A New Level Of Accuracy For Geometry Inspections With Ultrasound
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Current mechanical caliper-based geometry tools have been used as line proving tools before utilizing further inspection technologies and/or to detect identify and size deformations. However, the circumferential resolution of these tools depend on two aspects (a) the number of sensors and (b) the separation between them. Moreover, post-inspection assessment of deformations such as strain, fatigue life, or finite element modeling require the most detailed, accurate and high-resolution data of the pipeline available. Furthermore, the mechanical arm arrangement of conventional geometry tools is susceptible to lift-off and this fallibility leads to misinterpretation of the actual depth and especially the shape of the deformation. In addition, there is always a dependency on the outside diameter and wall thickness for further bore calculations. NDT Global has developed and validated a fleet with a new, reliable, and robust technology for pipeline geometry measurement. The tools are based on the ultrasonic measurement principle with inherent advantages such as bidirectional capabilities and wall thickness data acquisition in one pass. Since the first successful commercial inspection in March 2016, the Atlas UG tool fleet has successfully conducted more than 2,400 km worldwide, achieving a 100% first run success rate and received positive feedback from operators. This paper intends to show the advantages and reliability of ultrasonic technology for geometry measurement and demonstrate the (1) detection, identification, and sizing capabilities and (2) geometric mapping capabilities for 3D assessment methodologies. The shown data and results are compared with conventional caliper tools and in-the-ditch readings.
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