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Development of a high-sensitivity eddy current instrument for the detection of sub-surface defects in stainless steel plates

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This paper presents the development of a high-sensitivity eddy current (EC) instrument capable of driving higher excitation currents and measuring the precise phase angle for the detection of sub-surface defects in 12 mm-thick stainless steel plates. A variable current source has been designed and a digital lock-in amplifier-based phase angle measurement has been implemented in a LabVIEW environment. A series of experiments has been carried out to verify the performance of the proposed high-sensitivity EC instrument for the detection of machined notches in a 12 mm-thick AISI-type 304L stainless steel plate. Results indicate that the higher excitation current of 550 mA and the high dynamic range and high-sensitivity lock-in amplifier-based in-phase and quadrature (I/Q) measurements enable the detection of sub-surface defects located 8 mm below the surface.
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Keywords: DIGITAL LOCK-IN AMPLIFIER; EDDY CURRENT INSTRUMENT; PHASE MEASUREMENT; STAINLESS STEEL; SUB-SURFACE DEFECTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2015

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