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Sensors 2017, 17(10), 2227; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17102227

Analytical Modeling Tool for Design of Hydrocarbon Sensitive Optical Fibers

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533 Abu Dhabi, UAE
Department of Mechanical Engineering, 817 Sherbrooke Street, Room 270, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada.
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Received: 13 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Oil Applications)
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Abstract

Pipelines are the main transportation means for oil and gas products across large distances. Due to the severe conditions they operate in, they are regularly inspected using conventional Pipeline Inspection Gages (PIGs) for corrosion damage. The motivation for researching a real-time distributed monitoring solution arose to mitigate costs and provide a proactive indication of potential failures. Fiber optic sensors with polymer claddings provide a means of detecting contact with hydrocarbons. By coating the fibers with a layer of metal similar in composition to that of the parent pipeline, corrosion of this coating may be detected when the polymer cladding underneath is exposed to the surrounding hydrocarbons contained within the pipeline. A Refractive Index (RI) change occurs in the polymer cladding causing a loss in intensity of a traveling light pulse due to a reduction in the fiber’s modal capacity. Intensity losses may be detected using Optical Time Domain Reflectometry (OTDR) while pinpointing the spatial location of the contact via time delay calculations of the back-scattered pulses. This work presents a theoretical model for the above sensing solution to provide a design tool for the fiber optic cable in the context of hydrocarbon sensing following corrosion of an external metal coating. Results are verified against the experimental data published in the literature. View Full-Text
Keywords: distributed sensing; optical time domain reflectometry; polymer clad silica fibers; corrosion monitoring; oil pipelines; pipeline integrity management distributed sensing; optical time domain reflectometry; polymer clad silica fibers; corrosion monitoring; oil pipelines; pipeline integrity management
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Al Handawi, K.; Vahdati, N.; Shiryayev, O.; Lawand, L. Analytical Modeling Tool for Design of Hydrocarbon Sensitive Optical Fibers. Sensors 2017, 17, 2227.

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