographic Testing Method.

(1) Universally used as the NDT method for the detection of
discontinuities in semiconductors.
(2) The configuration and internal structure of the various
semiconductors limit the NDT method to radiography.
(3) Semiconductors that have copper heat sinks may require
more than one technique due t o the density of the copper.
(4) Internal wires in semiconductors are very f i e and may be
constructed from materials of different density such as
copper, silver, gold and aluminum. If the latter is used
with the others, special techniques may be needed t o
resolve test reliability.
(5) Microparticles may require the highest sensitivity to
(6) The complexity of the internal structure of semicon-
ductors may require additional views to exclude the
possibility of non-detection of discontinuities due to
masking by hardware.
(7) Positive positioning of each semiconductor will prevent
invalid interpretation.
(8) Source angle should give minimum distortion.
(9) Preliminary examination of semiconductors may be
accomplished using a vidicon system that would allow
visual observation during 360 degree rotation of the
b. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting
semiconductor discontinuities. Nature of discontinuity and
method of construction of the article do not lend themselves to
this form of NDT.
c. Magnetic Particle Testing Method. Not recommended for
detecting semiconductor discontinuities.
d. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method. Not recommended for
detecting semiconductor discontinuities.
e. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting
semiconductor discontinuities.


1. Categorx. Inherent

2. Material. Ferrous Castings

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Internal or near surface. Appear as ragged Line of variable width and

numerous branches. Occur singly or in groups. (See Figure 7-31.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Hot cracks (tears) are caused by nonuniform cooling resulting in stresses

which rupture the surface of the metal while its temperature is still in the
brittle range. Tears may originate where stresses are set up by the more
rapid cooling of .thin sections that adjoin heavier masses of metal, which
are slower to cool.

5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations

a. Radiographic Testing Method.

(1) Radiographic testing is the first choice since the material
is cast structure and the discontinuities may be internal
and surface.
(2) Orientation of the hot tear in relation to the source may
influence the test results.
(3) The sensitivity level may not be sufficient to detect fine
surface hot tears.
b. Magnetic Particle Testing Method.
(1) Hot tears that are exposed to the surface can be screened
with magnetic particle method.


Figure 7-31. Hot Tear Discontinuities

(2) Article configuration and metallurgical composition may

make demagnetization difficult.
(3) Although magnetic particle testing can detect near
surface hot tears, radiography should be used for final
(4) Foreign material not removed prior to testing will cause
an invaliu test.
c. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.
(1) Liquid penetrant testing is recommended for nonferrous
cast material.
(2) Method is confined to surface evaluation.
(3) The use of penetrants on castings may act as a
contaminant by saturating the porous structure and
thereby affect the ability to apply surface finish.
(4) Repeatability of indications may be poor.
d. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting hot
tears. Discontinuities of this type when associated with cast.
structure do not lend themselves to ultrasonic testing.
e. Eddy Current Testing Method. Not recommended for detecting
hot tears. Metallurgical structure along with the complex
configurations do not lend themselves to eddy current testing.


1. Category. Service

2. Material. Nonferrous

3. Discontinuity Characteristics

Surface or internal. A series of small micro-openings with no definite

pattern. May appear singly or in groups. The insidious nature of
intergranular corrosion results from the fact that very little corrosion or
corrosion product is visible on the surface. Integranular corrosion may
' extend in any direction following the grain boundaries of the material. (See
Figure 7-32.)

4. Metallurgical Analysis

Two factors that contribute to intergranular corrosion are:

a. Metallurgical structure of the material that is prone to
- corrosion such as unstabilized 300 series stainless
b. Improper stress relieving or heat treat may create the suscepti-
bility to intergranular corrosion. Either of these conditions
colipled with a corrosive atmosphere will result in intergranular
5. NDT Methods Application and Limitations
a. Liquid Penetrant Testing Method.
(1) Liquid Penetrant testing is the first choice due to the size
and location of this type of discontinuity.


Figure 7-32. Intergranular Corrosion Discontinuity

(2) Chemical cleaning operations immediately before the

application of Liquid penetrant may contaminate the
article and seriously affect test results.
(3) Cleaning with solvents may release chlorine and
accelerate intergranular corrosion.
(4) Trapped penetrant solution may present a cleaning or
removal problem.
b. Radiographic Testing Method.
(1) Intergranular corrosion in the more advanced stages has
been detected with radiography.
(2) Sensitivity levels may prevent the detection of fine
intergranular corrosion.
(3) Radiography may not indicate the surface on which the
intergranular corrosion occurs.
c. Eddy Current Testing Method.
(1) Eddy current can be used for the screening of'
intergranular corrosion.
(2) Tube or pipe lend themselves readily to this method of
NDT testing.
(3) Metallurgical structure of the material may seriously
affect the output indications.
d. Ultrasonic Testing Method. Not normally used although the
equipment has the capability to detect intergranular corrosion.
e. Magnetic Particle Testing Method. Not recommended for
detecting intergranular corrosion. Type of discontinuity and
material restrict the use of magnetic particles.