Pipelines are important infrastructures in petroleum and gas industries which are vital to the national economy. They are typically subjected to corrosion inside of the pipe and there is an urgent need for the development of a cost-effective, non-excavating, in-service, permanent critical pipeline damage detection and prediction system. In this paper, we proposed an in-situ multiple mode pipeline monitoring system by utilizing permanently installed piezoelectric wafer active sensors (PWAS). As an active sensing device, PWAS can be bonded to the structure or inserted into a composite structure, operated in propagating wave mode or electromechanical impedance mode. The small size and low cost (about ∼$10 each) make it a potential and unique technology for in-situ application. Additionally, PWAS transducers can operate at a temperature as high as 260°C which is sufficient for most critical pipeline systems used in gas/petroleum industry. This system can be used during in-service period, recording and monitoring the changes, such as cracks, impedance, wall thickness, etc., of the pipelines over time. Having the real-time data available, maintenance strategies based on these data can then be developed to ensure a safe and less expensive operation of the pipeline systems. The paper will first give an intensive literature review of current pipeline corrosion detection. Then, the basic principles of applying PWAS to in-situ SHM using in-plane propagation waves and impedance measurement for damage detection are studied and developed. Next, experiments were conducted to verify the corrosion detection and thickness measurement ability of PWAS sensor network in a laboratory setting and in water pipe with flowing fluid inside as well. In addition, the potential of PWAS application for high temperature pipeline thickness monitoring was also investigated.
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