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Eddy Current Testing



KALPAKKAM - 603 102
Sequence of Events EC Testing

1 2 3 4
1. Sinusoidal excitation given to EC probe coil
2. Primary magnetic field is generated around the current carrying
coil (Ampere’s law)
3. Eddy currents are generated in conducting material (Faraday’s
law of induction)
4. Secondary magnetic field is generated due to the presence of
eddy currents (Ampere’s law)

Resultant magnetic field (Primary+secondary) manifest as

Change in Impedance of the EC probe coil
Eddy current testing principles

Input/ref current

Primary field

Eddy current
voltage Secondary field

Lenz’s law:
Standard results are observed under no defect conditions,
whereas Anininduced
conditionsforce (emf) according
it varies always givesto
rise to atype
current whose magnetic field opposes the original change in magnetic
of defect.
Maxwell’s Equations - Electromagnetism

. E  Where

E is Electric field vector
. B  0
B is Magnetic field vector
 E   J is Current density = σE
  B  J  
The equation governing eddy current testing
is derived by taking the Curl of Curl B
equation and applying the time harmonic
condition in the time derivative term as

 2 J  jJ
Skin-effect Theory
For a coil excited with current density and placed on an
infinitely long metallic object, eddy current distribution
at depth x (Jx) is a function of its surface density (Jo)

J x  J 0 exp( x f ) sin(t   )

Where σ is electrical conductivity and μ is permeability
Standard depth of penetration (SDP) δ, where eddy
current density falls to 1/e of its surface value

Jx 1  f  1
 1
Jo e  

Eddy current density decreases

exponentially with depth into the material
Depth of penetration of eddy currents
Eddy Current Phase with depth

 

 x Radians


Eddy currents lag in phase with depth linearly

Problem Solving
What is the standard depth of penetration when
performing an eddy current test at 50 kHz on a piece
of 304 Stainless Steel having a relative permeability of
1.05 and a conductivity of 2.5% IACS?
Conductivity= 2.5% IACS= 0.025*5.8x107 =1.45x106
Frequency= 50 kHz = 50,000 Hz
Relative permeability=1.05= 1.05x1.257x10-6 = 1.32x10-6

Using the above equation, SDP is 1.8 mm

Problem Solving
Determine the frequency needed to achieve a depth
of penetration of 2 mm in an aluminum plate.

Permeability is same as free space permeability
(1.257x10-6 H/mm).
Conductivity of Al is 38.5%IACS (convert to SI units)

Calculated frequency is 2.8 kHz

Problem Solving
Determine the eddy current phase lag at a depth
of 1.5 mm in 304 stainless steel at 100 kHz
Using the SDP formula the standard depth of
penetration can be found to be 1.3 mm

If 1.3 mm depth corresponds to 1 radians (57

degrees lag then 1.5 mm would correspond to
64 degrees
Characteristics of sinusoids
Parameters are Amplitude, Phase and Frequency

Amplitude and Phase are sufficient to completely

specify sinusoid of a particular frequency
Phasor representation of sinusoids

Representation of sinusoids of a particular frequency

as a vector rotating in a circle with ω = 2 π f
Amplitude of the sinusoid is the projection of the
vector on the horizontal axis
Phase is the angle measured with respect to the
horizontal axis
Equivalent circuit & Impedance plane

The phasor OA corresponds to the impedance for the

primary coil with open secondary circuit.
Decrease in resistance causes the impedance vector
to trace a semi-circle
Dotted lines for different coupling or lift-off conditions
Eddy Current Test Situation
Two coil system equivalent to ECT situation with
the secondary coil replaced by the test specimen

Increase in conductivity of the test specimen causes the

impedance vector of the primary coil to trace the
contour C. (Identical to previous decrease in resistance)
Effect of change of frequency
Normalized impedance plane
Coil in air
condition Normalized resistance
Actual resistance/ coil
resistance in air
(secondary circuit open)
Normalized reactance
Actual reactance/coil
reactance in air
Shifting of R values by R1
in the resistance axis has
no effect as the contours
for different frequencies
would not change
Advantages of Normalized
Impedance Plane Diagrams
 Universal for all kinds of coil
 Easy visualization of variation of
impedance with testing parameters
(frequency, conductivity, thickness,
lift-off, permeability etc.,)
 Design of test parameters for optimum
signal amplitude and defect detection
Impedance Plane Trajectories