Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Sensor Could Help Avert Pipeline Failures

Date:
October 9, 2008
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Summary:
Researchers have developed a prototype sensor that quickly detects very small amounts of hydrogen accumulation in coated pipeline steel. The new sensor could provide early warning of pipes that have accumulated excessive amounts of hydrogen and avert potentially disastrous failures of pipelines.

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Colorado School of Mines (CSM) have developed a prototype sensor that quickly detects very small amounts of hydrogen accumulation in coated pipeline steel.

The new sensor could provide early warning of pipes that have accumulated excessive amounts of hydrogen—a notorious source of embrittlement—and avert potentially disastrous failures of pipelines carrying hydrogen fuel.

Hydrogen is attractive as a fuel because it burns cleanly without carbon emissions and can be derived from domestic sources. However one long-recognized challenge is that hydrogen can cause gradual embrittlement in conventional pipelines by slowly diffusing into the metal. The NIST/CSM sensor, described today at the 7th International Pipeline Conference,* could monitor for hydrogen buildup before a pipeline actually fails in service, or during testing or production.

The nondestructive, non-contact hydrogen sensor is approximately 4 square inches and is designed to be a portable sensor to make measurements on excavated or unexcavated pipeline steels. The sensor sends a current through the pipe and measures changes in impedance (resistance with a function of depth) as an indicator of hydrogen content within the steel and the overall steel pipe integrity. The hydrogen sensor is based on electromagnetic concepts to generate alternating currents into the pipeline steel, which in turn induces an opposing magnetic field. Any change in the hydrogen content in the steel modifies the current, resistivity, and thus the impedance.

NIST laboratory and field test results show that a pipe’s impedance, and thus resistivity, increases with increasing hydrogen content. The measurement sensitivity is exceptional: the sensor can measure hydrogen content levels in pipeline steel well below 1 part per million (ppm). High strength pipeline steels can tolerate only a few parts per million of hydrogen before significant problems arise.

By contrast, conventional analytical techniques do not have sensitivity or accuracy below 1 ppm. The new hydrogen sensor also acts as a forewarning or preventative monitoring system to detect the agents that actually cause the flaws, cracks and defects before they arise. Most traditional nondestructive tools used in the pipeline industry (such as ultrasonics and magnetic flux leakage) are used for determination of cracks, corrosion or other flaws that have already occurred.

The sensor development was supported in part by the Minerals Management Service and Department of Transportation.

* A. Lasseigne, K. Koenig, J. Jackson, D. Olson, B. Mishra, T.A. Siewert and J.D. McColskey. Advanced non-destructive hydrogen sensors to prevent material degradation from hydrogen damage. Paper presented Oct. 1 at IPC2008, 7th International Pipeline Conference, Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, 2008, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology. "New Sensor Could Help Avert Pipeline Failures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081002172146.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2008, October 9). New Sensor Could Help Avert Pipeline Failures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081002172146.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology. "New Sensor Could Help Avert Pipeline Failures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081002172146.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — A SpaceX Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, carrying a custom-built 3-D printer into space. NASA envisions astronauts one day using the printer to make their own spare parts. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins