PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

Advertisement

PaintSquare


Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


MIT Robot Pinpoints Pipe Leaks

Friday, June 20, 2014

Comment | More

A new self-propelled robotic device could detect exponentially smaller pipeline leaks of gas, water and oil than traditional systems can, its developers say.

A team at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has introduced a robotic system that can pinpoint leaks quickly and accurately by sensing a large pressure change in leak locations.

Ideally, the device will be produced in various sizes to detect leaks in gas, water and oil pipes.

Courtesy of the researchers, via MIT.edu

The device is made of two parts: a small robot with wheels and a drum-like membrane that forms a seal across the width of the pipe.

The research was funded by the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia through the Center for Clean Water and Clean Energy at MIT.

Nonstop Monitoring

The device is made of two parts: a small robot with wheels and a drum-like membrane that forms a seal across the width of the pipe. If a leak is detected, the moving liquid distorts the membrane and pulls it toward the leak. Sensors detect the distortion and send the information back to a monitoring system via wireless technology.

The system "can detect leaks of just 1 to 2 millimeters in size, and at relatively low pressure," said Dimitrios Chatzigeorgiou, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at MIT and lead author of the papers.

According to Chatzigeorgiou, acoustic tests now in use have several drawbacks: They are effective only on metal pipes (plastic pipes dissipate sounds too quickly), are time-consuming, and require expert operators.

However, the small robotic device can move at 3 mph through pipes and is almost entirely automated. Ultimately, the robots could be placed into a pipe system and left there indefinitely, conducting nonstop monitoring, Chatzigeorgiou said.

"We proved that the concept works," Chatzigeorgiou said.

Membrane Sensitivity

The researchers believe the robot can detect leaks 1/10 to 1/20 the size capable of current methods because of the membrane's sensitivity. They also hope the device will be much more affordable than current systems.

Image: Christine Daniloff/MIT (Rendering of robotic device courtesy of the researchers)

The system can detect leaks of just 1 to 2 millimeters in size, and at relatively low pressure.

Kamal Youcef-Toumi, co-author of the research and an MIT mechanical engineering professor, added, "This technology allows for an unambiguous and reliable sensing of very small leaks that often go undetected for long periods of time."

The idea was presented at two recent international conferences—the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Hong Kong and the American Control Conference in Portland, OR—and has been reported on in several papers.

Now researchers are talking to gas and water companies about setting up field tests under real conditions.

 

   

Tagged categories: Colleges and Universities; Gas detectors; Inspection; Pipelines; Research; Robotics; Technology

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
 
Coatings Adhesion Testers
 
The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
Enduroguard -
The Tough Cable
for a Tough Industry.
 
Reduce maintenance costs and down time, increase job site safety with Enduroguard Cable. Available exclusively from SAFE Systems. UL listed, flexible, abrasion resistant and cut resistant.
 

 
RBW Enterprises, Inc.
 
Robotic Blasting and Painting
 
When using the FasterBlaster and FasterPainter, blasting and painting can be conducted simultaneously. View the video for a full explanation of the operation.
 

 
PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
 
We Protect and Beautify the World
 
PPG is widely recognized as a world leader in protective and marine coatings, developing innovative, cutting-edge products and services.
 

 
DeFelsko Corporation
 
PosiTector SHD Shore Hardness Durometer
 
PosiTector SHD measures the hardness of non-metallic materials. Features a measurement timer, auto ignore mode and internal memory. Shore A or D available.
 

 
Safway Services
 
Your Access Advantage. QUIKDECK®
 
Provides safe, factory-floor-like working conditions. Can be engineered to fit almost any shape, structure or size. Modular platform easily assembled from just a few basic components. Excellent containment. Applications include vessels, offshore rigs and bridges.
 

 
Advanced Recycling Systems
 
ADVANCED RECYCLING SYSTEMS (ARS)
 
Recycling Machines, Dust Collectors, Rapid Deployment units are time-tested and approved for the rugged industrial environment. Contact ARS today!
(330)536-8210
 

 
Corrosion Probe, Inc.
 
From Detection to Correction
 
Corrosion Probe, Inc. has the Most Concrete Coatings Experience and Expertise. Contact us today at
860-767-4402, www.cpiengineering.com
 

 
Bullard
 
Upgrade with the Bullard GenVX
 
Click here to learn how you can get a GenVX Helmet and Win.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us