The use of ultrasound is one of the most common test methods in materials science and engineering. The non-destructive testing method reliably detects voids, inclusions, and other factors that reduce quality and durability. In pipelines, so-called smart pigs equipped with ultrasonic sensors are used to inspect the pipe wall for abrasion and possible cracks or other damage.
On the other hand, ultrasonic technology is an equally common method of flow measurement. Ultrasonic systems measure practically everything that flows in pipes, be it water in the drinking water supply as well as at hydroelectric power plants or oil and gas from the production well to the end user. Basically, the measurement can be carried out wetted with ultrasonic transducers integrated into the pipe wall or non-invasively from the outside. The practical advantages of the non-invasive method are obvious: Since the ultrasonic transducers are simply mounted on the outside of the pipe, its integrity remains untouched. Measuring from the outside of the pipe means measuring from the safe side. The external measuring devices do not pose any leakage risk and do not cause any pressure loss. Since the attachment of the ultrasonic transducers does not require the pipe to be opened, the so-called clamp-on method is ideal for retrofitting flow measuring points on existing pipelines.
In our session we want to outline the use of non-invasive ultrasonic flow measurement technology for pipeline integrity monitoring purposes. The focus will be on practical applications in pipelines worldwide.