The Remote Field Eddy Current (RFEC) technique is ideal for inspecting unpiggable pipelines because all its components can be made much smaller than the diameter of the pipe to be inspected. We reviewed the technique, and used demonstrations from prior work by others in presentations on the technique and how we plan to develop it. Coils were wound; a jig for pulling the coils through the pipe was manufactured; defects were machined in one six-inch diameter, ten-foot long pipe; and the equipment was assembled. After completing first crude pullout test to show that RFEC inspection would work, we repeated the experiment with a proper jig and got excellent results. The test showed the expected behavior, with the direct field dominating the signal to about two pipe diameters from the drive coil, and the remote field dominating for greater separations between the drive coil and the sensing coils. Response of RFEC to a typical defect was measured, as was the sensitivity to defect size. Before manufacturing defects in the pipe, we measured the effect of defect separation and concluded that defects separated by 18 inches or 1/3rd of the pipe diameter did not interfere with each other. We manufactured a set of 13 defects, and measured the RFEC signals. We found a background variation that was eventually attributed to permeability variations in the seamless pipe. We scanned all thirteen defects and got satisfactory results. The two smallest defects did not show a signal, but these were much too small to be reported in a pipeline inspection. We acquired a ten-foot seam welded pipe that has much less background variation. We are measuring the sensitivity of RFEC signals to mechanical variations between the exciter and sensing coils.
The different versions of the original document can be found in: