Fascinating Facts About Eddy Current Testing

May 16, 2019

Fascinating Facts About Eddy Current Testing

Eddy current testing (ECT) is a common method used to inspect materials for cracks or voids. This method utilizes electromagnetic induction to detect or characterize flaws at or below the surface. The process can also be used to measure thickness and conductivity. 

But that's not all!

Eddy current testing is a nondestructive testing (NDT) technique. Beyond being a reliable, safe, and cost-effective testing method, ECT doesn't damage materials, or affect their future use and function. The medical field uses NDT technology for radiography and ultrasonic testing.

In our process, a conductive material is exposed to an expanding and collapsing magnetic field. Material defects cause interruptions in the current flow, indicating a problem in the part being tested.

ECT is critically important in daily life. ECT is used every day to inspect pipelines, nuclear reactors, bridge cracks, and airplane components. 

We use this method to inspect parts for night vision goggles used by military personnel.

There are different probes for different modes. ECT probes have a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, and different modes of operation depending on how the probes interface with the test sample. 

Through the interaction of the coil's magnetic field within a probe, we can measure changes in characteristics that indicate the presence of defects. 

Many factors affect ECT results. These factors may include material properties like permeability, conductivity, shape, size, diameter — even room noise. Not only is experience necessary to conduct reliable eddy current testing, but consistent settings between vendor and customer are equally important for quality finished parts. 

Learn more about our testing methods by visiting the Quality Control topic section in our Learning Center.

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