• Penetrant test is applied to the surface of a pre-cleaned component. The liquid is pulled into surface-breaking defects by capillary action. Excess penetrant material is carefully cleaned from the surface. A developer is applied to pull the trapped penetrant back to the surface where it is spread out and forms an indication. The indication is much easier to see than the actual defect.


  • A magnetic field is established in a component made from ferromagnetic material. The magnetic lines of force travel through the material, and exit and reenter the material at the poles. Defects such as crack or voids cannot support as much flux, and force some of the flux outside of the part. Magnetic particles distributed over the component will be attracted to areas of flux leakage and produce a visible indication.


  • High frequency sound waves are sent into a material by use of a transducer. The sound waves travel through the material and are received by the same transducer or a second transducer. The amount of energy transmitted or received and the time the energy is received are analyzed to determine the presence of flaws. Changes in material thickness, and changes in material properties can also be measured.


  • Alternating electrical current is passed through a coil producing a magnetic field. When the coil is placed near a conductive material, the changing magnetic field induces current flow in the material. These currents travel in closed loops and are called eddy currents. Eddy currents produce their own magnetic field that can be measured and used to find flaws and characterize conductivity, permeability, and dimensional features.


  • X-rays are used to produce images of objects using film or other detector that is sensitive to radiation. The test object is placed between the radiation source and detector. The thickness and the density of the material that X-rays must penetrate affects the amount of radiation reaching the detector. This variation in radiation produces an image on the detector that often shows internal features of the test object.

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