A nondestructive method for inspecting steel pipelines for plastically deformed regions caused by mechanical damage to the pipeline. The invention is a method and system that uses nonlinear harmonic detection methods to detect mechanical damage in pipelines. The invention uses a time-varying magnetic field to sense magnetic properties of the pipeline. The odd-numbered harmonic frequencies are detected and their amplitudes are related to the magnetic condition of the material under test to determine areas of mechanical damage. This technique can be used for rapidly surveying stress states in pipelines where nonlinear harmonic sensing devices are attached to a pigging device moving through a pipeline at a relatively high rate of speed.
Gary L. Burkhardt;Alfred E. Crouch