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Magnetic analysis of non‐destructive testing detectors for ferromagnetic ropes

Aldo Canova (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy)
Bruno Vusini (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy)



The main aim of this paper is to explain how numerical magnetic field analysis can be adopted for the simulation of the effects generated when a rope fault occurs. In particular, some important aspects are examined regarding the magnetic flaw generated by internal and external rope faults and the capability of 2D and 3D magnetic field solutions to detect the magnetic flaws.


After a first explanation of the non‐destructive approach from the point of view of the many different methods that can be used to perform a test, an introduction about magnetic systems is provided. Then a 3D magnetic simulation, based on finite integrate technique, of the system is performed and the results compared with those obtained by a simpler 2D magnetic finite element analysis. In the 3D simulation real local damage to the rope is considered and the leakage fluxes around it plotted. A parametric simulation was performed by considering variations of the main geometrical parameters that in a real test can affect the results, such as the airgap between the rope and the measuring point (the position of the field sensors) and the radial position of the sensor itself. Finally, experimental results on the real prototype on many different commercial ropes are provided. In this last section an original method to evaluate the signal to noise ratio of the device is presented.


At first, a really good correspondence between 2D and 3D numerical results was observed. Then it was shown that the difference among the sensing capabilities of field probes placed around the rope is reduced when the position of the damage is higher than 90° in respect of the sensor itself. Moreover, when the angular distance between a sensor and a surface damage is higher than 90°, the damage signal provided by the sensor does not practically change.

Research limitations/implications

Although the development method is always the same, the presented results are valid only for the configuration considered here. The experimental results of the signal to noise ratio are reported only for a reduced number of ropes.

Practical implications

The design procedure can be adopted to develop real devices and to identify the best position of the field sensing system. In particular, the paper shows the difference between radial and axial components of the leakage fluxes around the damage and their variation when the defect moves along the device.


The paper shows a methodology based on 2D and 3D numerical magnetic field analysis for the design of a non‐destructive device for metallic ropes with particular attention being given to the influence of field sensor and damage positions.



Canova, A. and Vusini, B. (2008), "Magnetic analysis of non‐destructive testing detectors for ferromagnetic ropes", COMPEL - The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 869-878.



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