On the scattering of elastic waves from a non-axisymmetric defect in a coated pipe

Wenbo Duan, Ray Kirby, Peter Mudge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Viscoelastic coatings are often used to protect pipelines in the oil and gas industry. However, over time defects and areas of corrosion often form in these pipelines and so it is desirable to monitor the structural integrity of these coated pipes using techniques similar to those used on uncoated pipelines. A common approach is to use ultrasonic guided waves that work on the pulse-echo principle; however, the energy in the guided waves can be heavily attenuated by the coating and so significantly reduce the effective range of these techniques. Accordingly, it is desirable to develop a better understanding of how these waves propagate in coated pipes with a view to optimising test methodologies, and so this article uses a hybrid SAFE-finite element approach to model scattering from non-axisymmetric defects in coated pipes. Predictions are generated in the time and frequency domain and it is shown that the longitudinal family of modes is likely to have a longer range in coated pipes when compared to torsional modes. Moreover, it is observed that the energy velocity of modes in a coated pipe is very similar to the group velocity of equivalent modes in uncoated pipes. It is also observed that the coating does not induce any additional mode conversion over and above that seen for an uncoated pipe when an incident wave is scattered by a defect. Accordingly, it is shown that when studying coated pipes one need account only for the attenuation imparted by the coating so that one may normally neglect the effect of coating on modal dispersion and scattering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-241
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Dispersion and scattering analysis
  • Guided wave
  • Hybrid finite element method
  • Non-axisymmetric defect


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