Nondestructive Evaluation of Materials
Eddy-current inspection is based on the principles of electromagnetic induction and is used to identify or differentiate among a wide variety of physical, structural, and metallurgical conditions in electrically conductive ferromagnetic and nonferromagnetic metals and metal parts. This article discusses the advantages and limitations of eddy-current inspection, as well as the development of the eddy-current inspection process. It reviews the principal operating variables encountered in eddy-current inspection: coil impedance, electrical conductivity, magnetic permeability, lift-off and fill factors, edge effect, and skin effect. The article illustrates some of the principal impedance concepts that are fundamental to understanding of and effective application of eddy-current inspection. It discusses various types of eddy-current instruments, such as the resistor and single-coil system, bridge unbalance system, induction bridge system, and through transmission system. The article concludes with a discussion on the inspection of aircraft structural and engine components.