Introduction to NDT and Penetrant Testing (PT


G.Jothinathan Scientific Officer Gr.I Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering I I T M, Chennai 600 036 Email ±

Introduction To NDT Non Destructive Testing (NDT) is a noninvasive method and the testing is carried out without impairing further usefulness of the material, component and structure The component can be put into use after the Testing. The signals that are employed do not alter the properties permanently .
Method Signal Remarks UT US waves - elastic waves Elastic deformation RT X-rays and gamma rays No damage during the course of testing Radiation damage!!! MT Magnetic field Remnent fieldDemagnetisation

- interesting and highly paying field - interdisciplinary of metallurgy, physics and chemistry NDT accounts for 1/3 of the cost of an aircraft (without raw material and fabrication cost !!)

Definition of terms NDT NDI Used interchangeably- detection and reporting The scope is broader ±serviceability is ascertained Also includes material characterisation Material anomalies-interruption ,break,disruption Discontinuity- can meet the service requirements Defect/flaw - renders unsuitable for service Anamoly whether Discontinuity or defect/flaw 1.Nature of the imperfection ±linear-volumetric 2.Material ±structural or high strength 3.Criticality of use ± storage vessel or boiler boiler in thermal power plant boiler in nuclear power plant Linear -crack ± length > 3 times width Volumetric - porosity and inclusion


It is also used for geometric dimension measurement. E and determination 2.Applications of NDT The main application of NDT is flaw detection and evaluation. Nodularity of nodular cast iron etc 6. material characterization. Fracture toughness determination . Extent of deformation 5. Grain size evaluation 3. bond integrity testing . condition monitoring etc Material characterisation: 1. Proportion of microstructural phases 4.

. Life extension and life predication methods also require information on the flaw size. is the working stress and ¶ a¶ is flaw size. KIc can be experimentally determined. Failure occurs when KI is equal to or greater than KIc To determine KI. fracture toughness (KIc) is defined and this characterizes the material behaviour in presence of discontinuities which the earlier strength of materials design approach has not taken into account.Purpose of NDT Fracture mechanics approach ± damage tolerance approach (propagates the idea of ³live with discontinuities´) A material property. The stress intensity factor (KI) the stress distribution around a discontinuity is given by KI = G ¥ a where G is geometric constant. . flaw size information needed and is provided by NDT personnel.

APPLIED STRESS YIELD TENSILE STRENGTH (a) The Strength of materials approach APPLIED STRESS FLAW SIZE FRACTURE TOUGHNESS (b) The Fracture Mechanics approach Comparison of classical design philosophy with fracture mechanics approach .

Eddy Current Testing (ET) .Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT) Surface NDT 3.Ultrasonic Testing (UT) 6.Leak testing (LT) .Visual testing (VT) 2.Radiographic Testing (RT) Surface &internal 5.Thermal Infrared imaging (TIFR) 9.Magnetic particle Testing (MT) 4.highly sensitive 7.NDT methods 1.Acoustic Emission Testing (AET) monitors activity 8.

Visual Testing (VT) This ancient and original method of examination by human eyes is still widely employed to find gross discontinuities. They are nothing but lens arrangement to transfer the image or the optical fibers arrangement for transferring the image. . roughness and corrosion products on the surface. For surfaces inaccessible to the human eyes as in the case of inside surfaces of pipes and boilers. These are called endoscopes (internal vision). surface irregularities. boroscopes and flexible fibroscopes are employed. Many gadgets like lenses. cameras are used.

VT of welds(contd) ‡ Mainly for noncritical welds ‡ Before. during and after welding ‡ Before -Surface roughness and cleanliness (oil) ‡ During .Electrode size and welders performance ‡ After -Dimensional accuracy of weldments Conformity of welds to size and contour requirements .

VT of welds (contd) ‡ Acceptability of weld appearance with regard to: ‡ Presence of surface discontinuities such as: ‡ surface roughness weld spatter ‡ cleanliness underfill pores ‡ Undercuts overlaps ‡ Cracks spatter ‡ Establishing definite procedure to ensure uniformity and accuracy .

Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT) -is applicable to discontinuities that are open to the surface or surface connected. Crack indication . -is extension of visual testing -an indication is obtained whose width is very much larger than the actual width of the crack so as to be seen by the unaided eye.

Sensitivity and applications -Sensitivity ± equal or better than MT ± better than RT for surface discontinuities 1 m x 10 m x 50 m can be detected Applications ± on all materials ± metals(ferrous and nonferrous) nonmetals(rubber.plastic etc) ± all type of defects (open) ± leak testing Normally not applicable to porous materials (unfired ceramics and powder metallurgical parts) Presently Filtered particle penetrant for porous materials Rough surfaces pose problem.> 125 mbackground poses problem .

At this point Of time. Inspection and Evaluation 6. is applied. 1. Removal of excess surface penetrant 4. Application of penetrant 3. which is highly absorptive in nature. developer. Development 5.Preparation of part 2. The developer brings back or bleeds out the penetrant thereby providing an indication in a contrasting background of white colour of developer.Principle of Penetrant Testing PT Highly coloured (visible or fluorescent) organic dye liquid which is also surface active in nature (called penetrants) is applied on to the clean surface of the component and allowed sufficient time for penetration into discontinuities. This leaves a clean surface of the component with pentrant residing in the discontinuities. The excess surface penetrant on the component is removed. Post Cleaning .

1. Principle of Penetrant Testing .Clean surface of Component Penetrant application Removal of excess surface penetrant After removal of excess surface penetrant and before application developer Application of developer Inspection and Interpretation Fig.

Principle Of PT .

the solid-liquid interface and the solid-gas interface. The difference in these energies is responsible for the liquid to spread over the solid surface. should replace the previously existing solid ±gas interface.(KLg Where: + KSL) SSL is the wetting ability of liquid on a clean solid. KLg is the surface energy of the liquid-gas interface. Capillarity The ability of the liquid to wet the solid surface or spread over the solid surface is determined by the surface energies of the liquid-gas interface. KSG is the surface energy of the solid-gas interface. This can happen when the energy difference KSG -KSL) is positive or if KSG> > KSL). Mathematically expressed SSL = KSG .Properties of penetrant The entire penetrant testing is based on the ability of the liquid to penetrate into discontinuities and later ability to come out. KSL is the surface energy of the solid-liquid interface. the surface energy of the solid liquid interface. Or in other words the surface energy of the solid gas interface should exceed. . The required properties are 1. The liquid to spread over the solid surface. Wettability 2.

High contact angle Normally. compared to water-silver which is 90 deg Once the liquid wets the surface. a. Waterglass has a contact angle of 0 deg. low contact angle contact angle 90 deg. the ability of the liquid to rise in the capillary or enter into the openings is determined by surface tension (T) Hence the main properties of penetrant are T and U However. Show the contact angle and wetting ability. The contact angle is defined as the angle between the solid surface and the tangent drawn to the liquid at the point of contact. the speed of penetration is determined by viscosity . It can be seen that spreading ability and contact angle are inversely related. which quantifies the resultant adhesive and cohesive forces. Contact angle depends on the solid surface to be wetted.The ability of the liquid to spread or wet the solid surface is related to the contact angle U. The Figs. the penetrants need to have a very low contact angle and the commercial penetrants have contact angles between 0 ±5..

The human eye brings an effect called halation effect.Other penetrant required properties 1. the ability to magnify the indication . the indication is better seen in the case of fluorescent indication .Nontoxicity (noncorroding etc) Visibility is next most important property of the penetrant Colour contrast ratio of visible dye is ~1:10 (The light reflected by the white background to bright red of the dye) Colour contrast ratio of the fluorescent dye is ~1:100 (light emitted by the indication to the light emitted by the dark background) Because of this colour contrast ratio.Visibility 2.

Water washable WW ( Method A) 2. Simple water washing ± water washable Solvent wiping ± solvent removable Emulsifying &removing ± post emulsifiable lippo & hydrophilic . II.Classification penetrants There are mainly three types of penetrants namely 1. Dual mode (visible and fluorescent) (Type III) Other unclassified type is . Visible dye or colour contrast penetrant (Type II ) 2. Fluorescent or brightness contrast penetrant (Type I ) 3. Solvent removable SR (Method C ) 4. or III is based based on the type of dye that is incorporated -visible or fluorescent or both ) Each of these are further classified as methods 1. Post emulsifiable PE lippophilic (Method B) 3. Post emulsifiable Hydrophilic ( Method D) -classification is based on the method by which the excess penetrant is removed in the excess penetrant removal step. filtered particle penetrant (Type I.

Water washable penetrant has one more constituent namely built in emulsifier The moment water is applied. Solvents and stabilising agents.Simple water washing Simple water washing cannot remove the oil base penetrant. penetrant is dispersed by the inbuilt emulsifier making it amenable for water washing . making it water removable Water washable . Dye material (visible or fluorescent) 3. The composition of solvent removable and post emulsifiable penetrant are essentially same.Composition of penetrants 1. Oil base 2. Solvent removable ± by solvent action Post emulsifiable ± by dispersing the penetrant into fine particles by the applied emulsifier.

Hence. 2 ft. use of high sensitivity penetrant namely fluorescent dye penetrant may be preferred. lower sensitivity methods.Sensitivity of penetrants All fluorescent methods are more sensitive than visible dye penetrant Penetrant Type Properties Indication Background Visisble dye Fluorescent dye Yellowish green(on excitation) Dark (max. High .candles) ~1:100 Very high High Bright red colour White colour of the developer Colour contrast ratio ~1:10 Visibility(seeability) Medium Halation Normal effect(ability of the eye to magnify the indication) Sensitivity Medium In weld inspection. namely water Washable and solvent removable are employed due to surface roughness of the weld.

Entering and occupying the discontinuities.1.1.4 Interference by contaminants 1. Rust or scales (Oxidation products) 3.disturbing the balanced composition of the penetrant (eg. water 3. Fabrication processes and subsequent treatment 2.Oil and grease 2. Surface treatment for improvement of properties 3. water etc) 3. Oil.physical blocking of the discontinuity (eg Rust or scale paint or conversion coatings) 2. Surface protection against corrosion 3.1. Varnish etc 5.2 The possible contaminants on the components are 1. water etc) .Preparation of parts 3. Oil. Paints and conversion coatings 4. Carbon.3 Sources 1.

Mechanical cleaning Machining. scale. grinding etc Rust. Solvent cleaning Ultrasonic cleaning Oil and grease Acid cleaning 2. Chemical cleaning Detergent cleaning Alkaline cleaning Rust.Simple wiping Vapour degreasing 1. scale oxide etc Wire brushing. sand blasting etc 3. Oxide etc .

dipping . Dwell time = application time + drain time Normally 5-30 mts. The only requirement is that a thin layer of penetrant should be present for the specified time (dwell time) on the surface to be inspected. swabbing and pouring.spraying.Application of penetrant Penetrant can be applied by immersion. . Depends on the size and nature of discontinuity and the material and surface condition of the material etc. Dwell time : The total time the penetrant is contact with the test surface including the time required for application and for drain .

This is an important step as the unremoved excess surface penetrant will affect subsequently by affecting the contrast of the indication (excessive background) and if any penetrant in the discontinuity is disturbed the volume of the penetrant indication will get reduced (The volume of penetrant is already very small) In any NDT method the Signal to Noise ratio is important and this should be as high as possible S.Unremoved excess surface penetrant in the discontinuity It is obvious that in PT to achieve a high S/N ratio.Volume of penetrant that has entered into the discontinuity N. the excess penetrant on the surface should be removed as completely as possible and the penetrant is the discontinuity should not be lost by overwashing .Removal of excess penetrant The excess surface penetrant on the surface is carefully removed without affecting the penetrant that is residing in the discontinuity.

Wash ± don¶t over wash . meaning. Hence Solvent removable and water washable variations are normally employed. Disperse (emulsify) and remove by water PE 2. Simply water wash if penetrant contains built in Emulsifier (WW) In each case. Of course. care need be exercised so as to completely remove the excess penetrant on the surface completely and at the same time the penetrant in the discontinuity is not affected. welds. Sensitivity depends on the amount of retained penetrant in the discontinuity .Penetrant removal methods Dissolve and remove (SR) 1. the sensitivity suffers. In the case. the surface roughness poses problems giving background colouration thereby affecting the visibility of the Indication. when need be inspected without flushing the crown. the surface is much free from the background colouration. is taken to advantage. Here overwashing tendency of these methods.

To assist the natural seepage of the penetrant in the discontinuity and extract or blot out the penetrant so as to form an visual indication (mechanism of visual indication) 2.1 Developer functions The developer functions are 1. 3.0 DEVELOPING After the removal of the excess surface penetrant . Blue-black to yellowish green: white to red 3.6.5.Developing an indication 3. To provide a contrasting base which enhances the detection an indication. To spread the penetrant so as to increase the apparent size of the indication 4. in developing step. the penetrant from the discontinuity is brought to the surface so as to form an visible indication. To mask some confusing indications .

3 Mechanism of developing action : Natural seepage is assisted and the absoptive developers blot out more penetrant from the No Developer Developer Particles Absorbed Penetrant Width is more .( Some fluorescent penetrant indications can be seen without developing with high intensity black light -3000 microwatt/sq. The thickness of the penetrant layer is increased to the levels above the threshold visibility .Mechanism of development 3.

dry developers and since in weld inspection. As the sensitivity of wet developers are better than. less sensitive methods namely water washable and solvent removable are employed .Type of developers and the developer used in weld inspection Developer has two variations: Dry and Wet. . dry powder is better suited . it is better to use wet developers (mostly nonaqueous) in weld inspection in spite surface roughness. In the case of wet. Normally for high surface roughness. aqueous and non aqueous.

interpretation and evaluation Developing action at the end of developer time reveals an indication. Chrome plated steel specimen ± sensitivity . Inspection environement depends on the type of dye .Inspection. Aluminum comparator blocks ± penetrant quality 2.Visible or fluorescent dye white light for visible and black light for fluoresecent Relevant True indication Non relevant False indication Improper processing Standard test specimen in PT 1. In this step the indications are interpreted as to the origin of the indication namely whether True or false indications and if true indication whether relevant or nonrelevant and if relevant as to the nature of discontinuities linear or volumetric.

The filters are used to remove the harmful portion of UV (below 320 nm) and also visible light which affects the fluorescence of the fluorescent dye.2.10 nm to 380 nm or 100 -3800 Ao Black light spectrum .8.320 nm to 380 nm or (with peak at 365 nm) Hg arc vapour lamp produces ultraviolet light in addition to visible light.1 Inspection environment Visible dye penetrant indications are inspected under white light and fluorescent dye penetrant indications are viewed under blach light (ultraviolet light?) Electromagnetic radiation spectrum Visible and ultraviolet spectrum Visible light spectrum ..380 nm to 770 nm or ( V to R ) or 3800 Ao to 7000 Ao Ultraviolet spectrum . . The filters that are commonly used give black light with maximum peak intensity at 365 nm.

Colour and fluorescent colours Colour ± part of the white light that is reflected by the surface that is flooded with the white light Fluorescent colour ± Emission of visible light (any colour) on the impingement of high energy radiation on the surface. the impingement of black light (UV) leads to emission of yellowish green light Black light Yellowish green light Fluorescent dye . In PT & MT.

Weld defects that can be detected by PT The preponderance of weld joints are fusion welded. 1. The following discontinuities can be detected. Lack of fusion (at toe of welds) 4. Lack of root penetration (on single side) 3. Cracks in heat affected zone 5. Porosity 2. Crater and other cracks Weldments at the site is inspected with visible dye penetrant using solvent removable method .

Due to surface roughness of unflushed welds. the solvent is directly applied to the weld to overcome this difficulty.Some hints on penetrant testing of welds 1. Of course fine cracks may be missed 3. it is better to use. In the case of TIG and MIG where better surface is obtained. Inspection with multiple pass welds with penetrants requires that each weld bead is inspected prior to the next pass to provide the next the best reliability. usual precaution of wiping with solvent moistened lint free cloth may not yield the desired results because of excessive background. Cleaning after each testing . it is better to go solvent wiping method 4. water washable and solvent removable methods to avoid undesirable background. 2. Sometimes. In the case of Solvent removable pentrants.

Hints for weld inspection (contd) 5.Water washable fluorescent penetrants can be used on large pressure vessels or other large structures by washing with a hose and air drying. A braze that does not wet the surface is indication of a poor joint. Grinding should not smear the metal 7. Grinding off the ripples on rough welds is desirable. Brazed joints can discontinuities similar to weld beads that can be detected by PT. Developent with solvent suspended developer can provide good sensitivity Water washable penetrants can be washed more readily from most weld 6. . It is important to remove all the of the slag from welds before penetrant testing.

Selectio g i e for ethod isual iquid penetrant pplication ur ace discontinuities ur ace cracks and porosity isadvantage imited to visual acuity o the inspector elatively leaning is needed inexpensive be ore and a ter easonably ast inspection . di icult to inspect. High penetration equires skilled capability operator ainted or coated any variables sur ace signal a ect the test High speed dvantages conomical test agnetic particlei ur ace and subsur ace discontinuities adiographic olume discontinuities ur ace subsur ace ltrasonic ost discontinuities ddy current ur ace and testing subsur ace can be inspected .sur ace ilms hide discontinuities elatively pplicable only economical and erromagnetic expedient materials rovides lane permanent record discontinuities must be avourably aligned ith radiation bean ensitive to mall thickness planar plate may be discontinuities.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful