Study of the effects of EDM notch width on eddy current signal response

Nakagawa, Norio
Yang, M.
Larson, Brian
Madison, E.
Raulerson, D.
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A sometimes stated rule of thumb is that the eddy current signal from a fatigue crack can be 60% of the strength produced by a similarly sized, rectangular EDM notch. A study was conducted to explore the effect that the width of a discontinuity has on signal strength when inspecting low conductivity materials for small cracks with eddy current surface probes. EDM notches of different sizes and shapes were planted in Ti‐6246 and IN‐100 specimens. Each of the two materials received six 0.020 inch long by 0.010 inch deep notches and six 0.030 inch and 0.015 inch deep notches. Three of the notches of each size were rectangular shaped and three were semicircular shaped. One of the notches in each material size group was 0.005 inch wide, one was 0.003 inch wide and one was 0.001 inch wide. Each of the notches was scanned using absolute and differential pencil probes driven at several different frequencies. The experimental results were compared with numerically generated results, which allowed for a zero width notch to be considered. The results indicated that the signal reduction factor from a 0.005 inch wide, rectangular notch to a theoretical zero‐width notch of the same size ranged from 25 to 42%.


Copyright 2009 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.

This article appeared in AIP Conference Proceedings, 1096 (2009): 287–294 and may be found at:

eddy currents, signal processing, nondestructive testing, QNDE