In this study, we aimed to design a coil sensor prototype capable of detecting metallic area loss based on numerical simulations using the magnetic flux leakage (MFL) method. Unlike previous numerical simulation-based studies, which are only conducted to obtain the MFL itself, the main objectives of this study were (1) to acquire the induced current in the coil sensor and (2) to optimize the apparatus based on a time-dependent numerical analysis. As a result, the optimum values of parameters in magnetizing and sensing units were obtained numerically. A magnetic sensor prototype was then fabricated using the optimum parameters obtained by numerical parametric study. Finally, experimental validation tests were conducted on a solid steel rod specimen with a stepwise cross-sectional reduction flaw. It was observed that numerical simulation had approximately 91% precision compared to the experimental test. The results reveal that application of a realistic numerical simulation of an MFL coil sensor can probably provide essential information for MFL-sensor fabrication and allows for preventive measures to be taken before manufacturing failure or defect misdetection.
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