EDDY CURRENT SIGNAL ANALYSIS - GUIDELINES
Eddy Current (EC) testing is an electromagnetic non-destructive inspection techniquegenerally used to inspect tubular or thin sheet non-ferrous products. Due to the limitedpenetration depth, it is generally used to detect surface breaking or near surface indications.
The ASME code has been adopted, by the eddy current fraternity in South Africa, as thebasic requirements for system calibration. This technique has however numerouslimitations. This document provides guidelines for the analysis of typical indications found inEskom Heat Exchangers.
The main objective of this document is to provide the reader with a basic knowledge of theeddy current inspection technique and to stipulate a set of guidelines to be used duringdefect characterisation.
The inspection process, consisting of the calibration procedure, data acquisition and signalanalysis has been investigated to identify any factors that could lead to errors in themeasurement accuracy. Guidelines are provided in this document to eliminate or suppressthe error factors and thereby increasing the accuracy of eddy current measurements.
The following issues have been identified as limiting factors in the accurate classification of defect signals.
Analyst’s qualification and experience.
Calibration procedure and reference samples.
Detection limitations introduced by using a low fill factor probe (below 80%).
Difference in signal response as a function of defect orientation.
Indication geometry viz. The influence of both volume and depth on the phase angle.
Analysis graphs relating only a single parameter to depth viz. either phase angle or amplitude. Both of these has to be considered when determining the depth of anindication
The application of a specific calibration procedure to all types of damage is notrecommended and inaccuracies in the depth measurement are inevitable.