Researchers Prevent Leaks in Pipes Before They Start Using Corrosion-Detecting Technology

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The next generation tech is here, founded by the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). They developed the next generation of transducers, which use ultrasonic guided wave technology to detect anomalies in pipes, allowing users to prevent leaks from occurring. This design, which prevent leaks in pipes before they start utilizes the SwRI-developed Magnetostrictive Sensor (MsS) tech, was showcased in Nashville Tennessee, at the American Society for Nondestructive Testing’s (ASNT) Annual Conference.

prevent leaks in pipes before they start

Sergey Vinogradov, an SwRI Staff Engineer, who developed the technology with Staff Engineer Keith Bartels and other SwRI staff members said “Pipeline corrosion resulting in leaks is very common. There are only a few current methods to detect defects before they cause leaks. Quite often, the pipe is repaired and re-inspected after a leak occurs. We’ve developed a technology that can consistently monitor the pipe’s condition, hopefully prevent leaks in pipes before they start first place.”

This tech design also called Magnetostrictive Transducer (MsT) Collar and its development began back in 2002 by SwRI. However, the new improvement comes in a flat surface version with a thin design that allows it to be used on pipes in tight spaces. This also came with the custom feature of the design withstanding about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This new, segmented MsT design also incorporated 8 sensors that gives the design transducers the acurracy to pinpoint exactly where the corrosion is taking place.

prevent leaks in pipes before they start

This MsT Collar uses magnetostrictive sensors, which generate and receive guided waves that propagate along an elongated structure, guided by its boundaries. This technique allows the waves to travel long distances with little loss in energy. Hundreds of meters long distances can be inspected from a single location, in some case. Although, when there is an obstacles such as couplings; an additional sensor is required. This makes preventing leaks in pipes before they start easier.

Commenting, Vinogradov said; “Instead of using one sensor to cover an entire pipe circumference, allowing only the axial location of an anomaly to be measured, we now have eight sensors in the transduce. Each of the sensors is independently connected to the electronics so that all possible guided wave signals can be acquired. Our algorithms combine this information to better detect and locate the anomaly both axially and circumferentially, and the growth of the corrosion can be monitored by examining data sets acquired over time.”


The design which prevent leaks in pipes before they start, this MsS system, can send data to a remote terminal via a wireless transmitter unit or by means of a wired connection. The technology is designed primarily for oil and gas transmission sector; to be used pipelines to prevent costly and damaging leaks before they begin. However, the technology has found recent versatile uses and has been used for other industrial pipes such as those used for water, heating, or in chemical plants.

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