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Inspecting with Eddy Currents

Theory Practical Testing Aerospace Applications Industrial Applications WeldScan Review of Current Equipment Probe Range Introducing Locator 2

NDT Ltd., St. Albans, UK


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Manufacturers of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Equipment Leaders in the Field of Eddy Current Technology

13/02/2014

Eddy Current Products


Portable instruments
Analogue Meter displays Analogue and Digital screen display Digital Conductivity meter Dynamic rotating inspection

Systems
Automated in-line and off-line inspection Aircraft wheel inspection Condenser and heat exchanger tubing

Probes
Wide range of standard and special probes
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Product History
1968 - Amlec for Royal Navy 1970 - Halec 1971 to 1980 - Phasec D4 and D5 1983 - Locator UH for RAF 1984 - Locator UH-B for USAF 1986 - AV10b/AV100 1988 - AutoSigma 2000 1990 - Phasec 1.1/WheelScan 1991 - Phasec 3.4/2.21 1993 - MiniPhasec 1995 - Phasec 2200 1998 - Phasec D62 2000 - Locator 2 for RAF
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13/02/2014

Part 1:

Theory
HOCKING eddy current
training programme

Introduction - Historical Context


1879 - Hughes sorted metals of different permeability and conductivity 1930s used for metal sorting. 1940s crack detection applications developed. 1950s & 60s techniques developed in Aviation and nuclear industries.

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Simple Coil above a metal surface


AC Field induces circulating eddy currents Eddy currents load coil
Loading affects coil impedance

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Simple Coil above a metal surface


Crack in surface reduces eddy current flow Loading on coil changes
Coil impedance changes

Principle Of Eddy Current Inspection


An AC magnetic field induces circulating eddy currents in a conductive material Changes in the properties of the material change the sensor impedance

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Simple Coil above a metal surface


Monitor voltage across coil
Coil impedance changes Voltage across coil changes Detect changes in eddy current flow

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Simple Coil above a metal surface


Crack parallel to eddy currents - not detected Crack interrupts eddy currents - detected

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Depth of Penetration


Eddy current density is greatest at surface
Reduces exponentially with depth At standard D of P = 1/e (37%) of surface value

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Depth of Penetration


50 ( f . r ) Decreases with an increase in frequency Decreases with an increase in conductivity Decreases with an increase in permeability
Depth (mm) 100 Depth (in) 4

Titanium
10 Aluminium Copper 0.4

Steel

0.04

0.1 0.004

0.01 100Hz 1kHz 10kHz Frequency 100kHz 1MHz 0.0004 10MHz

Basic Eddy Current Theory : The impedance plane


XL
Ferrite
Crack in Steel

Resistance (X) vs. Reactance (Y) Values unique to probe and frequency, but general form is the same.
Probe in Air

Steel

MAGNETIC Titanium
Lift-Off

NON-MAGNETIC

Crack in Aluminium

Aluminium
Increasing conductivity of Test Sample

Copper

PROBE COIL IMPEDANCE - Z

Basic Eddy Current Theory : The impedance plane


Titanium

Crack in Aluminium

Lift-Off
Aluminium

Increasing conductivity of Test Sample Copper

Basic Eddy Current Theory : The impedance plane


Typical instrument display is a Window on impedance plane Rotate and Zoom to suit application

cracks

Lift-Off

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Factors affecting eddy current response


Conductivity
Measured in %IACS or MSm-1 Greater Conductivity -> Greater current flow on the surface - Less penetration Conductivity is often measured using eddy currents.

Permeability (relative)
one for Nonferrous, up to hundreds for Ferrous. Higher permeability reduces penetration into metal and gives much larger EC response. Permeability variations may mask defects

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Factors affecting eddy current response


Frequency
Very significant effect on response The one thing that we can totally control!

Geometry
CRACKS!!!! Curvature, edges, grooves etc. all affect response Generally try and scan along line of constant geometry Thickness relevant if less than depth of penetration.

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Factors affecting eddy current response


Lift-off
Closer probe to surface -> greater effect
Lift-off signal as spacing varies reduction in sensitivity as spacing increases.

All of these factors will affect the response: accurate assessment of one requires that the others be held constant or their influence minimised

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Coil Configurations


Three main groups: Surface probes - used mostly with the probe axis normal to the surface, includes pencil probes and fastener hole probes Encircling coils - e.g. in-line inspection of round products ID probes - e.g. in-service inspection of heat exchangers.

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Coil Configurations


Absolute probe
Single coil (mostly) Metal sorting and crack detection Sensitive also to material variations, temperature changes etc.

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Coil Configurations


Differential probe
Sensitive to small defects Insensitive to lift-off, temperature, geometry changes common to both coils Characteristic figure 8 response Probe / flaw orientation critical

cracks

wobble

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Coil Configurations


Reflection (Driver/Pickup) Probes
Primary winding driven from the oscillator Sensor winding(s) connected to the measurement circuit May give response equivalent to either an absolute (top) or differential probe(lower). Each winding can be optimised for its function Wider frequency range Better penetration Better sensitivity at large lift-off

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Coil Connections


Bridge Probes
When the bridge is balanced the measured voltage will be zero Differential Amplifier
Phase Sensitive Detector & balance circuitry

Main Amplifier

Basic Eddy Current Theory: Coil Connections


Reflection (Driver/Pickup) Probes
Differential Amplifier Phase Sensitive Detector & balance circuitry

Main Amplifier

Practical Testing: Requirements


Any practical Eddy current test will require the following:
An instrument with the necessary capabilities. A suitable probe A good idea of size, location and type of the flaws it is desired to find A suitable test standard to set up the equipment and verify correct operation A procedure or accept/reject criteria based on the above. The necessary operator expertise to understand and interpret the results.

Part 2:

Practical Testing
HOCKING eddy current
training programme

Practical Testing: Requirements


Any practical Eddy current test will require the following:
An instrument with the necessary capabilities. A suitable probe A good idea of size, location and type of the flaws it is desired to find A suitable test standard to set up the equipment and verify correct operation A procedure or accept/reject criteria based on the above. The necessary operator expertise to understand and interpret the results.

Practical Testing: Typical Instrumentation


Special Purpose: (AutoSigma 3000 shown)
Conductivity, Coating thickness etc. Simple digital readout Minimal operator training

Crack Detectors: (Locator UH shown)


Meter or Bar-graph readout High frequency - Surface cracks and sorting Often absolute probe only

Practical Testing: Typical Instrumentation


Portable impedance plane Eddy Current Flaw detectors: (Phasec 2200 shown)
Impedance plane display Wide frequency ranges extensive alarm facilities, rate filtering may have multifrequency operation,

Advantages of Eddy Current Inspection


High sensitivity to microscopic flaws at or near the metal surface High inspection speeds No surface preparation required Can detect flaws through paint layers Good discrimination between flaw types No couplant, no consumables, no radiation hazards No effluent treatment needed Ability to access the small and complex geometries Skills are easy to acquire Complementary to Ultrasonic technology
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Practical Testing: Operating frequency


Primary operator controlled variable. Determine Relative response from different flaws or Artefacts Mostly Determined by:
Probe, Material Type, Material thickness/Geometry

High frequency ( typically > 100 kHz) tests:


Little penetration, Find small flaws, More signals from scratches etc.

Low Frequency (typically <10kHz) Test


Deep Penetration: Find Thickness variations etc. Insensitive to signals from small flaws and scratches

Practical Testing: Applications


Surface Crack Detection
Pencil or Pancake probes High Frequencies Find cracks down to 0.1mm or so deep Normally Absolute probes, sometimes differential, but crack direction/probe orientation is critical

Practical Testing: Applications


Metal Sorting
Conductivity / Permeability Testing
For NFe Conductivity meter may be a better choice

Frequencies from few Hz to MHz depending on parameters / geometry


N.B Same reading does not mean same metal
Many factors can vary together, Check for correct Heat treatment or composition, Not both at once

Practical Testing: Applications


Sub-Surface Crack/Corrosion Detection.
Primarily Used in Airframe Inspection. Low Frequency, Usually Reflection Probes Penetrate Aluminium Structures (10mm) Detect Second and Third Layer Cracking or Corrosion

Practical Testing: Applications


Heat exchanger tube testing
Petrochemical or power generation Heat exchangers may have thousands of tubes, up to 20m long. Use a differential ID bobbin probe Test at high speed (up to 1 m/s or so with computerized data analysis.) Identifies cracks, inside or outside corrosion Pitting can be assessed to an accuracy of about 5% of wall thickness. The operating frequency is determined by the tube material and wall thickness, Dual or multiple frequency inspections commonly used

Practical Testing: Applications


In-Line inspection of Steel tubing
Inspect using encircling coils . Magnetic material - two main problems:
High permeability - little or no penetration. Variations in permeability cause eddy current responses greater than those from defects.

Overcome by magnetically saturating the tube using a strong DC field. Tubes up to around 170mm diameter Welded tubes tested using sector coils which only test the weld zone.

Practical Testing: Applications


Ferrous weld inspection
geometry and material variations prevent inspection with a conventional eddy current probe, Special purpose WeldScan probe has been developed Allows inspection of welded steel structures for fatigueinduced cracking, May be used in adverse conditions, or even underwater, Will operate through paint and other corrosion-prevention coatings. Cracks around 1mm deep and 6mm long can be found in typical welds.