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AECL-7523 Rev. 1

i
ATOMIC ENERGY aT33 L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE
1 OF CANADA LIMITED T m J DU CANADA LIMITEE

I
I EDDY CURRENT MANUAL
VOLUME 1
I
TEST METHOD

Manuel d'essai par courant de Foucault


Methode d'essai

V.S. CECCO, G. VAN DRUNEN and F.L. SHARP

Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories Laboratoires nucleaires de Chalk River

Chalk River, Ontario

November 1981 novembre

Revised 1983 revise


I
I ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED

I EDDY CURRENT MANUAL


I
VOLUME 1

TEST METHOD

V.S. Cecco, G. Van Orunen and F.L. Sharp

Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories


Chalk River, Ontario KOJ 1J0
1981 OCTOBER
REVISED 1983 SEPTEMBER

AECL-7523
REV. 1
L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE DU CANADA, LIMITEE

Manuel par courant de Foucault

Volume 1

Mthode d'essais

V.S. Cecco, G. Van Drunen et F.L. Sharp

Rsum

Ce manuel de rfrence et d'instruction a pour but de fournir


ceux qui font des essais par courant de Foucault les principes
fondamentaux de la technique et les connaissances voulues pour
interprter conme il faut les rsultats souvent compliqus de ces
essais. Une approche non rigoureuse est employe pour simplifier
les complexes phnomnes physiques. L'accent est mis sur un choix
appropri de frquences d'essai et sur l'interprtation des signaux.
La dtection et le diagnostic des dfauts font l'objet d'une attention
particulire. La conception et la ralisation des sondes sont traites
de faon approfondie car les sondes jouent un rle cl dans les essais
par courant de Foucault. Les avantages et les limitations des divers
types de sondes sont indiqus.

La thorie lectromagntique, l'instrumentation, les mthodes


d'essai et les analyses de signaux sont dcrites. Les rponses des
sondes permettent d'avoir une comprhension fondamentale du comportement
des courants de Foucault, condition d'avoir recours aux dductions
simplifies indiques dans le manuel pour tester les paramtres. Les
signaux des courants de Foucault sont prsents sur des diagrammes de
plans d'impdance tout au long du manuel, car il s'agit l de l'infor-
mation la plus commune affiche sur les instruments universels modernes.
L'emploi du "retard de phase" dans l'analyse des signaux est dcrit en
dtail. Pour complter la thorie, des exemples pratiques sont donns.
Ces exemples ont pour but de rendre les inspections plus performantes
et ils montrent comment les principes de base s'appliquent au diagnostic
des signaux rels.

Laboratoires nuclaires de Chalk River


Chalk River, Ontario KOJ 1J0

Novembre 1981
Revis September 1983
AECL-7523
REV. 1
1
I ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED

I EDDY CURRENT MANUAL

I VOLUME 1

I TEST METHOD

V.S. Cecco, G. Van Drunen and F.L. Sharp

ABSTRACT

This training and reference manual was assembled to provide


those involved in eddy current testing with both the
fundamental principles of the technique as well as the
knowledge to deal with often conplicated test results. A
non-rigorous approach is used to simplify complex physical
phenomena. Emphasis is placed on proper choice of test
frequency and signal interpretation. Defect detection and
diagnosis receive particular attention. Design and
construction of probes are covered extensively since, probes
play a key role in eddy current testing. The advantages and
limitations of various probe types are discussed.

Electromagnetic theory, instrumentation, test methods and


signal analysis are covered. Simplified derivations of probe
response to test parameters are presented to develop a basic
understanding of eddy current behaviour. Eddy current
signals are presented on impedance plane diagrams throughout
the manual since this is the most common display on modern,
general purpose instruments. The use of ''phase lag" in
signal analysis is covered in detail. To supplement theory,
practical examples are presented to develop proficiency in
performing inspections, and to illustrate how basic
principles are applied to diagnose real signals.

Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories


Chalk River, Ontario KOJ 1J0

1981 NOVEMBER
REVISED 1983 SEPTEMBER
AECL-7 523
REV. 1
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I ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I This manual is an accumulation of knowledge and experience


obtained by the NDT Development Branch (formerly Quality
Control Branch) of CRNL through its 12 years of existence.
I The authors are indebted to the other members of the
Nondestructive Testing Development Branch especially

I C.R. Bax, H.W. Ghent, J.R. Carter, G.A. Leakey and


W. Pantermoller who assisted in collecting some of the data
in the manual and made many constructive criticisms.

I
I

All rights reserved. No part of this report may be


reproduced by any means, nor transmitted, nor translated into
a machine language without the written permission of Atomic
Energy of Canada Limited Research Company.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION PAGE

1.1 EDDY CURRENT TESTING 1


1.2 PURPOSE OF THIS MANUAL 1
1.3 HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 2

CHAPTER 2 - ED71Y CURRENT FUNDAMENTALS


2.1 BASIC EQUIPMENT 5
2.2 GENERATION OF EDDY CURRENTS 6
2.2.1 Introduction 6
2.2.2 Magnetic Field Around a Coil 6
2.2.3 Equations Governing Generation of Eddy
Currents 8

2.3 FUNDAMENTAL PROPERTIES OF EDDY CURRENT FLOW 10


2.4 SKIN EFFECT 11
2.4.1 Standard Depth of Penetration 12
2.4.2 Depth of Penetration in Finite Thickness
Samples 13
2.4.3 Standard Phase Lag 14
2.4.4 Phase Lag in Finite Thickness Samples 16
2.5 SUMMARY 17
2.6 WORKED EXAMPLES 18
2.6.1 Standard Depth of Penetration and Phase Lag 18

CHAPTER 3 - ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS AND PROBE IMPEDANCE


3.1 INTRODUCTION 19
3.2 IMPEDANCE EQUATIONS AND DEFINITIONS 19
3.3 SINUSOIDS, PHASORS AND ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS 21
3.4 MODEL OF PROBE IN PRESENCE OF TEST MATERIAL 23
3.5 SIMPLIFIED IMPEDANCE DIAGRAMS 25
3.5.1 Derivation of Probe Impedance for Probe/
Sample Combination 25
3.5.2 Correlation Between Coil Impedance and
Sample Properties 28

3.6 SUMMARY 30
3.7 WORKED EXAMPLES 31
3.7.1 Probe Impedance in Air 31
3.7.2 Probe Impedance Adjacent to Sample 32
3.7.3 Voltage-Current Relationship 32
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I CHAPTER 4 - INSTRUMENTATION
PAGE

I 4.1
4.2
INTRODUCTION
BRIDGE CIRCUITS
33
34
4.2.1 Simple Bridge Circuit 34
4.2.2 Typical Bridge Circuit in Eddy Current
Instruments 36
4.2.3 Bridge Circuit in Crack Detectors 37

4.3 RESONANCE CIRCUIT AND EQUATIONS 38


4.4 EDDY CURRENT INSTRUMENTS 40
4.4.1 General Purpose Instrument (Impedance Method) 40
t.4.2 Crack Detectors 42
4.4.3 Material Sorting and Conductivity
Instruments 44
4.5 SEND-RECEIVE EDDY CURRENT SYSTEMS 45

4.5.1 Hall-Effect Detector 46


4.5.2 Send-Receive Coils and Lift-Off Compensation 47
4.6 MULTIFREQUENCY EQUIPMENT 48
4.7 PULSED EDDY CURRENT EQUIPMENT 49
4.8 SPECIAL TECHNIQUES 50
4.9 RECORDING EQUIPMENT 51
4.9.1 Frequency Response 53

4.10 SUMMARY 53
4.11 WORKED EXAMPLES 54
4.11.1 Impedance at Resonance 54
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CHAPTER 5 - TESTING WITH SURFACE PROBES

'AGE
1
5.1
5.2
INTRODUCTION
SURFACE PROBES
55
55 1
5.2.1
5.2.2
Probe Types
Directional Properties
56
59 I
5.2.3
5.2.2.1 Sensitivity at Centre of a Coil
Probe Inductance
60
61
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5.3 PARAMETERS AFFECTING SENSITIVITY TO DEFECTS
65
65
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5.3.1 Sensitivity with Lift-off and Defect Depth

5.4
5.3.2 Effect of Defect Length
COMPARISON BETWEEN SURFACE AND THROUGH-WALL INSPECTION
66

67
1
5.5 IMPEDANCE GRAPH DISPLAY
5.5.1
5.5.2
Effect of Resistivity
Effect of Permeability
69
72
72
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5.5.3
5.5.4
5.5.5
Effect of Thickness
Effect of Frequency
Effect of Probe Diameter
72
72
73
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5.5.6 Comparison of Experimental and Computer
Impedance Diagrams 73
74
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5.6 CHARACTERISTIC PARAMETER
5.7
5.8
DEFINITION OF "PHASE" TERMINOLOGY
SELECTION OF TEST FREQUENCY
77
78 if
5.8.1
5.8.2
5.8.3
Inspecting for Defects
Measuring Resistivity
Measuring Thickness
78
80
83
a
5.8.4
5.8.5
Measuring Thickness of a Non-conducting Layer
on a Conductor
Measuring Thickness of a Conducting Layer on
a Conductor
84
84
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5.9
5.10
PROBE-CABLE RESONANCE
SUMMARY
85
86
1
5.11 WORKED EXAMPLES

5.11.1 Effective Probe Diameter


88

88
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5.11.2 Characteristic Parameter 88
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I CHAPTER 6 - SURFACE PROBE SIGNAL ANALYSIS
PAGE

6.1 INTRODUCTION 89

I 6.2 EDDY CURRENT SIGNAL CHARACTERISTICS


6.2.1 Defect Signal Amplitude
89
89
6.2.2 Defect Signal Phase 91
I 6.3 EFFECT OF MATERIAL VARIATIONS AND DEFECTS IN A FINITE
THICKNESS 93

I 6.A COIL IMPEDANCE CHANGES WITH DEFECTS


6.4.1 Surface Defect Measurement
97
97
6.4.2 Subsurface Defect Measurement 97
6.5 COIL IMPEDANCE CHANGES WITH OTHER VARIABLES 98
6.5.1 Ferromagnetic Indications 98
6.5.2 Electrical Resistivity 100
6.5.3 Signals from Changes in Surface Geometry 100
6.6 CALIBRATION DEFECTS 101
6.7 SUMMARY 104

CHAPTER 7 - TESTING OF TUBES AND CYLINDRICAL COMPONENTS


7.1 INTRODUCTION 105
7.2 PROBES FOR TUBES AND CYLINDRICAL COMPONENTS 105
7.2.1 Probe Types 105
7.2.2 Comparing Differential and Absolute Probes 107
7.2.3 Directional Properties 109
7.2.4 Probe Inductance 110
7.2.5 Probe-Cable Resonance 112

7.3 IMPEDANCE PLANE DIAGRAMS 113


7.3.1 Solid Cylinders . 115
7.3.1.1 Sensitivity in Centre of a Cylinder 116
7.3.2 Tubes 118
7.3.3 Characteristic Frequency for Tubes 120
7.3.4 Computer Generated Impedance Diagrams 122
7.4 CHOICE OF TEST FREQUENCY 123

7.4.1 Test Frequency for Solid Cylinders 123


7.4.2 Test Frequency for Tubes 124
7.5 PROBES FOR DETECTING CIRCUMFERENTIAL CRACKS 125
7.6 SUMMARY 12 8
7.7 WORKED EXAMPLES 129
7.7.1 Calculate f/fg to operate at knee location,
for a cylinder 129
7.7.2 (a) Calculate optimum test frequency for Cube
inspection 129
(b) Determine operating point for above frequency 130
(c) Calculate frequency to discriminate ferro-
magnetic indications 130
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CHAPTER 8 - TUBE TESTING - SIGNAL ANALYSIS


I
8.1 INTRODUCTION
PAGE
131
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8.2 EDDY CURRENT SIGNALS
8.2.1
8.2.2
Defect Signal Characteristics
Effect of Test Frequency
131
131
135
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8.2.3 Calibration Tubes and Simple Defects 138 am
8.2.4 Vectorial Addition and Defects at Baffle Plates 142 I
8.2.5 Tube Inspection at Tubesheets 146
8.2.6 Testing Tubes with Internal Surface Probes 147

8.3 ANOMALOUS EDDY CURRENT SIGNALS 149 jg

8.3.1 Ferromagnetic Inclusions and Deposits 149


8.3.2 Conducting Deposits 153 H
8.4 MULTIFREQUENCY EDDY CURRENT TESTING 155
8.4.1 Background 155
8.4.2 Multifrequincy Testing of Dented Tubes 158
8.5 SUMMARY 162

CHAPTER 9 - METALLURGICAL PROPERTIES AND TESTING FERRO-


I
MAGNETIC MATERIALS

9.1
9.2
INTRODUCTION
ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY
' 163
163
I
9.2.1
9.2.2
Factors Affecting Resistivity
Material Sorting by Resistivity
163
166
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9.3 MAGNETIC PROPERTIES
9.3.1
9.3.2
Magnetic Hysteresis
Magnetic Permeability
168
169
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9.3.3 Factors Affecting Magnetic Permeability 172
9.4 TESTING MAGNETIC MATERIALS 174
9.4.1 Simplified Impedance Digrams 174 I
9.4.2 Impedance Diagrams 176
9.4.3 Material Sorting by Magnetic Permeability 178
9.4.4 Testing for Defects in Magnetic Materials 178 ft
9.5 SUMMARY 184

9.6 WORKED EXAMPLES


9.6.1
9.6.2
Calculate Conductivity
Calculate Magnetic Permeability
185
185
185
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9.6.3 Calculate Standard Depth of Penetration

CHAPTER 10 - DEFINITIONS, REFERENCES AND INDEX


186
I
10.1
10.2
10.3
DEFINITIONS
REFERENCES
INDEX
187
194
195
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I
I NOMENCLATURE

SYMBOL QUANTITY SI UNIT


I
A Cross-Sectional area met re
r Radius metre
1 Length metre
t Thickness metre
w Width met re
D Diameter metre ^
B Magnetic flux density weber/meter or ttes la
C Capacitance farads
f Test frequency hertz
Optimum tube testing frequency hertz
l-h

Characteristic or Limit
g frequency hertz
fr Resonant frequency hertz
H Magnetic field intensity amperes/meter or
(Magnetizing force) lenze
I Current amperes
J Current density amperes/meter
L Self Inductance henry
N Number of turns (Windings) dimens ionless
Pc Characteristic Parameter dimensionless
R Res'is tance ohm
R
L Resistive load ohm
V Electric potential volt
X Depth below the surface metre
xL Inductive Reactance ohm
Li
Capacitive Reactance ohm
Z Impedance ohm
<5 Standard Depth
of Penetration met re
V Permeability henry/meter
p Resistivity microhm-centimet re
0 Conductivity siemens/meter
$ Magnetic flux weber
n Fill Factor dimensionless
3 Phase Lag radians
Angular frequency radians/second
0 Angle between Z & R degrees
I
CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION
I 1.1 EDDY CURRENT TESTING
Eddy current testing (ET) Is a nondestructive test technique
based on Inducing electrical currents In the material being
Inspected and observing the Interaction between those
currents and the material. Eddy currents are generated by
electromagnetic coils in the test probe, and monitored
simultaneously by measuring probe electrical impedance.
Since it's an electromagnetic induction process, direct
electrical contact with the sample is not required; however,
the sample material has to be conductive.

Eddy current testing is a versatile technique. It's mainly


used for thin materials; in thick materials, penetration
constraints limit the inspected volume to thin surface
layers. In addition to flaw inspection, ET can be used to
indirectly measure mechanical and metallurgical
characteristics which correlate with electrical and magnetic
properties. Also, geometric effects such as thickness,
curvature and probe-to-material spacing influence eddy
current flow and can be measured.

The large number of potentially significant variables in ET


is both a strength and a weakness of the technique since
effects of otherwise trivial parameters can mask important
information or be misinterpreted. Virtually everything that
affects eddy current flow or otherwise influences probe
impedance has to be taken into account to obtain reliable
results. Thus, credible eddy current testing requires a high
level of operator training and awareness.

1. 2 PURPOSE OF THIS MANUAL

The purpose of this manual is to promote the development and


use of eddy current testing by providing a scientifically
sound training and reference manual. The selection of
material presented is based on the premise that a sound
understanding of basic principles is essential to obtaining
valid data and interpreting it correctly. A non-rigorous
approach has been used to present complex physical, phenomena
in a document oriented towards application of eddy current
techniques, especially for defect detection and diagnosis.

The presentation moves from theory (including a review of


basic electrical concepts) to test methods and signal
analysis. Simplified derivations of probe response to test
parameters are presented to develop a basic understanding of
eddy current test principles. Thus, eddy current signals are
-2-

I
consistently illustrated on impedance plane diagrams (the M
display used in modern eddy current test instruments) and to
aid explanation, the parameter "eddy current phase lag" is
int roduced. _

Since probes play a key role in eddy current testing,


technical aspects of probe design are introduced with
pertinent electrical impedance calculations. While knowledge
of basic electrical circuits is required for a complete |
understanding of eddy current test principles, a good
technical base for inspection can still be obtained if a
sections of this manual requiring such a background are
skipped.

From an applications point of view, the material in this


manual provides an inspector with the necessary background to
decide:
1) what probe(s) to use,
2) what test frequencies are suitable,
3) what calibration defects or standards are required for
signal calibration and/or simulation, ^
4) what tests are required to differentiate between
significant signals and false indications.
5) how to estimate depth of real defects.

To supplement theory, practical examples are presented to


develop proficiency in performing inspections, and to
illustrate how basic principles are applied to diagnose real m
signals.

A number of laboratory demonstrations, practical tests and


multiple choice questions are included in Volume 2, "Eddy
Current Course Supplement". They are divided into groups
corresponding to the chapters in this manual. The
demonstrations are intended for use in eddy current courses
to help clarify some of the more difficult concepts. The (
practical tests are to give students practice in using
equipment and performing typical tests. The multiple choice &
questions are intended to check students' understanding of I
the course material and prepare for certification exams. *

1.3 HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Electromagnetic testing -- the interaction of magnetic fields


with circulating electrical currents had its origin in
1831 when M. Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction.
He induced current flow in a secondary coil by switching a
battery on and off. D.E. Hughes performed the first recorded ~
eddy current test in 1879. He was able to distinguish
between different metals by noting a change in excitation
frequency resulting from effects of test material resistivity
and magnetic permeability. A

I
-3-

VI<
THERE MUST BE DEFECTS IN
THESE TUBES SOMEWHERE
I SAW SQU/GGLES Oh' THE EDDV
CURRENT SCREEN/

Fig. 1.1:Misinterpreted Signals


Initially, the extreme sensitivity to many material
properties and conditions made ET difficult and unreliable.
Figure 1.1 illustrates this point. It took until 1926 before
the first eddy current instrument was developed to measure
sample thickness. By the end of World War II further
research and improved electronics made industrial inspection
possible, and many practical instruments were developed. A
major breakthrough came in the 1950's when Forster developed
instruments with impedance plane signal displays. These made
it possible to discriminate between different parameters,
though the procedure was still empirical. During the 1960's
progress in theoretical and practical uses of eddy current
testing advanced the technology from an empirical art to an
accepted engineering discipline.
4
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I
During that time, other nondestructive test techniques such Wk
as ultrasonics and radiography became well established and |
eddy current testing played a secondary role, mainly in the
aircraft industry. Recent requirements particularly for m
heat exchanger tube inspection in the nuclear industry M
have contributed significantly to further development of ET
as a fast, accurate and reproducible nondestructive test
technique.

Until recently, eddy current testing was a technology where


the basic principles were known only to researchers, and a
"black box" approach to inspection was often followed. The f
authors' objective in compiling this manual is to draw upon
research, laboratory and industrial inspection experience to _
bridge that gap and thereby permit the full potential of eddy B
current testing to be realized;

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I
CHAPTER 2 - EDDY CURRENT FUNDAMENTALS

2.1 BASIC EQUIPMENT


Basic eddy current test equipment consists of an alternating
current source (oscillator), a probe containing a coil
connected to the current source, and a voltmeter which
measures the voltage change across the coil, as shown in
Figure 2.1.

OSCILLATOR VOLTMETER

Fig. 2.1: Eddy Current Test Equipment


The oscillator must be capable of generating a time varying
(usually sinusoidal) current at frequencies ranging from
about 1 kHz (1000 cycles per second) to about 2 MHz
(2,000,000 cycles per second). Oscillators which operate at
higher or lower frequencies, or with pulsed currents are used
for specialized applications.

The coil within the probe is an insulated copper wire wound


onto a suitable form. The wire diameter, the number of turns
and coil dimensions are all variables which must be
determined in order to obtain the desired inspection results.
Coil variables are discussed in later chapters.
-6-

I
Depending upon the type of inspection, an eddy current probe
can consist of a single test coil, an excitation coil with a
separate receive (sensing) coil, or an excitation coil with a
Hall-effect sensing detector, as shown in Figure 2.2.
I
VOLTMETER VOLTMETER VOLTMETER I
I
I
/ HALL
/ DETECTOR
I
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I
(A) SELF-INDUCTANCE (B) SEND-RECEIVE <C) MAGNETIC REACTION
I
Fig. 2.2: Eddy Current Inspection Systems

The voltmeter measures changes in voltage across the coil


which result from changes in the electrical conditions and
I
properties of the conducting material tested and/or changes
in relative position between the coil and the material
tested. This voltage change consists of an amplitude
I
variation and a phase variation relative to the current
passing through the coil. The reason for amplitude and phase
changes in this voltage is discussed in Chapter 3.
1
2.2 GENERATION OF EDDY CURRENTS

2.2.1 Introduction
I
In this section the topic of the magnetic field surrounding a
coil carrying current is introduced together with the
I
mechanism by w.iich eddy currents are induced and how they are
measured.

2.2.2 Magnetic Field Around A Coil


I
Oersted discovered that whenever there is an electric
current, a magnetic field exists. Consider electric current
I
directed along a wire, a magnetic field is created in such a
direction that if your right-hand thumb points in the
direction of current, your curled fingers point in the
I
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-7-

direction of the magnetic field, This is the "right-hand


rule".
Associated with a magnetic field is magnetic flux density.
It has the same direction as the magnetic field and its
magnitude depends upon position and current. It is therefore
a field vector quantity and is given the symbol B. Its units
in the SI system is the tesla (T) or webers per square metre
(Wb/m 2 ).

The B-field distribution around a long straight wire is shewn


in Figure 2.3(a). In Figure 2.3(b) the B-field in the axial
direction of a single turn is shown as a function of radius.
As more windings are added, each carrying the same current,
the flux density rapidly increases and its associated
distribution is altered.

(a) Straight Wire (b) Single Turn Coil


CuAAent FZowing Unto page.

Fig. 2.3: Magnetic Flux Distribution

Flux density varies linearly with electric current in the


coil, i.e., if coil current doubles, flux density doubles
everywhere. The total magnetic flux, <|>p, contained within
the loop is the product of B and area of the coil. The unit
in the SI system for magnetic flux is the weber (Wb).
-8-

I
2.2.3 Equations Governing Generation of Eddy Currents
In any electrical circuit, current flow is governed by Ohm's
Law and is equal to the driving (primary circuit) voltage
I
divided by primary circuit impedance.

I V /Z (2.1)
I
P P

The eddy current coil is part of the primary circuit. The


current passing through the coil normally varies sinusoldally
I
with time and Is given by:

I sin(wt) (2.2)
I
o

where l o is tht peak current value in the circuit and w


I
(omega) is the frequency In radlans/s
is frequency in hertz).
(u) equals 2irf when f

From Oersted's discovery, a magnetic flux (<f>p) exists around


I
a coil carrying current (see Figure 2.4) proportional to the
number of turns in the coil (N p ) and the current (Ip) I
N I
P P
(2.3) I
I
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PROBE
I
(primary .
circuit)

II
SAMPLE
(secondary
circuit)
I
Fig. 2.4: Coil Carrying Alternating Current Adjacent
To a Test Sample
f
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Faraday's Law states a voltage (V s ) is created or induced in


a region of space when there is a changing magnetic field.
When we apply this to our coil,

V =-N ^
s p dt
d<}>
where ~dt *s t ie
* rate
^ change in with time.
Since coil current varies sinusoidally with time, total
magnetic flux in the coil also varies sinusoidally,

<j> = $ sin(tot)

where <|>o is the magnetic flux corresponding to I Q .

The induced voltage as described by equation 2.4 results in

V = - N iii<\> cos((Ot) (2.5)


s p o

which also varies periodically with time. If we bring the


coil close to a test sample, Ohm's Law states that if there
is a driving voltage ( V g ) and the sample's impedance is
finite, current will flow,

T
s - VZs (2 6)
'
where I g is current flowing through the sample, V s is
induced voltage and Z s is the sample's impedance
or opposition to the flow of current.

These induced currents are known as eddy currents because of


their circulatory paths. They, in turn, generate their own
magnetic field according to Lenz's Law, which opposes the
primary field,

and *E = *p - *B (2.8)

where <(> is the equilibrium magnetic flux surrounding the


coil in the presence of a test sample.
The flow of eddy currents results in resistive (Ohmic) losses
and a decrease in magnetic flux. This is reflected as a
decrease in probe impedance. In equation form,

Z *E (2.9)

and V = ZIp (2.10)


-10-

Equation 2.9 indicates a coil's impedance is a function of


the magnetic field surrounding it and in turn the magnetic
field is governed by induced current in the specimen
(equations 2.8 and 2.7). The relations between probe
impedance and sample properties will be derived in Chapter 3.

To summarize, flux is set up by passing alternating current


through the test coil. When this coil is brought close to a
conductive sample, eddy currents are induced. In addition,
the magnetic flux associated with the eddy currents oppose the
coil's magnetic flux, thereby decreasing net flux. This
results in a change in coil impedance and voltage drop. It is
the opposition between the primary (coil) and secondary (eddy
current) fields that provides the basis for extracting
information during eddy current testing.

It should be noted that if a sample is ferromagnetic,


equation 2.9 still applies but the magnetic flux is
strengthened despite opposing eddy current effects. The high
magnetic permeability of ferromagnetic materials
distinguishes them from non-ferromagnetic materials and
strongly influences eddy current test parameters.

Ferromagnetic specimen inspection is discussed in Chapter 9


and unless specified the rest of the manual is restricted to
non-ferromagnetic materials.
2.3 FUNDAMENTAL PROPERTIES OF EDDY CURRENT FLOW

Eddy currents are closed loops of induced current circulating


in Tlanes perpendicular to the magnetic flux. They normally
travel parallel to the coil's winding and parallel to the
surface. Eddy current flow is limited to the area of the
inducing magnetic field.

Test frequency determines depth of penetration into the


specimen; as frequency is increased, penetration decreases and
the eddy current distribution becomes denser near the
specimen's surface. Test frequency also affects the
sensitivity to changes in material properties and defects.

Figure 2.5(a) shows the algebraic relationships and Figure


2.5(b) the oscilloscope display of eddy current and magnetic
field distribution with depth into the specimen. Both the
eddy currents and magnetic flux get weaker with depth because
of "skin effect". In addition to this attenuation, the eddy
currents lag in phase with depth. Eddy currents' phase lag
is the key parameter that makes eddy current testing a useful
NDT method. The parameters skin depth and phase lag ate
discussed in the next section.
I -11-

I
C01L

(a) (b)

Fig. 2.5: Eddy Current and Magnetic Flux Distribution


With Depth Into a Conductor
2.4 SKIN EFFECT

Eddy currents induced by a changing magnetic field concentrate


near the surface adjacent to the excitation coil. The depth
of penetration decreases with test frequency and is a function
of electrical conductivity and magnetic permeability of the
specimen. This phenomenon is known as the skin effect and is
analogous to the situation in terrestrial heat conduction where
daily surface temperature fluctuations are not appreciable below
the earth's surface. Skin effect arises as follows: the eddy
currents flowing in the test object at any depth produce
magnetic fields which oppose the primary field, thus reducing
net magnetic flux and causing a decrease in current flow as
depth increases. Alternatively, eddy currents near the surface
can be viewed as shielding the coil's magnetic field thereby
weakening the magnetic field at greater depths and reducing
induced currents.

The equation for flow of induced currents is

V2J = (2.11)
1ft
where J is current density, is conductivity, \i is magnetic
permeability and V is a differential operator
of second order.
-12-

For a semi-infinite (thick) conductor the solution to the


above equation is

Jx /Jo sin(u)t-B) (2.12a)

where J x /J 0 is the ratio of eddy current density J x at


depth x to the surface density Jo> and e - 2.718 is the base .
of natural logarithms. 3 is given by x/6 where 6 = (iTfya)" ' ,
the standard depth of penetration (see next section).

Equation 2.12(a) can be separated into two components:

j /j e~x/& (2.12b)
x o
which describes the exponential decrease in eddy current
density with depth,and
sin (wt-x/S) (2.12c)

denoting the increasing time or phase lag of the sinusoidal


signal with depth.
2.4.1 Standard Depth of Penetration

Figure 2.6 illustrates the change in eddy current density in


a semi-infinite conductor. Eddy current density decreases
exponentially with depth.
(o sin (wt)

0.2 0.4 0,6 0.B ' 1 .0

Fig. 2.6: Eddy Current and Magnetic Flux Distribution


With Depth in a Thick Plate
i -13-

I
The depth at which eddy current density has decreased to 1/e or
I 36.8% of the surface density is called the standard depth of
penetration. The word 'standard' denotes plane wave
electromagnetic field excitation within the test sam, i.e
(conditions which are rarely achieved in practice). The
standard depth of penetration is given by

8 = 50/p/fU , mm (2.13a)
r
2i/p/fyr , inches (2.13b)
or
where p is electrical resistivity in microhm-centimetres,
f is test frequency in hertz, and y r is relative magnetic
permeability (dimensionless)*.

The skin depth equation is strictly true only for infinitely


thick material and planar magnetic fields. Using the
standard depth, 6, calculated from the above equation
makes it a material/test parameter rather than a true
measure of penetration.
2.4.2 Depth of Penetration in Finite Thickness Samples

Sensitivity to defects depends on eddy current density at


defect location. Although eddy currents penetrate deeper
than one standard depth of penetration they decrease rapidly
with depth. At two standard depths of penetration (26), eddy
current density has decreased to (1/e)^ or 13.5% of the
surface density. At three depths (36) the eddy current density
is down to only 5% of the surface density. However, one should
keep in mind these values only apply to thick samples
(thickness, t >5<5) and planar magneticexcitat ion fields.
Planar field conditions require large diameter probes (diameter
>10t) in plate testing or long coils (length >5t) in tube
testing. Real test coils will rarely meet these requirements
since they would possess low defect sensitivity. For thin plate
or tube samples, current density drops off less than calculated
from equation 2.12(b) as shown in Figure 2.7. For solid
cylinders the overriding factor is a decrease to zero at the
centre resulting from geometry effects as shown in Fig. 2.7(c)
and discussed in Section 7.3.1.

One should also note, that the magnetic flux is attenuated


across the sample, but not completely. Although the currents
are restricted to flow within specimen boundaries, the
magnetic field extends into the air space beyond. This
allows the inspection of multi-layer components separated by
an air space.

*See Chapter 9 for a description of electrical and magnetic


properties. P r = \i^ , incremental permeability, at zero
biasing magnetization flux.
V -14-

-s- = 0 . 0 1

5= '

2.0

0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1.0

t
(a) PLATE (URGE COIL. O > I O t > (U) TUBE (LONG ENCIRCLING COIL./ >St)
EQUATION 2 12 ( b ) Jo = EDDY CURRENT DENSITY AT SURFACE
ACTUAL
Jx OR Jr = EDOY CURRENT DENSITY AT LOCATION
x OR r BELOW THE SURFACE

i^x^i i-^-^i i__L

J
o .4

0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1.0

JL TUBE AND ROD GEOMETRY


r
( r , = 0 FOR ROD)
(O ROD (ENCIRCLING CO IL. -C > S r 0 )

Fig. 2.7: Eddy Current Distribution With Depth in


Various Samples

The sensitivity to a subsurface defect depends on the eddy


current density at that depth, it is therefore important to
know the effective depth of penetration. The effective depth
of penetration is arbitrarily defined as the depth at which
eddy current density decreases to 5% of the surface density.
For large probes and thick samples, this depth is about three
standard depths of penetration. Unfortunately, for most
components and practical probe sizes, this depth will be less
than 35 , the eddy currents being attenuated more than
predicted by the skin depth equation. The effect of probe
diameter on the decrease in eddy current density or defect
sensitivity with depth is discussed in Section 5.3.1.

2.4.3 Standard Phase Lag


The signal produced by a flaw depends on both amplitude and
phase of the currents being obstructed. A small surface
defect and large internal defect can have a similar effect
on the magnitude of test coil impedance. However, because of
the increasing phase lag with depth, there will be a
characteristic difference in the test coil impedance vector.
This effect allows location and extent of a defect to be
determined.
I -15-

Phase lag is derived from equation 2.12(c) for infinitely


thick material. It represents a phase angle lag of x/
radians between the sinusoidal eddy currents, at the surface
and those below the surface. It is denoted by the symbol 6
(beta) and is given by:
= x/6 radians (2.14a)

= x/6 x 57 (2.14b)
or

where x is distance below the surface in the same units as

<f>o sin

Illlllll 57C 114


(3 (DEGREES)

1 .0

/3 = 4 x 57, DEGREES
o

Fig. 2.8: Eddy Current Phase Lag Variation With Depth


in Thick Samples
When x is equal to one standard depth of penetration,
phase lag is 57 or one radian. This means that the eddy
currents flowing below the surface, at one standard depth of
penetration, lag the surface currents by 57". At two
standard depths of penetration they lag the surface currents
by 114". This is illustrated in Figure 2.8.
i
-16-

2.4.A Phase Lag in Finite Thickness Samples


For thin samples, eddy current phase decreases slightly less
rapidly with depth than stated above. See Figure 2.9(a), (b)
and (c) for the plots of phase lag with depth for a plate,
tube, and cylinder, respectively. The phase lag illustrated
in these plots does not change significantly with coil
diameter or length. For thick samples and practical probe
sizes, equation 2.14 is sufficiently accurate.
0

20
_ =0.7
40

60 -
v N

= 2,0 80 0.8 5 S
100 i i
0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1.0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1.0
x
t

(a) FLUTE (b) TUBE

rD~i 1 L
PLATE GEOMETRY
1.0

.8 I .0 TUBE AND ROD ( r , = 0 ) GEOMETRY

(3 J 3 = PHASE (KITH DEPTH x , OR r,RELATIVE


r
"' TO SURFACE CURRENT

ACTUAL CURVES
(c) ROD CALCULATED, EQUATION 2 . 1 4 ( b )

Fig. 2.9; Eddy Current Phase Lag in Various Samples

Phase lag can be visualized as a shift in time of the


sinusoidally varying current flowing below the surface. This
was illustrated in Figure 2.5. Phase lag plays a key role in
the analysis of eddy current test signals. It will be used
throughout the manual to link theory and observations. It
should not be misinterpreted or confused with the phase angle
between voltage and current in AC theory. Both the voltage
and current (and magnetic field) have this phase shift or lag
with depth.
-17-

2.5 SUMMARY
Eddy current testing is based on inducing electrical currents
in the material being inspected and observing the interaction
between these currents and the material.

This process occurs as follows: When a periodically varying


magnetic field intersects an electrical conductor, eddy cur-
rents are induced according to Faraday's and Ohm's Laws. The
induced currents (known as eddy currents because of their
circulatory paths) generate their own magnetic field which
opposes the excitation field. The equilibrium field is re-
duced resulting in a change of coil impedance. By monitoring
coil impedance, the electrical, magnetic and geometric pro-
perties of the sample can be measured. Eddy currents are
closed loops of induced current circulating in planes perpen-
dicular to the magnetic flux. They normally travel parallel
to the coil's winding and parallel to the surface. Eddy cur-
rent flow is limited to the area of the inducing magnetic
field.

Depth of penetration into a material depends on its electri-


cal resistivity, magnetic permeability and on test frequency.
The basic equation of ET is the standard depth of penetration
given by

, mm (2.13a)
where p is electrical resistivity, microhm-centimetres;
f is test frequency, hertz;
and y r is relative magnetic permeability, dimensionless.

It states that in thick materials eddy-current density


decreases to 37% of the surface density at a depth of one
standard depth of penetration. In most eddy current tests,
especially with surface probes, the actual eddy current
density (at a depth equal to that calculated by equation
2.13a) is much less than 37%.

Eddy currents also lag in phase with depth into the material.
Phase lag depends on the same material properties that
govern depth of penetration and is given by
x
B = x/6 = , radians (2.14a)
5O/p/fUr
where x is distance below surface, mm.

Phase lag is the parameter that makes it possible to deter-


mine the depth of a defect. It also allows discrimination
between defect signals and false indications. It is the key
parameter in eddy current testing.
-18-

2.6 WORKED EXAMPLES

2.6.1 Standard Depth of Penetration and Phase Lag


PROBLEM: (a) Calculate the standard depth of penetration
In a thick 304 SS sample, at a test frequency of
100 kHz.
(b) Determine the eddy current phase lag at a
depth of 1.5 mm In 304 SS at 100 kHz.

SOLUTION: 304 SS properties: p =72 microhm -centimetres


and yr = 1

(a) from equation 2.13(a),

V
50^/ 72
100 x 10 3 x 1

= 50(7.2 x10 -4 ) = 1 . 3 mm

Therefore the standard depth of penetration is 1.3 mm.


(b) from equation 2.14(b),
6 = x/6 x 57

= ^ x 57 = 64 degrees

Therefore the phase lag is 64 degrees.


I -19-

I CHAPTER 3 - ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS AND PROBE IMPEDANCE


1
3.1 INTRODUCTION
Eddy current testing consists of monitoring the flow and
distribution of eddy currents in test material. This is
achieved indirectly by monitoring probe impedance during a
test. An understanding of impedance and associated
electrical quantities is therefore imperative for a
fundamental appreciation of eddy current behaviour.

The first two sections review the electrical quantities


important in eddy current testing. This is followed by
presentation of a model of a test coil coupled to test
material and its equivalent electrical circuit. The
equivalent circuit approach permits derivation of simplified
impedance diagrams to show the effect of test and material
parameters on probe impedance in graphical form. Once the
simple impedance diagram concepts of this chapter are
understood, the more complex diagrams of subsequent chapters
should present little difficulty.

3.2 IMPEDANCE EQUATIONS AND DEFINITIONS


All information about a sample is obtained through changes in
electrical characteristics of the coil/sample combination.
Therefore a basic understanding of electrical quantities is
important for eddy current inspection.
RESISTANCE: (symbol: R, units: ohm, 2)

Opposition to the flow of electrical current is


called resistance. It is constant for both
direct and alternating current. The electrical
component is called a resistor.

V - IR Ohm's Law (3.1)


where, V is voltage drop across resistor (volt), and
I is current through resistor (ampere)
INDUCTANCE: (symbol: L, units: henry, H)
The property of an electric circuit by virtue of
which a varying current induces an electromotive
force in that circuit (self) or in a
neighbouring circuit (mutual) is called
inductance. The electrical component is called
an inductor.
-20-
i
total flux linkages
I
current through coil (3.2a)

(3.2b)
I
(3.3) I
where, N is number of coil turns
<j)p
I
k,
is
is
is
magnetic flux (weber)
current (ampere)
a geometric factor .
I
A
I
is
is
coil's planar surface area (mm )
coil's axial length (mm) I
The self-inductance of a coil is proportional to coil
windings squared (N 2 )and planar surface area (A), and
inversely proportional to coil length (J.) .
I
INDUCTIVE REACTANCE: (symbol: X L , units: ohm, Q)

Opposition to changes in alternating current


I
flow through a coil is called inductive
reactance. I
or X, = 2irfL
(3.4a)

(3.4b) I
where, f is frequency of alternating current
(hertz), and to is angular frequency
(radians/second)
I
CAPACITIVE REACTANCE (symbol: X c , units: ohm, Q) I
Opposition to changes in alternating voltage
across a capacitor is called capacitive
reactance. I
Eddy current coil capacitive reactance is
normally negligible. However, capacitance can
be important when considering impedance of probe
I
cables (Sections 5.9 and 7.2.5).
X
c =
2iTf C ( 3 5)
I
where,
IMPEDANCE:
C
(symbol:
is capacitance (farad)
Z, units: ohm, ft)
I
The total opposition to alternating current flow
is called IMPEDANCE. For a coil,
f
V*2 (3.6)
f
-21-

X
T
and 6 = Arctan -^ (3.7)
where |z| is magnitude of Z, and 6 Is phase of Z
(described in next section).

3.3 SINUSOIDS, PHASORS AND ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS


In a direct current (DC) circuit, such as a battery and light
bulb, current and voltage are described completely by their
respective magnitudes, Figure 3.1(a). Analysis of
alternating current (AC) circuits is more complex. Since
voltage and current amplitude vary with time, the phase (or
time delay) relationship between them must also be taken into
account. A typical AC circuit, an inductor in series with a
resistor, is presented in Figure 3.1(b). This is a
simplified model of a probe assembly: the inductor is the
reactive part of the assembly (coil) while the resistor
models both coil wire and cable resistance. Figure 3.1(c)
shows voltage across the inductor (V^) leads the current
(I) by 90, while voltage across the resistor (V R ) is in
phase with current. Since the current is common to both
inductor and resistor, it is possible to use current as a
point of reference. Hence, we deduce the voltage across the
inductor leads the voltage across the resistor by 90.

If one measures the voltage drop, Vj>, across both the


inductor and resistor, we find V T leads current (or V R )
by an angle lese than 90", as shown in Figure 3.1(d).

To evaluate the total voltage V T , we add vectorially the


separate voltages V R and V^,

VT = VR + VL . (3.8)
= I(R + jwL) (3.9a)
where j ts a mathematical operator (rotates a vector
CCW by 90)

or VT = IK sin ( tot+O) + j IWL sin (wt+ir/2) (3.9b)


Representin6 voltage waveforms as in Figure 3.1(d) or
aquatLon 3.9(b) can be both time consuming and confusing. A
simpler voltage representation is available by means of
phasor diagrams. In phasor diagrams the voltage is
represented by its peak value (amplitude) and phase shift (6)
relative to the current. The two terms In equation 3.9(b)
both contain an amplitude and phase shift so they can be
-22- I
I
DIRECT CURRENT

V - 1R
I
(BATTERY) CURRENT AND VOLTAGE CAN BE
DESCRIBED BY MAGNITUDE ONLY
I
() DIRECT CURRENT CIRCUIT

ALTERNATING CURRENT
I
CURRENT MUST BE DESCRIBED BY
AMPLITUDE AND PHASE
I
I
I
( M ALTERNATING CURRENT CIRCUIT

<c) CRT DISPLAY OF VOLTAGE AND CURRFNT


I
I
I
'"-\\ A' I
(li) CRT DISPLAY OF V R , \, AND TOTAL VOLTAGE DROP. V T

I
V r (=IZ)

I
VOLTAC-E GRAPH DISPLAY OF PHASORS !O
SCSISTASCF. F.
IMPEDANCE 'jRAPH DISPLAY
I
Fig. 3.1; Representation of Direct Current and
I
Alternating Current Circuit Parameters
I
t
-23-

represented by phasors. The first term's amplitude is IR and


its phase shift is 0. The amplitude of the second term is IwL
and its phase shift is IT/2 or 90. Each phasor can be
represented by an arrow starting at the origin. The phasor's
amplitude is indicated by the length of the arrow OP and the
phase shift by the direction of the arrow, see Figure 3.1(e).
Phasors are displayed graphically with the resistive
component (V^), having a phase shift 9 = 0 , along the
horizontal axis. As 6 increases the phasor rotates
counter-clockwise. The reactive component ( V L ) , having a
phase shift 6 = 90, will be represented along the vertical
axis.

Current is common to both voltage components and since V=IZ,


the voltage graph of Figure 3.1(e) can be converted to an
impedance graph display, as in Figure 3.1(f). If this
approach is applied to eddy current testing, it is found that
any changes in resistance or inductive reactance will cause a
change in the position of the end of the vector (point P)
which represents the total impedance vector.

To obtain the reactive and resistive components from this


graph requires knowledge of trigonometry.

X = wL =
Reactive component: L IZI sin 9
(3.10)

Resistive component: R = |z| cos 6 (3.11)

Amplitude of impedance: |z| = -JR 2 + XLL22

Phase angle: 9 = Arctan XT/R (3.7)


Note the x axis component represents pure resistance (phase
shift = 0) while the y axis component represents pure
inductive reactance (phase shift = + 90). In these
calculations it is assumed coil capacitance is negligible.

3.4 MODEL OF PROBE IN PRESENCE OF TEST MATERIAL


The test probe contains a coil which when placed on or close
to a test sample can be considered as the primary winding of
a transformer. The field created by alternating current in
the coil induces eddy currents in the test sample which acts
as a single turn secondary winding,Ng 1, Figure 3.2(b)
Eddy currents align to produce a magnetic field which tends
to weaken the surrounding net magnetic flux <bp, according
to Lenz's Law.
-24- I
I
I
I
I
I
(a)
(b)
I
"P
-\AAAA-
I
.lp
I
SECONDARY
I
(c)
RECEIVE COIL
I
Fig. 3.2: Model of a Coil with 'T^st Object I
There are two methods of sensing changes In the secondary
current, I s . The "impedance method" of eddy current
testing consists of monitoring the voltage drop across the
I
primary coil (V = l p Z ) . The impedance Z is
altered by the load of the secondary of the transformer.
Therefore, changes in secondary resistance, R s , or
inductance L s can be measured as changes in V .
I
The "send-receive" method of eddy current testing uses two
coils. Eddy current flow in the sample is altered by defects
I
and these variations are detected by monitoring the voltage
across a secondary receive coil, see Figure 3.2(c). I
I
i
-25-

3.5 SIMPLIFIED IMPEDANCE DIAGRAMS


3.5.1 Derivation of Probe Impedance for Probe/Sample Combination

We now consider how changes in the test sample affect coil


impedance on the impedance graph display.

From the previous section the probe and test sample can be
modelled as a transformer with a multi-turn primary (coil)
and single turn secondary (sample), Figure 3.3(a)r. This
circuit can be simplified to an equivalent circuit where the
secondary circuit load is reflected as a resistive load in
parallel with the coil's inductive reactance, Figure 3.3(b).
This circuit is an approximate model of a real coil adjacent
to a conductor. It is assumed that all of the magnetic flux
from the primary coil links the test sample; the coupling is
perfect (100%). It is also assumed that there is no skin
depth attenuation or phase lag across the sample thickness.

MODEL OF A COIL AND TEST


SAMPLE

(l>) EQUIVALENT PARALLEL CIRCUIT

L. . I

( O EQUIVALENT SERIES CIRCUIT

Fig. 3.3 Equivalent Circuits

The equivalent circuit concept can be used to obtain


simplified impedance diagrams applicable to eddy current
testing. These diagrams serve as an introduction to the more
detailed diagrams which include variations caused by the skin
effect. The coil/sample circuit model can be transformed
into the simpler series circuit by the following mathematical
manipulations. The load resistance Rg can be transferred
from the secondary back to.the primary winding by multiplying
it by the turns ratio squared, ( N D / N S ) 2 , Figure 3.3(b).
J
-26-

The total impedance of this parallel circuit can be evaluated


and transformed into an equivalent series circuit as follows:

. - Z1Z2
P zx + z 2
I
where Zj I
and Z2 =

where Xo= toL0, c o i l inductive reactance in a i r .


I
Therefore Zn
jN2R X
? s
I
which transforms to

N R X

|
This can be viewed as a series combination, in the primary
circuit, of resistance R L and inductive reactance X_ or

Z p = RL + jXp (3.12b) |

The series circuit in Figure 3.3(c) is therefore fully-


equivalent to the parallel one of Figure 3.3(b). Rp can be t
considered as coil wire and cable resistance while K.
Zp=RL+jXp is the total impedance of the probe/sample
combination.
When the probe is far from the sample (probe in air), Rs is
very large and by substituting R s " > into equation 3.12a _
results in
R L =0, X p =X o and Z p -X o

I
I
I
I -27-

I The above results can be obtained by removing component


NpR s from Figure 3.3(b), since R s = <= implies an open
circuit.

One last transformation in the equation is required before


impedance graphs can be obtained. Equation 3.12(a) can be
simplified by setting

Co " x o G
2
where G l/NpRg Is equivalent circuit conductance.

Substitution in 3.12(a) yields

1+C 1 +C_

Normalizing with respect to X o , the coil's inductive


reactance when far removed from the sample (coil in air)
results in
Z
_ (3.13)
X ,2
1+C

By varying C Q ) in equation 3.13, from 0 to infinity the


impedance curve of Figure 3.4 is obtained. The impedance
locus is that of a semi-circle with center at Xp/X 0 =
and R L / X O 0; its radius is h. With the help of
equation 3.13 and Figure 3.A, impedance changes can be
related to changes in the sample characteristics.

C,

P (OPERATING POINT)

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 3.4: Impedance Graph Display


-28-
I
3.5.2 Correlation Between Coil Impedance and Sample Properties
I
The effect of test parameter variations on probe impedance
can be derived from equation 3.13. Each parameter is
substituted in turn into C o "X 0 /NpR s ; if an increase in I
the parameter results in an increase in C o , the operating
point (position on impedance diagram) moves DOWN the impedance
curve, if C o decreases, the operating point moves UP the
impedance curve. These correlations are useful in obtaining a gj
qualitative appreciation of the effect of the various test
parameters. It is also useful to know that probe/sample _
effects can be derived from the simple equivalent parallel
circuit where the sample is treated as a resistor in parallel '
with an inductor (coil). The complete effect can then be
obtained by adding the effect of 'phase lag', which will be H
treated in later chapters. I
Study of equation 3.13 reveals the following: m
1. An increase in R s results in a decrease in C Q .
Therefore an increase in resistance to eddy current flow
moves the operating point, P, UP the impedance curve I
(along the semi-circle), see Figure 3.5(a). 9
2. Rv
s
where, p is electrical resistivity, I is eddy current
flow distance and A is cross-sectional area to current
I
flow.

Therefore, p constant x Rs
I
An increase in electrical resistivity will move the W
operating point UP the impedance curve. The opposite is
true for an increase in electrical conductivity. See
Figure 3.5(a). |
For thin wall tubes or plates of thickness t, _
Rs = p/A pirV/tw

and for constant probe or tube diameter, D, and coil fl


width, w, |
Rs = constant/t m
An increase in tube wall (or plate thickness) will move
the operating point DOWN the impedance curve, see Figure
3.5(b).

I
-29-

4. Co = o)L0/NpRs = constant xw

for constant sample p r o p e r t i e s .

An Increase in test frequency will move the operating


point DOWN the impedance curve, see Figure 3.5(c).
5. L Q = constant x D'j probe inductance increases
proportional to probe or tube diameter squared.

Also R s = ptTD/tw constant x D, for constant


thickness, t, and coil width, w. Substituting L Q and
R s into C o - <joL0/NpRs results in Co=constant x D.
An increase in probe diameter or tube diameter will
move the operating point DOWN the impedance curve, see
Figure 3.5(d).

6. In the equivalent circuit derivation perfect coupling was


assumed for sake of simplification. However, it can be
shown that when mutual coupling between coil and sample
is decreased, the impedance point traces smaller
semi-circles as C o increases from 0 to infinity, see
Figure 3.5(e).

O.S R, / v _ 0

IRFftCE *
PROBE Tr-

DECREASING F I L L FACTOR
OR INCREASING LIFT-OFF

0 0.5 R. -v 01 0.5 R.

Fig. 3.5: Simplified Impedance Diagrams


-30-
i
3.6 SUMMARY
I
The impedance method of eddy current testing consists of
monitoring the voltage drop across a test coil. The
impedance has resistive and inductive components; the
I
impedance magnitude is calculated from the equation
l
/R22 +
|z| = */R + (wL) 2 , ohms

and the impedance phase is calculated from


(3.6)
I
= Arctan ^ , degrees (3.7) I
The voltage across the test coil is V = IZ where I is the
current through the coil and Z is the impedance. l
A sample's resistance to the flow of eddy currents is
reflected as a resistive load and is equivalent to a
resistance in parallel to the coil inductive reactance. This
load results in a resistive and inductive impedance change in
I
the test coil. Coil impedance can be displayed on normalized
impedance diagrams. These are two-dimensional plots with the
inductive reactance displayed on the vertical axis and
I
resistance on the horizontal axis as in Figure 3.6.

I
l
l
NORMALIZED
INDUCTANCE
\
OPERATING POINT
I
REACTANCE

A
\
I
-, t , f ,D
l
I
NORMALIZED RESISTANCE, I
Fig. 3.6: Impedance Graph Display l
l
I -31-

Wlth this display we can analyze the effect of sample and


test parameters on coll Impedance. The equivalent circuit
derivation of coil impedance is useful for a qualitative
understanding of the effect of various test parameters. It
is valid only for non-ferromagnetic material and for the
condition of no skin depth attenuation or phase lag across
the sample. (Ferromagnetic materials will be covered in
Section 9.4).

Note that all test parameters result in a semicircle display


as they increase or decrease. A resistance increase to the
eddy current flow or increase of sample's electrical
resistivity moves the operating point UP the impedance
diagram, i.e., increase in coil inductance and a change in
coil resistance.

An increase in a sample's electrical conductivity, thickness


or tube diameter, moves the operating point DOWN the
impedance curve. An increase in test frequency or probe
diameter also moves the operating point DOWN the impedance
curve. Although not shown in the above figure, a decrease in
fill-factor or increase in lift-off results in a decrease in
semicircle radius and a smaller change in coil impedance.

In some test requirements it is advantageous to operate at


specific locations on the impedance diagram. By choosing the
appropriate test parameters this is usually possible.
3.7 WORKED EXAMPLES
3.7.1 Probe Impedance in Air
PROBLEM: An eddy current test is carried out at a test
frequency of 50 kHz. Coil resistance is 15 ohms
while its inductance is 60 microhenries.
a) What is the inductive reactance of the test
coil?
b) What is the impedance of the test coil?
c) What is the angle, 9 , between the total
impedance vector and the resistance vector?

SOLUTION:
a) XL - 2 TTfL - (2 ir ) (50 x 10 3 ) (60 x 1 0 " 6 )
Xi * 18.8 ohms

b) zl \R^+ (2 irfL) 2 (18.8)2


- 2 4 . 1 ohms

e 2irfL 18.8
c) Arctan = Arctan
R 15 = Arctan 1.253

e - 51.4 degrees
-32-
I
I
3.7.2 Probe Impedance Adjacent to Sample
PROBLEM: An eddy current test is carried out on brass using
a surface probe at 50 kHz. Coil resistance in air
I
is 15 ohms and its inductance in air is 60
microhenries. Probe impedance with the probe on
the brass sample is measured as Z p = 2A.5 ohms
I
and 6 " 35 degrees.

Calculate:
and
a) X p , inductive reactance
b) R L , resistive load
I
SOLUTION: a) x = Z sin6
P P
I
b) R
= 24.5 sin 35 = 14.1 ohms
= Z cosG - R,,.
I
L p DL
= 24.5 cos 35 - 15.0 = 5.1 ohms I
3.7.3 Voltage - Current Relationship
PROBLEM: For the above probe impedance problem calculate
voltage drop across the probe if test current is
I
100 milliamperes.

SOLUTION; Probe impedance |Z| = 2 4.5 ohms


I
therefore,
Ohm's Law states that V - I |z|
V = (0.10) (24.5) 2.45 volts.
I
Voltage across the probe is 2.45 volts. I
I
I
I
I
I
I
-33-

I CHAPTER 4 - INSTRUMENTATION

4.1 INTRODUCTION
All the information about a test part is transmitted to the
test coil through the magnetic field surrounding it. The
impedance eddy current method monitors voltage drop across
the primary coil, V p - I p z p as coil impedance changes
so will the voltage across the coil if current remains rea-
sonably constant. The send-receive eddy current method moni-
tors voltage developed across a sensing coil (or Hall effect
detector) placed close to the excitation coil, see Figure 2.2.

In most inspections, probe impedance (or voltage) changes


only slightly as the probe passes a defect, typically less
than 1%. This small change is difficult to detect by measur-
ing absolute impedance or voltage. Special instruments have
been developed incorporating various methods of detecting and
amplifying small impedance changes.

The main functions of an eddy current instrument are illus-


trated in the block diagram of Figure 4.1. A sine wave

PlHASE D.C. METER


SENSITIVE
AC TO DC
CONVERTOR PHASE
AMPLIFIER
(PLUS ROTATION
FILTERING)
ICZ.-Z,)

X-Y
MONITOR

OSCILLATOR
TRANSFORMER

Fig. 4.1: Block Diagram of Eddy Current Instrument


-34-

oscillator generates sinusoidal current, at a specified fre-


quency, that passes through the test coils. Since the impe-
dance o two coils is never exactly equal, balancing is
required to eliminate the voltage difference between them.
Most eddy current instruments achieve this through an AC
bridge or by subtracting a voltage equal to the unbalance
voltage. In general they can tolerate an impedance mismatch
of 5%. Once balanced, the presence of a defect in the vici-
nity of one coil creates a small unbalance signal which is
then amplified.

Since the sinusoidal unbalance voltage signal is too diffi-


cult and inefficient to analyze, it is converted to a direct
current (DC) signal retaining the amplitude and phase charac-
teristics of the AC signal. This is normally achieved by
resolving the AC signal into quadrature components and then
rectifying them while retaining the approximate polarity. In
general purpose instruments, these signals are normally dis-
played on X-Y monitors. Simpler instruments, such as crack
detectors, however, have a meter to display only the change
in voltage amplitude. To decrease electrical instrument
noise, filtering is used at the signal output; however, this
decreases the frequency response and thereby restricts the
inspection speed.

The most troublesome parameter in eddy current testing is


lift-off (probe-to-specimen spacing). A small change in
lift-off creates a large output signal. The various methods
used to decrease this effect are discussed in the individual
sections on specific eddy current instruments.

4.2 BRIDGE CIRCUITS


Most eddy current instruments use an AC bridge to sense the
slight impedance changes between the coils or between a
single coil and reference impedance. In this section the
important characteristics of bridge balance are discussed.
4.2.1 Simple Bridge Circuit

A common bridge circuit is shown in general form in Figure


4.2, the arms being indicated as impedance of unspecified
sorts. The detector is represented by a voltmeter. Balance
is secured by adjustments of one or more of the bridge arms.
Balance is indicated by zero response of the detector, which
means that points A and C are at the same potential (have the
same instantaneous voltage). Current will flow through the
detector (voltmeter) If points A and C on the.- bridge arms are
at different voltage levels (there is a difference in voltage
drop from B to A and B to C ) . Current may flow in either
direction, depending on whether A or C is at higher
potential.
I -35-

F1g. 4.2: Common Bridge Circuit

If the bridge is made up of four Impedance arms, having


inductive reactance and resistive components, the voltage
from B to A must equal the voltage from B to C in both
amplitude and phase for the bridge to be balanced.

At balance,
i2z2
and
from which the following relationship is obtained:

(4.1)

Equation 4.1 states that the ratio of impedances of one pair


of adjacent arms must equal the ratio of impedances of the
other pair of adjacent arms for bridge balance.
If the bridge was made up of four resistance arms, bridge
balance would occur if the magnitude of the resistors satisfies
equation 4.1 (with Zj replaced with Rj, etc). However, if the
impedance components are eddy current probes consisting of both
inductive reactance and resistance, the magnitude and phase of
the impedance vectors must satisfy equation 4.1.
-36-
I
In practice, this implies the ratio of inductive reactance of
I
one pair of adjacent arms must equal the ratio of inductive
reactance of the other pair of adjacent arms; the same being
true for the resistive component of impedance.
I
Figure 4.2 and equation 4.1 can be used to illustrate the
characteristic 'figure 8' signal of a differential probe. If
I
Zi Z3
=-= > -if, point C is at a higher potential than point A.
c* p "A
I
This implies that when Zj^ increases (i.e., coil moving
across a defect) with Z2, Z3 & Z4 constant, the bridge
voltage unbalance increases,and the opposite happens when
Z3 increases. It is this bridge unbalance characteristic
I
that results in a plus-minus or 'figure 8' signal as the
differential probe moves across a localized defect. This
signal occurs independent of whether the two colls are wound
I
in opposition or in addition.
4.2.2 Typical Bridge Circuit in Eddy Current Instruments
Figure 4.3 illustrates a typical AC bridge used in eddy
I
current instruments. It is similar to the bridge in Figure
4.2 except for two additional arms. In this bridge the probe
coils are placed in parallel with variable resistors. The
I
balancing, or matching of voltage vector phase and amplitude,
is achieved by varying these resistors until a null is
achieved. Potentiometer Rj balances the reactive component
of the coils to make the phase angle of each coil circuit
I
equal. Potentiometer R^ balances the resultant voltage
with an equal voltage amplitude to null the instantaneous
voltage between Rj and R2
I
I
TEST COIL I
I
REFERENCE
COIL
I
I
Fig. 4.3; Typical Bridge Circuit Used in Eddy
Current Instruments I
I
7
I -37-

The Inductive voltage drop across each coil is equalized by


controlling the current passing through the coils. This is
done by varying potentiometer R.2 However, when the test
coil inductance differs significantly from reference coil
inductance, potentiometer R2 will have to be rotated to one
extremity. This means less current passes through one coil
making it less sensitive than the other coil. When this
occurs, a distorted (unsymmetrical) signal results if a
differential probe is used. In addition, the common cable
lead carries the unbalanced current, resulting in cable
noise, especially if the cable is not properly shielded and
grounded.

In the Figure 4.3 circuit, the output voltage for large


(>10%) off-null (off-balance) conditions is a nonlinear func-
tion of the change in coil impedance. However, for defect
detection, close to balance, this discrepancy is small.
4.2.3 Bridge Circuit in Crack Detectors

Portable eddy current instruments are often used to inspect


for surface defects. A typical crack detector circuit is
shown in Figure 4.4. An oscillator supplies an alternating
current to an AC Bridge, containing a single eddy current
probe coil as one arm of the bridge. A capacitor is connec-
ted in parallel with the coil so the L-C (inductance-
capacitance) circuit is near resonance. When the coil is
placed on a test sample, the bridge is unbalanced and the
pointer on the meter swings off-scale. The bridge can be
balanced by adjusting potentiometer Rj.

Fig. 4.4: Simplified Circuit of Crack Detector


-38-
I
I
4.3 RESONANCE CIRCUIT AND EQUATIONS

Probe-cable resonance must be considered when operating at


high test frequencies and/or using long probe cables. In
I
addition, crack detectors are purposely designed to operate
close to resonance. This section contains basic information
about resonant (tuned) circuits.
1
If a capacitor is connected in parallel with the test coil
(inductor), there is a unique frequency at which the
I
inductance-capacitance (L-C) circuit resonates. At this
frequency the circuit is said to be tuned. Under this
condition the output voltage, for a given measurement, is
maximum. A capacitor in parallel with the eddy current probe
1
converts the circuit of Figure 3.3(c) to that of Figure 4.5.
I
I
I
I
Fig. 4.5: Parallel LC Circuit
I
I
I
I

I
I
I
T
-39-

I
r At resonance,
2
R
K X
X
(4.2)
R 2 + ( X -X ) 2

P c
hence Z - > when R - 0

If resistance, R, is negligible compared to X p and X c


resonance occurs when

X = X o r wL = 1/toC (4.3a)
c
P

or a) = 1/v^LC (4.3b)

Since a) = 2irf, resonant frequency i s

f - i (4.4a)
2irAc

where L is coil inductance in henries and C is cable


capacitance in farads.
When resistance, R, is significant,

fr -!L-3- <***)

X
where Q = r-E- , quality factor.
R

The resonant frequency of a practical parallel resonant circuit


(R ^ 0) is the frequency at which the reactive power of the
inductance and capacitance are equal, or the total impedance
appears as pure resistance.
-40-
i

4.4 EDDY CURRENT INSTRUMENTS


I
General instrument functions were described using the block
diagram of Figure 4.1. In this section specific instruments
i
are covered. It answers the questions: What is the test
frequency? How is lift-off compensated for? How is
balancing achieved? What type of outputs do they have?
1
4.4.1 General Purpose Instrument (Impedance Method)
Figure 4.6 shows a typical eddy current instrument with
I
various control functions. FREQUENCY control sets the
desired test frequency. Frequency is selected by continuous
control or in discrete steps from about 1 kHz to 2 MHz. The
1
coils' impedances are normally balanced using an AC bridge
circuit. These bridges require two coils on adjacent bridge
arms such as arms No. 2 and No. 4 in Figure 4.3. Coil
impedance must be compatible with internal bridge impedance.
I
FERR1TE
CARBON STEEL
I
MONEL
I
S.S, TYPE 304
I
LEAD

BRASS
1
ALUMINIUM
COPPER STORAGE MONITOR
BALANCING I
OUTPUT
I
O I
I
Fig. 4.6: Typical Eddy Current Instrument With
Storage Monitor
Most bridges can tolerate a coil impedance between 10 and 200
I
ohms. The BALANCING controls, labelled X and R in some
instruments, are potentiometers R^ and R in Figure 4.3.
They match coil impedance to achieve a null when the probe is
I
in a defect free location on the test sample. Some
instruments have automatic balancing. I
1
-41-

The bridge output signal amplitude is controlled by the GAIN


control. In some instruments it is labelled as SENSITIVITY.
It controls the amplifier of the bridge output signal, shown
in Figure 4.1,and therefore does not affect current g Lng
through the probe. However, some instruments control
amplification by varying current through the coils. This is
undesirable because it could cause coil heating, and when
testing ferromagnetic materials the magnetization level
changes, resulting in signal distortion and non-repaatable
signals.

Following amplification of the bridge unbalance signal, the


signal is converted to direct current signals. Since the AC
signal has both amplitude and phase it is converted into
QUADRATURE X and Y components. The quadrature components of
the bridge output are generated' by sampling the sinusoidal
signal at two positions 90 apart (one-quarter wave) on the
waveform (or by using electronic multipliers). The DC
voltage values (amplitudes) constitute the X and Y quadrature
components. If phase is taken relative to the resistive
voltage component, then the X quadrature component is Rj^
(or Vg) and the Y component, X^ (or V^Jjin equation
3.12(b) or Figure 3.4. We now have an efficient way of
analyzing bridge unbalance signals.

Eddy current instruments do not have a phase reference. To


compensate for this, they have a PHASE SHIFT control (phase-
discrimination control). Normal impedance diagram orientation
with inductive reactance displayed vertically (+Y) and
resistive horizontally (+X) can be obtained experimentally.
This is achieved by adjusting the PHASE control until the
signal from a probe approaching a ferrite sample (high yand
very high P) displays a vertical (+Y) signal indicating an
increase in probe inductive reactance, see Section 5.5.6 for
examples. PHASE) control can also be used to minimize the
effect of extraneous signals such as lift-off. The X-Y
signal pattern is rotated until the lift-off signal is
horizontal (X). Thus any vertical (Y) channel signal
indicates defects, thickness variations, etc., with little
effect from probe wobble.

The output signal is normally filtered internally to decrease


instrument or system noise. This decreases frequency
response of the instrument and reduces the maximum inspection
speed; at faster inspection speeds signal distortion results.
Instruments can have a frequency response of 30 to 1000 Hz,
although 100 to 300 Hz is most common. At 300 Hz, the
maximum attainable tube inspection speed, to detect an abrupt
defect without signal distortion, is about 0.25 m/s.

Signals are commonly displayed on X-Y storage monitors wich


the X component on the horizontal axis and the Y component on
the vertical axis. The writing speed or frequency responsu
is greater than 1 kHz for a storage CRT.
-42-

Analysis of recorded signals is normally done visually. The


storage monitor display in Figure 4.6 shows the change in
coil impedance as a surface probe was placed en various test
samples illustrating the effects of resistivity, permeability
and lift-off.
In the "impedance" method of eddy current testing, the flow
of eddy currents is monitored by observing the effect of
their associated electromagnetic fields on the electrical
impedance of the inspection coil(s). This impedance includes
coil wire and cable resistance,
Z
" V (R L + R
Coil wire and cable resistance increase linearly with
temperature according to
R = R0(14oiAT)

where a is temperature coefficient of resistance


and AT is change in temperature.
If the probe and/or cable experience a change in temperature
during inspection, the output signal from the eddy current
instrument changes; this is normally referred to as temperature
drift.
4.4.2 Crack Detectors

A typical crack detector circuit was shown in Figure 4.4.


Crack detector probes contain only one coil, with a fixed
I
value capacitor in parallel with the coil to form a resonant m
circuit. At this condition the output voltage, for a given I
change in coil impedance, Is maximum. The coil's inductive
reactance, X^, must be close to the capacitive reactance, ^
X c . In most crack detectors this is in the range of 20 to M
100 ohms.
Crack detectors that operate at or close to resonance do not flj
have selectable test frequencies. Crack detectors for |
non-ferromagnetic, high electrical resistivity materials such
as Type 304 stainless steel typically operate between 1 and 3
MHz: those for low resistivity materials (aluminum alloys, I
brasses) operate at lower frequency, normally in the 10 to
100 kHz range. Some crack detectors for high resistivity
materials can also be used to inspect ferromagnetic I
materials, such as carbon steel, for surface defects. W
Normally a different probe is required; however, coil
impedance and test frequency change very little.
-43-

PROBE WITH LIFT-OFF=O.l mm

PROBE WITH LIFT-OFF =0 mm


METER

OUTPUT

SAMPLE WITH DEFECT

0.8 0 . 9 1 . 0 1 . 11 . 2

OSCILLATOR FREQUENCY, _L
f

Fig. A.7: Meter Output with Varying Oscillator Frequency


Crack detectors have a meter output and three basic controls:
balance, lift-off, and sensitivity. BALANCING control is
performed by adjusting the potentiometer on the adjacent
bridge arm, until bridge output is zero (or close to zero).
GAIN control (sensitivity) adjustment occurs at the bridge
output. The signal is then rectified and displayed on a
METER. Because the signal is filtered, in addition to the
mechanical inertia of the pointer, the frequency response of a
meter is very low (less than 10 Hz). LIFT-OFF CONTROL adjusts
the test frequency (by less than 25) to operate slightly off
resonance. In crack detectors the test frequency is chosen to
minimize the effect of probe wobble (lift-off), not to change
the skin depth or phase lag. The set-up to compensate for
probe wobble can be described with the help of Figure 4.7.
Frequency is adjusted by trial-and-error to obtain the same
output signal on the meter with the probe touching the sample
and at some specified lift-off (normally 0.1 mm). At this
frequency a deep surface defect will give a different reading
on the meter, ar- shown in Figure 4.7.

However,the meter output is a complex function of signal phase


and amplitude, and cannot be used to reliably measure depth of
real defects. Nor can they be used to distinguish between
real and false indications such as ferromagnetic inclusions.
-44-

4.4.3 Material Sorting and Conductivity Instruments


1
Material sorting,or conductivity instruments,have a
precalibrated meter output and have a unique way of
I
compensating for lift-off. Instruments for sorting of high
resistivity materials (Type 304 stainless steel) use a fixed,
high test frequency, normally between 200 and 500 kHz,and those
I
for low resistivity materials (aluminum alloys), a low test
frequency, between 20 and 100 kHz. They incorporate AC bridges
and normally have two coils (one as reference). Coil impedance
is in the range of 20 to 100 ohms. They either have bridge
I
balancing or a zeiroing control, to keep the signal on scale.
GAIN CONTROL or sensitivity adjustment occurs at the bridge
output. The signal is then rectified and displayed on a METER.
I
LIFT-OFF compensation is normally pre-set. Figure 4.8
explains how the probe-wobble (lift-off) signal is
eliminated. The bridge is purposely unbalanced (by pre-set
I
internal adjustment)* such that the unbalance point, P, is at
the centre of curvature of the lift-off impedance locus, AB.
The instrument meter reads a voltage proportional to the
I
distance, PB' or PA 1 , from the chosen unbalance point to the
impedance curves. The amplitude of this voltage remains
constant with probe wobble but changes significantly for wall
I
thickness (and resistivity) variations. In fact any signal
that traces an impedance locus different from lift-off will
change meter output. I
PRESET UNBALANCE
I
METER READING,
/
I
AIR

VN
WALL THICKNESS /
/

t = 0 .5 mm
1
INDUCTIVE
REACTANCE
JFAV.
OFF\

V^ y t * 1 ram I
IRESISTIVITY
I
0
RESISTANCE
I
Fig. 4.8: Unbalanced Bridge Method Showing Selection
of Operating Point
I
*This is achieved by subtracting a signal equal to OP from the
signal 0A.
I
I
I -45-

I
With this type of instrument only the magnitude of the
impedance change is measured. This instrument is effective
for conductivity and wall thickness measurement (and deep
defects) and is Simple to operate. It has only two basic
controls: balance and sensitivity.
4.5 SEND-RECEIVE EDDY CURRENT SYSTEMS

The "send-receive" eddy current method eliminates the


temperature drift sensed by general purpose instruments.
The flow of eddy currents is monitored by observing the
effect of their associated electromagnetic fields on the
voltage induced in an independent coil(s), r "gure 4.9. The
excitation or primary coil is driven with sinusoidal
current with constant peak-to-peak anp 1 .ude to obtain a
constant magnetomotive force,

N I sin cot (2.3)


P P

RECEIVE CO I LS

777777Z77,
TEST ARTICLE

'. 4.9: Send-Receive Circuit


-46-

This makes the excitation magnetic flux <j> independent of


primary coll resistance* The secondary or receive coil(s) is
connected to a high input impedance amplifier, hence the
induced voltage V s is not affected by receive coil resistance.

It COS wt (2.5)
P

The wire resistance of both the excitation and receive coils


can change, because of temperature, without affecting the
output signals; temperature drift has thus been eliminated.
Temperature independence makes this method useful for
measuring resistivity, wall thickness and spacing between
components. It has no significant advantage over the
impedance method for defect detection, except in the
through-wall transmission system discussed in Section 5.A.
4.5.1 Hall-Effect Detector

Most send-receive circuits consist of one excitation (or


driver) coil and one or more receive (or pick-up) coils.
However, the induced magnetic flux can be measured
with a Hall-effect detector rather than by monitoring the
induced voltage V s across a pick-up coil, see Figures 2.2b
and 2.2c.

I
I
Fig. 4.10: Hall Detector Circuit
I
I
1
I
I -47-

I Th e induced voltage in a pick-up coil is proportional to the

I time rate of change of the magnetic flux and therefore is


proportional to the test frequency,

r V
Pick-up
cc f

The Hall detector instead responds to the instantaneous


i magnitude of the magnetic flux, 4>o

This means the output voltage is independent of test


frequency, making it useful for low frequency inspection
(especially if the detector has to be small).

The Hall detector works as follows: When direct current is


passed through a Hall element, voltage (electric potential)
is produced, perpendicular to current flow, see Figure 4.10.
This voltage is proportional to the component of magnetic
flux perpendicular to the element and the element surface
area. This voltage is NOT from a change in element
resistance. Hall elements as small as 1 mm square are
commercially available.

4.5.2 Send-Receive Coils and Lift-Off Compensation


General purpose "send-receive" instruments are similar to
"impedance" instruments, as described in Section 4.4.1. The
main difference is the method of balancing because of the
different coil configuration. Most send-receive circuits
consist of one excitation coil and two receive coils
positioned symmetrically inside or outside the excitation
coil. They can either be differential where both coils sense
the test specimen or absolute where only one coil senses the
test specimen, as shown in Figure 4.9. Although coil
impedance is not important in send-receive instruments, the
induced voltage is a function of number of windings and test
frequency. Therefore their inductive reactance tend to be
similar to coils used in impedance instruments.

The sensing coils are wound in opposition so the excitation


field induces no net voltage in the receive coils when they
both sense the same material. In the presence of a defect,
the voltage changes as each coil moves over it. Figure 4.9
illustrates a surface reflection type probe where both
excitation and pick-up coils are on the same side of the test
sample. However, the excitation coil and pick-up coils can
be placed on opposite sides of the sample; this method is
referred to as through-wall transmission. The two methods
are compared in Section 5.4.

The output signals in most send-receive instruments are the


quadrature components of the secondary voltage. However, in
some special purpose instruments, one output signal is
proportional to amplitude and the other to phase of the
secondary voltage (relative to primary voltage). They
-48-

compensate for LIFT-OFF as follows: if coil-to-sample spacing


varies there is a large change in amplitude of the secondary
voltage but little change in phase. The phase shift between
the secondary and primary sinusoidal voltages is measured at
a voltage level V o slightly larger than zero, Figure 4.11.
At this voltage the sinusoidal voltages have the same phase
shift for zero lift-off as for maximum (perhaps 0.1 mm)
lift-off. The voltage discriminator in these phase-shift
measuring eddy current instruments trigger on the V o
voltage pointfand thereforetthe output signal for lift-off
between 0 and 0.1 mm is minimized. Measurement of
resistivity, wall thickness or deep defects can be made
without lift-off noise.

V(t)
PROBE SIGNAL. L I F T - OFF = 0

PROBE SIGNAL, L I FT - OFF = 0 . i mm

PROBE SIGNAL. DEFECT IN TEST ARTICLE

Fig. 4.11: Secondary Voltage Waveform for


Various Test Conditions

4.6 MULTIFREQOENCY EQUIPMENT


The eddy current NDT method is sensitive to many test
parameters, making it very versatile. However, one is
usually only interested in a single parameter such as
defects. Insignificant parameters such as changes in
electrical or magnetic properties, the presence of dents or
support plates in tube inspection and lift-off in surface
probe inspection can mask defect signals. The multifrequency
eddy current method was developed to eliminate the effect of
undesirable parameters.
I - 49 -

I The response to various anomalies changes with test


I frequency. This allows a means of discriminating against
unimportant changes. In multifrequency instruments, two or
more frequencies are used simultaneously (through the ame

I coil(s)). Coil current consists of two or more superimposed


frequencies, i.e., the coil(s) is excited with more than one
test frequency simultaneously. A three-frequency
multifrequency instrument acts the same way as three separate
I (single-frequency) eddy current instruments. Band-pass
filters separate the signals at each frequency. The
discrimination or elimination process is accomplished by
combining the output signals (DC signals) from individual
frequencies in a manner similar to simultaneous solution of
multiple equations. The elimination of extraneous signals is
achieved by matching the signal at two test frequencies and
subtracting. This process is continued for other unwanted
signals using other test frequencies until the final output
consists of only the defect signal. A discussion of
inspection results with multi-frequency is covered in Section
8.4.

Multifrequency instruments have the same controls and


functions as general purpose "impedance" type instruments,
described in Section 4.4.1, with the addition of mixing
modules. These modules are used to combine or subtract the
output signals from each combination of frequencies.

4.7 PULSED EDDY CURRENT EQUIPMENT

Faraday's Law states that eddy currents are induced in a


conductor by a varying magnetic field. This magnetic field
can be generated by passing sinusoidally varying current
through a coil. However, the current can be of other
waveforms such as a train of pulses. This method works only
on the send-receive principle where the flow of eddy currents
is monitored by observing the effect of their associated
electromagnetic fields on the induced voltage of the receive
coil(s). The voltage pulse is analyzed by observing its
amplitude with time, Figure 4.12.

To compensate for LIFT-OFF, the voltage is sampled at a


preset time, tj. When the waveform is triggered (measured)
at time t^, the voltage for zero lift-off and maximum
lift-off is the same, whereas the voltage waveform in the
presence of a defect is different. This method is quite
similar to the send-receive method described in Section
4.5.3. Therefore, by measuring the voltage at the
appropriate crossing point, lift-off effects can be
drastically decreased.
-50-

V(t)
OEFECT IN TEST ARTICLE

L I F T - 0 F F = 0 . 1 mm

Fig 4.12; Voltage Across a Pulsed Eddy Current Pick-Up


Coil as a Function of Time
The pulsed eddy current method offers another advantage. The
pulsed driving current produces an inherently wideband
frequency spectrum, permitting extraction of more selective
information than can be determined from the test specimen by
a single frequency method. Unfortunately, there is at
present no commercially available instrument that operates on
this principle.

4.8 SPECIAL TECHNIQUES

Two old methods used to measure large coil impedance


variations (greater than 5%) are the ELLIPSE and SLIT
methods. These methods analyse the AC signal directly on an
oscilloscope (without converting it to DC). They were mainly
used for material sorting. They are obsolete methods and a
detailed description is not warranted in this manual;
a full description is contained in Reference 5.
Another technique, MODULATION ANALYSIS, is also described in
Reference 5. It works on the same principle as "frequency
spectrum analysis" where a discrete frequency component of a
waveform can be analysed without interference from lower or
higher frequency noise. The inspection must be performed at
constant speed (In fact it only works if there is relative
motion between coil and sample). It is used in production-
line testing at speeds up to 2 m/s or higher. It is a very
specialized and complicated method and a detailed description
is not warranted in this manual.
-51-

4.9 RECORDING EQUIPMENT

During inspection, eddy current instruments and recording


equipment are typically connected as in Figure 4.13. The
eddy current signal is monitored on a storage CRT (cathode
ray tube) and recorded on X-Y and two-channel recorders.
Recording on an FM tape recorder for subsequent playback is
also common.
The important characteristic of these recording instruments
is FREQUENCY RESPONSE, or speed response, which limits
inspection speed. Section 4.4.1 indicated general eddy
current instruments have a frequency response of 100 to 300
Hz, limiting the inspection speed to 0.25 m/s. To be
compatible, recording instruments must have the same or
higher frequency response.

X-Y
STORAGE
MONITOR

o
EDDY CURRENT
INSTRUMENT
PROBE
X? ?Y

o Tl 6
X i v
2-CHANNEL FM TAPE
CHART RECORDER RECORDER

Fig. 4.13: Block Diagram of Eddy Current Monitoring


Equipment
-52-

X-Y Recorders
Signal analysis for signal discrimination and defect depth
estimation is normally done on X-Y signal patterns. The CRT
storage monitors have a frequency response of at least 1 kHz
and therefore do not restrict maximum inspection speed.
However, to obtain a permanent visual record of the signal,
it must be recorded on X-Y recorders. The fastest recorders
have a speed of response of 8 Hz for small signals. This
drastically limits inspection speed if used on-line. It is
therefore only used in the laboratory or to record playback
from tape recorders (this is done by recording at the highest
tape speed and playing back at the lowest, a factor of 8:1
for most tape recorder). One solution to on-line recording
of X-Y signals is to photograph the CRT display; however,
this is not practical for recording many signals.

Another solution is to use storage monitors with hard copy


(paper output) capability. These exist commercially but
require custom-made control units. They have a frequency
response of 1 kHz or higher.

Strip Chart Recorders


Recording X and Y signal components against time is useful in
locating defects and determining their length.
Common two channel ink-pen strip chart recorders have a speed
response of approximately 100 Hz. At maximum inspection
speed (0.2S m/s) the recorded signal will decrease in
amplitude and be slightly distorted.

Ink-ejection strip chart recorders have a speed response of


1 kHz. These recorders are not readily available in North
America and use a lot of paper.
Ultraviolet light recorders have a speed response higher than
1 kHz, but require special paper. These recorders are rarely
used in eddy current testing.

FM Tape Recorders
Tape recorders allow storage of eddy current signals (on
magnetic tape) for subsequent retrieval. They have a
frequency response proportional to recording speed. The
lowest recording speed is 24 mm/sec (15/16 ips)' giving a
frequency response of 300 Hz, and the fastest,, 380 mm/s (15
ips), will respond to 4.8 kHz.
I -53-

I 4.9.1 Frequency Response


Eddy current instruments and recording instrumentation have
limited frequency response. This means they require finite
time to respond to an input signal. ' Frequency respo.de,
sometimes called speed of response, is defined as the
frequency at which the output signal falls to 0.707 (-3 dB)
of the maximum input signal.

A test coil with an effective sensing width w passing over


a localized defect at a speed s will sense the point defect
for a duration of w/s seconds. This signal is approximately
equal to one wavelength with a frequency
f s/w hertz (4.6)

where s is speed in mm/s and w is width in mm.


For example, at a probe speed of 0.5 m/s and probe sensing
width of 2 mm, f = 250 hertz. If the instrumentation has a
frequency response of 250 hertz, the output signal is reduced
to 0.707 the input signal and the X-Y signal is distorted.
If the instrumentation frequency response is 500 hertz, the
output signal decreases only slightly. For this example, the
eddy current instrument should have a frequency response
equal to or greater than 500 hertz to obtain undistorted
signals. Or inversely, if the instrument frequency response
is only 250 hertz, the maximum inspection speed should be
reduced to 0.25 m/s

4.10 SUMMARY
Basic eddy current equipment consists of an alternating
current source (oscillator), voltmeter and probe. When the
probe is brought close to a conductor or moved past a
defect, the voltage across the coil changes and this is read
off the voltmeter. The oscillator sets the test frequency
and the probe governs coupling and sensitivity to defects.

For effective purchase or use of an eddy current instrument,


the following information is needed:
(a) type of instrument: impedance, send-receive, crack
detector, etc.
(b) type of outputs: single (meter) or quadrature (X-Y)
component outputs
(c) test frequency
(d) type of lift-off compensation.
Most eddy current instruments use an AC bridge for balancing
but use various methods for lift-off compensation.
Send-receive instrument should be used for accurate absolute
measurements in the presence of temperature fluctuations.
Multifrequency instruments can be used to simplify defect
signals in the presence of extraneous signals.
1
-54-

Eddy current Instruments and recording equipment have a


finite frequency response limiting the inspection speed to
normally 0.25 m/s.
i
Most Instruments
ohms.
tolerate probe impedance between 10 and 200
I
Crack detectors operate close to coil-cable
resonant test frequency is given by
resonance. The
!
1/2TT./LC

where L is coil inductance in henries and C is cable


(4.Aa)
I
capacitance in farads. The lift-off signal is minimized by
adjusting the frequency (slightly off resonance) until zero and
a small probe lift-off gives zero output signal. High test
frequencies are normally used to inspect for shallow defects in
I
high resistivity or ferromagnetic materials. Low test
frequencies are used for detecting deep defects or inspecting
good conductors. Crack detectors have a meter output, and
i
4.11
cannot be used to reliably measure defect depth.

WORKED EXAMPLES
I
4.11.1 Impedance at Resonance
PROBLEM: In a parallel L-C circuit, inductance is 80 x 10
i
henries, capacitance is 5 x 10~ 9 farads and
resistance is negligible. Calculate (a) resonant
frequency, (b) inductive reactance and (c) capacitive
I
reactance.
i
SOLUTION:

(a) f (4.4a) t
27T x10" )(5 x10~ ) 6 9
252 kHz I
(b) Inductive Reactance, X L = 2irfL (3.4b) t
2TT x 252 x 10 3 x 80 x 10~ 6 126.5 ohms
I
(c) Capacitive Reactance,
1
= l/2irfC (3.5)
I
x
c - 2TT x 252 x 1 0 3 x 5 x 10" 9
= 126.5 ohms

n
-55-

CHAPTER 5 - TESTING WITH SURFACE PROBES

5.1 INTRODUCTION
The goal of this chapter Is to present a practical approach
to eddy current inspections using surface probes. The
emphasis is on test variables such as test frequency, probe
size and type; these are normally the only variables an
inspector has at his control. These selections are usually
determined by skin depth considerations, defect size, and
probe size.

Impedance graphs and the Characteristic Parameter are


included because they are tools that an inspector should not
be without. A thorough understanding of impedance graphs is
essential to manipulate test conditions to minimize and/or to
cope with undesirable test variables. Erroneous conclusions
are often made by persons who do not have a working knowledge
of impedance graphs.
The scope of the approach to an eddy current inspection can
be very broad; a successful outcome usually depends on the
proper approach. When planning an inspection the first
questions that must be answered before proceeding are; For
what type of defects is the inspection being conducted? If
the expected defects are cracks, how big are they? Do they
have directional properties? What is the minimum acceptable
defect size? Does the material have ferromagnetic
properties? Other variables will, of course, influence the
test but these questions must be answered in order to select
an appropriate probe size and test frequency.

5.2 SURFACE PROBES


The eddy current probe plays two important roles: it induces
eddy currents, and senses the distortion of their flow caused
by defects. Sensitivity to defects and other variables in
the test article can be affected by probe design. This is
achieved by controlling direction of eddy current flow, by
controlling the coil's magnetic field, and by selecting an
appropriate coil size. The effects of undesirable material
variations and/or variations in probe to test article
coupling (lift-off) can often be decreased by using multiple
coils.

A surface probe, as the name implies, is used for inspecting


surfaces, flat or contoured, for defects or material
properties. Defects can be either surface or subsurface.
(Surface defects are those that break through, or originate
at the surface - typically cracks, voids, or inclusions: a
subsurface defect does not break the surface and is therefore
not visible).
-56-

5.2.1 Probe Types

Simple Probes
Surface probe designs can vary from a simple, single coil
attached to lead wires, to complex arrangements, as shown in
Figure 5.1. Most eddy current instruments require two

tis

FERR1TC CORE
/, TEST COIt

ZIRCWIUU TEST
1HIIUE

TEST COU ' 21OCONIUM LU

Fig. 5.1; Surface Probes

similar coils to satisfy their AC bridge network as discussed


in Chapter 4. If only one coil senses the test material,
it is an .absolute probe; if both coils sense the test
material, it is a differential probe. The simple probe in
Figure 5.1(a) is therefore undesirable because a second coil
or electrical device with similar impedance will be necessary
for bridge nulling. An exception would be in the use of
Crack Detectors; these instruments operate with an internal
balancing circuit (see Section 4.2.3).

A better arrangement is shown in the pencil probe of Figure


5.1(b). This probe incorporates a second coil (reference)
mounted far enough from the test article that it will not be
influenced by it. The two coils have the same impedance when
the probe is balanced in air, but will change relative to
each other when the test coil is coupled to a sample.
However, the degree of coupling is usually small because of
the inherent small size of pencil probes so the coils still
match well enough for most instruments over a reasonable
frequency range. The probe shown has ferrite cores; ferrite
is used for three reasons:
I -57-

1* higher Inductance from a given coil size,


2. small surface area in contact with the material,
3. the coil can be further from the contact surface
providing greater wear protection.
A further improvement in reference coil arrangement is shown
in Figure 5.1(c); it is attached to a disc whose properties
are similar to the test material. With this arrangement the
relative impedance of the two coils will not be affected by
test frequency.

The probe shown in Figure 5.1(d) is a spring loaded type


designed to minimize lift-off. The shoe provides a broad
area for squarely positioning the probe on a flat surface,
while the spring maintains probe contact at constant force.

Figure 5.1(e) shows a probe used for inspecting large


diameter tubing. The probe can be rotated and/or moved
axially. The design shown incorporates a replaceable wear
cap.

Other Probe Designs


A multi-coil array as shown in Figure 5.2(a) is useful for
inspecting tubes. This type of probe could detect defects

-SURFACE COILS
TEST TUBE / .TORROIDAL REFERENCE COIL
- PROBE CENTERING DISCS

TEST COILS

(a)
DIFFERENTIAL SURFACE PROBE
MULTI SURFACE -COIL PROBE

. FERROMAGNETIC
CORE

'COILS
COMPENSATING
COIL

/y/ " ^ M A G N E T I C FIELD SENSING COIL


(b) (d)
GAP PROBE LIFT -OFF COMPENSATING PROBE

Fig. 5.2: Special Surface Probes


-58-

that would not be detected by a conventional circumferential


coil (discussed in Section 7.5).
A gap probe, Figure 5.2(b), uses ferromagnetic material to
shape the magnetic field. The field is confined by the core
causing eddy currents to flow in circular loops
perpendicular to the flux lines.
A differential configuration is shown in Figure 5.2(c); the
two coils are placed side-by-side. Both coils have high
sensitivity to localized variations but tend to cancel out
the effect of lift-off, gradual material variations, or
ambient temperature changes.

A lift-off compensating probe is shown in Figure 5.2(d); this


probe combines the signals from two coils to effectively
rotate the defect signal relative to the lift-off signal,
therefore, even on "rough" surfaces, shallow defects can be
detected.

SEND TEST ARTICLE


COIL
(DRIVER COIL)
RECEIVER COIL

PIGK-UP COILS
(WOUND OPPOSING
EACH OTHER)

ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS
(c)

5.3: Send-Receive Probes


i -59-

Send-Receive Probes
Figure 5.3(a) shows a through-transmission probe arrangement.
Current flowing in the SEND coil produces a magnetic field,
part of which is transmitted through the test article. The
field is detected by the RECEIVER coil, inducing a voltage.
There will be no signal variation from the receiver coil when
a defect-free test article is moved anywhere between the two
coils as long as the coil-to-coil spacing remains constant.

Figure 5.3(b) shows a reflection-type probe arrangement. The


probe consists of a large send coil which generates a field,
and two small receiver coils wound in opposite directions,
as mirror images to one another, as shown in Figure 5.3(c).
With the probe in air, net output is zero. However, if one
end is placed near a test article, the field differs at the
two ends, and a net voltage appears across the two coils.
5.2.2 Directional Properties

Eddy currents are closed loops of induced current circulating


in a plane perpendicular to the direction of magnetic flux.
Their normal direction of travel is parallel to the coil
winding and parallel to the surface. See Figure 5.4.
Pancake type surface probes are therefore insensitive to poor
bonding of coatings and flaws parallel to the surface of a
sample.

SURFACE CRACK EDDV CURRENTS


LAMINAR CRACK

r TEST PLATE

EDDY CURRENT FLOWS PARALLEL TO COIL WINDINGS


POOR SENSITIVITY TO LAMINATIONS

ZERO SENSITIVITY L0 SENSITIVITY MAXIMUM SENSITIVITY


AT CENTRE OF COIL PARALLEL TO WINDINGS ACROSS WINDINGS

Fig. 5.4: Directional Properties of a Surface Probe


-60-

When testing for flaws such as cracks, it is essential that


the eddy current flow be at a large angle (preferably
perpendicular) to the crack to obtain maximum response. If
eddy current flow is parallel to the defect there will be
little or no disruption of currents and hence no coil
impedance change.
When testing for flaws parallel to the surface, such as
laminations, a horseshoe shaped probe (a gap probe with a
very large gap) has reasonable sensitivity.
5.2.2.1 Sensitivity at Centre of a Coil
Probe impedance changes with coil diameter, as will be
discussed further in Section 5.5. A simplified derivation of
this diameter effect is derived below, for the case of no
skin depth attenuation or phase lag and long coils. From
Faraday's Law,

V - - N^
s dt

The magnetic flux density, B, is approximately constant


across a coil's diameter, hence
4) = BA

- (B)(irr2)

where r is radial distance from centre of probe;

therefore,
Vs = - mr2 dtg
r V a r
2
s

-i r
LJ u
Ac
-61-

Resistance to flow of current is proportional to flow path


length and resistivity and inversely proportional to cross-
sectional area, A c ,
. 27rrp
unit depth x unit width

or

Since I = V /Z by Ohm's Law


s s

and V?7
Z = JR + (toL)
s
= R ,
s
at low test frequency

and no skin depth effect,


therefore, V 2
s r

or 1 cc r
s

s 1 nee cc - I from Lenz's Law, it follows


. s
that * cc r

Therefore, eddy current flow and its associated magnetic flux


are proportional to radial distance from the centre of a
coil. Hence no current flows in the centre (r = 0) and there
is no sensitivity to defects at the centre of a coil.
5.2.3 Probe Inductance
The factor governing coupling and induced voltage in test
material is the magnetic flux surrounding the coil. The
total magnetic flux ( <f>
_ ) is proportional to probe
inductance (L) and current (I), i.e., <!> <* LI. In most
eddy current instruments excitation current is kept reasonably
constant (in the milliaiapere range) but probe inductance could
vary by a factor of one thousand. The most important aspect of
inductance is that probe 'impedance, which is a function of
inductance, must be compatible with the instrument and signal
cable,
2 2 ^L
R +X and 0 = Arctan
Li R

where X^ " 2 TfL. when f is in hertz, L in henries and R is


coil wire resistance in ohms.
- 62 -

TABLE 5.1 SURFACE COIL IMPEDANCE

D
o = 1. 6 mm = 3.2 mm D = 6.3 mm D = 12.7mm
0 0
D = 25.4 .mm
0

L = 0. 27 yH L 0.54 pH L = 1.1 UH L = 2.1 pH L = 4.3 pH


R = 0. 2 a R = 0.1J! R = 0.05 fi R = O.02C2 R - o.oin
N = 21
40 AWG 34 AWG 28 AWG 22 AWG 16 AWG
(0 .080 mm) (0 .16 mm) (0 .32 mm) (0 .64 mm) (1 . 3 mm)
L = 1. 5 L = 3.0 L = 6.1 L = 12 L = 24
R = 1 R = 0.5 R = 0.3 R = 0.1 R = 0.06
N = 50
43 AWG 37 AWG 31 AWG 25 AWG 19 AWG
(0 .056 mm) (0 .11 mm) (0 .23 mm) (0 .45 mm) (0 .91 mm)

L * 5.8 L = 12 L = 23 L = 47 L = 94
R = 4 R = 2 R = 1 R = 0.5 R = 0.3
N = 98
46 AWG 40 AWG 34 AWG 28 AWG 22 AWG
(0 .040 mm) (0 .080 mm) (0 .16 mm) (0 .32 mm) (0 .64 mm)

L = 11 L = 23 L = 45 L = 90 L = 180
R = 9 R = 3 R = 2 R = 0.9 R = 0.5
N = 136
48 AWG 41 AWG 36 AWG 29 AWG 23 AWG
(0 .031 mm) (0 .071 mm) (0 .13 mm) (0 .29 mm) (0 .57 mm)

L = 24 L = 49 L = 97 L = 195 L = 390
R = 17 R = 8 R = 4 R = 2 R = 1
N = 200
49 AWG 43 AWG 37 AWG 31 AWG 25 AWG
(0 .028 mm) (0 .056 mm) (.0 .11 mm) (0 .23 mm) (0 .45 mm)

->. p
-E = D, = 0 . 2 D r

t
-63-

The self-inductance of a long coil (solenoid) can be


calculated from the equation

L Q = 4TT x 10~ 1 0 y r N 2 A/ (5.1a)

LQ is self-inductance in henries
where Vr is relative permeability of core (normally =1.0)
A is coil's planar surface area, millimetres^
I is coil length, millimetres.

This formula is a good approximation for coils of


length/diameter ratio greater than 10.
For a short coil, end effects will reduce inductance because
of lower flux at coil ends. The N^ term remains since N
enters in N <f>p (total number of flux linkages) and again since
4>p itself is proportional to N. The following approximate
equation can be used to calculate inductance of short coils:

Lo r= 4iry r N 2 (n ^-
K.
- 2) 1 0 ~ 1 0 (5.1b)

D
where -r is mean coil radius = o +;D i , mm

and K - 0.112 (2 + D + D. ) , mm

Most eddy current instruments will operate over a fairly


broad range of probe impedance (and probe inductance) without
substantial reduction in signal-to-noise ratio and signal
amplitude. An instrument input impedance of 100 ohms is
typical, although any impedance between 20 a ad 200 ohms is
generally acceptable, unless test frequency is too close to
probe-cable resonance; see Section 5.9. Exact probe
inductance calculations are therefore not essential. To
facilitate impedance calculations, Table 5.1 has been
prepared. This table lists coil inductance and resistance
(with probe away from test material) for various outside
diameters and number of coil turns, keeping both the inside
diameter and coil length equal to 0.2 times the outside
diameter. Wire diameter is chosen to fill available coil
cross-sectional space. Using this table and the knowledge
that inductance,

L N2D2 (5.2)

where N is number of turns of wire and D is average coil


diameter, one can usually make a reasonable estimate of wire
size and number of turns required to achieve a particular
inductance.
NORMALIZED DEFECT SIGNAL AMPLITUDE NORMALIZED DEFECT SfGNAL AMPLITUDE

v x /v x = 0
o c3
o o c C3 o
"3 ro co > <
OJ a> O ro cn a> o
00 o
<3
cn
II
cn o
cn
C3
II
m f

UllU
/
. ^ V
C3 o r
a S
/
n>
r>
cn cn f
/ /
to ro
as
ro / /

/
CO
f
ID CO II -n
o " *
/
ro cn i I
ro 3 y
3
cn
To CJI

1/
cn
w m /
n> CO
a /
ea ro o

STANCE (mir
r

OEFECT
/
3 a /
CO
/ a m CO

o cn a m \v cn C
r
m m ~t vsN i
/

""
y \ \\^
O

V \
t C3
I
]
12.5 mm

ro
/ cn t
/
\
cn cn /
1
cn
o o
\ ] en /
3
( {_

.ONG
a
CW
cn cn

u
CJ)
DEPTH_^^
ro
3 3
o
CO .
I o>
LIF T - O F F - *-
-65-

I 5.3 PARAMETERS AFFECTING SENSITIVITY TO DEFECTS


During eddy current inspection one must be aware of the
limitations of the technique and should take maximum
( advantage of its potential. Although sensitivity to deep
surface defects is excellent, sensitivity to deep sub-surface
defects is very poor. A subsurface defect only 5 mm from the

f surface is considered very deep for eddy current test


purposes.
There are two factors that contribute to this limitation.
I The skin depth effect causes eddy currents to attenuate with
depth depending on the material properties and test
frequency. This effect is normally minor and can be
( controlled (within limits) by reducing test frequency. The
predominant effect (rarely mentioned) is the decrease in
magnetic flux, and consequently eddy current density, with

I depth because of the small diameter of most practical probes.


One can increase penetration by increasing probe diameter,
but as a consequence sensitivity to short defects decreases.

I One could optimize sensitivity if defect length is known;


however,the maximum depth of detectability is still very
small. Unlike ultrasonic inspection where a defect is
detected many transducer diameters away, eddy current testing

I is limited to detecting defects at a depth of less than one


probe diameter. It is this effect of probe diameter that
limits most volumetric eddy current inspection to materials

I less than 5 mm thick. In following subsections, limitations


There is a decrease in sensitivity to defects as a coil is
are discussed
moved away fromand
theempirical
surface. examples
This is presented.
caused by the decrease

I 5.3.1 Sensitivity
in magnetic flux density with distanceDepth
with Lift-Off and Defect resulting from finite
probe diameter. Figure 5.5(a) shows the extent of this
decrease for three probes of different diameters.. Note,for
example, the sensitivity of the smallest probe (5 mm
F diameter) decreases a factor of four when moved about 1 mm
from the surface.

i This loss of sensitivity with distance will also apply to


defects in a solid, in addition there will be a decrease due
to skin depth attenuation.

I Figure 5.5(b) illustrates the decrease in signal amplitude


with subsurface defect depth without skin depth attenuation
(solid lines) and with skin depth attenuation (dashed
lines). With large skin depths (low test frequency) the
decrease in subsurface defect sensitivity with depth is
similar to the decrease in sensitivity with distance for
surface defects shown in Figure 5.5(a). This implies
magnetic flux density decreases with distance from the coil
in air as in a solid (without skin depth attenuation).
-66-
1
I
At a typical test frequency, where one skin depth equals
defect depth (6= 2 mm for the dashed lines in Figure 5.5(b)), I
a further decrease, by about a factor of three, in signal
amplitude at x = 2 mm is attributed to skin depth
attenuation. This occurs since at one skin depth eddy I
current density is 37% of surface eddy current density. -*

The decrease in defect sensitivity with depth in a finite 1


thickness sample, without skin depth attenuation, is {
approximately the same as in an infinitely thick sample.
However, with skin depth attenuation, defect sensitivity ...
decreases less rapidly than the dashed lines in Figure !
5.5(b); the curve would fall somewhere in between the dashed
and solid lines.
']
In general, the decrease in defect sensitivity with depth is ..;
determined by probe size rather than skin depth attenuation.
Since most defects are not much longer than sample thickness,
one cannot use probes with coil diameter much larger than [
sample thickness (because of loss in sensitivity with defect
length, Figure 5.6). Eddy current testing with surface probe
is therefore normally limited to thicknesses less than 5 mm.

5.3.2 Effect of Defect Length

Eddy current flow is limited to the area of the inducing


magnetic field which is a function of coil geometry; defect
sensitivity is proportional to coil diameter in a surface
probe, and to gap width in a horseshoe probe. As a general
rule, probe diameter should be equal to or less than the
expected defect length. The effect of probe diameter and
defect length is shown in Figure 5.6. For example, when
defect length equals probe diameter, the signal amplitude
ranges from one-third to two-thirds of the amplitude for an
infinitely long crack depending on probe diameter and test :
f requency.

The sensing area of a probe is the area under the coil plus
an extended area due to the magnetic field spread. The
effective diameter, D e jf.of a probe is approximately equal to
the coil diameter, D c > plus four skin depths,

At high frequencies the 46 term will be small and the


sensing diameter can be assumed to be about equal to coil
diameter, but at low test frequencies the magnetic field
spread can be significant. In this case it is common to use
ferrite cups to contain the field. This results in a
concentrated field without affecting depth of penetration.
-67-

1008

7 mm PROBE DIAMETER

1.3 mm PROBE OlAHETfcR

s
1 MHz = 0.36 mm
8
l0OKHz = 1.16 n

10 12 14 22

EDM NOTCH LENGTH, mm

Fig. 5.6: Effect of Defect Length

5.4 COMPARISON BETWEEN SURFACE AND THROUGH-WALL INSPECTION


The major limitation of conventional eddy current methods is
lack of penetration. Figure 5.7(a) illustrates typical
results obtained with the conventional eddy current method,
where the probe is placed on one side only of a 4 mm thick,
100 mm diameter tube. Test frequency is 30 kHz and skin
depth, 61.7 mm. Note the drastic decrease In signal
amplitude and the significant phase rotation of the defect
signals with depth. A defect has to be long and very deep
before it can be picked up from the opposite side of the tube
wall. This decrease in sensitivity with depth is due to both
finite probe size and skin depth attenuation.

Figure 5.7(b) illustrates typical results obtained with


through-wall transmission equipment where excitation and
receive coils were located directly opposite each other
across the wall. The probes were conventional absolute
pancake type surface probes. The output signal appears as a
'figure 8' because the signal was filtered (differentiated).
-68-
i
1
252 FROM SURFACE
I
I
C D , SURFACE 25S 507 75?
I
GROOVE

*HHI TUBE OF DEFECT SIGNAL, Y COMPONENT


l.D. SURFACE
GROOVE

I
l
50% 75%
1 VOLT [

l.D. GROOVE
1
HOLES. 0 . 8mm D 1 A , 1 3 mln LONG

X-Y DISPLAY OF DEFECT SIGNALS


0.8
13
DEEP
mm LONG
I
(a) Conventional Surface Probe Results
I
I
I
I
I
O-D.
x25l
~V
50% 75%,
' i,D. 1
GROOVE HOLES GROOVE
0.8 mm DEEP 0.8 mm DIA 0.8 mm DEEP
I
AMPLITUDE OF DEFECT SIGNALS, Y COMPONENT X-Y DISPLAY OF DEFECT SIGNALS
(FILTERED) I
(b) Through-Wall Transmission Results I
Fig. 5.7: Comparing Conventional and Through-Wall
Transmission Techniques I
I
I -69-

I
The Y-amplitude presentation in Figure 5.7(b) shows defect
signal amplitude does not change significantly with defect
depth. It is important to note the phase of the signals does
not change with defect depth when using the send-receive
raethod as shown in the X-Y display.

5.5 IMPEDANCE GRAPH DISPLAY

Impedance graphs are an indispensable aid in eddy current


inspections. An understanding of these graphs provides an
operator a clear picture of all variables and the ability for
appropriate action to minimize effects of adverse conditions.

All information about the test article is transmitted to the


test coil via the magnetic field. The variation of the
magnetic flux, <!>, with time induces a voltage, V, across the
test coil which, by Faraday's Law, depends on the magnitude
and rate of change of <j> and on the number of turns in the
coil, N

V = - N | (2.4)
= - Ldl/dt since <j> = LI/N.

The variation in amplitude and phase of this voltage vector


indicates the condition of the test article. The voltage
vector can be resolved into the two quadratures, in-phase
V Q , and out-of-phase VgQ . Since V = IZ and I is kept
approximately constant, the voltage graph can be replaced
with the impedance graph, as discussed in Section 3.3.

Impedance depends not only on test article variables but also


on probe parameters. The probe parameters are coil diameter,
number of turns, length, and core material. The instrument
parameter that affects impedance is test frequency (since
f d<fi/dt ) . To overcome the necessity of plotting impedance
graphs for each test coil, probe impedance is normalized. The
graphs can then be used to study the effect of test article
variations without dependence on probe details.

The inductive reactance component is normalized by dividing


by the product of frequency and coil inductance (GJL O ) when
the probe is away from test material (in air).
X
L U)L
X 0)L
o o
where w is angular frequency, radians/second
L is inductance, henries
Lo is inductance of coil in air, henries
XL is reactance, ohms
Xo is reactance of coil in air, ohms
-70-

r
I x l IX
1
r
ixi ixi
AIR
TEST ARTICLE
INDUCTIVE
REACTANCE

luL AIR

TEST ARTICLE

TEST ARTICLE

RESISTANCE

(a) BEFORE NORMALIZATION (b) AFTER NORMALIZATION

Fig. 5.1 Coll Impedance Display

The resistive component Is normalized by subtracting coil wire


and cable resistance, R and then dividing by U)L0
DC
R
" DC
(A)L

where R^ is coll resistive load due to eddy currents in


test mate ria1.

The normalized components X ^ / X Q and R L / X 0 are diraen-


sionless and independent of both coil inductance and coil
wire and cable resistance. Changes in the normalized
parameters indicate variations in eddy current flow ir>to the
test article only. Figure 5.8 displays probe impedance
before and after normalization. Changes in the test article
are reflected by a change in impedance point P. Figures 5.9
to 5.11 are normalized coil impedance graphs, produced by
computer simulation, showing the change in the point P for
the following sample variables: electrical resistivity,
permeability, and thickness. Figures 5.12 and 5.13 show
effects of test frequency and coil diameter.
NORMALIZED REACTANCE NORMALIZED REACTANCE

I I

3
1
c111
\=

NORMALIZED REACTANCE NORMALIZED RE0CI/1NCE


o o c
-72-

5.5.1 Effect of Resistivity


Figure 5.9 shows the effect of electrical resistivity for a
range of conducting materials. The impedance point moves up
the curve with increasing resistivity. Impedance points for
step changes in coil to test article spacing between zero and
infinity are also included. Note that a small increase in
spacing (lift-off) produces a large impedance change. This
results from decreased magnetic flux coupling to the sample.
There would be a relatively larger effect on the impedance of
a small coil than on the impedance of a large coil for the
same change in spacing.

5.5.2 Effect of Permeability


Note in Figure 5.10 there is a large impedance increase for a
small increase in permeability. Small permeability changes
can obscure other test variables.
5.5.3 Effect of Thickness
Figure 5.11 traces the impedance point path as sample
thickness decreases from infinity to zero. As test material
becomes thinner, causing increased resistance to eddy
currents, the impedance point moves up the curve. This was
also the case in the resistivity graph, Figure 5.9. This
implies that any condition causing an increase in resistance
to flow of eddy currents, cracks, thinning, alloying
elements, temperature, etc., will basically move the
impedance point up the curve towards the probe impedance in
air, X L /X O 1.

The impedance curve in Figure 5.11, from the knee down, makes
a reversal swirl as the probe moves across a conductor with
increasing thickness. This is due to skin depth and phase
lag effects which overshadow all basic movements of the
impedance point.
5.5.A Effect of Frequency

Figure 5.12 shows the effect of test frequency (an instrument


parameter). As frequency is increased, eddy currents are
sampling a thinner layer close to the surface (skin depth
effect, discussed in Chapter 2 ) . When frequency is decreased
eddy currents penetrate deeper into the material and the
impedance point moves up the curve.
Towards the upper end of the curve, impedance is mainly
composed of resistance which has a great dependency on
temperature, both in the test article and in coil wire
resistance (although the latter does not appear on this
normalized curve). It is therefore desirable, when possible,
to operate near the knee of the curve say, 20 to 200 kHz in
this example.
-73-

5.5.5 Effect of P r o b e Diameter

F i g u r e 5.13 s h o w s e f f e c t of c o i l d i a m e t e r (a p r o b e
parameter). N o t e i n c r e a s i n g c o i l d i a m e t e r m o v e s the
i m p e d a n c e p o i n t d o w n the c u r v e , s i m i l a r to i n c r e a s i n g
frequency. W h e n test c o n d i t i o n s d i c t a t e u s e of a low
f r e q u e n c y , t h e o p e r a t i n g p o i n t c a n o f t e n be b r o u g h t d o w n the
c u r v e to t h e d e s i r e d k n e e r e g i o n by i n c r e a s i n g c o i l d i a m e t e r
( p r o v i d e d test c o n d i t i o n s w i l l p e r m i t a l a r g e p r o b e ) .

LIFT-OFF

.^3

0, = 0.2 Do
I = 0.2 Do

Frequency = 5 0 kHz

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

^ 5.13; Impedance Graph-Surface Coil Diameter Effect

5.5.6 Comparison of E x p e r i m e n t a l and C o m p u t e r Impedance Diagrams

T h e i m p e d a n c e g r a p h s s h o w n in F i g u r e 5.9 to 5 . 1 2 , p r o d u c e d by
c o m p u t e r s i m u l a t i o n , can be v e r i f i e d u s i n g a s t a n d a r d eddy
current instrument. F i g u r e 5.14 s h o w s p r o b e r e s p o n s e to
various test v a r i a b l e s : resistivity, permeability, lift-off,
and test f r e q u e n c y . The s o l i d l i n e s a r e o u t p u t v o l t a g e
t r a c e s g e n e r a t e d by v a r y i n g p r o b e - t o - t e s t a r t i c l e s p a c i n g
( l i f t - o f f ) f r o m i n f i n i t y to c o n t a c t w i t h v a r i o u s c o n d u c t i n g
s a m p l e s , w h i l e k e e p i n g test f r e q u e n c y c o n s t a n t at 10 k H z , and
a g a i n at 100 k H z . T h e d a s h e d l i n e s , c o n n e c t i n g the p o i n t s
w h e n the p r o b e w a s in c o n t a c t w i t h the s a m p l e s , w e r e s k e t c h e d
i n to s h o w t h e s i m i l a r i t y b e t w e e n t h e s e g r a p h s and the
n o r m a l i z e d i m p e d a n c e g r a p h s in t h e p r e c e d i n g s e c t i o n . Note
that t h e p o i n t s m o v e d o w n t h e c u r v e w i t h i n c r e a s i n g
c o n d u c t i v i t y and a l s o w i t h i n c r e a s e d f r e q u e n c y . For example,
t h e o p e r a t i n g p o i n t f o r 304 SS m o v e d from the top of the
i m p e d a n c e d i a g r a m at 10 kHz to n e a r the k n e e at 1 0 0 k H z .
-74-

LIFT-OFF
L FERRITE
T
SAMPLE (p.fi)
IRON
MONEL 400

MONEL 400

INDUCTIVE INDUCTIVE
REACTANCE REACTANCE
304 SS

f =100 kHz
f =10 KHz

RESISTANCE RESISTANCE

(a)

Fig 5.14; Probe Response to Various Test Parameters at


Two Frequencies
5.6 CHARACTERISTIC PARAMETER
In Section 5.5 impedance graphs were normalized to make test
article parameters independent of probe properties such as
inductance. Another method, proposed by W.E. Deeds, C.V.
Dodd and co-workers, combines frequency and probe diameter
with test material parameters, to form one characteristic
parameter(2).

r (5.4)

where r is mean coil radius


a) is angular frequency
Ur is relative magnetic permeability (=1.0 for
nonmagnetic materials)
and a is electrical conductivity.
-75-

Using this characteristic parameter, one impedance graph can


be plotted to describe four test parameters with P c as the
only variable.

z El

5 riwtj.o- = CONSTANT -
L I F T - O F F CONSTANT
r = COIL MEAN RADIUS
t, = LIFT-OFF/r
ANGULAR FREQUENCY
MAGNETIC
PERMEABILITY
ELECTRICAL -
CONDUCTIVITY

0 05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35


NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 5.15: Impedance Diagram with Characteristic


Parameter, Pr
Consider Figure 5.15. The solid lines are generated by
starting with P c equal to zero and increasing the value to
iniinity (while holding coil to test article spacing
constant). The dashed lines are generated by starting with
the coil infinitely far away from the test article and
bringing the coil closer until it contacts (while holding
P c constant). Note the similarity between these curves and
the impedance graphs shown in preceding sections (the horizontal
scale is twice the vertical scale).
The usefulness of the characteristic parameter is that it
provides a modelling parameter. Conditions of similarity are
met when
= Z.
v u) ii o T L o u o
1 1 rl 1 2 2 r2 2
or
r U
l i y rl P 2 = r
2

Test 1 Test 2
-76-
i
I
I
I
I
STORAGE
OSCILLOSCOPE
DISPLAY
I
I
NOMENCLATURE
V - VOLTAGE
I
- CURRENT
- ANGULAR FREQUENCY
(a. = 2irf)
I
- PROBE INDUCTANCE
IN AIR
- PROBE WIRE I CABLE
I
DC RESISTANCE
R3 -SFECIMEN AC RESISTANCE I
SUBSCRIPTS:
T - TOTAL
L - INDUCTANCE
I
R - RESISTANCE
P - PRIMARY
S - SECONDARY I
I
Fig. 5.16: Coil Impedance/Voltage Display
I
I
I
I -77-

I
f Test conditions with the same P c value have the same
operating point on the normalized impedance graph. If, for
example, test article resistivity measurements were required
(for checking consistency of alloying elements for intance),
I the best accuracy would be achieved by operating near the
knee of the curve where there is good discrimination against
lift-off. (Equation 5.4 does not include skin depth effects,
which may be an overriding consideration).
To operate at the knee position in Figure 5.15 a probe
diameter and frequency combination are selected such that
P c 1 0 . The value of P c in equation 5.4 is given in SI
units; we can use the following version using more familiar
units.
Pc = 7.9 x 10" 4 7 2 f/p (5.5)

where r is the mean radius, mm


f is frequency, Hz
p is electrical resistivity, microhm-centimetre
( y r = 1 for nonferromagnetic material)
It should be noted that the characteristic parameter, P c ,
must be used in conjunction with Figure 5.15 (obtained
analytically); it cannot be used to obtain Figure 5.15.

5.7 DEFINITION OF "PHASE" TERMINOLOGY


This section attempts to clarify the concept of phase. the
voltage/impedance graphs, presented in Section 5.5, are used
as a link between impedance diagrams and the display on an
eddy current instrument monitor.
In eddy current work the most confusing and often incorrectly
used term is PHASE. Part of the problem arises because of
the existence of two eddy current methods, coil impedance and
send-receive. In this section an attempt is made to clarify
some of the multiple uses of the word.

Figure 5.16 shows the impedance of a probe touching test


material. The two axes represent the quadrature components,
V L and VJJ, of voltage across a coil. In the absence of
real numbers, the axes can also be considered as the
normalized parameters wL/wL and R L / w L 0 .

The following list summarizes uses of the term PHASE. One or


more of these are often used without adequate explanation
because the term will have a colloquial meaning.
-78-
i
1. Q]_t 0j - Arctan g , angle
a g l e between total voltage
voltae vctor
vector
I
and resistive voltage vector.
I

NOTE: An impedance bridge measures amplitude of


the impedance vector Z and the angle 9 , where the
resistance includes K-c . This vector could therefore
I
not be shown on Figure 5.16. (It is shown on the B
impedance diagram in Figure 5.8(a)). f
2. AS.., Change in phase of normalized resultant voltage vector
as probe is moved over a defect.
3. 0_, Phase between secondary voltage (induced voltage) and I
primary voltage (excitation voltage). Send-receive B
instruments measure secondary voltage.
4. AQ2, Change in phase of secondary voltage as probe is moved
over a defect. This is approximately the phase
measured by some send-receive eddy current instruments
without X-Y outputs.
I
5. 0 , Phase between the voltage signals obtained from m
J
LIFT-OFF and a crack or void. It is related to PHASE
LAG 0 , explained below. (03 is about double the phase
lag.)
03 is used to estimate defect depth during ET.
6. |3f PHASE LAG (not shown in Figure 5.16) of eddy currents flj
below the surface relative to those at the surface. It
was derived in the eddy current density equation Chapter
2, i.e.g = x/6for semi-infinite plates, where x is the
distance below the surface and 0 is in radians. fl
7. 0,, Many eddy current instruments have a PHASE knob by which
the entire impedance voltage plane display can be
rotated. It is common practice to rotate the display
to make LIFT-OFF horizontal. (On an eddy current
instrument display, absolute orientation of inductive
I
and resistive axes may be unknown). m
8. Q , Phase between inductive voltage and current in a I
circuit; 0 = 90
5.8 SELECTION OF TEST FREQUENCY

5.8.1 Inspecting for Defects


I
The first question that must be answered before proceeding
with an inspection is: For what type of defects is the |
inspection being done? If the defects are cracks: What is
the smallest defect that must be detected? Are the cracks A
surface or subsurface? Are they likely to be laminar cracks I
or normal to the test surface? A single general inspection M,
procedure to verify the absence of any and all types of defects
often has little merit. Inspections often require two or more
test frequencies and/or different probes to accurately identify I
defects. *
Test frequency can be selected without knowledge of the
characteristic parameter, Pc, or the operating point on the
impedance graph. It should be chosen for good discrimination
between defects and other variables. The most troublesome
I
variable is LIFT-OFF variations, so separation of defects from
lift-off is the foremost consideration.
f
;

I -79-

I Only the skin depth equation has to be used,

mm (2.13a)

A t e s t frequency where <5 is about equal to the expected


defect depth provides good phase separation between l i f t - o f f
and defect s i g n a l s . Figure 5.17 i l l u s t r a t e s the display on

COIL
LIFT-OFF SURFACE CRACK
SUBSURFACE
VOID ( A )
SUBSURFACE
VOID ( B )
INCREASING

SUBSURFACE
VOID ( A )
SUBSURFACE X -Y DEFECT SIGNALS
SURFACE VOID ( B )
CRACK

(a) (b)

Fig. 5.17: Typical Response Signals for Two Types of Defects

an eddy current instrument monitor as a probe passes over


surface and subsurface defects. Test frequency is such that
<5 equals depth of deepest defect, and instrument controls
are selected such that a signal from lift-off is horizontal.
Note the difference in signal amplitude and angle relative to
lift-off of subsurface voids A and B. Thin results from skin
depth attenuation and phase lag.
If, during inspection, a signal indicating a defect is
observed, test frequency may be altered to verify whether the
signal represents a real defect or the effect of another
variable. This discussion is expanded in the next chapter
under Signal Analysis.
-80-

5.8.2 Measuring Resistivity


Resistivity can be measured at small localized areas or by
sampling a larger volume of a test article to determine bulk
resistivity. The volume of material interrogated depends on
probe size and test frequency. For bulk measurements a large
probe would be used and a low frequency to maximize
penetration. The skin depth equation is again used to
estimate depth of penetration at the test frequency.

Electrical resistivity measurement is a comparative


technique; reference samples of known resistivity must be
used for calibration. Variables that affect the accuracy of
resistivity measurement are lift-off, temperature, and
changes in the flow of eddy currents in test articles not
related to electrical resistivity (such as cracks, thickness
and surface geometry).

For best discrimination between resistivity and other


variables the operating point on an impedance graph should be
considered. Figure 5.12 illustrated the effect of test
frequency on normalized probe impedance. At the top of the
graph the angle, between lift-off variations and the
resistivity curve, is small. Moving down the curve the
angle, separating the two variables, increases towards the
knee with no appreciable change beyond that. However,small
lift-off variations, at the bottom of the curve, produce a
large impedance change. The best operating point is
somewhere between the two extremes, near the knee of the
impedance curve.

REFERENCE SAMPLE
" IMPEDANCE POINT ~
s.

1 1
iff IMPE ANCE POINT
'S r F UNKNOWN
INCREAS ING
FF
.
REFERENCE"
SAMPLE
\
MONITOR 1 [
DISPLAY
<D) EDDY CURRENT INSTRUMENT MONITOR DISPLAY

RESISTANCE

(a) IMPEDANCE GRAPH RESISTIVITY EFFECT

Fig. 5.18: Resistivity Measurement and the Impedance Graph


-81-

I
I Figure 5.18 shows the method of manipulating test conditions
to best deal with lift-off. Figure 5.18(a) shows the
resistivity impedance curve with a frequency and probe
selected to operate near the knee. Figure 5.18(b) i: an
enlarged section of the curve rotated so lift-off signals are
approximately horizontal. This is the view on an eddy
current instrument monitor.

i Next consider temperature effects. First, test article


resistivity will be a function of temperature so test sample
* and standards should be at uniform temperature. A greater
' potential error is in probe wire resistance, RJJC The coil
wire resistance Is a part of the probe impedance circuit, so
variations in temperature which affect coil resistance will
appear as an impedance change. For greatest accuracy, the
inductive reactance, X L , should be large compared to coil
wire resistance; XL/IL > 50 is desirable.

Obviously this condition is not easily satisfied at low test


frequencies where inductive reactance is low. One solution
is to use a large diameter probe cupped in ferrite. The
large diameter and ferrite cup will both increase X L / R ^

Another solution is to use a Send-Receive instrument. Such


an instrument has a high input impedance, sensing only
voltage changes in the receive coil. Coil wire resistance is
insignificantly small in comparison to instrument impedance
and therefore has no effect.

Consider next the effect of changes in eddy current path not


related to electrical resistivity. If the test is supposed
to be a measurement of electrical resistivity, thickness
should not influence the signal. The skin depth equation must
again be used. Test article thickness should be equal to or
greater than three skin depths, t > 3 ,

t >3s

f >12|00 p , H2

where t is thickness, p is resistivity in microhm-


centimetres, and f is frequency.

Other sources of signals are edge effects and surface


geometry. When the test article's edge is within the probe's
magnetic field, an increase in resistance to eddy current
flow will be detected. Edge effect can be reduced by probe
design, such as a ferrite cupped probe, or by increasing test
frequency.
I
-82-

If the surface of the test article is contoured, the magnetic


I
flux coupling will differ from that of a flat surface and a
correction factcr nay be required. I
Cracks or voids are usually less of a problem. The signal
from a crack will be very localized whereas resistivity
variations are usually more gradual. The best procedure to
I
determine if a localized signal is from a change in
resistivity is to rescan with a smaller probe at higher and
lower frequency (at least three times and one third the test
frequency). The angle between the signals from lift-off and
I
resistivity should vary only slightly whereas the angle
between lift-oft and defect signals will increase with
t requency.
I
An example of resistivity variations in a zirconium alloy,
due to a change in oxygen concentration, is shown in
I
Figure 5.19.

TEST ARTICLE WIDTH I


I
I
I
X,VOLTS
I
(a) X-Y DISPLAY OF COIL IMPEDANCE FROM
I
CHANGE IN ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY

I
I
I
(b) MODIFIED C-SCAN DISPLAYING Y-COMPONENT
OF COIL IMPEDANCE VECTOR FROM A Ci.ANGE
IN ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY
I
Fig. 5.19; Eddy Current Signals from a Change in E l e c t r i c a .1
Resistivity on the Surface of a Zr-Nb Test A r t i c l e . Test
Frequency = 300 kHz.
I -83-

5.8.3 Measuring Thickness


Test frequency should be chosen so 'lift-off and 'change in
thickness1 signals are separated by a 90 phase angle, see
Figure 5.20(a). This frequency can be calculated using the
skin depth equation. A reasonable approximation for thin
sections is when obtained when

t/6 = 0.8 (5.6)

which converts to
1.6 p/t: kHz (5.7a)
where o"
is skin depth, mm
t
is test article thickness, mm
P
is electrical resistivity, microhm-centimetres
fis frequency, kHz
y
is relative permeability (Pr = 1 for non-
ferromagnetic material).
In testing thick material, this equation can similarly be
used to choose a test frequency to separate lift-ofi and
subsurface defect signals by 90. Equation 5.7(a) can be
used by replacing t with x,
f 1.6 p/x 2 kHz (5.7)

where x is depth of subsurface defect.

INCREASING
RESISTIVITY
[HICKNESS

DFft<

LIFT-OFF
1

.BALANC POINT
FOF NOI INAL 1 KK ASING
SS-I
- T H I CKNI Ti IICK NESS

(b) EDDV CURRENT INSTRUMENT MONITOR DISPLAY

RESISTANCE

(a) IMPEDANCE GRAPH - RESISTIVITY AND THICKNESS EFFECT

Fig. 5.20: Thickness Measurement and the Impedance Graph


-84-

Conventional thickness measurement is to display the lift-off


signal horizontal (along the X-axis) and use the vertical
signal (along the Y axis) to measure thickness, see Figure
5.20(b). It the signal on the instrument monitor is set to
move from right to left as the probe is moved away from the
test article, a vertical movement up or down denotes
decreasing and increasing thickness respectively.

5.8.4 Measuring Thickness of a Non-Conducting Layer on a Conductor

An insulating layer will not conduct eddy currents so


measurement ot its thickness is essentially a lift-off
measurement (provided it is non-ferromagnetic), i.e. the
distance between the coil and test article. At high test
trequency a small variation in lift-off produces a large
change in probe impedance as shown in the impedance graph of
Figure 5.9.

To minimize the signal from variations in the base material,


the test should therefore be done at the highest practical
frequency. The maximum frequency would be limited by
probe-to-instrument impedance matching, cable resonance
problems and cable noise.

The measurement is a comparative technique so standard


reference thicknesses must be used for calibration.

5.8.5 Measuring Thickness of a Conducting Layer on a Conductor

Measurement ot the thickness of a conducting layer on a


conducting test article can be done provided there is a
ditterence in electrical resistivity (Ap) between the two.
The measurement is essentially the same as the thickness
measurement described in Section 5.8.3. There is one
important difference; variables in the base plate, in addition
to the variables in the layer, will affect the signal.

Figure 5.21(a) shows a computer simulation of a layer


thickness measurement. The model shows the magnitude and
direction ot variables when attempting to measure a layer
(clad X),-nominally 0.75 mm thick, with resistivity p = 3 pfi.cm
on a base (clad 2) with resistivity 5 liSl.cm. The plot
is part of a normalized impedance graph. In addition to
material property variables, the parameter of space (gap)
between the layers is shown as well as the effect of an
increase in test coil temperature. At 10 kHz, t/6 is 0.8
and, as predicted, the angle separating signals from
-85-

EDDY CURRENT IHPEDANCE PLANE

1 i 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
.B94

.892

=s 5 20-.
-

RESISTIVITY
_8OI
.BSD
~3

.8BB %
.775\
10-
-
I i 1 L> <
,11 > < r J! TO
-7S0 B2S

/ ^ i t RESISTIVITY 3
AIR GAP n TO 37
20. cm }
.EBB
50..^J K Y ~ -20
" A I R GP
,c (

) RESIST IVITY 3 = 5 r 2D-. p i l - cm

.BB4 -
-*% * -RES STIVITY 3
2C .4C- -

.8B2

1 .BBQ
; / 0
RANGE OF VARIABLES SHDIN I N CDHPUTDR PLOTS

FREQUENCY = ID kHz
.8TB _

,876
i 1 1 1 1 i i i ~
.052D .0540 .0560 .0590 .0600 .0620 .0640 .B560 .OEBO -O7D0

NDRMLIZED RESISTANCE. - ^ L

Fig. 5.21; Computer Simulation of a Multi-Layer Sample

lift-off and layer (clad 1) thickness is about 9 0 .


Unfortunately, so are the signals from test coil temperature,
gap, and resistivity of the base (clad 3 ) . Some of these
parameters can be discriminated against at higher and/or
lower test frequencies.

5.9 PROBE-CABLE RESONANCE

Probe-cable resonance must be considered when operating at


high test frequencies and/or using long signal cables, e.g.,
frequencies greater than 100 kHz and cables longer than 30 m.
Host general purpose eddy current instruments cannot operate
at or close to resonance.

frobe-cable resonance can be modelled as shown in Figure A . 5 .


Tn simple t e r m s , resonance occurs when inductive reactance of
the coil equals capacitive reactance of the cable, i.e. when

(i)L = l/u)C

is
wnere is angular frequency, in radians/second. L coil
inductance in henries and C is total cable
capacitance in farads.
-86-

Transfortning this equation and substituting w=2irf shows


resonance occurs when frequency is

f r = 1/21T /Tc (4.6a)


This approach is sufficiently accurate for most practical
applications. A more rigorous approach to resonance is
presented in Section 4.3.

Resonance is apparent when a probe and cable combination,


which balances at a low frequency, will not balance as
frequency is increased. At the approach of resonance, the
balance lines on the eddy current storage conitor will not
converge to a null. The two balancing (X and R) controls
will produce nearly parallel lines rather than the normal
perpendicular traces, on the storage monitor. A number of
steps can be taken to avoid resonance:

1. Operate at a test frequency below resonance, such that


f is less than 0.8fr<
2. Select a probe with lower inductance. (Since f r
is proportional to 1/ /L, inductance must be decreased by
a factor of four to double resonant frequency)
3. Reduce cable length or use a cable with lower capacitance
per unit length (such as multi-coax cables). This will
raise the resonance frequency since capacitance is
proportional to cable length and f r is proportional
to 1/ /cT
4. Operate at a test frequency above resonance, such that
f is greater than 1.2fr.
However, above resonance the sensitivity of all eddy
current instruments decreases rapidly with increasing
frequency because capacitive reactance (X c =l/ (OC)
decreases, and current short circuits across the cable,
rather than passing through the coil.

5.10 SUMMARY

Test probes induce eddy currents and also sense the


distortion of their flow caused by defects. Surface probes
contain a coil mounted with its axis perpendicular to the
test specimen. Because it induces eddy currents to flow in a
circular path it can be used to sense all defects independent
of orientation, as long as they have a component
perpendicular to the surface. It cannot be used to detect
laminar defects.

For good sensitivity to short defects, a small probe should


be used; probe diameter should be approximately equal or less
than the expected defect length. Sensitivity to short
subsurface defects decreases drastically with depth; even a
'thin' 5 mm sample is considered very thick for eddy current
testing.
-87-

The analysis of eddy current signals is the most important


ana unfortunately the most difficult task in a successful
inspection. A thorough understanding of impedance graphs is
essential to manipulate test conditions to minimize
undesirable test variables. The characteristic parameter for
surface probes is used to locate the operating point on the
impedance diagram. It is given by

P = 7.9 x 10~4 r 2 f/p (5.5)


c

where r is mean radius, mm; f is test frequency, Hz; and


p is electrical resistivity, microhm-centimeters.

The criterion for defect detection with impedance plane


instruments is phase discrimination between lift-off noise and
defect signals. Test frequency is chosen such that 'lift-off*
and "change in wall thickness1 signals are separated by a 90
phase angle. This can be derived from the following
equation:

f = 1.6 p/t2 , kHz (5.7)

where t is sample thickness, mm.

If inspection is performed at high test frequencies and/or


with long cables, it is desirable to operate below
probe-cable resonance frequency. This is normally achieved by
using a probe ot sufficiently low inductance.

To optimize test results, the inspector has control over probe


size and test frequency. In choosing probe diameter the
following must be considered:

(a) operating point on impedance diagram


(b) probe inductance and resistance
(c) sensing area
(d) sensitivity to defect length
(e) sensitivity to defect depth
(f) sensitivity to iltt-off
(g) sensitivity changes across coil diameter (zero at
centre)
(h) sensitivity changes with ferrite core or cup.

Choice of test frequency depends on:

(a) depth of penetration


(b) phase lag
(c) operating point on impedance diagram
(d) inductive reactance
(e) probe-cable resonance.
-38-

5.11 WORKED EXAMPLES

5.11.1 Effective Probe Diameter

PROBLEM: Determine sensing diameter of a 5 mm probe when


(a) testing 316 stainless steel ( p = 72 microhm-
centimetres) at 2 MHz,

and
(b) testing brass ( P = 6.2 microhm-cm) at 10 kHz,

SOLUTION:
(a)

(2.13a)

0.30 mm
2 x 10 x 1

D = D
eff c '2 = 6#2 mm

(b) 6 = 5oJ~ = 1.25 mm

10 mm
eff

5.11.2 Characteristic Parameter

PROBLEM: If an available probe had coil dimensions of 10 mm


outer diameter and 4 mm inner diameter, determine
the best frequency for resistivity measurements of
a zirconium aiioy ( P = 50 m i c r o h m - c m ) .

SOLUTION: T h e best frequency for resistivity measurements is


w h e n the operating point is at the knee location
on the impedance diagram. This occurs when the
characteristic parameter P c = 1 0 . Using equation
5.5,
2
7.9 x 10-4
/lO.O -f- 4.0 \ f/50 = 10

therefore, f = 50 kHz.

(This calculation places no emphasis on skin depth


effect, which may be an overriding consideration).
-89-

CHAPTER 6 - SURFACE PROBE SIGNAL ANALYSIS

6.1 INTRODUCTION

Manufacturing and preventive maintenance inspection of "flat"


components with surface probes is one of the oldest and most
important applications of eddy current testing.
Manufacturing inspection of small steel components for
defects and hardness is almost exclusively performed by eddy
current methods. For safety reasons and preventive
maintenance (savings on replacement costs and downtime)
inspection of aircraft components for cracks and heat
treatment effects has been performed since commercial
aircraft first went into service. Eddy current testing is
one of the most effective NDT methods for the above
applications because it doesn't need couplants, it is fast,
and 100% volumetric inspection is often possible.

This chapter describes how to maximize signal-to-noise by


proper choice of test frequency and minimizing "lift-off"
noise- Emphasis is given to signal analysis and how to
recognize and discriminate between defect signals and false
indications. An attempt is made throughout this chapter to
illustrate discussion with real or simulated eddy current
s ignals.

6.2 EDDY CURRENT SIGNAL CHARACTERISTICS

6.2.1 Defect Signal Amplitude

A defect, which disrupts eddy current flow, changes test coil


impedance as the coil is scanned past a defect. This
condition is shown pictorially in Figure 6.1 which portrays
eddy currents induced by a surface probe in a defective
plate. Eddy currents flow in closed loops as illustrated in
Figure 6.1(a). When a defect interferes with the normal
path, current is forced to flow around or under it or is
interrupted completely. The increased distance of the
distorted path increases the resistance to current just as a
long length of wire has more resistance than a short length.

Eddy currents always take the path of least resistance; if a


defect is very deep but short, current will flow around the
ends; conversely, if a defect is very long (compared to the
coil diameter) but shallow, the current will flow underneath.
In summary, defect length and depth (and width to soae
degree) increase resistance to eddy current flow and this, in
turn, changes coil impedance. (The effect of defect si'.e on
flow resistance in tube testing is derived in Section
8.2.1) .
-90-

COIL BOUNDARIES SURFACE COIL


EDDY CURRENTS WINDINGS

TEST PLATE
TEST PLATE
EDDV CURRENT DISTORTION
AT CRACK

CRACK
EDDV CURRENTS TAKE THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE
UNDER DR AROUND A DEFECT

(a) EDDT CURRENTS FLO! IN CLOSED PATHS. A DEFECT


INTERFERES IITH THE NORMAL PATH

Fig. 6.1: Eddy Currents In a Defective Plate

In terms of the equivalent coil circuit of a resistor in


parallel with an inductor and its associated semi-circular
impedance diagram (Section 3.5), a defect moves the operating
point up the impedance diagram. Increasing resistance in a
test article changes both probe inductance and resistance.

In the preceding discussion the defect was considered to


disrupt the surface currents closest to the coil. Consider
the difference between surface and subsurface defects. When
a surface probe is placed over a deep crack of infinite
length, the surface currents must pass underneath the defect
if they are to form a closed loop, see Figure 6.2(a). This
is not the case with subsurface defects as shown in Figure
6.2 (b). Although the void in this picture is not as far
from the surface as the bottom of the crack, the void may
not be detected. Eddy currents concentrate near the surface
of a conductor,and therefore, tests are more sensitive to
surface defects than internal defects.

The skin depth equation helps in the understanding of this


phenomenon. In Chapter 2 it was shown that current density
decreased with distance from the surface in the following
proportions:
- 63% of the current flows in a layer equivalent in thickness
to one skin depth, 5 ,
- 87% flows in a layer equivalent to two skin depths, 2 6 ,
- 95% flows in a layer equivalent to three skin depths, 3 6 .
-91-

SURFACE COIL
TEST PLATE
CRACK

(a) EODV CURRENT FLOK UNDER A CRACK (b) EDDY CURRENT FLOW AROUND A
SUBSURFACE VOID

Fig. 6.2: Eddy Current Flow in the Presence of (a)


Surface and (b) Subsurface Defect

Since only 5% of the current flows at depths greater than the


3 6 , there is no practical way to detect a subsurface defect
at this distance from the surface. But in the case of a long
surface defect 3 6 or greater in equivalent depth, most of
the current is flowing under the defect. Surface cracks will
be detected and depth can be estimated even if eddy current
penetration is a small fraction of the defect depth. Once
eddy currents are generated in a metal surface, they will
follow the contour of a crack because a potential is set-up
about the crack.

6.2.2 Defect Signal Phase

From the above description one cannot predict a defect signal


in detail, only its relative amplitude and direction on the
impedance diagram. A more complete explanation requires
inclusion of phase lag. Consider the cross section of a
surface probe as shown in Figure 6.3(a). This pictorial view
shows the distribution of magnetic field magnitude and phase
around a coil as derived by Dodd(2^ - The solid lines are
contours of constant magnetic field strength; the dashed
lines represent constant phase. Since the magnetic field and
induced eddy currents have approximately the same phase, the
dashed lines will also represent the phase (B) of the eddy
currents. Amplitude drops off exponentially with distance
and eddy current flow increasingly lags in phase (relative to
eddy currents adjacent to the coil) both with depth and with
axial distance from the coil. Skin depth effect occurs in
both radial and axial directions.

Figure 6.3(a) permits an approximate derivation of eddy


current signals for the shallow surface, subsurface and deep
surface defects illustrated. One needs to establish a
-92-

CONSUNT JHPUITUDE

SHLLOI OEFECT

5US5UBFHCE OEFECT-

OEFECT POSITIDK

Fig. 6.3: Derivation of Eddy Current Signal Appearance


for Three Types of Defects
-93-

reference phase direction as starting point; the LIFT-OFF


direction is convenient and can be defined as the signal
resulting from increasing the space between the coil and test
article, starting from the point when the space is minimum.

The signal or effect of defects can be imagined as the


absence of eddy currents which were flowing in the area
before the defect existed at this location. As the defects
approach the coil from positions 0 to 5 in Figure 6.3(a), the
signal on the eddy current storage monitor moves from point 0
to 5, tracing the curves illustrated in Figure 6.3(b). This
procedure is reasonably straight forward for shallow surface
and subsurface defects since they are localized and only
intersect one phase and amplitude contour at any given
position. For the deep defect one has to divide the defect
into sections and determine weighted average values for
amplitude and phase at each position.

The shallow surface defect in Figure 6.3(b) has a large


component in the lift-off direction; primarily its approach
signal makes it distinguishable from lift-off. As defect
depth increases, signals rotate clockwise due to increasing
phase angle. The angle indicated in Figure 6.3(b) is not the
value calculated from the phase lag equation,

3 = x/6 (2.14)

where 3 is phase lag (radians), x is distance of defect below


the surface (mm) and 5 is skin depth (mm).

The angle between lift-off and defect signals is about 2 3 -


Although probably not strictly true, one can imagine defect
phase angle as the sum of a lag from the coil to the defect
and the same lag back to the coil.

The foregoing discussion assumes that the defect is a total


barrier to the flow of current. Although this assumption is
valid for most cracks or discontinuities, some cracks are
partial conductors. Fatigue cracks, formed when the test
article is under a tensile stress, can become tightly closed
when stress is released. The result is that some fraction of
eddy currents could be conducted across the crack interface
and the magnitude of the coil impedance change due to the
defect will be less. The phase lag argument is still valid;
a deep crack will still be distinguishable from a shallow
crack by the shape of the eddy current signal, but the
sensitivity to such a :^;V will be reduced because of
smaller amplitude.

6.3 EFFECT OF MATERIAL VARIATIONS AND DEFECTS IN A FINITE


THICKNESS

For each test, one must decide on the test frequency to use
and on the phase setting. The conventional way of setting
-94-

phase on an eddy current instrument is to display the


"lift-off" signal horizontally (on the X-axis) with the
impedance point moving from right-to-left as the probe is
raised. All material variables will then display an eddy
current signal at an angle clockwise to the lift-off signal.

7 mm

LIFT-OFF 1.5 mm
2 . 0 mm

-At
LIFT-OFF LIFT-OFF LIFT-OFF

FREQUENCY = 10 kHz FREQUENCY = 50 kHz FREQUENCY = 200 kHz

Fig. 6.4; Probe Response to Various Test Parameters


at Three Frequencies

Discrimination between defects and other variables is


accomplished through pattern recognition and varying test
frequency. Figure 6.4 displays the change in coil impedance
loci for various parameters at different test frequencies.
The electrical resistivity (Ap) signal angle, relative to
lift-off, increases only slightly as frequency is increased,
whereas a change in plate thickness ( At) signal angle
continually increases with frequency. The angle, between the
signal from lift-off and plate thickness change, equals about
twice the phase lag across the plate thickness. The signal
from a change in magnetic permeability (Ay) of the plate is
approximately 90 to the lift-off signal at low frequency and
decreases only slightly with increasing frequency.

Figure 6.5(a) illustrates a computer simulation of coil


response to various test parameters. The simulation is based
on the same probe and test sample used in the previous
figure. Comparison of these two figures reveals computer
simulation gives very realistic results.
-95-

LIFT-OFF
0 . 2 5 mm '-.. I 2 mm

\
V
p - 72 ^
A/> - -25
At > 25

\
0.25 mm\

200 kHz

(a)
\ -.

" - |- 1 ' -5

0.25 Mi * * 10 kHz

0.7
>" ^ \
\ \
\ \
p = 72 ]
I \ \
a M = .25.
\ \ u '1.0
\ \
0.25
0.4

0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5

(b)
Fig. 6.5; Computer Simulation of Probe Response to
Various Test Parameters
-96-

Note at 50 kHz the increase in magnetic permeability signal


(Ay) is to the right of the electrical resistivity signal for
the 7 mm probe. For the 25 mm probe at 50 kHz it is to the
left of the Ap signal. As the operating point moves down the
impedance curve with increasing probe diameter, a
raslstivity signal rotates CW relative to a permeability
signal. Note also that the permeability signal is not
perfectly parallel to the inductive reactance axis. This is
due to the skin depth and phase lag changing with
permeability, rotating the signal CW.

During general inspection for all parameters in a thin plate


test frequency is normally chosen such that 'lift-off' and
'change in plate thickness" signals are separated by 90 on
the impedance plane. This frequency is empirically derived
by setting ratio between plate thickness and skin depth
equal to approximately 0.8,

t/6 = 0.8 (5#6)

Substituting in equation 2.13 yields

f = 1.6 p/t 2 , kHz (5-7>


where p is electrical resistivity (microhm-centimetres), and
t is plate thickness (mm).

This frequency has been proven in practice on various


conductivity samples and various probe diameters. The 90
phase angle increases only slightly with increasing probe
diameter, see Figure 6.5(b). All defect signals (from
surface or subsurface defects) will fall inside this 90
band. Shallow defects, cracks or pits, on the opposite side
of the plate will produce a signal whose angle approaches
that of wall thickness, i.e. 90. Shallow defects on the
surface nearest the probe will produce a signal whose angle
is close to that of lift-off.

The two methods of discriminating between defects and other


variables, pattern recognition and varying test frequency,
complement each other. Consider signal pattern behaviour due
to nominal wall thickness and resistivity variations. These
variables normally change gradually along a sample. Whereas
cracks, pits, and subsurface voids or inclusions exhibit a
step change. Discrimination between these variables is
enhanced by analyzing their behaviour at different test
frequencies, as shown in Figures 6.4 and 6.5. An extremely
important point to remember is that ail defects will fall
between the 'lift-off signal angle and the'decrease-in-
wall-thickness ' signal angle regardless of frequency. (For
practical applications this statement is valid; however,
the signal from a shallow defect with length greater than a
probe diameter may dip slightly below the lift-off signal).
-97-

R AL
E CALIBRATION
CRACK/ CRflCKS

5 mm 71 I
2 mm
SAMPLE : p = 50 j i f l , cm
/ir = 1.00

CRACK
CRACK 2 mm DEEP NOTCH
2 mm DEEP NOTCH

LIFT-OFF LIFT-OFF
0 . 5 mm DEEP NOTCH 0 . 5 mm DEEP NOTCH

FREQUENCY = 5 0 kHz FREQUENCY = 300 kHz

Fig. 6.6; X-Y Display of Coil Impedance Vector from


Calibration Grooves and a Real Crack. Estimated Depth=1.3 mm,

6.4 COIL IMPEDANCE CHANGES WITH DEFECTS

6.4.1 Surface Defect Measurement

Figure 6.6 illustrates the method used to predict depth of


surface defects. Pattern recognition is used where coil
impedance response from the defect is compared with
calibration defects. To estimate defect depth by pattern
recognition, the real and calibration defect signals must be
comparable in amplitude. This can be achieved by changing
the gain of the display (normally by decreasing the
calibration defect signals). Defect depth is estimated by
interpolation.

Amplitude of defect signals is not a reliable parameter for


estimating defect depth. Amplitude is affected by length and
the degree of contact across the two interfaces (e.g., crack
closure). Whereas the coil impedance locus (the X-Y display
of coil impedance) depends mainly on the integrated response
with depth of the eddy current phase lag.

6.4.2 Subsurface Defect Measurement

Signals from subsurface d e f e c t s , Figure 6.10(b), have an


average phase angle r e l a t i v e to l i f t - o f f of approximately 28
where B i s the phase lag of the eddy currents at depth x.
This signal i s similar to a change in wall thickness s i g n a l
and i t s phase was denoted by O3 in Figure 5.16.
-98-

6.5 COIL IMPEDANCE CHANGES WITH OTHER VARIABLES

6.5.1 Ferromagnetic Indications

In eddy current testing the test coil is sensitive to many


test parameters. One variable that often causes problems is
magnetic permeability. At common test frequencies one can
easily mistake a signal due to increased permeability
(ferromagnetic indication) for a serious defect. The
following discussion briefly outlines the problem and shows
how one can differentiate between defects and ferromagnetic
indications

It is generally recognised that magnetic saturation is


required for eddy current testing of ferromagnetic alloys.
Conversely, saturation is not usually employed when testing
"non-magnetic" alloys such as austenitic stainless steels and
nickel base alloys. Unfortunately, these alloys and any
alloys containing iron, nickel or cobalt can display
variations in magnetic permeability. This is caused by the
strong dependence of magnetic properties on metallurgical
variables such as composition, grain size, thermal
processing, cold work, contamination and segregation.

The following are examples of ferromagnetic indications in


nominally nonmagnetic alloys which have been encountered:

- Ferromagnetism associated with manufacturing defects in


Inconel 600 extrusions (possibly from chromium depletion
at the surface).
- Ferromagnetism associated with EDM calibration grooves in
Type 304 stainless steel.
- Permeability variations occurring in austenitic stainless
steel castings probably due to segregation (or possibly
contamination).
- Ferromagnetic inclusions in zirconium alloys resulting from
pick-up during forming.
- Magnetite (Fe3O^) deposits on heat exchanger tubes due
to steel corrosion somewhere else in the cooling system.

The first rwo types of defects would have made defect depth
predictions seriously inaccurate, and the last three types of
ferromagnetic Indications could have been mistaken for
defects such as cracks or pitting.

Some of the anomalous ferromagnetic indications listed above


could be suppressed by saturating the test area with a
permanent magnet possessing a flux density of a few
kilogauss. If saturation is not possible (or incomplete)
there is another way to determine if an indication is due to
a defect or a magnetic effect. The method involves retesting
at a much lower frequency. It is illustrated in Figure 6.7
for the case of a surface probe passing over defects and a
ferromagnetic inclusion.

At typical test frequencies (100-500 kHz) there is little


phase separation between the signals frosn defects and magnetic
inclusions. As test frequency is reduced, the operating
-99-

FERROMAGNETIC
/ INCLUSION FERROMAGNETIC
INCLUSION

PROBE D1A = 7 mm
SMIPLE p =

2 mm DEEP

0.5 nu DEEP
0 0.D5 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25
R
NORMALIZED RESISTANCE i

Fig. 6.7; Coll Impedance/Voltage Display at Three Frequencies

point moves up the impedance curve and defect signals rotate as


shown. The important point to note is that relative to
lift-off, defect signals rotate CCW whereas the magnetic
inclusion signal rotates CW and approaches 90 at low frequency
(approximately 10 kHz or lower for the above probe and sample).
On the impedance diagram of Figure 6.7 the direction of the
ferromagnetic signal would not vary appreciably with frequency;
increased permeability primarily increases coil inductance.

When a magnetic inclusion is not on the surface - if it is


subsurface or on the opposite side of a thin test plate
there is the added complication that the angle of the signal
will be rotated relative to the angle of a ferromagnetic
indication on the surface adjacent to the coil. This arises
from phase lag across the plate thickness. The previous
approach of retesting at reduced frequency will also serve to
distinguish between defects and magnetic inclusions. If the
phase of the signal from the indication increases to 90
relative to 'lift-off, it is a ferromagnetic anomaly; if it
decreases to nearly 0", it Is a defect.
-100-

To summarize:
(a) Many nominally "non-magnetic" alloys can exhibit
ferromagnetic properties and almost any alloy can pick up
magnetic inclusions or contamination during manufacture or
service.
(b) At normal eddy current test frequencies magnetic
indications will often appear similar to defects.
(c) Magnetic indications can be distinguished from defects by
retesting at a reduced test frequency.

6.5.2 Electrical Resistivity

Electrical resistivity is a material parameter which, unlike a


defect, usually varies over a significant area. However, if it
is localized, and the eddy current signal is small, it could be
mistaken for a small defect. The best means of distinguishing
the two is to rescan with a smaller probe at the same test
frequency, at three times the test frequency, and at one third
the test frequency. Unlike a defect signal, the angle between
resistivity and lift-off changes little with frequency. See
impedance graph in Figure 5.9.

As with the detection of any signal source, resistivity is


affected by skin depth. At high frequency, when skin depth is
small, there will be greater sensitivity to surface resistivity
variations. At lower test frequency, eddy currents penetrate
deeper into the material so the measurement will represent a
larger volume.

6.5.3 Signals from Changes in Sample Surface Geometry

Abrupt changes in surface curvature result in eddy current


signals as probes traverse them. It causes changes in coupling
creating a large lift-off signal and the curvature also changes
eddy current flow distribution creating an effective resistance
change, yielding a signal at an angle to the lift-off direction.
The combined effect may be a complicated signal, as shown in
Figure 6.8. The appearance of this type of signal will not
change significantly when rescanned at higher and lower test
frequency.

Such signals can be difficult to analyze because they depend on


how well the probe follows complicated surface curvatures.
Basically the direction of the impedance change obeys the
following rules when using surface probes:

- decreasing radius of curvature on an external surface, e.g.,


ridge, produces a change in the direction of increasing
resistivity,
- decreasing radius of curvature of an internal surface, e.g.,
groove, produces a change in the direction of decreasing
resistivity.
-101-

Figure 6.8(a) illustrates the signal as a probe traverses a


shallow groove (decrease in surface radius) on the internal
surface of a 100 mm tube. Figure 6.8(b) shows the signal as a
probe traverses a flat (increase in surface radius). The test
was done with a 9 mm diameter probe at a test frequency of 300
kHz.

1 VOLT

1 VOLT

(a) WIDE SHALLOW GROOVE (b) LOCAL FLAT SPOT


Fig. 6.8: X-Y Display of Surface Coil Impedance for Internal
Surface Variations in a 100 mm Diameter Tube

6.6 CALIBRATION DEFECTS

Analysis of eddy current signals is, for the most part, a


comparative technique. Calibration standards are necessary for
comparing signal amplitude and phase (shape) of unknown defects
to known calibration defects. Calibration signals are also used
for standardizing instrument settings, i.e., sensitivity and
phase rotation.

Existing national specifications and standards only supply broad


guidelines in choice of test parameters. They cannot be used to
establish reliable ET procedures for most inspections. Figure
6.9 shows a calibration plate proposed by the authors for
general application. The effect of the following can be
established using this plate:

1. Varying Electrical Resistivity


2. Varying Thickness
3. Surface Geometry (Curvature)
4. Defect Length for Constant Depth
5. Defect Depth for Constant Length
6. Increasing Subsurface Defect Size for Constant Defect
Depth
7. Increasing Distance of Subsurface Defects from the
Surface with Constant Defect Size
8. Varying Thickness of a Non-conducting Layer (lift-off)
9. Varying Thickness of a Conducting Layer
10. Ferromagnetic Inclusions
- 102 -

i i i i i r

ION-CONDUCT ING COPPER CHROUIUU


UYER LAYER PLATE

0 . 2 mm 1.0 mm 0.1 mm

0 1 ran 0.5 mm .05 mm

0 05 mil 0 . 1 mm .01 mm

(b) BACK SIDE

/ / /
/ / / / / / / / /
ERRITE|/>=120 f/>= 70 |c=50 [ P=2i | P- ~"
1 \ P = 4 |/>=1.7
**
r
E
2 mm - /tfl - cm in

1 . 5 mm

0 . 7 mm - 1 0.12 0 25
1
0.5 10
|

2.0 4 0
\

d = 1 mm DEPTH, mm
3
_ _ 0 . 5 mm
1
3d = 2 mm
I
1.
1
2. 4. 10
i:
LENGTH, mm
ll
3 d = 1 mm 25
d=2mm CONSTANT DEPTH = 0 .5 m \
> d = 0 . 5 mm
^ 9 COPPER
t=0 1 mm

IRON
O
VOID \
R0=50mm R.=5Q R . = 2 0 R ^ S Ro = 5 RO=IO Ro=25

(a) FRONT SIDE

Fig. 6.9; Calibration Standard


-103-

More than one calibration plate would be required to cover a


complete range of materials. A group of three would normally
suffice, comprising base materials: aluminum alloy, p=4
p y yn.cm;
bronze, p 25 yO . cm; and Type 316 stainless steel,p =74
Figure 6.10(a) illustrates eddy current signals obtained with
an absolute surface probe from some of the calibration block,
defects. Figure 6.10(b) illustrates signals from the same
defects using a differential surface probe, similar to that
in Figure 5.2(c) .

0 . 5 mm DEEP
4 mm DEEP 4 mm DEEP

1 mm DEEP

0 . 5 mm DEEP

0.7 mm DEEP

1.5 mm DEEP

LirT-OFF
LirT-OFF

SUBSURFACE DEFECTS

(a) (b)

Fig, 6.10: Eddy Current Signals With (a) Absolute and (b)
Differential Surface Probes
-104-

6.7 SUMMARY

Defect signal amplitude is a function of defect length, depth


and closure (if a crack). Signal phase is primarily a
function of defect depth. For volumetric Inspection of thin
material the following test frequency should be used:

f = 1.6 p/t 2 , kHz (5.7)

where p is electrical resistivity, microhm-centimetre, and


t is wall thickness, mm.

At this frequency there is good discrimination between


defects and lift-off signals but not between defects and
ferromagnetic signals. Magnetic indications can be
distinguished from defects by retesting at reduced frequency.
Defect signals rotate CCW (approaching 0") whereas
ferromagnetic signals rotate CW (approaching 90) relative to
lift-off signals.

There are few national standards governing eddy current


inspections with surface probes. For effective inspection, a
calibration block should simulate the test piece and contain
appropriate surface and subsurface defects along with
ferromagnetic inclusions. Basic knowledge of phase lag and
impedance diagrams is also required for reliable analysis of
eddy current indications.
-105-

CHAPTER 7 TESTING OF TUBES AND CYLINDRICAL COMPONENTS

7.1 INTRODUCTION

Tubes or rods up to about 50 mm diameter can be inspected for


defects with encircling coils. Defect sensitivity in larger
diameter components decreases because the inspected volume
increases while defect "volume" remains the same for a given
defect. For larger diameters, surface probes should be used
to obtain higher defect sensitivity, see Chapter 5.

The components can be in the form of wire, bars or tubes and


round, square, rectangular or hexagonal in shape, as long as
appropriate coil shapes are used. Inspection is fast and
efficient since an encircling coil samples the complete
circumference of the component, allowing 100% inspection in
one pass.

Defect detectability depends on disruption of eddy current


flow. Therefore, the best probe is the one which induces
highest possible eddy current density in the region of
material to be inspected, and perpendicular to the defect.

When planning an inspection, the following questions must


first be answered:
- For what type of defects is the inspection to be performed?
- If cracks are expected, do they have directional
properties?
- Does the material or components in close proximity have
ferromagnetic properties?
Once these questions have been answered one can decide on
suitable probe design, test frequency and calibration
standards. With the proper procedures one can discriminate
between defect signals and false indications as well as
determine depth once a defect is located. These procedures
are based on a knowledge of impedance diagrams and phase lag.

7.2 PROBES FOR TUBES AND CYLINDRICAL COMPONENTS

7.2.1 Probe Types

Four common probe types for testing round materials are


illustrated in Figure 7.1: (b) and (d) are differential
probes, (a) and (c) show absolute probes. Each type contains
two separate coils to satisfy AC bridge circuit requirements,
which Is the typical mode of operation of most eddy current
instruments, see Chapter 4. These bridges require matching
coils on two separate legs of the bridge to balance, thus
permitting amplification of the small impedance differences
between the two coils. If the two coils are placed
side-by-side, both equally sensing the test material, the
probe is "differential". If one coil senses the test article,
the other acting only as a reference, the probe is absolute.
-106-

Figure 7.1(a) and (c) show effective designs for absolute


probes; the piggy-back reference coil is separated from the
test article by the test coil and therefore couples only
slightly to the test article (fill factor<<l).

CENTERING DISCS

TES' "OIL

REFERENCE COIL

REFERENCE COIL

(A> ENCIRCLING PROBE. ABSOLUTE (c) INTERNAL PROBE. ABSOLUTE


(PIGGY-BACK REFERENCE) (PIGGY-BACK REFERENCE)

(D) INTERNAL PROBE, DIFFERENTIAL


(B) ENCIRCLING PROBE, DIFFERENTIAL

Fig. 7.1: Tube Probe Types

Coll Size

The best compromise between resolution and signal amplitude


is obtained when coil length and thickness equal defect
depth. See Figure 7.2 for a labelled diagram of a probe
cross section.

As a general guideline for tube inspection, coil length and


depth should approximately equal wall thickness. However, to
improve coupling,a rectangular cross section with thickness
reduced to one-half the length can be used. For greater
sensitivity to small near surface defects, coil length and
thickness can both be reduced further. Unfortunately
this will result in a decrease in sensitivity to external (far
surface) defects.

Coil spacing, In differential probes, should approximately


equal defect depth or wall thickness for general inspections.
-107-

COIL SPACING
* COIL WIDTH
'//A////

COIL THICKNESS _J
D (AVERAGE COIL DIAMETER)
TUBE-COIL
CLEARANCE

Fig. 7.2 Probe Coll nomenclature

For increased sensitivity to near surface defects, spacing


can be reduced at the expense of a reduction in sensitivity
with distance from the coil.

Probe-to-tube clearance or gap should be as small as


possible. In most internal tube inspections, a gap equal to
half the wall thickness is common. A larger gap (smaller
fill-factor or coupling) results in a small decrease in near
surface defect resolution and a large decrease in signal
amplitude for all types of defects.

7.2.2 Comparing Differential and Absolute Probes

Absolute probes with a fixed reference coil are essential to


basic understanding. They enable study of all physical
properties of a test article by plotting characteristic
impedance loci.
When an absolute coil signal is plotted as a function of
distance (as the probe travels along a tube axis) dimensional
variations and discontinuities can be separated. See the
example of Figure 7.3(b). The signal is a function of
effective cross-sectional area of eddy current flow, i.e.,
wall thickness in the case of tubes, and can be analyzed like
a surface roughness trace with the extra advantage that
subsurface flaws can be sensed.
-108-

In tube testing with an internal coil, absolute probe signals


from defects and supports are simple and uivdistorted; signals
from multiple defects and defects under support plates are
often vectorially additive.
Differential probes have two active coils usually wound in
opposition (although they could be wound in addition with
similar results). When the two coils are over a flaw-free
area of test sample, there is no differential signal
developed between the coils since they are both inspecting
identical material. However, when first one and then the
other of the two coils passes over a flaw, a differential
signal is produced. They have the advantage of being
insensitive to slowly varying properties such as gradual
dimensional variations and temperature: the signals from two
adjacent sections of a test article continuously cancel.
Probe wobble signals are also reduced with this probe type.
However, there are disadvantages; the signals may be
difficult to interpret, even to the extent of being
misleading. Defect signals under support plates can be
extremely complicated. The signal from a defect is displayed
twice: once as the first coil approaches the defect and again
for the second coil. The two signals form a mirror image and
the signal direction from the first coil must be noted. If a
flaw is longer than the spacing between the two coils only
the leading and trailing edges will be detected due to signal
cancellation when both coils sense the flaw equally.

i i SUPPORT PLATE POSITION

SECTION THROUGH TUBE


SHOWING CORRODED AREA

DIFFERENTIAL COILS ABSOLUTE COIL


(a)

B
TRACE ITH ABSOLUTE PROBE

KALI LOSS 1 COMPONENT

TRACE WITH DIFFERENTIAL


PROBE

I"
WALL LOSS T 1 COMPONENT

Fig. 7.3: Eddy Current Y-Channnel R e c o r d i n g s from a Brass


Heat E x c h a n g e r Tube
OP = 2 6 . 9 mm, t = l . l m m , fgp =21 kHz
-109-

An even more serious situation occurs with differential


probes when the ends of a flaw vary gradually; the defect may
not be observed at all. An example of this is shown in
Figure 7.3; this brass heat exchanger tube suffered g neral
corrosion as well as localized corrosion on either side of a
support plate. The gradual upward trend of the Y-DISTANCE
recording in Figure 7.3(b) shows the pronounced grooves at A
and B are superimposed on an area of general wall thinning in
the vicinity of the support plate. Note the response of a
differential probe to the same defect in Figure 7.3(c). The
differential probe senses the localized grooves but the
Y-DISTANCE recording shows no indication of the gradual wall
thinning which was apparent in Figure 7.3(b).

Table 7.1 compares advantages and disadvantages of the two


probe types.

TABLE 7.1
COMPARISON OF ABSOLUTE AND DIFFERENTIAL PROBES

ADVANTAGES: DISADVANTAGES:

ABSOLUTE PROBES
respond to both sudden and gradual - prone to drift from
changes in properties and dimensions temperature instability
combined signals are usually easy to - more sensitive to probe
separate (simple interpretation) wobble than a differential
show total length of defects probe

DIFFERENTIAL PROBES

not sensitive to gradual changes - not sensitive to gradual


in properties or dimensions changes (may miss long
immune to drift from temperature gradual defects entirely)
changes - will only detect ends of
less sensitive to probe wobble long defects
than an absolute probe - may yield signals diffi-
cult to interpret

7.2.3 Directional Properties

When inspecting for defects, it is essential that flow of


eddy currents be as perpendicular as possible to defects to
obtain maximum response. If eddy currents flow parallel to a
defect there will be little distortion of the eddy currents
and hence little change in probe impedance.

The eddy current flow characteristics of circumferential


internal or external probes are listed and illustrated in
Figure 7.4.
110-

EDDT CURRENTS

EDDY CURRENTS F L O I I N CLOSED PATHS tOm CURRENT FLDHS PARALLEL TO EDDY CURRENT FLO* DIMINISHES TO
LIMITED TO CONDUCTING MATERIAL COIL WINDINGS - NOT SENSITIVE ZERO AT THE CENTRE OF > SOLID ROD
TO PURELY CIRCUMFERENTIAL CRACKS NO SENSITIVITY 7 CENTRE

/COIL

EOOY CURRENT FLOHS PARALLEL E!IO CURRENTS CONCENTRATE NEAR THE


TO TUBE SURFACE - NOT SENSITIVE SURFACE CLOSE TO THE COIL - DEPTH
TO LAMINAR SEPARATIONS. OF PENETRATION IS CONTROLLED BY TEST FREOUENCI'

Fig. 7.4; Directional Properties of Eddy Currents in


Cylindrical Test Articles

In addition to considerations of eddy current flow direction,


the following are important:
Magnetic flux is not bounded by the tube wall but will
induce eddy currents in adjacent conducting material, e.g.
tube support plates in heat exchangers-
Eddy current coils are sensitive to ferromagnetic material
introduced into a coil's magnetic field. The
ferromagnetic material need not be an electrical conductor
nor need it form a closed path for eddy currents.
- Eddy current coils are sensitive to all material
variations that affect conductivity or permeability.
7.2.4 Probe Inductance
The equations quoted in Section 5.2.3 to calculate inductance
for surface probes are also used to calculate inductance of
probes for testing tubes and cylinders. The important aspect
of inductance is that probe impedance, which is a function of
inductance, must be compatible with the eddy current
instrument and signal cables,
J
probe =
V-
where X L = 2 TT f L whan f is in hertz and L in henries
i
and R is coil wire resistance in ohms.
-111-

TABLE 7.2 ENCIRCLING OR INTERNAL COIL IMPEDANCE

D - 8.9 mm D - 12. 7mm D -15.9 mm D -19.1 mm D -22 ,2mm Hire Size


0 0 o 0 0

L - 6.1 uH L - 11 UH L - 15 UH L - 20 uH L - 25 uH 31 AWG
N - 25 (0.23 mm)
R - 0.3 2 R - 0.4 n R - 0.5 a R - o.6 a R - o.7 a
L - 23 L - 42 L - 59 L * 77 L * 96 34 AWG
N - 49 (0.16 mm)
R = 1 R - 1.5 R - 2 R 2 R ' 3

L - 64 L 110 L - 160 L - 210 L - 260 37 AWG


N - 81 (0.11 mm)
R - 3 R - 5 R - 6 R = 8 R = 9

L 200 L = 360 L - 510 L = 660 L = 830 39 AWG


N - 144 (0 .089 mm
R = 9 R - 14 R - 18 R = 22 R = 26

L - 490 L - 880 L =1.24 mH L = 1.62 mH L - 2.0 2 mH 41 AWG


N = 22? (0.071 mm)
R = 24 R - 35 R = 45 R * 55 R = 64

Most eddy current instruments will operate over a fairly


broad range of probe impedance without a substantial
reduction in signal-to-noise ratio or signal amplitude. An
instrument input impedance of 100 ohms is typical, although a
probe impedance between 20 and 200 ohms is normally acceptable,
unless the test frequency is too close to probe-cable resonance
frequency, see Section 7.2.5. Exact probe inductance
calculations are therefore not essential.

To facilitate impedance calculations Table 7.2 has been


prepared. This table lists coil inductance and resistance
(with probe in air) for various diameters and wire sizes
while keeping coil cross section constant at 1.2 mm x 1.2 mm.
(These dimensions are fairly typical of tube wall thickness
in heat exchangers). With the aid of this table, and
knowledge that inductance is proportional to the square of
number of turns and the square of mean coil diameter
(L a N ^ ),one can usually make a reasonable estimate of
wire size and number of turns for a particular probe.
-112-

7.2.5 Probe-Cable Resonance


Probe-cable resonance must be considered when operating at
high test frequencies and/or using long signal cables, e.g.
frequencies over 100 kHz or cables longer than 30 m. Most
general purpose eddy current instruments cannot operate at or
close to resonance.

Probe-cable resonance can be modelled as shown in Figure 4.5.


In simple terms, resonance occurs when inductive reactance of
the coil equals capacitive reactance of the cable, i.e. when
coL 1/wC

where to is angular frequency, radians/second


L is coil inductance,henries
C is total cable capacitance, farads

Transposing this equation and substituting <j = 2irf


shows resonance occurs when frequency is
f = 1/2/ir/LC:

This approach is sufficiently accurate for most practical


applications. A more rigorous approach to resonance is
presented in Section A.3.

Resonance is apparent when a probe and cable combination,


which balances at a low frequency, will not balance as
frequency is increased. At the approach of resonance, the
balance lines on the eddy current storage monitor will not
converge to a null. The two balancing (X and R) controls
will produce nearly parallel lines, rather than the normal
perpendicular traces, on the storage monitor. A number of
steps can be taken to avoid resonance:

1. Operate at a test frequency below resonance, such that


ffest is less than 0.8 f r .
2. Select a probe with_lower inductance. (Since fr is
proportional to 1//L , inductance must be decreased a
factor of four to double the resonant frequency).
3. Reduce cable length or use a cable with lower capacitance
per unit length (such as multi-coax cables). This will
raise the resonance frequency since capacitance is
proportional to cable length and f is proportional to
r
1/-TC ,
4. Operate at a test frequency above resonance, such that
f t e s t is greater than 1.2 fr.
However, above resonance the sensitivity of all eddy
current instruments decreases rapidly with increasing
frequency because capac^tive reactance (X;. = 1/ :' C)
decreases, and current short circuits across the cable
rather than passing through the coil.
-113-

7.3 IMPEDANCE PLANE DIAGRAMS


Eddy current probes for testing cylindrical components differ
mechanically from those for plate testing, but coil impedance
can be treated similarly for both test coil configuraLions.
The impedance display treatment introduced in Chapter 5
applies for internal and external circumferential coils with
the following changes:

i) Lift-off becomes "fill-factor". Fill factor is a


measure of coupling between the coll and test object.
In general, it is the fraction of magnetic field that
crosses the test object; for a long coil, this is the
fraction of the test coil area filled with test
material. Fill-factor, r\ (eta), is the ratio

for an encircling coil,

and n = D 2 /D* (7.1b)


for a bobbin type internal coil,

where I)o is cylinder diameter


D is average coil diameter
and D t is tube internal diameter
Fill-factor is always a quantity less than or equal to
one (n < 1.0). For a coil inside a tube the impedance
change due to decreasing ri is the same as an increase
in D i (with constant wall thickness). For a coil
around a tube or cylinder, decreasing r; is the same as
decreasing D Q .

ii) Probe diameter in plate testing is replaced by tube or


cylinder diameter in ET of cylindrical components.
They have a similar effect on the operating point on
the impedance diagram.

Figure 7.5 summarizes the effect of test and material


variables on a simple semicircular impedance diagram. Note
the similarity of changes in resistivity, test frequency,
diameter and fill-factor with the surface probe results of
Figures 5.9 to 5.13.
-114-

DECREASING
FILL-FACTOR

INCREASING
RESISTIVITY (p) COIL
THIN -HALL TUBE

INCREASING
FREQUENCY (f) and
DIAMETER <D>

0.2

0.2 0.4 0.6


NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 7.5: Simplified Impedance Diagram of a Long Coil Around


a Non-magnetic Thin-wall Tube Showing Effect of Test and
Material Variables

Impedance diagrams presented in the literature are often only


strictly valid for long coils (much longer than material
thickness), coil lengths for inspection are normally only a
fraction of material diameter. Decreasing coil length has an
effect similar to decreasing fill-factor, it causes the
impedance diagram to be smaller than expected (but similar in
shape) fron coil and test material geometry. Following
sections will present impedance diagrams for tubes and solid
cylinders. For simplicity a fill-factor of unity will be
used.
-115-

7.3.1 Solid Cylinders


The impedance diagram for a solid cylinder (diameter, D o )
inside a long coil is shown in Figure 7.6. As in Figure 7.5
an increase in test frequency or diameter moves the operating
point (the point on the impedance diagram that specifies the
normalized inductive reactance and resistance of the test
coil) down the curve while an increase in resistivity moves
it up the curve. This diagram applies to both wires and
round bars.

COIL

INCREASING RESISTIVITY

DECREASING FILL-FACTOR

INCREASING FREQUENCY

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 7.6: Impedance Diagram for a Solid Cylinder

The shape of impedance diagrams for cylinders differ markedly


from a semicircle, particularly at higher test frequencies.
The shape difference is due to skin effect and phase lag,
factors which were not included in arriving at the
semicircular shape in Chapter 3. At high test frequencies
the curve approaches the X and V axes at 45.
In testing cylinders with an encircling coil it should be
recognized that sensitivity to defects at the centre of bar
or wire is zero, regardless of test frequency. The reason
for this is illustrated schematically in Figure 7.7 which
-116-

LOH FREQUENCY 8 > 3.


4

INTERMEDIATE FREQUENCY S =
4

Fig. 7.7: Schematic of Eddy Current Distribution in a


Cylinder Surrounded by an Encircling Coil

shows plots of eddy current density across a cylinder.


Defects have to disrupt eddy current flow in order to affect
probe impedance. It is apparent from Figure 7.7 that eddy
current density is always zero at the centre of a cylinder
resulting in no sensitivity to defects.

7.3.1.1 Sensitivity in Centre of a Cylinder


It was stated in the previous section that eddy current
density in the centre of a cylinder is zero and hence there
is no sensitivity to defects. The relationship of current
flow with depth Into a cylinder is derived (very
approximately) below, for the case of no skin depth
attenuation and long coils. From Faraday's Law,

s dt

The magnetic flux density, B, is approximately


constant inside a long coil, hence

<j> = BA
= (B)(TTr2)

where r is' radial distance from centre of cylinder;


-117-

theref ore,

or

Resistance to flow of current Is proportional to path length


and resistivity and inversely proportional to cross-sectional
area, A c ,
2irrp _ 2frrp
R
unit length x unit depth

V
s
Since by Ohm 1 s Law
Z

fi (<uL)2 = R s at low test frequency and no


and Z = /Rs +
skin depth effect,
therefore, Z
s = F
or

Therefore, eddy current flow is proportional to radial


distance from centre of a cylinder. Hence no current flows at
the centre (at r*0) and there is no sensitivity to defects.
-118-

7.3.2 Tubes
The impedance diagram for an extremely thin-wall tube with
either an internal or external circumferential coil is a
semicircle. This shape is only obtained when wall thickness,
t, is much less than skin depth (t<<6 ), i.e. skin effect and
phase lag are negligible. This situation will rarely be
encountered in practice, especially at intermediate and high
test frequencies, but the concept is useful since it defines
one of the coil impedance limits.
With an external coil the other limit is defined by the
impedance curve for a solid cylinder (maximum possible wall
thickness). The impedance diagram for any tube tested with
an external coi1,hence,has to lie between the two broken
curves in Figure 7.8, for example the solid line applies to

ENCIRCLING COIL
M.

CYLINDER (0; = 0)

TUBE <D| /0 B = 0 8>

THIN *LL (DJKD,,)

DECREASING WALL THICKNESS

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 7.8: Impedance Diagram for a Tube with Encircling Coil


Showing Effect of Decreasing Wall Thickness

a tube with internal diameter 80% of the outside diameter


i.e., D ^ / D Q = 0.8. Tubes with D^/VQ greater than 0.8
would lie to the right of the solid line. The dotted lines
in Figure 7.8 trace the shift in operating point as wall
thickness decreases (D Q constant, D^ increasing). Note
the spiral shape of the wall thickness locus. The thick wall
end of the curve deviates from a semicircle locus.
-119-

This is attributed to phase lag across the tube wall and


forms the basis for eddy current signal analysis which will
be treated in detail in Chapter 8.
Figure 7.8 also illustrates the dependence of the terms
"thick-wall" and "thin-wall" on test frequency. Near the top
of the diagram (low frequency) a tube with Dj/D Q = 0.8
qualifies as thin wall, there is no phase lag across the tube
wall, t <<6. Near the bottom (high frequency) the same tube
becomes thick-wall because thickness becomes much greater
than skin depth, for eddy current purposes the tube now
appears as a solid cylinder.

When a tube is tested with an internal circumferential coil


the impedance diagram for a thin-wall tube remains
semicircular but that for a thick-wall tube differs markedly
from a solid cylinder; compare Figures 7.8 and 7.9. The

_L
THICK WALL TUBE (DjD0)

TUBE (0|/D0 = O.B)

TUBE (0/D 0 = 0.9)

THIN HALL (D i S ! 0 0 )

DECREASING WALL THICKNESS

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 7.9: Impedance Diagram for a Tube With Internal Coil


Showing Effect of Decreasing Wall Thickness
impedance locus for any given tube will again fall between
the dashed curves at intermediate frequencies and approach
the thin-wall curve at low frequency and the thick-wall curve
at high frequency as shown for tubes with D^/Do = 0.8 and
0.9. As in the previous figure, a change in wall thickness
produces a coil impedance change along the dotted lines
tracing a spiral shaped curve. Again, this departure from a
semicircle is attributed to phase lag across the tube wall.
-120-

7.3.3 Characteristic Frequency for Tubes


Section 5.6 described how the Characteristic Parameter
P c = "r^wya , introduced by Deeds and Dodd, enabled
presentation of the effects of changes in T, a) , y and a on a
single impedance diagram. This allowed test coil impedance
to be specified in terms of a single quantity rather than
four independent variables. One could use this parameter in
testing cylinders and tubes. However, most eddy current
literature refers to a similar variable, the characteristic
or limit frequency, f g usually attributed to Forster.
It differs from P because probe radius, F, is replaced with
tube or cylinder dimensions.

By definition, fg is the frequency for which the Bessel


function solution, to Maxwell's magnetic field equations for
a finite test object, equals one. (Bessel functions are
similar to, but more complex than trigonometric sine and
cosine functions). For a solid cylinder or thick-wall tube
tested with an encircling coil,
f - 5.07p
g n2 , kHz
p D
r o (7-2a)

with P in microhm-centimetres and D o in millimetres.

For a thick-wall tube with an internal coil,

f = 5..- lP- , kHz

For a thin-wall tube with internal or external


circumferential coils,

kHz
(7.2c)

The ratio f/f defines the operating point on impedance


diagrams. For non-magnetic materials (n r =l), frequency
ratio for cylinders and thick-wall tubes tested with external
coils is given by

f/f = fD2/5.07p
8 (7.3a)

where f is test frequency in kilohertz.


-121-

For a thick-wall tube tested with an internal coil,


f/f = fD7/5.O7p (7.3b)

For thin-wall tubes tested with internal or external coils,

f/f = fDt/5.O7p
(7.3c)

i.o

i o\
THICK-HALL TUBE (INTERNAL COIL)
f / t g = f O , V 5 07^5
2 o\
16.0 \
3.0
4 D SOLID CYLINDER (EXTERNAL COIL)
5 0 f / l e = f D 0 ! / 5 07p
/9.0 V i a

I" r
0.4 - THIN-MLL TUBE
"7 (INTERNAL ( EXTERNAL COILS)
f / f E = fOjt /5.D7/O

0.2 -

4 0

0.2 0.4 0.G

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 7.10: Impedance Diagrams for Tubes and Rods with Long
Coils and Unity Fill-factor Showing Variation of Along
Impedance Loci
Figure 7.10 shows impedance diagrams for thin-wall tubes,
solid cylinders and thick-wall tubes with values of f/fg
(from 0 to infinity) on the curves. The impedance plots are
both different Jn shape and have drastically different
f/f_ ratios. For example, at the "knee" in the curves a
i ^ ^ _ 1. t _ _ _ fir* ^ i* __ _ _ -m * * r M W S"
thin-wall tube has f/fg =1, for a cylinder f/fg-a and a
thi^k-wall tube has f/rg= * These differences originate
in the defining equations which contain D o 2 , D/* and
D i t. To find the operating point on an impedance diagram
using frequency ratio one has to know the geometry (tube or
cylinder). For tubes which do not satisfy the conditions for
-122-

either thin or thick wall, calculation of f/fg is not


possible except near the top and bottom of impedance diagrams
where curves for intermediate wall tubes converge with the
thin-and thick-wall curves, respectively.

In addition to defining operating point, frequency ratio can


also be used for extrapolation or scale modelling; using the
similarity condition. This condition states if two objects
have the same f/fg then eddy current distribution is
identical in each. Hence if test frequency f^ meets test
requirements for article No. 1, one can calculate f2 for
article No. 2 from the following:

For cylinders, 2
f
l ol p 2 =
D

for thin-wall tubes,

and for thick-wall tubes (internal inspection),

f
l D U P 2 " 2 D2 i2 Pl

7.3.4 Computer Generated Impedance Diagrams


As indicated in the previous section, exact analytical
solutions (Bessel function solutions) for impedance loci of
test coils around or inside tubes are only possible for
limiting cases. These solutions have the additional drawback
that they are only strictly true for long coils. An
alternative was made available by C.V. Dodd and his
co-workers(j^) at Oak Ridge National Laboratories. Thy
developed computer programs to calculate coil impedance.
These are valid for all coil lengths, internal and external
coils and all tube wall thicknesses. Such computer programs
permit paper experiments to define operating point as well at
the effect of variations in coil size and shape, resistivity,
wall thickness and test frequency.

Figure 7.11 is an example of computer generated impedance


display for a short internal coil in an Inconel 600 tube at
various test frequencies. Fill-factor and the effects of
small changes in resistivity (Ap), wall thickness (At) and
magnetic permeability (Ap) were examined at each frequency.
Note the similarity with the impedance plots of Figure 6.5
obtained for a surface probe. The angular (phase) separation
between fill-factor, Ap , At and A]J provides the basis for
eddy current signal analysis which will be treated in
Chapter 8.
-123-

i.ook-

i.04 0 OB Q.1

N0RU1U2EO RESISTKNCE

Fig. 7.11: Computer Simulation of Probe Response to Various


Test Parameters
7 .4 CHOICE OF TEST FREQUENCY

Test frequency is often the only variable over which the


inspector has appreciable control. Material properties and
geometry are normally fixed and probe choice is often
dictated by test material geometry and probe availability.
Choice of a suitable test frequency depends on the type of
inspection. Testing for diameter variations normally
requires maximum response to fill-factor which occurs at high
frequencies. Testing for defects requires penetration to
possible defect locations; surface defects can be detected at
higher frequencies than subsurface defects. Maximum
penetration requires a low frequency which still permits
clear discrimination between signals from harmless variations
in material properties and serious defects. The above
factors show choice of test frequency is usually a
compromise.

7.H . i Test Frequency for Solid Cylinders


As discussed in Section 7.3.1, the sensitivity at the centre
of a cylinder, with an encircling coil, is zero at all test
frequencies. Therefore, there is no advantage in using a
very low test frequency to increase penetration.
Maximum test sensitivity is obtained when the impedance
diagram operating point is near the knee of the curve. This
-124-

condition occurs when f/fR = 6. At this point balanced


sensitivity to defects, resistivity and dimensions is
obtained. At this test frequency, Do/<5 f^3.5. Increasing
the frequency ratio f/fg to 15 or 20 improves discrimination
between surface defects and fill-factor variations (probe
wobble), at the expense of reduced sensitivity to subsurface
defects. Maximum sensitivity to diameter variations is
obtained at higher test frequencies, f/fg = 100 or more.

A frequency ratio lower than 6 will result in a decrease in


phase lag and therefore less phase discrimination between
defects and fill factor. To distinguish between
ferromagnetic variations (or inclusions) and defects, the
operating point should be on the top quadrant of the
impedance diagram. A frequency ratio of approximately two
(f/f_ = 2) would achieve this.

7.4.2 Test Frequency for Tubes


When inspecting tubes for defects, the criterion to satisfy
is (a) phase discrimination between defect signals and other
indications and (b) good phase separation between internal
and external defect signals. A test frequency, proven in
practice on many types and sizes of tubes, is the frequency
f OQ which yields 90 phase separation between fill-factor
variations (and internal defect signals) and external defect
signals. The frequency f 90 is empirically derived from the
ratio between thickness and skin depth, slightly larger than
one,
t/6 = 1.1

and converts to
f = 3p 2
90 /t kilohertz (7.4)

where p is resistivity in microhm-centimetres and t is tube


wall thickness in millimetres. This equation is valid for
both internal and external coil inspection and is roughly
independent of tube diameter. At f 90 , there is good
sensitivity to internal and external defects and little
sensitivity to magnetite deposit and ferromagnetic support
plates.

The characteristic frequency ratio f/fg cannot be used to


satisfy the criterion of phase discrimination, because the
f g equation is not a function of phase lag. It would also
be wrong to use it for defect detection because it is a
function of tube diameter. The latter would require
different test frequencies for different diameter tubes to
keep f/fg constant.
-125-

If one desires to distinguish ferromagnetic signals from


other indications, the operating point should be on the top
quadrant of the impedance diagram for thin-wall tubing,
Figure 7.10. This point is located by calculating th test
frequency to make the characteristic frequency ratio equal to
or less than 0.5 (f/fg < 0 . 5 ) .

Inspection Standards and Specifications

A number of industrial codes cover eddy current tube


inspection. The various ASTM specifications are E-215
(aluminum alloys), E-243 (copper and copper alloys), E-426
(stainless steels.) and E-571 (nickel alloys). None of the
ASTM standards specify test frequencies, they sometimes
present normal ranges such as 1 to 125 kHz for aluminum
alloys. Such numbers are of little use in deciding on a
suitable test frequency for a particular test. The ASME
Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section V, Article 8 (1980)
specifies test frequency in terms of the angle between
through-wall and external defect indications from a
calibration tube. The procedure specified will normally
yield a frequency higher than fo,Q , perhaps as high as

Most calibration tubes consist of drilled holes of various


diameters and/or various depths from the external surface.
Some calibration tubes have EDM (electric discharge
machining) notches in the circumferential and axial
directions and on both internal and external surfaces.

7.5 PROBES FOR DETECTING CIRCUMFERENTIAL CRACKS


A conventional internal circumferential (bobbin) probe
induces a flow of eddy currents parallel to the coil windings
and therefore circumferential in direction (Figure 7.4). To
sense a defect, coil impedance must change; this will occur
only if the eddy current flow path is disturbed.
Circumferential defects parallel to this current, which
present no area perpendicular to this path, will therefore
not be sensed.

(a) (b)

Fig. 7.12: (a) Probe No. 1- Multi-pancake Coil Probe


(b) Probe No. 2 - Zig-zag Coil Probe
-126-

To detect circumferential defects the coil must induce


currents at an angle to the cracks. Two possible types of
probes are (a) surface probes and (b) zig-zag probes. Figure
7.12 shows examples of such probes. The surface probe
induces currents in a circular pattern whereas the zig-zag
probe induces currents to follow the 30 coil angle. The
probes shown in Figure 7.12 are differential. In the surface
probe configuration a multi-coil array is used; the four
surface coils in each row are connected in series and the two
rows are connected differentially. A single absolute surface
coil can also be used, provided the probe maintains contact
with the tube surface by spring force or other means
(otherwise lift-off noise would be intolerable). See Figure
7.13 for the cross section of a typical spring-loaded
internal probe for tube testing.

TEST
COIL PLASTIC
BODY

REFERENCE SPRING
COIL

Fig. 7.13: Spring Loaded Internal Surface Probe for


Tube Inspections

A single surface probe is unquestionably the easiest to use;


signal analysis is discussed in Chapter 6. The main
disadvantage is the partial circumferential coverage;
multiple passes or helical scanning are necessary for 100%
coverage. Another disadvantage of the surface probe
configuration (single or multiple) is the loss of sensitivity
with distance from the coil. If surface coils are small, as
will be the case for most tube inspections, the reduction in
sensitivity with distance from the surface will be greater
than with circumferential coils, see Section 5.3.1. The
sensitivity to small localized defects originating from the
outside surface could be as much as 10 times lower than the
sensitivity to internal defects. A zig-zag coil has less
attenuation to outside defects, it falls into the
circumferential class in this respect. Neither zig-zag nor
surface coil probes will give uniform sensitivity around
the'r circumference. There will be peaks of maximum and
minimum sensitivity depending on the angle between eddy
-127-

current path and defect orientation. This can best be


visualized by considering a short circumferential crack
passing over the coils: there will be areas, such as at the
peaks of the zig-zag, where eddy current flow is almost
parallel to the crack, resulting in poor sensitivity.

Figure 7.14 shows examples of signal response to real


circumferential fatigue cracks with the probes discussed
above.

(a) MULT I -PANCAKE


COIL PROBE

(b) ZIG-ZAG
COIL PROBE
WMr

(C) BOBBIN
COIL PROBE

-/vv'-J'vr-*"~'s-

Fig. 7.14: Eddy Current Scans of Circumferential Cracks in


Inconel Tubing (Signal Amplitude Normalized to a 1.6 mm
Diameter Through Hole), x - 400 kHz.
-128-

7.6 SUMMARY

Test coils induce eddy currents and also sense the distortion
of their flow caused by defects. Encircling or bobbin probes
have test coil(s) mounted with their axes parallel to the tube
or rod axis. Since the coils are wound circuraferentially the
induced eddy currents also flow circumferentially. They cannot
be used to detect circumferential cracks, laminar defects, nor
defects in the center of a rod.

As a general guideline for tube inspection, probe coil


length, depth, and spacing (If differential) should
approximately equal wall thickness.
An absolute bobbin probe (single test coil) should be used
for general in-service heat exchanger inspection. However,
for short localized defects, differential probes (two test
coils side-by-side) are normally preferred.
Analysis of eddy current signals is the most important and
unfortunately the most difficult task in a successful
inspection. A thorough understanding of impedance diagrams
and effect of phase lag is needed to manipulate test
conditions to minimize undesirable test variables. The
Characteristic Frequency for tube inspection is used to
locate the operating point on the impedance diagram. It is
given by

f = 5.07p/Dt kHz (7.2c)


g
where p is electrical resistivity and D is tube internal
diameter (for bobbin probe) and external diameter
(for encircling probe); t is tube wall thickness.

One needs to know the operating point on the impedance


diagram to determine effects of fill-factor, electrical
resistivity, and magnetic permeability. The optimum
sensitivity to fill-factor is near the bottom of the
impedance diagram, in the middle for electrical resistivity
and at the top for magnetic permeability.
When inspecting tubes for defects, criteria to satisfy are
(a) phase discrimination between defect signals and other
-129-

indications and (b) good phase separation between internal


and external defect signals. For general purpose testing the
frequency given by

3p/f kHz (7.4)

is used where t is wall thickness in mm. This frequency


yields 90 phase separation between internal and external
defect signals and little sensitivity to magnetic deposits
and ferromagnetic support plates.

Special probes are needed to inspect for circumferential


cracks or defects close to tubesheets. Single, spring
loaded, surface probes are effective.
7.7 WORKED EXAMPLES

7.7.1 PROBLEM: Calculate frequency to operate at the knee


location of the impedance diagram for a cylinder
5 mm in diameter and electrical resistivity
p = 10 microhm-centimetres.

SOLUTION: f D
o
5.07P = 6 (7.3a)

6 x 5.07 x 10
therefore f =
52
12 kHz

7.7.2 (a) Calculate the test frequency to inspect Inconel


PROBLEM: 600 tubing with Dj = 10.2 mm, t = 1.1 mm and
p = 98 microhm-centimetres.

SOLUTION: Best test results are obtained when there is


sufficient phase separation between internal and
external defect signals. A phase separation of
90 allows good discrimination between the two and
reasonable defect depth estimates. To achieve 90
phase separation, the test frequency is determined
by

90
(7.4)
t2

(derived from t/6 =1.1)


3 X 9
= * = 245 kHz
(1.1)

Therefore 245 kHz is the required frequency.


-130-

7.7-2 (b) Determine the approximate operating point on the


PROBLEM impedance diagram, for problem (a).

SOLUTION: Since t/<5 = 1.1 this tube cannot be considered


thick or thin walled. Therefore, neither equation
7.2(b) nor 7.2(c) is strictly valid. However,
for t/6 > 1, equation 7.2(c) for thick-wall tubing
yield an approximate solution.

f/fg = fD^/5.07 (7.3c)


= 245 x (10.2) /5.07-x 98
= 51.3
This would place the operating point on the lower
quadrant (much lower than the knee location) of
the thick-wall curve of Figure 7.10.

7.7.2 (c) Calculate a test frequency for the above tube


PROBLEM suitable for discriminating between ferromagnetic
inclusions and defects, when testing with an
internal probe.

SOLUTION: The operating point should be on the top quadrant


of the impedance diagram for thin-wall tubing,
Figure 7.10. This point is located by calculating
the test frequency to make the ratio of Forster's
characteristic frequency equal to or less than
0.5.

f/f (7.3b)

0.5

therefore

f = (0.5)(5.07p)/Dit

0.5 x 5.07 x 98/10.2 x 1.1 = 22 kHz

Therefore, at 22 kHz (9% of f 9 Q ) , it should be


possible to discriminate between defects and
ferromagnetic indications.
-131-

CHAPTER 8 - TUBE TESTING - SIGNAL ANALYSIS

8.1 INTRODUCTION
Manufacturing and in-service inspection of tubes is one of
the most important applications of eddy current testing. For
in-service inspection of small-bore tubing in particular,
eddy current is by far the most frequently used method.
Access is usually limited to tube ends which makes other NDT
techniques difficult or impossible to apply.

This chapter emphasizes in-service testing of tubes using


internal probes. This approach is taken because testing of
solid cylinders and tubes with external coils (manufacturing
inspection) is generally less complicated. If the reader
understands in-service inspection he should encounter no
problems applying similar principles to other test
s ituations.

Reasons for the appearance of impedance plane eddy current


signals are presented first. Repetition from previous
chapters is intentional, it was desired to keep this chapter
as independent as possible without excessive cross-
referencing. Discussion of simple defect indications is
followed by superimposed signals which are frequently
encountered during in-service inspection such as defects at
baffle plates and tubesheets. A section dealing with surface
probe internal tube inspection is included, difficult test
situations have been resolved with this technique. Signals
which could be mistaken for real defects (anomalous
indications) are the subject of another section. The chapter
concludes with a discussion of multifrequency testing,
including its advantages and limitations.

An attempt is made throughout this chapter to illustrate


discussion with real or simulated eddy current defect
signals.
8.2 EDDY i. RRENT SIGNALS
8.2.1 Defect Signal Characteristics

A defect, which disrupts eddy current flow, changes test coil


impedance as the coil is scanned past the defect. A non-
rigorous derivation of this effect can be obtained using
Figure 8.1 which portrays eddy currents induced in a tube with
either an internal or external coil. Consider a unit length
of tube as being the secondary winding of a transformer
(similar to treatment in Chapter 3 ) . The resistance of a
conductor of length &, cross-sectional area A and resistivity p
is
R = p/A, ohms
-132-

Without a defect, resistance around this tube is

2irrp/t (8.1a)

Introduction of a long defect, of depth h, which constricts


eddy current flow over the distance A0 (in radians) ,
increases total resistance to

R = 2frrp/t + A0hrp/t(t-h) (8.1b)

or R R o (defect free resistance) + AR (due to defect)

Fig. 8.1: Schematic Illustration of Eddy Currant


Distribution Around a Defect in a Tube

A short defect will also increase resistance but by a smaller


AR since current can flow both under and around it. Note
that it is width of affected zone, A6 , rather than actual
defect width which determines effect of the defect on
resistance. In summary, the above argument illustrates that
defect length, depth and width (to some extent) all increase
resistance to current flow and hence defect signal
amplitude.
In terms of the equivalent coil circuit of a resistor in
parallel with an inductor and its associated semicircular
impedance diagram (Chapter 3 ) , a defect moves the operating
point up the impedance diagram. Increasing resistanc in a
specimen changes both probe inductance and resistance.

The above discussion does not predict a defect signal in


detail, only its approximate amplitude and direction on the
impedance diagram. A more complete explanation requires
inclusion of phase lag. Consider an absolute coll around a
cylindrical sample as in Figure 8.2(a). (The treatment for a
differential coil would be similar but more complicated
because the twin coil configuration generates two mirror
image signals and cross-coupling between the two coils causes
further complications). Figure 8.2(a) shows the distribution
of magnetic field amplitude and phase around a coil as
derived by Dodd(^). The solid lines are contours of constant
magnetic field strength; the dashed lines are constant phase.
Since magnetic field and induced eddy currents have about the
same phase, the dashed lines also represent the phase of the
eddy currents. Similar diagrams could be derived for coils
inside or around tubes. Amplitude drops off exponentially
with distance and eddy current flow increasingly lags in
phase (relative to eddy currents adjacent to the coil) both
with depth and with axial distance from the coil. Skin depth
effect occurs in both radial and axial directions.

Figure 8.2(a) permits derivation of eddy current signals for


the surface, subsurface and deep defects illustrated. One
needs to establish a reference phase direction as starting
point, the fill-factor direction is convenient and can be
defined as the signal resulting from a very shallow surface
defect which only decreases coupling without changing phase
lag distribution. Hence choosing the phase contour which
just touches the surface under the coil as the 0 contour
fixes fill-factor direction as in Figure 8.2(b). The signal
or effect of defects can be imagined as the absence of eddy
currents which were flowing In the area before the
defect existed at this location. On moving the coil (or
defects past the coil) from positions 0 to 5 in Figure
8.2(a), one observes the change in amplitude and phase
sketched in Figure 8.2(b). This procedure is reasonably
straight forward for the surface and subsurface defects since
they are localized and only intersect one phase and amplitude
contour at any given position. For the deep defect, one has
to divide the defect into sections and determine weighted
average values for amplitude and phase at each position. -

The surface defect in Figure 8.2(b) has a large fill-factor


component, primarily its approach signal makes it
distinguishable from fill-factor. As defect depth increases,
signals rotate clockwise due to increasing phase angle.
-134-

CWSTIHI HIPLITUOE

SUBSURFACE DEFECT
2 3 5

DEFECT POSITION

(a)

SUBSURFACE
DEFECT (X2>

(b)

FILL -FACTOR

Fig. 8.2: Derivation of Eddy Current Signal


Appearance for Three Types of Defects
-135-

The angle between fill-factor and defect signals in Figure


8.2(b) is about 2 3 , where 3 = x/<5. Although probably not
strictly true, one can imagine defect signal phase angle as
the sum of a lag of & from the coil to the defect and the
same lag back to the coil.

8.2.2 Effect of Test Frequency


We can now combine Figure 8.2 results with impedance diagrams
from Chapter 7 to illustrate the effect of test frequency on
defect signal appearance. Figure 8.3(a) shows part of Figure
7.9, the impedance diagram for a tube with D^/Do = 0.8
tested with a short internal coil. The dotted lines trace
the impedance change with decreasing D Q . An external
defect (0D defect) in a tube is essentially a decrease i n
D Q with Dj held constant, therefore the dotted lines
trace the change in impedance as a coil is scanned past an 0D
defect. Note the similarity between the subsurface defect in
Figure 8.2(b) and the 0D defect at 2 f90 in Figure 8.3(a).
The display is normally rotated counter-clockwise to make a
signal from fill-factor approximately horizontal. This is
achieved by rotating the phase control knob on the eddy
current instrument.

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 8.3(a): Relation Between Impedance Diagram and Defect


Signal Appearance
-136-

With this phase setting and at fgo an OD defect shows wall


loss (+Y) in a tube without a change in fill-factor as in
Figure 8.3(b). An ID defect consist- of wall loss (+Y
component) as well as a large fill-factor (-X component)
because of decreased coil/tube coupling. The through-wall
defect (hole) signal contains elements of both ID and OD
defects and hence yields a signal which falls between the
two. Note that all defect signals must fall between
decreasing fill-factor and OD defect signals.

OD DEFECT
THROUGH-WALL -X -* +x
DEFECT
10 DEFECT

DECREASING FILL FACTOR -Y

Fig. 8.3(b); Defect Signal Appearance at

Figures 8.3(a) and 8.4 show what happens to defect signals


with changing test frequency. Reduced frequency results in
rotation of defect signals towards the fill-factor direction.
At very low frequencies (less than f go/4) signals from
different types of defects become difficult to distinguish
due to small phase angle separation.
-137-

Increasing test frequency increases phase separation between


ID and OD defect signals as predicted by phase lag. At fgQ
the ID and OD defect signals are separated by about 90 with
low sensitivity to tube supports and external deposits. At
higher test frequencies, 2 f go and above, higher sensitivity
to probe wobble and dents is obtained and the increased
angular separation of defect signals makes it difficult to
discriminate between OD defects and probe wobble or fill-
factor variations, see Figure 8.4(c).

(c) Z t 9 0

c ifi.8 . i Appearance of Calibration Defect Signals at


Different Test Frequencies
-138-

8.2.3 Calibration Tubes and Simple Defects


Both manufacturing and in-service inspection require calibra-
tion tubes with artificial defects for initial instrument
set-up and subsequent signal analysis and interpretation.
These tubes should be identical in material and size to tubes
to be tested. Minimum calibration requirements include ID,
OD and through-wall defects (see also the ASTM and ASME codes
cited in Section 7.4.2). For in-service inspection, expected
signal sources such as baffle plates, magnetite deposits and
dents are useful and often essential for reliable signal
analysis. Figure 8.5 shows typical signals, at fgo , from a
calibration tube suitable for in-service heat exchanger
inspection. Both absolute and differential probe signals are
shown. The 90 phase separation between ID and OD defects
also exists for differential probes. Note the similarity
with the signals derived in the previous section.

STEEL
SUPPORT PLATE

OUTSIDE INSIDE THROUGH


GROOVE GROOVE HOLE
u " f"
i m 12.7 m m

P - 98 ufl- cm

H0
, LE OUTSIDE

DECREASING
FILL FACTOR

ABSOLUTE DIFFERENTIAL

Fig. 8.5: Eddy Current Signals from a Typical Calibration


Tube. Test Frequency fqn - 250 kHz.
Qualitative reasons for the appearance of ID, OD and through-
wall defects were presented in Section 8.2.2. The other
signals in Figure 8.5 can be explained in a similar fashion.
Magnetite is a ferromagnetic non-conductor, its signal is due
-139-

to its high permeability. As indicated in Figure 7.11


increasing permeability of tube material yields a signal which
falls between OD and through-wall defects. The magnetite
signal in Figure 8.5(b) is essentially such a signal rotated
about 90 clockwise because of phase lag across the tube wall.
A dent places tube material in closer proximity to the coil
resulting in improved coupling (increased fill-factor) and
hence yields a signal opposite to decreasing fill-factor.
Probe wobble yields a signal very close to the fill-factor
direction because radial displacement of the coil reduces the
coupling to the tube. The reason for baffle plate signal
appearance is due to a combination of factors. For carbon
steel baffles, the effects of high magnetic permeability and
intermediate resistivity partially cancel resulting in small
signal amplitude. Phase lag across the tube wall rotates this
signal clockwise.

5 ID GROOVE I0S OD GROOVE 1.6 mm 0.25 mm


2.5 m WIDE 2,5 mm WIDE HOLE DENT
CARBON STEEL

J <r
SUPPORT

V CHANNEL
A \r
DISTANCE

I CHANNEL

Fig. 8.6: Appearance of Quadrature Components or. a Chart


Recording for a Calibration Tube

In eddy current tube testing one normally records the quadra-


ture components (vertical, Y; horizontal, X) of coil impedance
on a two-channel strip chart recorder as shown in Figure 8.6.
With phase adjusted as shown, any real defect will exhibit a
Y component. The X-channel information is required for detail-
ed signal analysis to decide type and depth of defects which
-140-

can only be performed reliably through phase analysis.


Accurate phase analysis can be done on-line by monitoring the
signals on an eddy current instrument storage monitor.
Alternatively an X-Y recorder or similar device permits hard-
copy storage of quadrature signals.
A flaw indication on an X-Y monitor is normally a curved
locus; it does not have a simple and unique phase angle. If
an absolute probe is used the significant angle to measure is
the tangent angle at the defect signal tip, see Figure
8.7(b). If a differential probe is used, the phase angle is
the slope of the straight line joining the end points of the
"figure-8" signal, see Figure 8.7(c). Figure 8.7(a)
illustrates the change in phase angle with defect depth.
This curve should be used only as a guide since defect signal
phase angle can change with defect and probe geometry.

O.D. DEFECT
I.D. O.D.
DEFECTS DEFECTS THROUGH
HOLE

1.0. OEFECT

(b) ABSOLUTE
THROUGH
H0LE
UJ
o O.D. DEFECT

10 (c) DIFFERENTIAL

SIGNAL PATTERN PHASE ANGLE (0), DEGREES

(a)

Fig. 8.7: Eddy Current Phase Angle/Defect Depth Calibration


Curve at
-141-

When an eddy current signal s o u r c e is located it is often


useful to retest at other f r e q u e n c i e s to confirm a defect
exists a n d / o r to improve depth e s t i m a t e . Defect depth is
estimated from signal p a t t e r n r e c o g n i t i o n and verifier' by
c o m p a r i s o n with c a l i b r a t i o n defect signals at various test
frequencies. N o r m a l l y , f r e q u e n c i e s of one-half and twice
are s u f f i c i e n t . H o w e v e r , to check for m a g n e t i c deposits or
inclusions a frequency of one-tenth fgg or less may be
required (see S e c t i o n s 7.4.2 and 8 . 3 . 1 ) . F i g u r e 8.4 s h o w s
effect of changes in frequency on c a l i b r a t i o n s i g n a l s .
I n c r e a s i n g test frequency increases phase s e p a r a t i o n between
ID and O D defects as p r e d i c t e d by p h a s e lag. It also
increases s e n s i t i v i t y to probe w o b b l e and dents but lowers
s e n s i t i v i t y to tube s u p p o r t s and external d e p o s i t s . One
night q u e s t i o n the v a l i d i t y of c o m p a r i n g machined holes and
grooves in c a l i b r a t i o n tubes with real defects to e s t i m a t e
type and d e p t h . The f o l l o w i n g e x a m p l e s justify this
app roach.

F i g u r e 8.8 shows external c o r r o s i o n in a copper tube. Attack


is general but n o n - u n i f o r m with localized severe p i t t i n g .
An a b s o l u t e i n t e r n a l probe was used to obtain s i g n a l s from
a r t i f i c i a l defects and three of the localized p i t s . The
phase angle of the first two c o r r o s i o n i n d i c a t i o n s shows they
are OD d e f e c t s , c o m p a r i s o n with the c a l i b r a t i o n defect led to
a depth e s t i m a t e of 25 to 50X. I n d e p e n d e n t m e c h a n i c a l
m e a s u r e m e n t found deepest p e n e t r a t i o n to be 5 0 % for both
defects. T h e third defect has a n o t i c e a b l y d i f f e r e n t phase
angle from t h e first t w o . It a p p r o a c h e s the a n g l e for a
t h r o u g h - w a l l h o l e , h e n c e its depth was estimated to be 50 to
7 5 % (actual m e a s u r e m e n t y i e l d e d 7 5 % ) .

1.6 urn " " OD


CALIBRATION HOLE r.ROOVE"
DEFECTS ,. ,0 ^ ' '
ECCENTRIC
GROOVE

CORROSION
DEFECTS

Fig. 8.8: External Corrosion in a Copper Tube (Do =15.9 mm,


t=1.0 mm, f9Q = 5.3 kHz)
-142-

An example of stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in Type 316


stainless steel, from a heavy water plant heat exchanger, is
shown in Figure 8.9. The crack extends nearly half way
around the tube. Phase angle of the crack signal shows it
extends through the tube wall. Since the eddy currents flow
parallel to coil windings, circumferentially, the large crack
signal is due entirely to the component of the crack along
the tube axis. The intergranular, branching nature of SCC
generally permits their detection. Since a defect must dis-
rupt eddy current flow to be detectable, if circumferential
cracks are suspected, fatigue cracks for example, special
probes are required, see Section 7.5 and 8.2.5.

30 -.10 PL-

50% 01)
CONCENTRIC
GROOVE
CRACK
SIGNAL

CALIBRATION
DEFECTS

Fig. 8.9: Stress Corrosion Cracking in Type 316 Stainless


Steel Tubing (Dn =19.1 mm, t=1.8 mm, fqp =68 kHz)

8.2.4 Vectorial Addition and Defects at Baffle Plates

During in-service inspection of tubes in heat exchangers,


tube supports (baffle plates) are frequently defect prone
regions. Inspection for defects at baffles is possible
because eddy current signals are often vectorially additive.
This permits analysis of superimposed signals; the signals
can be (mentally or graphically) subtracted from the total
indication with resultant separated signals appearing similar
to calibration defects. Vectorial addition provides the
basis for mult ifrequency eddy current testing (Section 8 . 4 ) .
-143-

Figure 3.10 illustrates how signals from a steel baffle plate


and an external groove are added to obtain a superimposed
indication. The difference between the end points of the
baffle plate and baffle and groove signals equals the
indication obtained from the groove by itself.

0D GROOVE

CARBON
STEEL
BAFFLE

Fig. 8.10: Vectorial Addition of Eddy Current Signals

Figure 8.11(a) shows a section of stainless steel tube


removed from a power plant heat exchanger with part of the
carbon steel support plate still in place. The support shows
considerable corrosion; originally there was about 0.25 mm
clearance between the tube and the hole in the plate.
Corrosion products have completely filled the gap leading to
crevice corrosion evident in Figure 8.11(b) which is a
similar tube with the plate removed. Calibration signals are
presented in Figure 8.11(c). The eddy current signal from
the baffle plate region of Figure 8.11(a) is shown in Figure
8.11(d). This seemingly simple signal is actually quite
complex. The upward component is due to external pitting
similar to that in Figure 8.11(b). The presence of a support
plate should result in -X, -Y signal components; in fact a
+ X deflection is observed. This is the result of denting of
the tube. Denting is circumferential constriction of tubes
due to compressive stresses exerted by baffle plate corrosion
-144-

products such as magnetite. The presence of magnetite can


also contribute to signal distortion particularly at low test
frequencies- Tube denting is of concern because, in addition
to complicating eddy current signal analysis, it can lead to
further tube damage such as stress corrosion cracking or
thermal fatigue because tubes are no longer free to expand
and contract during thermal cycling.

(a) (b)

OD GROOVE

DEFECT

(c) (d)

Fig. 8.11; Corrosion and Denting Under a Steel Baffle Plate


(Do =15.9 mm, t=1.25 mm, fop = 80kHz)

Another example of defects near a carbon steel tube support


is shown in Figure 8.12. These were obtained from a brass,
thermal power plant condenser tube which suffered
erosion/corrosion on either side of supports. This is the
same tube as in Figure 7.3. Defect signals from the baffle
plate vicinity are so large the support signal is obscured.
The main point of this example is the advantage of using
phase angle, rather than amplitude, to judge defect severity.
Defect B with both differential and absolute probes has a
phase angle approaching that of a through-wall hole, i.e., it
probably extends at least 75% through' the wall. Defect A on
the other hand is vertical and hence is probably no deeper
than 50% even though it exhibits greater amplitude than B.
-145-

DEFECT
SIGNALS

OD
GROOVE D
GROOVE
HAM-Lt

(a) COL I BRAT I OK DEFECT SIGNALS

ABSOLUTE DIFFERENTIAL

Fig. 8.12; Quadrature Eddy Current Signals from the Brass


Tube In Figure 7.3

To this point we have only considered ferromagnetic tube


supports, carbon steel is the material used in most heat
exchangers. With magnetic baffle plates vectorial addition
appears to apply for all types of defects. Unfortunately
deteriorating water quality, denting problems and longer ser-
vice life requirements have made it necessary to construct
some heat exchangers with non-ferromagnetic support plates.
Vectorial addition of eddy current signals involving nonmag-
netic supports is generally not valid. Several factors con-
tribute to this situation, nonmagnetic supports yield much
larger signals than magnetic supports. The large signal from
nonmagnetic baffle plates effectively reduces signal-to-noise
making small defects more difficult to detect.

Possibly the most difficult defects to detect under non-


magnetic supports are those of the same width as the plate,
e.g., fretting wear from tube vibration.

Figure 8.13(a) illustrates such a situation, a brass baffle


plate with a copper-nickel tube containing simulated 50% deep
fretting wear. The same defect with a magnetic baffle plate
is shown in Figure 8.13(b) for comparison.

Problems in detecting defects at non-magnetic supports can


not be overcome by employing a multifrequency eddy current
technique. The multifrequency approach relies on vectorial
-146-

MAXIMUM GAP

50? 0D
"ECCENTRIC GROOVE

OD GROOVE

OD GROOVE

BAFFLE WITH
MAXIMUM (SAP

BRASS BAFFLE
IN CONTACT

MAGNETIC
BAFFLE
(b)
Fig. 8.13; Wear Under (a) Non-Ferromagnetic and (b)
Ferromagnetic Baffle Plates
addition being valid (Section 8.4). Sensitivity can be
improved by employing special probes as will be shown in
Section 8.2.6.
8.2.5 Tube Inspection at Tubesheets
Heat exchanger tubesheets are usually made of carbon steel,
eddy current response should therefore appear similar to a
baffle signal. In addition, a large fill-factor (tube
expansion) signal is also obtained as a result of tubes being
rolled into tubesheets. Rolling eliminates corrosion prone
crevices and also helps hold tubes in the tubesheet. With
carbon steel tubesheets, expansion usually yields the largest
signal component, the tubesheet only contributes appreciably
at test frequencies below f90 Figure 8.14 shows tube
configuration at a tubesheet and typical eddy current
s ignals.

Occasionally one, may encounter a tubesheet clad with a


corrosion resistant alloy such as stainless steel or
Inconel. If the cladding is non-magnetic the same
complications arise as with non-magnetic baffle plates
(Section 8.2.4). Fortunately, most tubesheets are only clad
on the primary side (near tube ends) where service related
defects rarely occur.
-147-

TUBESHEET x ,
END OF
N
Nx x J ROLLED JOINT

IKi [
153 f

EXPANSION SIGNAL

Fig. 8.14; Schematic of Tube Geometry at Rolled Joint in


Tubesheet and Associated Eddy Current Signals

The end of the rolled joint at the inboarr. edge of a tube-


sheet is a defect prone area because of high residual and
service stresses and also because deposits tend to accumulate
at this location which can lead to corrosion. Eddy current
indications with bobbin-type probes from defects in this
region can be difficult to interpret because of excessive
signal distortion from tube expansion. Sensitivity may be
improved by employing a spring loaded surface probe as
discussed in next section.

8.2.6 Testing Tubes with Internal Surface Probes


During in-service inspection of tubes, situations arise where
conventional circumferential probes (both differential and
absolute) prove inadequate. The case of circumferential
cracks was treated in Section 7.5. Surface probe designs
have also been found to yield improved test results in the
case of defects at non-magnetic baffle plates and at heat
exchanger tubesheets.

Surface probes have several advantages over bobbin-type


probes. They can be made much smaller than tube diameter and
hence sample a smaller volume of tube periphery, this
provides inherently greater sensitivity to small defects.
Spring loading of a surface probe against the tube wall
eliminates much of the fill-factor (lift-off) distortion
caused by tube expansion in tubesheets. The main drawback to
-148-

surface probe tube testing is that a number of scans have to


be made for complete circumferential coverage. Conventional
probes sample the entire tube in a single scan.

TUBESHEET END 0 c INCONEL 600


ROLLED JOINT TUBE WALL

TUBESHEET

CONVENTIONAL SURCACE
PROBE PROBE

Fig. 8.15; Comparison of Eddy Current Test Results in Heat


Exchanger Tubesheet Region with Conventional and Surface
Probes (Dn -12.5 mm, t - 1.2 mm, fgp -200 kHz)
Figure 8.15 illustrates surface probe testing at the tube-
sheet region of a power plant steam generator. It compares
signals, from what is believed to be OD corrosion damage at
the end of the rolled joint, obtained with conventional and
surface probes. The reason for the characteristic A'B'C1
surface probe signal is as follows. As the probe is with-
drawn from the tube (direction of arrow) it encounters the
start of the expanded area. Failure of the probe to follow
this contour exactly results in an increasing lift-off
signal, A'B', superimposed on the impedance change, A'C, due
to the presence of the tubesheet. Both defect signals were
obtained from the same tube, note the considerable improve-
ment in sensitivity obtained with the surface probe. This
tube was in fact leaking.
-149-

50?, OD
ECCENTRIC
GROOVE

BAP

CALIBRATION

BAFFLE
(MAXIMUM RAP)

Fig. 8.16: Internal Surface Probe Testing for Fretting Wear


under a Non-Magnetic Baffle Plate. (Compare with Fig. 8.13
Results)
A second example-of improved sensitivity with an internal
surface probe involves fretting wear under non-magnetic
baffle plates. Figure 8.16 shows results. Compare with
Figure 8.13(a) which shows test results for the same defect
obtained with an internal circumferential probe. With no gap,
the 50% groove was barely detectable with a conventional
probe,while Figure 8.16 shows this defect is easily detected
with a surface probe.

8.3 ANOMALOUS EDDY CURRENT SIGNALS

Some eddy current signals can be mistaken for defect indica-


tions; these are called false or anomalous signals. They
arise because of the high sensitivity of eddy currents to
many variables and demonstrate the need for thorough analysis
before concluding that every eddy current signal represents a
defect. The following examples illustrate more common ones
which have been encountered in practice.
8.3.1 Ferromagnetic Inclusions and Deposits

Materials with relative magnetic permeability greater than


1.0 affect eddy current response drastically. Skin depth and
probe Inductance are both affected by permeability; permea-
bility values of 50 to several hundred are typical.
-150-

Before citing specific examples consider the general approach


to identifying signals from magnetic materials. Such signals
can be distinguished from real defects by reducing test fre-
quency to move the operating point near the top of the impe-
dance diagram. Figure 8.17 illustrates the procedure where
1, 2 and 3 represent ferromagnetic material on the inside, in
the tube wall and on the outside respectively. It may be
difficult to achieve a sufficiently high operating point with
some instruments and probes when testing low resistivity,
large diameter tubes. However, if a low enough frequency is
achieved, real defect indications will fall nearly parallel
to fill-factor whereas high permeability indications are
nearly perpendicular to fill-factor. At 240 kHz (fgg) l n
Figure 8.17, 1 and 2 could easily have been mistaken for ID
defects. There is no confusion at 10 kHz since it is known
that all dofect indications must fall between fill-factor and
an 0D defect signal. The following two examples demonstrate
the procedure to discriminate false defect (ferromagnetic)
indications.
FERROMAGNETIC
ANOMALIES

0 B 1 D

GROOVE GROOVE

12.7mm

ABSOLUTE PROBE INCONEL BOO TU3E

'

1.0.

DECREASING FILL FACTOR

i.D. D.D.

DECREASING FILL FACTOR "
O.OS O.IO 0. IS
NORMALIZED RESISTANCE. J!i_

Fig. 8.17: Coil Impedance Display at Two Test Frequencies


-151-

F e r r o m a g n e t i c inclusions are o c c a s i o n a l l y encountered during


eddy current testing of n o n - m a g n e t i c m a t e r i a l s . These arise
from chips or filings from steel tooling and handling e q u i p -
ment w h i c h are embedded d u r i n g m a n u f a c t u r e . The surface of
nominally n o n - m a g n e t i c stainless steels and n i c k e l - b a s e
alloys can also become m a g n e t i c as a result of cold w o r k i n g
or through alloy d e p l e t i o n from o x i d a t i o n or c o r r o s i o n .

O.D. DEFECT 1.0. DEFECT

250 kHz FERROMAGNETIC


INCLUSION
FERROMAGNETIC
O.D. INCLUSION
I.D.

50 kHz
INCLUSION

INCLUSION

10 kHz

Fig. 8 . 1 8 ; D e f e c t and M a g n e t i c I n c l u s i o n S i g n a l s O b t a i n e d
f r o m a N e w I n c o n e l 600 T u b e ( D n = 13 m m , t = 1.1 m m ) w i t h an
Absolute External Coil. fqo = 2 5 0 kHz

T h o u g h one might c o n s i d e r a m a g n e t i c i n c l u s i o n a d e f e c t ,
there are s e v e r a l reasons why it is important to identify the
o r i g i n of an i n d i c a t i o n . E v e n very s m a l l , perhaps i n s i g n i f i -
c a n t , m a g n e t i c i n c l u s i o n s can yield s i z e a b l e eddy current
s i g n a l s b e c a u s e of the e x t r e m e s e n s i t i v i t y to m a g n e t i c p e r m e -
ability. A second reason to d e t e r m i n e defect o r i g i n is so
m e a s u r e s can be taken to m i n i m i z e f u r t h e r d a m a g e ; m a g n e t i c
i n c l u s i o n s are nearly a l w a y s m a n u f a c t u r i n g d e f e c t s . Figure
8.18 shows the s i g n a l from a m a g n e t i c i n c l u s i o n in new I n c o n -
e l . 6 0 0 tubing at various test f r e q u e n c i e s . These results
w e r e obtained w i t h an e x t e r n a l e n c i r c l i n g p r o b e ; this ex-
plains the r e v e r s a l in a p p e a r a n c e of ID and 0D defects from
p r e v i o u s e x a m p l e s . The m a g n e t i c inclusion yields a signal
w h o s e a n g u l a r s e p a r a t i o n from the f i l l - f a c t o r d i r e c t i o n
i n c r e a s e s as test f r e q u e n c y is reduced. The response of real
d e f e c t s is just o p p o s i t e .
-152-

O.D. DEFECT
I.D. DEFECT

INTERNAL
MAGNETITE
250 kHz
MAGNETITE
I.D.

MAGNETITE
50 kHz

MAGNETITE
O.D.
I.D.

10 kHz
Fig. 8.19: Defect and Magnetite Signals from an Inconel 600
Tube (Dp - 13 mm, t - 1.1 mm) Obtained with an Absolute
Internal Probe. f on - 250 kHz)

Figure 8.19 shows eddy current response to magnetite


(Fe^Q^) deposits inside an Inconel 600 tube at various
test frequencies. As in the previous example, the existence
of ferromagnetic material is verified by lowering test
frequency; magnetite signals rotate clockwise whereas defect
signals rotate counter-clockwise. One could easily mistake
the magnetite signals for real defects at 250 kHz and 50 kHz.
Reducing test frequency can also be used to verify the
presence of magnetite on the outside of a tube. This
approach has been used to measure the height of sludge
deposits (containing magnetite) above tubesheets during
in-service inspection of vertical heat exchangers.

Figure 8.20 shows the eddy current signals from a Monel 400
steam generator tube with external wall thinning near a tube
support. The tube was inspected with an absolute saturation
probe and the signals recorded with wall thinning giving a
vertically upward signal. At 50 kHz the vertical component
of the complex signal is from wall thinning and the
horizontal signal is primarily from magnetic deposit. At 200
kHz (2 fgo) the vertical component is again from wall
thinning but the horizontal signal is primarily from an
increase in tube magnetic permeability because of incomplete
magnetic saturation under the carbon steel tube support.
At 400 kHz eddy currents just barely penetrate through the
wall. In this case the signal is primarily from tube
magnetic permeability variations.
-153-

0 . 0 . GROOVE

O.D. /DENT DENT

BAFFLE f , = 400 kHz


BflFFLE PLflTE
v^. BftFFLE
PLATE
^ S "* ! S5^LflTE
f 2 = 2OOkHz BAFFLE
PLATE
f ,* = 50 kHz
MAGNET ITEv
CALIBRATION TUBE
SIGNALS \rmTj

MfiGNETITE
f 2 = 200 kHz f3 = 400 kHz
f , =50 kHz

ACTUAL DEFECT SIGNAL

Fig. 8.20: Eddy Current Signals from Monel 400 Tube at Baffle
Plate Location. (fqf) " 100 kHz)

8.3.2 Conducting Deposits

T h e most p r o b a b l e c o n d u c t i n g d e p o s i t w h i c h may be e n c o u n t e r e d
d u r i n g i n - s e r v i c e t u b e t e s t i n g is c o p p e r . Copper taken into
s o l u t i o n in one part of a c o o l i n g c i r c u i t , from brass t u b e s for
e x a m p l e , c a n r e - d e p o s i t at a n o t h e r l o c a t i o n at the e x p e n s e of a
less n o b l e m e t a l such as i r o n . An e x a m p l e is s h o w n in F i g u r e
8.21 w h i c h is a c o p p e r - a l l o y t u b e from an a i r c o n d i t i o n e ' ' i-
exchanger. C o p p e r d e p o s i t s o c c u r n e a r t u b e s u p p o r t s , me. a
t h i c k n e s s was 0.05 mm. E v e n s u c h a t h i n d e p o s i t y i e l d s s. _.rge
eddy c u r r e n t s i g n a l s i n c e c o p p e r is a good c o n d u c t o r . Figure
8.21 s h o w s r e s p o n s e from both a b s o l u t e and d i f f e r e n t i a l
internal probes. The a b s o l u t e p r o b e g a / e eddy c u r r e n t s i g n a l s
w i t h no +Y c o m p o n e n t , c l e a r l y i n d i c a t i n g the n o n - d e f e c t n a t u r e
of the a n o m a l y .
-154-

The differential probe signal is not nearly as clear and


illustrates another limitation of differential probes. Com-
parison of the deposit indication with calibration defects
could easily lead one to conclude the presence of an OD
defect; particularly if the eddy current results were com-
pressed on X and Y channel recordings as is often the case
during in-service inspection. With a differential probe, one
has to observe defect sense (arrows) to distinguish between
deposit signals and those from real defects.

fjf Copper Deposits

CALIBRATION
DEFECT SIGNALS

ABSOLUTE DIFFERENTIAL

DEPOSIT SIGNALS

Fig. 8.21; Eddy Current Indications from Copper Deposits on


a Copper Alloy Tube (Dp = 19 mm, t = 1.1 mm, fgp = 57 kHz)

figure 8.22 shows simulated copper deposit signals at differ-


test frequencies. There is a noticeable change in phase
e with increasing deposit thickness as well as test fre-
icy At frequencies above fgg there exists a possibility
^sits c.uld be mistaken for ID defects, even with an
solute probe. The procedure for in-service inspection of
nuclear power plant boilers specified by ASME(_1_1) leads to
test frequencies- between fgg and 2fgg. This appears to be a
weakness in the code which may lead to revision if copper
deposits prove more common as boilers age. Inspection of
Figure 8.22 reveals clearer discrimination between copper and
defects is achieved at fgQ /2 than at fgg . Optimum test
frequency for copper coated tubes appears to be the frequency
-155-

which just leaves copper signals below the horizontal


fill-factor direction.

A - '05 OD ECCENTRIC GROOVE


B - 10", ID CONCENTRIC GROOVE
C - Q . U mr THICK COPPER GROUND TUBE
D - 0.05 nn THICK COPPER AROUND TUBE

Fig. 8.22: Eddy Current Signals Obtained with an Internal


Circumferential Probe from Simulated Copper Deposits on Tubes

8.4 MULTIFREQUENCY EDDY CURRENT TESTING


8.4.1 Background

Successful in-service Eddy Current inspection relies on eddy


current probes that can sense defects and an analysis of eddy
current signals. Both aspects are equally important. While
scanning each tube, eddy current signals are obtained from
baffle plates, magnetite deposits, dents, tubesheets, tube
expansion, etc. and maybe defects. One must,therefore,
discriminate between defects and insignificant signals and
even more important, estimate defect severity when it occurs
together with other signal sources. It would be much easier
if the data could be processed to contain only defect
signals; Multifrequency ET can do this.

In multifrequency testing, two or more sinusoidal signals of


different frequencies are fed simultaneously to a single eddy
current probe. Gain and phase of the output signal from each
frequency can be separately controlled.
-156-

THROUGH BAFFLE
PL TE
WALL HOLE *
ID GROOVE 0 D GROOVE
MAGNETITE '-3 m
1 \ J DENT J
15.5 mm

CALIBRATION TUBE R3

100% . o .D.
1 D. ^ >v
I
DEFECTS ^ V ^ j
1E1
(s^^MAI
3NETI
I.D

^
100%

\ \
C
\BAFFLE
DENT

\ \ PLATE
BAFFLE \
PLATE \
\ MAGNETITE
\
f t =20 kHz f 2 =100 kHz f , =500 kHz

(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 8.23: I n t e r n a l Probe Response t o Various Test


Parameters. f ^ . = 1 3 0 kHz

(c)

Fig. 8.24: Eddy Current Signal at Baffle Plate Position


in Tube of Figure 8.11. fgQ = 130 kHz.
-157-

These signals can then be combined to eliminate unwanted


signals and leave only the defect signal. This method is
only effective if a defect signal differs characteristically
from unwanted signals and if signals are vectorially
additive. The first condition makes detection of internal
defects, in the presence of internal variations, impossible.
The second requirement makes the method ineffective for
detection of fretting wear under non-ferromagnetic baffle
plates (Section 8.2.4). As a consequence of combining
signals from three different frequencies, defect signal
amplitude decreases and instrument noise increases.

Eddy current penetration and phase lag are a function of


frequency; increasing test frequency reduces penetration and
increases phase lag. Since an eddy current signal is a
function of current density and phase lag, it is possible to
change the response to various signal sources by changing
test frequency.
If one simulates a heat exchanger tube with defects,
deposits, dents and support plates, one obtains the following
results:
(a) at high frequencies only internal defects and dents are
detectable, Figure 8.23(c).
(b) at intermediate frequencies, all features are
detectable and there is phase discrimination between
internal and external defect signals (because of phase
lag across the wall) and other signals, Figure 8.23(b).
(c) at low frequencies, baffle plates and magnetite deposits
yield predominant signals with little phase separation
between internal and external defect signals, Figure
8.23(a).
With this background in mind, one can decide which combina-
tion of frequencies should be used to eliminate extraneous
(unwanted) signals. The following two examples illustrate
these effects.
For the dented tube example described in Section 8.2.3
(Figure 8.11), the extraneous signals making up the composite
signal at f = 100 kHz can be determined by re-inspecting the
tube at higher and lower test frequencies. If the signals
from the actual defect in Figure 8.24 are compared with the
corresponding calibration signals in Figure 8.23, one can see
at 500 kHz the signal is primarily from a dent while that at
20 kHz contains a large baffle plate signal component.
-158-

8.4.2 Multlfrequency Testing of Dented Tubes

With single frequency eddy current inspection, tube supports


and dents tend to mask signals from tube damage under tube
supports. This makes detection and estimation of severity
difficult and time-consuming. In the remaining section we
show how multifrequency simplifies the inspection of the
dented tube described previously.

Figure 8.25 illustrates the tube stripping sequence; one or


more signals are removed by each mixing of two frequencies.
By proper manipulation of the signals from the two lower
frequencies, baffle plate and magnetite deposit signals can
be eliminated. However, the resultant eddy current signal is
still distorted by the 'denting' signal. Again, by combining
this resultant signal with the signal from a higher test
frequency, the dent signal can also be eliminated. The tube
now looks bare. If a defect existed under the baffle plate,
it would be very easy to detect, the resultant signal
contains only information from the OD corrosion. This
process of unwanted signal elimination is like solving three
simultaneous equations with three unknowns and solving for
the parameter X^ = defect.

h '3

20 kHz 100 kHz 500 kHz

c, = f2 - f,

c2 = c, . f3

'* \

Fig. 8.25; Tube Stripping Sequence by Mult ifrequency


-159-

As shown in Figure 8.23, the signal at each baffle plate is a


composite signal comprising a baffle plate, magnetite deposit
(or baffle plate corrosion products), dent and defect signal.
Figure 8.26 illustrates elimination of baffle plate and
magnetite signals. The probe is moved back-and-forth under
the baffle plate and the signal is monitored on the storage
scope in the chopping mode, where both frequency signals are
displayed simultaneously.

MAGNETITE

BAFFLE
PUTE

BAFFLE
PLATE

fI UlTH VERTICAL AXIS I; WITH PHASE


COMPRESSED BY 0.74 ROTATION OF 19

N RESIDUAL BAFFLE PLATE SIGNAL

RESIDUAL MAGNETITE SIGNAL

Fig. 8.26; Suppression of Baffle Plate and Magnetite Signals

The 2 signal is first rotated to match the fj signal


orientation. Then f^ amplitude is changed to match, as
nearly as possible, the fj signal size. In this case, this
method by itself doesn't work. However, by decreasing the
vertical component of the fj baffle plate signal, one
obtains a good match. On subtracting the signal, through an
electronic mixer (C^), the signals from the baffle plate
and the magnetite deposit both nearly disappear. A small
residual signal remains due to different approach signals
at the two test frequencies, indicated in Figure 8.26 by
the two open circles. Although the baffle plate signals
-160-

are Identical, the two points do not coincide; the baffle


plate Is sensed earlier at the lower test frequency. This
residual signal is insignificant for this application though
it can become quite serious when testing for small cracks
under non-ferromagnetic baffle plates.

C 2 =Ci-f 3 /

RESIDUAL DENT SIGNAL

Fig. 8.27; Suppression of Dent Signal

Figure 8.27 illustrates how one can eliminate the 'denting'


signal from the resultant (Cj = ^2~^1^ signal. This
is achieved by first matching the phase and amplitude of the
Cj and 3 'dent' signals and then using a second mixing
module (C2) for subtraction.

Figure 8.28 traces the above sequence for two defective tubes,
and shows the eddy current signal becoming simpler to analyze
with each step. On comparing defective tube signals with those
from a calibration tube, one observes the ^2 defect signal is
distorted by the baffle plate, dent and/or magnetite deposit.
The C^ signal is only distorted from the dent signal,and C2
is a clear signal indicating 0D pits approximately 50% deep.
Even an inexperienced inspector could analyze these results.
-161-

I00S 0D 00
10.
CALIBRATION TUBE

DENT
DE
BAFFLE NT M f l G r ^T|TE
V PLATE c, = 1 , 1,
f , -- 100 kH2

OEFECTIVE
TUBE NO. 2

Fig. 8.28: Multifrequency Eddy Current Signals from


Defective Tube

When using multi-frequency to eliminate "ID noise", such as


signals from cyclic internal diameter variations ("pilger
noise or die chatter"), dents and probe wobble, the signal
amplitude from internal defects is drastically reduced.
However, signal amplitude from external defects is not
altered significantly. Multifrequency is more effective for
external defect detection than for detection of internal defects
in tubes.
-162-

8.5 SUMMARY
Defect signal amplitude is a function of its axial and
circumferential extent as well as depth. Defect signal phase
is primarily a function of depth. For general purpose
volumetric inspection of heat exchanger tubes, a suitable
test frequency is

f 9 0 = 3 p/t 2 , kHz (7.4)

where p is electrical resistivity and t is wall thickness.

Inspection at f^Q allows defect depth to be estimated on the


basis of signal phase. To discriminate between defects and
ferromagnetic deposits a lower test frequency should be used;
normally 10 or 20% of f 9Q .

Signal response from most significant service induced defects


is usually comparable in amplitude to that from a 1.6 mm
diameter through hole. Stress corrosion cracking, general
corrosion and fretting wear give large signals whereas
pitting corrosion and fatigue cracks give small signals.

Testing for fretting wear under non-ferromagnetic support


plates is difficult and unreliable with bobbin type probes,
because defect and support plate signals are not vectorially
additive. A surface type probe should be used.
Multifrequency equipment can be used to eliminate unwanted
components from complex signals such as support plates and
probe wobble. This greatly simplifies signal analysis.
-163-

CHAPTER 9 - METALLURGICAL PROPERTIES AND TESTING


FERROMAGNETIC MATERIALS

9 .1 INTRODUCTION

One can find numerous references in NDT publications dealing


with eddy current measurement of material properties,such as
chemical composition, hardness, strength, corrosion damage,
degree of cold work and extent of both carburization and
decarburization. In fact, none of these properties and
material conditions are measured directly. Eddy current
testing is sensitive to material properties through their
effect on resistivity and magnetic permeability. As such,
eddy currents only provide indirect measurement of material
properties and care must be taken to insure that some
unforeseen material variation does not lead to false
conclusions. Two precautions will help avoid false test
results:

(a) a sound basic understanding of ET as outlined in


previous chapters
( b) use of suitable standards for any particular test;
the condition of such standards should be verified
by independent methods, e.g., hardness tests, tensile
tests .

A complete treatment of materials property evaluation by eddy


current testing is beyond the scope of this manual. The
basics are covered and a few examples presented.

9.2 ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY

9.2.1 Factors Affecting Resistivity

All materials possess intrinsic resistance to electron flow


(current) which is termed resistivity ( P, microhm-centimetres).
The resistance of a conductor is given by

R = pJl/A ohms

where A is length (cm) and A is cross-sectional area (cm^).


Resistivity values for various materials are listed in Table 9.1

Conductivity (cr, siemens/metre) * is the ease with which


electrons can move through a material. It is the reciprocal

*Conversion: a = 10 8 /p, S/m or mho/t


-164-

TABLE 9.1 ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY OF COMMON CONDUCTORS AT 20C

MATERIAL RESISTIVITY CONDUCTIVITY CONDUCTIVITY


(yn.cm) (siemens/m) (% IACS)
Silver 1.6 6.14xl07 105
Copper 1.7 5.81 100
Gold 2.4 4.10 70
Aluminum 2.8 3.55 61
7O75-T6 (Al Alloy) 5.3 1.89 32
Zinc 5.9 1.70 29
Magnesium 4.6 2.17 37
Admiralty Brass 7.0 1.43 24
Iron 9.7 1.03 18
Phosphor Bronze 16 0.63 11
Lead 20.6 0.49 8.4
70 Cu-30 Ni 37.4 0.27 4.5
Mo nel 48.2 0.21 3.6
Zirconium 50 0.20 3.4
Ti tanium 54.8 0.18 3.1
304 SS 70 0.14 2.5
Zircaloy-2 72 0.14 2.4
Inconel 600 98 0.10 1.7
Hastelloy X 115 0.087 1.5
Was paloy 123 0.081 1.4
T1-6A1-4V 172 0.058 1.0

of resistivity. In eddy current testing, conductivity is


frequently given as a percentage of the International
Annealed Copper Standard (% IACS). In this system
conductivity of pure, annealed copper at 20C is set to 100%
and conductivity of other materials is given as a percentage
of copper. Conductivity of a material can be calculated from
its resistivity,

% IACS - 172/p

Increasing temperature normally increases resistivity


(decreases conductivity) as shown in Figure 9.1. Over a
limited temperature range the variation is usually linear
according to the relation

p = P Q ( 1 + aAT)

where P is resistivity at temperature T (C), P o is


resistivity at a reference temperature T o , a ("C -1
is thermal coefficient of resistivity and AT is the
temperature difference (T-T o ). For common metals and
alloys values of a range from less than 0.001 to over 0.01,
0.004 is fairly typical.
-165-

Alloying normally Increases resistivity. Figure 9.2 shows


even small alloy additions to aluminum can increase
resistivity appreciably. The conductivity of binary Cu-Ni

60 /
metres )

/TITANIUM
50 / a 0.04

u 40
I
1 y a 0.004
|

i
30
~1 ,/
RESISTIV ' I T Y

20

~ /
COPPER
10 aft*0.005 -

Ul.i "1 i 1 1 1 1-
200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400
TEMPERATURE ( K )

Fig. 9.1: Effect of Temperature on the Resistivity of


Copper, Platinum and Titanium

MANGANESE

MAGNESIUM

1-0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0


ALLOY CONTENT ( w t . % )

Fig. 9.2: Effect of Alloying Elements on the E l e c t r i c a l


R e s i s t i v i t y of Aluminum.
-166-

alloys is shown in Figure 9.3. The dependence of


conductivity on composition provides one basis for eddy
current sorting of mixed alloys. Oxygen impurity in
zirconium and titanium alloys changes resistivity
considerably. Figure 5.19 showed a non-uniform oxygen
distribution in a zirconiun-niobium alloy detected by eddy
current testing.

TOO -

COPPER/NICKEL ALLOYS

6-3

40 60 100
HEIGHT % COPPER
Fig. 9.3: Variation in Electrical Conductivity of Nickel-
Copper Alloys with Composition

Cold work increases resistivity through introduction of


lattice defects in metals. At normal temperatures, cold work
has a relatively small effect on conductivity (<10Z) and can
usually be ignored. The degree of cold work in some
austenitic stainless steels can be determined by ET, this is
possible because cold work makes them ferromagnetic, not
because of a resistivity change.
9.2.2 Material Sorting by Resistivity

This is normally an eddy current surface probe method. Two


instrument types are commonly used. Impedance display
instruments offer a comparative method as treated in Section
5.8.2; the lift-off curves for unknown materials are compared
with those of known standards and the resistivity of the
unknown is estimated by interpolation. Meter readout
instruments are also available with built-in "lift-off"
-167-

compensation which are calibrated directly in % IACS . Both


types of instruments require care on the part of the operator
to insure meaningful results. Effects which can contribute
to erroneous results follow (for more detail see Section
5.8.2):

(a) too low a test frequency can make material thickness


appear similar to resistivity changes.
(b) sample curvature affects coil coupling and hence its
response (edge and other geometry effects have a similar
response).
(c) too high a test frequency could sense alloy changes at
the surface of oxidized or corroded materials.
(d) conducting and nonconducting coatings affect test coil
impedance.
(e) ambient temperature variations result in changes in
sample resistivity and test coil resistance.
The above potential error sources can largely be overcome
through use of suitable standards which duplicate materials to
be tested.

v>

cc

I 10 100 1000
TIME AT TEMPERATURE ( h i

Fig. 9.4: Variation of Mechanical Properties and Conductivity


in 7075-T6 Aluminum Exposed at 2Q5C
-168-

An example of eddy current testing to determine heat


treatment state of an aluminum alloy is shown in Figure 9.4.
These results are from Pellegrini(JJO) who indicates the
technique can be used to judge the fitness of overheated
material for further service. A similar approach has been
used to assess heat treat condition of titanium alloys.
9.3 MAGNETIC PROPERTIES

For eddy current purposes one can classify materials as


ferromagnetic (magnetic) or non-ferromagnetic (nonmagnetic).
Diamagnetic and paramagnetic materials can be considered
nonmagnetic. Ferromagnetism has its origin in a quantum
mechanics effect, the "exchange interaction". It occurs in
the elements iron, cobalt, nickel and some of the rare earth
inetals. These elements have partially filled d and f
electron shells. Alloying with elements which have a higher
electron to atom ratio fills these d and f shells and makes
the resulting alloys less magnetic, e.g., copper added to
nickel (Monel) and chromium added to iron (stainless steel).

The main feature separating magnetic from nonmagnetic


materials is magnetic permeability, y , which is a measure of
a material's intrinsic ability to conduct magnetic flux. It
is defined as ths induced magnetic flux density, B, divided
by external magnetic field intensity (magnetizing force), H,

y = B/H

For air and nonmagnetic materials y is a constant,

V = 4TT x 10 webers/ampere-met re
when B is in teslas* (T) or webers/metre^ and H is in
ampere/metre (A/in) .

Simplification results if one uses relative permeability,


which is defined as

(dimensionless)

Relative permeability has the same value in all magnetic


systems of units. For magnetic materials M r can be very
large, whereas for nonmagnetic materials Mr = 1.0.

Conversion: 1 tesla = 10^ gauss; 1 A/m=0.012566 oersted.


-169-

9.3.1 Magnetic Hysteresis


When a material Is magnetized in a coil, the magnetic field
intensity, H, is proportional to coil current. If
alternating current is applied to a magnetizing coil a B-H
loop results as shown in Figure 9.5. As H increases from
zero for the first time, 6 increases along the DC curve, path
No. 1. When H decreases, B also decreases but along path No.
2. The difference between paths 1 and 2 is termed
hysteresis. When H has fallen to zero a residual flux
density remains in the material, B r , called retentivity or
residual flux density. On decreasing H further (reverse or
negative current) flux density decreases to zero at H c
which is the coercive magnetic Intensity or coercive force.
Decreasing H still more drives the curve to point S j .
Additional AC cycles will retrace the loop. At point S2
the material is saturated, from S2 to S3 the B-H curve is
lin^.ir with slope Vo . Flux density at saturation depends on
material; carbon steel saturates at about B = 2 tesla (20
kilogauss) whereas Monel 400 saturates at about 0.3 tesla (3
k ilogauss).

Fig. 9.5: Hysteresis (or B-H) Loop


-170-

9.3.2 Magnetic Permeability


For eddy current inspection of ferromagnetic materials
several kinds of permeability play an important role. Normal
permeability, M r , is a measure of a material's ability to
conduct magnetic flux; it is an important factor when
determining the ease with which a magnetic material can be
saturated.

Another permeability of concern in ET is relative incremental


or recoil permeability, It is defined as

AB/AH

where AB is the change in flux density which accompanies a


change in magnetizing force, A H , created for example by an
eddy current coil's alternating current. An incremental
AH can be superimposed at any point on a DC magnetization
curve as illustrated in Figure 9.6.

0.8 -

S 0- 6 -

0.4 -

0. 2 -

I0D 200 300 400 500

MAGNETIZING FORCE (A / m )

Fig. 9.6; DC Magnetization Curve and Recoil Permeability for


Iron
-171-

At H-0 we have the relative initial permeability, V-^ . In a


magnetic material without a biasing DC magnetic field, the
normal permeability is equal to the incremental
permeability,

^r " U i = M
A
In eddy current testing, test coil inductance and depth of
penetration are influenced by incremental permeability not
normal permeability. However, throughout this report it is
assumed that the eddy current test is performed without DC
bias and with a low magnetizing force (low alternating coil
current). In this case, y r = V& , and for simplification
purposes y r is used in the skin depth and inductance
equations and impedance diagrams; y r is used throughout the
manual to denote incremental permeability (y,) unless
otherwise stated.

When an increasing DC magnetizing field is applied, a


nonlinear B-H relationship results as shown in Figure 9.7.
The incremental permeability continuously decreases until
saturation is achieved. At saturation y^ =1.0. The normal
permeability,instead, first increases to a maximum value and
then decreases gradually, see Figure 9.7; at saturation it
can still be very large.
i i i 1 1 1 1

Q.3
3 Re 60
--"
'
0. 2 - -

0. 1 - -

/
/
I 1 1 i i 1 I 1

60 - B/ H -
~

SO

UJ
X
40 1 ^ \
\ ^
-

JJ ~-
o. \

~
CU
20 = a B/ a H -



JJ

i : i i 1 1 1 1

H x 10" (4 In )

Fig. 9.7; Magnetization Curve, Incremental Permeability


and Normal Permeability for a 3Re6O Tube Sample
-172-

9.3.3 Factors Affecting Magnetic Permeability


Ferromagnetic materials do not have unique magnetization
curves but depend strongly on factors such as
thermal processing history,
- mechanical processing history,
chemical composition,
internal stresses,
- temperature (if close to Curie temperature).
The following examples illustrate the effect of some of these
variables

Figure 9.8 shows B-H curves, at room temperature, for three


supposedly identical Monel 400 tube samples. The differences
are attributed to variations in nickel/copper content within
the normal alloy specification range.
Figure 9.9 shows variation of magnetic permeability with cold
work in Type 300 series stainless steels(^). In these
"nonmagnetic" austenitic steels a ferromagnetic martensite
phase forms during cold working increasing the magnetic
permeability. In contrast, most normally ferromagnetic
materials exhibit a decrease in permeability as a result of
cold work. The 300 series stainless steels can also become
ferromagnetic as a result of welding, a magnetic delta
ferrite phase forms during solidification.
MONEL 100 TUBES
FROM (UNTICOKE G.S.

I / ' ' 1 L 1
1 / 5 10 i. 25 30

UBE 1-250

D.G - -

I 1

1 1
_/
"

- / , , - " " " TUBE A-25 1


"TUBE - 2 5 2

10 12 14 IB 18 20

H OERSTEDS

Fig. 9.8; Magnetization Curves for Various Monel 400


Samples"
-173-

- AUSTENITIC STAINLESS STEEL

1. 0

40 60 80 100

% COLD DORK

Fig. 9.9: Variation of Relative Permeability with Cold


Reduction for Various Austenitic Stainless Steels(2.)

I. 5

6 MPa NO STRESS

_ 1.0

0. 5 ~

I
25 50 75 100
MAGNETIZING FORCE (A I mI

Fig. 9.10: Effect of Elastic Strain on the Magnetization of


Iron
-174-

Figure 9.10 shows changes in B-H curves for iron with


internal stress. Note that these stress levels are purely
elastic, well below the yield strength. The changes in B-H
(and permeability) are due to magnetostriction.
The above examples illustrate the inherent variability of B-H
and hence permeability of ferromagnetic materials.
Incremental permeability affects an eddy current coil's
inductance as well as depth of eddy current penetration into
a material. The large variations in permeability shown above
make conventional eddy current testing for defects in
magnetic materials very difficult if not impossible.

The best solution to eddy current testing of a magnetic


material for defects is to bring it to a condition where
HA. =1.0. A few slightly magnetic materials can be heated
above their Curie temperature to make them nonmagnetic.
Monel 400 heated to between 50 and 70C has been tested in
this manner. Most materials have too high a Curie
temperature to be tested by this approach. The only other
way to decrease y^ to unity is by magnetic saturation. This
topic is treated in a subsequent section.

9 .4 TESTING MAGNETIC MATERIALS

9.4.1 Simplified Impedance Diagrams


A qualitative understanding of the effect of permeability on
coil impedance can also be obtained by the equivalent circuit
and its associated semicircular impedance diagram treatment
of Section 3.5. Coil inductance is a function of magnetic
flux through it; flux increases in the presence of a magnetic
material. For a cylinder surrounded by an encircling coil,
coil inductance is proportional to both the cylinder's
permeability and its cross-sectional area,
a
Lp V rD o

where L_ is primary coil (probe) inductance, U r = VIA. is t h e


cylinder's incremental permeability and D Q its diameter.
An increase in permeability or diameter will increase coil
inductance. By a similar treatment to that presented in
Chapter 3, one can generate the Impedance diagrams of Figure
9.11. Figure 9.11(a) is obtained by plotting the encircling
coil impedance normalized to the inductive reactance in air.
It illustrates the effect of permeability and cylinder
diameter. As permeability or cylinder diameter increases
(with constant coil diameter) o i l impedance increases
drastically. (This explains the good response to
ferromagnetic inclusions and deposits discussed in Sections
6.5.1 and 8.3.1). There is no phase separation and hence no
discrimination between variations in permeability and
cylinder diameter. However, there is about 90 phase
separation and hence excellent discrimination between
variations in permeability and resistivity.
-175-

1.0 1.0

0.5 0.5
R L /wLp
(b) CYLINDER (c) PLATE

Fig. 9.11; Simplified Impedance Diagrams for Ferromagnetic


Cylinders and Plates

Figure 9.11(b) is obtained by plotting the encircling coil


impedance normalized to its inductive reactance with the
ferromagnetic cylinder inside the coil. This figure
indicates the effect of permeability and cylinder diameter on
operation point location. An increase in both permeability
and cylinder diameter moves the operating point DOWN the
impedance curve (for constant fill factor).
Surface probe inductance also depends on test sample
permeability ( L . is proportional to y r ) . An increase in
permeability moves the operating point UP the impedance locus
as shown in Figure 9.life) However, unlike curves for a
cylinder where the semicircle increases drastically in size,
the curve for a surface probe increases only a small amount
as previously shown in Figure 5.10. This results from much
less efficient coupling with surface probes as compared to
encircling coils. A surface probe with a ferrite core (or
cup) coil permits better magnetic coupling (decreased
magnetic reluctance) and hence yields a larger impedance
diagram than a similar air core coil. An additional
observation can be made from Figure 9.11(c); magnetic
permeability has the same effect as electrical resistivity
and hence these two parameters cannot be separated when usiag
a surface probe.
-176-

70
329 STAINLESS STEEL

10 kHz

100 kHz

I
10 20 30

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 9.12: Experimental Normalized Impedance Diagrams for


Three Type 329 Stainless Steel Samples Tested with a Long
Encircling Coil

9.4.2 Impedance Diagrams

Figure 9.12 shows experimental Impedance curves for three


different Type 329 stainless steel samples tested with long
encircling coils. These curves differ markedly from a
semicircle at the lower section of the impedance diagram,
where the curve approaches the Y-axis at 45 rather than 90
These curves are nearly identical in shape to that presented
in Figure 7.6 for a nonmagnetic cylinder. But, while the
nonmagnetic curve intersects the reactance axis (Y-axis) at
1.0, the Figure 9.12 curves intersect this axis at their
respective Vr values. Magnetic saturation of these
samples would reduce them to a common curve intersecting the
axis at 1.0. This figure is another example of typical
permeability variations which may be encountered in
supposedly "identical" samples.
-177-

I N C R E A S I N G PROBE
DIAMETER

INCREASING
FREQUENCY

INCREASING
PERMEABILITY

INCREASING
RESISTIVITY

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 9.13; Impedance Diagram for Ferromagnetic Material


Showing Effect of Material and Test Parameters

Figure 9.13 shows an actual surface probe impedance diagram


for magnetic material. The shape differs appreciably from a
semicircle. Most test variables have a similar effect on the
impedance diagram as for surface probes on nonmagnetic
material (Section 5.5). To measure magnetic permeability in
the presence of lift-off noise, probe diameter and test
frequency should be chosen to operate in region A.
Eddy current inspection of magnetic materials for defects is
difficult or impossible because of random permeability
variation as discussed in Section 9.3.3. In addition there
are skin depth limitations. Without saturation, the initial
permeability can range from 50 to over 500. Since depth of
penetration is inversely proportional to the square root of
permeability and test frequency,

6 cc l//fin

to obtain equal penetration requires a reduction in frequency


by the same factor of 50 to over 500. Unfortunately,
lowering frequency moves the operating point to Region B in
Figure 9.13 where there is poor signal separation between
lift-off, permeability and rosistivity as well as &'aced
sensitivity to defects.
-178-

Before leaving Figure 9.13 consider the characteristic


parameter, r'2u)yra (Section 5.6). Figure 9.13 shows the
parameter is not generally valid for ferromagnetic materials.
It indicates an increase in P r should move the operating
point down the impedance curve like increasing frequency or
probe diameter. In practice exactly the opposite occurs.
The characteristic parameter should only be used for finding
operating point of surface probes on nonmagnetic materials.

9.4.3 Material Sorting by Magnetic Permeability

Detailed treatment of this topic is beyond the scope of this


manual. This section is essentially a warning,
Many properties of magnetic materials affect permeability as
discussed in Section 9.3.3. Eddy current testing has been
used to sort mixed alloys as well as measurement of hardness,
decarburization, carburization, degree of cold work,
strength, ductility,etc. A standard, ASTM E566-76, offers
broad guidelines on this eddy current application.

Meaningful results with such testing requires at least the


f ollowing:
understanding of the variables affecting a material's
electrical and magnetic properties
a sound knowledge of eddy current testing
adequate standard samples verified by destructive
examination or other independent methods.
9.4.4 Testing for Defects in Magnetic Materials

Previous sections explained why saturation is required to


suppress effects of usually harmless permeability variations
which could be mistaken for, or obscure, defect signals. We
only consider testing of cylindrical materials; similar
techniques can, at least in theory, be applied to surface
probe testing.

Manufacturing inspection of rods, wires and tubes is


accomplished fairly simply by external, water cooled
magnetizing coils through which the material is passed. ASTM
standard E309 covers such testing. In-service inspection
again presents the most difficult situation due to access and
space limitations.
-179-

SUPPORT
O.D. PLATE FLAT PITS
DEFECT HOLE
CALIBRATION
7 TUBE

EDDY CURRENT
TEST WITHOUT
SATURATION
SLIGHT BEND
IN TUBE

EDDY CURRENT
TEST WITH
MAGNETIC
SATURATION
(10 X ABOVE GAIN)

Fig. 9.14: Eddy Current Signals from a High Magnetic


Permeability Monel 400 Tube. Test
Frequency - 50 kHz
-180-

Figure 9.14 compares Y-channel eddy current signals from a


Monel 400 tube at fgQ without and with magnetic saturation.
Saturation results in good defect detection. Permeability
variation due to cold work and internal stresses at a slight
bend in the tube are completely suppressed by saturation.
This tube was saturated by superimposing the AC eddy current
signal on DC magnetization power. Saturation of Monel 400 is
also achieved by incorporating permanent magnets in the
probe(jJ) .

Saturation with DC magnetization is limited by coil heating.


Heat dissipation is proportional to current squared and coil
wire resistance (Power = I ^ R ) . To increase magnetization (H
is proportional to I) pulse saturation is used. The
saturation current (DC) is switched on-and-off at regular
intervals thereby reducing the heating effect. The test
current (AC) is superimposed on the saturation current and
the eddy current signal is sampled only at maximum
saturation. One commercial instrument, operating on this
principle, is currently available. Testing speed is a
function of pulse rate, in general it is much slower than
conventional testing.

If magnetic saturation at defects is not complete, an eddy


current test becomes a test for permeability, not eddy
current testing as described in previous chapters. This can
be understood from Figure 9.15 which illustrates the change
in eddy current signals from calibration defects in a
magnetic stainless steel tube as degree of saturation is
increased. The eddy current signals were obtained with an
absolute bobbin type probe. Since defect signal amplitude
decreases as saturation is approached, instrument gain was
doubled for the 20 and 40 ampere saturation results.
Magnetization was achieved with an external, water cooled
coil; 10 amperes produced about 2.8 x 10^ A/m or 350
oersteds. Figure 9.15 shows one has to be saturated well
past the knee in the magnetization curve (over 20 amperes)
before eddy current defect signals appear normal, like those
from nonmagnetic materials.

The reason for the characteristic eddy current signals from


partially saturated tubing is more clearly apparent in the
eddy current impedance display of Figure 9.16 which includes
impedance response as magnetization level increases. This
figure shows, at partial saturation (less than 10 amperes),
defect signals consist nearly entirely of increasing and
decreasing permeability. The initial increasing permeability
signal component is attributed to less saturation on either
side of machined calibration defects while the decreasing
permeability component is due to more intense saturation in
the reduced tube-wall region at defects.

Similar results are obtained with internal saturation using


DC magnetization or permanent magnets. A single rare-earth
permanent magnet was found to be equivalent to about 5
amperes (175 oersteds) of an external magnetizing current for
this tube size and material.
-181-

EXTERNAL MAGNETIZING COIL


THROUGH HOLE
\

INTERNAL ABSOLUTE PROBE

A BC D

A PROBE WOBBLE
8 THROUGH HOLE
C O.D. GROOVE
D I.D. GROOVE

MAGNETIZING CURRENT I A)

Fig. 9.15; Eddy Current Signals from E-Brite 26-1 Tube With
Increasing Saturation, (fgp 100 kHz at Complete Saturation)

Eddy current testing at partial saturation may seem


attractive since defect sensitivity is very high, it may in
fact develop into a useful NDT technique. However, there are
drawbacks; y^ is greater than one and is variable. This
means eddy current penetration is not defined and
conventional phase analysis is impossible. Testing tubes for
defects at magnetic lupports could be a very questionable
procedure since large permeability signals would be
encountered which could be mistaken for or obscure defects.
Even the best available saturation methods still encounter
problems in detecting defects at steel baffle plates in some
Monel A00 tubes which are only slightly magnetic.

Eddy current testing at partial saturation only measures


permeability in a thin surface layer adjacent to the test
coil. This classifies the technique with NDT methods such as
magnetic particle inspection and leakage flux testing.
Leakage flux testing responds to the distortion of magnetic
flux at defects in a magnetized material using pickup coils or
Hall effect sensors. Partial saturation ET with surface
probes has an advantage over encircling (or internal) probes
in the ability to separate permeability from lift-off
variations (Figure 3.13).
-182-

EXTERNAL MAGNETIZING COIL


THROUGH HOLE
\

INTERNAL ABSOLUTE PROBE

BALANCE POINT
IN^AIR

WILL-

INCREASING
FLUX DENSITY ,
(DECREASING
PERMEABILITY)

MAGNETIZING /
CURRENT (AMPS)\
\ \
\ 10
A - PROBE WOBBLE
B - THROUGH HOLE
C - 0. D. GROOVE
D - I. D. GROOVE
B C D

Fig. 9.16: Eddy Current Signals from E-Brite 26-1 Tube with
Increasing Saturation, fgp = 100 kHz
-183-

An example of the dangers of ET ferromagnetic materials at


partial saturation is illustrated in Figure 9.17. It shows
eddy current signals from calibration defects in a 3Re60 heat
exchanger tube tested with a differential probe. (3Re6O
requires a flux density of about 0.6T for complete
saturation). Calibration defects yield signals which change
in phase with increasing depth leading to the conclusion one
may have a viable test technique. However, elastic
deflection of the tube at a support plate gives change of
permeability signals nearly identical to serious (50% and
75%) defects. Thia is due to magnetostriction: changes in
magnetic propertiea due to elastic stress such as shown in
Figure 9.10.

PARTIAL SATURATION PRDBE


1

50%
\ \
75% HOLE

5 mm 1 mm 3mm 2mm 0

Fig. 9.17: Eddy Current Signals from 3Re6O Tube With


P a r t i a l S a t u r a t i o n for Various Levels of
Elastic Stress. Test Frequency 230 kHz.
-184-

The problem of Figure 9.17 was overcome with a multimagnet


probe similar to that developed for Monel 400 tubing (8).
This eliminated the false defect signals at tube supports and
made these heat exchangers inspectable by conventional ET
techniques. It was fortunate these particular heat
exchangers had nonmagnetic, Type 304 stainless steel, support
plates. This permits tube saturation in the vicinity of
supports. If the supports had been magnetic they would have
provided a low reluctance alternative path to the saturation
field leaving the tube only partially saturated. Nonmagnetic
support materials improve inspectability of ferromagnetic
tubes even though fretting wear may be difficult to detect
with a conventional bobbin-type probe as discussed in Section
8.2.4.

9.5 SUMMARY
Eddy current testing can be used to measure electrical
resistivity and magnetic permeability. This parameter, in
some cases, can be correlated to a material's chemical
composition, hardness, heat treatment, etc. and therefore
provide an indirect measurement of material properties.
Material sorting by electrical resistivity can be done with
general purpose eddy current instruments or with special
instruments with meter output calibrated in % IACS. Care
must be taken to obtain reliable results. Material sorting
by magnetic permeability is not simple. It requires a sound
knowledge of magnetic properties and eddy current testing.
Most of the commercial equipment make use of hysteresis
distortion and the method is empirical. It is more reliable
to use general purpose eddy current equipment to roughly
measure magnetic permeability and then correlate to material
property.

Testing ferromagnetic materials for surface defects is


possible but often unreliable. If material can be
magnetically saturated, it appears as non-ferromagnetic
material to the eddy currents. Testing at partial saturation
results in good sensitivity to defects and to ferromagnetic
anomalies but can result in false indications. It is
possible to magnetically saturate some ferromagnetic tube
alloys in unsupported tube sections, but nearly impossible
under ferromagnetic baffle plates.

Magnetic permeability affects the following:


- depth of penetration
- probe inductance
- operating point on impedance diagram
- characteristic defect signal is no longer dependent on
phase lag
- drastically decreases signal-to-noise ratio.
-185-

9.6 WORKED EXAMPLES


9.6.1 PROBLEM: Convert resistivity of 5.5 microhm-centimetres to
conductivity in % IACS.
SOLUTION:
X IACS - 172/p

- 172/5.5 ' 31.3%


9.6.2 PROBLEM: Pure annealed iron under a magnetizing force, H, of
40 A/m results in a magnetic flux density, B, of
0.028T. Determine magnetic permeability and
relative permeability in (a) the tesla,
ampere/metre system of units and (b) the gauss,
oersted system.

SOLUTION:

(a) y = B/H = 0.028/40 = 7.0 x 10~ 4 henry/m

Pr = U/VQ = 7,0 x 10~ /4TT x 10" 7 = 557 (dimensionless)

(b) B = 0.028 x 10 4 = 280 gauss

H = 40 x 0.012566 = 0.503 oersted

y = B/H = 280/0.503 = 557 gauss/oersted

= 557/1.0 = 557 (dimensionless)


-186-

9.6.3 PROBLEM:
Calculate standard eddy current depth of
penetration in carbon steel at a test frequency of
10 kHz (a) without saturation and (b) with complete
saturation. P .= 15 microhm-centimetres, p. = 300

SOLUTION: yA = y r i

(a) From Equation 2.13(a)

6 = 50 /pTfy",

15
50
10 x 300

= 0.11 mm (0.004")

(b) 1.0 at saturation

50
/ 15
I104 x 1.0

= 1 . 9 4 mm ( 0 . 0 7 7 " )
-187-

CHAPTER 10 - DEFINITIONS, REFERENCES AND INDEX

10.1 DEFINITIONS

This section lists the most common terms covered in the


manual* For each term, the symbol, the SI units and the
section where the topic is covered is given, followed by the
definition.

ABSOLUTE PROBE - See Sections 5.2 and 7.2.


- A probe having a single sensing coil.
ALTERNATING CURRENT - IA C , amperes; see Chapters 2 and 3.
- A current flow changing in amplitude and
direction with time.

ANOMALY - See Sections 6.5 and 8.3.


- An unexpected, unclassified eddy current
signal.
- A false defect indication.

BRIDGE - See Section 4.2.1.


- Electrical circuit incorporating four
impedance arms.
CALIBRATION STANDARD - A test standard used to estimate
defect size and setup instrument.

CAPACITIVE REACTANCE - X c , ohms; see Section 3.2.


- The opposition to changes in alternating
voltage.

CHARACTERISTIC PARAMETER -"r2wa)J , dimensionless , see


Section 5.6.
- It allows test coil operating point to be
specified in terms of a single quantity
rather than four independent variables.
CHARACTERISTIC OR LIMIT FREQUENCY - f e , hertz, see Section
7.3.3.

CHARACTERISTIC FREQUENCY RATIO -f/f g - dimensionless, see


Section 7.3.3.
- It allows the test coil operating point to be
specified in terms of a single quantity rather
than four independent variables.

CIRCUMFERENTIAL COIL - see encircling and internal probes.

CONDUCTIVITY - CT(sigma), siemens/m; see Sections 2.4 and


9.2.
- Measure of the ability of a material to
conduct current (alternating or direct
current).

CONDUCTOR - Material capable of carrying electrical current.


-188-

COUPLING - The coil's magnetic field couples to the test


sample.
- The change in probe impedance is directly pro-
portional to probe-sample coupling.

CURRENT - I , amperes, see Section 3.3 - Flow of electrons.

DEPTH OF PENETRATION (STANDARD) - S (delta), millimetres;


see Section 2.4.
- The depth at which the eddy current density has
decreased to 1/e or 36.8% of the surface
dens ity
- Also referred to as skin depth.

DEFECT - A flaw or discontinuity that reduces a material's


integrity or load carrying capacity - may
involve a loss of material.

DIFFERENTIAL PROBE - see Sections 5.2 and 7.2.


- A probe having two sensing coils located side-by-
side.

DIRECT CURRENT - I nc . amperes; see faction 3.3.


- A current flow i:hat is constant in
amplitude and direction with time.

DISCONTINUITY - A defect.

EDDY CURRENTS - see Chapter 2 and Sections 5.2.2 and 7.2.3.


- A closed loop alternating current flow
induced in a conductor by a varying magnetic
field.

EDDY CURRENT METHOD - An electromagnetic NDT method based on


the process of inducing electrical currents
into a conductive material and observing the
interaction between the currents and the
material. In France it is known as the
'Foucault currents' method.

EDGE EFFECT - see Section 5.8.2.


Signal obtained when a surface probe approaches
the sample's edge.

EFFECTIVE DEPTH OF PENETRATION - see Section 2.4.


- Depth at which eddy current density drops off
to 5% of the surface density.
-189-

END EFFECT - see Section 5.8.2.


- Signal obtained when an Internal or encircling
probe approaches the end of a tube or rod
(similar to edge effect).
ENCIRCLING PROBE (Coll)-see Section 7.2.
- Also referred to as a feed-through coil.
- A probe which completely surrounds test
material; can be absolute or differential.
FEED-THROUGH COIL - see encircling probe.

FERRITE - Ferromagnetic oxide material.


- Used for cores in high frequency transformers.
FLAW - A defect .
FERROMAGNETIC - see Section 9.3.
- A material with a relative magnetic
permeability greater than 1.0

FILL-FACTOR - n (eta), Jimensionless; see Section 7.3.


- It is a measure of coupling between the coil
and test object.
- Fraction of the test coil area filled by the
test specimen.
FOUCAULT CURRENTS METHOD - In France the Eddy Current Method
is known as the 'Foucault currents' method.

FREQUENCY - f, hertz, see Section 2.4.


- Number of cycles of alternating current per
second.
FREQUENCY (ANGULAR) -w(omega), radians/second; see Section 3.2.
Angular velocity, where to = 2 irf.
HYSTERESIS - See Section 9.3.
- Magnetization curve.
a
IACS - -rACS , %> s e e Section 9.2.
- International Annealed Copper Standard.
- Conductivity as a percentage of pure copper.
INDUCTANCE - L, henries, see Section 3.2.
- Ratio of the total magnetic flux-linkage in a
coil to the current flowing through the coil.
-190-

IMPEDANCE - Z, ohms, see Section 3.2.


- The total opposition in an electrical circuit
to flow of alternating current.
- Represents the combination of those electrical
properties that affect the flow of current
through the circuit.
IMPEDANCE METHOD - Eddy current method which monitors the
change in probe impedance; both phase and
amplitude.

INDUCTIVE REACTANCE - X L , ohms, see Section 3.2.


- The opposition to a change in alternating
current flow.
INDUCTOR - A coil.

INTERNAL PROBE (COIL) - see Chapters 7 &?*. 8.


- A probe for testing tubes (or holes) from the
inside. The coil(s) is circumferentially wound
on a bobbin.

LIFT-OFF - L.O., mm, see Sections 5.5 and 5.8.4.


- Distance between the coil of a surface probe and
sample.
- It is a measure of coupling between probe and
s ample.
MAGNETIC FLUX - <j> , webers, see Section 9.3.
MAGNETIZING FORCE - H, amperes/metre, see Section 9.3,
Magnetic field intensity..
MAGNETIC FLUX DENSITY - B, tesla, see Section 9.3.

MODULATION ANALYSIS - An instrumentation method which


separates desirable from undesirable
frequency signals from the modulating
envelope of the carrier frequency signal.
- Test sample must move at constant speed.

NOISE - Any undesired signal that obscures the signal of


interest.
It might be electrical noise or a signal from
specimen dimensional or property variations.
-191-

NULL BALANCE - see Section 4.2.1.

OHM'S LAW - Electromotive force across a circuit is equal to


the current flowing through the circuit
multiplied by the total impedance of the
circuit.

OPERATING POINT - see Sections3.5, 5.6 and 7.3.3.


- Point on the impedance diagram that specifies the
normalized inductive reactance and resistance of
a coil.

OSCILLATOR - The electronic unit in an eddy current


instrument that generates alternating probe
excitation current.

PARAMETER - A material property or instrument variable.


PERFORMANCE STANDARD - Also referred to as Reference
Standard.
A test standard used to qualify and calibrate a
test system for a particular test.
PERMEABILITY (MAGNETIC) - y(mu), henry/metre; see Sections 2.A
and Section 9.3.
or y r , dimensionless, relative magnetic
permeability.
- Ratio between flux density, B, and magnetizing
force, H. Permeability describes the intrinsic
willingness of a material to conduct magnetic
flux lines.

PHASE LAG - 3(beta), radians or degrees; see Section 2.4.


- A lag in phase (or time) between the sinusoidal
currents flowing at the surface and those below
the surface.
PHASOR - see Section 3.3.
- A vector describing sinusoidal signals; it has
both amplitude and phase.
PRIMARY FIELD - The magnetic field surrounding the coil due
to the current flowing through it.

PROBE - Eddy current transducer.

REFERENCE COIL - Coil which enables bridge balancing in


absolute probes. Its impedance is close to test
coil impedance but does not couple to test
material.
-192-

RESONANCE - See Sections4.3, 5.9 and 7.2.5. A circuit having


an inductor and capacitor connected in series or
parallel. When inductive reactance equals
capacitive reactance the circuit is tuned or in
resonance.

RESISTANCE - R, ohms; see Section 3.2.


- The opposition to the flow of electrical
current.
- Applies to DC and AC.
RESISTIVITY - p , microhm-centimetre; see Sections 2.4 and
9.2
- Reciprocal of conductivity (p=l/o).
SATURATION (MAGNETIC) - A condition where incremental
magnetic permeability of a ferromagnetic material
becomes 1.0.
SECONDARY FIELD - The magnetic field produced by induced eddy
currents.
SEND-RECEIVE - See Sections3.4, A.5 and 5.4. The variations
in the test object which affect current flow
within the test object can be detected by
observing their effect upon the voltage developed
across a secondary receive coil.
SIGNAL - A change in eddy current instrument output voltage;
it has amplitude and phase.

SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO - Ratio between defect signal amplitude


and that from non-releyant indications. Minimum
acceptable ratio is 3:1.
SKIN DEPTH - See depth of penetration.
SKIN EFFECT - See Section 2.4.
- A phenomenon where induced eddy currents are
restricted to the surface of a test sample.
Increasing test frequency reduces penetration.

SURFACE PROBE - See Chapters5 and 6.


- A probe for testing surfaces, which has a
finite coverage. The coil is usually
pancake in shape.

TEST COIL - Coil coupled to test material. It senses


geometric, electric and magnetic changes in
test material.
-193-

VOLTAGE - V, volts, see Section 3.3.


- Electric potential or driving force for current.
- Output signal from an eddy current instrument.
VOLTMETER - The instrument used to measure voltage.

VECTOR - see Section 3.3.


- A quantity having amplitude (magnitude) and
direction. Normally represented as a line whose
length represents the quantity's magnitude and
the angular position the phase (relative to some
reference).
-194-

10.2 REFERENCES

1. H.S. Jackson, "Introduction to Electric Circuits", 2nd


edition, Prentice-hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New
Jersey (1965) .

2. C.V. Dodd, "The Use of Computer-Modelling for Eddy


Current Testing", Research Techniques in NDT, Vol. Ill,
edited by R.S. Sharpe, Academic Press Ltd., London,
p. 429-479 (1977).

3. H.L. Libby, "Introduction to Electromagnetic


Nondestructive Test Methods", Wiley-Interscience, New
York (1971) .

4. "Nondestructive Testing Handbook", Vol. II, edited by


R.C. McMaster, Ronald Press, New York, p. 36.1-42.74
(1963) .

5. "Eddy Current Testing, Classroom Training Handbook",


General Dynamics/Convair Division, San Diego, California
(1979). CT-6-5 Second Edition.

6. W.J. McGonnagle, "Nondestructive Testing", 2nd edition,


Gordon and Breach, New York, p. 346-390 (1961).

7. F.R. Bareham, "Choice of Frequency for Eddy Current Tube


Testing", British J. Applied Physics, VL, 218-222
(1960).

8. V.S. Cecco, "Design and Specifications of a High


Saturation Absolute Eddy Current Probe with Internal
Reference", Materials Evaluation, 2Z 51-58 (1979).

9. J. Stanley, "Electrical and Magnetic Properties of


Metals", American Society for Metals, Metals Park, Ohio
(1963).

10. H.V. Pellegrini, "Assessing Heat Damage in Aluminum


Alloys with an Eddy Current Testing Technique", Metals
Progress, 117, 60-63 (1980).

11. ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section V, Article


8, Appendix 1, "Eddy Current Examination Method for
Installed Non-Ferromagnetic Steam Generator Heat
Exchanger Tubing" (1978).

12. "Nondestructive Inspection and Quality Control", Metals


Handbook, Vol. 11, 8th edition, American Society for
Metals, Metals Park, Ohio, p. 75-92 (1976).

13. R. Hochschild, "Electromagnetic Methods of Testing


Metals", Progress in Nondestructive Testing, Vol. 1,
MacMillan Co., New York, p. 59-109 (1959).
-195-

10.3 INDEX

Absolute Probe - 56,105-109


Alternating Current - 8,16,21-23
Anomaly - 98
Bridge - 34-37
Bridge Balance - 34-37
Calibration Standard - 101-103,125
Capacitive Reactance - 20
Characteristic or Limit Frequency - 120-125,128
Characteristic Frequency Ratio - 120-125,130
Characteristic Parameter - 55,74-7 6,87,88,120
Circumferential Coil - 105,109,125
Conductivity - 11,163-166
Coupling - 25,29,55,107,113
Current - 5-10,21-23
Defect - 55,65,66,78,89-97,101,131-147,178
Depth of Penetration (Standard) - 13,17,18,79
Differential Probe - 57-58,105-109
Direct Current - 21,22
Discontinuity - 188
Eddy Currents - 6-18,59,60,109,110,132
Eddy Current Method (Testing) - 1,19,55,89,98,131,164
Edge Effect - 81
Effective Depth of Penetration - 14
Encircling Probe (Coil) - 105,113,116,120,151
End Effect - 189
Excitation Coil - 6,11,45,67
Faraday's Law - 9,17,49,60,69,116
Faraday, M. - 2
Farad - 20
Feed-Through Coil - 189
Ferrite - 41,189
Ferromagnetic - 10,30,98,168
Fill-Factor - 29,113-115,150
Flaw - 189
Forster - 3,120
Foucault Currents Method - 189
Frequency - 5,8,13,17,72,120,123,124,129,130
Frequency (Angular) - 8
Frequency Response - 53
Hall Detector - 6,33,46,181
Henry - 19
Hysteresis (B-H curve) - 169-172
IACS - 163-166
Impedance - 8,9,20,25,32
Impedance Diagrams - 25-31
Impedance Method - 24,33
Inductance - 19,61,62,63,110,111
Inductive Reactance - 20,27,69,176
Inductor - 19
-196-

Internal Probe (Coil) - 106


Lenz's Law - 9,23
Lift-off - 43-47,84
Limit Frequency - 120-125
Magnetic Field - 6-7
Magnetic Flux - 7-10
Magnetic Flux Density - 7,168,169
Magnetic Permeability - 11,13,71,72,94,98,99,149,150,168-174
Magnetic Saturation - 168-171,178-184
Magnetizing Force - 168,171
Modulation Analysis - 50
Noise - 34,37,41,50,87,161,190
Non-ferromagnetic - 10,98,151
Null Balance (Bridge Balance) - 34-36
Oersted - 6,8
Ohm's Law - 8,17,61,117
Operating Point - 27-29,31,76,98,99,120-122,133,150
Oscillator - 5,33,34,43
Parameter - 65,191
Performance Standard - 191
Permeability (Magnetic) - 11,13,71,72,94,98,99,149,150,168-174
Phase - 76,78
Phase Lag - 2,14-17,78,93
Phasor - 21
Primary Circuit - 8,25
Primary Field - 191
Probe - 55-60,105-110
Receive Coil - 6,24,67,81
Reference Coil - 36,56,57,106
Resistance - 19,28-31,131-13 3
Resistivity - 13,17,71,72,80,100,163-168
Resonance - 38,39,85,86,112
Saturation (Magnetic) - 171,178-184
Secondary Field - 10,191
Secondary Voltage - 78
Send-Receive - 6,24,33,45-48,81
Sensing Coil - 6,24
Signal - 192
Signal-to-Noise Ratio - 63,192
Similarity Condition (Law) - 75,122
Sinusoidal - 5,12
Skin Depth - 13,14,17,125
Skin Effect - 11
Speed of Response - 53
Standard Depth of P e n e t r a t i o n - 13,14,17,79
Surface Probe - 55-59
Test Coil - ->6-57
Vector - 23
Voltage - 8,9,21,33
Voltmete r - 6.
ISSN 0067 - 0367 ISSN 0067 - 0367

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