This study evaluates the applicability of computer-aided eddy current inversion techniques to the profile evaluation of stress corrosion cracking in Inconel welds. Welded plate specimens, which model head penetration welds of pressurized water reactors, are fabricated; notches and stress corrosion cracks are artificially introduced into the weld metal of the specimens. Eddy current inspections are performed using a uniform eddy current probe driven at frequencies of 10 and 40 kHz. Since weld noise is observed uniformly along the weld line, a simple signal processing is applied to eliminate it. First, the artificial notches are reconstructed and good agreements between reconstructed and true profiles are provided, which demonstrates that the computer-aided eddy current inversion technique can deal with defects in welds. Then, numerical simulations are performed to evaluate the profiles of the stress corrosion cracks. In the numerical simulations, the stress corrosion cracks are modeled as a conductive region with a fixed width of 0.3 mm. The cross-sectional profiles of the cracks are reconstructed from measured eddy current signals directly above and along a crack. Although eddy current signals calculated from the reconstructed profiles agree well with measured ones, the true profiles revealed by destructive testing are found to be very different from the reconstructed ones. Whereas the most plausible reason for the difference is the unexpectedly volumetric profile of the stress corrosion cracks, this study has revealed that computer-aided eddy current inversion techniques that have been used to consider cracks in thin structures would not at this point be directly applicable to those in thick structures. It is also important to know in advance those crack features that can adversely impact accurate crack sizing including whether a detected crack is volumetric or not, namely there are many parallel cracks in a cluster or not.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Mechanical Engineering