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Low Frequency Eddy Current Testing of Insulators and Composites

  • Lee Hamill
  • Jane Emerson
  • Kevin McGushion
  • Steven Nutt
Article
  • 78 Downloads

Abstract

Eddy current testing (ECT), a non-destructive testing method widely used to evaluate defects within conductive materials, is explored in this study as it applies to insulators and non-uniformly conductive materials. Previous work has shown that at high frequencies, differences in electric permittivity can be detected with ECT. In this study, a new design of an ECT sensor that employs two resonance-tuned coils is evaluated. Results show that material inconsistencies in insulators are detectable due to spatial variations in permittivity and magnetic permeability, and that detection is possible at lower frequencies than previously demonstrated. In addition to determining signal dependence on individual electromagnetic parameters, sensitivity for defect detection in a carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite is qualitatively determined. Although low signal-to-noise ratio is observed with a small-diameter coil, by increasing the coil diameter, the signal to noise ratio is increased while preserving adequate spatial resolution to detect defects in the sample. This study expands on previous studies of the application of ECT to insulators, and demonstrates that defect detection is possible in CFRPs.

Keywords

Composite materials Defects Eddy currents Material properties Magnetic materials 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by Northrop–Grumman Corporation. The sensors were designed and supplied by Exel Orbital Systems Inc. Solvay Inc. and Airtech International donated prepreg and consumable materials, respectively. Experimental assistance on the project was provided by Ellen Emerson. David B. Chang, PhD, provided assistance in the discussion of physical concepts.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Exel Orbital Systems, IncSanta MonicaUSA

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