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Title: Capacitive imaging technique for non-destructive evaluation (NDE)
Author: Yin, Xiaokang
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 8901
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis describes the development and characterization of a novel NDE methodthe Capacitive Imaging (CI) technique. The CI technique employs a pair of (or multiple) electrodes to form a co-planar capacitor, and uses the fringing quasi-static electric field established across the electrodes to investigate specimens of interest. In general, the CI probe is sensitive to surface and hidden defects in insulating materials, and surface features on conducting materials. The CI technique is advantageous for its non-contact and non-invasive nature, and the capacitive coupling allows the CI technique to work on a wide variety of material properties. The theoretical background to the CI technique has been developed. It is shown that in the frequency range of operation (10 kHz to 1 MHz), the quasi-static approximation is valid and the Maxwell’s Equations describing the general electromagnetic phenomena can be simplified. The practical implementation of the CI system is based on this analysis, and it is shown that the CI technique has features that can complement techniques such as eddy current methods that are already established in NDE. The design principles of the CI probes that are required for an optimum imaging performance have been determined, by considering the key measures of the performance including the depth of penetration, the measurement sensitivity, the imaging resolution and the signal to noise ratio (SNR). It has been shown that the operation frequency is not an influential factor - the performance of the CI probe is determined primarily by the geometry of the probe (e.g. size/shape of the electrodes, separation between electrodes, guard electrodes etc.). Symmetric CI probes with triangular-shaped electrodes were identified as a good general purpose design. Finite Element (FE) models were constructed both in 2D and 3D in COMSOLTM to predict the electric field distributions from CI probes. Effects of thickness of specimen, liftoff distance and relative permittivity value etc were examined using the 2D models. The sensitivity distributions of different CI probes were obtained from the 3D models and were used to characterize the imaging ability of the given CI probes. The fundamental concepts of the CI technique have been experimentally validated in a series of scans where the defects were successfully imaged in insulating (Perspex) and conducting (e.g. Aluminium, Steel and carbon fibre composite) specimens. The detection of corrosion under insulation (CUI) has also been demonstrated. The imaging abilities were assessed by investigating various standard specimens under different situations. The CI technique was then successfully applied to various practical specimens, including glass fibre laminated composites and sandwich structures, laminated carbon fibre composites, corroded steel plate and pipe, and concrete specimens. Further measurements were also conducted using modified CI probes, to demonstrate the wide range of applications of the CI technique.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick. School of Engineering
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)