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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 631715, 7 pages
Research Article

Feasibility Study on Crack Detection of Pipelines Using Piezoceramic Transducers

1School of Urban Construction, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434023, China
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA

Received 5 July 2013; Accepted 5 September 2013

Academic Editor: Ting-Hua Yi

Copyright © 2013 Guofeng Du et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Damage detection of pipelines is of great significance in terms of safety in the oil and gas industry. Currently, lead zirconate titanates (PZTs) are the most popular piezoceramic materials and show great potential in the applications of structural health monitoring. In this paper, the authors present a feasibility study on the crack detection and severity monitoring of pipelines using PZT transducers. Due to their electromechanical properties, the piezoceramic transducers can be either as an actuator or a sensor to generate or detect the stress wave. The active sensing approach was applied to monitor the crack severity of pipelines. The crack in the stress wave propagation path can be regarded as a stress relief, which reduces the received energy by the sensors. In the test, eight different operating conditions were tested in which one artificial crack was created ranging from 0 mm to 10.5 mm. A wavelet packet-based crack severity index was also built to quantitatively identify the pipeline damage condition at various crack depths.