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Pipeline Fouling Severity & Condition Monitoring
The great challenges for various industrial processes (food, water, power generation, petrochemical production, wellbore, water/steam generator, boiler, furnace etc.) come from fouling/scaling issues that could lead corrosion, erosion, and structural degradation. Several sensing technologies (ultrasonic, quartz resonator, x-ray and gamma-ray instruments etc.) are available for evaluating fouling severity. However, it becomes very challenge for deploying any of these instruments inside industrial environment for real-time and online fouling monitoring and detection because of elevate temperature (300-900°C) and many constrains.
Fiber optic sensor has shown its advantages for measuring fouling/scaling severity. Although fiber sensor has been used for measuring physical parameter, such as temperature, pressure, strain, vibration etc., but it is not directly measuring fouling thickness or chemicals from inside the industrial system, rather measuring hot-spot, thermal profile variation from a particular surface, pipe section, or circumferential strain variation etc. from outside the pipeline, or section of the industrial system. The sensor doesn't need intrusively install inside a pipeline, which still can measure fouling formation and its trend. This indirect sensing method make it possible for many industrial fouling detection, where the localized hot-spot, mechanical structure degradation, and anomalous thermal event can be monitored with fiber sensor arrays.

The fouling detection with the fiber sensor will require FBG sensor having highly thermal stability and survivability. Several types of fiber sensor could be used for such applications, such as chiral grating, femtosecond laser inscribed FBGs, Type-1B, Type-IIA, and Type-II FBGs etc. It should be pointed out that these fiber sensors also can be used for cryogenic thermal transient and phase transition monitoring. AtGrating could provide fouling severity monitoring for production efficiency control and optimization. The utimate goal in using these sensors is to change regular maintenance as condition-based maintenance. The obtained "Average temperature", "Localized temperature", "Thermal baseline trend", and "Dynamic temperature" will be integrated together for reporting the status of "Pipeline Fouling Severity".
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