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NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING

1. Introduction to Non-Destructive Testing Many mechanical parts are subject to stresses and strains that may eventually lead to part failure. In order to prevent the costly delays associated with equipment down-time, many parts are tested for weaknesses and defects when machinery is dismantled for maintenance. The procedures used are called non-destructive testing, because flaws may be detected without damaging the part. Four types of non-destructive testing are routinely used: (1) magnetic particle inspection, (2) ultrasonic testing, (3) radiographic inspection, and (4) liquid penetrant testing. OBJECTIVES: Explain the purpose of non-destructive testing. List four types of non-destructive tests. Explain the importance of properly preparing parts to be tested. 1.1 Magnetic Particle Inspection

Magnetic particle inspection techniques are frequently used to detect racks and flaws in ferrous metal parts (parts of iron or steel, which can be Magnetized). When the part is magnetized electrically, flaws in the metal part cause disturbances in the magnetic field. These disturbances can be detected by the pattern that is created when iron particles are dusted over the part. 1.2 Ultrasonic Testing

Ultrasonic testing uses high-frequency sound waves to create a picture of the internal characteristics of parts. The ultrasonic beam is reflected by defects within the part. Indications are displayed on a screen, similar to a sonar scope, or on a digital readout. The locations and sizes of flaws can be determined by comparing the relative sizes and positions of pulses on the screen of an ultrasonic flaw detector. 1.3 Radiographic Testing

The technique of radiographic testing is similar to that of a medical xray. Radiation passes through the material to be tested and registers an image on a piece of film or a fluorescent screen. A trained examiner can determine the internal state of the material by inspecting the radio-graphic image, just as a medical radiologist can diagnose a

broken bone from an x-ray. 1.4 Liquid Penetrant Testing

Liquid penetrant testing is a commonly used method of detecting surface flaws in all kinds of materials. A dye is mixed with a thin liquid that readily penetrates surface cracks in the material. The penetrant is applied to the part and allowed time to be drawn into the surface cracks. After the excess dye is removed from the surface of the part, the part is sprayed with a developer that draws the dye out of the cracks and makes it visible on the surface. These visible indications show the sizes and locations of the cracks. 1.5 Preparing Parts for Non-Destructive Tests

Non-destructive tests reveal the presence of flaws or foreign matter in parts. Accurate interpretations of test results frequently depend on the cleanliness of the part being tested. All non-destructive tests involve comparative measurements, so it is especially important that test conditions be as uniform as possible. Rust, dirt, or corrosion can lead to false indications. They might disguise a flaw or indicate a defect where none actually exists. To prevent these potential problems, parts must be prepared by thorough cleaning prior to testing. Solvents, detergents, or abrasive blasting may be used to prepare parts for testing. Questions 1.1 1.2 What is the purpose of non-destructive testing? List four types of non-destructive tests. a. _____________ b. _____________ c. _____________ d. _____________ Why is the preparation of parts for non-destructive testing so important? Magnetic Particle Inspection

1.3 2.

Magnetic particle inspection uses magnetic energy to detect defects on or near the surface of ferrous metal parts. The test is easily administered to large or small parts, and results are generally not difficult to interpret. However, the method has some disadvantages: it is only effective on metals that can be magnetized, such as iron or

steel; the equipment is talky and expensive; and flaws deep within the part go undetected. OBJECTIVES: Explain the uses and limitations of magnetic particle inspection. List the equipment and materials required for magnetic particle inspection. Describe the test procedure for magnetic particle inspection. 2.1 Theory

Magnetic particle inspection operates on the principle of electromagnetic induction. When a metal part is magnetized, a defect on or near the surface creates a disturbance in the magnetic field. By identifying the location of the magnetic disturbance, the position of the defect can be determined. The magnetic particle technique uses finely divided metal particles to locate defects with different magnetic properties than the surrounding material. Particles are dusted over the part or sprayed on in a liquid suspension. Areas of magnetic disturbance tend to attract the particles, thus giving a visual indication of the flaw. Question: 2.1 2.2 Magnetic particle inspection reveals defects that have different ______________________________ than the surrounding material. Equipment and Materials

Two things are required for a magnetic particle test: (1) a means of magnetizing the part to be tested, and (2) a means of detecting disturbances in the magnetic field. Parts are magnetized with high-current, low-voltage electricity. A large step-down transformer, such as the one shown in Figure 2-1, is used to supply the current. A dial on the front of the transformer enables the tester to select the appropriate amperage for a given test.

Figure 2-1. Magnetic Particle Machine Two types of magnetic particles may be used to detect magnetic discontinuities: visible particles, or fluorescent particles. Visible particles give an immediate indication of defects; fluorescent particles must be illuminated with an ultraviolet source, such as a black light, before the indication is apparent. Both types of particles are available in liquid suspension and powder form. Figure 2-2 shows some common applicators.

Figure 2-2. Magnetic Particle Applicators If fluorescent particles are used, an ultraviolet source must also be included in the list of necessary equipment. A hand-held black light (Figure 2-3) is typically used for inspection purposes. Since ultraviolet light is potentially hazardous to vision, the filter must remain in place at all times, and personnel should avoid looking directly into the source.

Figure 2-3. Hand-Held Black Light Questions 2.2 2.3 2.4 A_________supplies the high-current, low-voltage electricity necessary to magnetize parts for magnetic particle inspection. Fluorescent particles are made visible with__________. Since ultraviolet light is potentially hazardous to vision, the black light filter must remain in place at all times, and personnel should avoid_____________________________________________. Test Procedure

2.3

There are three steps in a magnetic particle inspection: (1) magnetizing the part, (2) applying the particles, and (3) examining the part for indications of flaws. Parts may be magnetized in two ways. A contact shot (or head shot) is connected as shown in Figure 2-4. This generates a magnetic field perpendicular to the direction of current flow. Cracks at right angles to the magnetic field (longitudinal cracks) are revealed by this test.

Figure 2-4. Typical Contact Shot Lateral and radial cracks are located by using a coil shot (Figure 2-5). This generates a magnetic field running the length of the part, also at right angles to the current flow. In order to locate cracks in all directions, two tests must be performed, each generating a magnetic field at ninety degrees to the other.

Figure 2-5. Coil Shot Before beginning a magnetic particle inspection, the part to be tested must be thoroughly cleaned. The transformer cables are then connected in one of the ways described above. When a contact shot is performed, the cable terminals must be tightly attached to the part to prevent arcing. When the connection is complete, the transformer is energized. A remote control (Figure 2-6) is provided on the handle of a probe or at the end of a cable.

Figure 2-6. Remote Controls Particles are usually applied while the current is on. The particles are very fine iron filings coloured with a visible or fluorescent dye. With a sweeping, back-and-forth motion, a layer of iron filings is sprayed or dusted onto the surface of the part (Figure 2-7). Visible particles will

detect large flaws, but the more sensitive fluorescent particles are used in most applications. After the particles are applied, the current is cut off.

Figure 2-7. Applying Magnetic Particles When fluorescent particles are used, examination takes place in a darkened area. The examiner needs to allow a few minutes for his eyes to adjust to the darkness before examining the part. The black light is held close to the port and moved slowly along the surface as each area is inspected Figure 2-8). The indication of a defect glows green when illuminated with the ultraviolet light. Indications are marked on the surface of the part, and the test is repeated, with the magnetic field at right angles to the OK used in the first test.

Figure 2-8. Black Light Examination Questions 2.5 Draw a contact shot (head shot) connection, the magnetic field surrounding the part, and a flaw detectable with this test.

2.6

Draw a coil shot hook-up, the magnetic field surrounding the part, and a flaw detectable with this test.

2.7 2.8 2.9 3.

In order to detect cracks in all directions, ______ tests must be performed. When fluorescent particles are used, examination must take place in a ___________ area. When fluorescent particles are used, the indication of a defect ____________ when struck by the ultraviolet beam. Ultrasonic Testing

Ultrasonic testing uses high-frequency sound waves to determine the internal condition of metal, plastic, and ceramic parts. For maintenance testing, two types of ultrasonic testing devices are commonly used: the flaw detector and the digital thickness gauge. OBJECTIVES: Explain the uses and limitations of ultrasonic testing methods. Describe the principle of the ultrasonic flaw detector. Perform a thickness check with an ultrasonic thickness gauge. 3.1 The Ultrasonic Flaw Detector

The ultrasonic flaw detector (Figure 3-1) works on the same principle as sonar. Ultrasonic waves (sound energy too high in pitch for human hearing) are projected outward; and returning echoes are converted into an electronic image on a screen.

Figure 3-1. An Ultrasonic Flaw Detector

Sound energy is projected through the test material by a transducer Figure 3-2). The transducer also doubles as a pickup to receive returning echoes. To ensure that sound energy is transmitted efficiently from the transducer to the test material, the contact area is prepared with a liquid called a couplant. Any of several substances can serve as a couplant medium: oil, grease, glycerine, and water have all been used successfully.

Figure 3-2. Transducer Sound is reflected back to the transducer from the contact area (front or incident surface) and from the opposite side of the piece (back surface). The flaw detector times the returning echoes and displays two pulses on the screen: the initial pulse, from the front surface, and the reflected pulse, from the back surface. The distance between the pulses on the screen represents the thickness of the material. A typical indication is shown in Figure 3-3.

Figure 3-3. Initial and Reflected Pulses If a flaw Is located between the incident and reflecting surfaces, it will register on the screen between the initial pulse and the reflected pulse, as shown in Figure 3-4. By comparing the relative positions and sizes of the pulses, the location and size of the defect can be determined.

Figure 3-4. Indication of A Flaw A major disadvantage of this testing method is that its use is limited to regularly shaped parts. Complex shapes create many internal reflections and make accurate interpretations difficult. Questions 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.2 Ultrasonic waves are sound energy too _________ in pitch for human hearing. A _____________ projects sound energy through the test material and picks up the reflected signal. To ensure that sound energy is transmitted efficiently between the transducer and the test material, the contact area is prepared with a liquid called a_____________. The pulse representing the front surface is called the _____________pulse. The pulse representing the back surface is called the _____________ pulse. The Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge

The ultrasonic thickness gauge (Figure 3-5) measures the time difference between the initial pulse and the reflected pulse, calculates the thickness of the material, and displays the results on a digital readout.

Figure 3-5. An Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge The ultrasonic thickness gauge must be calibrated against a known standard before accurate measurements can be made. A calibration pad is provided on the front of the gauge for this purpose. After the power is turned on, couplant is applied to the pad, and the transducer is firmly pressed against it. The calibration knob is adjusted until the readout shows the correct figure for the thickness of the pad. Checking boiler tube walls for erosion is a common example of the use of an ultrasonic thickness gauge. After the surface is cleaned, couplant is spread over the outside of the tube, and thickness measurements are taken at intervals along the length and around the circumference of the tube (Figure 3-6). The measurements may have to be repeated, because readings may vary if uniform pressure is not used to hold the transducer against the test material. Each measurement should be written down.

Figure 3-6. Checking Boiler Tube Walls For Erosion Erosion of the boiler tube wall is indicated where the thickness of the wall is less than average. If the reading is below a specified minimum, the tube will have to be replaced. Question 3.6 4 The ultrasonic thickness gauge is calibrated against the known thickness of the_____________on the front of the gauge. Radiographic Testing Radiographic inspection techniques use x-rays or other penetrating radiation to create images of the internal characteristics of welds and metal, plastic, and ceramic parts. Radiographic testing can be extremely effective for internal flaw detection. However, elaborate

safety precautions are required to ensure the safety of test personnel, because of the potentially hazardous nature of the radiation used. OBJECTIVES: Explain the uses and limitations of radiographic testing methods. Describe the safety precautions associated with radio-graphic testing. 4.1 Basic Concepts

Radiographic testing methods are basically similar to medical x-ray techniques. Radiation from an x-ray source or a piece of radioactive material passes through the test material and exposes a piece of photographic film. Two types of cameras are shown in Figures 4-1 and 4-2. The intensity of the penetrating radiation is modified by the material and by defects within the Material. When the film is developed, defects less dense than the surrounding material show up as darker spots, because more rays pass through. Areas of greater density show up lighter than the other material, because the dense area absorbs more radiation.

Figure 4-1. X-Ray Camera

Figure 4-2. Iridium-192 Camera

A common type of radiograph is shown in Figure 4-3. Fluoroscope screens might sometimes be used instead of a permanent film record. The radiation causes phosphors on the screen to glow, giving the examiner an instant, though temporary, view of the internal structure of the test material. Fluoroscope screens typically lack the fine-grained resolution attainable with radiographic film.

Figure 4-3. Radiograph 4.2 Safety Precautions

The radiation used in radiographic testing is potentially hazardous to humans. At least three different kinds of safety precautions are used to prevent unnecessary exposure to radiation. Distance from the source of radiation is one protection factor. The intensity of radiant energy decreases rapidly with increased distance. Some forms of radiographic testing require personnel to leave the area where testing is taking place. Radiation hazard signs such as the one shown in Figure 4-4 are used to warn personnel to stay away.

Figure 4-4. Radiation Hazard Sign with Trefoil Symbol Shielding is another way of protecting personnel from radiation hazards. Lead screens are effective in blocking radiation of the intensities used in radiographic testing. Massive metal equipment in the test area also provides some shielding. Exposure monitoring of personnel helps prevent overdoses of radiation.

Personnel involved in radiographic testing are required to wear one or more individual radiation exposure monitoring devices. These devices are known as dosimeters. The direct reading dosimeter shown in Figure 4-5 gives an instant measurement of the wearer's radiation dosage. Another common kind of dosimeter is the film badge (Figure 4-5). The film badge is checked regularly for fogging caused by radiation exposure. An approximate exposure reading is obtained by measuring the density of the photographic film. Personnel who have reached the maximum safe exposure limits are relieved from duties that involve penetrating radiation.

Figure 4-5. Question 4.1

Direct-Reading Dosimeter and Film Badge

Name three safety precautions used to protect personnel from the potentially harmful effects of penetrating radiation. a. ______________________ b. ______________________ c. ______________________ Liquid Penetrant Testing

Liquid penetrant (also called dye penetrant) testing is a quick and easy method of locating surface cracks and flaws in metal, plastic, and ceramic parts. Liquid penetrant techniques are often used by mechanical maintenance personnel to test parts when surface cracking is suspected. OBJECTIVES: Explain the uses and limitations of liquid penetrant testing. Correctly perform and interpret a liquid penetrant test. 5.1 Overview

Liquid penetrant tests use a light penetrating oil mixed with a dye to locate possible surface flaws. The penetrant is applied to the test material, and time is allowed for it to be drawn into surface cracks. Excess penetrant is then removed from the material, leaving dye only in the cracks. Flaws are revealed when the surface is coated with a developer. The developer draws the dye back out of the cracks, leaving a visible indication in the developer. This test is only effective on finished surfaces; porous materials absorb the penetrant over the entire surface, making accurate interpretations difficult. 5.2 Equipment and Materials

Liquid penetrant tests require a penetrant, a solvent (or remover), and a developer. These, substances are shown in aerosol cans in Figure 5-1.

Figure 5-1. Penetrant, Solvent (Remover) and Developer The penetrant is a light oil mixed with a dye. The dye can be either a visible colour (usually red) or fluorescent. Fluorescent dyes require a black light to illuminate the part and reveal the locations of flaws. Penetrants are available in liquid form or as an aerosol spray. A solvent (remover) is used to clean the test surface before applying the penetrant and also to remove excess dye from the surface before coating the part with developer. Solvents are applied with a cloth wiper, and they are available in spray cans and in bulk liquid form. The developer used to draw the penetrant out of surface cracks is a very fine bleached talcum powder. The developer absorbs the penetrant, making the indication of a flaw visible within the developer. Developers are available as a liquid suspension in a spray can or as a loose powder. When aerosol sprays are used, caution should be exercised to prevent inhalation of the spray. Solvents can also give off toxic fumes, so any

area where liquid penetrant tests are performed should be well ventilated. Questions 5.1 5.2 Liquid penetrant tests are effective only on_____________surfaces. Name the three substances required for a liquid penetrant test: a. _____________ b.____________ c. _____________ Performing Liquid Penetrant Tests Cleaning

5.3

5.3.1

To ensure that accurate results are obtained from liquid penetrant tests, the test surface should be free of dirt, grease, rust, or other foreign matter. The test can be performed without absolute cleanliness, but the cleaner the part, the easier it is to interpret the results. Parts may be cleaned by abrasive blasting, with detergents, or with a solvent, as shown in Figure 5-2.

Figure 5-2. Cleaning A Part With Solvent 5.3.2 Penetrant Application After the part has been cleaned and dried, penetrant is applied to the surface. A smooth, even coating is obtained by spraying the test surface with a back-and-forth motion from a distance of 8-10 in. (20 25 cm), as shown in Figure 5-3.

Figure 5-3. Applying Penetrant 5.3.3 Dwell Time The penetrant must remain on the surface of the part for a period of time to allow the dye to be drawn into surface cracks. This interval, known as the dwell time, varies with the type of material and the nature of the suspected flaws. For many tests, manufacturers recommended a dwell time of 8-10 minutes. 5.3.4 Removal of Excess Penetrant After time has been allowed for the penetrant to be drawn into any surface cracks, excess dye is removed from the test surface with a cloth wiper dampened with solvent. Solvent is sprayed onto the wiper as shown in Figure 5-4. (The cloth should be damp, not soaked with solvent.) The excess dye is then wiped off of the surface (Figure 5-5), while the penetrant remains in any cracks. Solvent should never be sprayed directly onto the test surface, because this washes the dye out of the cracks and thus prevents the identification of flaws.

Figure 5-4. Applying Solvent To A Wiper

Figure 5-5. Removing Excess Penetrant 5.3.5 Developer Application After the excess dye has been removed and the part is dry, developer is applied to the test surface. Developer that is sprayed on should be applied with a back-and-forth motion from a distance of 8-10 in. (20 25 cm) as shown in Figure 5-6.

Figure 5-6. Applying Developer 5.3.6 Examination

If a visible dye is used, indications of possible cracks or flaws will be visible in the developer (Figure 5-7). If a fluorescent penetrant is used, the test surface must be illuminated with a black light. The examination should take place in a darkened area, and the examiner should allow time for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. The entire surface should be examined carefully, with the black light close to the surface. Indications of surface defects will show up glowing green.

Figure 5-7. Visible Indication of A Surface Crack 5.3.7 Alternate Methods

An alternate method of testing uses penetrants in liquid form. The penetrant is applied by brushing or immersion, and a water wash is used to remove excess dye from the surface. A dry powder developer can be dusted onto the surface instead of the spray. 5.3.8 Additional Testing

When possible defects are identified with a liquid penetrant test, the part may be retested with another method, such as magnetic particle, ultrasonic, or radiographic, to determine the extent of the flaw and how it affects the usability of the part. The inspector informs a supervisor of his findings so that a thorough evaluation of any defects can be made. Questions 5.3 List the six steps in a liquid penetrant test: a. _____________ b. _____________ c._____________ d. _____________ e. _____________ f. _____________ The interval of time necessary to allow the dye to penetrate surface cracks is called the _____________. The time required for dye penetration is stated_____________.

5.4 5.5

6.

Summary

Table 6-1 summarizes the four types of non-destructive tests covered in this unit. The applications and limitations of each type of test are listed. TABLE 6-1. APPLICATIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF NOT TECHNIQUES Type of Test Magnetic Particle Applications Surface flaws and shallow subsurface defects Location and orientation of flaws Quick check for large parts Subsurface defects in all materials Location and relative size of flaws Thickness checks Deeply hidden flaws in all materials Location, size, and shape of defects Surface flaws in al 1 materials Inexpensive, quick, and easy to perform Limitations Ferrous parts only Expensive, bulky equipment Longer setup time Interpretation moderately difficult Difficult with irregularly shaped parts Often difficult to interpret Radiation hazard Expensive equipment Difficult to interpret Surface flaws only Finished surfaces only

Ultrasonic

Radiographic

Liquid Penetrant

Answers 1.1 1.2 To detect defects before they cause parts to fail. (Answers may be in any order.) a. Magnetic particle inspection b. Ultrasonic testing c. Radiographic inspection d. Liquid penetrant testing 1.3 Proper preparation prevents false interpretations, which, at worst, may hide flaws which may lead to failure under service conditions. 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Magnetic properties Step-down transformer (Either answer is acceptable) An ultraviolet source or_ black light Looking directly into the source

2.6

2.7 2.8 2.9 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 4.1

Two Darkened Glows green High Transducer Couplant Initial Reflected Calibration pad (These answers may be in any order.) a. Distance b. Shielding c. Exposure monitoring (or dosimetry)

5.1 5.2

Finished (These answers may be in any order.) a. Penetrant b. Solvent or remover c. Developer

5.3

a. Cleaning b. Penetrant application c. Dwell time d. Removal of excess penetrant e. Developer application f". Examination

5.4 5.5

Dwell time On the can or_ in the manufacturer's instructions

GLOSSARY This glossary contains terms pertinent to the study of non-destructive testing, Definitions of the terms are given in that context.
Black light Calibration Couplant Developer Discontinui ty Dosimeters Down time Dwell time Erosion Ferrous metals

Invisible ultraviolet light. The act of adjusting a measuring instrument by comparing it to a known standard. The medium through which sound waves are conducted between the transducer and the test material in ultrasonic tests. A fine powder used in liquid penetrant tests to draw penetrant out of surface cracks. A gap, a flaw, or a boundary between different materials. Devices for measuring doses of penetrating radiation. The interval of time during which equipment is inactive due to mechanical problems or maintenance. In liquid penetrant tests, the interval of time required to allow penetrant to be drawn into surface cracks. The wearing away of material due to physical or chemical processes. Metals (like iron) having magnetic properties.

Having the property of emitting visible light during the Fluorescent absorption of some other kind of radiation, such as ultraviolet light. Indication A sign of a possible flaw. The process by which a body becomes magnetized in a magnetic field or in the magnetic flux set up by an electrical current, by which an electrical conductor becomes Induction electrified near a charged body, or by which an electromotive force is produced in a circuit by varying the magnetic field linked with the circuit. The representation of a front-surface echo on the screen Initial pulse of an ultrasonic flaw detector. Lateral Running toward the sides.
Longitudina l Magnetic field Nondestructive

Running lengthwise. The area of space around a magnet or current-carrying conductor in which magnetic forces can be detected. A general name for a number of tests of the physical properties of materials that do not make the test object

testing Penetrant Penetrating radiation Radial Radiation Radiograph ic Reflected pulse Solvent Transducer Ultrasonic Ultraviolet

unserviceable. In liquid penetrant testing, a light oil that is readily drawn into surface cracks. Radiation capable of passing through solid bodies. Running outward from the centre. Energy emitted in electromagnetic waves or particles. Relating to pictures produced on a sensitive surface by a form of radiation other than light, specifically x-ray and gamma ray photographs. The representation of a back-surface echo on an ultrasonic flaw detector screen. A liquid capable of dissolving or dispersing other substances. In ultrasonic testing, the device that converts electrical signals into ultrasonic impulses and receives the reflected signals for an electronic display. Having a frequency above the range of human hearing. Radiation with a wave length shorter than visible light and longer than x-rays.