Microwave Corrosion Detection using Open Ended Rectangular Waveguide Sensors


The use of microwave and millimeter wave nondestructive testing methods utilizing open ended rectangular waveguide sensors has shown great potential for detecting minute thickness variations in laminate structures, in particular those backed by a conducting plate. Slight variations in the dielectric properties of materials may also be detected using a set of optimal parameters which include the standoff distance and the frequency of operation. In a recent investigation, on detecting rust under paint, the dielectric properties of rust were assumed to be similar to those of Fe2O3 powder. These values were used in an electromagnetic model that simulates the interaction of fields radiated by a rectangular waveguide aperture with layered structures to obtain optimal parameters. The dielectric properties of Fe2O3 were measured to be very similar to the properties of paint. Nevertheless, the presence of a simulated Fe2O3 layer under a paint layer was detected. In this paper the dielectric properties of several different rust samples from different environments are measured. The measurements indicate that the nature of real rust is quite diverse and is different from Fe2O3 and paint, indicating that the presence of rust under paint can be easily detected. The same electromagnetic model is also used (with the newly measured dielectric properties of real rust) to obtain an optimal standoff distance at a frequency of 24 GHz. The results indicate that variations in the magnitude as well as the phase of the reflection coefficient can be used to obtain information about the presence of rust. An experimental investigation on detecting the presence of very thin rust layers (2.5-5 × 10-2 mm [0.9-2.0 × 10-3 in.]) using an open ended rectangular waveguide probe is also conducted. Microwave images of rusted specimens, obtained at 24 GHz, are also presented.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Coatings; Corrosion Under Paint; Microwaves; Open Ended Waveguides; Rust; Corrosion And Pitting Under Paint Detection And Evaluation

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

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© 2000 American Society for Nondestructive Testing, Inc., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2000

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