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Guided Wave Inspection for Corrosion Management


Guided Wave Inspection for Corrosion Management

Overview

Ultrasonic guided wave technology can be utilized as a screening tool to pinpoint areas of corrosion in various piping systems, providing a reduction in operating costs. Guided waves are typically used in industries such as oil and gas, petrochemical, and power generation as well as DOT agencies. By identifying areas of concern over long lengths of pipe, guided wave technology helps to prevent unnecessary labor.

Typical Piping Applications

  • Aboveground conventional and coated pipe
  • Corrosion at pipe supports and racks
  • Through-wall pipe
  • Detection of corrosion under installation (CUI)
  • Buried pipe and road crossings
  • Vertical pipe
Guided Wave Theory

Guided Wave Theory

The Olympus UltraWave LRT operates on ultrasonic principles utilizing piezoelectric sensors. The operating frequency range of the UltraWave LRT is 15 to 85 kHz. The system’s torsional and flexural wave modes offer a long-distance inspection range, full pipe wall coverage, and focusing capabilities. Unlike many ultrasonic techniques that are only capable of detecting anomalies in the sensor’s immediate vicinity, the UltraWave achieves inspection distances of up to 600 ft. (300 ft. bidirectionally). This distance is dependent upon pipe conditions and other variables.

After areas of corrosion have been pinpointed and categorized, the portion of pipe presenting the indication is accessed so that other NDT methods, including conventional ultrasonics and phased array ultrasonics, can be used to quantify the severity of the defect.

Localized UT inspection
Localized UT inspection
Long-range guided wave inspection
Long-range guided wave inspection

HydroFORM phased array corrosion mapping and ultrasonic thickness gage used for quantifying areas of concern identified by the UltraWave LRT
HydroFORM phased array corrosion mapping and ultrasonic thickness gage used for quantifying areas of concern identified by the UltraWave LRT
HydroFORM phased array corrosion mapping and ultrasonic thickness gage used for quantifying areas of concern identified by the UltraWave LRT

HydroFORM phased array corrosion mapping and ultrasonic thickness gage used for quantifying areas of concern identified by the UltraWave LRT

System Overview

The UltraWave LRT consists of 4 main components:

  1. Acquisition unit: UltraWave LRT
  2. Ruggedized laptop with operating, analysis, and reporting software
  3. Pipe bands, bladders, probes, and cabling (standard kit range is 2 to 24 inch OD pipe)
  4. Field tools for band assembly and installation

UltraWave System basic contents
UltraWave System basic contents

UltraWave Software

The UltraWave software provides many user-friendly and powerful features that maximize results, including:

  • Setup Wizard tool and Report Tree inspection file management
  • Wiring and probe verification tools
  • F-scan color mapping showing all frequencies over inspected distance
  • Known-feature identification and pipe schematic tools for marking welds, supports, bends, and other piping features
  • Active and synthetic focusing tools provide axial position and estimate circumferential extent of defects, improved SNR, and reduction of false alarms

UltraWave Software- Wizard and Report Tree navigation
UltraWave Software- Wizard and Report Tree navigation

Localized UT inspection

F-scan color map and A-scan analysis
F-scan color map and A-scan analysis

Easy-to-use and customizable data and site reporting
Easy-to-use and customizable data and site reporting

Conclusion

Guided wave ultrasonics can be a beneficial addition to a corrosion management program, providing long-distance screening of conventional, buried, vertical, and through-wall pipes and various piping systems. Inspection can be performed on bare pipe as well as insulated or coated pipe. By pinpointing areas of concern without requiring additional labor, guided wave technology can significantly reduce the operating costs of pipe integrity programs.

Olympus IMS

ProductsUsedApplications


UltraWave LRT

The UltraWave LRT uses guided wave technology and excites low-frequency ultrasonic waves that travel lengthwise over tens of meters along a pipe, detecting wall thickness variations. The system is ideal to screen in-service pipes and pipelines, and to inspect limited access pipes from a single inspection position. It includes advanced software, acquisition unit, touch screen laptop, and compact probes with bands and bladders.
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