Technical Reports

Development of a Prototype EMAT System for Inspection of Rails

  • 01
  • Sep
  • 1980
AUTHOR: G. Alers, D. McLauchlan, H. Maiseri, R. Lee
SUBJECT: Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT), Rail Flaw, Inspection Methods
ABSTRACT: This is the Final Report of the First Phase of an investigation of the application of Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducers (EMATs) to detect flaws in railroad rails. EMAT's generate ultrasonic beams in rails and receive return signals without surface contact and without liquid couplant. This work used samples of flawed rails and laboratory EMAT equipment to verify that EMAT technology can detect critical rail flaws. Sperry Rail Service assisted in defining operating requirements for an operational inspection system. A preliminary determination of EMAT operating parameters for optimum flaw detection was made. This work demonstrated that virtually all of the critical rail flaws can be detected in the laboratory by EMAT's with a sensitivity comparable to that obtained with conventional piezoelectric transducers.
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