What is Method A(W)?

Posted By: Steve Published: 08/31/2021 Times Read: 2406

Defining Method A(W)

Method A(W) is a separate category for Method A penetrants and defined by AMS 2644 as a “Water Washable penetrant that contains 20% or more water by volume in its formula.” This category was added to the G revision of AMS 2644 and issued in April 2019. The current revision of AMS 2644 is H, which was issued in July 2020.

Differences between Method A & Method A(W)

For in-use penetrant testing, Method A(W) has a different testing method and frequency for water content than Method A penetrant. The water content test is a quick weekly check for Method A(W) penetrants with the use of a refractometer. If necessary, adjustments may be made by adding water or the Method A(W) penetrant to the tank.

Features of Water-based Penetrants

Reliably Speed Up Inspection and Wash Processes

  • Identify bright indications with superior sensitivity and low fluorescent background interference.
  • Increase throughput and reduce costs by eliminating the developer step of inspection processes depending on procedures and requirements.
  • Rapid rinse and post inspection washing of parts thanks to excellent washability properties.

Reduce Waste-Water Pollutants and Environmental Footprint

  • Reduce water treatment costs and discharge waste process water directly into the sewage system (depending on local regulations) due to minimal water-based contaminants.
  • Meet or exceed local discharge regulations with low Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) levels.
  • Support a healthy environment with water-based penetrants that have minimal environmental, occupational health and safety impact.

Industry approvals

  • QPL Approval
  • ZL-425 and ZL-440 are approved and qualified to AMS 2644.

Things to Know About Water-based Penetrants

More frequent testing

  • Method A requires a monthly concentration test by sending it into a lab or Magnaflux's PeneCert program, while Method AW requires a weekly concentration test with a refractometer.

Approvals Met

  • If listed on QPL it meets the specifications for AMS 2644 as a Level I or 2 penetrant, depending on the classification.

QPL Approval

  • ZL-425 and ZL-440 are approved and qualified to AMS 2644.

Lower Water Treatment Costs

  • Disposal is a benefit for water-based or a deterrent for oil-based.
  • Maintenance due to the concentration of the water-base.
  • Wastewater treatments costs can be lowered.

Application Method

  • Water-based is not suited for spray application.
  • Only referring to ZL-425 & ZL-440.
  • Typically used in emersion tanks.


Water-based, water washable level 1 fluorescent penetrant; contains no petroleum distillates allowing direct drain disposal

Water-based, water washable level 2 fluorescent penetrant; contains no petroleum distillates allowing direct drain disposal.

Product ID: 01-3425-45Product ID: 01-3440-45

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"What is Method A(W)?" Magnaflux.com, https://www.magnaflux.com/Magnaflux/Resources/Blog/Method-AW

Tags: NDT, non, destructive, testing, Magnaflux, LPI, liquid, penetrant, inspection, cleaning, clean, preclean, refractometer, kern, hydrometer, method, a, aw, a(w), ams, 2644,

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