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Although this Symposium on Magnetic Particle Testing covers some extremely interesting and important applications of the test, it must by no means be considered that the value of the test is limited to the more or less specialized fields to which the greater part of the discussion has related. It is probably safe to say that nowhere has this test proven of greater value than in the aviation industry, and the unsurpassed performance of our aircraft is to a large extent due to the ability of the magnetic particle test to detect the most minute flaws that exist at the surface of ferrous parts. The importance of keeping weight to an absolute minimum necessitates a control of materials and processes that probably is not encountered in any other field. It is difficult to think of a single ferrous airplane part that is not subject to this test, including everything from bolts and nuts to welded struts and engine mounts. The assurance of complete freedom of surface, or in some cases near-surface, defects in the many highly stressed parts that go into plane and engine manufacture reduces greatly the factor of safety that would otherwise need to be employed in the design of the parts. However, in addition to the aircraft and other specialized fields, there are many other applications of the test, a few of which will be discussed here.
Snader, E. A.
Laboratory Section Engineer, Westinghouse Electric Corp., Philadelphia, Pa.