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AECL-7523

ATOMIC ENERGY ^ ^ 3 L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE


OF CANADA UMITED E & ^ W DU CANADA LIMITEE

EDDY CURRENT TESTING


MANUAL ON EDDY CURRENT METHOD

Essais par courant de Foucault


Manuel des rne'thodes d'essai par courant de Foucault
Volume 1

V.S. CECCO, <3. VAN DRUNEN and F.L. SHARP

Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories Laboratoires nucl6aires de Chalk River

Chalk River, Ontario

November 1981 novembre


ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED

EDDY CURRENT TESTING

VOLUME 1

MANUAL ON EDDY CURRENT METHOD

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

Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories


Chalk River, Ontario KOJ 1J0
!
1981 NOVEMBER

AECL-7523
L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE DU CANADA, LIMITEE

EBBHIS par courant de Foucault

Volume 1

Manuel des méthodes d'essai par courant de Foucault

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

Rësumë

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


a ceux qui font des essais par courant de Foucault les principes
fondamentaux de la technique et les connaissances voulues pour
interpréter comme il faut les résultats souvent compliqués de ces
essais. Une approche non rigoureuse est employée pour simplifier
les complexes phénomènes physiques. L'accent est mis sur un choix
approprié de fréquences d'essai et sur l'interprétation des signaux.
La détection et le diagnostic des défauts font l'objet d'une attention
particulière. La conception et la réalisation des sondes sont traitées
de façon approfondie car les sondes jouent un rôle clé dans les essais
par courant de Foucault. Les avantages et les limitations des divers
types de sondes sont indiqués.

La théorie électromagnétique, l'instrumentation, les méthodes I


d'essai et les analyses de signaux sont décrites. Les réponses des
sondes permettent d'avoir une compréhension fondamentale du comportement
des courants de Foucault, â condition d'avoir recours aux déductions 1
simplifiées indiquées dans le manuel pour tester les paramètres. Les I
signaux des courants de Foucault sont présentés sur des diagrammes de
plans d'impédance tout au long du manuel, car il s'agit là de l'Infor- t
mation la plus commune affichée sur les instruments universels modernes. j
L'emploi du "retard de phase" dans l'analyse des signaux est décrit en
détail. Four compléter la théorie, des exemples pratiques sont donnés.
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 réels.

Laboratoires nucléaires de Chalk River


Chalk River, Ontario KOJ 1J0

Novembre 1981
1
AECL-7523 \
ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED

EDDY CURRENT TESTING

VOLUME 1

MANUAL ON EDDY CURRENT 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 complicated 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

AECL-7523
-iii-

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This manual is an accumulation of knowledge and experience


obtained by the NDT Development Branch (formerly Quality
Control Branch) of CRNL through its 10 years of existence.
The authors are indebted to the other members of the
Nondestructive Testing Development Branch especially
C.R. Bax, II.V. Ghent, J.R. Carter, G.A. Leakey and
W. Fantermoller who assisted in collecting some of the data
in the manual and made many constructive criticisms.

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.
-iv-

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 - EDDY 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
-V-

CHAPTER 4 - INSTRUMENTATION

PAGE
4.1 INTRODUCTION 33
4.2 BRIDGE CIRCUITS 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
4.4.2 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


CHAPTER 5 - TESTING WITH SURFACE PROBES

PAGE

5.1 INTRODUCTION 55 f'


5.2 SURFACE PROBES 55 \
5.2.1 Probe Types 56 !;
59 /
5.2.2 Directional Properties
60 I

5.2.3
5.2.2.1 Sensitivity at Centre of a Coil
Probe Inductance
61 1
5.3 PARAMETERS AFFECTING SENSITIVITY TO DEFECTS
5.3.1 Sensitivity with Lift-off and Defect Depth
65

65
I
66

5.4
5.3.2 Effect of Defect Length
COMPARISON BETWEEN SURFACE AND THROUGH-WALL INSPECTION 67
69
I
5.5 IMPEDANCE GRAPH DISPLAY
5.5.1
5.5.2
Effect of Resistivity
Effect of Permeability
72
72
1
5.5.3
5.5.4
5.5.5
Effect of Thickness
Effect of Frequency
Effect of Probe Diameter
72
72
73
1
5.5.6 Comparison of Experimental and Computer
Impedance Diagrams 73
5.6 CHARACTERISTIC PARAMETER 74
5.7 DEFINITION OF "PHASE" TERMINOLOGY 77
5.8 SELECTION OF TEST FREQUENCY 78
5.8.1 Inspecting for Defects 78 j
5.8.2 Measuring Resistivity 80 J
5.8.3 Measuring Thickness 83
5.8.4 Measuring Thickness of a Non-conducting Layer
on a Conductor 84 •
5.8.5 Measuring Thickness of a Conducting Layer on
a Conductor - 84

5.9 PROBE-CABLE RESONANCE 85


5.10 SUMMARY 86
5.11 WORKED EXAMPLES 88

5.11.1 Effective Probe Diameter 88


5.11.2 Characteristic Parameter 88
-vil-

CHAPTER 6 - SURFACE PROSE SIGNAL ANALYSIS


PAGE

6.1 INTRODUCTION 89
6.2 EDDY CURRENT SIGNAL CHARACTERISTICS 89
6.2.1 Defect Signal Amplitude 89
6.2.2 Defect Signal Phase 91
6.3 EFFECT OF MATERIAL VARIATIONS AND DEFECTS IN A FINITE
THICKNESS 93
6.4 COIL IMPEDANCE CHANGES WITH DEFECTS 97

6.4.1 Surface Defect Measurement 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 128
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 tube
inspection 129
(b) Determine operating point for above frequency 130
(c) Calculate frequency to discriminate ferro-
magnetic indications 130
I
-viii-
CHAPTER 8 - TUBE TESTING - SIGNAL ANALYSIS

8.1 INTRODUCTION
PAGE

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

8.3 ANOMALOUS EDDY CURRENT SIGNALS

8.3.1 Ferromagnetic Inclusions and Deposits 149


153
1
8.4
8.3.2 Conducting Deposits

MULTIFREQUENCY EDDY CURRENT TESTING


155
155
I
8.5
8.4.1
8.4.2
S UMMARY
Background
Multifrequency Testing of Dented Tubes
158

162
1
CHAPTER 9 - METALLURGICAL PROPERTIES AND TESTING FERRO-
I
MAGNETIC MATERIALS

9.1
9.2
INTRODUCTION
ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY
163
163
1
9.2.1

9.2.2
Factors Affectirg Resistivity

Material Sorting by Resistivity


163
166
I
9.3 MAGNETIC PROPERTIES
168
169
E
9.3.1
9.3.2
9.3.3
Magnetic Hysteresis
Magnetic Permeability
Factors Affecting Magnetic Permeability
170
172 E
174
9.4 TESTING MAGNETIC MATERIALS 174
176
G
9.4.1 Simplified Impedance Diagrams
9.4.2
9.4.3
9.4.4
Impedance Diagrams
Material Sorting by Magnetic Permeability
Testing for Defects in Magnetic Materials
178
178
184
F
9.5 S UMMARY 185 K
9.6 WORKED EXAMPLES 185 p
185
9.6.1 Calculate Conductivity 186
9.6.2 Calculate Magnetic Permeability
9.6.3 Calculate Standard Depth of Penetration
187
P
CHAPTER 10 - DEFINITIONS, REFERENCES AND INDEX 194
195
10.1 DEFINITIONS
10.2
10.3 INDEX
REFERENCES
-ix-

NOMENCLATURE

SYMBOL QUANTITY SI UNIT

2
A Cross-Sectional area metre
r Radius metre
1 Length metre
t Thickness metre
w Width metre
D Diameter metre 2
B Magnetic flux density weber/meter or 1
C Capacitance farads
f Test frequency hertz
Optimum tube testing frequency hertz
c8 Characteristic or Limit
frequency hertz
fr Resonant frequency hertz
H Magnetic field Intensity amperes/meter or
(Magnetizing force) lenze
I Current amperes 2
J Current density amperes/meter
L Self Inductance henry
N Number of turns (Windings) dimensionless
P_C Charac*-.' jistic Parameter dimensionless
R Resistance ohm
R
LL Resistive load ohm
vX Electric potential volt
Depth below the surface metre
X
L Inductive Reactance ohm
Xc Capacitive Reactance ohm
Z Impedance ohm
6 Standard Depth
of Penetration metre
V Permeability henry/meter
P Resistivity microhm-centimetre
a Conductivity Siemens/meter
$ Magnetic flux weber
n3 Fill Factor dimensiop.less
Phase Lag radians
to Angular frequency radians/second
e Angle between Z & R degrees
CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION

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-

consistently illustrated on impedance plane diagrams (the


display used in modern eddy current test instruments) and to
aid explanation, the parameter "eddy current phase lag" is
introduced*
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 ob*-?..ned if
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(a) 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
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 choica
questions are intended to check students1 understanding of
the course material and prepare for certification exams.

1.3 HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Electromagnetic testing — the interaction of nagnetic fields


with circulating electrical currents — had its origin In
1831 when M. Faraday discovered electromagnetic Induction.
He induced current flow in a secondary coll 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.
-3-

THERE MUST BE DEFECTS /N


THESE TUBES SOMEWHERE —
I SAW SQU/GGLES ON THE EDDY
Y
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-

During that tine, other nondestructive test techniques such --


as ultrasonics and radiography became well established and |
eddy current testing played a secondary role, mainly in the
aircraft industry. Recent requirements -- particularly for
heat exchanger tube inspection in the nuclear Industry -- '
have contributed significantly to further development of ET S
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 j.
authors' objective in compiling this manualis to draw upon *
research, laboratory and industrial inspection experience to
bridge that gap and thereby permit the full potential of eddy ~f
current testing to be realised. \

i
I
-5-

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

CURRENT PROBE

PROBE
MOVEMENT
CRACK
TEST PLATE

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—

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.
VOLTMETER VOLTMETER VOLTMETER

, SENSING / HALL
/ COIL DETECTOR

TEST ARTICLE |
TEST ARTICLE

COIL EXCITATION
COIL

(A) SELF-INDUCTANCE (B) SEND-RECEIVE (C.) MAGNETIC REACTION

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
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
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.
2.2 GENERATION OF EDDY CURRENTS

2.2.1 Introduction

In this section the topic of the magnetic field surrounding a


coil carrying current is introduced together with the
mechanism by which eddy currents are induced and how they are
measured.

2.2.2 Magnetic Field Around A Coil


Oersted discovered that whenever there is an electric
current, a magnetic field exists. Consider electric current
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
-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 shown
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 mere windings are added, each carrying the same current,
the flux density rapidly increases and its associated
distribution is altered.

Ma.9ne.tlc Tiald

Straight Wire (b) Single Turn Coil


Flouting into 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, <j>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-

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
divided by primary circuit impedance.

V /Z (2-1)
P P

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


current passing through the coil normally varies sinusoidally
with time and is given by:

I - I sin(fcit) (2.2)
P o

where I o is the peak current value In the circuit and u>


(omega) is the frequency in radians/s (to equals 2irf when f
is frequency in hertz).
From Oersted's discovery, a magnetic flux (<f>p) exists around
a coil carrying current (see Figure 2.4) proportional to the
number of turns in the coil (N p ) and the current ( I p ) .

N I (2.3)
P P

PROBE
(primary
circuit)

SAMPLE

(secondary
circuit)

Fig. 2.4; Coil Carrying Alternating Current Adjacent


To a Test Sample
-9-

Faraday's Law states a voltage ( V 8 ) is created or induced in


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

d<f>
P J.
where ~^~ is the rate of change in v with time.
Since coil current varies stnusoidally with time, total
magnetic flux in the coil also varies sinusoidally,
<(> - $ sin(wt)
where 4>0 is the magnetic flux corresponding to I o .
The induced voltage as described by equation 2.4 results in

V - - N &)<(> cos Cut) (2.5)


^ p c
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 s ) and the sample's impedance is
finite, current will flow,
IB - Vg/Zg (2.6)

where <lg is current flowing through the sample, V s is


induced voltage and Z 8 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 4>E " * p " *B (2.8)


where $ E i s t n e 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 - <f>E (2.9)

and V - ZI p (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 planes 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 are
discussed in the next section.
-11-

COIL

(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 coll. 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


fJi
V2J If (2.11)

where J is current density,2 a is conductivity, y 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
3
J x /J 0 sin(u)t-B) (2.12a)

where J x /J 0 i s t h e r « t l 0 of eddy current density J x at


depth x to the surface density J 0 ,and e » 2.718 is the base
of natural logarithms. B is given by x/5 where 6 • (irfua)-
the standard depth of penetration (see next section).

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

-x/6 (2.12b)
J
x/Jo a
which describes the exponential decrease in eddy current
density with depth,and

J x /J o sin (u)t-x/8) (2.12c)

denoting the Increasing time or phase lag of the sinusoidal


signal with depth.

2.4.1 Standard Depth of Penetration i


Figure 2.6 illustrates the change in eddy current density in
a semi-infinite conductor. Eddy current density decreases
exponentially with depth.
<f>t sin

0.2 0.4 0.6 0.S 1.0

.m

Fig. 2.6; Eddy Current and Magnetic Flux Distribution


With Depth In a Thick Plate

"7f
-13-

The depth at which eddy current density has decreased to 1/e or


36.82 of the surface density is called the standard depth of
penetration. The word 'standard' denotes plane wave
electromagnetic field excitation within the test sample
(conditions which are rarely achieved in practice). The
standard depth of penetration is given by

6 - 50/p/fU r , mm (2.13a)

or o " 2/p/fyr , inches (2.13b)

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 13,5X of the
surface density. At three depths (36) the eddy current density
is down to only 5X of the surface density. i?csever, one should
keep in mind these values only apply to thick samples
(thickness, t >56) and planar magnetic excitation 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. u r » y A , incremental permeability, at zero
biasing magnetization flux.
-u-

(a) PLATE (LARGE COIL, D>1Ot) ( b ) TUBE (LONG ENCIRCLING C O I L . 4 > 5 t )

EQUATION 2 . 1 2 (b) J o = EDDY CURRENT DENSITY AT SURFACE


ACTUAL
J , OR J r = EDDY CURRENT DENSITY A; LOCATION
3 OR r BELOW THE SURFACE

TUBE AND ROD GEOMETRY


( r , = 0 FOR ROD)

(C) ROD (ENCIRC'.!:;c COIL, r0)


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 aa the depth at which
eddy current de.isity 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 3 5 , the eddy currents being attenuated more then
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. [;
-15-

Fhase lag Is derived from equation 2.12(c) for infinitely


thick material. It represents a phase angle lag of x/<5
radians between the sinusoidal eddy currents at the surface
and those below the surface. It is denoted by the symbol 3
(beta) and is given by:
3 - x/<5 radians (2.14a)

x/6 x 57 degrees (2.14b)


or

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

(DEGREES)

x 57, DEGREES

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.
-16-

2.4.4 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 plotB does not change significantly with coil
diameter or length. For thick samples and practical probe
sizes, equation 2.14 is sufficiently accurate.
0"
20*

40'
^5\ *s**t5

NX ^^
_ = 0.7
NX
BO* \ sN \
2.0 60'
00'
r r
i
0.B ^ ^
H = 1.4
i I i

.2 .4 1.0

(a) PLATE (b) TUBE

rBi J
> t

.2 .4 .6 .8 1.0 TUBE AND ROD ( r . - 0 ) GEOMETRV

0 ff = PHASE I I T H DEPTH x , OR r,RELATIVE


r
r0 "' TO SURFACE CURRENT

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

Fie. 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.
I
-17-
I
I 2.5 SUMMARY
Eddy current testing is based on inducing electrical currents

I in the material being inspected and observing the interaction


between these currents and the material.
This process occurs as follows: When a periodically varying
I rents are field
magnetic induced accordinganto
intersects Faraday's conductor,
electrical and Ohm's Laws. The
eddy cur-
induced currents (known as eddy currents because of their

I 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-
I 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
I to the coil's winding and parallel to the surface. Eddy cur-
rent flow is limited to the area of the inducing magnetic
field.

I 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
I given by

mm (2.13a)
I where p is electrical resistivity, microhm-centimetres;
f is test frequency, hertz;

I and y r is relative magnetic permeability, dimensionless.

It states that in thick materials eddy current density


I 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
I 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

I 0 = x/6 - x

5O/p/fUr
, radians (2.14a)

I where x is distance below surface, mm.


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

1 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.

I
-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 pr - 1
(a) from equation 2.13(a),

50
f 100 x 1 0 3 x 1

- 50(7.2 xlO *) - 1.3 mm

Therefore the standard depth of penetration is 1.3 mm.

(b) from equation 2.14(b),


g - x/6 x 57

"T^f X57 "" 64


Therefore the phase lag is 64 degrees.
-19-

CHAPTER 3 - ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS AND PROBE IMPEDANCE

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, ft)

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-

total flux linkages


current through coll (3.2a)

(3.2b)
- k-L (N*A/Jl) (3.3)
where, N is number of coil turns
<|)p is magnetic flux (weber)
I is current (ampere)
k- is a geometric factor „
A is coil's planar surface area (am )
P. is coil's axial length (mm)
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

INDUCTIVE REACTANCE: (symbol: X L , units: ohm, fi)


Opposition to changes in alternating current
flow through a coil is called inductive
reactance. _,.
!'
XT - wL (3.4a) -

or XT * 2irfL (3.4b)

where, f is frequency of alternating current


(hertz), and U) is angular frequency ~:
(radians/second) I
CAPACITIVE REACTANCE (symbol: X c , units: ohm, fi)
Opposition to changes in alternating voltage •*
across a capacitor is called capacitive
reactance. "'
Eddy current coil capacitive reactance is
normally negligible. However, capacitance can
be important when considering impedance of probe
cables (Sections 5.9 and 7.2.5).
x
c " 2irfC (3.5)
where, C is capacitance (farad)

IMPEDANCE: (symbol: Z, units: ohm, ft)


The total opposition to alternating current flow
is called IMPEDANCE. For a coil,

Z| « * R * + X' (3.6)
-21-

X
L
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 L ) 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, V T , across both the


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

To evaluate the total voltage Vj, we add vectorially the


separate voltages V R and V L ,
V V + V
T " R L (3.8)
- I(R + jiuL) (3.9a)

where j is a mathematical operator (rotates a vector


CCW by 90°)

or VT - IR sin ( ait+O) + j IiOL sin ((Dt+ir/2) (3.9b)


Representing voltage waveforms as in Figure 3.1(d) or
equation 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-

D1RECT CURRENT

V . IR
(IATTERY) CURRENT AND VOLTAGE CAN BE
DESCRIBED BY MAGNITUDE ONLY

(>) DIRECT CURRENT CIRCUIT

ALTERNATING CURRENT
OJRRtHT HUS1 BE BESCKIMB V I
AMPLITUDE AND PHASE

r V L LEADS I BY 90"

(») ALTERNATING CURRENT CIRCUIT LEADS V R BY SO1

( O CRT DISPLAY OF VOLTAGE AND CURRFNT

CRT DISPLAY Of Vt, Vi. AND TOTAL VOLTASE DROP. Y T

V B em> RESISTANCE. R
(<) VOLTAGE GRAPH DISPLAY OF PNASORS (O IMPEDANCE GRAPH DISPLAY

Fig. 3.1; Representation of Direct Current and


Alternating Current Circuit Parameters
-23-

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


its phase shift is 0. The amplitude of the second term is IuL
and its phase shift is ir/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).
Fhasors are displayed graphically with the resistive
component ( V R ) , having a phase shift 6 = 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 F)
which represents the total impedance vector.
To obtain the reactive and resistive components from this
graph requires knowledge of trigonometry.

Reactive component: XL » toL =• |z| sin 6 (3.10)

Resistive component: R - |z| cos 9 (3.11)

Amplitude of impedance: \z\ - « R 2 + XL2

Phase angle: 6 - Arctan X /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 4>p, according
to Lenz's Law.
-24-

(a)
(b)

•P'S
o
o
o
8
^ SECONDARY
3' RECEIVE COIL
(c) 3

Fig. 3.2; Model of a Coll with Test Object

There are two methods of sensing changes In the secondary


current, I 8 . The "Impedance method" of eddy current
testing consists of monitoring the voltage drop across the
primary coil (V - I p z p^* T h e impedance Z p is
altered by the load of the secondary of the transformer.
Therefore, changes in secondary resistance, R s , or
inductance L 8 can be measured as changes in V_.

The "send-receive" method of eddy current testing uses two


coils. Eddy current flow in the sample is altered by defects
and these variations are detected by monitoring the voltage
across a secondary receive coil, see Figure 3.2(c).
-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). 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

«>) EQUIVALENT PARALLEL CIRCUIT

(c) 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 R 8 can be transferred
from the secondary back to the primary winding by multiplying
it by the turns ratio squared, ( N D / N a ) 2 , Figure 3.3(b).
-26-

The total impedance of this parallel circuit can be evaluated j


and transformed into an equivalent series circuit as follows: •

Z,Z» i!
ZP - Z, + Z 2

2
where Z^ - Np"RB

and Z 2 - jX0,
where X o » u)Lo, coil Inductive reactance in air.

jN 2 R X
Therefore -
- • p a °-- •
Z p •
•,

N R +jX \
P s J o f.
which transforms to
N2R X2 (N2R ) 2 X (3.12a) I
z » P so +j p a' o
P
<NpV2 +( V 2
(NpR8)2 + (x0)2 ii
This can be viewed as a series combination, in the primary
circuit, of resistance R L and Inductive reactance X p or

Zn - R. + jXn (3.12b)
p L p
The series circuit in Figure 3.3(c) is therefore fully
equivalent to the parallel one of Figure 3.3(b). Rp can be
considered as coil wire and cable resistance while
Z p -R L +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 B • « into equation 3.12a
results in

R L -0, X p -X 0 and Z p -X 0
-27-

The above results can be obtained by removing component


N|R 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

c x
o " oG

where G * l/N_Rg is equivalent circuit conductance.

Substitution in 3.12(a) yields

1 +C

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


reactance when far removed from the sample (coil in air)
results in

Z
_E + j (3.13)
X 1 +C 1 + C
o

By varying C o , 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 X p / X 0 « %
and R L / X 0 * 0; its radius .is \. With the help of
equation 3.13 and Figure 3.4, Impedance changes can be
related to changes in the sample characteristics.

P (OPERATING POINT)

NORMALIZED
INDUCTIVE
REACTANCE

RL/St0
Cn-«
NORMALIZED RESISTBNCE

Fig. 3.4: Impedance Graph Display


-28-

3.5.2 Correlation Between Coil Impedance and Sample Properties


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 O / N | R S ; if an increase in
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
qualitative appreciation of the effect of the various test _
parameters. It is also useful to know that probe/sample fi
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 It
obtained by adding the effect of 'phase lag1, which will be ||
treated in later chapters.
Study of equation 3.13 reveals the following:

1. An increase in R s results in a decrease in Co«


Therefore an increase in resistance to eddy current flow
moves the operating point, P, UP the impedance curve
(along the semi-circle), see Figure 3.5(a).
IT
2. R 8 - p«,/A II
where, p is electrical resistivity, £ is eddy current n
flow distance and A is cross-sectional area to current ]l
flow.
Therefore, p » constant x R s l|
An increase in electrical resistivity will move the
operating point UP the impedance curve. The opposite is f?
true for an increase in electrical conductivity. See if
Figure 3.5(a).

3. For thin wall tubes cr plates of thickness t, I

R8 « pil/A • pirD/tw
and for constant probe or tube diameter, D, and coil ''
width, w,
IT
R8 • constant/t • \\
An increase in tube wall (or plate thickness) will move r-
the operating point DOWN the impedance curve, see Figure ' j
3.5(b).
-29-

4. Co - u>L0/NpRs - constant x w
for constant sample properties.

An increase in test frequency will move Che operating


point DOWN the impedance curve, see Figure 3.5(c).

5. I.o " constant x D 2 ; probe inductance increases


proportional to probe or tube diameter squared.
Also R B - pTD/tw - constant x D, for constant
thickness, t, and coil width, w. Substituting L Q and
Rs into C o - 0)Lo/NpR8 results in Co-constant x D.
An increase in probe diameter or tube diameter will
move the operating point DOWN the impedance curve, see
Figura 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
seal-circles as C o increases from 0 to infinity, see
Figure 3.5(e).

(c)

D
TUBE
"SURFACE K
PROBE TF

. OECREASING FILL FACTOR


OR INCREASING LIFT-OFF

Fig. 3.5: Simplified Impedance Diagrams


-30-

3.6 SUMMARY
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
impedance magnitude is calculated from the equation

|Z| - */R" + (wL)£ , ohms (3.6)

and the impedance phase i s calculated from

oiL
e Arctan R , degrees (3.7)
The voltage across the test coil is V - IZ where I is the
current through the coil and Z is the impedance.
t
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 coll inductive reactance. This
load results In a resistive and inductive impedance change in
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
resistance on the horizontal axis as in Figure 3.6.

a»L0

NORMALIZED * OPERATING POINT


INDUCTANCE
REACTANCE

o-,t,f,D

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE,

Fig. 3.6; Impedance Graph Display


-31-

With this display we can analyze the effect of sample and


test parameters on coil 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, 6, between the total
impedance vector and the resistance vector?

SOLUTION:

a) XL - 2 irfL - (2 IT ) (50 x 1 0 3 ) (60 x 1 0 ~ 6 )


XT * 1 8 . 8 ohms

b) (2 irfL) 2 (18.8)2
24.1 ohms

18.8
c) Arctan Arctan 1.253
15
-32-

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
is 15 ohms and its inductance in air is 60
microhenries. Probe impedance with the probe on
the brass sample is measured as Z, 24.5 ohms
and 6 « 35 degrees.
Calculate: a) X_, inductive reactance
and b) R L , resistive load

SOLUTION! a) X - Z sin6
P P
« 24.5 sin 35° - 14.1 ohms

b) R. cos9 - R
DC
= 24.5 cos 35 - 15.0 » 5.1 ohms
3.7.3 Voltage - Current Relationship

PROBLEM: For the above probe impedance problem calculate


voltage drop across the probe if test current is
100 milliamperes.

SOLUTION: Probe impedance |z| - 24.5 ohms

Ohm's Law states that V - I |'z|

therefore, V - (0.10) (24.5) - 2.45 volts.

Voltage across the probe is 2.45 volts.


-33-

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 n 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

PHASE D.C. METER


SENSITIVE
AC TO DC
CONVERTOR PHASE
AMPLIFIER
(PLUS ROTATION
FILTERING)
I(Z,-Z2)

— BALANCE 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 of 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 ie 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.
-35-

Flg. 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,

and 1 ^ 3 » I2Z4
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 Z± replaced with R]_, 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-

In practice, this implies the ratio of inductive reactance of


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.

Figure 4.2 and equation 4.1 can be used to illustrate the


characteristic 'figure 8' signal of a differential probe. If
Z
1 > _£* point C is at a higher potential than point A.
2 4
This implies that when Z-y increases (i.e., coil moving
across a defect) with Z2. Z3 & Z4 constant, the bridge
voltage unbalance increases,and the opposite happens when
Zq increases* It is this bridge unbalance characteristic
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 coils are wound
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


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
balancing, or matching of voltage vector phase and amplitude,
is achieved by varying these resistors until a null is
achieved. Potentiometer R2 balances the reactive component
of the coils to make the phase angle of each coil circuit
equal. Potentiometer R^ balances the resultant voltage
with an equal voltage amplitude to null the instantaneous
voltage between R^ and R£>

TEST COIL

REFERENCE
COIL

Fig. 4 . 3 : Typical Bridge Circuit Used in Eddy


Current Instruments
-37-

The Inductive voltage drop across each coll Is equalized by


controlling the current passing through the colls. This Is
done by varying potentiometer R2« However, when the test
coll Inductance differs significantly from reference coil
inductance, potentiometer R2 will have to be rotated to one
extremity. This means less <"-rrent passes through one coll
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 aid the
pointer on the meter swings off-scale. The bridge can be
balanced by adjusting potentiometer R^.

Fig. 4.4: Simplified Circuit of Crack Detector


-38-

4.3 RESONANCE CIRCUIT ASP EQUATIONS

Probe-cable resonance must be considered when operating at


high test frequencies and/or using long probe cables. In
addition, crack detectors are purposely designed to operate
close to resonance. This section contains basic information
about resonant (tuned) circuits.

If a capacitor is connected in parallel with the test coil


(inductor), there is a unique frequency at which the
inductance-capacitance (L-C) circuit resonates. At this
frequency the circuit is said to be tuned. Undet this
condition the output voltage, for a given measurement, is
maximum. A capacitor in parallel with the eddy current probe
converts the circuit of Figure 3.3(c) to that of Figure 4.5.

Fig. 4.5; Parallel LC Circuit


-39-

At resonance,

(4<2>
—2 2
R +<xp x-x
c y
hence Z • » when R « 0

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


resonance occurs when

X « X or IUL • 1/toC (4.3a)


c
P

or u - l/v'Tc (4.3b)

Since h) " 2irf, resonant frequency is

27T/LC
f - —i— (4.4a)

where L is coil inductance in henries and C is cable


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

(4.4b)

X
where Q » -£• , quality factor.

The resonant frequency of a practical parallel resonant circuit


(R t 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-

4.4 EDDY CURRENT INSTRUMENTS


General instrument functions were described using the block
diagram of Figure 4.1. In this section specific instruments
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?

4.4.1 General Purpose Instrument (Impedance Method)

Figure 4.6 shows a typical eddy current instrument with


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
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
0
impedance must be compatible with internal bridge impedance.

FERRITE
CARBON STEEL.
a
'HONEL
0
S.S. TYPE 304

LEAD
n
BRASS
ALUMINIUM
COPPER STORAGE MONITOR
BALANCING

0
g 4.6; Typical Eddy Current Instrument With
Storage Monitor

Most bridges can tolerate a coil impedance between 10 and 200


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
in a defect free location on the test sample. Some
instruments have automatic balancing.
-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 going
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-repeatable
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 R^
(or V R ) and the Y component, X L (or V^i)>in 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 Che 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 with
the X component on the horizontal axis and the Y component on
the vertical axis. The writing speed or frequency response
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 on 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,

" V (B L
Coil wire and cable resistance increase linearly with
temperature according to
R - RO(1-K*AT)

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
value capacitor in parallel with the coil to form a resonant
circuit. At this condition the output voltage, for a given
change in coll 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
100 ohms.

Crack detectors that operate at or close to resonance do not


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,
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
materials, such as carbon steel, for surface defects.
Normally a different probe is required; however, coil
impedance and test frequency change very little.
-43-

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

PRO8E WITH L I F T - O F F = 0 mm

SAMPLE WlTH DEFECT

0.8 0 . 9 1.0 1.1 1.2

OSCILLATOR FREQUENCY. _L
f

g. 4.7; 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 deap surface defect will give a different reading
on the meter, as 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

Material sorting,or conductivity instruments,have a


precalibrated meter output and have a unique way of
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
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). Coll impedance
is in the range of 20 to 100 ohms. They either have bridge
balancing or a zeroing 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.

LIFT-OFF compensation is normally pre-aet. Figure 4.8


explains how the probe-wobble (lift-off) Bignal is
eliminated. The bridge is purposely unbalanced (by pre-set
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
distance, FB 1 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
thickness (and resistivity) variations. In fact any signal
that traces an impedance locus different from lift-off will
change meter output.

PRESET UNBALANCE

Fig. 4.8: Unbalanced Bridge Method Showing Selection


of Operating Point

*This is achieved by subtracting a signal equal to OP from the


signal OA.
-45-

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), Figure 4.9. The
excitation or primary coil is driven with a sinusoidal
current with constant peak-to-peak amplitude to obtain a
constant magnetomotive force,

sin (2.3)

RECEIVE CO ILS

TEST ARTICLE

Fig. 4.9: Send-Receive Circuit


-46-

Thia makes the excitation magnetic flux $ independent of


primary coil resistance. The secondary or receive coil(s) is
connected to a high input impedance amplifier, hence the
induced voltage V9 is not affected by receive coil resistance.
d*
** N CO8 (lit (2.5)

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 5.4.

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 4>s can be measured


with a Hall-effect detector rather than by monitoring the
induced voltage V B across a pick-up coil, see Figures 2.2b
and 2.2c.

Fig. 4.10; Hall Detector Circuit


-47-

The induced voltage in a pick-up coil is proportional to the


time rate of change of the magnetic flux and therefore is
proportional to the test frequency,

V f
Pick-u P "
The Hall detector instead responds to the instantaneous
magnitude of the magnetic flux, <j>0.

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 aero 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 therefore»the 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, LIFT-OFF=O

PROBE SIGNAL, L I FT - O F F = 0 . i mm
i
PROBE SIGNAL, DEFECT IN TEST ARTICLE

FIR. 4.11; Secondary Voltage Waveform for


Various Test Conditions

4.6 MDLTIFREQUENCY 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.
-49-

The response to various anomalies changes with test


frequency. This allows a means of discriminating against
unimportant changes. In multifrequency instruments, two or
more frequencies are used simultaneously (through the same
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
(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
only 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 tj_, 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 effect can be
drastically decreased.
-50-

V(t)
DEFECT IN TEST ARTICLE

LIFT -OFF = 0.1 mi*

I
Fig. 4.12: Voltage Across a Pulsed Eddy Current Pick-Up
Coll 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 t;o 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
X
i 6
X ,Y
O
FM TAPE
X-Y RECORDER 2-CHANNEL
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 H z . At maximum inspection
speed (0.25 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 p


1 k H z , but require special paper. These recorders are rarely Ji
used in eddy current testing.

FM Tape Recorders •

Tape recorders allow storage of eddy current signals (on


r
magnetic tape) for subsequent retrieval. They have a f
frequency response proportional to recording speed. The ;
lowest recording speed is 24 mm/sec (15/16 ips) giving a
frequency response of 300 H z , and the fastest, 380 mm/s (15 •
i p s ) , will respond to 4.8 kHz. \
-53-

4.9.1 Frequency Response


Eddy current instruments an^ recording instrumentation have
limited frequency response. This means they require finite
time to respond to an input signal. Frequency response,
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 3 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.
-54-

Eddy current instruments and recording equipment have a


finite frequency response limiting the Inspection speed to
normally 0.25 m/s.
Moat Instruments tolerate probe impedance between 10 and 200
ohms.
Crack detectors operate close to coil-cable resonance. The
resonant test frequency Is given by
f r - l/2ir/LC (4.4a)
where L is coll Inductance in henries and C is cable
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
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
cannot be used to reliably measure defect depth.

4.11 WORKED EXAMPLES

4.11.1 Impedance at Resonance


PROBLEM: In a parallel L-C circuit, inductance is 80 ? 10-6
henries, capacitance is 5 x 10~ 9 farads and
resistance is negligible. Calculate (a) resonant
frequency, (b) inductive reactance and (c) capacitlve
reactance.

SOLUTION:

(a) f (4.4a)

252 kHz
6 9
2TT ^(80 x 10~ ) (5 x 10~ )
(b) Inductive Reactance, - 2irfL (3.4b)

2TT X 2 5 2 x 10 3 x 80 x 10" 6 - 126.5 ohms

(c) Capacitive Reactance, l/2irfC (3.5)


1
X
C " » 1 2 6 . 5 ohms
2ir x 252 x 1 0 3 x 5 x 10" 9
-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 the/ 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 bre-\k through, or originate
at the surface - typically cracks, voids, or inclusions: a
subsurface defect does not break the surface and is therefore
not visible).

Other names used for variations of surface probe designs are


pancake probe, flat probe, spring probe or coil, spinning
probe, and pencil probe.
-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

ZIRCONIUM ALLOV

Fig. 5.1: Surface Probes

slmilai 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 tvo colls 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:
-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

U)
(a)
DIFFERENTIAL SURFACE PROBE
MUUI SURFACE -COIL PROBE

. FERROMAGNETIC
CORE

•COILS

FIELD SENSING CDII

(b) (H)

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.

I
SEND . TEST ARTICLE
COIL \
(DRIVER COIL! \
RECEIVER COIL

( a)

PICK-UP COILS
(WOUND OPPOSING
EACH OTHER)

ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS
(c)

Fig. 5.3: Send-Receive Probes


-59-

Send-Recelve 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 EDDY CURRENTS


LAMINAR CRACK
TEST PLATE

EDDY CURRENT FLOWS PARALLEL TO COIL WINDINGS


- POOR SENSITIVITY TO LAMINATIONS

SURFACE CRACK
IN PLATE

ZERO SENSITIVITY LOW 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,

* . - • • »

The magnetic flux density, B, is approximately constant


across a coil's diameter, hence
(j> » BA

- (B)(irr2)

where r is radial distance from centre of probe;

therefore,

or
a r

N(turns)

Ac
-61-

Reslstance to flow of current Is proportional to flow path


length and resistivity and inversely proportional to cross-
sectional area, A c ,

R
2urp
s
unit depth x unit width
CC Y
or R
s

Since s - V /Z by Ohm's Law


S

and Z -V.
1 + (U)L)2 - R n , at low test frequency
and no skin depth effect,

therefore,

s R~ " ~

or I « r
s

s ince *s
= - I from Lens's Law, it follows
s
that

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 (<(>„) is proportional to probe
inductance (L) and current (I), i.e., 4>poc LI. In most
eddy current instruments excitation current is kept Reasonably
constant (in the milliampere 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,
and 6 Arctan -~
K
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 - 6.3 mm •12.7 mm D >= 25.4 .mm
0

L • 0.27 yH L - 0.54 yH L - l.i yH L - 2,,lyH L - 4.3 yH


R - 0.2 ft R - 0.1ft R - 0.05 ft R - 0.02ft R - 0.01 ft
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 .6 4 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 -• 1 7 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) .23 mm) (0. 45 mm)

i PA .

•f = Dj =0.2 D o
I
-63-

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


calculated from the equation

L Q -= 4ir x 1 0 " 1 0 y r N2A/Jt (5.1a)

LQ is self-inductance in henries
where Hr is relative permeability of core (normally -1.0)
A is coil's planar surface area, millimetres2
& 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 2 term remains since N
enters in N $_ (total number of flux linkages) and again since
<(>_ itself is proportional to N. The following approximate
equation can be used to calculate inductance of short coils:

L - 4m r N2Un ~ - 2) 1 0 " 1 0 (5.1b)


Ox, JAI

D +D
where r is mean coil radius • ;—— , mm

and K • 0.112 (2£ + D Q + 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 and 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 S.I 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 I) 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 SIGNAL AMPLITUDE
Vx./Vx=l

G9 CD O

o
ii
en 7
^ ; /
r

/ /
o
l-t
(D /
HI /
CO
n>

(D
3
ro
CJI
y

k
CO
CO CO

DEFE
2 mm
—I o
CO

Ui
7 cD
rn
—|NX
VC

(•
i"
ro
pn

h
v

11
R) CJI ; \

'
o

A)
o
:i CJI
"o
I
c
\A

7/A
OS> OS? 2
rt C
er II II CJI
en
LIF T-OFF ^—|
-65-

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
surface is considered very deep for eddy current test
purposes•

There are two factors that contribute to this limitation.


The skin depth effect causes eddy currents to attenuate with
depth depending on the aaterial 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
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.
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
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
less than 5 mm thick. In following subsections, limitations
are discussed and empirical examples presented.

5.3.1 Sensitivity with Lift-Off and Defect Depth


There is a decrease in sensitivity to defects as a coil is
moved away from the surface. This is caused by the decrease
in magnetic flux density with distance 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
diameter) decreases a factor of four when moved about 1 mm
from the surface.

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.
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-

At a typical test frequency, where one skin depth equals


defect depth (<5™ 2 mm for the dashed lines In Figure 5.5(b)),
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
current density Is 37% of surface eddy current density.

The decrease In defect sensitivity with depth In a finite


thickness sample, without skin depth attenuation, is
approximately the same as In ar. 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
frequency.
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 f% -, of a probe is approximately equal to
the coil diameter, D c , plus four skin depths,

D
eff - »e + " (5.3)

At high frequencies the 4 6 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
ferrlte cups to contain the field. This results in a
concentrated field without affecting depth of penetration.
-67-

100*

1 .»••"""

///
s
X " * ^ 100 KHJ
76*
/ • '
d /

a
i
_/
50*
tn / /
.[ZED UEFEC1

///. / 7 mm PROBE DIMETER

1.3 mm PROBE 01 METER

25*
1 8
I MHz = 0.36 mm
DEFECT

1
I 8
100 KHz = 1.16 mm

i 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
• 10 12 14 22
EDM NOTCH LENGTH, am

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, 6-1.7 mm. Note Che 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-

O.D. SURFACE 25% 507 75? I.D. SURFACE


GROOVE GROOVE
AMFMTUOE OF DEFECT SIGNAL. V COUPONED

1 VOLT \

Si
so; 75?. 1 .D. GROOVE
0.8 *"• DEEP
HOLES. 0.8 "™ blA. 13 ™" LONG 13 <nm LONG

X-Y DISPLAY OF DEFECT SIGNALS

(a) Conventional Surface Probe Results

25% 50% 75%.


O.D. " I.D.
GROOVE HOLES GROOVE
0.8 mm DEEP 0 , 8 nra DIA 0 , 8 mm DEEP

AMPLITUDE OF DEFECT SIGNALS, Y COMPONENT X-Y DISPLAY OF DEFECT SIGNALS


(FILTERED)

(b) Through-Wall Transmission Results

Fig. 5.7: Comparing Conventional and Through-Wall


Transmission Techniques
-69-

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
method 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 <f> = 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-phasc
VQ» 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<j>/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 (wL 0 ) when
the probe is away from test material (in air).

\ _ 0)L
X Oih
o o
where to is angular frequency, radians/second
L is inductance, henries
Lo is inductance of coil in air, henries
X^ is reactance, ohms
Xo is reactance of coil in air, ohms
-70-

p1
X I IX
rXI IXI
AIR
TEST ARTICLE
INDUCTIVE
REACTANCE

AIR

TEST ARTICLE

TEST ARTICLE

UL

RESISTANCE

(a) BEFORE NORMALIZATION (b) AFTER NORMALIZATION

Fig. 5.8; Coil Impedance Display


The r e s i s t i v e component i s normalized by subtracting c o i l wire
and cable r e s i s t a n c e , R__ , and then dividing by toL0 ,
R R
T " DC
X

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


test material.

The normalized components X ^ / X Q and R ^ / X Q are dimen-


sionless and independent of both coil inductance and coil
wire and cable resistance. Changes in the normalized
parameters indicate variations in eddy current flow into 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 coll 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.
-71-

!•*'. CONSTANT PERMEABILITY, /ir


% KESISTIVITJ (^n-eml CONSTANT RESISTIVITY, f
(TITANIUM ALLOY)

TEST FREQUENCY - 50 kHz


THICK PLATE

l.72 (COPPER) FREQUENCY - SO kHz


.LIFT-OFF, •• LIFT-OFF " °
THICK PLATE

.L
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.4 0.6
NORMALIZED RESISTANCE NORMALIZED RESISTANCE
FIG. 5,9: IMPEDANCE GRAPH-RESISTIVITY EFFECT FIG. 5.10: IMPEDANCE GRAPH-PERMEABILITY EFFECT

FQfff

FREQUENCY, kHz

RESISTIVITY " S3jift.c«l


'.05 fi p • 1
LIFT-OFF " 0
FREQUENCY - 50 kHz
THICK PLATE

0.0
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
NORMALIZED RESISTANCE
NORMALIZED RESISTANCE
FIG. 5.11: IMPEDANCE GRAPH-THICKNESS EFFECT FIG. 5.12: IMPEDANCE GRAPH-FREQUENCY EFFECT
-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.

5.5.4 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 dees 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.
I -73-
I 5.5.5 Effect of Probe Diameter

Figure 5.13 shows effect of coil diameter (a probe


parameter). Note increasing coil diameter moves the
impedance point down the curve, similar to increasing
frequency. When test conditions dictate use of a low
frequency, the operating point can often be brought down the
curve to the desired knee region by Increasing coil diameter
(provided test conditions will permit a large probe).

1,0B,. t

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 5 . 1 3 : Impedance G r a p h - S u r f a c e Coil D i a m e t e r Effect

5.5.6 C o m p a r i s o n of E x p e r i m e n t a l and C o m p u t e r I m p e d a n c e D i a g r a m s

The impedance graphs shown in Figure 5.9 to 5 . 1 2 , produced by


c o m p u t e r s i m u l a t i o n , can be verified using a standard eddy
current i n s t r u m e n t . Figure 5.14 shows probe response to
v a r i o u s test v a r i a b l e s : resistivity, perneability, lift-off,
and test f r e q u e n c y . The solid lines are output voltage
traces generated by v a r y i n g p r o b e - t o - t e s t article spacing
( l i f t - o f f ) from infinity to contact w i t h various 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 frequency constant at 10 k H z , and
a g a i n at 100 k H z . The dashed l i n e s , connecting the points
w h e n the probe w a s i n contact w i t h t h e s a m p l e s , w e r e sketched
in to show the s i m i l a r i t y between these graphs and the
n o r m a l i z e d impedance graphs in the p r e c e d i n g s e c t i o n . Note
that the points m o v e d o w n the curve with increasing
c o n d u c t i v i t y and also w i t h increased f r e q u e n c y . For example,
the o p e r a t i n g point for 304 SS moved from the top of the
i m p e d a n c e diagram at 10 kHz to near the knee at 100 k H z .
-74-

LIFT-OFF
I , FERRITE
'" SAMPLE
IRON
MONEL 4 0 0

HONEL 400

S
INDUCTIVE INDUCTIVE
REACTANCE REACTANCE
g.1
304 SS
Cu -I,
JLEAD

J
! BRASS
f *1C0 kHz
f - 1 0 kHz

RESISTANCE R RESISTANCE
"to
(b)

Fig 5.14; Probe R t i p o m e to Various Teat Parameters at


Two Frequencies

5.6 CHARACTERISTIC PARAMETER

In Section 5.5 impedance graphs were normalised to make test


article parameters independent of probe properties such as
inductance. Another method, proposed by W.E. Deeds, C.V.
Dodd and f,o-worl:eri, combines frequency and probe diameter
with test material parameters, to form one characteristic
parameter^?.).

f oi (5.4)

where r is mean coil radius


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

Uslng this characteristic parameter, one impedance graph can


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

ELU

CJ
^ CONSTANT -
— LIFT-OFF CONSTANT
7 = COIL MEAN RADIUS
t, = LI FT-OFF/?
w = ANGULAR FREQUENCY
M = MAGNETIC
PERMEABILITY
<r = ELECTRICAL -
CONDUCTIVITY

0 0.05 0.10 0.1S 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35


NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 5.15; Impedance Diagram with Characteristic


Parameter, PP

Consider Figure 5.15. The solid lines are generated by


starting with P c equal to zero and increasing the value to
infinity (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 coll closer until it contacts (while holding
P_ 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
Vrl°l
or
r r
l 2

Test 1 Test 2
-76-
I
I
I
I
PROBE I
I
I
STORAGE
OSCILLOSCOPE
DISPUY I
I
NOMENCLATURE
VOLTAGE I
CURRENT
u - ANGULAR FREQUENCY
(«= 2»f) If
PROBE INDUCTANCE
IN A I R
RBC • PROBE WIRE I CABLE
DC RESISTANCE
I
'SFECIMEN AC RESISTANCE
[f
SUBSCRIPTS':
T • TOTAL
i. - INDUCTANCE
R • RESISTANCE
P -PRIMARY
s - SECONDARY
V,

Fig. 5.16: Coil Impedance/Voltage Display


-77-

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 instance),
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.
P c = 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
( p r • 1 for nonferromagnetlc 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 t;e word.

Figure 5.16 shows the impedance of a probe touching test


material. The two axes represent the quadrature components,
V^ and Vg, of voltage across a coil. In the absence of
real numbers, the axes can also be considered as the
normalized parameters wL/ioL and R L / U)L0.

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.

1. 0 ^ , 0^ » Arctan ^—
-78-

, angle between total voltage vector


I
and resistive voltage vector. •

NOTE: An impedance bridge measures amplitude of K


the impedance vector Z and the angle 0 , where the £
resistance includes RJJC . This vector could therefore
not be shown on Figure 5.16. (It is shown on the _-
impedance diagram in Figure 5 . 8 ( a ) ) . •
2. A©. f Change in phase of normalized resultant voltage vector ™
as probe is moved over a defect.
3. 0 , , Phase between secondary voltage (induced voltage) and •
primary voltage (excitation v o l t a g e ) . Send-recelve g
instruments measure secondary voltage.
4. A@2> Change in phase of secondary voltage as probe is moved _
over a r'efect. This is approximately the phase I
measured by some send-receive eddy current instruments H
without X-Y outputs.
5. 0 , Phase between the voltage signals obtained from B
LIFT-OFF and a crack or void. It is related to PHASE gj
LAG '3 • explained below. (0^ 1 B about double the phase
lag.) m
0 3 is used to estimate defect depth during E T . •
6. g, PHASE LAG (not shown in Figure 5.16) of eddy currents II
below the surface relative to those at the surface. It
was derived in the eddy current density equation Chapter m
2, i.e. g • x/6for semi-infinite p l a t e s , where x is the If
distance below the surface and B is in radians.
7. 0,, Many eddy current instruments have a PHASE knob by which
the entire impedance voltage plane display can be I;
rotated. It is coataon practice to rotate the display I:
to meke LIFT-OFF horizontal. (On an eddy current

8.0_,
instrument display, absolute orientation of inductive
and resistive axes may be unknown).
Phase between inductive voltage and current in a
circuit; 0 - 90° •
I!
I;
5.8 SELECTION OF TEST FREQUENCY I!
5.8.1 Inspecting for Defects a?
The first question that must be answered before proceeding
with a n inspection is: For what type of defects is the
inspection being done? If the defects are cracks: What is f
the smallest defect that must be detected? Are the cracks I
surface or subsurface? A r e they likely to be laminar cracks
or normal to the test surface? A single general inspection r-
procedure to verify the absence of any and all types of defects ||
often has little merit. Inspections often require t w o or more
teit fraquencias and/or different probes to accurately identify
dafacta. p
Taat frequency can ba aalactad without knowledge of the
characteristic parameter, P c , or tha oparatlnf point on tha r•
impedance graph. It ahould ba chosen for good discrimination '
batwaan dafacta and othar varlablna. Tha moat troublasoma
variabla la LIFT-OFF variations, a o aaparatlon of dafacts from
lift-off ia tha foraaoat consideration.
-79-

Only the skin depth equation has to be used,

6 - nun (2.13a)

A test frequency where 6 is about equal to the expected


defect depth provides good phase separation between lift-off
and defect signals. Figure 5.17 illustrates the display on

COIL LIFT-OFF SURFACE CRACK


\ SUBSURFACE
1X1 VOID (A)
SUBSURFACE
4&W' INCREASING
LIFT-OFF
VOID (B)

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

(a) (b)

Fig. 5 . 1 7 ; T y p i c a l Response Signals for Two Types of Defects

an eddy current instrument monitor as a probe passes over


surface and subsurface d e f e c t s . Test frequency is such that
$ equals depth of deepest defect, and instrument controls
are selected such that a signal from lift-off is h o r i z o n t a l .
Note the difference in signal amplitude and angle relative to
lift-off of subsurface voids A and B . This results from skin
depth attenuation and phase lag.

I f , 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
v a r i a b l e . This discussion is expanded in the next chapter
under Signal A n a l y s i s .
-80-

5.8.2 Measuring Resistivity

Resistivity can be measured at small localised 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.

INCREASING • REFERENCE SAM H.E


PEDANCE FOIIi
RESISTIVITY
p - 5S / « " em

MPEDANCE POINT
| OF UHKNniM ^
INC (EASING s
' LI FT-OFF
-_ —
REFERENCE "
SAMPLE
MONITOR
DISPLAY

EODV CURRENT INSTRUMENT MONITOR DISPLAY

RESISTANCE

<»> M K M K E MMM • KIISTJWn fFFICT

Fig. 5.18; Resistivity Measurement and the Impedance Graph


-81-

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) is an
enlarged section of the curve rotated so lift-off signals are
approximately horizontal. This is the view on an eddy
current instrument monitor.

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, R-QQ . 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, Xj.» should be large compared to coil
Wire resistance; X^/R.. > 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 Q ^
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 > 3 x 50jf , mm

, r- 22500 Hz
f >—-

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.
-82-

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


n
flux coupling will differ from that of a flat surface and a
correction factor may be required.

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
determine ii a localised 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
resistivity should vary only slightly whereaB the angle
between lift-oft and defect signals will Increase with
frequency.

An example of resistivity variations in a zirconium alloy,


due to a change In oxygen concentration, is shown in
Figure 5.19.
ii
TEST ARTICLE WIDTH

f!
f!

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

(b) MODIFIED C-SCAN DISPLAYING Y-COMPONENT


OF COIL IMPEOANCE VECTOR FROM A CHANGE
IN ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY

Fig. 5.19: Eddy Current Signals from a Change In Electrical


Resistivity on the Surtace of a Zr-Nb Test Article." Test
Frequency • 300 kHz.
I -83-
I 5.8.3 Measuring Thickness

I Test frequency should be chosen so 'lift-off and 'change in


thickness1 signals are separated by a 50° phase angle, see
Figure 5.2O(a). This frequency can be calculated using the
skin depth equacion. A 'reasonable approximation for thin

I sections is when obtained when

t/6 0.8 (5.6)

I which converts to

I where 6
t
f - 1.6
is skin depth, mm
p/t5

is test article thickness, mm


kHz (5.7a)

I P
f
Vr
is electrical resistivity, microhm-centimetres
is frequency, kHz
is relative permeability (y • 1 for non-
ferromagnetic material).
I In testing thick material, this equation can similarly ba
used to choose a test frequency to separate lift-off and

I subsurface defect signals by 90°. Fquation 5.7(a) can be


used by replacing t with x,

f - 1.6 p/x2 kHz (5.7)

I where x is depth of subsurface defect.

1
s INCREASING
RESISTIVITY

I _|

LIFT-OFF
rmcKNESs

I BA ANC M NT
J
FOf KOI IM1 i HERE»SIN G
-TH CKNI SS- HICK IESS

I (b) EDDY CURRENT INSTRUMENT MONITOR DISPLAY

I
I RESISTANCE

(=> IUPEDSNCE GRAPH - RESISTIVITY AND THICKNESS EFFECT

I Fig. 5.20: Thickness Measurement and the Impedance Graph

I
-84-

Conventlonal 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 ox its thickness is essentially a lift-off
measurement (provided it is non-ferromagnetic), i.e. the
distance between the coll and test article. At high test
frequency 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 or 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 of variables when attempting to measure a layer
(clad l ) , nominally 0.75 mm thick, with resistivity p •= 3 yfi.cm
on a base (clad 2) with resistivity 5 yfl.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/S Is 0.8
and, as predicted, the angle separating signals from
-85-

E00» CURRENT 1HPEDINCE PLANE

1 I F I I I I I I

!I .1
-ULJ»
I RESISTKITr I c 3 i 2 0 t u f l - .« I
HIR CUf 0 TO .37 m

\ RESISTIVITY 3 -- 5 ! 101 nCl-


t («)

RJNGE OF VARIABLES SHOIN IK COKPUTOR PLOTS

(D)

,170
7 l'"/1 I l l I I I I
.0S2O .0940 ,0H0 .OMO .MOO .0020 .0140 .OHD .0110 .0)00

IIOWJLIZED 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.
Most general purpose eddy current instruments cannot operate
at or close to resc-ince.

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


In simple terms, resonance occurs when inductive reactance of
the coil equals capacitlve reactance of the cable, i.e. when

ti)L - 1/oiC

where to is angular frequency, in radians/secpnd, L is coil


inductance in henries and C is total cable
capacitance In farads.
-86-

Transforming this equation and substituting U)=27rf shows


resonance occurs when frequency is

f r - l/2ir i/LC (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 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


f is less than 0.8f r .
2. Select a probe with lower inductance. (Since f r
is proportional to 1/ /U7 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 1.2f r .
However, above resonance the sensitivity of all eddy
current instruments decreases rapidly with increasing
frequency because capacitive reactance (X c »l/ 0)C)
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 currant
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 i2 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 thickness* 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 of 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 litt-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.
-88-

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)
6-5 (2.13a)

72 - 0.30 mm
50
+h x 106
D -. « D + 46 - 5.Q + 1.2 - 6.2 mm
eft c

(b) 1.25 mm

D ,- - D + 46 - 5.0 + 5.0 - 10 mm
err c

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 alloy (P " 50 microhm-cm).

SOLUTION: The best frequency for resistivity measurements is


when the operating point is at the knee location
on the impedance diagram. This occurs when the
characteristic parameter P c «10. Using equation
5.5,

P c - 7.9 x 10
-4 /lO.O + 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 teat 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
signals.

6.2 EDDY CURRENT SIGNAL CHARACTERISTICS

6.2.1 Defect Signal Amplitude

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


impedance as f.he 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 some
degree) increase resistance to eddy current flow and this, in
turn, changes coil impedance. (The effect of defect size on
flow resistance in tube testing is derived in Section
8.2.1) .
-90-

COIL BOUNDARIES SURFACE COIL


EBDY CURRENTS WINDINGS
, TEST PLATE
TEST PLATE
EDDY CURRENT DISTORTION
AT CRACK

CRACK
(b) EDDY CURRENTS TAKE THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE
UNDER OR AROUND A DEFECT

(9) EDDV CURRENTS FLOW IN CLOSED PATHS. A DEFECT


INTERFERES WITH THE NORMAL PATH.

Fig. 6.1; Eddy Currents In a Defective Plate

In terms of the equivalent coll 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 ,
- 87Z flows in a layer equivalent to two skin depths, 2 5 ,
- 95% flows in a layer equivalent to three skin depths, 36 .
-91-

SURFACE COIL
IX' TEST PLATE
CRACK

(a) EDDY CURRENT FLOW UNDER A CRACK (b) EDDY CURRENT FLOW AROUNO 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 8 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 (g) 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-

COHSUNT »«PUTUOE

OEEP DEFECT-

SHULLOI DEFECT -

SUBSURFUCE DEFECT-

DEFECT POSITION (a)

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 6 is skin depth (mm).
The angle between lift-off and defect signals is about 2 g .
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 crack 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 iran

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-

1.0
10 kHz LlfT-OFF
,2nn

x 1.5 mi. M
\ \
5 0 KHZ
\ 0.25 -\>

0.9

A/. = t25*
A t - -25»
\\ A M = .25*
0.J5 m\ p. - 1.0

o.i 0.2

(a)
v -..
V •- IIFT-OFF

I 2 Ml
I1«.f- 1 . 5 mm

' \
0.25 mm *>3( to kHz *J—
O.I 2 r»

0.7 \

= 72 f > a • cm

0.6 \ \ •

= •25%
=1.0
0.25 m
0.5 \
I
SC kHz
0.25 MH
0.4 '*»/

J 1 J L.
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5

(b)
Flg» 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
resistivity 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 thickness1 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/5 = 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
I; 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,
complament 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 all 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-

CALIBRATION
CRACKS

mm
SAMPLE : p = 50 ^ii • cm
fir = 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 = 50 kHz FREQUENCY = 3 0 0 kHz


Figo 6.6: X-Y Display of Coil Impedance Vector from
Calibration Grooves and a Real Crack. Estimated Depth*!.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 defects, Figure 6.10(b), have an


average phase angle relative to lift-off of approximately 23
where 3 is the phase lag of the eddy currents at depth x.
This signal is similar tc a change in wall thickness signal
and its phase was denoted by G3 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 recognized 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 alleys 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 (Fe30^) deposits on heat exchanger tubes due
to steel corrosion somewhere else in the cooling system.

The first two 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 from defects and magnetic
inclusions* As test frequency is reduced, the operating
I
-99-
I
I
I t.oo
FERROMAGNETIC
/ INCLUSION FERROMAGNETIC
INCLUSION

I CALIBRATION
CRACKS
2 mm DEEP
/ NOTCH

I PROBE Dl« = 7 mm
SAMPLE p = 50/ifl-cm
10 kHz
L.O
0 .5 mm DEEP
NOTCH

I 100 kHz — •
2 mm DEEP

- ^ .
/ FERRI

I LJFT-OFF

100 kHz
/
0.5 mm DEEP

I 2 mm DEEP

, FERRO

I 0 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25


L 0. 1
0.5
mm DEEP

NORMALIZED RESISTANCE _K 500 kHz

I «,L0

I Fig. 6.7: Coil Impedance/Voltage Display at Three Frequencies

I point moves up the impedance curve and defect signals rotate as


shown. The important point to note is that relative to

I 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
I ferromagnetic signal would not vary appreciably with frequency;
increased permeability primarily increases coil inductance.

I 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
I 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
I distinguish between defects and magnetic inclusions. If the
phase of the signal from the indication increases to 90°
relative to 'lift-off1, it is a ferromagnetic anomaly; if it

I 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
laiger 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 Son-conducting Layer (lift-off)
9. Varying Thickness of a Conducting Layer
10. Ferromagnetic Inclusions
-102-

I I I I I I

m-CONDUCTING COPPER CHROMIUM


LAYER LAYER PLATE

0 . 2 mm 1.0 mm 0 . 1 Him

0 . 1 mm 0 . 5 mm .05 mm

0.05 n 0,1 m .01 mm

(b) BACK SIDE

TElf-120 I f - 7 0 f f = 5 0 I P - Z 5 \ P = 7 f P= 4 | P - 1
2 mm - • cm

1 . 5 mm - .

0 . 7 mm - I—
r I I I I II
0.12 0.25 0.5 1.0 2.0 4.0
d = 1 mm DEPTH, mm
— 0.5 mm
I I
I. 2. 4. 10
LENGTH, mm
25
d=2nm CONSTANT DEPTH = 0.5 mi
> • COPPER • 0
0.S mm t=0.I m 1'ilN VOID
R, - 2 0 Rj=5 Rc = 5 R j = I O R,=55

(a) FRONV 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 lift.cm;
bronze, p = 25 \iQ . cm; and Type 316 s t a i n l e s s s t e e l , P =74 yfi.cm.

Figure 6.10(a) i l l u s t r a t e s eddy current signals obtained with


an absolute surface probe from some of the calibration block
defects. Figure 6.10(b) i l l u s t r a t e s signals from the same
defects using a differential surface probe, similar to that
in Figure 5.2(c) .

0 . 5 mm CEEP
4 mm DEEP ; 4 mm DEEP

1 mm DEEP

0 . 5 mm DEEP

LIFT-OFF
LIFT-OFF

SURFACE DEFECTS

0 . 7 mm DEEP
0 . 7 mm DEEP

LIFT-OFF
LIFT-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 i s separated from the
test article by the test coil and therefore couples only
slightly to the test article ( f i l l f a c t o r « l ) .

CENTERING DISCS
TEST COII
REFERENCE COIL

- GUIDES
TEST 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

Coil 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, coll 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
///AY/// y////////

COIL THICKNESS
D (AVERAGE COIL DIAMETER)
TUBE-COIL
CLEARANCE
///X/7/. //////////s

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 undistorted; 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.

u SUPPORT PLATE POSITION

SECTION THROUGH TUBE


SNOWING CORRODED ARE*

DIFFERENTIAL COILS ABSOLUTE COIL

TRACE WITH ABSOLUTE PROBE

fALL LOSS y COMFONENT

TRACE WITH DIFFERENTIAL


PDOBE
WALL LOSS T r COMPONENT

(c)

Fig. 7.3; Eddy Current Y-Channnel Recordings from a Brass


Heat Exchanger Tube
OP " 2 6 . 9 mm, t-1.1mm, fqp - 2 1 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 general
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 shinning 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
charges in properties and dimensions temperature instability
combined signals are usually easy to - more sensitive to probe
separate (simple interpretation) wobble than a differentia
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
- immu le 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-

COIl con EDDY CURRENTS COIL EDDV CURRENTS

EDDY CURRENTS FLOW IN CLOSED PATHS EDDY CURRENT FLOWS PARALLEL TO EDDY CURRENT FLOW DIMINISHES TO
LIMITED TO CONDUCTING MATERIAL COIL WINDINGS - NOT SENSITIVE ZERO AT THE CENTRE OF A SOLID ROD
TO PURELY CIRCUMFERENTIAL CRACKS NO SENSITIVITY AT CENTRE

COIL COIL

EDDY CURRENT FLOWS PARALLEL EnDY CURRENTS CONCENTRATE NEAR THE


TO TUBE SURFACE - NOT SENSITIVE SURFACE CLOSE TO THE COIL - DEPTH
TO LAMINAR SEPARATIONS. OF PENETRATION I S CONTROLLED BY TEST FREOUENCY.

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? 2

where X L - 2 ir f L when f is in hertz and L in henries


and R is coil wire resistance in ohms.
-111-

TABLE 7.2 ENCIRCLING OR INTERNAL COIL IMPEDANCE

D - 8 . 9 mm D - 1 2 . 7 mm D " 1 5 . 9 mm D » 1 9 . 1 mm D « 2 2 . 2mm Wire S i z e


0 0 0 0 0

L • 6 . 1 liH L - 1 1 uH L - 1 5 liH L • 20 UH L - 25 uH 31 AWG


K » 25 ( 0 . 2 3 mm)
R - 0.3 ft R - 0.4 fl R » 0 . 5 ft R - o.6 a R - 0.7 a

L - 23 L - 42 L - 59 L - 77 L - 96 34 AWG
N * 49 ( 0 . 1 6 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 . 1 1 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 . 0 8 9 mm]
R » 9 R >• 14 R - 18 R - 22 R - 26

L - 490 L - 880 L - 1 . 2 4 mH L -1.62mH L -2.02mH 41 AWG


N - 225 ( 0 . 0 7 1 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 aad the square of mean coil diameter
(L a N 2 D 2 ),one can usually make a reasonable estimate of
wire size and number of turns for a particular probe.
I

-112- r
i,

7.2.5 Probe-Cable Resonance j"


i

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. r

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 j~
U)L • 1/uC

where u> is angular frequency, radians/second ]


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

Transposing this equation and substituting to - 2irf '


shows resonance occurs when frequency is

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, '


I
which balances at a low frequency, will not balance as
frequency is increased. At the approach of resonance, the H
balance lines on the eddy current storage monitor will not i i
converge to a null. The two balancing (X and R) controls
will produce nearly parallel lines, rather than the normal <~r
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 j
f te st is less than 0.8 f r . *
2. Select a probe with_lower inductance. (Since f r is
proportional to 1//L , inductance must be decreased a "'
factor of four to double the resonant frequency). I
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/^C ,
4. Operate at a test frequency above resonance, such that [
f
test l s greater than 1.2 f r .
However, above resonance the sensitivity of all eddy
current instruments decreases rapidly with increasing ";
frequency because capacj.tive reactance (Xc. • 1 / W C ) i
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 configurations.
The impedance display treatment introduced in Chapter 5
applies for internal and external circumferential coils with
the following changes:

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


measure of coupling between the coil 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 teet
material. Fill-factor, n (eta), is the ratio

* " Do/¥2 (7.1a)

for an encircling coil,

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


for a bobbin type internal coil,

where D o is cylinder diameter


D is average coil diameter
and 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 r) Is the same as an increase
in D± (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-

i.o

0.8

INCREASING
RESISTIVITY (/>) COIL
0.6 THIN • M I L TUBE

0.4
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 colls (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) from 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.

\ \ i
\
\i
COIL

i\ \ -
UJ
' \
I INCREASING RESISTIVITY
ACT

A \
2 i
IDUCTIVE

DECREASING FIU-MCT0R
1
_ 1
| /
RHALIZEC

A //INCREASI

i 1 f

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 Y 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-

LOW FREQUENCY » > J!°


4

INTERMEDIATE FREQUENCY 8 ---£-

HIGH FREQUENCY 8 <-

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,

The magnetic flux density, B, is approximately


constant inside a long coil, hence

<j> - BA
- <B)(irr2)

where r is radial distance from centre of cylinder;


-117-

therefore,
\ • -»«2 If

or
V oc r '
s

Resistance to flow of current is proportional to path length


and resistivity and inversely proportional to cross-sectional
area, A c ,
_ 2trrp m 2irrp
s Ac unit length x unit depth

or Rs « r

Since by Ohm's Law

and Z - /B.23 + (iuL)2 " R


s at low test frequency and no
skin depth effect,

therefore,
V
i - =* -

or

Therefore, eddy current flow is proportional to radial


di-stance 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 <<<5 ) , 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 coil,hence,has to lie between the two broken
curves in Figure 7.8, for example the solid line applies to

ENCIRCLING COIL

°0 D|

s
CYLINDER <D| * 0)

TUBE (Oj /D, = 0.8)

THIN WALL (D| K D 0 )

DECREASING «ALL THICKNESS

N0RUALI2ED RESISTANCE

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


Showing Effect of Decreasing Wall Thickness

a tube with internal diameter 802 of the outside diameter


i.e., I>i/D0 - 0.8. Tubes with Dj/D,, 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 o constant, Dj 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 D^/DQ - 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

THICK WALL TUBE (D|«D 0 )


a TUBE (D|/0o = 0.8)
s
TUBE (D|/Do = 0.9)

THIN MLl

DECREASING MLL THICKNESS

NOHMLIZE0 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 Dj/D 0 ~ 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 " "r2cjycf, introduced by Deeds and Dodd, enabled
presentation of the effects of changes in T, w , y anc* 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, fg usually attributed £o Forster.
It differs from 1> because probe radius, r, 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,
* - 5.07c
g ,,2 , kHz
^rDo <7.2a)

with p in microhm-centimetres and D Q in millimetres.

For a thick-wall tube with an internal coll,

» kHz
(7.2b)

For a thin-wall tube with internal or external


circumferential coils,

•»• ( 7 . 2 c )

The ratio f/fg defines the operating point on impedance


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

(7.3a)

where f is test frequency in kilohertz.


-121-

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


f/fg - fD*/5.O7p (7.3b)

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

f/f - fD.t/5.07p
© 3. (7.3c)

THICK-(ALL TUBE (INTERNAL COIL)


t/lg = f 0 | » / 5 . 0 7 / >

SOLID CYLINDER (EXTERNAL COIL)


M , = tB0'/i.mP

THIN-WALL TUBE
(INTERNAL ( EXTERNAL COILS)
f/r, = to, t /s.07/3

0.2 0.4 0.6


NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

Fig. 7.10; Impedance Diagrams for Tubes and Rods with Long
Colls and Unity Fill-factor Showing Variation of f/f_ Along
Impedance Loci -S-

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 in shape and have drastically different
f/fg ratios. For example, at the "knee" in the curves a
thin-wall tube has f/fg "1, for a cylinder f/fg»6 and a
thick-wall tube has f/Fg» 4. These differences originate
in the defining equations which contain D o , D/ and
D^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-

elther thin or thick wall, calculation of f/fg i8 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 f£ for
article No. 2 from the following:

For cylinders,
f
l D ol P 2

for thin-wall tubes,


f
" 2 D i2 t 2 P l

and for thick-wall tubes (internal inspection),


f D
l i l P 2 * f 2 D i2<>l

7.3.4 Computer Generated Impedance Diagrams


As indicated in the previous section, exact analytical
solutions (BesBel 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(£) at Oak Ridge National Laboratories. They
developed computer programs to calculate coil impedance.
These are valid for all coll 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 (Ay) were examined at each frequency.
Note the similarity with the impedance plots of Figure 6.5
obtained for a surface probe. The angular (phsse) separation
between fill-factor, Ap , At and Ay provides the basis for
eddy current signal analysis which will be treated in
Chapter 8.
-123-

1.00k-

25 kHz

0.18 .

0.92 -
TUBE': D o = 12.7 m
D| = 10.2 mm
t = 1.J5 Hi.
p - 100
O.H _

O.H .

0.10

o.n o.oa 0.12


NORMALIZED RESISTANCE

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.
7.4.1 Test Frequency for Solid Cylinders
As discussed in Section 7.3.1, the sensitivity at the centre
of a cylinder, with an encircling coll, 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 curva. This
-124-
I
condition occurs when f/f„ = 6. At this point balanced
sensitivity to defects, resistivity and dimensions is
I
obtained. At this test frequency, DQ/6 ^3.5. Increasing _•
the frequency ratio f/fg to 15 or 20 improves discrimination V
between surface defects and fill-factor variations (probe
wobble), at the expense of reduced sensitivity to subsurface
defects. Maximum sensitivity to diameter variations is M
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/fg - 2) would achieve this. I
7.4.2 Test Frequency for Tubes
When inspecting tubes for defects, the criterion to satisfy
I
is (a) phase discrimination between defect signals and other B
indications and (b) good phase separation between internal J|
and external defect signals. A test frequency, proven in
practice on many types and sizes of tubes, is the frequency
f nn which yields 90° phase separation between fill-factor B
variations (and internal defect signals) and external defect I
signals. The frequency f 90 is empirically derived from the
ratio between thickness and skin depth, slightly larger than W
one, £
t/6 = 1.1

and converts to
2
f g 0 = 3p/t . kilohertz (7.4)

w h e r e p is resistivity in m i c r o h m - c e n t i m e t r e s and t is tube I!


w a l l thickness i n m i l l i m e t r e s . This equation is valid for
both i n t e r n a l and e x t e r n a l coil i n s p e c t i o n and is roughly •-
independent of tube d i a m e t e r . At f 90 , there is good ff|
sensitivity to internal and external defects and little
sensitivity to magnetite deposit and ferromagnetic support
plates. If
I?
The characteristic frequency ratio f/fg cannot be used to
satisfy the criterion of phase discrimination, because the ••
fg equation is not a function of phase lag. It would also If
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 If
keep f/fg constant. ft
-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 /.10. This point is located by calculating the 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 fgo, perhaps as high as 2fgg .
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.

C LE
« TUBE IHI Pumic
CONNECTOR **LL B0Dy

/
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 51
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
their circumference. There will be peaks of maximum and
minimum sensitivity depending en 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
—41U

(b) ZIG-ZAG
COIL PROBE
WVlr

(e) BOBBIN
COIL PROBE

yv*

Fig. 7.14; Eddy Current Scans of Circumferential Cracks in


Inconel Tubing (Signal Amplitude Normalized to a 1.6 mm
Diameter Through Hole), f - 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 circumferentially 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/t' 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 deposit!
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 m io microhm-centimetres.

SOLUTION:
(7.3a)

6 x 5>O7 x 1 0
therefore
S2
12 kHz

7.7.2 (a) Calculate the test frequency to inspect Inconel


PROBLEM: 600 tubing with D± = 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

(7.4)
90 t2

(derived from t/<5 1-D


_ 3 x 98
245 kHz
(l.l) 2

Therefore 245 kHz i s the required frequency.


-130-

7.7.2 (b) Determine the approximate operating point on the


PROBLEM impedance diagram, for problem (a).

SOLUTION: Since t/6 =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
will yield an approximate solution.

f/fg - fD^/5.07 p (7.3c)


3 2
= 245 x 10 (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/fg - fD1t/5.07p (7.3b)

- 0.5

therefore

f - (0.5)(5.07p)/D±t

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

Therefore, at 22 kHz (9% of fgQ ) , 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 NOT
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 CURRENT 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 & 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 H, cross-sectional area A and resistivity P
is

R = £p/A, ohms
-132-

Wlthout a defect, resistance around this tube is

2ir7p/t (8.1a)

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


eddy current flow over the distance A© (In radians),
increases total resistance to

R • 2irrp/t + A9hrp/t(t-h) (8.1b)

or R - R o (defect free resistance) + (due to defect).

Fig. 8.1; Schematic Illustration of Eddy Current


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.
-133-

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 resistance 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 coil 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-

CUOTWT WFLiniDE

DEEP OEFtCf

S M L l O i DEFECT —

SUI1UHMCE DEFECT
1 2 3 4
DEFECT rOSITIDH

(a)

SUBSURFACE
DEFECT <X2J

(b)

FILL-MCTOR

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 S = x/6. 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 Tast 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 i / D o =» 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 in
D Q with D^ held constant, therefore the dotted lines
trace the change in impedance as a coil is scanned past an OD
defect. Note the similarity between the subsurface defect in
Figure 8.2(b) and the OD 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 fgg 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 consists 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
ID DEFECT ]

DECREASING FILL FACTOR -Y

Fig. 8.3(b): Defect Signal Appearance at fg.Q

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 chan f 90 M ) 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 f gQ
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 fgQ 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).

ID DEFECT

(0) \ f, (b) f90

(c) 2f 9 0

Fig. 8.4: 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 tc 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). Vox 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 ft)o . 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 DENT

12.7 mm

PROBE
9 = 98 uSl- cm

OUTSIDE

1 PROBE OUTSIDE
HOLE « _ ^
1 WOBBLE

c
INSIDE ^ \ // DENT
DECREASING
FILL FACTOR
MAGNETITE
s*^—-*T/
SUPPORT V
PLATE
SUPPORT
PLATE

ABSOLUTE DIFFERENTIAL

Fig. 8.5; Eddy Current Signals from a Typical Calibration


Tube. Test Frequency f Qn • 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 10* OD GROOVE 1.6 m 0 . 2 5 mi


2.5 mm WIDE 2,5 mm WIDE HOLE DENT

CARBON STEEL
SUPPORT

J
<r
V CHANNEL

XT
DISTANCE

X CHANNEL

Fig. 8.6: Appearance of Quadrature Components on 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.

I.D. O.D. 0 . 0 . DEFECT


DEFECTS . DEFECTS THROUGH 1
on
w
90 / \

80 / \ - ^V 1
1 \
1.0. DEFECT r T^
70 - 1
\
60 - / (b) ABSOLUTE

/ \ THD0U6H
50 \
UJ "
40 - /
/ gf^v^ V ^ \ V , O.D. 0EFEC1
o \
30 /
\
20
\ 1.0. DEFECT l \ > ^
10 \ \
0 1 1 I I I i
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 9C, ( c ) DIFFERENTIAL

SIGNAL PATTERN PHASE ANGLE ( 0 ) , DEGREES

(a)

Fig. 8.7: Eddy Current Phase Angle/Defect Dept.t Calibration


Curve at fqn
-141-

When an eddy current signal source is located it is often


useful to retest at other frequencies to confirm a defect
exists and/or to improve depth estimate. Defect depth is
estimated from signal pattern recognition and verified by
comparison with calibration defect signals at various test
frequencies. Normally, frequencies of one-half and twice
are sufficient. However, to check for magnetic deposits or
inclusions a frequency of one-tenth fgg or less may be
required (see Sections 7.4.2 and 8.3.1). Figure 8 . 'i shows
effect of changes in frequency on calibration signals.
Increasing test frequency increases phase separation between
ID and OD defects as predicted by phase lag. It also
increases sensitivity to probe wobble and dents but lowers
sensitivity to tube supports and external deposits. One
might question the validity of comparing machined holes and
grooves in calibration tubes with real defects to estimate
type and depth. The following examples justify this
approach.

Figure 8.8 shows external corrosion in a copper tube. Attack


is general but non-uniform with localized severe pitting.
An absolute internal probe was used to obtain signals from
artificial defects and three of the localized pits. The
phase angle of the first two corrosion indications shows they
are OD defects, comparison with the calibration defect led to
a depth estimate of 25 to 50%. Independent mechanical
measurement found deepest penetration to be 50% for both
defects. The third defect has a noticeably different phase
angle from the first two. It approaches the angle for a
through-wall hole, hence its depth was estimated to be 50 to
75% (actual measurement yielded 7 5 % ) .

1.6 mm
CALIBRATION HOLE
DEFECTS ,„. ,„
ECCENTRIC
GROOVE

CORROSION
DEFECTS

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


f l . O mm, fqp = 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, tht large crack
signal is due entirely to the component of the crtck 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 40 50 60 70 SO 90
liliI.lililJihLl.iiiililiiilifililil.liLlJililiLiiLLluilil.lililil.iilililililililihl.Mililii.l.lil.linl 1.1,1.1,1.;,,

50%
0D ,
•i.Z mm I CONCENTRIC
HOLE ^-* - ^ | GROOVE
CRACK 1 .6 mm
SIGNAL HOLE

CALIBRATION
DEFECTS

Fig. 8.9: Stress Corrosion Cracking in Type 316 Stainless


Steel Tubing (D n =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 vectorlally 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 multifrequency eddy current testing (Section 8 . 4 ) .
=143-

Figure 8.10 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.

OD fiROOVE

BAFFLE
RROOVE

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)

ID GROOVE

DEFECT

(c) (d)

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


(Dp -15.9 mm, t-1.25 mm, fqp = 80 kHz)
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
5R00V! 00
GROOVE 1.6 mm
STEEL HOLE
BAFFLE

(a) CALIBRATION DEFECT SIGNALS

(b)

ABSOLUTE DIFFERENTIAL

Fig. » 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

T. technique. The multifrequency approach relies on vectorial


-146-

MAX1MUM GAP

50% OD
ECCENTRIC GROOVE

OD GROOVE

BAFFLE WITH
MAXIMUM RAP

BRASS BAFFLE
IN CONTACT

BRASS MAGNETIC
BAFFLE BAFFLE
(a)
(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 f 90 Figure 8.14 shows tube
configuration at a tubesheet and typical eddy current
signals.
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-

END OF
' ROLLED JOINT

121

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 Inboard 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 froa 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* 1NCONEL 600


ROLLED JOINT TUBE WALL

TUBESHEET

JOINT

CONVENTIONAL SURFACE
PROBE PROBE

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


Exchanger Tubesheet Region with Conventional and Surface
Probes (C n -12.5 mm, t - 1.2 mm, fop -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'C'
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-

I BRASS
BAFFLE

TUBE WALL
507, OD
ECCENTRIC
GROOVE

CALIBRATION

BRASS BAFFLE

BAFFLE
(MAXIMUM GAP)

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 5 0 % 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 tha 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 (fgrj) 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 defect 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 D ID
© © ©
1.1 mm
GROOVE GROOVE t
12.7

ABSOLUTE PROBE INCONEL 600 TUBE

©I®

I.D.

DECREASING FILL FACTOR

O.D.

DECREASING FILL FACTOR

0.05 0.10 0.19


NORMALIZED RESISTANCE, R L
uL.

Fig. 8.17; Coil Impedance Display at Two Test Frequencies


-151-

F e r r o m a g n e t 1 c Inclusions are occasionally 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 equip-
ment which are embedded during m a n u f a c t u r e . The surface of
nominally non-magnetic stainless steels and nickel-base
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 depletion from oxidation or corrosion.

O.D. DEFECT I.D. DEFECT —B.

250 kHz FERROMflGNETIC T M~


INCLUSION \
FERROMAGNETIC
0.0. INCLUSION

50 kHz

\ I INCLUSION

10 kHz

F i g . 8.18; Defect and M a g n e t i c I n c l u s i o n Signals O b t a i n e d


from a New I n c o n e l 600 T u b e ( D n - 13 mm, t =* 1.1 mm) w i t h an
A b s o l u t e E x t e r n a l C o i l . fgp »250 kHz

Though one might consider 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
origin of an i n d i c a t i o n . Even very small, perhaps i n s i g n i f i -
cant, m a g n e t i c i n c l u s i o n s can yield sizeable eddy current
signals because 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 origin is so
m e a s u r e s can be taken t o , m i n i m i z e further d a m a g e ; m a g n e t i c
inclusions are nearly always 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 signal from a m a g n e t i c inclusion in new Incon-
el 600 tubing at various test f r e q u e n c i e s . These results
w e r e obtained with an e x t e r n a l encircling probe; this ex-
plains the reversal in a p p e a r a n c e of ID and OD defects from
previous 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
increases as test frequency is reduced. The response of real
defects is just o p p o s i t e .
••152-

i O.D. DEFECT
I.D. DEFECT

INTERNAL
MAGNETITE
250 kHz
MAGNETITE

MAGNETITE
SO kHz

m MAGNETITE

10 kHz

Fig. 8.19; Defect and Magnetite Signals from an Inconel 600


Tube (D n • 13 mm, t - 1.1 mm) Obtained with an Absolute"
Internal Probe. f Q n • 250 kHz)

Figure 8.19 shows eddy current response to m a g n e t i t e


( F e 3 0 ^ ) deposits inside an Inconel 600 tube at various
test f r e q u e n c i e s . As in the previous example, ti <> existence
of ferromagnetic material is verified by lowering test
frequency; m a g n e t i t e signals rotate clockwise whereas defect
signals rotate c o u n t e r - c l o c k w i s e . One could easily mistake
the m a g n e t i t e signals for real defects at 250 kHz and 50 k H z .
Reducing test frequency can also be used to verify the
presence of m a g n e t i t e on the outside of a tube. This
approach has been used to measure the height of sludge
deposits (containing m a g n e t i t e ) above tubesheets during
in-service inspection of vertical heat e x c h a n g e r s .

Figure 8.20 shows the eddy current signals from a M o n e l 4 0 0


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 s i g n a l . At 50 kHz the vertical component
of the complex signal is from wall thinning and the
h o r i z o n t a l signal is primarily from magnetic deposit. At 200
kHz (2 f g o ) the vertical component is again from w a l l
thinning but the horizontal signal is primarily from an
increase in tube magnetic permeability because of incomplete
m a g n e t i c 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
m a g n e t i c permeability v a r i a t i o n s .
-153-

O.D. GROOVE

O.D. /DENT DENT

+6/U.

' BAFFLE f j = 400 kHz


BAFFLE p m E
PLATE
f 2 = 2 0 0 kHz BAFFLE
f,*=5O kHz
CALIBRATION TUBE
SIGNALS

+&/L

00
MAGNETITE
f 2 = 200 kHz f 3 = 400 kHz
f , = 5 0 kHz

ACTUAL DEFECT SIGNAL

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

8.3.2 Conducting Deposits


The most probable conducting deposit which may be encountered
during in-service tube testing is copper. Copper taken into
solution in one part of a cooling circuit, from brass tubes for
example, can re-deposit at another location at the expense of a
less noble metal such as iron. An example is shown in Figure
8.21 which is a copper-alloy tube from an air conditioner heat
exchanger. Copper deposits occur near tube supports, maximum
thickness was 0.05 mm. Even such a thin deposit yields a large
eddy current signal since copper is a good conductor. Figure
8.21 shows response from both absolute and differential
internal probes. The absolute probe gave eddy current signals
with no +Y component, clearly indicating the non-defect nature
I of the anomaly.
-154-

Th e 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.

Copper Deposits

.30 -10 50 »0

CALIBRATION
OEFEC7 SIGNALS

ABSOLUTE DIFFERENTIAL

DEPOSIT SIGNALS

g. 8.21; Eddy Current Indications from Copper Deposits on


"per Alloy Tube (Dp » 19 mm, t = 1.1 mm, fo,Q * 57 kHz)

8.22 shows simulated copper deposit signals at differ-


.est frequencies. There is a noticeable change in phase
with increasing deposit thickness as well as test fre-
quency. At frequencies above fgg there exists a possibility
deposits could be mistaken for ID defects, even with an
absolute probe. The procedure for in-service inspection of
nuclear power plant boilers specified by ASME(^l) leads to
test frequencies between gg and 2fgg.
gg
This appears to be a
l d ii if
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 - 701 OD ECCENTRIC GROOVE


fi - 10J |D COKCENTSIC GROOVE
C - 0.13 mm THICK COPPER WOUND TUBE
B - 0.06 mm THICK COPPER AROUND TUBE

Fig. 8.22; Eddy Current Signals Obtained with an Internal


Circumferential Probe from Simulated Copper Deposits on Tubes

S.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 on analysis of eddy
current signal. Both aspects are equally important. While
scanning each tube, eddy current signals pee 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; Multiffrequency 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
WALL HOLE PLATE
ID GROOVE O.D. GROOVE MAGNETITE 1.3 mm
DENT J
IS.5 mm

CALIBRATION TUBE

100* O.D.

100*

DENT

(C)

Fig. 8.23; Internal Probe Response to Various Test


Parameters. f g Q • 130 k H z .

A f, = 100 kHz
(h)

Fig. 8.24; Eddy Current Signal at Baffle Plate Position


in Tube of Eigure 8.11. f g 0 - 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 Multifrequency Testing of Dented Tubea

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 x - defect.

T
2

20 kHz 100 kHz 500 kHz

c, = f, - f,

Cj = C, - f,

Fig. 8.25: Tube Stripping Sequence by Multifrequency


1
-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 MAGNETITE
PLATE

BAFFLE
PLATE

fj WITH PHASE
COMPRESSED BY 0.7H ROTATION OF 19°

RESIDUAL BAFFLE PLATE SIGNAL

RESIDUAL MAGNETITE SIGNAL

Fig. 8.26: Suppression of Baffle Plate and Magnetite Signals

The f£ signal is first rotated to match the Z± signal


orientation. Then fy amplitude is changed to match, as
nearly as possible, the f^ signal size. In this case, this
method by itself doesn't work. However, by decreasing the
vertical component of the f^ 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 (C^ - £"i~£\) signal. This
is achieved by first matching the phase and amplitude of the
C± and fj 'dent' signals and then using a second mixing
module (C£) 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 f2 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 OD pits approximately 50% deep.
Even an inexperienced inspector could analyze these results.
-161-

I
I
I
I CHUBMTION TUBE

I c, = c, -(,

I OEFECTIVE
TUBE NO I

I
I OEFECTIVE

I
I
I
I Fig. 8.28: Multifrequency Eddy Current Signals from
Defective Tube
I
When using multi-frequency to eliminate "ID noise", such as
I signals from cyclic internal diameter variations ("pilger
noise or die chatter"), dents and probe wobble, the signal
amplitude from internal defects is drastically reduced.

I 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.
I
I
T
-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

3 p/t' kHz (7.4)

where p is electrical resistivity and t is wall thickness.

Inspection at fgQ 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 90*

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 vector.tally
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 INTRODOCTION

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 = pfc/A ohms

where H is length (cm) and A is cross-sectional area (cm^).


Resistivity values for various materials are listed in Table 9.1.

Conductivity (CT, 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/m


-164-

TABLE 9.1 ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY OF COMMON CONDUCTORS AT 2O°C

MATERIAL RESISTIVITY CONDUCTIVITY CONDUCTIVITY


(yfl.cm) (siemens/m) (Z IACS)
Silver 1.6 6.14xlO7 105
Copper 1.7 5.81 100
Gold 2.4 4.10 70
Aluminum 2.8 3.55 61
7075-T6 <A1 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
Monel 48.2 0.21 3.6
Zirconium 50 0.20 3.4
Titanium 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 (Z IACS). In this system
conductivity of pure, annealed copper at 20°C 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,

X 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

po(l +

where P is resistivity at temperature T <°C), Po 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

(mici ohm-cent imetres)


/TITANIUM
00 / :»0.04

40 v^PLATINUM
/ a « 0.004

30
RESISTS'ITY

20 - / /

COPPER
10 a «* 0.005 -

l^ 1-—•—T i 1 1 1 1
ZOO 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400
TEMPERATURE ( ° K )

Fig. 9.1; Effect of Temperature on the Resistivity of


Copper, Platinum and Titanium

2 7.0 MANGANESE

MAGNESIUM

1-0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0


ALLOY CONTENT (wt. % )

Fig. 9.2; Effect of Alloying Elements on the Electrical


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 zirconium-niobium alloy detected by eddy
current testing.

100 -

80
COPPER/NJCKEL ALLOYS
60
CO

40

20 40 60 80 100
WEIGHT % 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 (<1Q%) 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 ceil 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.

>vTENSILE STRENGTH
IITS

..^HARDNESS ^ ^
z
=>
kNBI 1TRARY

^4
^CONDUCTIVITY

1 1 1
I 10 100 1000
TIME AT TEMPERATURE (h)

Fig. 9.4: Variation of Mechanical Properties and Conductivity


in 7075-T6 Aluminum Exposed at 205°C
-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 PellegriniC^LO) 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
metals. 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, U , which is a measure of
a material's intrinsic ability to conduct magnetic flux. It
is defined as the induced magnetic flux density, B, divided
by external magnetic field intensity (magnetizing force), H,

li = B/H

For air and nonmagnetic materials y is a constant,

liQ = 4ir x 10 webers/ampere-metre

when B is in teslas* (T) or webers/metre^ a nd H is in


ampere/metre (A/m).

Simplification results if one uses relative permeability,


which is defined as

U r ~ l-'/^o (dimensionless)

Relative permeability has the same value in all magnetic


systems of units. For magnetic materials P r can be very
large, whereas for nonmagnetic materials U r ~ 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, B 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 ^
Additional AC cycles will retrace the loop. At point S2
the material is saturated, from S 2 to S3 the B-H curve is
linear with slope Mo . 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
kilogauss).

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, U 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, U^ • It Is defined as

AB/AH

where A B 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 -

0. 6 -

O.H

0. 2

100 200 300 100 500


MAGNETIZING FORCE (A/mi

Fig. 9.6; DC Magnetization Curve and Recoil Permfability for


Iron
-171-

At H-0 we have the relative Initial permeability, P i . In a


magnetic material without a biasing DC magnetic field, the
normal permeability is equal to the incremental
permeability,

In eddy current testing, test coll 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, V x & and for simplification
purposes p r is used in the skin depth and inductance
equations and impedance diagrams; P r is used throughout the
manual to denote incremental permeability (p.) 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 U^ "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.

0.3 "

0. 2 -

0. 1 -

20 -

H x 10 ! A /m )

Fig. 9.7: Magnetization Curve, Incremental Permeability


and Normal Permeability for a 3R&6O 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 theae


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.

HOKEL 100 TUBES


FROH NUNIICQKE C.S.

J I
— 25

/ TUBE *-250

o.g

D.E

_ /
_15 ML.- —

0.2-
TUBE «"251
'TUBE »-252

10 12 11

H OERSTEOS

Fig. 9.8: Magnetization Curves for Various Monel 400


Samples
-173-
I lOOjr
- AUSTENITIC STAINLESS STEEL

I
I
I x
at
Hi
a.

I
I
I
40 60 BO 100
I % COLD WORK

I Fig. 9.9: Variation of Relative Permeability with Cold


Reduction for Various Austenitlc Stainless Steels (.2.)

I 1. 5

6 HPa NO STRESS

I
I 21 HPa

I
0. 5
I ANNEALLED IRON

I I

I 25 50
MAGNETIZING FORCE ( » / • !
75 100

I Fig. 9.10: Effect of Elastic Strain on the Magnetization of


Iron 19_)
I
-17 4-

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
1>A "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 70°C 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 U^ 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,
2
L
p " yr o

where L_ is primary coil (probe) inductance, U r * V ^ is the


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 sir.
It illustrates the effect of permeability and cylinder
diameter. As permeability or cylinder diameter increases
(with constant coil diameter) coil 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-

uiL

1.0 1.0

0.5 0.5
RL/<uLp R L /wL 0

(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 V r ) . An increase in
permeability moves the operating point UP the impedance locus
as shown in Figure 9.11(c). 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) coll 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 using
a surface probe.
-176-

70
329 STAINLESS STEEL
I kHz

10 20 30 10
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 PT 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-

INCREASING PROBE
DIAMETER

1.0

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,

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 betv;-n
lift-off, permeability and resistivity as well as redc="d
sensitivity to defects.
-178-

Before leaving Figure 9.13 consider the characteristic


parameter, F20Jjira (Section 5.6;. Figure 9.13 shows Che
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 thf 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


following:
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 •esting.

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. FLAT PITS
PLATE
DEFECT HOLE
CALIBRATION
TUBE

EDDY CURRENT
TEST WITHOUT
SATURATION
SLIGHT BEND
IN TUBE

EDDY CURRENT

/L TEST WITH
MAGNETIC
SATURATION
(10 X ABOVE GAIN)

Fig. 9.14: Eddy Current Signals from a High Magnetic


Permeability Monel 400 Tube. Test

I Frequency - 50 kHz

I
-180-

Figure 9.14 compares Y-channel eddy current signals from a


Monel 400 tube at fgg 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(6).

Saturation with DC magnetization is limited by coil heating.


Heat dissipation is proportional to current squared and coil
wire resistance (Power=I 2 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 id 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
coll; 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.

fi
I -181-

I THROUGH HOLE
\
EXTERNAL MAGNETIZING COIL

— I N T E R N A L ABSOLUTE PROBE

I
I BC

I
I A
B
C
PROBE WOBBLE
THROUGH HOLE
O.Q GROOVE

I
D I D GROOVE
10 IS 20 25
MAGNETIZING CURRENT (A)

I Fig. 9.15: Eddy Current Signals from E-Brite 26-1 Tube With
Increasing Saturation, (fo.Q • 100 kHz at Complete Saturation)

I 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

I drawbacks; U^ 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 supports could be a very questionable

1 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

I Monel 400 tubes which are only slightly magnetic.

Eddy current testing at partial saturation only measures

I
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

I 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

I variations (Figure 9.13).

I
-182-

EXTERNAL MAGNETIZING COIL


THROUGH HOLE
\

-INTERNAL ABSOLUTE PROBE


1
A BC P
10 GROOVE^ /
OD GROOVE

i
1
BALANCE POINT
IN * AIR

\ \FACTOR

\ \

INCREASING
FLUX DENSITY -
(DECREASING
PERMEABILITY)
\
\
\ .
MAGNETIZING /
CURRENT (AMPS)\

A- PROBE WOBBLE
B- THROUGH HOLE
c - a a GROOVE
D• I. D GROOVE
B C D

Fig. 9.16: Eddy Current Signals from E-Brlte 26-1 Tube with
Increasing Saturation, f90 - 100 kHz
I
-183-
I
I 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

I exchanger tube tested with a differential probe. <3Re60


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
I 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

I 75%) defects. This is due to magnetostriction: changes in


magnetic properties due to elastic stress such as shown in
Figure 9.10.

I
I PARTIAL SATURATION PROBE

I
I
I CALIBRATION A

I SIGNALS I)
0
I BAFFLE PLATE

I SIGNALS

I &' = 7 mm 6 mm 5 mm 4 mm 3 mm 2 •• 0

I
1 Fig. 9.17: Eddy Current Signals from 3Re6O Tube With
Partial Saturation for Various Levels of

1 Elastic Stress. Test Frequency fqn - 230 kHz.

T
-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.
I
-185-
I
I 9.6
9.6.1
WORKED EXAMPLES

a.o.i PROBLEM: Convert


convert resistivity
resistivity oof 5.5 microhm-centimetres to
I FKUBLEH:

SOLUTION:
conductivity in % IACS

I % 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
1 0.028T. Determine magnetic permeability and
relative permeability in (a) the tesla,
ampere/metre system of units and (b) the gauss,
I oersted system.
SOLUTION:

| (a) vi = B/H = 0.028/40 = 7.0 x 10" 4 henry/m

• Ur W/U o = 7.0 x 10 /4ir x 10~ 7 = 557 (dimensionless)

I (b) B 0.028 x 10 4 = 280 gauss

* H = 40 x 0.012566 = 0.503 oersted

_ U B/H = 280/0.503 = 557 gauss/oersted

u = p/u = 557/1.0 = 557 (dimensionless)

I
I
I
I
r
I
-186-

9.6.3 PROBLEM:
I
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, y. - 300
1
SOLUTION: 1
(a) From Equation 2.13(a) 1
1
15
- 50
0"x 300 1
- 0.11 mm (0.004")
1
(b) - 1.0 at saturation
1
'V;
6 - 50,
15
10 x 1.0
- 1.94 mm (0.077")
-187-

CHAPTER 10 - DEFINITIONS, REFERENCES AND INDEX

10.1 DEFINITIONS

I 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

I 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

I direction with time.


ANOMALY - See Sections 6.5 and 8.3.
- An unexpected, unclassified eddy current
I signal.
- A false defect indication.
BRIDGE - See Section 4.2.1.

I ~ Electrical circuit incorporating four


impedance arms.

I CALIBRATION STANDARD - A test standard used to estimate


defect size and set-up instrument.

CAPACITIVE REACTANCE - X c , ohms; see Section 3.2.

I - The opposition to changes in alternating


voltage.
CHARACTERISTIC PARAMETER - r2wau , dimensionless, see

I Section 5.6.
- It allows test coil operating point to be
specified in terms of a single quantity

I rather than four independent variables.


CHARACTERISTIC OR LIMIT FREQUENCY - f~, hertz, see Section
7.3.3. g

I CHARACTERISTIC FREQUENCY RATIO -f/f g - dimensionless, see


Section 7.3.3.
- It allows the test coil operating point to be

I specified in terms of a single quantity rather


than four independent variables.

CIRCUMFERENTIAL COIL - see encircling and internal probes.


I CONDUCTIVITY - a(sigma), siemens/m; see Sections 2.4 and
9.2.

I - Measure of the ability of a material to


conduct current (alternating or direct
current).

I CONDUCTOR - Material capable of carrying electrical current.

I
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I
1
COUPLING - The coil's magnetic field couples to the test |
sample.
- The change in probe impedance is directly pro- m
portional to probe-sample coupling. I

CURRENT - I, amperes, sea Section 3.3 - Flow of electrons.

DEPTH OF PENETRATION (STANDARD) - 6 (delta), millimetres; I


see Section 2.4.
- The depth at which the eddy current density has |
decreased to 1/e or 36.8% of the surface |
density.
- 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. I

DIFFERENTIAL PROBE - see Sections 5.2 and 7.2.


- A probe having two sensing coils located side-by- *
side. I
DIRECT CURRENT - I DC » amperes; see Section 3.3. _
- A current flow that is constant in 1
amplitude and direction with time. '
DISCONTINUITY - A defect. I

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 i
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'8 edge.
EFFECTIVE DEPTH OF PENETRATION - see Section 2.4.
- Depth at which eddy current density drops off
to 5% of the surface density. "•
I
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I
I END EFFECT - see Section 5.8.2.
- Signal obtained when an internal or encircling
probe approaches the end of a tube or rod

I
R
(similar to edge effect).

ENCIRCLING PROBE (Coil)-see Section 7.2.


- Also referred to as a feed-through coil.
- A probe which completely surrounds test
material; can be absolute or differential.

I FEED-THROUGH COIL - see encircling probe.

FERRITE - Ferromagnetic oxide material.


I - Used for cores in high frequency transformers

FLAW - A defect .

I FERROMAGNETIC - see Section «>.3.


- A material with a relative magnetic
permeability greater than 1.0
I FILL-FACTOR - n (eta), dimensi on.less; see Section 7.3.
- It is a measure of coupling between the coil
I and test object.
- Fraction of the test coil area filled by the
test specimen.

I FOUCAULT CURRENTS METHOD - In France the Eddy Current Method


is known as the 'Foucault currents' method.

I FREQUENCY - f, hertz, see Section 2.4.


- Number of cycles of alternating current per
second.
I FREQUENCY (ANGULAR) -u) (omega), radians/second; see Section 3.2.
- Angular velocity, where u) « 2 irf.

I HYSTERESIS - S e e S e c t i o n 9 . 3 .
- Magnetization curve.

I IACS - O I A C S , %, see Section 9.2.


- International Annealed Copper Standard.
- Conductivity as a percentage of pure copper.

I INDUCTANCE - L, henries, see Section 3.2.


- Ratio of the total magnetic flux-linkage in a

I coil to the current flowing through the coil.

I
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IMPEDANCE - 7., 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 and 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
oample=
It is a measure of coupling between probe and
sample.

MAGNETIC FLUX - <f> , 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 dosirable 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 .
I -191-
I
I NULL BALANCE - see Section A.2.1.

I 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.
i OPERATING POINT - see Sections3.5, 5.6 and 7.3.3.
- Point on the impedance diagram that specifies the

I normalized inductive reactance and resistance of


a coil.

I OSCILLATOR - The electronic unit in an eddy current


instrument that generates alternating probe
excitation current.

I PARAMETER - A material property or instrument variable.


PERFORMANCE STANDARD - Also referred to as Reference

I Standard.
A test standard used to qualify and calibrate a
test system for a particular test.

I PERMEABILITY (MAGNETIC) - p(mu), henry/metre; see Sections 2.4


and Section 9.3.
or p r > dimensionlesg, relative magnetic
I permeability.
- Ratio between flux density, B, and magnetizing
force,H. Permeability describes the intrinsic

I willingness of a material to conduct magnetic


flux lines.

I PHASE LAG - $(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.
I PHASOR - see Section 3.3.
- A vector describing sinusoidal signals; it has
I both amplitude and phase.
PRIMARY FIELD - The magnetic field surrounding the coil due
to the current flowing through it.
I PROBE - Eddy current transducer.

I REFERENCE COIL - Coil which enables bridge balancing in


absolute probes. Its impedance is close to test
coil impedance but does not couple to test

I material.

I
-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 -I/a ) .
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 Sectiona3.4, 4.5 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. r«
a
SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO - Ratio between defect signal amplitude
and that from non-relevant indications. Minimum
acceptable ratio is 3:1. T
SKIN DEPTH - See depth of penetration. I
SKIN EFFECT - See Section 2.4. -r
- A phenomenon where induced eddy currents are I
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.
i
-193-
I
1 VOLTAGE - V, volts, see Section 3.3.
- Electric potential or driving force for current.

I - Output signal from an eddy current instrument.


VOLTMETER - The instrument used to measure voltage.

I VECTOR - see Sectioi. 3.3.


- A quantity having amplitude (magnitude) and
direction. Normally represented as a line whose

I length represents the quantity's magnitude and


the angular position the phase (relative to some
reference).

I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
-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, 11, 218-222
(1960).

8. V.S. Cecco, "Design and Specifications of a High


Saturation Absolute Eddy Current Probe with Internal
Reference", Materials Evaluation, 21» 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, XiJ_, 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). |f

13. R. Hochschild, "Electromagnetic Methods of Testing


I
Metals", Progress in Nondestructive Testing, V o l . 1,
MacMillan Co., New York, p. 59-109 (1959). IT

If
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i
i 10.3 INDEX
Absolute Probe - 56,105-109
Alternating Current - 8,16,21-23
i Anomaly - 98
Bridge - 34-37
Bridge Balance - 34-37
I Calibration Standard - 101-103,125
Capacitive Reactance - 20
Characteristic or Limit Frequency - 120-125,128

i Characteristic Frequency Ratio - 120-125,130


Characteristic Parameter - 55,74-76,87,88,120
Circumferential Coil - 105,109,125
Conductivity - 11,163-166
i Coupling - 25,29,55,107,113
Current - 5-10,21-23
Defect - 55,65,66,78,89-97,101,131-147,178
i Depth of Penetration (Standard) - 13,17,18,79
Differential Probe - 57-58,105-109
Direct Current - 21,22

i 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
i Effective Depth of Penetration - 14
Encircling Probe (Coil) - 105,113,116,120,151
End Effect - 189
i Excitation Coil - 6,11,45,67
Faraday's Law - 9,17,49,60,69,116
Faraday, M. - 2

i Farad - 20
Feed-Through Coil - 189
Ferrite - 41,189
Ferromagnetic - 10,30,98,168
i Fill-Factor - 29,113-115,150
Flaw - 189
Forster - 3,120
i Foucault Currents Method - 189
Frequency - 5,8,13,17,72,120,123,124,129,130
Frequency (Angular) - 8

I Frequency Response - 53
Hall Detector - 6,33,46,181
Henry - 19
Hysteresis (B-H curve) - 169-172
i IACS - 163-166
Impedance - 8,9,20,25,32
Impedance Diagrams - 25-31
i Impedance Method - 24,33
Inductance - 19,61,62,63,110,111
Inductive Reactance - 20,27,69,176

i Inductor - 19

i
I
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1
Internal Probe (Coil) - 106
Lena's Law - 9,23
1
Lift-off - 43-47,84 *
Limit Frequency - 120-125 g
Magnetic Field - 6-7
Magnetic Flux - 7-10 --
Magnetic Flux Density ~ 7,168,169 I
Magnetic Permeability - 11,13,71,72,94,98,99,149,150,168-174 •
Magnetic Saturation - 168-171,178-184
Magnetizing Force - 168,171 1
Modulation Analysis - 50 [|
Noise - 34,37,41,50,87,161,190
Non-ferromagnetic - 10,98,151 r|
Null Balance (Bridge Balance) - 34-36 II
Oersted - 6,8
Ohm's Law - 8,17,61,117
Operating Point - 27-29,31,76,98,99,120-122,133,150 I
Oscillator - 5,33,34,43 !l
Parameter - 65,191
Performance Standard - 191 [1
Permeability (Magnetic) - 11,13,71,72,94,98,99,149,150,168-174 [|
Phase - 76,78
Phase Lag - 2,14-17,78,93 r*
Phasor - 21 11
Primary Circuit - 8,25
Primary Field - 191
Probe - 55-60,105-110 {[
Receive Coil - 6 , 2 4 , 6 7 , 8 1 ll
Reference C o i l - 3 6 , 5 6 , 5 7 , 1 0 6
Resistance - 19,28-31,131-133 PT
Resistivity - 13,17,71,72,80,100,163-168 II
Resonance - 3 8 , 3 9 , 8 5 , 8 6 , 1 1 2
Saturation (Magnetic) - 171,178-184 cj
Secondary Field - 10,191 Ij
Secondary Voltage - 78 '" '•"
Send-Receive - 6,24,33,45-48,81
Sensing Coil - 6,24 j"
Signal - 192 '
Signal-to-Noise Ratio - 63,192
rr
Similarity Condition (Law) - 75,122 ,
!
Sinusoidal - 5,12 j
Skin Depth - 13,14,17,125
Skin Effect - 11 -,
Speed of Response - 53 .j
Standard Depth of Penetration - 13,14,17,79 '
Surface Probe - 55-59
Test Coil - 56-57
Vector - 23
Voltage - 8,9,21,33
Voltmeter - 6 ~
ISSN 0067 - 0367 ISSN 0067 - 0367

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