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Analysis on Concept of Metal Detector

Muhammad Husaini Bin Baharin 1021513 Abstract - Modern metal detectors use advanced signal processing and phase information to improve detection sensitivity, but the fundamental physics principle is Faradays law. The simplest form of a metal detector consists of an oscillator producing an alternating current. The oscillator drives current in one coil (the field coil), which creates an oscillating magnetic field, which in turn induces an electromotive force (emf) in the other coil. When any metal comes within the detection pattern of a search coil, eddy currents flow over its surface, resulting in a loss of power in the electromagnetic field, which the detectors circuits can sense. Another common type are stationary "walk through" metal detectors used for security screening at access points in prisons, courthouses, and airports to detect concealed metal weapons on a person's body. The simplest form of a metal detector consists of an oscillator producing an alternating current that passes through a coil producing an alternating magnetic field. If a piece of electrically conductive metal is close to the coil, eddy currents will be induced in the metal, and this produces a magnetic field of its own. If another coil is used to measure the magnetic field (acting as a magnetometer) , the change in the magnetic field due to the metallic object can be detected. The first industrial metal detectors were developed in the 1960s and were used extensively for mineral prospecting and other industrial applications. Uses include de-mining (the detection of land mines), the detection of weapons such as knives and guns (especially in airport security), geophysical prospecting, archaeology and treasure hunting. Metal detectors are also used to detect foreign bodies in food, and in the construction industry to detect steel reinforcing bars in concrete and pipes and wires buried in walls and floors. In this paper, we will see and study the basic analysis of a typical metal detector. We will go through how the metal detector

I. INTRODUCTION A metal detector is an electronic instrument which detects the presence of metal nearby. Metal detectors are useful for finding metal inclusions hidden within objects, or metal objects buried underground. They often consist of a handheld unit with a sensor probe which can be swept over the ground or other objects. If the sensor comes near a piece of metal this is indicated by a changing tone in earphones, or a needle moving on an indicator. Usually the device gives some indication of distance; the closer the metal is, the higher the tone in the earphone or the higher the needle goes.

work, the limit of a metal detector, and the uses and application of metal detector in our life.

II. METAL DETECTOR A. Faradays law The electric fields and magnetic fields considered up to now have been produced by stationary charges and moving charges (currents), respectively. Imposing an electric field on a conductor gives rise to a current which in turn generates a magnetic field. One could then inquire whether or not an electric field could be produced by a magnetic field. In 1831, Michael Faraday discovered that, by varying magnetic field with time, an electric field could be generated. The phenomenon is known as electromagnetic induction. Figure 1 illustrates one of Faradays experiments. Faraday showed that no current is registered in the galvanometer when bar magnet is stationary with respect to the loop. However, a current is induced in the loop when a relative motion exists between the bar magnet and the loop. In particular, the galvanometer deflects in one direction as the magnet approaches the loop, and the opposite direction as it moves away.

Figure 1

Faradays experiment demonstrates that an electric current is induced in the loop by changing the magnetic field. The coil behaves as if it were connected to an emf source. Experimentally it is found that the induced emf depends on the rate of change of magnetic flux through the coil.

B. Analysis of Metal Detector All of us have operated one-half of a metal detector during most of our lifetime, perhaps without knowing it, which is the common radio. Metal Detection is achieved, basically, by the transmission and reception of a radio wave signal. The block diagram in Figure 2 illustrates the basic components of a typical metal detector being used in most application. The battery is the power supply. The transmitter electronic oscillator at the left of the diagram generates a signal. The transmitter signal current travels from the transmitter oscillator through a wire (search coil cable), to the search coils transmitter winding (antenna), and the transmitter antenna is a few turns of electrical wire, generally wound in a circular fashion.

Consequently, they crowd together as they pass through the circular antenna, but they are not crowded on the outside. It is fortunate this crowding takes place, because the intensity (density) of the field lines is the very phenomenon that enables metal detection in the area adjacent to the search coil to take place. In Figure 3 note the area indicated as the two dimensional detection patterns. This is the site of maximum field crowding, it is here that metal detection occurs as a result of two major phenomena, eddy current generation and electromagnetic field distortion.

Figure 3 Whenever metal comes within the detection pattern, electromagnetic field lines penetrate the metals surface. Tiny circulating currents called eddy currents are caused to flow on the metal surface as illustrated in Figure 4 . The power or motivating force that causes eddy currents to flow comes from the electromagnetic field itself. Resulting power loss by this field (the power used up in generating the eddy currents) is sensed by the detectors circuits. Also, eddy currents generate a secondary electromagnetic field that, in some cases,

Figure 2 As the current circulates in the transmitter antenna, an electromagnetic field is generated that flows out into the air in all directions. If this electromagnetic field were visible, it would appear to be in the shape of a gigantic, three dimensional doughnut, with the transmitter antenna embedded in its center. Electromagnetic field theory states that field lines cannot cross one another.

flows out into the surrounding medium. The portion of the secondary field that intersects the receiver winding, causes a detection signal to occur in that winding. Thus, the detector alerts the operator that metal has been detected.

Figure 5 Any substance penetrated by the electromagnetic field is illuminated. Many elements and different combinations of minerals are within the soil, including moisture, iron and other minerals, some detectable an some not. Of course, it is hoped that the targets being sought are also present. A detectors response at any given moment is caused by conductive metals and minerals and ferrous non-conductive minerals illuminated by its electromagnetic field as shown in Figure 6 below. One detector design criterion requires the elimination of responses from undesirable elements, permitting signals only from desirable objects. How this discrimination is accomplished depends on the type of detector.

Figure 4 This electromagnetic field may face distortion. When iron mineral comes near and within the detection pattern, the electromagnetic field lines are redistributed, as shown in the Figure 5. This redistribution upsets the balance of the transmitter and receiver windings in the search coil, resulting in power being induced into the receiver winding. When this induced power is sensed by the detector circuits, the detector alerts its operator to the presence of the iron mineral. Iron mineral detection is a major problem for both manufacturers and users of metal detectors. Of course, the detector of iron mineral is welcomed by a gold hunter who is looking for black magnetic sand which can often signal the presence of placer metal. On the other hand, the treasure hunter, who is looking for coins, jewelry, relics or gold nuggets usually, finds iron mineral detection a nuisance.

Figure 7 Numerous factors determine how deeply an object can be detected. The electromagnetic field generated by the search coil transmitter antenna, flows out into the surrounding matrix, generating eddy currents on the surface of conductive substances. Any detectable target that sufficiently disturbs the field, is detected. Three factors determine whether the disturbance is sufficient for detection, electromagnetic field strength, target size and surface area. Targets can be detected better and more deeply simply because of their size. Larger targets are easier to detect because they produce more eddy currents. One object with twice the surface area of another, will produce a detection signal twice that of the smaller object but it will not necessarily be detected twice as far. By the same reasoning, the larger target will produce the same amplitude detection signal at a distance farther away from the bottom of the search coil than the smaller target. This situation is illustrated in Figure 8.

Figure 6 Coupling describes the penetration of the electromagnetic field into any object near the transmitter antenna. There is perfect coupling into some objects such as wood, fresh water, air, glass, and certain nonmineralized earth materials as shown in Figure 7 below. Coupling is inhibited, however, when the electromagnetic field attempts to penetrate iron mineralization, wetted salt, and other substances. This inhibiting of the electromagnetic field, as shown in the drawing on the facing page decreases the detection capability of the metal detector. Even though modern instruments can eliminate the effects of iron minerals, the electromagnetic field is still inhibited (distorted), which results in reduced detection capability and performance.



Figure 8

C. Uses and Applications of Metal Detector i. Treasure hunting

The other application of metal detector, as it can be noticed by many people, that is for airport and building security. Metal detectors are used for airport and building security to determine whether guns, knives, or other weapons are being transported onto aircraft or into public buildings. The technology and efficiency of a security metal detector is much more advanced than that of an amateur treasurehunting detector. There are two types of security metal detectors: the walk-through detector, and the wand detector. A walk-through metal detector consists of a metal-detecting arch or "gate" through which an individual passes to be screened. If an alarm sounds, an operator stops the individual from walking past the checkpoint, and proceeds to investigate the cause and the source of the alarm. A wand detector is slightly more laborious to use, but it is a much less expensive alternative to a walk-through detector. Security personnel pass the wand slowly over all sides of the body of the individual being screened, with an alarm within the wand sounding when metal is detected.

Metal detectors are being used widely in various type of application. One of the common is for treasure hunting. Different types of treasure hunting that use metal detector technology include "coin shooting" or coin hunting, prospecting for gold or silver, historical artifact hunting, and beach combing for valuables lost on the beach. Serious coin and relic hunters will do an enormous amount of research beforehand to determine where specific, potentially valuable sites are located. The depth to which a metal detector can pinpoint a buried metal object depends largely on the strength and expense of the model. The typical amateur treasure-hunting metal detector can only detect metal objects one or two feet below the surface.


Food Processing Industry

The next application of metal detector ins in food processing industry. In the food processing industry one of the most common foreign materials found in food is metal. Metal fragments can be unintentionally introduced to food products and become a safety hazard to consumers. Food processors need to minimize and control the risk of foreign materials in food. One approach to detect metal contamination of food products is the use of metal detectors. A formal metal detection program will help to insure product quality. Metal detectors may be used in various phases of production. A combination of finished and bulk ingredient and product inspection gives the best performance. Detectors may need to be placed after certain process equipment (such as size-reduction) that are prone to breaking or chipping metal materials. A sensitivity standard (or standards) should be set for the entire facility. An important aspect of this is to identify an agreed upon minimum particle type and size. For example, a typical detection standard for finished product might be to remove all spherical, non-magnetic particles larger than 2.0-mm and all spherical, magnetic particles larger than 1.5-mm. Only detectors that meet these standards would be considered for purchase and installation. The conditions should be clearly marked on the side of any installed detector and samples of the correct diameters should be available for testing the unit.

Metal detectors should be operated at the maximum sensitivity setting for a given product. The maximum acceptable sensitivity setting will allow the detector to perform reliably for extended periods of time without excessive false rejects. Scheduled testing of the detector and reject device (with ferrous and nonferrous metal samples) will confirm proper operation. Intervals between tests can be determined by the consequence of a failed test. Testing every two to four hours is typical. A testing procedure should be established and followed. A plan of action must be specified for failed tests. Every effort should be made to identify, document and correct the source of detected metal.


Construction Industry

Metal detectors are also used in the construction industry to locate steel reinforcement bars embedded in concrete, and to pinpoint metal pipes and wires in floors and walls. This is useful in avoiding unnecessary damage when replacing plumbing or wiring in a building or house. Some models of metal detector used for construction industry purposes bear a resemblance to the wand detector used for security purposes, while others more closely resemble those used for treasure hunting.

III. CONCLUSION Metal detector is an electronic instrument that uses the concept of Faradays law, eddy current, electromagnetic force and other fundamental concept that we have learnt in this Electronics Instrumentation and Measurement course. By doing this research, we can realize that anything that we use in everyday live that looks very complex, is actually build from the fundamental concept. Using these concepts, such a useful instrument can be build. Metal detector are widely used in many important field, such as in metal searching, security, food processing, construction industry and many more. Using the knowledge and creativity, our life become more secure, comfortable and easier.


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