Metal structures exposed to cyclic loading, including aerospace structures, bridges, and vibrating machinery, are susceptible to fatigue cracking. Monitoring fatigue cracks in metal structures is thus critically important for preventing failure by making repair decisions before a crack reaches its critical length, leading to fracture.
MCET Technologies News & Research
MCET Technologies News & Research
Metal structural components of aircraft, machines, vehicles, and infrastructure deteriorate over their service life due to static and cyclic loading, exposure to corrosive chemicals, and harsh environments. For example, steel bridges are particularly susceptible to fatigue cracking as increased traffic demands often exceed their design load capabilities and members often have fatigue-sensitive details. Corrosion due to deicing chemicals can also result in deterioration and reduction in load-carrying capacity. The result is progressive weakening of the structural elements due to section loss and cracking.
Metal structural components of pipelines, pressure vessels, and infrastructure deteriorate over their service life due to static and cyclic loading, exposure to corrosive chemicals, and harsh environments. Consequently, chemical corrosion can also result in deterioration and reduction in load carrying capacity. The result is progressive weakening of the structural elements due to section loss and cracking, and eventual structural failure if the damage is not detected in time.
While visual inspections are specifically undertaken to detect this hazard, these inspections are often only undertaken once every several years, are labor-intensive, and can only be conducted if the component is completely pulled out of service. Technology alternatives, such as fiber optics, also have limitations as they have a very limited sensing range.
Globally, at least 6.2 million miles of pipeline transport gas, oil, and chemicals to 700 refineries, 24,500 power utility plants, and tens of thousands of industrial facilities globally, of which 60% of those pipelines are in the US. Pipeline infrastructure failures represent significant hazards in terms of personal injury (2,000-4,000 injuries/yr in the US O&G industry), environmental damage, and monetary losses due to fines, cleanups, and system shutdowns that can approach $1M/day.
Globally, industrial facilities in Power Utility, Petrochemical and other industrial capacities commonly use pressure vessel and piping equipment (PVP) in a number of applications, including utility boilers, petrochemical storage and transport, or manufacturing processes. However, while the use of PVP in these applications is considered to be highly reliable, accidents can happen, and they can cause serious injury or death to workers as well as important infrastructure and equipment damage. Even a small leak of a confined fluid can lead to serious consequences in terms of human health and safety, environment damage, and productivity loss. Continuous NDT structural monitoring solutions are needed to address these concerns.
Critical components are key to systems running effectively. However, established methods for these components, such as ILI monitoring or visual inspection, often are performed only periodically, and if serious damage occurs to those components between inspections, these methods can be ineffective. Critical components, such as pipelines, pressure vessels, gaskets, or connectors are in need of a more comprehensive, continuous monitoring technology- especially for larger monitoring areas.