Investigation of Inductively Coupled Ultrasonic Transducer System for NDE

Cheng Huan Zhong*, Anthony J. Croxford, Paul D. Wilcox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Inductive coupling offers a simple solution to wirelessly probe ultrasonic transducers. This paper investigates the theory and feasibility of such an inductively coupled transducer system in the context of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) applications. The noncontact interface is based on electromagnetic coupling between three coils; one of the coils is physically connected to the transducer, the other two are in a separate probing unit, where they are connected to the transmit and receive channels of the instrumentation. The complete system is modeled as a three-port network with the measured impedance of a bonded piezoelectric ceramic disc representing a sensor attached to an arbitrary solid substrate. The developed transmission line model is a function of the physical parameters of the electromagnetic system, such as the number of turns and diameter of each coil, and their separation. This model provides immediate predictions of electrical input impedance and pulse-echo response. The model has been validated experimentally and a sensitivity analysis of the input parameters performed. This has enabled optimization of the various parameters. Inductively coupled transducer systems have been built for both bulk and guided wave examples. By using chirped excitation and baseline subtraction, inspection distance of up to 700 mm is achieved in single-shot, guided-wave pulse-echo mode measurements with a 5 mm separation between the probing coils and transducer coil on an aluminum plate structure. In the bulk wave example, a delamination in an 8.9-mm-thick carbon fiber composite specimen is successfully identified from the changes in the arrival time of a reflected pulse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1125
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013



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