Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

R. B. Thompson

Second Advisor

Alan M. Russell


This study was directed toward the question of whether recent advancements in radiation sources and test media offered significant improvements over the current state of the art. Included were experiments characterizing common penetrant and magnetic particle materials to determine their fluorescent excitation spectra, and a comparison between the fluorescent excitation spectra and the emission spectra of common excitation sources. The relationship between exciter and test medium directly controls the luminance of a defect indication. As indication luminance increases, the probability of it being detected by the inspector increases.

Fluorescent penetrant and magnetic particle test media were originally designed around the widely available filtered medium pressure mercury vapor lamp, which remains the standard excitation radiation source. Test media properties, and the types of available excitation sources have changed with time, and it was unclear whether present-day media was still best excited by the historical standard ultraviolet radiation source. Predictions and experimental work was performed to determine the optimal excitation source for fluorescent nondestructive testing, and to determine which safety lens option would offer the highest probability of detection. Improvement in radiation sources was primarily judged by an increase in fluorophore luminance versus background, which led to an increase in signal-to-noise ratio facilitating better indication detectability. Other factors considered were improved health and safety, and ease of use.


Copyright Owner

Richard Daniel Lopez



Date Available


File Format


File Size

172 pages