Sensor Technologies



Verify Steam Pipe Integrity:

The Challenge

Pipes carrying high pressure steam in power generating plants, and in chemical, or oil and gas facilities and are known to suffer internal corrosion from the combination of high temperature, water vapour, and high alkalinity. Left unchecked, localized wall thinning leads to pipe failures that put workers lives at risk and may require a costly shutdown of the plant to effect repairs.

How can degraded high temperature pipes be monitored non-intrusively while in service, and monitored without costs to access hard-to-reach locations and then remove and replace insulation? How can monitoring these pipes reduce costs? How much can labor cost be reduced? Can the corrosion wall loss information become part of a reliability based maintenance program?

The Solution

FOX-TEK high temperature fiber optic FT Sensors are readily bonded onto the outside surface of steam pipes in critical areas, and then left in place under insulation. The sensors are permanent and require no calibration. With proper selection of the installation location, these sensors give measures of pressure, temperature, stress, or wall thinning. With a FOX-TEK monitor in the system, more frequent updates to a database of piping health are possible. This leads to increased safety and eliminates unplanned shutdowns. With sensor leads brought from any remote or inaccessible location to an easy-to-access monitoring station, periodic or continuous readouts are made with FOX-TEK monitors.

Summary of Benefits

  • Supports reliability based maintenance
  • More complete system health database
  • Additional process parameters monitored
  Cost Savings
  • Less unplanned down time required for maintenance
  • Fewer parts replaced during shutdown
  • Less labor required for inspection
  • Critical areas checked on demand without process interruption
  • Less likelihood of failure in service
  • Reduced requirement for hand inspection in inaccessible areas
  • Lower probability of contamination from leaks