Universal Flexible Coil Eddy Current Probe

Period of Performance: 01/12/2011 - 10/12/2011


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

United Western Technologies, Corp. dba:
122 South 4th Avenue
Pasco, WA 99301
Principal Investigator


To address the Air Force's need to develop low cost of ownership inspection solutions, capable of inspecting various areas that require edge crack detection, UniWest proposes to further develop its production-proven eddy current flexible coil probe technology (currently capable of detecting cracks close to edges) to a quantifiable inspection that is able to detect cracks at edges. Development and application tasks remain in probe design, characterization (optimization) and in application of these probes to meet the edge-crack detection requirements for engine dovetails, and aircraft wheels. The implementation of edge crack detection with flexible coils will offer a simple and efficient solution to significantly reduce inspection time, making them simpler to implement, maintain, and operate. Specific areas for study would be the wheel bead seat and the dovetails slots on turbine rotor disks. The Phase I program is essential to economic development of eddy current flexible coil probe packages, to enable demonstration on cracked specimens and real hardware during a Phase II program. A phase III effort will then commercialize the eddy current flexible coil probe packages by DoD, NASA, Commercial and Civil aircraft applications. BENEFIT: Universal Flexible Coil Eddy Current Probes capable to quantify the detection of edge cracks would dramatically change the way inspections are conceptualized and deployed. The non-complex nature of the approach does not tax equipment hardware, reduces failure modes and is easy to own, as it does not require a high level of expertise or maintenance. This Low Cost of Ownership inspection process makes it a perfect candidate for both the military and for the commercial industry, where a faster, better and lower cost of ownership is needed to assure the structural integrity of aircraft