International venture for new ultrasonic pipeline inspection technology

Dec 18, 1996 01:00 AM

Dec. 9, 1996 Four US, Canadian, and British organisations have formed a $ 5.3 mm venture to develop additional ultrasonic tools for detecting stress corrosion cracking in natural gas and liquid pipelines. Consortium members Gas Research Institute (GRI), British Gas plc, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, and PRC International will adapt British Gas' Elastic Wave Vehicle pipeline inspection device to allow inspection of a wider range of gas transmission pipelines. The new venture will result in two additional devices: one for 24-inch pipe (able to be re-sized for pipe sizes of 20 to 30 inches in diameter), and one for 42-inch lines (able to be re-sized for pipe sizes of 32 to 48 inches in diameter). Currently, the device exists only in sizes for 30- to 36-inch pipelines. The new prototype devices will be designed and built in 1997-98, with field testing scheduled to begin in 1998. The Elastic Wave Vehicle was the first smart pig to use ultrasound technology to inspect pipelines for defects due to stress corrosion cracking (SCC). With the enhanced ability to detect SCC without digging up the pipe, pipeline operators can plan for safe, cost-effective remediation of pipes containing excessive SCC.

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