A method and apparatus is shown for implementing magnetostrictive sensor techniques for the nondestructive evaluation of plate type structures such as walls, vessels, enclosures, and the like. The system includes magnetostrictive sensors specifically designed for application in conjunction with plate type structures or pipes that generate guided waves in the plates or pipes which travel threrethrough in a direction parallel to the surface of the plate or pipe. Similarly structured sensors are positioned to detect the guided waves (both incident and reflected) and generate signals representative of the characteristics of the guided waves detected that are reflected from anomalies in the structure such as corrosion pits and cracks. The sensor structure is longitudinal in nature and generates a guided wave having a wavefront parallel to the longitudinal axis of the sensor, and which propagates in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the sensor. The generated guided waves propagate in the plate within the path of the propagating wave. The reflected waves from these abnormalities are detected using a magnetostrictive sensor. Shear horizontal waves may also be created by rotating the magnetic bias 90.degree. and used for similar inspection techniques. Pipes, which act as curved plates, may also be inspected as well as electric resistance welds therein.