Wrap-up 2018


The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and its research unit, UNIDEMI, are pleased to announce that in 2018, the student Miguel Araújo Machado has completed his Doctoral Program in Mechanical Engineering with the presentation of his thesis entitled “Development of Non-Destructive Testing by Eddy Currents for Highly Demanding Engineering Applications”.

Abstract: Defect detection with Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is essential in accidents prevention, requiring R&TD to generate new scientific and procedural knowledge for new products with high safety requirements. A current challenge lies in the detection of surface and sub-surface micro defects with NDT by Eddy Currents (EC). The main objective of this work was the development of applied research, technological innovation and experimental validation of EC customized systems for three highly demanding inspection scenarios: micro defects in tubular geometries; brazed joints for the automotive industry; and high-speed moving composite materials. This objective implied starting from the scientific fundamentals of NDT by EC to design and simulate EC probes and the prototypes developed were tested in industrial environment, reaching a TRL ≈ 5. Another objective, of a more scientific and disruptive nature, was to test a new technique for the creation of EC in the materials to be inspect, named Magnetic Permeability Pattern Substrate (MPPS). This technique consists on the development of substrates/films with patterns of different magnetic permeabilities rather than the use of excitation bobbin coils or filaments of complex geometry. The experimental results demonstrated that the prototypes developed for the three industrial applications studied outperformed the state of the art, allowing the detection of target defects with a very good signal-to-noise ratio: in tubular geometries defects with depth of 0.5 mm and thickness of 0.2 mm in any scanning position; in the laser brazed weld beads pores with 0.13 mm diameter and internal artificial defects 1 mm from the weld surface; in composite materials defects under 1 mm at speeds up to 4 m/s and 3 mm lift-off. The numerical simulations assisted the probe design, allowing to describe and characterize electrical and magnetic phenomena. The new MPPS concept for the introduction of EC was validated numerically and experimentally.