Corrosion under pipe supports (CUPS) can be very dangerous because it is incredibly difficult to detect. Finding an inspection method to reliably detect it is critical.
Traditional non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques such as X-ray, magnetic particles, and ultrasonic testing provide possible solutions for finding CUPS. However, these efforts are costly and time-consuming and risk loss of containment. Results are also not particularly accurate in quantifying the wall loss, depending on the nature and extent of corrosion — making it a lackluster option.
Additionally, to perform a conventional ultrasonic inspection of this inaccessible region, the pipes need to be lifted out of their supports. This is inconvenient because you risk further stressing an already weakened pipe, and compounding the damage could involve a complete shutdown.
Visual inspection is another common method used to detect CUPS, but pipe support corrosion is often a hidden threat, which means it may go unnoticed. The correlation between visible corrosion and actual corrosion is unreliable and may be difficult to discern, which can become incredibly risky.
Often, access to the location of interest is not even possible — making it impossible to perform an accurate visual inspection. And just as with NDT, you still need to lift the pipes or remove the supports to access these locations. Traditional approaches provide artificial assurance while allowing the corrosive process to continue unabated.
It is time for a better approach to detecting corrosion under pipe supports — one that can ensure real confidence in the integrity of the line because it assesses not only the external condition of pipes but also the deterioration in their interior mechanisms. Waygate Technologies’ CUPS inspection service gives pipeline operators the most accurate data possible, including the true dimensions of any corrosion, so they can prevent failures and stay profitable.
The company’s CUPS inspection service is a non-invasive guided wave inspection technique for assessing the condition of above-ground pipeline supports. It allows pipeline managers across all industries to rest easy knowing that it is the definitive solution for identifying hidden threats.
The key benefits of the company’s CUPS inspection service are that it’s both non-invasive and much more efficient than more traditional methods. Inspections can be performed as an in-service inspection without emptying the pipe, and without disrupting production and product flow as a result.
It is also designed and tested to ensure higher speeds for inspections. Operators manually manipulate scanners, while the software adjusts to the operators’ speed and variance to ensure that the resulting data is consistent and reliable. This allows operators to set the pace, enabling them to inspect more pipes at a faster rate.
The service leverages patented short-range ultrasonic guided wave technology using Higher Order Modes Clusters (HOMC) to deliver high-quality data, higher dimensioning accuracy, and better data visualisation. The HOMC guided waves are unaffected by the point of incidence of the probe — making accurate wall loss estimation possible and complete inspection coverage a reality.
There are two modes: axial and circumferential. Both of these modes detect corrosion under the pipe supports and provide more accurate inspections for inaccessible areas. The axial mode (AHOMC) allows for inspection along the pipe length on either side of the pipes' supports. Circumferential mode (CHOMC) inspects along the pipe length from the 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock positions.
The guided waves, which can be directed circumferentially or axially, reflect corrosion and other pipe features, even those portions inaccessible to other inspection techniques — allowing for incredibly detailed data. As a result, the service is able to provide high-resolution scans and powerful data no matter how challenging the application may be. The CUPS software even automatically adjusts to ensure that all the data you get is both consistent and reliable.
This system inspects beneath pipe supports to detect both localised and larger general corrosion. Operators get high-resolution A and B scans providing clear, cross-section profile images of pipe corrosion with high-dimensioning accuracy.
Short-range ultrasonic, guided wave technology relying on HOMC delivers reams of high-quality, consistently accurate data, and vivid visualisation. The system detects corrosion at a high level of precision, providing decision-makers with strong, detailed information.
Because it is non-dispersive, operates at a high frequency, and results in minimal displacement on pipe surfaces, HOMC can reach sections of pipe inaccessible with conventional guided wave techniques using single modes. This means the technology can work in a wide range of pipe diameters and varying support types, even in the tight spaces that ordinarily make conducting effective inspections while keeping operations online difficult to the point of being impossible.
As a result, gas, petroleum, chemical, and water pipelines can now be tested with pinpoint accuracy, allowing for proactive remediation planning — all without having to take operations offline. With regular testing using the CUPS automated scanning system, risks due to ageing, corrosion, fretting, and stress cracks are virtually eliminated.
As an example, one 35-year-old plant faced a steadily compounding problem: its inspection workload had become unsustainable, resulting in a growing backlog of maintenance and repair projects. Management demanded stronger intelligence on the lines’ future reliability and integrity. Extending the life of the plant would require a proactive approach and swift action, necessitating a full inspection with problems fixed upon discovery.
However, getting a full inspection posed another problem: traditional methods would require shutting down parts of the plant on a rotating basis — turning the effort into an exceedingly costly enterprise. Using HOMC, the plant was inspected while remaining online throughout. They were able to remain at the forefront of problems — identifying corrosion, remediating it early, and retaining the productivity they needed.
And that is the benefit of Waygate Technologies’ CUPS inspection service. Now, detecting corrosion at the most critical portions of your lines will never be a problem again.
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Read the article online at: https://www.tanksterminals.com/special-reports/11052021/waygate-technologies-pipeline-corrosion-data-like-youve-never-seen-it-before/