Small Eddy Current Testing Sensor Probe Using a Tunneling Magnetoresistance Sensor to Detect Cracks in Steel Structures

Keiji Tsukada, Minoru Hayashi, Yoshihiro Nakamura, Kenji Sakai, Toshihiko Kiwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


An eddy current test (ECT) is a common nondestructive test to detect flaws in metal structures. Many ECTs use both a detection coil and an induction coil. The application of this method to ferromagnetic materials can be challenging because the applied magnetic field is composed of not only the eddy current but also the magnetization signal. Therefore, we developed two types of miniaturized ECT probes, namely, single-and dual-channel tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) probes, by using a TMR sensor instead of a detection coil. To evaluate the performance of crack detection in steel with regard to the length, width, and depth of cracks, the sensor probe was line-scanned above the crack position. The output signal was detected using a lock-in amplifier and analyzed using the real and imaginary components of a magnetic vector. The detected signal was then divided into the magnetization and eddy current components. The dual TMR sensor probe installed inside the induction coil could yield a stable crack signal without the influence of magnetization fluctuation. The line-scanned differential signal intensity and phase show a signal change with a high signal-to-noise ratio at the crack position. These signals depend on the width and length of the crack. A 2-D scanning could provide a magnetic map corresponding to the crack shape.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8399849
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Crack detection
  • eddy current testing (ECT)
  • steel
  • tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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