Power plants operated by fossil fuel have been gradually optimized for the sake of environment and sustainability. Steam temperatures have been kept at 540°C for the past 80 years and are now increased to 700°C requiring new materials or stress existing materials above current limits. Risk management by lifecycle assessment is practiced, but does not match satisfactorily with practice. An online monitoring is desired which is able to give the exact point of intervention in connection to the time till intervention. Such progress would considerably improve the risk management of this industry. 
Currently inspections are carried out periodically (6-10 years) by conventional means in randomly selected areas. There is an immense need for integrated consistent methodologies that allow the diagnosis of intervention points giving sufficient time to react. The system has to cover the whole complexity of the structure and shall not be limited to random element checks.
The demonstrator of a SHM-system for hot pipes is based on two different approaches: guided waves and vibration measurement.

Wölfel’s project results

  • Demonstrator of a vibration based SHM-system for monitoring extremely hot pipes with T > 540° C.




  • Friedmann, H.: Zustandsüberwachung von Rohrleitungen, Vortrag bei VDI/VDE-Expertenforum 2009, Bauwerks- und Anlagenmonitoring im Dienst von Sicherheit und Umweltschutz, GESA-Tagung, Nürnberg 26. + 27. Mai 2009