Advanced ultrasonic technology is utilized in many different ways to assure the integrity of pipelines at different stages of their lifecycle.
In manufacturing plants, in-line automated ultrasonic phased array systems are used to perform full-body inspection of seamless and welded pipes with very high throughput.
In the field, during pipeline construction, automated ultrasonic techniques are used to inspect girth welds with high accuracy, offering significant advantages over radiography.
During maintenance, when the pipe is accessible, semi-automated and portable phased array ultrasonic testing is used to accurately map corrosion degradation.
Phased array technology also features comprehensive imagery that facilitates results analysis and interpretation, as well as electronic data archiving for easy traceability.
When the pipe is not accessible, long-range guided wave ultrasonic testing is capable of inspecting long distances of pipe; this is considered a very useful and efficient screening tool for detecting anomalies.
This paper will review how the use of advanced ultrasonic technology contributes to pipeline integrity.