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Contenuto archiviato il 2024-06-16

Quality assurance and structural evaluation of GRP pipes

Final Report Summary - SURE2GRIP (Quality assurance and structural evaluation of GRP pipes)

The ultimate aim of the SURE2GRIP project was to develop novel non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques, sensors and systems capable of assessing the quality assurance and structural integrity of the 'production' and 'in-service' glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) pipes and pipe joints. This key enabling technology would facilitate the use of GRP materials without the need for cost-prohibitive engineering processes such as secondary containment 'over-wrap'. The highly reliable and sensitive NDT methods developed would also expand the use of GRP pipe into other applications that were traditionally the domain of corrosion-prone metallic that resulted in a series of catastrophes.

The scientific and technical objectives of the project were the following:
- significantly develop and improve NDT techniques so that GRP pipe and joint defects such as 'kissing bonds' (KBs) are detected early in the production process;
- conduct inspections faster and hence reduce maintenance downtime by automating NDT techniques;
- deliver NDT techniques, validated in their individual areas of intended use;
- increase accuracy by eliminating operator subjectivity, increase safety and reduce instances of failure.

SURE2GRIP resulted in the following major achievements:
- a set of 6- and 12-inch pipe samples was designed and produced covering the main types of joints. Artificial defects were produced in the samples to mimic the types and sizes of defects sought.
- research was carried out into the use of radiographically opaque adhesive additives to enhance the detect joint defects.
- a low-energy digital radiography system was designed and built.
- a dual laser shearography system capable of separately resolving in-plane strain was developed and produced.
- a pulsed thermography system was built using an advanced flash excitation system.
- a feasibility study into the use of Lamb waves to detect and stimulate thermal emission from defects was carried out.
- a phased array ultrasonic system capable of rapid large area coverage using very little water was developed.
- a robotic scanner capable of carrying and controlling the thermography, phased array ultrasonic technology (PAUT) and radiography systems was designed and built.
- the above systems were integrated with the scanner to produce the SURE2GRIP GRP pipe inspection system.