April 24, 2024
Pipeline Damage

New Technology Developed for the Early Detection of Pipeline Damage

The Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science has recently introduced an innovative system designed to prevent and detect damage to buried pipelines before incidents occur. This advanced technology aims to address the main causes of pipeline failures, particularly third-party interference (TPI), which can lead to environmental contamination, explosions, fires, sinkholes, and other serious risks.

The newly developed system by the Non-Destructive Metrology Group at KRISS enables real-time monitoring of potential damage activities around buried pipelines. By employing precise measurement techniques and analytical models of elastic wave propagation upon impact, the system can identify risks from TPI or other threats and issue early warnings to prevent pipeline incidents.

Central to the technology is a pair of sensors strategically placed several hundred meters apart along the pipeline, allowing for the continuous monitoring of impact signals between the sensors. This setup facilitates the immediate calculation of the time and location of impacts, akin to how seismic centers detect vibrations and pinpoint the source of earthquakes based on seismic wave arrival times.

The sensors are designed to be easily installed on accessible parts of buried pipelines, such as valve chambers or manholes, and are equipped with sophisticated analytical algorithms to filter out extraneous signals like traffic noise and other background interference. Extensive field experiments have confirmed the system’s effectiveness in detecting impacts exceeding approximately 20 kilonewtons with an impressive accuracy rate of over 95%.

Unlike traditional monitoring approaches that primarily focus on detecting leaks post-damage, this groundbreaking system represents the world’s first early detection system for long-distance pipeline damage. The technology has already been transferred to companies in South Korea, and patent applications have been filed in the United States and Europe.

Dr. Dong-Jin Yoon, a principal researcher involved in the development of this technology, emphasized the significance of this innovation in enhancing public safety and reducing social costs associated with pipeline accidents. He highlighted the critical role of the technology in proactively preventing catastrophic incidents and minimizing the reliance on post-failure reports for pipeline maintenance and safety.

With its potential application across various pipeline infrastructures, including water, oil, gas, and heat supply systems, this cutting-edge early detection system heralds a new era of smart monitoring for buried pipelines. The technology underscores KRISS’s commitment to advancing pipeline safety and lays the foundation for more proactive and effective maintenance strategies in the future.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research.
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it.