A Look at Magnetic Particle Testing

Magnetic particle testing (MPT) is a way to test ferromagnetic metals like iron, steel, and nickel for defects, such as cracks. MPT is often used to test pipelines for oil and gas, and is also common in the automotive and aerospace industries, where equipment is tested to ensure proper performance and to prevent potential future failures.

How it Works:

A magnetized metal object will have a magnetic field which will be disrupted by a crack, hole or other defect. Through magnetic particle testing, a defect that lies at the surface or near the surface will be made to look more pronounced, so that it can be more easily identified and addressed.

Benefits of MPT

Magnetic particle testing is one of the most useful methods of identifying problem areas in metals. It also offers these benefits:

Non Destructive

MPT will not damage the material that is being tested. This method is non destructive and will not harm the metals being tested.

Fast and Easy

The process is straightforward; the metal is magnetized using specialized equipment and iron particles are then applied to the metal. These particles will gather in areas where there is a disrupted magnetic field. This will very obviously show the surface defect, so that even if the defect itself is too small to see with the naked eye, the clumping of these particles will pinpoint where the disruption is.


Little to No Prep Required

One of the things that makes this type of testing so advantageous is that there's little to no preparation required; once the metal object has been magnetized, the particles are applied and any defects in the metal are revealed. Depending on the colour of the metal being tested, the surface may first be painted white or we may apply different types of particles to make it easier to identify a defect. Sometimes, the particles may even be coated in a fluorescent substance and the object being tested will then be viewed under an ultra-violet light, making problem areas more apparent.  

If you have questions about MPT or any other type of non destructive testing and how it can be applied in your operations, please call us.