Eddy current inspection of a contoured surface of a workpiece is performed by forming a backing piece of flexible, resiliently yieldable material with a contoured exterior surface conforming in shape to the workpiece contoured surface. The backing piece is preferably cast in place so as to conform to the workpiece contoured surface. A flexible eddy current array probe is attached to the contoured exterior surface of the backing piece such that the probe faces the contoured surface of the workpiece to be inspected when the backing piece is disposed adjacent to the workpiece. The backing piece is then expanded volumetrically by inserting at least one shim into a slot in the backing piece to provide sufficient contact pressure between the probe and the workpiece contoured surface to enable the inspection of the workpiece contoured surface to be performed.
The US Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract number DE-FC21-95MC31176 awarded by the US Department of Energy.