NRTL: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter?

Posted By: Steve Published: 06/30/2020 Times Read: 2131

What Does It Mean?

NRTL stands for Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory. There are many labs, some more familiar to the public than others. For the United States, OHSA maintains a list of approved labs for product evaluation and compliance certification.

Why Does It Matter?

These laboratories have the facilities to test and certify equipment to US and Canada safety regulations. Different facilities are recognized for certifying to different regulations, from electrical safety to electromagnetic compliance, pressure and leak testing to explosion-proof ratings for hazardous locations. Each lab has its own unique symbol, but because they all test to the same C-US standards, the certifications are equivalent.

For equipment used in Penetrant and Magnetic Particle testing, electrical safety compliance is the primary concern. Both testing methods use water-based and oil-based materials with electrical equipment, so adequate grounding and safety measures must be in place to protect the operators and inspectors.

Safety certification can take several forms. For small equipment like UV LED lamps or electromagnetic yokes, models can be submitted to an NRTL for testing and evaluation. This process can take several months to complete, requiring both technical and quality system audits of the manufacturing facilities. But once the process is complete, the product can carry an NRTL symbol demonstrating the model is safe for use.

One example of model certification would be Magnaflux's EV6000 UV LED lamp. Magnaflux has completed the process through TUV Rheinland of North America, certifying the EV6000 to American and Canadian electrical safety standards. This enables the EV6000 to carry a cTUVus mark, signifying compliance.

On the other hand, large-scale capital equipment does not lend itself easily to model certification. Beyond the cost involved, the equipment may be customized to fit a specific user’s MPI or FPI application while model certification must cover all possible configurations. In those cases, individual equipment can be audited and certified by an NRTL agent. These individual site certifications are faster and less complicated than model certifications, but they only apply to a specific piece of equipment. Individual NRTL certifications may be added to Magnaflux standard and custom Magnetic Particle and Penetrant Equipment as required for specific projects. Please contact us for more information and a project quotation.

Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories accredited by OSHA

For more information on Magnaflux products please reach out to us at [email protected] or 800-221-1116.


Geis, David. "NRTL: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter?". Magnaflux Blog, 2 April 2019,

Tags: non-destructive testing (ndt), liquid penetrant inspection (lpi), magnaflux, NRTL, nationally, recognized, testing, laboratory, underwriters, tuv, sud, rheinland, southwest, research, institute, sgs, qps, evaluation, services, qai, nsf, nemco, met,

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