Ultrasonic inspection of drinking water mains

Hector Hernandez Delgadillo

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    316 Downloads (Pure)


    The Dutch drinking water network comprises over 120 thousand kilometres of infrastructure. A large number of these pipes have exceeded their expected operational life-time, while other pipes can still operate for many more years. Judging which pipes have reached their end of operational life is a complex task. However, failing to replace the infrastructure on time (before rupture) can cause serious damage to society, to the nearby infrastructure and to the finances of the water utilities. Preventive maintenance policies can diminish the uncertainty of replacing the ‘right’ pipe, thus increasing the reliability of the drinking water network.
    The Dutch water utilities have joined a scientific division with the purpose of advancing the reliability of their infrastructure. This is the Smart Water Grids platform, where synergy between academia, government and industrials (the water utilities) is achieved. Within this platform, the knowledge towards a safer, smarter and more sustainable supply of drinking water is promoted from a scientific perspective. In this thesis, the possibility of using ultrasonic sensors for the inspection of drinking water pipes in an inline configuration is investigated. Two materials are studied: polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and asbestos cement (AC).
    The study conducted for the development of inspection methodologies is divided into material types. Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 focus on cement-based pipes. Chapter 2 describes the degradation mechanisms that reduce the service life of cement-based pipes. A methodology for quantifying degradation levels in cement-based materials is proposed and Chapter 3 bridges the gap between the laboratory environment and field operations.
    Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 describe the advancement of the wave mixing technique for the inspection of PVC pipes. Chapter 4 describes the wave mixing technique principle. In Chapter 5, the wave mixing technique is tested in a PVC pipe taken from service by Evides Waterbedrijf (Dutch drinking water utility).
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Akkerman, R., Supervisor
    • Tinga, Tiedo, Supervisor
    • Loendersloot, Richard, Co-Supervisor
    Award date30 Oct 2019
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-4853-3
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2019


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