Finite element modelling of a reflection differential split-D Eddy current probe scanning surface notches

Ehsan Mohseni, Demartonne Ramos França, Martin Viens, Wen Fang Xie, Baoguang Xu

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Differential eddy current probes are commonly used to detect shallow surface cracks in conductive materials. In recent years, a growing number of research works on their numerical modelling was conducted since the development of analytical or semi-analytical models for such a sensor may be prone to intractable complications. In this paper finite element modelling (FEM) has been employed to simulate the interaction of a reflection differential split-D probe with surface electrical discharge machined (EDM) notches in 3 dimensional (3-D) half space. In order to attain a better insight into the correct setup of the FEM parameters, a simple multi-turn cylindrical absolute coil has also been modelled. The outcome generated through the simulated scan of this absolute coil over a surface notch in aluminum is validated with existing experimental impedance data taken from the literature. Parameters contributing to reliable FEM simulation results, such as maximum mesh size, mesh distribution, extent of the
surrounding air domain and conductivity of the air are investigated for the 3-D
modelling of both absolute and differential probes. This study shows that the simulation results on a commercial reflection differential split-D surface pencil probe closely estimate the experimental measurements of the probe’s impedance variations as it scans three EDM notches having different depths in aluminum. The simulation results, generated by Comsol Multiphysics FEM package, for the cases of absolute and differential probes are checked for their extent of validity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Nondestructive Evaluation
Issue number2
Early online date17 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020


  • eddy current testing
  • split-D reflection differential probe
  • absolute probe
  • finite element analysis


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