In-Situ Imaging of Water Pipelines Using Ultrasonic Guided Waves

Award Information
Environmental Protection Agency
Solitcitation Year:
Solicitation Number:
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Small Business Information
FBS, Inc.
3340 West College Ave., State College, PA, -
Hubzone Owned:
Woman Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Principal Investigator
 Jing Mu
 (814) 234-3437
Business Contact
 Michael Avioli
Phone: (814) 234-3437
Research Institution
"The widely distributed water infrastructure system provides drinking water and waste water treatment for human life and the environment. A significant amount of water infrastructure network has served the public for decades and is encountering aging problems. Water leakage resulting from aging infrastructure may put human life and public health at risk. Therefore, it is imperative to search for effective inspection and monitoring technologies that guarantee the safety and integrity of water infrastructure. FBS, Inc. has expertise on ultrasonic guided wave technology transfer and product development for all aspects of Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) and Structural Health Monitoring (SM) applications, especially in pipeline, rail, civil infrastructure, etc. We propose to develop a reliable and cost effective ultrasonically (UT) based device for in-situ defect detection of water infrastructure and for defect classification. The proposed technology combines a guided wave focusing technique with the recently developed magnetostrictive sensors. Magnetostrictive sensors are flexible, robust, light-weight, and low cost. They are also capable of producing strong guided energy into pipelines. With our guided wave focusing technique, the inspection range can be further increased. Longer inspection allows reduction in cost. FBS has gained lots of experience through ONR, DOT, and EPRI sponsored work on defect detection using long range ultrasonic guided waves for pipe inspections. We recognize the need for reliable, cost-saving, and safe inspection solutions for the maintenance and replacement of water infrastructures. The work in this proposal builds on the FBS accomplishment to date. Earlier work was focused on the phased array focusing method location and detection accuracy. The proposed work is dedicated to cost reduction to implement the needed inspection method. For Phase I, we will approach the development of magnetostrictive sensors and the implement of the guided wave focusing technique. We will Also prepare and in-situ magnetostrictive sensor based ultrasonic package for defect detection in water tubes and establish the feasibility for buried pipe inspection. For Phase II, we will develop an UT inspection system that is capable of detection and classification for water infrastructures. We believe that the “intelligence” necessary to perform the measurements, archive them, and to guide maintenance designs can be bundled into a hand held device interfaced with a minimal ultrasonic package and/or with a commercially cost effect UT inspection system. "

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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