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Yu Tao, Lei Peng published “Eddy Current Probe with Integrated Tunnel Magnetoresistance Array Sensors for Tube Inspection” on IEEE Transactions on Magnetics

Release time:2020-08-15
Yu Tao, Lei Peng and Chaofeng Ye published “Eddy Current Probe with Integrated Tunnel Magnetoresistance Array Sensors for Tube Inspection” on IEEE Transactions on Magnetics in March 2020. This article presents an eddy current probe with array tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) sensors for inspection of the steam generator tube of the nuclear power plant. The TMR sensors are integrated on a circular printed circuit board (PCB) with the sensitive axis along the radius directions. The dimensions of each TMR sensor in the array are length (0.45 mm) × width (0.45 mm). Fine spatial resolution magnetic field imaging can be generated as the size of the sensor is small. Thanks to the high sensitivity and fine spatial resolution of the TMR sensors, the probe is capable of detecting outer diameter (OD) defect with an effective size 0.127 mm ×0.436 mm. Moreover, when the probe scans in a defect-free area, the variation of lift-off of the probe to the inner surface of the tube wall does not bring in noises, which is important for maintaining a high signal-to-noise ratio in the practical inspection. The operation principle of the probe was studied based on a finite-element method (FEM) model, and then, a prototype unit was developed and tested. The experimental results demonstrated the feasibility of the concept and validated that the probe has excellent ability to detect various defects.