Electromagnetic acoustic transducers for robotic nondestructive inspection in harsh environments

Sungho Choi, Hwanjeong Cho, Matthew S. Lindsey, Cliff J. Lissenden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Elevated temperature, gamma radiation, and geometric constraints inside dry storage casks for spent nuclear fuel represent a harsh environment for nondestructive inspection of the cask and require that the inspection be conducted with a robotic system. Electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs) using non-contact ultrasonic transduction based on the Lorentz force to excite/receive ultrasonic waves are suited for use in the robotic inspection. Periodic permanent magnet EMATs that actuate/receive shear horizontal guided waves are developed for application to robotic nondestructive inspection of stress corrosion cracks in the heat affected zone of welds in stainless steel dry storage canisters. The EMAT’s components are carefully selected in consideration of the inspection environment, and tested under elevated temperature and gamma radiation doses up to 177 °C and 5920 krad, respectively, to evaluate the performance of the EMATs under realistic environmental conditions. The effect of gamma radiation is minimal, but the EMAT’s performance is affected by temperatures above 121 °C due to the low Curie temperature of the magnets. Different magnets are needed to operate at 177 °C. The EMAT’s capability to detect notches is also evaluated from B-scan measurements on 304 stainless steel welded plate containing surface-breaking notches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number193
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 11 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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