Prepare a wiring assembly as shown in Figure 5-2, and prepare the two reagents (ammonium fluoride and dimethylglyoxime solutions) placing them in separate dedicated dropper solution bottles. Before testing, you must thoroughly clean the metal in order for the electrolytic deposit to take place. You may use nonmetallic hand scrubbing pads or 320 to 600 grit “crocus cloth” to remove deposits and corrosion products (thermal oxide).
Connect the alligator clip of the wiring assembly to the bare metal being tested. Place one drop of a 0.05 percent reagent grade ammonium fluoride solution in deionized water on the center of a 1 inch × 1 inch sheet of filter paper. Lay the moistened filter paper over the bare metal alloy being tested. Firmly press the end of the aluminum rod over the center of the moist paper. Maintain connection for 10 seconds while rocking the aluminum rod on the filter paper. Ensure that the light emitting diode (LED) remains lit (indicating good electrical contact and current flow) during this period. Disconnect the wiring assembly and set it aside. Remove the filter paper and examine it to determine that a light spot appears where the connection was made.
Deposit one drop of 1.0 percent solution of reagent grade dimethylglyoxime in ethyl alcohol on the filter paper (same side that was in contact with the test metal). A bright, distinctly pink spot will appear within seconds on the filter paper if the metal being tested is Inconel. A brown spot will appear if the test metal is stainless steel. Some stainless steel alloys may leave a very light pink color. However, the shade and depth of color will be far less than would appear for Inconel. For flat surfaces, the test spot will be circular while for curved surfaces, such as the outside of a tube or pipe, the test spot may appear as a streak. (Refer to Figure 5-3 for sample test results.) This procedure should not be used in the heat affected zone of weldments or on nickel coated surfaces.