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Profiling NDT Global’s Atlas UG and INS Inspection Services

This year's PPIM Conference saw NDT Global present the latest updates on the Atlas ultrasonic geometry (UG) and mapping (INS) inspection services, both of which are based on Evo Series 1.0 technology.

Mechanical damages, if undetected, can lead to serious threats to a pipeline. Small deformations, such as wrinkles, are often indicators of pipeline settling or imminent buckling in areas of high strain on the pipeline. The combination of Atlas tools with the Evo Series 1.0 offers solutions to accurately detect and size mechanical damages and deliver highly accurate GPS locations, alongside an effective local and global strain evaluation.

Atlas UG Dent Identification

Atlas UG Dent Identification

The Evo Series 1.0 delivers the most accurate and reliable ultrasonic in-line inspection (ILI) available today. Regardless of what type of anomaly affects a pipeline, the combination capabilities of the tool service enables a comprehensive inspection in a single run.

A Solution for Dents

Conventional mechanical calipers are characterized by sensors touching the inner surface of the wall and the effectiveness of the caliper tool relies on two main characteristics – the number of sensors used, and the space between them. In contrast, the ultrasonic sensor technology allows the introduction of an overlap, offering a complete image of the shape of the pipeline.

Additionally, a caliper tool's speed affects the behavior of the arms, which results in amplified signals and lift off, leading to bad and inaccurate measurements. Taking advantage of the ultrasonic technology, the Atlas UG tool is also capable of detecting fixtures attached to the pipeline, such as sleeves or patches, giving it further advantages over a conventional caliper tool.

UG measurement has myriad benefits for operators when inspecting their pipelines. In contrast to an arm-based tool, the new approach to geometry inspection offered by the Atlas UG tool includes:

  • Ultrasonic Technology
  • Sensor overlap
  • No pre- or post-calibration required
  • Up to 0.75 mm axial resolution
  • Depth resolution 0.1 mm

Coincidental and interacting threats in a pipe segment can result in an increased chance of pipeline failure. Using the Atlas UG tool in combination with corrosion and/or crack assessment makes it possible to conduct a comprehensive inspection with multiple datasets in a single run. Combined reporting on, for example, corrosion or cracks associated with dents, wrinkles or buckles, helps prioritize and manage interacting threats in pipelines.

When implementing an ILI service, pipeline operators are looking to protect their pipeline and the surrounding environment. The continual advancements explored and undertaken by NDT Global, such as the new Atlas UG inspection service, underline the value of enhanced data quality in maintaining pipeline integrity.

Moreover, NDT Global implemented a point wise local strain estimation methodology for every single data point along the deformation. As well as this, NDT Global takes advantage of Atlas UG's axial resolution and overlapped sensors to employ a detailed geometry of the deformation for the strain estimation.

NDT Global's Dent Strain Methodology

A Solution for Mapping

Using high-resolution INS data acquisition, Atlas INS can pinpoint installations, welds and anomalies in liquid pipelines even at the preliminary reporting stage. The analysis team exports the captured data to a geographic information system (GIS), helping operators better understand and visualize their pipelines and any anomalies identified. In addition, Atlas INS service is the most reliable way to identify potential areas of deformation in a pipe-wall close to, or exceeding, the critical strain limit of the steel.

Bending strain has the potential to cause pipeline buckling, which eventually results in the failure of the pipe wall. INS data acquisition helps to identify and locate potential bend strains in pipelines.

Leveraging cutting-edge software products with high-resolution INS data acquisition enables NDT Global's Atlas INS service to be the most reliable way to identify areas of bend strain. The regularity with which NDT Global conducts these surveys allows for the proactive detection of changes in strain over time.

When combined with Atlas UG technology, Atlas INS filters out strains corresponding to other features such as misaligned welds or dents. With Atlas INS, NDT Global:

  • Pinpoints tensile and comprehensive longitudinal strains
  • Detects strain areas in proximity to girth welds
  • Compares strain results over time to detect pipeline movement

NDT Global enhanced its present tool fleet by integrating robust, proven technology such as Atlas INS and Atlas UG to its existing ILI tools.

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