EngD student, 2013 intake
Research: Improvements in ultrasonic inspection techniques for high-density polyethylene pipe joints
University: Imperial College London
Sponsoring company: EDF Energy (Nuclear Generation)
Background: Undergraduate Masters in Physics, Imperial College London, June 2013. My final year project involved simulation of waves in nuclear fusion plasmas, which shares many technical aspects and ideals with my current research project.
EDF energy and other nuclear energy providors internationally are currently replacing significant amounts of their existing tertiary cooling pipework with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes because of the reduced maintenance and increased safety this brings. HDPE pipe joints are occasionally produced containing unwanted defects. These defects can reduce the safe operational lifetime of the pipe.
My project seeks to improve ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation (NDE) performed on HDPE pipe joints upon installation and during service with the aim of developing a system for accurately and reliably locating and describing any potential joint defects. Specifically, the project needs to associate real joint inspection data with simulations of the associated joint defect scenario. This provides confidence in these simulations as part of a modelling tool that can aid in the setup and calibration of inspection equipment as well as advance techniques for analysis of inspection data. In future, these advancements should reduce the risk of HDPE pipe failure in many of EDF Energy’s nuclear power stations.
Reference for phased array on HDPE pipe: D. MacLennan, J. Allen, I.G. Pettigrew, C.R. Bird, Phased Array Inspection Solution for HDPE Butt Welds, BINDT, 2012.
Imperial College project description: