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21:57 Feb-02-2010


Joined Jan 2009
clean methods TAM PANEL

Hi all expert on this forum... I came back on one question important for me and important for next NADCAP audit....
I am processing the new TAM PANEL... They are five and are polish and great blast....The pentrant liquid is ID4 and when i used this penetrant i must see five artificial defect .....but often i see only the first four stars and i do not see the smallest stars...I tkink that the small stars is clogged by powder or residual penetrant... So, the method to clean TAM PANEL is ultrasonic cleaning by acetone but it can not to remove the residual material into five stars...I think that the acetone does not enter into five stars and the ultrasonic method it is not effective for this application...Can you suggest me another method of clean to remove eventually material residual so i should see the five stars?

22:20 Feb-02-2010
Curt Stokes ASNT #108098
Re: clean methods TAM PANEL In Reply to aldo at 21:57 Feb-02-2010 (Opening).

"Lime Away", or some other cleaner that removes calcium build-up etc. seems to do the job for us if unable to touch the deposits via ultrasonic.

Follow directions on bottle.

Also, sometimes scrubbing with emulsifier using a soft bristle brush can help.

Good Luck

08:27 Feb-03-2010

Godfrey Hands

PRI Nadcap,
United Kingdom,
Joined Nov 1998
Re: clean methods TAM PANEL In Reply to aldo at 21:57 Feb-02-2010 (Opening).

Hi Aldo,

Ultrasonic cleaning in Acetone sounds good to me.

After cleaning the TAM panel, but before processing it, check it under UV light for retained fluorescence, especially in the "stars". (I assume it is one with real cracks and not the spark-eroded version). This check is a specification requirement in most cases.
If there is retained fluorescence, then your cleaning is not adequate. If no retained fluorescence, then your cleaning should be adequate.
Do you work in a "hard water" area where minerals can deposit on the panel when drying? If so, final rinse with demineralised water before drying will help here.

Your TAM panel is an overall system check, and only if your system is correctly controlled will the test results be consistent. If you have inconsistent results (sometimes 4 stars, sometimes 5 stars), this suggests that your system is not adequately controlled.

Do you always use the same TAM panel for the same process? This is a requirement in all specifications that I know. (Not all TAM panels are absolutely identical, so some variation will be observed).


13:00 Feb-03-2010
Re: clean methods TAM PANEL In Reply to aldo at 21:57 Feb-02-2010 (Opening).


May be a hot water dip at 70 deg C for few minutes will help acetone to clean it better


18:31 Feb-03-2010

Rafid O. Lopez

, NDT Level 3
Joined Jan 2010
Re: clean methods TAM PANEL In Reply to Simon at 13:00 Feb-03-2010 .

We use ultrasonic cleaning with emulsifier (we don`t use acetone) and when this happen is necessary to have many time the panels in ultrasonic equipment until that crack are visibles.

Every day we put the Tam Panel (PSM-5) in ultrasonic cleaning, to prevent cracks from clogging.

Best regards.


15:07 Feb-08-2010

George Hopman

NDE Solutions,
Joined Apr 2009
Re: clean methods TAM PANEL In Reply to aldo at 21:57 Feb-02-2010 (Opening).

As someone who has had quite a bit of experience with TAM panels, let me offer the following for your consideration. With all due respect to one of the contributors to this forum, the premise that TAM panels can detect system degradation is highly suspect. Please refer to my February 2009 Back to Basics article in Materials Evaluation, where I abused the process with very little effect to the panel. This panel is great for picking up panel degradation only, not material or system degradation. http://www.asnt.org/publications/materialseval/basics/feb09basics/feb09basics.htm

Cleaning the panel with acetone in an ultrasonic cleaner is the best, but it puts out flammable fumes. Venting it takes care of the fumes problem. Cleaning with Lime-Away helps as previously noted. Coating it with non-aqueous developer and baking it in the drying oven helps. Coating it with Ely's Replica Transfer Coating works well. Soaking it in Oakite 990 at 160 degrees F for one hour is a great deep clean as well.

Even better, invent a panel that is capable of detecting system degradation and is easily cleaned. Then you can retire and not have to go through a Nadcap audit.


21:00 Feb-09-2010


Joined Jan 2009
Re: clean methods TAM PANEL In Reply to George Hopman at 15:07 Feb-08-2010 .

tanks for your suggestion... but if you speak me some information on lime away because i do not unterstand what it is because i am italian and i do not found the perfect translate in italy....
tanks and best regards...

22:26 Feb-09-2010

George Hopman

NDE Solutions,
Joined Apr 2009
Re: clean methods TAM PANEL In Reply to aldo at 21:00 Feb-09-2010 .

Lime-A-Way is something we buy at a Walgreens or Wal Mart:

CLR (Calcium Lime Rust) works as well:

22:35 Feb-09-2010

Roger Duwe

NDT Inspector, API-510, 570, 653
Joined Jan 2009
Re: clean methods TAM PANEL In Reply to George Hopman at 22:26 Feb-09-2010 .

Lime-Away and CLR both have phosphoric acid as the active ingredient. It probably is inhibited, and definitely is fairly dilute.

00:25 Mar-28-2012
Bob Whitfield
Re: clean methods TAM PANEL In Reply to aldo at 21:00 Feb-09-2010 .

My Friend,
Lime-Away is a product that is used for removal of rust and calcium deposits at home. This product is at all of our hardware stores for home consumtion. This is a widely used product for all in the U.S.A.

Bob W.

15:10 Mar-28-2012
Re: clean methods TAM PANEL In Reply to aldo at 21:57 Feb-02-2010 (Opening).

Hello Aldo,

If I understand correctly, it appears that your panel is capable of producing the required 5 stars. Not all panels are capable. Also, Nadcap requires a system baseline be established with degradation checks.

I have had good luck with alkaline clean in warm water with occasional ultrasonic cleaning, followed by storage in acetone or alcohol. It is recommended to not exceed 93 deg. C (200F) anytime and to not cool rapidly.

One other thing not already mentioned is that cleaning should be performed as soon as possible after use. I have witnessed panels left to be cleaned later and then they are more difficult.

Good Luck!


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