Measurement of internal defects in aluminum using a nano-granular in-gap magnetic sensor

T. Ozawa, S. Yabukami, J. Totsuka, S. Koyama, J. Hayasaka, N. Wako, K. I. Arai

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Techniques for identifying defects in metals are very important in a wide variety of manufacturing areas. The present paper reports an eddy current testing method that employs a nano-granular in-gap magnetic sensor (GIGS) to detect internal defects in aluminum boards. The GIGS consists of a tunnel magnetoresistive film with nanometer sized grains and two yokes. In the presence of an external magnetic field, the nano-granular film exhibits only a small change in resistance due to the tunnel magnetoresistive effect. However, by placing it between two yokes, the magnetic flux can be greatly concentrated, thus increasing the change in resistance. The GIGS is a magnetic-field sensor that exploits this principle to achieve enhanced sensitivity. Moreover, because it has a cross-sectional yolk area of just 80μm×0.5μm, it achieves outstanding spatial resolution. In the present study, it is used in combination with an eddy-current method in order to detect internal defects in aluminum. In this method, an excitation coil is used to apply an AC magnetic field perpendicular to the aluminum surface. This induces eddy currents in the metal, which in turn give rise to an AC magnetic field, which is then measured by the GIGS. The presence of defects in the aluminum distorts the eddy current flow, causing a change in the magnitude and distribution of the magnetic field. Such changes can be detected using the GIGS. In the present study, the proposed method was used to successfully detect indentations with diameters of 5mm on the rear surface of an aluminum plate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17A305
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 7
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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