A magnetic measurement system utilizing a vector magnetic sensor for analyzing and mapping low frequency magnetic properties of metals has been developed for nondestructive evaluation. The measurement system consists mainly of an induction coil which can expose a large sample area, a vector magnetic sensor for detecting magnetic fields emanating from a sample, a lock-in amplifier, and a two-dimensional scanning stage. The system was determined to have a high magnetic sensitivity corresponding to less than 1 nT in the locked-in state. The magnetic field strength change was detected in a sample that contained a slit of width greater than 1 mm. Time sequential vector component (normal and tangential) maps were developed. An iron plate as an example of a ferromagnetic metal and an aluminum plate as an example of a good conducting and nonferromagnetic material were compared using this system. Analyzing the vector component maps could differentiate differences in the magnetic properties, such as permeability, eddy current distribution, and residual magnetism.
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