Many companies are aware of the importance of magnetic particle inspection, but few really know what goes into this discipline. MPI is a non-destructive testing (NDT) process used for detecting surface and slightly subsurface discontinuities in ferromagnetic materials such as nickel, cobalt, iron and some of their alloys.
In theory, magnetic particle inspection is a rather simple concept. Put simply, it’s a combination of two non-destructive testing methods: magnetic flux leakage testing, and visual testing. Using a bar magnet as an example, which has a magnetic field in and around the magnet. Any place that a magnetic line of force enters or exists around the magnet is called a pole.
The pole where a magnetic line of force exits the magnet is referred to as a north pole, and the pole where the line of force enters is referred to as a south pole. When a bar magnet is broken in the centre of its strength, there will be two complete bar magnets in the end, each with its own magnetic poles on each end of the pieces. Should the magnet be cracked and not entirely broken, a north and south pole will form at the edges of the crack. Magnetic particle inspection will be able to detect any of this.
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