When a component is magnetized along its complete length, the flux loss is small alongside length. Therefore, when a component is uniform in cross section and magnetic permeability, the flux density wellbeing relatively uniform throughout the component. Flaws that run normal to the magnetic lines of flux will disturb the flux lines and often cause a leakage field at the surface of the component.
When a component with considerable length is magnetized using a solenoid, it is possible to magnetize only a portion of the component. Only the material within the solenoid and about the same width on side of the solenoid will be strongly magnetized. At some distance from the solenoid, the magnetic lines of force will abandon their longitudinal direction, leave the part at a pole on one side of the solenoid and return to the part at a opposite pole on the other side of the solenoid. This occurs because the magnetizing force diminishes with increasing distance from the solenoid. As a result, the magnetizing force may only be strong enough to align the magnetic domains within and very near the solenoid. The unmagnetized portion of the component will not support as much magnetic flux as the magnetized portion and some of the flux will be forced out of the part as illustrated in the image below. Therefore a long component must be magnetized and inspected at several location along its length for complete inspection coverage.