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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 26, Number 4, October 2020, pages 507-520

Exploratory research on ultra-long polymer optical fiber-based corrosion sensing for buried metal pipelines
Dong Luo, Yuanyuan Li, Hangzhou Yang, Hao Sun and Hongbin Chen

    In order to achieve effective corrosion monitoring of buried metal pipelines, a Novel nondestructive Testing (NDT) methodology using ultra-long (250 mm) Polymer Optical Fiber (POF) sensors coated with the Fe-C alloy film is proposed in this study. The theoretical principle is investigated to clarify the monitoring mechanism of this method, and the detailed fabrication process of this novel POF sensor is presented. To validate the feasibility of this novel POF sensor, exploratory research of the proposed method was performed using simulated corrosion tests. For simplicity, the geometric shape of the buried pipeline was simulated as a round hot-rolled plain steel bar. A thin nickel layer was applied as the inner plated layer, and the Fe-C alloy film was coated using an electroless plating technique to precisely control the thickness of the alloy film. In the end, systematic sensitivity analysis on corrosion severity was further performed with experimental studies on three sensors fabricated with different metal layer thicknesses of 25 μm, 30 μm and 35 μm. The experimental observation demonstrated that the sensor coated with 25 μm Fe-C alloy film presented the highest effectiveness with the corrosion sensitivity of 0.3364 mV/g at Δm = 9.32 × 10-4 g in Stage I and 0.0121 mV/g in Stage III. The research findings indicate that the detection accuracy of the novel POF sensor proposed in this study is satisfying. Moreover, the simple fabrication of the high-sensitivity sensor makes it cost-effective and suitable for the on-site corrosion monitoring of buried metal pipelines.
Key Words
    polymer optical fiber; early-age corrosion monitoring; Fe-C alloy film; buried metal pipelines; acceleration corrosion
(1) Dong Luo, Yuanyuan Li:
School of Human Settlements and Civil Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 710049, China
(2) Hangzhou Yang:
School of Physics, Northwest University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 710069, China
(3) Hao Sun:
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, 02115, USA
(4) Hao Sun:
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA
(5) Hongbin Chen:
Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China

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