ASTM E709 - 14

    Standard Guide for Magnetic Particle Testing

    Active Standard ASTM E709 | Developed by Subcommittee: E07.03

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.03


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 The magnetic particle method of nondestructive testing indicates the presence of surface and near-surface discontinuities in materials that can be magnetized (ferromagnetic). This method can be used for production examination of parts/components or structures and for field applications where portability of equipment and accessibility to the area to be examined are factors. The ability of the method to find small discontinuities can be enhanced by using fluorescent particles suspended in a suitable vehicle and by introducing a magnetic field of the proper strength whose orientation is as close as possible to 90° to the direction of the suspected discontinuity (see 4.3.2). A smoother surface or a pulsed current improves mobility of the magnetic particles under the influence of the magnetic field to collect on the surface where magnetic flux leakage occurs.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide2 covers techniques for both dry and wet magnetic particle testing, a nondestructive method for detecting cracks and other discontinuities at or near the surface in ferromagnetic materials. Magnetic particle testing may be applied to raw material, semifinished material (billets, blooms, castings, and forgings), finished material and welds, regardless of heat treatment or lack thereof. It is useful for preventive maintenance testing.

    1.1.1 This guide is intended as a reference to aid in the preparation of specifications/standards, procedures and techniques.

    1.2 This guide is also a reference that may be used as follows:

    1.2.1 To establish a means by which magnetic particle testing, procedures recommended or required by individual organizations, can be reviewed to evaluate their applicability and completeness.

    1.2.2 To aid in the organization of the facilities and personnel concerned in magnetic particle testing.

    1.2.3 To aid in the preparation of procedures dealing with the examination of materials and parts. This guide describes magnetic particle testing techniques that are recommended for a great variety of sizes and shapes of ferromagnetic materials and widely varying examination requirements. Since there are many acceptable differences in both procedure and technique, the explicit requirements should be covered by a written procedure (see Section 21).

    1.3 This guide does not indicate, suggest, or specify acceptance standards for parts/pieces examined by these techniques. It should be pointed out, however, that after indications have been produced, they must be interpreted or classified and then evaluated. For this purpose there should be a separate code, specification, or a specific agreement to define the type, size, location, degree of alignment and spacing, area concentration, and orientation of indications that are unacceptable in a specific part versus those which need not be removed before part acceptance. Conditions where rework or repair is not permitted should be specified.

    1.4 This guide describes the use of the following magnetic particle method techniques.

    1.4.1 Dry magnetic powder (see 8.4),

    1.4.2 Wet magnetic particle (see 8.5),

    1.4.3 Magnetic slurry/paint magnetic particle (see 8.5.7), and

    1.4.4 Polymer magnetic particle (see 8.5.8).

    1.5 Personnel Qualification—Personnel performing examinations in accordance with this guide should be qualified and certified in accordance with ASNT Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-1A, ANSI/ASNT Standard CP-189, NAS 410, or as specified in the contract or purchase order.

    1.6 Nondestructive Testing Agency—If a nondestructive testing agency as described in Practice E543 is used to perform the examination, the nondestructive testing agency should meet the requirements of Practice E543.

    1.7 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.8 Warning:

    Mercury has been designated by many regulatory agencies as a hazardous material that can cause serious medical issues.  Mercury, or its vapor, has been demonstrated to be hazardous to health and corrosive to materials. Caution should be taken when handling mercury and mercury containing products. See the applicable product Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for additional information. Users should be aware that selling mercury and/or mercury containing products into your state or country may be prohibited by law.

    1.9 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D93 Test Methods for Flash Point by Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester

    D445 Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (and Calculation of Dynamic Viscosity)

    E165/E1065M Practice for Liquid Penetrant Examination for General Industry

    E543 Specification for Agencies Performing Nondestructive Testing

    E1316 Terminology for Nondestructive Examinations

    E1444/E1444M Practice for Magnetic Particle Testing


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 77.040.20 (Non-destructive testing of metals)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 31380000(Magnets and magnetic materials)


    DOI: 10.1520/E0709

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