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Title: Optimization of identification of particle impacts using acoustic emission
Author: Hedayetullah, Amin Mohammad
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 9561
Awarding Body: Robert Gordon University
Current Institution: Robert Gordon University
Date of Award: 2018
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Air borne or liquid-laden solid particle transport is a common phenomenon in various industrial applications. Solid particles, transported at severe operating conditions such as high flow velocity, can cause concerns for structural integrity through wear originated from particle impacts with structure. To apply Acoustic Emission (AE) in particle impact monitoring, previous researchers focused primarily on dry particle impacts on dry target plate and/or wet particle impacts on wet or dry target plate. For dry particle impacts on dry target plate, AE events energy, calculated from the recorded free falling or air borne particle impact AE signals, were correlated with particle size, concentration, height, target material and thickness. For a given system, once calibrated for a specific particle type and operating condition, this technique might be sufficient to serve the purpose. However, if more than one particle type present in the system, particularly with similar size, density and impact velocity, calculated AE event energy is not unique for a specific particle type. For wet particle impacts on dry or wet target plate (either submerged or in a flow loop), AE event energy was related to the particle size, concentration, target material, impact velocity and angle between the nozzle and the target plate. In these studies, the experimental arrangements and the operating conditions considered either did not allow any bubble formation in the system or even if there is any at least an order of magnitude lower in amplitude than the sand particle impact and so easily identifiable. In reality, bubble formation can be comparable with particle impacts in terms of AE amplitude in process industries, for example, sand production during oil and gas transportation from reservoir. Current practice is to calibrate an installed AE monitoring system against a range of sand free flow conditions. In real time monitoring, for a specific calibrated flow, the flow generated AE amplitude/energy is deducted from the recorded AE amplitude/energy and the difference is attributed to the sand particle impacts. However, if the flow condition changes, which often does in the process industry, the calibration is not valid anymore and AE events from bubble can be misinterpreted as sand particle impacts and vice versa. In this research, sand particles and glass beads with similar size, density and impact velocity have been studied dropping from 200 mm on a small cylindrical stepped mild steel coupon as a target plate. For signal recording purposes, two identical broadband AE sensors are installed, one at the centre and one 30 mm off centred, on the opposite of the impacting surface. Signal analysis have been carried out by evaluating 7 standard AE parameters (amplitude, energy, rise time, duration, power spectral density(PSD), peak frequency at PSD and spectral centroid) in the time and frequency domain and time-frequency domain analysis have been performed applying Gabor Wavelet Transform. The signal interpretation becomes difficult due to reflections, dispersions and mode conversions caused by close proximity of the boundaries. So, a new signal analysis parameter - frequency band energy ratio - has been proposed. This technique is able to distinguish between population of two very similar groups (in terms of size and mass and energy) of sand particles and glass beads, impacting on mild steel based on the coefficient of variation (Cv) of the frequency band AE energy ratios. To facilitate individual particle impact identification, further analysis has been performed using Support Vector Machine (SVM) based classification algorithm using 7 standard AE parameters, evaluated in both the time and frequency domain. Available data set has been segmented into two parts of training set (80%) and test set (20%). The developed model has been applied on the test data for model performance evaluation purpose. The overall success rate of individually identifying each category (PLB, Glass bead and Sand particle impacts) at S1 has been found as 86% and at S2 as 92%. To study wet particle impacts on wet target surface, in presence of bubbles, the target plate has been sealed to a cylindrical perspex tube. Single and multiple sand particles have been introduced in the system using a constant speed blower to impact the target surface under water loading. Two sensor locations, used in the previous sets of experiments, have been monitored. From frequency domain analysis it has been observed that characteristic frequency for particle impacts are centred at 300-350 kHz and for bubble formations are centred at 135 – 150 kHz. Based upon this, two frequency bands 100 – 200 kHz (E1) and 300 – 400 kHz (E3) and the frequency band energy ratio (E3E1,) have been identified as optimal for identification particle impacts for the given system. E3E1, > 1 has been associated with particle impacts and E3E1, < 1 has been associated with bubble formations. Applying these frequency band energy ratios and setting an amplitude threshold, an automatic event identification technique has been developed for identification of sand particle impacts in presence of bubbles. The method developed can be used to optimize the identification of sand particle impacts. The optimal setting of an amplitude threshold is sensitive to number of particles and noise levels. A high threshold of say 10% will clearly identify sand particle impacts but for multiparticle tests is likely to not detect about 20% of lower (impact) energy particles. A threshold lower than 3% is likely to result in detection of AE events with poor frequency content and wrong classification of the weakest events. Optimal setting of the parameters used in the framework such as thresholds, frequency bands and ratios of AE energy is likely to make identification of sand particle impacts in the laboratory environment within 10% possible. For this technique, once the optimal frequency bands and ratios have been identified, then an added advantage is that calibration of the signal levels is not required.
Supervisor: Steel, Iain ; Droubi, M. Ghazi Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Acoustic emission ; Particle impact identification ; Support vector machine ; Optimization ; Acoustic signal processing ; Nondestructive testing ; Sand monitoring ; Petroleum pipe flow ; Acoustic bubble