Embedded Wireless Sensing
Inductosense has developed proprietary wireless sensors that can be permanently embedded into structures or products to detect defects or measure thickness. The technology can be applied to a range of markets reducing the overall costs of inspecting structures and making inspection quicker and easier. It can also be applied to new markets and applications that are not accessible to existing ultrasonic non-destructive testing systems. Inductosense is a spin-out from the University of Bristol based on leading research from the Ultrasonics and Non Destructive Testing research group.
The Wireless And Non-Destructive (WAND) system is an innovative approach to ultrasonic non-destructive inspection. It enables fast, cost-effective and reliable inspection of structures and products. The WAND system consists of a thin embeddable ultrasonic sensor and a measurement probe that remotely couples to the sensor to provide the power and take the measurement. The sensor does not contain wires or a battery and can therefore be permanently attached to, or embedded into, a structure. The system can be used to detect defects (eg. across a wind turbine blade), or to measure thickness (eg. monitor pipe corrosion).
The patent pending WAND sensors can be fixed to a structure under a layer of material (such as insulation, cladding, coating) and the inspection performed in seconds by bringing the probe nearby. This alleviates the need to remove the layer in order to perform the inspection, enables unskilled inspection and reduces inspection time and cost. The sensors can also be embedded into, or fixed to the underside of, structures (eg a composite car wheel). The WAND technology enables companies to supply products with in-built sensors for reliable through-life inspection.
The WAND sensors can be embedded underneath insulation on a structure. A conventional ultrasonic NDT measurement can then be performed, by an unskilled operator, through the insulation without the need to remove it saving the overall time and cost of inspection.
The WAND sensor has a thin profile, small foot print and is passive and wireless. It can be permanently fixed to the inside a structure (eg turbine blade) and the NDT measurement taken outside the structure. This can facilitae NDT during manufacture and enables through life inspection. A number of sensors can also be fixed across the structure cost effectively.
Composite patches are often used to repair and reinforce damage on structures. Due to poor consolidation on the repaired area it is usually not possible to inspect the underlying structure. The WAND sensor can be embedded underneath a composite patch enabling the inspection to be performed on the repaired area.
Performing NDT measurements on large structures or difficult to reach structures can require significant skilled manpower, equipment and time. Once the WAND sensor is fixed to a structure, the measurement can be made remotely with the WAND probe fitted to a unmanned vehicle.
The passive WAND sensors are thin and lightweight and can be permanently embedded into a product during manufacture. This enables an unskilled NDT inspection to be performed throughout the lifetime of the product.
Bamboo is leading the technical development of the embedded sensor technology which he developed over the course of his PhD and post-doctoral research.
Anthony is a reader at the University of Bristol and worked on the development of the embedded sensor technology. He is a member of the British Institute for NDT technical committee.
Paul is a professor at the University of Bristol and a recognized expert in NDT. He has previous experience of working in spinout companies and commercialisation of NDT technology.
Matt has extensive experience in developing early stage companies and has undertaken commercial roles and directorships in a variety of engineering companies.
Chris is a successful entrepreneur who has successfully grown three start-ups in to multi-million pound business and won several fast growth awards including the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 and Sunday Times Techtrack 100 winner.
Aidong is an IP Group business manager specialising in commercialisation of university IP. He has over 25 years’ experience in engineering, technical marketing, technology investment and consultancy in diverse industries.
Inductosense has received a £489,243 funding boost from the Government. It is one of the first businesses in the UK to secure funding through a new programme designed to move ideas and innovation out of universities and into the marketplace.
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