Ultrasonic testing of laboratory samples representing monopile wind turbine foundations

Gunn, D.A.; Holyoake, S.J.; Dashwood, B.A.J.; Wilkinson, P.B.; Bret, C.R.; Wallis, H.C.; Leman, W.; Rees, J.G.. 2019 Ultrasonic testing of laboratory samples representing monopile wind turbine foundations. Insight - Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring, 61 (4). 187-196.

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Wind energy turbines and offshore hydrocarbon platforms rely on injected concrete grout to support and transfer loads between steel substructures. Deterioration of this grout under large operational stresses can lead to a loss of bonding, the formation of gaps, crushing and the loss of grout from the annulus between the steel substructures. In this paper, the integrity of the grout between two steel panels is experimentally tested using a low-frequency ultrasound backscatter method[1]. The experimental results and modelled outcomes[1] are compared for grout condition classes, including: good condition, gaps between the grout and either steel panel and the complete absence of grout. Pearson correlation coefficients of over 83% are observed when comparing the notch magnitudes and the frequencies on the modelled and experimental reflectance spectra of the front and rear gap, as well as missing grout conditions. Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) similarity tests on the modelled and experimental notch magnitudes indicate a 20% significance on the rear gap and front gap spectra and a 10% significance on the missing grout spectra. The significance of these tests supports the potential application of backscattered low-frequency ultrasound for grout condition inspection. However, development of automated condition recognition algorithms, based on either spectral characteristics or time-localised spectral features of the backscatter, is required to make routine inspection commercially viable.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1354-2575
Date made live: 10 May 2019 08:33 +0 (UTC)

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