Pressure vessel plays an increasingly important role in process industries, in which its performance degradation, such as crack and corrosion, may lead to serious accidents and significant economic losses. Guided wave-based method is a cost-effective means for pressure vessel rapid interrogation. In this paper, the method based on direct-wave and fuzzy C-means clustering algorithm (FCM) is proposed to locate defect for pressure vessel. Finite element (FE) simulation is applied to analyze the propagation characteristics of guided waves. The experiment using the method based on direct-wave and FCM has been conducted on the barrel and head with different sensor arrays, respectively. The variation rule of the direct-wave difference with different distance coefficients has been studied. By combining FCM with the direct-wave difference, the defects on barrel and head can be detected accurately. The defect inspection experiment for pressure vessel using ellipse imaging algorithm is conducted as well. The experimental results show that the method based on direct-wave and FCM can locate the defects on barrel and head of the pressure vessel effectively and accurately.

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