Non-contact pipeline monitoring
Underground pipelines can be very difficult to monitor for signs of deterioration, especially deterioration due to pipe corrosion. Even if a failure occurs, it can be difficult to locate the failure for repair. Once located, repairs can be far more time consuming and costly than if the corrosion was identified prior to rupture.

Researchers at the University of Alberta have recently developed a radio based (non-contact) sensor that can be stamped or printed directly onto the surface of a metal pipe without need for a chip or processor at the pipe. The system measures the resonant frequency of a signal reflected off the pipe to determine if a gap has developed between the pipe and its coating. Such a gap often leads to the coating lifting off the pipeline entirely which is an early sign that corrosion may occur.

This early warning system greatly reduces the possibility of an actual rupture or leak, potentially saving the pipeline operator extensive
environmental and financial burdens. The system can be implemented and operated more easily and cost effectively than alternative wireless sensor systems due to the stampable, chipless design.


  • Non-invasively predicts failure in advance, eliminating spillage and reducing downtime
  • Sensors can be stamped onto pipe quickly and cheaply
  • Can detect the cause of corrosion
  • Chipless sensor reduces the cost
  • First pipeline sensor to utilize existing pipe stamping technology

Protection Status

Patent pending

Product Number


Contact Information

Trevor Prentice
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-1506