Experimental Evaluation of Novel Hybrid Microwave/Ultrasonic Technique to Locate and Characterize Pipe Wall Thinning

Wissam M. Alobaidi, Clifford E. Kintner, Entidhar A. Alkuam, Kota Sasaki, Noritaka Yusa, Hidetoshi Hashizume, Eric Sandgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Research using microwaves (MWs) to detect pipe wall thinning (PWT) distinguishes the presence of wall thinning, but does not accurately locate the discontinuities. Ultrasonic testing (UT) is capable of accurately locating the PWT defect, but cannot do so without time-consuming linear scanning. This novel work combines the MW technique as a way to predict the location of a series of PWT specimens, and the UT technique as a way to characterize the PWT specimens in terms of location, depth, and profile shape. The UT probe is guided to the predicted location derived from the Phase One MW results, generating the Phase Two results to determine accurate location, depth measurement, and profile shape detection. The work uses the previously successful experimental setup for testing of an aluminum pipe with 154.051mm inner diameter (ID) and 1 m length. A vector network analyzer (VNA) generates a MW sweeping frequency range of 1.4-2.3 GHz. This signal is propagated within reference pipes with both open end and short-circuit configurations for calibration of the system. The calibrated system is used to detect the presence and location of six PWT specimens, with two profile shapes, at three depths of thinning and three locations along the pipe. The predicted locations from Phase One are then used to guide a calibrated, manually guided straight beam UT probe to the predicted position. From that point, the UT probe is used in order to accurately localize and determine the depth and shape profile of the specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011501
JournalJournal of Pressure Vessel Technology, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1


  • microwave testing
  • pipe defects
  • pipe wall thinning
  • probes
  • ultrasonic testing


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental Evaluation of Novel Hybrid Microwave/Ultrasonic Technique to Locate and Characterize Pipe Wall Thinning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this