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Content archived on 2024-06-18

Long range ultrasonic condition monitoring


Strategic Objectives: Development of "technological tools. The consortium proposes to:
- Develop novel long-range ultrasonic condition-monitoring (LRUCM) systems for finding degradation in engineering assets and
- Disseminate this technology and associated training to a large group of SMEs i.e. the 16,000 companies involved in the €225 billion inspection and maintenance sector in Europe.

The project will develop new techniques for inspecting Europe's engineering assets (Pipelines, Rails, Cable stayed/suspension bridges and Sheet piled coastal defences, etc.), which are degrading, thus posing risk of failure. Europe's maintenance/inspection budget for these assets is ~€225 billion/annum.

Even so, failures result in the following catastrophes:
- Oil/gas pipelines. Spillages from pipelines involved a total of 1,000 fatalities and serious injuries.
- Rails. More than 2,500 rail fractures occur annually causing delays and derailments.
- Bridges. Most of the world's cable stayed/suspension bridges are in danger due to corrosion of their cables.
- Sea/river defences.

Sheet piling is corroding endangering their integrity and risking high value real estate. The Technical Solution Proposed Recent developments (made largely by Core Group SMEs) have used guided ultrasound with ranges of 10m or more (Long-Range Ultrasonic Testing (LRUT)). LRUT can solve the otherwise intractable problem of inspecting engineering assets. It has the advantage of full volume coverage and the ability to test long lengths of structure from one point. Inaccessible regions can also be inspected from an accessible location.

The development of LRUT technology will help the ~16,000 EU inspection and maintenance SMEs whose total activity represents a €225 billion business sector. Business trends have seen asset owners (oil companies, railway, Electricity utilities, bridge authorities, etc) outsource their entire inspection and maintenance requirements to specialist service SME's.

Call for proposal

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Participants (21)