Evaluating an experimental setup for pipe leak detection
Author(s)Garay, Luis I. (Luis Ignacio)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Sanjay E. Sarma.
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An experimental setup with 4 inch inner diameter PVC pipe modules is designed to mimic a real life piping system in which to test possible leak detection mechanisms. A model leak detection mechanism is developed which consists of a ring with threads that follow the streamlines of the flow inside the pipes, allowing for a visualization of the flow patterns. Two experiments were conducted in order to test the effect of the leak on the threads of the detection mechanism. The first experiment was successful in that the threads were clearly affected in the proximity of the leak; however, it was not realistic because of the lack of cross flow. The second experiment allowed for cross flow. On the other hand, this experiment failed in that the threads of the detection mechanism were not affected by the leak due to the small leak flow rate. A theoretical model of the second experimental setup is proposed in order to estimate how the exit hole diameter will affect the leak and outflow volumetric flow rates. From the model it is concluded that a small exit hole is needed to increase the leak flow rate; however this would reduce the cross flow rate inside the system to a value bellow real life conditions.
Thesis: S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2010.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (page 33).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology