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Non-destructive testing has gained significant importance in modern industrial processes with its primary aim at reducing down time and enhancing safety and productivity. Magnetic methods for NDT include magnetic flux leakage (MFL), electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) and hysteresis testing.

Each of these methods is sensitive to different defect configurations; while some are sensitive to surface cracks, others are sensitive to volume defects and yet others to internal stresses. In each of these techniques, a magnetic field (time varying or static) is induced in the part to be tested and the response is analyzed to determine and characterize defects.

The MFL method is sensitive to surface cracks that impede the 'flow' of magnetic flux in ferromagnetic material -e.g. steel. In this test method, a static magnetic field is impressed on the part to be tested. Surface cracks cause a change in magnetic reluctance in the closed magnetic circuit resulting in a change in the amount of flux 'leaked' into air immediately outside the surface of the part. Hall effect sensors are typically used to measure the leakage field. Analysis of the leakage field over the surface thus permits characterization of the defect.

The reliable supply and transportation of product in a safe and cost-effective manner is a primary goal of most pipeline operating companies and managing the integrity of the pipeline is paramount in maintaining this objective. In-line-inspection programs are one of the most effective means of obtaining data that can be used as a fundamental base for an Integrity Management Program. There are many types of ILI tools that detect various pipeline defects, but high-resolution MFL tools are becoming more prevalent as its applications are surpassing those to which it was originally designed. Originally designed for detecting areas of metal loss, the modern High Resolution MFL tool is proving to be able to accurately assess the severity of corrosion features, define dents, wrinkles, buckles, and, in some cases, cracks. Having a device that can perform simultaneous tasks reliably is more efficient and ultimately provides cost saving benefits.

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