Prevent Downtime With Eddy Current Tube Analysis

If you looked inside your air conditioning or refrigeration equipment, you’d find anywhere from a hundred to several thousand tubes, depending on the size of the system. They all work to produce cooling or chilling – until corrosion and other destructive elements weaken or damage them. That leads to tube leaks or failures, and big problems for you.

A leaking tube can cause catastrophic equipment failure with no prior indication of trouble. When it happens, you can be facing expensive downtime, lost production, major equipment damage, refrigerant contamination, and overtime costs.

An Eddy Current Tube Analysis can help prevent all this by identifying potential tube problems and making any needed repairs during normal equipment maintenance times. The cost is small, especially compared to the expense of a breakdown.

WHAT CAUSES TUBES TO FAIL? Many factors can cause tube failure. For example, O.D. Corrosion is a common condition in centrifugal machines caused by excessive moisture in the refrigerant.  I.D. Pitting is localized corrosion that produces sharply defined holes from acid residue or poor water treatment maintenance.

Mechanical abrasion can cause Tube Support Wear. Freeze Rupture from extremely low temperatures can result in costly water contamination. And Stress Corrosion Cracking can happen in both evaporator tubes and condenser tubing. Fortunately, an Eddy Current Tube Analysis can detect all these conditions in the early stages.

HOW DOES EDDY CURRENT TESTING WORK? During testing, a technician pushes a probe  through the entire length of each tube. The probe has alternating current flowing through its coils, causing eddy currents that flow in a circular motion and form a flux-field outside the coils. The currents penetrate the entire wall of the tube and are sensitive to any variations in the tube wall.

As the probe travels through the tube, any variables in the eddy current pattern are displayed on a monitor. From the shape and direction of these signals, the technician can identify and record the type of problem and its location in or on the tube.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT. Once testing is complete, the technician will give you a handwritten report that lets you preview tube conditions, including tubes that may need immediate corrective action. After returning to the office, the technician will prepare a final report giving more detail and backup data.

WHY BRADY? Brady technicians are trained and certified, so they can determine the extent of tube problems and make accurate recommendations. They use dual mode, dual frequency and dual phase techniques for more effective test results without increasing test time. They also use advanced testing tools that provide better wall penetration and increased sensitivity for better detection of defects.

To prevent problems from tube failure, an Eddy Current Tube Analysis is recommended every three years. Learn more at or call (800) 849-1915.

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