Machine-Learning Approach to Determine Surface Quality on a Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) Steel

James M. Griffin, Jino Mathew, Antal Gasparics, Gábor Vértesy, Inge Uytdenhouwen, Rachid Chaouadi, Michael E. Fitzpatrick

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Surface quality measures such as roughness, and especially its uncertain character, affect most magnetic non-destructive testing methods and limits their performance in terms of an achievable signal-to-noise ratio and reliability. This paper is primarily focused on an experimental study targeting nuclear reactor materials manufactured from the milling process with various machining parameters to produce varying surface quality conditions to mimic the varying material surface qualities of in-field conditions. From energising a local area electromagnetically, a receiver coil is used to obtain the emitted Barkhausen noise, from which the condition of the material surface can be inspected. Investigations were carried out with the support of machine-learning algorithms, such as Neural Networks (NN) and Classification and Regression Trees (CART), to identify the differences in surface quality. Another challenge often faced is undertaking an analysis with limited experimental data. Other non-destructive methods such as Magnetic Adaptive Testing (MAT) were used to provide data imputation for missing data using other intelligent algorithms. For data reinforcement, data augmentation was used. With more data the problem of ‘the curse of data dimensionality’ is addressed. It demonstrated how both data imputation and augmentation can improve measurement datasets.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3721
Number of pages23
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number8
Early online date7 Apr 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).


Funding Information: Funding: This research was funded by “NOMAD” project. This project (Non-destructive Evaluation System for the Inspection of Operation-Induced Material Degradation in Nuclear Power Plants) has received funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014–2018 under grant agreement No. 755330.


  • electro-magnetic
  • Barkhausen Noise
  • MAT
  • surface quality
  • imputation
  • augmentation
  • CART
  • Neural Networks


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