Integrity management for pipelines is a broad subject which includes many different professional skill sets. This article covers tools and techniques for documenting pipes, valves, flanges, fittings and components metal chemistry and tensile strength.
Missing Records & Validation
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation has set out guidelines for managing legacy and modern pipeline pipes and components including traceabl material documentation. How does an organization create traceable records for unknown pipeline material?
One idea suggested by PHMSA is to cutout a predetermined number of joints per miles of pipeline and have the samples tested by a laboratory. Not a bad solution but it’s not the most practical. Cutting out samples will create more work for integrity managers and could cause more confusion . Another option is using Mobile OES, Ultrasonic testing (UT) and tensile testing. Using thes three methods operators can create multiple models for MAOP and pipeline health.
Ultrasonic Testing for Pipelines
UT testing is used to establish pipe wall thickness and weld inspection. Determining pipe wall thickness is an important safety step before pipeline workers test the metal chemistry with a Mobile OES unit since OES units do create an arc discharge against the metal surface.
Mobile OES for Pipelines
Mobile OES or portable OES is an instrument that utilizes an electrical at to excite a metal surface into a plasma and measure the intensity of emitted light which is split into elemental percentages. The reported elements include typical elements that handheld XRf units can see with the addition of Carbon in all steels and nitrogen in duplex stainless steels.
The Compact Port by Belec is the only laboratory grade Mobile OES instrument capable of analyzing low concentration levels and has added features such as Silicon analysis in steels experiencing H2S corrosion.
Analysis records can be saved as a report a generic report in the instrument or logged into a custom report stored in the instrument and downloaded later.
Tensile Testing and Pipelines
Certain grades of mild steel or API grades can only be differentiated after chemical analysis with a portable tensile strength tester. The AIS 3000 is a portable tensile and yield strength tester capable of getting the needed information and storing the data for records management.
Pipeline Testing Summary
If you need the tools and knowledge to execute pipeline analysis in the field contact Innovative Analytical Solutions today and start integrating this technology into your integrity management plan.