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Pulsed Eddy Current Testing

Pulsed eddy current testing (PECT) has moved into an exciting period. New equipment offerings have entered the market, an ISO standard (ISO, 2017) for the technique has been issued, and advanced applications of the technology are being developed. The main strength of PECT is its ability to inspect carbon steel through insulation commonly covering pipes and vessels. Its main limitation is that PECT measures steel thickness averaged over a large area of the test specimen, called the “footprint.” This implies PECT can detect general wall loss, but not localized corrosion. History has shown that vendors and practitioners have sometimes overlooked this drawback, which inevitably results in failures and disappointments. But dismissing the technology altogether because of its footprint averaging would be missing great opportunities.

References

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de Haan, V.O., P.A. de Jong, and T.T.A. van Overbeek, “Method of Non-destructively Testing, a System and a Computer Program Product,” US Patent Application 12801159, active 25 May 2010.

ISO, 2017, ISO 20669:2017: Non-destructive Testing —Pulsed Eddy Current Testing of Ferromagnetic Metallic Components, International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland.

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Waidelich, D.L., 1955, “Pulsed Eddy Currents Gauge Plating Thickness,” Electronics, November, pp. 146–147. 

Wassink, C.H.P., 2012, “Innovation in Non Destructive Testing,” doctoral thesis, Institutional Repository, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands.

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