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LIQUID PENETRANT INSPECTION

LIQUID PENETRANT INSPECTION

Liquid penetrant examination is one of the most popular Nondestructive Examination (NDE) methods in the industry. It is economical, versatile, and requires minimal training when compared to other NDE methods. Liquid penetrant exams check for material flaws open to the surface by flowing very thin liquid into the flaw and then drawing the liquid out with a chalk-like developer. Welds are the most common item inspected, but plate, bars, pipes, castings, and forgings are also commonly inspected using liquid penetrant examination.

Over the years, liquid penetrant examination has been called many names: penetrant testing (PT), liquid penetrant testing (LP), and dye penetrant testing (DP). The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) uses the name liquid penetrant testing (PT). The American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (ASME B & PVC) and the National Board Inspection Code (NBIC) use the name liquid penetrant examination (PT).

 

The first documented use of PT was in the railroad industry. Cast railroad wheels were dipped in used oil, dried off, and then coated with powder chalk or suspension of chalk in alcohol.  Once the wheels were dry, any oil stored in the flaw would bleed out into the chalk and be detected. This was called the oil and whiting method.

The ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code recognizes six different techniques of PT. They vary by type of penetrant and method of cleaning before applying a developer. The two penetrant types are either fluorescent or color contrast (dye) penetrant. They can then be used with any of the three methods of cleaning – water washable, post-emulsifying, and solvent removable. The most popular is dye penetrant that is solvent removable. This method is referenced throughout the art

ASME   American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler
NBIC National Board Inspection Code
PVC Pressure Vessel Code

 

 

 

 

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