Microwave based monitoring system for corrosion under insulation
Herd, David S.
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This thesis presents the work undertaken by the author within the institute of Signals, Sensors and Systems in the school of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. The main aim of the research was to design and develop a non-destructive sensor capable of monitoring the onset of corrosion under insulation. The development of the sensor has involved the design of a complete system to stabilise and control the sensor, the development of a COMSOL model to understand the progression of corrosion to determine the remaining useful life of the asset, and an investigation into horn antenna design to inform the design of the optimal sensor head. The designed sensor system was tested with a variety of samples to benchmark the effectiveness of the sensor and prove the concept viability as a product. Experiments proved the concept of sensing defects in metallic surface with or without insulation layers. Samples simulating real life corrosion were tested to prove the resilience of the sensor when defects were less guaranteed. Remaining useful life estimations were conducted on simulated defects to show the sensor ability to become a smart sensor using prognostic health management techniques. Finally the environmental tests were conducted to ensure the sensor was indeed nondestructive, confirming that all aspects of the research had been successfully completed.