The eddy current Thermography is an evolving non-contact, non-destructive evaluation method with applications especially in aircraft industries. It involves two approaches (a) the volumetric heating (skin depth much greater than the thickness) of the specimen and the observation of additional heating at defect locations due to Joule heating (called eddy-therm) and (b) the use of high-frequency eddy current bursts (skin depth is smaller than the thickness) for the transient surface/near surface heating of the objects and sensing the propagation of a "thermal wave" using a high-sensitivity infrared (IR) camera (tone burst eddy-current thermography (TBET)). In this paper, a study on the optimum frequency of eddy current excitation that will give a maximum temperature rise for a given thickness has been conducted using both modeling and experimental techniques. COMSOL 3.2 was used to solve the coupled equations of electromagnetic induction and heat transfer. The dependency of this optimum frequency (peak frequency) on thickness, electrical conductivity, and thermal response of the sample are studied. The relation between defect size and the coil inner radius is considered. The thermal responses of defective samples obtained by simulation are compared with experimental results. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.