Published on 05-Jun-2021

AUTOMATED ULTRASONIC (AUT) PIPELINE INSPECTIONS TO ENHANCE EFFICIENCY AND SAFETY

AUTOMATED ULTRASONIC (AUT) PIPELINE INSPECTIONS TO ENHANCE EFFICIENCY AND SAFETY

MISTRAS’ Dutch teams are providing advanced, automated ultrasonic (AUT) pipeline inspection solutions that emphasize efficiency and safety as the Netherlands shifts its approach to energy.

In the Netherlands, the number of district heating networks is rising rapidly.  These new heating networks are contributing to the transition of the country’s energy system to a climate-neutral approach.

Rather than performing x-ray examinations on newly-installed pipelines near densely populated areas, sustainable energy providers are relying on a MISTRAS-developed solution to deliver more efficient and safer inspections. Through the use of Time of Flight Diffraction (ToFD) and Phased Array (PAUT) inspection services that use specialized scanners and set-ups, MISTRAS has been able to provide results at a similar level to x-rays, while reducing the need to stop work during ongoing inspections. MISTRAS has built up years of experience and further optimized these techniques, aimed at researching pipe welding for underground infrastructure.

ToFD is used to rapidly scan in-service components to analyze material composition and gauge asset integrity. This automated ultrasonic testing (AUT) method uses longitudinal waves passed between ultrasonic sensors to detect, locate, and size flaws based on the time of flight of any diffracted beams. Frequently used as a quick survey tool for heavy wall pipes and pressure vessels, it can examine assets for welding fabrication defects and provide accurate through-wall depths of existing cracks.

PAUT is an ultrasonic testing technique that uses specialized multi-element “array” transducers and pulses those elements separately in a patterned sequence called “phasing”. This phasing sequence allows electronic wave steering, focusing, and scanning. The examination can be tailored for each application, increasing speed and reliability of the inspection. The versatility of the technology allows for simultaneous views of different representations, making defects such as corrosion and cracking apparent in a material. Since there is no radiation or environmental hazards, PAUT inspections can access restricted areas and maximizes safety for personnel, the environment, and communities.

This energy system transition in the Netherlands is expected to continue throughout the decade. The working method developed by MISTRAS helps customers have inspections carried out as efficiently as possible without stopping other activities. To learn more about our pipeline inspection capabilities, click here.



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