Embedded Wireless Sensing
Inductosense is developing wireless, battery-free, sensors that can be permanently fixed to a product or structure for fast, repeatable inspections of cracks, defects or corrosion. The sensors can operate underneath coatings, insulation or repairs and can also be embedded into a material. They are entirely passive and the power and signal are provided remotely by non-contact inductive coupling from a handheld measurement probe . The technology is referred to as the Wireless And Non Destructive (WAND) system.
The WAND Evaluation System is ideally suited for measuring the thickness of structures, such as a pipe wall. It consists of a pack of 20 sensors, a hand-held measurement probe and a sensor fixing kit. The ultrasonic A-scan is displayed on the probe’s screen along with the calculated thickness and the data can also be viewed and analysed using the web-based software.
|Evaluation System Specifications|
|Thickness range||4mm (5MHz) – 100mm (2MHz)|
|Transducer frequency||2MHz or 5MHz|
|Min pipe radius||64mm|
|Probe sensor separation||Up to 50mm|
|Sensor dimensions||65mm diameter, 1mm thick|
|Max sensor operating temperature||150 deg C|
The WAND sensors can be cost-effectively deployed across structures at locations where conventional Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is undertaken. Permanent sensing enables repeatable measurements and trending of data over time. Once the sensors are attached the measurement can be taken quickly without accurate alignment saving inspection time and costs.
The WAND sensors can be embedded underneath a coating or insulation layer. An NDT measurement of the underlying structure can then be taken without removing the layer. This saves the cost, time and down-time of preparing a structure for an inspection.
The WAND sensors can be permanently fixed into a structure (such as a wind turbine blade). An inspection on internal components of the structure can then be made by bringing the handheld probe close to the outside. This can facilitate NDT during manufacture and enables through life inspection.
Composite wraps are often used for internal and external corrosion on pipes and other structures. Once the repair is applied it is usually not possible to monitor the underlying structure using ultrasonic methods. The WAND sensor can be embedded underneath a composite wrap 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 electronics fitted to a unmanned vehicle (such as a crawler or drone).
The passive WAND sensors are thin and lightweight and can be permanently embedded into a product during it’s manufacture. This enables through-life NDT of the product from exactly the same location each time.
Inductosense is a spin-out from the Ultrasonics and Non-Destructive Testing Group at the University of Bristol and was formed in 2015.
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.
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