Pulsed eddy current sensing for critical pipe condition assessment
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Sensors (Switzerland), 2017, 17 (10)
- Issue Date:
© 2017 by the authors. Pulsed Eddy Current (PEC) sensing is used for Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) of the structural integrity of metallic structures in the aircraft, railway, oil and gas sectors. Urban water utilities also have extensive large ferromagnetic structures in the form of critical pressure pipe systems made of grey cast iron, ductile cast iron and mild steel. The associated material properties render NDE of these pipes by means of electromagnetic sensing a necessity. In recent years PEC sensing has established itself as a state-of-the-art NDE technique in the critical water pipe sector. This paper presents advancements to PEC inspection in view of the specific information demanded from water utilities along with the challenges encountered in this sector. Operating principles of the sensor architecture suitable for application on critical pipes are presented with the associated sensor design and calibration strategy. A Gaussian process-based approach is applied to model a functional relationship between a PEC signal feature and critical pipe wall thickness. A case study demonstrates the sensor’s behaviour on a grey cast iron pipe and discusses the implications of the observed results and challenges relating to this application.
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