TUBEDET – Non-invasive online layer detection inside fluid-filled hoses using guided acoustic waves

Time frame: 01.09.2020 – 31.10.2021

WIPANO: Funding priority public research – further development of inventions

The formation of layers and deposits in hoses is a major industrial and societal problem and includes both the formation of organic deposits (e.g. biofilms) and inorganic layers (e.g. lime). The formation of layers in hoses leads to high economic damages in many industrial sectors, e.g. due to clogging of components, the reduction in performance of equipment or complete plant failures. Optical methods have been used up to now for non-invasive layer detection in hoses. However, these only work with transparent hose material and unclouded medium, which severely restricts the range of application. At the Institute for Sensor and Actuator Technology at Coburg University of Applied Sciences, an innovative acoustic method and a corresponding device for non-invasive layer detection in liquid-filled hoses have been developed and patented (EP2419722A1). By means of a flexible and force-fitted sleeve with integrated piezoelectric transducers for the generation and detection of guided acoustic waves, this method enables online condition monitoring of the formation of deposits in hoses. The aim of the project is the further development of the method described in the patent “Device for online detection of deposits on inner surfaces of fluid-filled flexible hoses” from technology maturity level 3 (TRL 3 = proof of feasibility under laboratory conditions has been provided) to a demonstrator with electronics and software (TRL 5-6). This development step is intended to contribute to marketing the technology developed and patented by Coburg University of Applied Sciences/ISAT for measuring the layer formation in hoses with the support of an external service provider (Bavarian Patent Alliance) by partners from industry or to create the incentive for founding a spin-off from the university.