Liquid Penetrant Testing is widely used to find leaks in materials, such as metals, plastic and ceramics. This technique uses a liquid to be drawn into a clean surface breaking flaw by capillary action. After a period of time called the “dwell” excess surface penetrant is removed and a developer applied. This acts as a blotter. It draws the penetrant from the flaw to reveal its presence.
- Highly sensitive to small surface crack and flaws.
- Very little equipment is needed
- Large areas can be inspected quickly and at low cost.
- Parts with complex shapes are inspected routinely.
- Aerosol spray cans make penetrant materials very portable.
- Low cost method
- Only surface breaking defects can be detected.
- Only areas with nonporous surfaces can be inspected.
- Pre-cleaning is necessary as contaminants can mask defects.
- The inspector must have direct access to the surface being inspected.
- Surface roughness can affect inspection sensitivity.
- Proper disposal is required.