Understanding How Walk-Through Metal Detectors Work

Walk-through metal detectors have come a long way as far as their history and design.  They play a huge role in maintaining safety and reducing violence.  A number of public places around the world invest in such equipment for good reason.  With the help of trained personnel and monitored usage, they help detect dangerous objects with metal such as knives and guns.  The walk-through detectors have increased the effectiveness in detecting unwanted items when they are used with hand-held detection devices. So how do walk-through detectors work?

The Pulse Induction System or PI

While a metal detector of this nature, there are sure to be a number of complex concepts and technical points.  But, for simplicity purposes in getting a basic understanding in how it functions, you can refer to the Pulse Induction System or PI.  Most walk-through detectors are based on this system.  It includes having a special coil placed in the middle of the machine while running through both sides and the top.  The coil has special transmitters and receiver signals that pick up or detect metal material that passes through the main opening or where you walk through.

There are special magnetic forces that detect metal very quickly, literally in microseconds through pulse ranges at a thousand per minute.  The electromagnetic field is made when the metal material passes through and causes the pulse in the machine to react.  The field range may vary depending on the setting of the machine and the type of metal detected.  Some types of metals are detected more quickly than others. This in turn, makes the pulse go off leading to the beeping sound you hear when metal is detected.

Understanding How Metal is Detected May Help You Plan Ahead

Don’t want to set off the detector or are you nervous about passing through it? Now that you have an idea of how and why detectors go off, plan ahead.  Many detectors can pick up various types of metals.  This is why it is suggested to avoid wearing clothing or accessories that contain metal. Guns and knives contain metal, but they are likely easier to pick up, even when you try to conceal such an item.

Are There Health Risks to Worry About?

Hand-held metal detector devices have come in handy in helping reduce and collect unwanted items.  There are times in which both types of detectors are used since their electromagnetic frequency fields vary.  Walk-through detectors may have higher frequency abilities in detecting various metals, that some wonder if they pose any risk to your health.  For the most part, the technical aspects of such devices the standard metal detector will not cause you any harm and is even safe for pregnant women.

People with medical devices are also safe.  There are some reports of certain devices interacting with the magnetic field or frequency of the detector when you walk through it (hearing aid or pacemaker).  These reports have shown little or no health affects suffered.