Smart Linings For Pipe and Infrastructure

Sensors & Robotics

Sensors to measure key attributes required for quality control were designed, prototyped and field tested.

The University of Technology Sydney developed four sensors to provide key measurements for quality control of installed liners.

  • Defect size measurement of CIPP and Spray Liners (robot mounted).
  • Spray liner thickness measurement (robot mounted).
  • CAC and Geopolymer thickness (handheld).
  • CAC and Geopolymer pH measurement (handheld).

This video provides a brief overview of the sensors.

Project Deliverables

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Defect Size Measurement

A sensor to measure defects in water liners (CIPP and spray liners) was developed using a combination of an infra-red laser ring projector, cameras, and an on-board computer. This sensor can measure folds, wrinkles, dimples, and bulges. It is mounted on a mini Pipe Inspection Robot. Accurately measuring the size of the imperfections in the liner is not possible using conventional CCTV and it is important to determine if the installed liner is acceptable for service, or if it should be replaced. Often a difficult decision for project managers. The development of this sensor includes a graphical user interface to allow interpretation of the scan and measurement of any user identified defects.

For pipes sized DN450 to DN600.

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Spray Lining Thickness Measurement

A sensor to measure the thickness of spray liner applied using ultrasound. a key measurement identified for quality control (QC) was the thickness of application. Spray lining machines generally provide quality assurance (QA) data including the amount of resin used and rate of advance through the pipeline which can be used to provide an estimated thickness of application. Combining this QA data with QC testing will provide high confidence that the products have been correctly applied.
As spray liners are generally applied at a thickness of 3mm, sub-millimetre accuracy for measurements is required. The accuracy achieved by the equipment is: within 0.5 mm in the lab and the field trial results were within 1mm of the planned spray lining thickness.

For pipes sized DN450 to DN600.

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CAC and Geopolymer Thickness Measurement

Application thickness is a key quality control check for CACs and geopolymers. UTS developed a sensor using ultrasound technology that can measure the thickness of the CAC or geopolymer application by detecting the interface between the liner and the host material. This allows spot measurements to be taken at any location, whereas using a cover meter requires the installation of a metallic bar prior to liner installation – limiting the ability to check the liner thickness to a small area.

This sensor is designed for initial non-destructive post-curing quality control. CACs in particular can gain thickness over time, so using this sensor years after application will not provide relevant data.

For pipes and maintenance structures sized for personnel entry.

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Acid Permeation Sensor

CAC and geopolymer liners provide corrosion resistance for wastewater assets. Knowing when the acid has permeated the liner and started to attack the host structure was identified as a key measurement for long-term performance and asset management decision making. A very low impact measurement device was developed to measure the pH level at various depths on the liner to determine how far the acid has penetrated.

For pipes and maintenance structures sized for personnel entry.


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