Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

Research project: Corrosion detection in small diameter buried steel gas pipes

Currently Active: 

Corrosion is one of the major issues regarding the integrity of assets for a wide range of industries. Currently inspections are conducted at regular intervals to ensure a sufficient integrity level of these assets. Cost reduction while maintaining a high level of reliability and safety of installations is a major challenge. The concept of predictive maintenance using permanent sensors that monitor the integrity of an installation matches very well with the objective to reduce cost while maintaining a high safety level. In recent years, research has focused on finding an effective, rapid, long‐range and low cost method in pipeline inspection. However, there is still a clear need for a sensitive and accurate method which is capable of detecting the location and the size of a defect. Compared with the existing methods, the use of ultrasonic guided waves is an attractive method for the inspection of pipelines. However, there is a clear need to support different pipe sizes over long distances without the need for excavation. In this project, small pipes (with diameters less than 5 cm) are considered due to a request by Scotia Gas Network Ltd.

A 3.4 cm diameter steel pipe with a wall thickness of 0.55 cm containing three different defect sizes has been examined. A defect with 8.3% Cross Section Area (CSA) has been detected by generating a torsional mode T(0,1) at 50 kHz on the pipe. Smaller defects cannot be found due to high reverberation levels in high frequency propagation. This is mainly due to having a limited number of transducers. Further work using more transducers and tests on a buried pipe (to include attenuation) have been carried out and useful results have been obtained.

Associated research themes

Mechatronics, signal processing and control

Related research groups

Acoustics Group
Share this research project Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings