Testbed Hardware Design to Collect Data for Underground PVC Water Pipe Crack Detection: Challenges and Solutions

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A premature crack is a significant indicator for early failure detection for underground polyvinyl chloride (PVC) water pipes. Using an array of strain gauges mounted on a pipe surface to monitor the strain of adjacent areas of a premature crack is a novel technology that has not been explored. To reduce the risks and upfront investments, we need a testbed to investigate, verify, and validate the innovative technology. However, establishing such a pipe monitoring
testbed that covers completely realistic underground situations is challenging. The main reason lies in three main challenges: (i) mimicking the natural changes of water flowing in pipes; (ii) identifying the proper placement of strain gauges and detectable crack sizes; (iii) simulating the crucial underground conditions such as temperature and external stress. To this end, in this paper, we present a testbed to get more insights into the effects of different crack types on the pressure-strain characteristic in realistic conditions. In particular, we use pressure meters and water pumps to control the water flow (for challenge (i)); deploy various strain gauges types and induce cracks with different sizes (for challenge (ii)); fill the pipe with water at various temperatures and underground-like external stress (for challenge (iii)); Analyzing experimental results reveals useful hints for designing a realistic testbed, including but not limited to, the required distance among strain gauges, the influence of temperature and pipe axial stress. The dataset and analytic results of this work would provide more insights into how to design a realistic testbed for underground PVC water pipe crack detection.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Nov 2022
Event5th International SenSys/BuildSys Workshop on Data, DATA 2022: Data: Acquisition to Analysis 2022 - Boston, United States
Duration: 6 Nov 20226 Nov 2022
Conference number: 5


Workshop5th International SenSys/BuildSys Workshop on Data, DATA 2022
Abbreviated titleDATA 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • pipe crack
  • Testbed
  • pressure strain characteristic
  • strain gauge


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