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Patent
JENTEK Sensors, Inc. | Date: 2014-08-11

A substantially planar eddy-current sensor having durability enhancing pillars in an active region is provided. The pillars are distributed and sized so as to have limited effect on the sensors performance. When the sensor is mounted on a component such that the sensor experiences forces on a top and bottom surface, the pillars bear the load reducing the load bore by the active elements (e.g., drive winding, sense elements). A sensor with redundant drive windings and/or redundant sense elements is disclosed. The redundant elements may be connected to separate electronics. Another aspect relates to providing a reference transformer for calibration of a sensor. The secondary windings of the reference transformer are connected in series with the sense elements of the sensor to be calibrated. Transimpedance measurements are made when the drive winding of the reference transformer is excited. The measurements are used to correct transimpedance measurements made when the drive winding of the sensor is excited. A system having an impedance analyzer and a plurality of multiplexing units is disclosed for monitoring a plurality of sensor. Each multiplexing units directs an excitation signal to the drive winding of a respective sensor and returns, serially, the sense element responses back to the impedance analyzer. The system coordinates the excitation of each sensor and return of the sensor response to share a serial network. The multiplexing units may have a reference transformer for calibration of their respective sensors. Optical communication may be used.


Grant
Agency: Department of Transportation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.93K | Year: 2014

Multiple major pipeline failures have been caused by seam weld defects not detected by available ILI technology [August 16, 2013 WSJ]. Phase I will demonstrate a game changing capability to deliver internal and external corrosion mapping and seam weld crack detection in a low-cost tool that “encourages more repetitive ILI runs and wider use.” JENTEK’s new through wall imaging method called SWMF is capable of inspecting at production flow speeds up to 15 m/s. SWMF along with the novel MR-MWM-Array construct, parallel architecture electronics, and HyperLattice (precomputed database)-based multivariate inverse methods (MIMs) will enable imaging of defects at high data rates without controlling lift-off (proximity to the internal pipe surface). This MIM approach enables independent imaging of wall thickness and longitudinal magnetic permeability, as well as differentiation of internal vs. external defects. Magnetic permeability is correlated with stress to assess the longitudinal strain and post weld heat treatment performance. The primary focus of Phase I will be on transverse & longitudinal cracks and internal & external corrosion.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.91K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: This proposed SBIR will demonstrate the feasibility of delivering a revolutionary integrated inspection station for engine airfoils that uses the same advanced eddy current technology (called the JENTEK MWM-Array) to provide BOTH reliable crack detection and dimensional analysis for chord width and tip wear. By utilizing the same flexible and easily adaptable sensing technology, a low cost, and reconfigurable inspection station will be demonstrated with extremely rapid inspection capabilities. This solution will enable rapid tool changing with easily interchangeable part holding and integrated scanning kits for each of the 143 part numbers that require inspection. It will also provide dramatically improved inspection speeds compared to conventional eddy current methods, enabling the required inspection of 190,000 parts per year. The Phase I will develop the 3-D dimensioning capability and demonstrate an integrated crack detection and dimensional measurement capability on two blade geometries. Phase I will also demonstrate the feasibility of addressing the large number of Air Force part numbers with an innovative automated inspection station design concept. Furthermore, crack depth measurement capability, already in use by the Navy to qualify blades for repair, will be incorporated to trigger repair actions, and eventually to qualify repairs as well. BENEFIT: It is anticipated that many Air Force and Navy legacy propulsion systems would benefit from the engine airfoil integrated inspection stations to be developed under this proposed program. The technology will be demonstrated to the Air Force, Navy, and DoD suppliers to solicit interest, funding, and system purchases for production, and depot, and field use. Rolls Royce and other engine OEMs, as well as PAS and other blade maintenance and repair providers have expressed strong interest in a rapid inspection system for blades and capability to reliably provide dimensioning, defect detection and sizing and repair qualification capabilities.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2014

This program will accelerate transitioning of high-throughput versions of JENTEKs MWM Array eddy-current sensors and GridStation impedance instruments to the U.S. Navy. The proposed systems will have between 350 and 600 fully parallel impedance channels. With greater data acquisition speed from each channel and with substantial increase in the number of fully parallel channels, larger surface areas, such as webs, bores and large parts can be inspected far more efficiently and quickly. Furthermore, multiple features, such as all the holes at a given mounting surface on a disk, can be inspected simultaneously. The inspection capability will be enhanced by a data archiving function which records component conditions, historical crack growth rates (determined from MWM-Array mapping and tracking methods), and residual stress relaxation. The overall program focus is on achieving a 20 times increase in the inspection throughput (compared to conventional Eddy Current Testing, ET). This throughput improvement should enable one system to replace three conventional systems for many inspections providing an additional reduction in acquisition and operating costs.


Patent
JENTEK Sensors, Inc. | Date: 2015-02-19

The condition of internal or hidden material layers or interfaces is monitored and used for control of a process that changes a condition of a material system. The material system has multiple component materials, such as layers or embedded constituents, or can be represented with multiple layers to model spatial distributions in the material properties. The material condition changes as a result of a process performed on the material, such as by cold working, or from functional operation. Sensors placed proximate to the test material surface or embedded between material layers are used to monitor a material property using magnetic, electric, or thermal interrogation fields. The sensor responses are converted into states of the material condition, such as temperature or residual stress, typically with a precomputed database of sensor responses. The sensor responses can also be used to determine properties of the test material, such as electrical conductivity or magnetic permeability, prior to conversion to the material state. The states are used to support control decisions that control the process or operation causing the material condition to change.

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