Best NDT Techniques For Oil And Gas Industries
Safety, reliability, environmental protection, government regulations, and constant demand, all mean that companies in the oil and gas industry have a strict responsibility to maintain the integrity of their equipment.
Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is the most effective way to do this. NDT techniques can be used to inspect processing equipment, pipeworks, and the pipelines that carry the fuel – all without altering the actual structure being inspected or interrupting operations. While operations are still going on, NDT can measure wall thickness, check pipes for corrosion, detect weaknesses in welding, and identify flaws that are not visible to the naked eye.
NDT Techniques For The Oil & Gas Industries
Which NDT technique used depends a great deal on what needs inspecting. Some inspection techniques are more effective than others at providing certain information. The most commonly used NDT methods for inspecting oil and gas equipment are:
- Guided Wave Technology. Guided Wave Technology can be used to inspect a wide variety of structures and components in the oil and gas industry. Using this method, ultrasonic wavelengths identify internal and external features of piping which can then be used to check for abnormalities that might indicate a threat, such as corrosion or stress fractures. The ultrasonic waves can travel for several hundred feet in any direction and go through soil or other physical barriers. This greatly reduces the labor needed to obtain measurements and speeds up the inspection process.
- Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI). While insulated piping does protect pipes from temperature extremes, it also makes it hard to do a visual inspection. Corrosion Under Insulation inspections techniques can detect problems before they get out of hand. Corroded pipes lead to leaks that can be dangerous in addition to decreasing productivity. CUI techniques that allow us to view structures and components underneath insulation include Radiography, Ultrasonic Spot Readings for thickness measurements, and real-time X-rays.
- Computer and Digital Radiography. Computer Radiography (CR) and Digital Radiography (DR) both use radiation to obtain images of flat, cylindrical, and spherical structures. Unlike X-rays, CR and DR are done without film, using just a computer to record the images. These techniques are effective at identifying weakness or changes in pipe walls, welding points, or joints and are often used in CUI inspections.
- Positive Material Identification (PMI). PMI can measure the performance characteristics of certain materials. This helps ensure that the materials are remaining strong during use. PMI can also be used to determine corrosion. It is one method that is used both during the production of structures and components and after the components have been in use.
Additional techniques that are used for inspections in the oil and gas industry are Visual Inspections, Liquid Penetrant Testing, and Infrared Thermography.
NDT Inspection Services At Amerapex
Amerapex is a Houston, Texas based provider of NDT inspection services for the oil and gas industry. Using proprietary inspection methods, we are able to not only detect areas of corrosion but also assess its causes and recommend solutions. To learn more our company and our services contact us at 1-713-263-0900 or visit www.amerapex.com.