Sensor assemblies and methods are described that facilitate the use of a long-range torsional guided-wave inspection system for inspecting pipes, tubes, or other longitudinal cylindrical structures, with a partial excitation and detection around the pipe circumference. The sensor assemblies comprise a plate-type magnetostrictive sensor probe positioned beneath a compressible/expandable bladder and an inverted U-shaped frame that retain and position the sensor probe against the external wall of the pipe under inspection. Preferably, a magnetostrictive strip is positioned in direct contact with the pipe wall over which the plate magnetostrictive sensor probe is positioned. The probe is preferably curved to match the curvature of the external surface of the pipe. A pad may be positioned between the probe and the magnetostrictive strip to improve compliance with irregular pipe surfaces. The frame (and therefore the sensor assembly) is held in place by a belt that encircles the pipe and may be tensioned in order to pull the frame against the pipe, and through the compressive force associated with the bladder, direct the magnetostrictive sensor probe against the surface of the pipe or against the magnetostrictive strip positioned on the surface of the pipe. Methods are described for placement of the magnetostrictive strip and the positioning of the magnetostrictive sensor probe.
Hegeon Kwun; Hirotoshi Matsumoto; James F. Crane