Establishing Eddy Current Testing in the Industries

In the 1800s eddy currents were discovered and development of testing techniques became valuable. As an inductive test it is often preferred over other inspection techniques that must be coupled to the part, as in ultrasonic testing. Dr. Forrester designed and manufactured equipment for techniques and applications ranging from sorting of metals to tube analysis that became common during the industrial revolution. The information age gave birth to the high-speed laptop computer. Data manipulation, or perhaps better stated as data management, is used on laptops to allow large amounts of data to be stored and viewed in ways that were simply not available 20 years ago. Laptop computers allow C-scan (terrain graph) viewing of data, and software programs can incorporate design data and acquisitioned data into a 3D model. This allows in-depth understanding of the component under examination. Engineers, reliability managers and plant/unit inspectors use eddy current data in different ways to enhance their jobs. To provide a comprehensive report the NDE supplier must know all the departmental needs expected from an eddy current test. The ability of an eddy current test to provide qualitative and quantitative data meeting so many departmental needs, establishes it as a reliable “go to” inspection. Engineering requires reliable degradation information for establishment of run cycles, replacement planning, and establishment of corrosion rates, just to name a few. Reliability needs information on damage mechanisms, such as quantitative, characteristics, origin and orientation to maintain production as well as lowering maintenance costs. The NDE supplier must obtain information that is translated into a report that meets all aspects of their client’s needs. This document will examine data needs, acquisition techniques with different probes to present data in different formats, and presentation of data to assure a comprehensive report addressing engineering, reliability and plant/unit inspector data demands, current software, and methods that enable the service provider to execute eddy current testing that report surface, tubular, turbine part and 3D modeling.

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