Ultrasonic Guided-wave (UGW) testing of pipelines allows long-range assessment of pipe integrity from a single point of inspection. This technology uses a number of arrays of transducers separated by a distance from each other to generate a single axisymmetric (torsional) wave mode. The location of anomalies in the pipe is determined by inspectors using the received signal. Guided-waves are multimodal and dispersive. In practical tests, nonaxisymmetric waves are also received due to the nonideal testing conditions, such as presence of variable transfer function of transducers. These waves are considered as the main source of noise in the guided-wave inspection of pipelines. In this paper, we propose a method to exploit the differences in the power spectrum of the torsional wave and flexural waves, in order to detect the torsional wave, leading to the defect location. The method is based on a sliding moving window, where in each iteration the signals are normalised and their power spectra are calculated. Each power spectrum is compared with the previously known spectrum of excitation sequence. Five binary conditions are defined; all of these need to be met in order for a window to be marked as defect signal. This method is validated using a synthesised test case generated by a Finite Element Model (FEM) as well as real test data gathered from laboratory trials. In laboratory trials, three different pipes with defects sizes of 4%, 3% and 2% cross-sectional area (CSA) material loss were evaluated. In order to find the optimum frequency, the varying excitation frequency of 30 to 50 kHz (in steps of 2 kHz) were used. The results demonstrate the capability of this algorithm in detecting torsional waves with low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) without requiring any change in the excitation sequence. This can help inspectors by validating the frequency response of the received sequence and give more confidence in the detection of defects in guided-wave testing of pipelines.
Document type: Article
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