You are on page 1of 30

EDDY CURRENT

INSPECTION
Department of Metallurgy
University of Indonesia
NDT Laboratory
NDT laboratory
Introduction
 Also known as Foucault currents or induced
currents
 Use a varying magnetic field produced by a test
coil to induce small, circulating currents called
eddy currents into electrically conductive materials
 Any change in the eddy currents is reflected by a
change in the test coil impedance
 The effect is analogous to a transformer, with
specimen acting as transformer core
 Most widely applied to non-magnetic materials,
because the relative permeability is unity
NDT laboratory
History
H.C. Oersted 1819 Change of electric current affected a magnet
W. Sturgeon 1823 Copper wire around a horseshoe produced an electromagnet
Gamby 1824 Oscillations of suspended bar magnet damped by presence of metal
Plate
J. B. Foucault 1830 Demonstrated existence of eddy currents
M. Faraday 1832 Law of electromagnetic induction
D.E. Hughes 1879 Electric pulses from a microphone coil to induce eddy currents in
metals for NDT
F. Krantz 1920 Wall thickness measurements
C. Farrow 1925 Eddy current inspection testing of steel tubes on an industrial scale
Reutlingen
Institute, Germany
1948 Development of eddy current instrumentation
H.G. Doll 1949 Eddy current in geology
F. Forster 1954 Impedance plane diagram. Used model of mercury conductor with
plastic trips as discontinuities
NDT laboratory
Basic Principles
 Faraday's law states that, whenever a magnetic field
cuts a conductor, an electrical current will flow in the
conductor, if a closed path is provided over which current
can circulate
 The alternating current flowing through the test coil
produces an alternating magnetic field around the coil
Material
Eddy
Current
path
Coil’s
Magnetic field
Test coil
As coil’s magnetic field alternates
eddy currents flow in one direction
and then the other
NDT laboratory
Basic Principles
 The flow of eddy currents in the material causes
a fluctuating magnetic field of its own
 This magnetic field is always in opposition to the
coil's magnetic field
Test materials
Eddy currents
Direction of coil’s field
Direction of eddy current’s field
Indicating
instrument
Test coil’s
NDT laboratory
Basic Principles
 V = i R (for dc) (Ohm’s law)
 V = i Z (for ac)
I = I
0
sin ω t
ω = 2 π υ
V – L di/dt = i R
V
L
= -L di/dt = - L ω i
0
cos ωt = - X
L
i
0
cos ωt
V - X
L
i
0
cos ωt = i
0
R sin ωt
V = i
0
( R sin ωt + X
L
cos ωt )
Z = R sin ωt + X
L
cos ωt

R = resistance
L = inductance
Z = impedance
ω = angular frequency

NDT laboratory
Basic Principles
 When the test coil is placed on conductive material,
the strength of the coil's magnetic field is reduced
 This change in the magnetic field causes a change
in the impedance of the coil which, in turn, causes
a change in the current flowing through the coil.
 This change is detected by a meter placed in the
test circuit
 anything that affects the eddy currents will affect the
impedance of the coil and, thus, be detectable by
the meter.
NDT laboratory
Objectives/Applications
 Surface and sub-surface discontinuities in
metallic surfaces, cracks, pits, scratches,
 Intergranullar corrosion in tubes and pipes
depending on metals involves
 Heat treatment crack in non-ferrous
surface
 Conductivity measurement for determining
fire damaged area
 Coating and metal sheet thicknesses
NDT laboratory
Advantages
 Instantaneous result
 Sensitive to a range of physical properties
 Contact between inspection coil and
specimen not required
 Equipment small and self contained
 Can be miniaturized to observe
discontinuities as small as 1 mm
3

NDT laboratory
Limitations
 Specimen must conductor materials
 Access to materials surface required
 Special probe required for each applications
 Dept of penetration restricted
 Trained and experienced operator required
 Sensitive to combinations and variations in
materials
 No permanent records
 Reference standard required
NDT laboratory
Inspection System
1. Source of varying magnetic field, for example,
a coil carrying an alternating current of
frequencies ranging from well below 1 kHz to
above 10 MHz (a pulsed source may also be
used)
2. Sensor to detect minute changes in the
magnetic field (~ 0.01%), for example,
inspection coil or Hall gaussmeter
3. Electronic circuitry to aid the interpretation of
the magnetic field change
NDT laboratory
Inspection System
NDT laboratory
Inspection Coils Types
Flat pancake coils
Inside/bobbin coils
Encircling coils
NDT laboratory
Inspection Coils Types
Flat surface coils
Encircling coils
Bobbin coils
NDT laboratory
Inspection Coils System
 Single Coil as a Combined Induction-Receiver. The
change of impedance of the coil (or coils) is determined
in the same coil (or coils) used to generate the magnetic
field (fig a.)
 Separate Induction-Receiver Coils. The induced
magnetic field is measured by a separate coil.
Decreasing the size of the inspection coils is an
advantage, and also the coil can be enclosed in a
magnetic shield using mu-metal, when the coil is
considered focused. (fig b. and c.)
 Hall effect device is used to sense the eddy current
magnetic field
NDT laboratory
Inspection Coils System
NDT laboratory
Detector System
NDT laboratory
Effect of Discontinuity
 The presence of a non-conducting discontinuity such as
a crack or non-metallic inclusion, is to impede and
effectively reduce the eddy currents.
 This will result in an increase in impedance which will be
detectable by the instrument
 The instrument is then telling us is that there is
something present in the surface which has caused an
effective decrease in conductivity - no matter what the
manufacturer of the instrument may call it, it is not
essentially a "crack detector" but rather a "change in
electrical/magnetic properties detector".
 The decision as to whether a crack is present is made by
the inspector and not the instrument !
NDT laboratory
Oscilloscope Displays
NDT laboratory
Oscilloscope Displays
NDT laboratory
Impedance Test
 Measures the magnitude of the impedance with no information
about the phase change
 The balanced bridge method is set up so that there is no signal
through the meter when the inspection coil is against the surface of
a specimen of good condition
 When the inspection coil is in the presence of a discontinuity, the
bridge is now unbalanced resulting in a potential difference across
the meter
NDT laboratory
Frequencies
 At the lower frequency, depth of penetration ‘σ’ is relatively high, but
sensitivity is relatively low
NDT laboratory
Frequencies
 Selection factors (depends on specimen) :
 Electrical conductivity
 Magnetic permeability
 Dimension
 Cylindrical specimen ; characteristic frequency (v
c
)




 Thin-walled tubes
   

0
2
2
1
r
c
r
v
    

0
2
1
r
v
NDT laboratory
Specimens
 Fundamental properties of materials that affect
the eddy currents :
 The electrical conductivity of the material
 The dimensions of the material
 The magnetic permeability of the material
 Metal condition (alloy, hardness, homogeneity, grain
size)
 Discontinuities in specimen
 Testing conditions :
 Distance between coil and specimen lift-off
 Alternating current frequency, coil size, number of
turn
NDT laboratory
Conductivity
 The ability of the material
to carry electrical current
 the IACS system the
conductivity of unalloyed
(pure) annealed copper is
arbitrarily selected as the
standard
 Each type of material has
an inherent conductivity
that is different from that of
other types of material
 The higher the conductivity,
the more sensitive the test
Metal or Alloy Conductivity (%IACS)
Silver 105
Copper, annealed 100
Gold 70
Aluminium 61
Aluminium alloys:
6061-T6 42
7075-T6 32
2024-T4 40
Magnesium 37
70-30 Brass 28
Phosphor Bronze 11
Monel 3.6
Titanium 3.1
Ti-6Al-4V Alloy 1.0
304 Stainless Steel 2.5
NDT laboratory
Conductivity
 There are some internal factors that affecting the
conductivity of material :
 Alloying : Each metal or chemical element has an
individual effect on the conductivity of the base metal.
The conductivity of the base metal is changed to a
value related to the composition of the alloy
 Heat-treatment or Hardness : The change in
hardness is brought about by an internal change in
the material
 Temperature and Residual Stress : An increase in
temperature normally results in a decrease in
conductivity
 Conductive Coatings
NDT laboratory
Dimensional Factors
 Material Thickness
 Eddy currents do not penetrate throughout a thick material but
tend to be concentrated near the surface
 Thus, there is a finite, or limited depth of penetration
NDT laboratory
Dimensional Factors
 Lift-off Factor
 any space that occurs between the test coil and the specimen under test
 This effect is greatest when the coil is close to the surface, when very
small changes in lift-off can result in relatively large instrument
responses, which can swamp other test indications
NDT laboratory
Dimensional Factors
 Edge Effect
 eddy currents are distorted when the end, or an edge, of a part is
approached with the test coil since the eddy currents can only flow in
the test article
 A similar effect is apparent at the junctions between sections
NDT laboratory
 Depth of penetration of eddy currents below the surface is
limited
 intensity decreases exponentially with depth
 The "standard depth of penetration" is defined as that depth at
which their intensity has fallen to 1/e (where ‘e’ is the natural
logarithm) of their value at the surface






S = the standard depth of penetration
σ = the conductivity of the material
υ = the frequency
μ
r
= the relative magnetic permeability
K = a constant depending on the units used
Standard for Depth of Penetration
  

r
K
S