2. Using microwaves to measure pipe wall thinning

Using microwaves to measure pipe wall thinning

  • School of Engineering/Graduate School of Engineering
  • Micro-Nano Mechanical Science and Engineering

Yang Ju [Prof.]


Outline of Seeds

Recent years have seen frequent reports of accidents triggered by pipe wall thinning around the world. If we want to ensure that peoples lives are safe and secure, we must further improve the techniques we use to monitor aging energy devices. Part of this means coming up with techniques to monitor piping statussomething that has so far not been achieved despite our desperate need to do so. Currently, areas of pipe suspected to have thinning walls are subject to nondestructive testing vial ultrasound, but this approach requires a massive amount of labor and does not allow for localized inspections. This makes it even more critical and urgent that we develop a wide-range, nondestructive pipe inspection method that is fast and simple while coming with remote measurement and monitoring techniques for pipe wall thinning that allow us to track the status of pipes in aging energy devices. Our research team is looking to solve these problems by developing just such a pipe monitoring technique.

Our team is the first in the world to develop a wide-area, nondestructive pipe inspection technique that is both fast and simple. The technique has been shown to effectively inspect a 900-mm length of pipe with a thickness of at least 3% t. It is also capable of reading thickness to 0.02-mm accuracy over the entire 900-mm inspection length.

Novelty and originality of this research

Our team has come up with a wide-area, high-speed, nondestructive microwave inspection techniques for pipes that measures internal pipe thickness by looking at changes in the wavelength of the microwaves generated by the internal pipe wall. It is based on the principle of microwave propagation within a circular waveguide and the fact that the wavelength of microwaves propagated within a pipe depends on the pipes internal diameter. At the same time, we need to be able to quickly measure changes in the wavelength of microwaves propagated inside the pipe in order to rapidly detect internal pipe wall thickness. By forcing microwaves to resonate inside the pipe, our team has been able to conduct supersensitive measurements of microwave wavelength.


Piping, pipe wall thinning, quantitative evaluation, monitoring, microwaves, manufacturing industry, materials, healthcare and social services, safety and reliability, shared core technologies (measurement, evaluation, inspection)


  • Remote Measurement of the Pipe Thickness Reduction by Microwaves