Magnetic Particle Testing

Magnetic Particle Testing

Magnetic Particle Testing (MPT) is a non-destructive testing method used to detect surface and subsurface defects in ferromagnetic materials, such as iron and steel. The process involves the application of a magnetic field to the material being tested, and the introduction of fine iron or ferromagnetic particles, which are attracted to areas of the material where there are defects or discontinuities in the magnetic field. The particles can be applied in a dry powder form, or suspended in a liquid, and they will congregate at the location of the defect, making it visible to the inspector. MPT is commonly used in the aerospace, automotive, and petrochemical industries to inspect components such as aircraft landing gear, engine parts, and pipeline.


In addition to detecting surface and subsurface defects, MPT can also be used to identify the size and shape of a defect, and to determine its orientation in relation to the surface of the material. This can be done by applying a magnetic field in different directions and observing the pattern of the particles on the surface. MPT can also be used to inspect both ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic materials by applying a magnetic field to the material and then coating it with a thin layer of a ferromagnetic material, such as iron or nickel.

There are two main types of MPT: visible and fluorescent. In visible MPT, the particles are applied to the surface and can be seen with the naked eye. In fluorescent MPT, the particles are coated with a fluorescent material and are viewed under ultraviolet light. This method allows for greater sensitivity and improved visibility of the particles on the surface.

MPT is a relatively low-cost and efficient method for detecting defects in ferromagnetic materials. It is particularly useful for inspecting large or complex components, such as aircraft landing gear or turbine blades, that would be difficult or impossible to examine using other methods. However, it is not suitable for non-ferromagnetic materials and it may not detect certain types of defects such as fatigue cracking.

Another advantage of MPT is that it can be performed on in-service components without removing them from service, making it a convenient method for inspecting items that are difficult to remove, such as large machinery or equipment that is in operation. MPT can also be performed in the field, making it a useful method for inspecting equipment and components that are difficult to transport.

It is important to note that MPT is not a substitute for other non-destructive testing methods, and it should be used in combination with other methods to provide a complete evaluation of a component’s condition. MPT is also not a standalone method and should be used in conjunction with other methods such as ultrasonic testing, radiographic testing, and visual inspection.

MPT require a trained and certified personnel, who should have a good understanding of the principles of magnetism and the physics of particle behavior as well as knowledge of the specific application and the standard requirements.

In summary, Magnetic Particle Testing (MPT) is a non-destructive testing method that uses a magnetic field to detect surface and subsurface defects in ferromagnetic materials. It is a relatively low-cost and efficient method that can be used to inspect both ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic materials, and it can be performed in-service and in the field. However, it should be used in combination with other non-destructive testing methods for a comprehensive evaluation of a component’s condition.

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