Extended blockage detection in pipes using the system frequency response: Analytical analysis and experimental verification

Huan Feng Duan*, Pedro J. Lee, Ayaka Kashima, Jielin Lu, M. S. Ghidaoui, Yeou-Koung Tung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Extended blockages in a pipeline system are expected to impose changes onto the system resonant frequencies where the size and nature of the frequency shifts can be used to determine the blockage characteristics. Although a theoreticalmethod for detecting and locating extended blockages in pipeline systems using these changes in the system frequency response (SFR) was developed by the authors in a previous paper, the impact of an extended blockage on SFR has yet been verified experimentally and is the topic of this paper. The impact of six different extended blockages under a range of different Reynolds numbers on the frequency response is used to confirm the theoretical behavior of an extended blockage. These experimental tests are conducted in the pipeline hydraulic laboratory at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.An analytical simplification of the original SFR-based method is used to identify the key blockage parameters governing the frequency shifts and shows that the magnitude of the frequency shift increases with severity of blockages and is related to the changes in characteristic impedance and wave propagation coefficient of pipeline (pipe diameter, thickness, and/or wavespeed) imposed by the blockage. The experiments show that the length and location of potential extended blockages in the pipeline can be accurately predicted by the proposed method. Significant error exists, however, in the prediction of the pipe constriction diameter and is a result of the nonlinear operations in the experiments such as full valve closure in this study and the inability of existing models for perfectly replicating transient events in pipes with severe constrictions

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-771
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - 14 Aug 2013


  • Analytical analysis
  • Characteristic impedance
  • Experimental verification
  • Extended blockage
  • Pipeline
  • Resonant frequency shift
  • System frequency response
  • Wave propagation coefficient.

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