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Proceedings Paper

New portable pipe wall thickness measuring technique
Author(s): Joseph E. Pascente
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Paper Abstract

One of the biggest inspection challenges facing many of the process industries; namely the petrochemical, refining, fossil power, and pulp and paper industries is: How to effectively examine their insulated piping? While there are a number of failure mechanisms involved in various process piping systems, piping degradation through corrosion and erosion are by far the most prevalent. This degradation can be in the form of external corrosion under insulation, internal corrosion through a variety of mechanisms, and internal erosion caused by the flow of the product through the pipe. Refineries, chemical plants and electrical power plants have MANY thousands of miles of pipe that are insulated to prevent heat loss or heat absorption. This insulation is often made up of several materials, with calcium based material being the most dense. The insulating material is usually wrapped with an aluminum or stainless steel outer wrap. Verification of wall thickness of these pipes can be accomplished by removing the insulation and doing an ultrasound inspection or by taking x- rays at a tangent to the edge of the pipe through the insulation. Both of these processes are slow and expensive. The time required to obtain data is measured in hours per meter. The ultrasound method requires that the insulation be plugged after the inspection. The surface needs to be cleaned or the resulting data will not be accurate. The tangent x-ray only shows two thicknesses and requires that the area be roped off because of radiation safety.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 March 1998
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3398, Nondestructive Evaluation of Utilities and Pipelines II, (15 March 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.302535
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph E. Pascente, Lixi, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3398:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Utilities and Pipelines II
Walter G. Reuter, Editor(s)

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