What is Electromagnetic Particle Testing?

Non-destructive testing (NDT) has become an integral part of preventive maintenance and inspection for many different industrial sectors in Northern British Columbia and Alberta. Companies who require their pipelines or machinery to be operating at top efficiency, without costly downtime for repairs, have discovered how quick and easy non-destructive testing can be. Often when NDT is mentioned, business owners and managers understand that the testing is extremely useful in gaining information about the integrity of their equipment and that it does not damage their systems, but are unsure of what type of testing might best suit their needs.

NDT is typically divided into three different methods of inspection, each with their own benefits and applications. These types of tests are radiographic, ultrasonic and magnetic particle inspection.

Through interactions at the doctor’s office or hospital, many Canadians have an basic understanding of how radiographic (x-rays) and ultrasonic technologies work to produce internal images of the human body. These technologies can be utilized in a similar manner to get an inside view of machinery and pipelines, highlighting any faults or deteriorations. On the other hand, magnetic particle inspection would not be a technology that is used at your local medical office and you may be wondering how “magnetic particles” could possibly help test your industrial equipment.

How Does Electromagnetic Particle Testing Work?

Magnetic particle inspection is one of the most efficient methods to use when searching for cracks and fractures caused by pressure or poor installation, typically on a metal surface such as an oil rig pipeline. Magnetic particle inspection can be utilized on any ferromagnetic material and is a relatively low cost solution that yields immediate results.

To begin the testing procedure, the object in question is first magnetized. Next, a unique powder or liquid solution is applied to the object in question. This solution is composed of both ferrous metals and fluorescent substances and will not stain or mark your infrastructure in any manner.

So why would you spray a ferrous solution all over your pipeline? Well, when an object is magnetized, a magnetic field or flux will form throughout that object. When a material is perfectly flat, it’s magnetic flux is also smooth and not disrupted, staying within the object. However, if there is a disruption in the material, such as a small crack, the magnetic field will “leak” out in this area. This leak in the flux causes excess external magnetization which attracts the ferrous solution that was applied to the object previously. The solution collects in any cracks or fractures where the magnetic field is leaking out and when a fluorescent light is applied to the pipe, these defects will immediately be visible to the human eye.

If your business is located in the Northern parts of British Columbia or Alberta, magnetic particle testing may be the perfect solution to your non-destructive testing needs. As mentioned above, it is cost-effective and will give you vital information concerning the integrity of your pipeline or machinery on site. The solution used easily washes off the material that was tested and leaves no markings or residue at all. This style of testing can be used on an extremely small object, or a large area of piping. Particle testing can also be conducted in remote locations with ease as very little equipment is required.

If you are considering repairing any metal machinery, or are unsure of the current state of your equipment, magnetic particle testing is a must. The technicians at 20/20 NDT Inc will ensure every area that has been damaged or weakened is identified BEFORE they become a major costly issue.

Reach out to our team at 20/20 NDT Inc today and we will connect you with our closest field office in your area of Northern British Columbia or Alberta. Click to call us at 1-866-930-6220