Using Fluorescent Penetrant for Ventilation System Leak Detention [Case Study]


Learn how a turn-key ventilation system manufacturer decreased costs and maintained quality with ZL-15B and ZL-19.

January 23, 2018


About the Customer

Our customer is a US manufacturer of turn-key ventilation systems for a broad range of end users. They use  ZL-60C and  ZL-60D for leak checking their duct work systems.



Our customer wanted to know more about the storage and handling requirements associated with  ZL-60C and  ZL-60D. During a shift, the penetrant is dispensed from a cup/holder for use with the leak testing.

They wanted to know if this method of dispensing the penetrant was an acceptable working practice. Aside from the use of a secondary containment label for the provision of chemical safety and handling information, our customer wanted to know if they should empty out and clean the holder at the end of each shift.



With any chemical substance or mixture, a chemical risk assessment should be carried out based on how that product is actually being used within the workplace. For example, there are a whole multitude of uses of sulphuric acid, including drain cleaning, water treatment, the removal of corrosion and the production of fertilizers. In each case, the risks presented by this product will be different and, hence, the purpose of the risk assessment is to distinguish these different uses.

Such an assessment should include the following:

  • Assessment of the chemical product.
  • Assessment of the specific process/activity where the product is used – for example, NDT method, method of application (spraying, dipping, etc.), quantity of chemical product being used, duration of exposure etc.
  • Assessment of the personnel that will be involved with the process/activity – level of competence, level of training, etc.
  • Assessment of current control measures – for example, safe systems of work, local exhaust ventilation, personal protective equipment.
  • Final assessment based on all of the above findings.


This final assessment will describe the risks and control measures that our customer should implement regarding this specific process. This is likely to include:

  • Appropriate labelling of the cup/holder used to dispense the penetrant, which should include all information recorded on the product label.
  • Implementation of a process to ensure that the cup/holder is emptied and cleaned at the end of each shift, with care being taken that the penetrant is not discharged to drain. In Section 13 of our Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), reference is made to disposal of waste and residues in accordance with local authority requirements.
  • The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as referred to within the Section 8 of the SDS – Exposure Controls/Personal Protection.

As part of the discussion, we recommended that since our customer is simply carrying out leak detection, there is no real need to use a Level 2 sensitivity penetrant. Possible cheaper alternatives would include ZL-15B (Level ½) sensitivity and ZL-19 (Level 1 sensitivity). All of these products should be able to find leaks in equipment.



Our customer was very happy with the speed and level of service obtained from Magnaflux. In particular, they are now going to:

  • Look at the recommended actions associated with the chemical risk assessment.
  • Source samples of ZL-15B and ZL-19 from our North American team.



Contact us for more details on how ZL-60D, ZL-15B, and ZL-19 can help you improve your leak detection


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