Advanced Engineering Solutions gas engineering services

Pipelines of 12 inch and upwards can be inspected using a multiple pass of the smartCAT™

The smartCAT™ patented, inspection equipment allows the rapid non-intrusive assessment of the condition of metallic pipes.

Using high flux magnetic technology along with proximity, distance and azimuth sensors both internal and external defects are identified and measured and their location fixed.

The process involves scanning the pipe along its length in 'slices' with the tool being indexed around the circumference after each scan.

The data is sent via bluetooth technology to a hand held PDA for onward transmission to the AESL servers from anywhere in the world

Operation of the smartCAT™ is carried out on-site by a two man team.

The smartCAT™ indexed feature allows the full circumference to be scanned with the angular position being recorded for each 'slice' from the azimuth. The software utilises the azimuth data to re-construct full circumference as one 'picture'. Sensors are equi-spaced at Xmm circumferentially and scanning triggered very Xmm.

Using software the data is downloaded from the smartCAT™ to the AESL servers for a 'initial analysis' to allow any identified major defects or anomalies to be considered before the technicians leave site.

The client can then be informed of any potential immediate problems so that corrective action can be taken.

smartCAT™ SPECIFICATION:

  • For pipe diameters over 12inch
  • Magnetic circuit 48v
  • Data capture unit 7.2v
  • Data transfer by Bluetooth / RS232 cable
  • Internally powered 7.2 to 12v
  • Operating current - <180 mA
  • Data collection matrix - 3mm longitudinal x 12mm circumferentially
  • Data acquisition and storage (on board) - 12" = 19Km / 24" = 10Km / 30" = 8.5Km
  • Location recording - distance wheel and azimuth
  • Weight - 32kgs

Standard pipelines diameters of 3", 4", 6" and 12" can be inspected in a single pass using the smartCAT™ 360. Other sizes can be manufactured to order, to inspect larger diameter the smartCAT™ is used.

The smartCAT&trade 360 patented, inspection equipment allows the rapid non-intrusive assessment of the condition of metallic pipes. Using high flux magnetic technology along with proximity, distance and azimuth sensors both internal and external defects are identified and measured and their location fixed. The process involves scanning the pipe along its length and the data is sent via bluetooth technology to a hand held PDA for onward transmission to the AESL servers from anywhere in the world

Operation of the smartCAT™ 360 is carried out by a two man team on-site.

The smartCAT™ 360 wrap around feature allows the full circumference to be scanned simultaneously with sensors equi-spaced at Xmm circumferentially and scanning triggered very Xmm. Using the the condition assessment software the data is downloaded from the smartCAT™ 360 to the AESL servers for a 'initial analysis' to allow any identified major defects or anomalies to be considered before the technicians leave site. The client can then be informed of any potential immediate problems so that corrective action can be taken.

Detailed analysis of the data is carried out by highly qualified, experienced engineers to provide a report. Standard reports include:

Advanced Engineering Solutions gas engineering services
  • Coating condition
  • Pipe wall condition, location depth and size of defects
  • An assessment of the soil corrosivity against the French AFNOR standard (or an appropriate US equivalent)
  • A visual assessment of the type and condition of any joints, or other fittings which are exposed in the excavation
  • Maximum pitting, general and combined corrosion rates
  • Prediction of time until corrosion pitting will result in perforation of the inspected areas

Specifications:

  • Magnetic inspection
  • Magnetic circuit - 48v
  • Data capture unit - 7.2v
  • Operating current - <180ma
  • Data transfer by Bluetooth / RS232 cable
  • Data collection matrix 3mm longitudinal * 10mm circumferentially
  • Data acquisition and storage (on board)
  • Location recording - distance wheel and azimuth
  • Wight - 26-28 Kg

AESL have introduced an inspection tool for the underwater inspection of ferrous pipes- smartCAT™ Hybrid. The tool can be diver operated or mounted as an ROV attachment and will identify all significant defects in the pipe surface over which it is applied.

Inspection of a 27 inch sewer outfall using the smartCAT™ Hybrid.

AESL sub-contract the divers and manage the project from start to finish, including the preparation of safety risk assessments and method statements in conjunction with the diving company.

The smartCAT™ Hybrid is used to inspect for external defects utilising high flux magnetic technology.

Data from the inspection tool can be transmitted directly via a 50m umbilical cable for pipe surface defect analysis and live display on a lap top computer. Alternatively data can be transmitted to an ROV recording system. With modification the tool will store the data on board to eliminate the need for the embilical. Full pipeline condition assessment and performance predictions are carried out at AESL. Purpose developed statistical and structural analysis software is applied, using pipeline condition and pipeline loading data to define pipeline performance capabilities.

smartCAT™ Hybrid Specification

  • Magnetic inspection
  • Internally/externally powered - 7.2v to 12v
  • Operating current - <180 ma
  • Data collection matrix - 3mm x 4mm
  • Data acquisition and storage (on board) - typically up to 32km of pipe section samples
  • Location recording - distance wheel and azimuth
  • Depth (external pressure capability) - 20bar Weight - 7kgs
  • Weight submerged - 4kgs
  • Dimensions - 140mm diameter x 380mm long

Pipeline Inspection Using Ground Penetrating Radar

Pipe Location

Advanced Engineering Solutions Ltd (AESL) operates a commercial ground penetrating radar (GPR) system for locating utilities and buried pipelines. The system is a reliable method to locate subsurface targets prior to digging, trenching, conducting site assessments and mapping.

 

Concrete Pipe Inspection

  • Utilising commercial radar technology linked to AESL smartRAD™ software defects in both concrete pipes and asbestos cement pipes can be investigated
  • The system will identify both internal and external defects
  • The system will identify reinforcing bars and their size and distribution
  • Utilising the AESL Condition Assessment Process the future lifespan of the pipe can be determined
 

Conventional Non-Destructive Testing

Advanced Engineering Solutions offers conventional NDT services for the inspection of wall thickness and cracks in welds for pipes and vessels.

AESL operates Standard Ultrasonic Inspection, B Scan ultrasonic inspection and Magnetic Particle Inspection, along with Dye Penetrant.

 

The B Scan Ultrasonic inspection has the ability to sweep a small area and thus pick up larger areas of wall thickness variation in pipes or vessels.

B Scan Ultrasonic Inspection
 

AESL have technician staff, who are externally qualified, to apply these inspection techniques as follows:

  • Ultrasonic PCN Level 2 Sector W
  • Magnetic Particle Testing
  • VS02 Inspector
  • Dye Penetrant inspection

Pipeline Inspection Data Analysis

The Prediction of Pipeline Condition

The AESL Condition Assessment Process uses inspection data from the smartCAT™ or the smartCAT™ 360 magnetic inspection tools, and from spot readings using a commercial ultrasonic tool, to define the potential for the leakage and structural failure in longer lengths of the pipeline:

Pipeline leakage is predicted based on the potential growth of individual corrosion pits until they are through wall.

Pipeline structural performance predictions are based on the measured corrosion levels and the applied loading regimes, considering the following:

Leakage Prediction

The potential for leakage from the un-inspected lengths of pipeline, due to through wall pitting, is based on the identified pitting corrosion patterns and range of pit depths in the inspected length(s). The process predicts:

  • The defect depth range including the maximum defect depth, and numbers of defects of each depth, along the un-inspected pipeline section
  • The maximum corrosion rate based on the measured original pipe wall thickness, the deepest predicted corrosion pit and the pipes age
  • The time to through wall pitting corrosion and the growth in numbers of such corrosion pits with time
 

Where prediction is considered statistically valid, predictions of the current likelihood of pipeline leakage, due to through wall corrosion, and of the future increase in patterns of such leakage as corrosion progresses are provided.

These leakage predictions are based on the standard AESL pipeline inspection process outputs. However, the statistically predictions are based on analysis of the corrosion pits within a defined grid pattern. The number of corrosion pits identified in the inspected 1m lengths of the pipeline determines whether statistical prediction is possible. If appropriate, additional inspection sites to obtain the necessary amount of inspection data can be agreed with the customer.

Structural Performance Predictions

Structural performance predictions are based on an analysis of the pipeline deterioration and the maximum applied loading regimes. The structural performance predictions consider:

Surface loading for crushing or bending failure (overburden, traffic etc)

Fracture risk for grey iron pipe based on initiation from a single pitting defect

Failure risk for ductile iron and steel pipe based on estimated membrane and bending stresses

Predictions of the time for these failure modes to occur based on estimated corrosion rates

The likelihood of structural failure of the pipeline due to corrosion deterioration is calculated using standard and AESL developed stress analysis modelling techniques.