In Focus der BAM: Fibre optic sensors for continual monitoring of pipelines

Fibre optic sensor installed on a pipe

Source: BAM

At the 2017 Hanover Messe 2017, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) will be demonstrating how fibre-optic sensors can be used to detect damage to pipelines at an early stage. The project "Application of distributed acoustic and fibre-optic sensors for continuous monitoring of pipelines" (AGIFAMOR) is an example of BAM’s research power in the ‘Infrastructure’ focus area.

How can pipeline systems be continuously monitored and damage detected at an early stage? In a feasibility study, BAM is investigating the use of distributed acoustic and fibre-optic sensors for damage detection in order to enhance pipeline safety in the future.

Sensors can detect the smallest damage

Even the smallest leaks in industrial pipelines transporting gases or liquids can cause serious damage. It is therefore all the more important to detect and monitor potentially dangerous changes at an early stage. A team of BAM scientists in the project ‘Application of distributed acoustic and fibre-optic sensors for continuous monitoring of pipelines" (AGIFAMOR) are investigating how pipeline systems can be continuously monitored for damage such as cracks, fractures or deposits. For this purpose, application techniques called vibro-acoustic sensor fibres that can detect damage based on noise (vibrations) are being developed and tested. The distributed acoustic and fibre-optic sensors should be able to identify and reliably detect various types of damage (cracks, deposits, pitting, etc.) relying on altered sound images and reference measurements.

Interdisciplinary team contribute many years of experience

"The project’s aim is to continuously monitor extensive pipeline structures even under severe conditions, for example at high temperatures", explains project coordinator Dr.-Ing. Abdel Karim Habib. The interdisciplinary project integrates cross-disciplinary and long-term experience in chemical safety engineering, containment systems for dangerous goods and non-destructive testing. In addition, unique test facilities are available – for example, full-scale tests rigs at BAM’s Technical Safety Test Site (BAM TTS) at Horstwalde in Brandenburg.

The project is funded by BAM alone without any other third-party financing and the following divisions are involved: Gases, Gas Plants; Constructive Fire and Explosion Safety for Gases; Tanks for Dangerous Goods and Accident Mechanics; Sensors, Measurement and Testing Methods; Fibre optic sensors; and Service Loading Fatigue and Structural Integrity.

BAM at Hannover Messe 2017

BAM’s stand in Research & Technology Hall 2 Stand A02 provides visitors with a broad insight into the AGIFAMOR project.

About BAM

BAM promotes safety in technology and chemistry.
As a BMWi departmental research institute, BAM performs research, testing and offers advisory support to protect people, the environment and material goods. Its activity in the fields of materials science, materials engineering and chemistry is focussed on the technical safety of products and processes. BAM’s research is directed towards substances, materials, building elements, components and facilities as well as natural and technical systems important for the national economy and relevant to society. It also tests and assesses their safe handling and operation. BAM develops and validates analysis procedures and assessment methods, models and necessary standards and provides science-based services for the German industry in a European and international framework.

Safety creates markets.
BAM sets and represents high standards for safety in technology and chemistry for Germany and its global markets to further develop the successful German quality culture "Made in Germany“.