University Student Design and Applied Solutions Competition

Frequently Asked Questions and General Information

**Please check this page often as we will regularly update this document as questions arise.**

Q: Will the pipe be laying horizontally, or may it be standing vertically?

A: The pipe will lie flat on the floor horizontally.

Q: Will corrosion be exclusive to the inside of the pipe, or will the outside also need to be inspected?

A: The exterior of the pipe will not be included in the inspection.

Q: Are there any official size restrictions that are placed on the robot we build?

A: There is no minimum or maximum size for any system being designed.

Q: We interpreted the rules to say that the robot can be wired and therefore controlled remotely by the team ("The system can be controlled and maneuvered inside the fixed structure using any means other than human. It is not required to be wireless and can include cables.”, p. 7) but reviewing the USDASC competition website we noted that in the “About” section it reads "have developed 25 different drones, robots, and other autonomous devices to detect corrosion in hard to-access areas” - is it desired that the robot be autonomous or are we permitted to pilot it remotely via cables?

A: The robot can be piloted with or without cables. It just needs to move without someone physically touching it with their hands.

Q: My team and I have been studying the new testing structure and we were hoping you could elaborate a bit on the distribution and dimensional constraints (such as the 3" maximum height) of the obstacles that will be placed inside the structure.

A: The maximum height of any obstacle will be 3”and there will not be another obstacle near it that would decrease the diameter any more than that.

Q: We had a question regarding the time allocation for testing in the structure and data analysis. The rules for the competition state that "Each team may use this 60 minutes as it chooses but the inspection must not exceed 45 minutes. For example, if a team completes its inspection in 25 minutes, it may use up to 35 minutes to tabulate its results." Therefore, we wanted to clarify that it would be acceptable to simultaneously test the structure and analyze the data that is being recorded instead of allocating specific amounts of time strictly for testing and data analysis.

A: To clarify, teams may simultaneously inspect the structure and tabulate its results however, the inspection cannot exceed 45 minutes and the device must be removed from the structure at the conclusion of that 45 minute time allotment.The remaining time can be used in any manner that is helpful to the teams to prepare its results for the judges.

Q: Does the information about the location of the corrosion have to be in polar or cartesian coordinates?

A: The judges would prefer that the teams use an“o’clock” method for reporting the location of the corrosion as well as the length that the center of the location is from the front of the pipe that your system entered (in inches).

Q: The structure will not be completely coated in either coating or primer, correct? Basically, will the entire pipe be bare steel, with specific patches of corrosion and coating? We understand that in the rules it specifies that it will not be coated, but since last year it was, we wanted to clarify.

A: ** Rules adjustment ** The interior of the pipe WILL be coated in the coating specified on the event website. Specific instances of coating defects and corrosion will be introduced to the interior of the pipe.

Q: Is there a specific format in which the location of corrosion should be reported, such as angle along pipe diameter and length from entrance, or is that something that each team should define for themselves?

A: The judges would prefer that the teams use an "o’clock" method for reporting the location of the corrosion as well as the length that the center of the location is from the front of the pipe that your system entered (in inches).

Q: Do we need to identify the presence of water? In a couple places that is specified as something that we need to find, but there are no specifications for it, like there are for corrosion and coating damage.

A: You will NOT need to detect the presence of water. This is a change from last year’s competition.

Q: Are we allowed to touch/access the outside of the pipe? Can we clamp things onto the entrance of the pipe, such as a target to be used for location information?

A: Yes, you may touch/access the outside of the pipe. The use of a clamp is permissible.

Q: Finally, when do we receive the metal sample?

A: The practice panels will be shipped on November 29, 2018.

Q: Will there be obstacles in the 12 inch diameter part of the structure?

A: No.

Q: Can we expect 3 inch obstacles across from one another in the pipe at the same length? Along with this, what is the minimum diameter of the pipe we can expect at any time for each portion?

A: The obstacles will not be across from one another. The smallest diameter you may encounter will be 21”.

Q: Will obstacles only run around the edges of the pipe, or can we expect them to run across the middle?

A: There will be no obstacles across the middle.

Q: Will the pipe lay completely flat on the ground, or can we expect a slight incline/ decline of the inspection surface?

A: The pipe will lie flat.

Q: Does calculation software such as MATLAB or Mathematica need to be included in our system budget?

A: No, software such as these do not need to be included in your system budget.

Q: Concerning the points graded for navigating through the system, will there be a deduction of points if we are able to detect the corrosion in the smaller diameter pipe, but do not physically drive through the smaller pipe (e.g. reaching inside)?

A: No points will be deducted for inspecting the smaller diameter section of pipe without moving through it.

Q: What will the thickness of the coating be and will the steel sample will have the coating introduced?

A: We will follow the recommendations for coating thickness from the Product Data Sheets. The primer recommends a DFT of 2.0-4.0 mils and the coating recommends a DFT of 3.0-7.0 mils

Yes, the practice panels will be coated with the PSX-700 for you along with areas of rust and coating defects.

Q: In the FAQ it is stated that materials can be clamped to the entrance of the pipe; would any form of attachment aside from clamps (given that it doesn't mark the testing structure) be acceptable, and are materials permitted to be attached to the end of the smaller section of pipe? Additionally, if materials are attached to the front of the pipe is it necessary for the solution to completely leave the pipe at the end of the inspection period without human assistance or would it be acceptable for it to be removed from near the entrance of the pipe after the materials clamped to the front have been removed by a human?

A: Yes, other forms of attachment are acceptable provided, as you stated, that it doesn’t damage the structure. Also, you can remove the attachments with human touch at the end of the inspection. The only time a penalty would occur is if the attachment has to be moved or reattached during the inspection once it has been placed.

Q: Would it be permissible to attach materials to the end of the smaller diameter of pipe?

A: Yes, that would be permissible.

Q: I have an additional question about the testing structure. Do the obstacles have any width constriction? Or can there theoretically be an obstacle that sits directly in the bottom middle of the pipe that has a one inch width and three inch height?

A: Yes, you are interpreting this correctly. There is no width restriction to the obstacles.

Q: What color will the coating be and would it be possible for us to receive a sample?

A: A link to the product sheet for the coating is included on the event website. Unfortunately, I do not have samples to provide.

Q: Since the report requires corrosion instances to be reported with their x distance and the "o clock position" does that mean there will be no instances of corrosion on the wall connecting the small cylinder to the larger cylinder?

A: Yes, that is correct.

Q: Since we will be reporting in the "o clock" position, how will the 1" accuracy of measurement be determined?

A: I suggest concentrating on providing the most accurate distance from the instance of corrosion to the front of the pipe. Use your best judgement regarding the o’clock position.

Q: I know it was mentioned that students would be allowed to fasten clamps to the outside of the structure but does that include both ends?

A: Yes, this is permissible.

Q: Would we be allowed to use electrical outlets near the test structure? If so what voltages and how many outlets would be available to us?

A: Yes, there will be electrical outlets available. Voltages are the standard 110.

Q: Would we be allowed to recharge/heat our equipment before starting the competition?

A: Yes, this is permissible.

Q: What kind of mount will the structure be on? Last year it was on the floor, but years ago the structure was on a trailer.

A: The pipe will lie flat on the floor and not be allowed to roll

Q: According to the rules the steel pipe will be ½" thick but the schematic indicates that the steel in ¼" thick. Also the sample piece sent to us was a ¼" thick as well. Our question is which thickness of the steel should the team prepare for?

A: It will be ¼" thick.

Q: What is the depth measurement to be reported (max depth or average depth)? What tolerance is specified for the depth measurement?

A: Maximum depth of penetration should be reported. There is no specific tolerance for any measurements. The judges would like to see your most accurate measurement.

Q: From where is the distance to the corrosion detected? The center of the corroded spot? The side of the corroded spot?

A: The center of the corroded spot.

Q: Do "fuzzy boundaries" of leaking or pittings around a corroded site count as one corroded site or individual instances? Or does an area estimation between the fuzzy boundary and uniform corroded site constitute as one site

A: The would constitute as one site.