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Integrated Magnetic imAgery based on spIntronics Components (IMAGIC)
Start date: Sep 1, 2011, End date: Dec 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Structures reliability, installations safety and products quality are requirements that industrial sectors must take into account. The stake is to guarantee the integrity of the structures. In transport and nuclear fields, a major stake of people safety is associated. To take up this challenge, industries are users of non destructive testing (NDT) which gathers methods providing information on the health of a structure without impairing its future usefulness. Among the existing methods, eddy current (EC) inspection is widespread by ensuring subjacent or surface-breaking flaws detection. Classical winding coils are the most commonly used EC sensors, but their spatial resolution and sensitivity are limited because of the technology itself. In this context, magneto-resistive (GMR, TMR) sensors are promising because of their frequency independent sensitivity, their small size, and their collective manufacturing process which facilitates the making of array probes. To improve the performances of the inspection methods, IMAGIC aims at developing a new integrated magnetic imagery based on high sensitive and spatial resolution GMR and TMR array sensors. The objective is to lead developments to the industrialization of smart systems combining technological developments (array sensor, integrated electronic) with sophisticated treatment tools (sensors design, flaw characterization). IMAGIC will ensure the increase of the probe sensitivity and spatial resolution: smaller and more buried cracks and located in complex zones could be detected. Magnetic probes based on new spintronics array components will also have important impact for biomedical and geological applications. In the current context of sustainable development, IMAGIC will promote the use of magnetic methods as an alternative method to penetrant inspection, whose exploitation is threatened due to the use of polluting products.

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