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Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2542; doi:10.3390/s17112542

Structural Health Monitoring of Above-Ground Storage Tank Floors by Ultrasonic Guided Wave Excitation on the Tank Wall

1
Brunel Innovation Centre (BIC), Granta Park, Great Abington, Cambridgeshire CB21 6AL, UK
2
TWI Ltd., Granta Park, Great Abington, Cambridgeshire CB21 6AL, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 4 November 2017
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Abstract

There is an increasing interest in using ultrasonic guided waves to assess the structural degradation of above-ground storage tank floors. This is a non-invasive and economically viable means of assessing structural degradation. Above-ground storage tank floors are ageing assets which need to be inspected periodically to avoid structural failure. At present, normal-stress type transducers are bonded to the tank annular chime to generate a force field in the thickness direction of the floor and excite fundamental symmetric and asymmetric Lamb modes. However, the majority of above-ground storage tanks in use have no annular chime due to a simplified design and/or have a degraded chime due to corrosion. This means that transducers cannot be mounted on the chime to assess structural health according to the present technology, and the market share of structural health monitoring of above-ground storage tank floors using ultrasonic guided wave is thus limited. Therefore, the present study investigates the potential of using the tank wall to bond the transducer instead of the tank annular chime. Both normal and shear type transducers were investigated numerically, and results were validated using a 4.1 m diameter above-ground storage tank. The study results show shear mode type transducers bonded to the tank wall can be used to assess the structural health of the above-ground tank floors using an ultrasonic guided wave. It is also shown that for the cases studied there is a 7.4 dB signal-to-noise ratio improvement at 45 kHz for the guided wave excitation on the tank wall using shear mode transducers. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasonic guided waves; above-ground storage tanks; tank floor inspection; numerical simulations; non-destructive testing ultrasonic guided waves; above-ground storage tanks; tank floor inspection; numerical simulations; non-destructive testing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lowe, P.S.; Duan, W.; Kanfoud, J.; Gan, T.-H. Structural Health Monitoring of Above-Ground Storage Tank Floors by Ultrasonic Guided Wave Excitation on the Tank Wall. Sensors 2017, 17, 2542.

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