Nondestructive Eddy Current Probe for Tube Inspection


Executive Summary


A particular issue of interest to industry is the inspection of tubular goods and systems. A variety of eddy current probes have been developed for inspecting structural components for controlling quality as well as part of maintenance procedures.  Current probes have a number of limitations including; inability to detect flaw in all orientations, producing spurious responses that can obscure signal, time-consuming, complex mechanical control and being susceptible to failure. Array probes offer high inspection speed and resolution but need sophisticated excitation and post-processing schemes. It is desirable to have a fast, robust, highly efficient and inexpensive inspection probe to overcome these deficiencies.


Description of Technology


Michigan State University has developed a new tool for inspecting tubes. The probe employs a rotating magnetic field to excite the tube and an array of magnetic field sensors to detect and characterize defects of a wide ranging nature. The data generated by the probe can be processed to determine the shape and orientation of the defect. It is sensitive to cracks of all orientations and offers good resolution and sensitivity over a wide range of excitation frequencies. The probe can inspect a tube much more rapidly than a mechanically rotated probe. It is also likely to be far more reliable since the probe does not involve mechanical rotation.


Key Benefits

  • generate a rotating field without mechanically rotating the coils
  • high inspection speed
  • sensitive to cracks of all orientations



  • Industrial tube inspection
    • manufacturing
    • power generation
    • nuclear power plants
    • pipe lines


Patent Status: 


Patent pending


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Chaofeng Ye, Satish Udpa, Lalita Udpa


Tech ID: TEC2016-0105


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Raymond Devito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University