Caption (above): Laser with electronic. Credit: mirSense

fas|fa-globe-africa|

Context

Whether natural or synthetic, polymers – large molecules made up of repeating subunits called monomers – are ubiquitous. They are widespread in industry, where they are used in electrical insulation, as mechanical protection and as chemical barriers. 

Most of the nuclear power plants (NPPs) in operation in Europe are in the second part of their operational life and some of them might continue operating for several more decades. Among the aspects to be checked for NPPs safety, the polymer ageing is crucial. These materials are widely used as protective, sealing or isolating coatings in a lot of equipment (such as electrical cables or pipes), not only in nuclear reactors but also throughout the nuclear facilities.

Given that failure of these coatings can have a serious and even life-threatening impact, making sure defects are caught before they progress is critical.

et|icon_puzzle_alt|

Challenge

The current reliable approaches for polymer monitoring are invasive, time-consuming, expensive and restricted to human-accessible areas. Early detection of abnormal behaviour and embrittlement are therefore impossible with these approaches. In fact, on-site investigation and real-time monitoring and analysis of polymers is impossible. On-site investigations and real-time monitoring are currently impossible.

fas|fa-clipboard-list|

Objectives

El-Peacetolero’s overarching ambition is to design and demonstrate a TRL 7 hand-held, low power, embedded optoelectronic system that can deploy AI for in-situ real-time measurement, identification and diagnosis of the material state of aging polymers in an industrial environment.

Save time and money

through the development of non-destructive techniques for the identification and diagnosis of polymers.

Reduce risks

related to aging polymers on cables and pipes in nuclear power plants and other sectors where cable maintenance is crucial such as aeronautics, telecommunications, water and gas distribution.

fas|fa-check-circle|

Results

  • TRL 7 hand-held, low power, embedded optoelectronic system that can deploy AI for in-situ real-time measurement, identification and diagnosis of the material state of aging polymers in an industrial environment
  • Algorithms based on artificial intelligence for polymer identification, diagnosis, and early detection of the aging condition
  • A working tele-robotic prototype that permits inspections of pipes with the system developed
et|icon_cog|

Approach

El-Peacetolero combines advanced analysis for polymer aging, data science and artificial intelligence, microelectronics and optoelectronic system design.