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Corrosion Detection in Pipe Bends and Angles

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In industries such as oil and gas, water supply, nuclear, and power generation, pipelines are critical to operations. So, ensuring these core components remain undamaged is a major focus within these industries. However, as most of these pipelines exclusively use iron or steel, the risk of corrosion remains high. This requires industries to have a plan for non-destructive testing (NDT) for corrosion detection in the pipeline.

While effective, NDT inspection of pipe along the bends or angles can be challenging. The complex geometry of the pipe due to bending or the addition of fittings, and the inflexibility of many probes and scanners contribute to this challenge. This requires specialized NDT inspection instruments for accurate and precise results.   

The Issue of Corrosion in Pipe Bends and Angles

The bends or angles in a pipe are prone to corrosion. The high velocity of fluid passing through the pipe and turbulence contributes to the corrosion of material at the internal part of the pipe. Turbulence is high, particularly where the pipe bends or is at an angle. This makes such angular edges the weaker point in the pipeline system. Corrosion can further lead to stress-induced cracks giving rise to leaks or ruptures in the pipe system. This can present a potential risk to the production process as well as human lives. An efficient NDT technique is required to identify all possible flaws in the pipe system to prevent such failures and ensure high-quality performance.

The main drawback of some probes and scanners in the inspection of pipes is their inflexibility. Thus, in the inspection of complex geometrical shapes, this equipment may not be able to provide complete coverage, leaving technicians with interpolated analysis based on spot check data. This process can be extremely taxing and time-consuming and may not provide precision in analysis. To remedy this, industries are inclining towards specialized probes and scanners such as Zetec’s ElbowFlex scanner for its versatility and accuracy.   

Corrosion Detection in Pipe with NDT

Ultrasonic testing (UT) is an ideal NDT technique for corrosion detection in pipes. In the volumetric inspection of the pipeline, it is possible to use advanced signal capabilities of UT instrumentation, and more specifically phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT), to enhance the calculation of pipe wall thickness. Any change in wall thickness can indicate the possibility of corrosion in a pipe.

With advanced and flexible probes and versatile scanners, the inspection for corrosion detection in pipes has become much more efficient. Advanced inspection equipment provides:

  • Flexibility to scan and inspect for flaws along straight as well as complex geometries
  • Precision and accuracy in analysis with high-resolution C-scan imaging ability
  • Fast and complete inspection coverage

Tools such as the ElbowFlex scanner from Zetec provide these features for more efficient analysis of pipelines for corrosion detection.

An Effective and Flexible Solution for Corrosion Detection in Pipes

Although bends and angles in the pipe are very essential in providing direction to the process fluids, it can also be an equally stringent task for industries to keep these parts from failure. These parts can also be the point of erosion and corrosion in the pipe system.  

For technicians facing the challenge of corrosion detection in the pipe—especially in pipe fittings and angles—advanced flexible and adaptable NDT scanners and probes can prove to be an ideal solution. The versatile ElbowFlex scanner is adaptable to the changing curvatures of the pipeline. The ability to conform to changing and complex geometries helps in achieving complete inspection coverage. With high-resolution imaging, the technicians can identify the extent of corrosion and allow them to make decisions on ideal mitigating efforts for such flaws. Accuracy and precision provide industries the much-needed reliability of inspection in advancing safe and quality operations.    

Zetec is a leading provider of high-performance NDT solutions, ideal for inspecting corrosion detection in pipes. Our adaptable probes and scanners provide accuracy and precision with the complete coverage of complex bends and the angular geometry of the pipe. Contact us today to learn more about our NDT solutions.