Efficient leak detection in single and branched polymeric pipeline systems by transient wave analysis

Bin Pan, Caterina Capponi, Silvia Meniconi, Bruno Brunone, Huan Feng Duan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The widespread use of plastic pipes in different fluid conveyance systems has greatly driven the recent development and application of transient-based methods (TBMs) for leak detection in viscoelastic/polymeric pipelines. Current TBMs for viscoelastic pipe leak detection are usually achieved by a two-step procedure, namely viscoelastic parameters identification and leak detection, which requires the pre-knowledge of intact system states (i.e., non-leak) for comparative analysis. This paper presents an efficient single-step frequency domain inverse transient analysis (FDITA) method for simultaneous identifications of viscoelastic parameters and leaks in plastic pipes, so as to enhance the applicability and accuracy of TBMs. Both the single and branched polymeric pipe systems are applied for the method development and application. To this end, analytical solutions of single and branched systems from the transfer matrix method are firstly derived to represent the transient frequency responses of viscoelastic pipelines with leaks. A global optimized nonlinear curve fitting method is then employed to identify both viscoelastic parameters and potential leaks by knowing/measuring other system and flow conditions. Extensive experimental validations and numerical applications of both single and branched pipe systems demonstrate the very good efficiency and accuracy of the developed method for leak detection in different viscoelastic pipe systems. Furthermore, the mechanism of transient wave-leak-viscoelasticity is analysed based on these application results and theoretical evidence. Finally, a sensitivity analysis is performed to quantify and discuss the advantages and potential limitations of the developed method in the paper.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108084
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Frequency domain inverse transient analysis (FDITA)
  • Leak detection
  • Polymeric pipeline
  • Transient-based method (TBM)
  • Viscoelastic parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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