PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download our free Transmission Pipeline Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


MIT Robot Pinpoints Pipe Leaks

Friday, June 20, 2014

More items for Program/Project Management

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.

Ethox Chemicals LLC
Ethoflex® ER instantly upgrades your epoxy!

The only epoxy additive that improves flexibility, corrosion resistance, toughness, and adhesion, without hurting pot life, cure time, or increasing VOCs.


Chicago Corrosion Group
Vendor-neutral corrosion consulting

What you don’t know about painting is costing you a fortune. Call today to see how CCG’s vendor-neutral, owner’s advocacy saves our clients millions.


SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
http://www.sspc.org/

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !


SAFE Systems, Inc.
SAFE Systems'
Blast Lights &
Deadman Switches

Halogen or LED blast lights available with our NEW urethane bumper. Switches available in many colors for color coding your hoses.


PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
Industrial strength performance in ONE can.

Now get the durability and protection of two components in one can: Amercoat® ONE, PSX® ONE and Sigmadur ONE.


Nationwide Overspray
Profession Overspray Removal Services

The Finest Name in Safe Overspray Removal. We specialize in removing all contaminants from any surface. Family Owned and Operated for 33 years! Fully insured. Satisfaction is guaranteed.


Dow Polyurethane Systems
Choose the Right Coat

Dow’s high-performance, protective polyurethane spray elastomer system increases durability for steel and concrete applications.


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


Specialty Products, Inc. (SPI)
SIGN UP TODAY – HANDS ON TRAINING

After 40 years in the coating business, SPI has trained more industry professionals than any other polyurea manufacturer. Now offering more classes at more locations than ever before!


Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
Portable Power from Absolute Equipment

•Compressors
•Lighting Systems
•Generators
•Light Compaction
Sales • Rental • Service
Call 1-866-931-6655
Over a century of
providing excellence.

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design 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
 

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com