Non-destructive structural imaging of steelwork with atomic magnetometers

Bevington, P. and Gartman, R. and Chalupczak, W. and Deans, C. and Marmugi, L. and Renzoni, F. (2018) Non-destructive structural imaging of steelwork with atomic magnetometers. Applied Physics Letters, 113 (6). 063503. ISSN 0003-6951

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    We demonstrate the imaging of ferromagnetic carbon steel samples and we detect the thinning of their profile with a sensitivity of 0.1 mm using a Cs radio-frequency atomic magnetometer. Images are obtained at room temperature, in magnetically unscreened environments. By using a dedicated arrangement of the setup and active compensation of background fields, the magnetic disturbance created by the samples’ magnetization is compensated. Proof-of-concept demonstrations of non-destructive structural evaluation in the presence of concealing conductive barriers are also provided. The relevant impact for steelwork inspection and health and usage monitoring without disruption of operation is envisaged, with direct benefit for industry, from welding in construction to pipeline inspection and corrosion under insulation in the energy sector. Published by AIP Publishing.