Penetrant solution is applied to the surface of a pre-cleaned component. The liquid is pulled into surface-breaking defects by capillary action. Excess penetrant material is carefully cleaned from the surface. A developer is applied to pull the trapped penetrant back to the surface where it is spread out and forms an indication. The indication is much easier to see than the actual defect.
Used to locate cracks, porosity, and other defects that break the surface of a material and have enough volume to trap and hold the penetrant material. Liquid penetrant testing is used to inspect large areas very efficiently and will work on most nonporous materials.