Uncertainties in the calculation of the lifetime of superheated steam pipes in power plants that contain a minor defect create situations with potentially catastrophic results, typically costing 120 million euros per event. Superheated steam pipes are periodically inspected and depending on their defects sizes they may be replaced after a lifetime assessment has been performed. Common errors in defect sizing create dangerous situations as size underestimation will result in a pipe prone to failure.
Inetec and Enkon, often face this difficult issue when performing inspections for their customers, thus the need for a frequent in-service and accurate monitoring of defects on pipes was identified.
The final goal of the HotPhasedArray project is the development of a Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system for superheated steam pipes.