A corrosive environment leaves in-service conductive structures prone to subsurface corrosion which poses a severe threat to the structural integrity. It is indispensable to detect and quantitatively evaluate subsurface corrosion via non-destructive evaluation techniques. Although the gradient-field pulsed eddy current technique (GPEC) has been found to be superior in the evaluation of corrosion in conductors, it suffers from a technical drawback resulting from the non-uniform field excited by the conventional pancake coil. In light of this, a new GPEC probe with uniform field excitation for the imaging of subsurface corrosion is proposed in this paper. The excited uniform field makes the GPEC signal correspond only to the field perturbation due to the presence of subsurface corrosion, which benefits the corrosion profiling and sizing. A 3D analytical model of GPEC is established to analyze the characteristics of the uniform field induced within a conductor. Following this, experiments regarding the imaging of subsurface corrosion via GPEC have been carried out. It has been found from the results that the proposed GPEC probe with uniform field excitation not only applies to the imaging of subsurface corrosion in conductive structures, but provides high-sensitivity imaging results regarding the corrosion profile and opening size.
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