must be taken with parts having low retentivity to minimize the risk of washing away an indication. On larger parts
where the entire area of interest cannot all be flooded simultaneously, additional "shots" of current SHALL be applied
immediately after the suspension application hose is moved away from each point of application. In addition to the
minimum required current applications one or two current applications just before stopping the suspension application,
if the equipment duty cycle permits, will help small indications to form.
It should be noted that the continuous technique requires more attention and alertness on the part of the inspector than
does the residual. Careless handling of the suspension-current application sequence can interfere seriously with the
results. Normally the duration of the magnetizing shots will vary from one-half second to 1 or 2 seconds, depending on
the difficulty involved in showing the condition of interest. In some instances, when large forgings or steel castings are
to be inspected with manual suspension application, the magnetizing current may be left on from 5 to 10 seconds
during which time the part may be repeatedly swept with the suspension spray. The magnetizing field is maintained
for a second or two after the final spray has ceased or been diverted.
The proper orientation of the magnetic field in the part, in relation to the direction of the defect, is a more important
factor than the value or amount of the magnetizing current. For reliable inspection, the magnetic lines of force should
be at right angles to the defect to be detected. If the magnetic lines of force are parallel to the defect there will be little
magnetic leakage at the defect, and therefore, if any indication is formed it is likely to be extremely small.
Rule Of Thumb.
ASTM E 1444, as did its predecessor MIL-STD-1949, suggests that sufficient magnetic field is present when an
applied peak tangential field strength of 30 to 60 Gauss (Oersted) can be measured on the surface of the part where
indications are expected to form. A recent study using DC magnetizing current confirmed that this field strength can
produce good indications from small defects, with field strengths at less than this range, detectable indications can be
produced. Other studies have suggested that while good to excellent indications of defects may be produced with a
tangential field in the range of 30 to 60 Gauss (Oersted) and higher, the background produced from acceptable surface
roughness may reduce the visibility of such indications. All studies agree that the rule of thumb formulae for
estimating magnetizing currents, contained in ASTM E 1444 and reproduced in this section, will usually produce field
strengths well in excess of 30 to 60 Gauss (Oersted) with the concurrent risk of producing a background that can hide
The most direct way of determining the magnetic field strength required would be to use a specimen representative of
the parts to be inspected with a defect representative of those to be found. The specimen would be magnetized at
sequentially higher field strengths until a good indication of the defect was formed without an excess of background
from surface conditions. This magnetic field strength could then be measured and used for parts that are similar to the
specimen utilized. Since suitable specimens are seldom available, an alternative is to use the techniques discussed in
the following paragraphs to simulate a defect and measure the necessary magnetic field strengths.
The measurement of magnetic flux or field strength, either within a part or at the part's surface, is extremely difficult.
There are several practical methods or devices. These methods or devices have limitations. They do serve a purpose in
technique development if their limitations are understood.
Hall Effect Gauss / Tesla Meter.
This is a portable, hand-held digital instrument that can be used to measure magnetic-field strength. It applies a
current to a Hall-effect probe or sensor and amplifies the output voltage that is proportional to the magnetic flux density
that is present at the sensor and is at right angles to the applied current. It can be used in establishing MT testing