Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI)
Magnetic particle inspection (MPI) is a nondestructive testing method used for defect detection. MPI uses magnetic fields and small magnetic particles (i.e.iron filings) to detect flaws in components. The only requirement from an inspectability standpoint is that the component being inspected must be made of a ferromagnetic material such as iron, nickel, cobalt, or some of their alloys. Ferromagnetic materials are materials that can be magnetized to a level that will allow the inspection to be effective.
The first step in a magnetic particle inspection is to magnetize the component that is to be inspected. If any defects on or near the surface are present, the defects will create a leakage field. After the component has been magnetized, iron particles, either in a dry or wet suspended form, are applied to the surface of the magnetized part. The particles will be attracted and cluster at the flux leakage fields, thus forming a visible indication that the inspector can detect.