Pipeline Crack Inspection

Innovative solutions for reliable detection of pipeline cracks

The Problem

Cracks and crack-like features can occur during pipe manufacture, pipeline construction or during operation. Whatever their origin, these flaws can seriously compromise the integrity of a pipeline, making it essential to detect, size and locate them before irreversible damage occurs. 

Cracks are often invisible to the eye, and can weaken a pipeline causing devastating failure.

The Solution

NDT Global’s range of ultrasonic inspection tools accurately identify cracks and crack-like anomalies in the base material as well as the weld area.

In order to detect cracks, our ultrasonic crack detection tools use the proven 45° shear wave method. Our innovative Enhanced Sizing for UT crack inspections removes the depth sizing boundary for depths above 4 mm (0.16 in). This innovation also offers high accuracy depth sizing up to 100% wall thickness.

The location of the crack is calculated based on the signal time-of-flight, and depth is graded using signal amplitudes, signal overlap and other signal characteristics depending on the availability.

Our Ultrasonic Tools

Evo Series UC

Ultrasonic crack inspection enables early detection and sizing of crack-like irregularities. This allows the pipeline operator to take appropriate measures to avoid pipeline failures caused by cracks.

The principle of the ultrasonic crack inspection tool is based on the 45° angle beam technique using shear wave. Due to the so-called corner reflection, even minor cracks from approximately 1 mm onwards give quite strong reflections.

Read More About It

Evo Series UCc

Circumferential cracking defects can be addressed with ILI tools utilizing ultrasonic shear wave technology.

To accurately identify circumferential cracking, the diffracted shear wave signal travels in the pipe wall by an angle of 45° and is reflected either by an external or internal flaw. Based on the individual pattern of the reflected signal algorithms, experienced data analysts can read and translate the information into flaw properties, e.g. length, width, type and depth.

Read More About It

Ultrasonic Crack Detection

Evo Series 1.0 UC fleet improves speed capabilities and resolution for crack inspections. A maximum inspection speed of 4 m/s and an axial resolution of 1.5 mm (0.06 in) has become standard. Tools can detect and size features with minimum dimension of 20 mm (0.78 in) by 1 mm (0.04 in) in base material at a POD greater than 90%.

Case Studies

Verifying Emerging Pipeline Cracking Threats Using UT

Manage circumferential cracking threats to 814 km (506 miles) of pipeline located in…

Evaluation of Cracks in a Petroleum Pipeline

A crude oil pipeline in Canada presented a particularly challenging scenario for NDT…

Identifying Girth Weld Cracking Threats In a CRA Cladded Pipe

Identification of circumferential cracks in girth weld of a CRA cladded pipe. A liquid…


  • All work was performed in accordance with Statoil's specifications and to complete satisfaction. The data results were precise and reliable and perfectly reflected the pipeline conditions. During the last years NDT has been an excellent cooperation partner for us in every respect. Precision and reliability are the cornerstones of their work.


  • Thanks to the NDT Global Engineering 'A Team', and work by the Sunbury Flowlines team, a plan was conceived to put the pig on a diet.

    BP Angola

  • NDT showed a profound expertise and reliability. NDT impressed with their quality of service provided through their personnel as well as the outstanding performance of the inspection tool providing excellent data. The final reports were delivered in due time and with excellent quality. Based on this experience and the good business relationship, we are happy to recommend NDT Global for the inline inspection services.

    Open Grid Europe