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Sensors 2018, 18(1), 193; doi:10.3390/s18010193

Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducers for Robotic Nondestructive Inspection in Harsh Environments

1
School of Mechanical Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Korea
2
Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
3
Applied Technology Group, Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., State College, PA 16801, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Materials for Harsh Environments)
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Abstract

Elevated temperature, gamma radiation, and geometric constraints inside dry storage casks for spent nuclear fuel represent a harsh environment for nondestructive inspection of the cask and require that the inspection be conducted with a robotic system. Electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs) using non-contact ultrasonic transduction based on the Lorentz force to excite/receive ultrasonic waves are suited for use in the robotic inspection. Periodic permanent magnet EMATs that actuate/receive shear horizontal guided waves are developed for application to robotic nondestructive inspection of stress corrosion cracks in the heat affected zone of welds in stainless steel dry storage canisters. The EMAT’s components are carefully selected in consideration of the inspection environment, and tested under elevated temperature and gamma radiation doses up to 177 °C and 5920 krad, respectively, to evaluate the performance of the EMATs under realistic environmental conditions. The effect of gamma radiation is minimal, but the EMAT’s performance is affected by temperatures above 121 °C due to the low Curie temperature of the magnets. Different magnets are needed to operate at 177 °C. The EMAT’s capability to detect notches is also evaluated from B-scan measurements on 304 stainless steel welded plate containing surface-breaking notches. View Full-Text
Keywords: electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs); robotic nondestructive inspection; harsh environments; elevated temperature; gamma radiation electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs); robotic nondestructive inspection; harsh environments; elevated temperature; gamma radiation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Choi, S.; Cho, H.; Lindsey, M.S.; Lissenden, C.J. Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducers for Robotic Nondestructive Inspection in Harsh Environments. Sensors 2018, 18, 193.

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