Mears Integrity Solutions – New Pipeline Advanced Nondestructive Testing Capabilities

The Mears Direct Examination (DE) Group has been performing formal pipeline direct examinations since approximately 2003. Those early examinations relied heavily on visual inspection, corrosion depth measurement and basic ultrasonic thickness (UT) measurements. The Visual Inspection (VT) reveals obvious pipe outside diameter (OD) anomalies due to corrosion and mechanical damage, while the UT reveals the pipe wall-thickness and may locate any areas of internal wall-loss on the pipe inside-diameter (ID).

While VT and basic UT are very important elements of the DE process, over the years pipeline testing and inspection capabilities at Mears have evolved to a much higher state, which now includes automated UT wall-thickness mapping for the pipe ID, 3D Laser mapping for the pipe OD, and in the near future will include Phased Array UT testing for welds and pipe base metal evaluations.

3D LASER PIPE O.D. SURFACE MAPPING and EVALUATION CAPABILITIES

The 3D Laser Scanner is used to map the pipe OD surface, creating a 3D digital rendition of the pipe surface. Specialized analysis software is then used to perform RSTRENG calculations per the data and Interaction Criteria input by the DE/NDT Technician.  The specialized software modules allow for pipeline assessments looking for:

    • Pipe Wall-Loss due to Corrosion
    • Dents
    • Dents w/ corrosion
    • The correlation of ILI Data and Laser Data
    • Automated Report creation.

The 3D Laser is applicable to scanning pipe in diameters from 4” to 42” and includes an automated Report creation capability that can be customized to a Clients specific requirements.

PIPE I.D. SURFACE – UT MAPPING CAPABILITIES

Mears operates two different UT ID mapping systems. Both are automated Ultrasonic Scanning Systems capable of acquiring material thickness data over a user defined scan area on plates, pipes or other structures. The systems utilize a contact straight beam immersion ultrasonic technique to propagate sound waves into the material to measure wall thickness, locate and determine the depth of mid-wall flaws orientated perpendicular to the surface, and accurately locate, measure and display internal wall-loss due to corrosion.

    • Internal Pipe wall-loss due to corrosion assessments
    • ILI Correlations – correlate UT Data with ILI Data.
    • Create Correlation Spreadsheet & Unity Graphs

PHASED ARRAY UT (PAUT) and Shear-Wave TESTING CAPABILITIES

For the year 2018 Mears has committed to expand its Ultrasonic Testing capabilities to include both traditional Shear-Wave and Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing techniques. These techniques will allow Mears UT Technicians to detect and size anomalies found in Girth Welds, Long-seam welds, and the base metal of natural gas and petroleum pipelines. These testing capabilities are expected to be available by mid-July of 2018.

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