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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Research project: Leak noise characterisation for buried plastic pipes

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When pipe leaks, it produces leak noise, which is used to detect the leak. Leak noise correlators have been very effective at locating leaks on metal pipes. However, the effectiveness of the acoustic method has been hampered by its inability to accurately locate leaks on plastic pipes. This is largely due to the existence of strong coupling between plastic pipes, water and soil, which reduce the propagation of leak signals along the pipes. To mitigate these challenges, this research will focus on characterising and improving the effectiveness leak noise generated from plastic pipes.

This research is aimed at understanding the mechanisms of leak noise generation and to characterise different types of leaks signals based on their associated leak sizes, shapes, pipe materials, dimensions and surrounding soil types, under different pressure and flow conditions. The work will involve numerical analyses and laboratory experiments to validate the numerical results. There will also be collaborations with UK water industry and UKWIR.

Laboratory pipe leak
Laboratory pipe leak
Numerically simulated leak on plastic pipe
Numerically simulated leak on plastic pipe

Associated research themes

Zero Leakage 2050

ISVR

UK Water Industry Research

Related research groups

Dynamics Group
Acoustics Group
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