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Fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI) is a type of dye penetrant inspection in which a fluorescent dye is applied to the surface of a non-porous material in order to detect defects that may compromise the integrity or quality of the part in question.

Every part has imperfections, but some are difficult, if not impossible, to see with an unaided eye. Liquid penetrant testing literally shines a light on the flaws that exist on the surface and within a metal component. Sometimes these flaws are purely cosmetic, but others may affect the integrity of the part. By identifying the possible flaws in a part before shipping to our customers, we are able to guarantee a level of quality that only stringent testing can prove.

Penetrant Testing Procedure

Liquid penetrant testing is one of the oldest non-destructive testing methods, and it is also one of the most effective. Fluorescent dye penetrant testing standards vary, but for the most part, they incorporate a similar inspection procedure. Fluorescent materials exhibit a natural glow when exposed to ultraviolet light, and we take advantage of this property when testing the integrity of your part.

We take a detail-oriented approach to inspections:

  1. Cleaning: We remove any dust, debris or other particles that may fill a flaw in the material or incorrectly appear to be a flaw.
  2. Applying penetrant: We apply the fluorescent penetrant and wait for it to sink into flaws or defects in the part. It takes longer for the penetrant to fill smaller flaws in the material than large cracks or defects.
  3. Removing excess penetrant: We carefully remove the fluorescent material around the part, leaving only the penetrant that has entered flaws in the material behind.
  4. Applying developer: We apply a developer material that contrasts with the fluorescent dye to the surface of the part. This material causes the fluorescent material to bleed, making it more visible for inspection.
  5. UV-light inspection: We use a UV light to examine the surface of the part. We choose a brightness that will make the fluorescent material instantly recognizable, and mark the areas of the part that show any signs of defects.
  6. Cleaning: Once the inspection is complete, we clean the part. If there are no defects, it is ready to be shipped to you. Flawed parts will either be fixed or discarded.

Why Utilize Fluorescent Dye Penetrant Testing?

While this inspection method is relatively simple, it expedites the testing of non-porous materials. We can effectively identify any flaws in your part without using harsh chemicals or substances that may damage its functionality.

In addition to its non-destructive qualities, fluorescent dye testing provides:

  • Faster identification of flaws in the material: This process makes the flaw indication much larger than the flaw itself. This makes it possible to identify flaws that are not visible by the naked eye, such as those smaller than 0.08 mm.
  • High reliability for flaw detection: There is a high level of contrast between the flaw indication and the background material with this process.
  • A testing solution for a wide range of materials: It’s possible to use this method for metallic, non-metallic, magnetic and electrical insulator materials.
  • An effective way to test large amounts of material: The simplicity of fluorescent dye penetrant testing means that it streamlines the inspection process.

Beyond these advantages, identifying flaws in a part eliminates the possibility of having to scrap it further down the line in production. We take a proactive approach to inspection in order to enhance the predictability of your operations. When you can be sure that your part is not hiding any flaws, you can be certain that it will work the way you expect.

Some of the types of flaws that we can identify include:

  • Surface cracks
  • Porosity
  • Laps
  • Seams
  • Lack of fusion

Our goal is to improve the quality of our products however we can in order to earn your business and keep your production running smoothly.

Testing Capabilities

To ensure the quality of your part, we utilize a range of testing methods. These include accreditations for standards that outline the exact procedures for our testing processes.

Our accreditations include:

  • NADCAP
  • ASTM-E1417
  • MIL-STD-6866
  • MIL-STD-1907
  • AMS 2175
  • HS447
  • PN 16.03

Testing to these standards requires experience and a familiarity with the industries that demand near perfection in their parts. INCERTEC assures quality for those in aerospace, medical and other industries that need a surefire plating solution.

At INCERTEC, we provide services with the utmost transparency for our customers. If you have any questions about our testing standards or how we can help you solve a plating challenge, contact us today to learn more!

NDT Operations:
Minneapolis, MN
Empalme, Sonora – Mexico