An experimental comparison of complex excitation sequences for eddy current testing
AbstractEddy Current Testing (ECT) is a Non Destructive technique widely used in many industrial application fields in which it is very important to detect the presence of thin defects (generally called cracks) in conductive materials. Features of this technique are the cost-effective implementation and the kind of retrieved measured data that make possible to estimate the geometrical characteristics of a crack as position, length, width and depth. The analysis of these characteristics allows the user to accept or discard realized components then improving the production chain. To accomplish for this task some aspects have to be taken into account during the measurement process. They mainly concern the realization of suitable measurement setup and post processing stages. As far as the measurement setup is concerned, crucial aspects are the choice of measurement and excitation devices. The choice of optimized excitation devices and strategies is of interest for research on Non Destructive ECT (ND-ECT): together with common aspects as the amplitude and the frequency of the exciting signal, the attention has been paid to issues as the type of signal to be adopted. In particular it has been found as the use of complex excitation signals, meant as signals different from the sinusoidal ones and with wide frequency content, might raise eddy current responses trying to support the measurement, detection and characterization stages when "difficult cases" are explored (i.e. very small and/or annealed cracks). In this paper the authors propose an experimental comparison of different excitation signals designed to improve the quality of experimental data when difficult cases are experienced and, consequently, to obtain a more reliable extraction of defects geometrical features.
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