Pipeline Radiography Services
Products such as natural gas, crude oil or refined petroleum are frequently transported by means of cross-country high-pressure transmission pipelines. These pipelines are usually long and have a fairly large diameter. Their construction requires a massive amount of top quality welding that requires non-destructive examination. Radiography is widely considered one of the most reliable and proven non-destructive testing methods in weld inspection of pipelines. LBNiW provides automated pipeline radiographic services for pipes with diameters ranging from DN250 (10″) to DN1500 (60″) by utilizing x-ray crawler.
A pipeline crawler is essentially a battery powered, remotely controlled mobile radiographic machine designed to produce single wall, single image (SWSI) radiographs of circumferential welds in pipelines. It is a completely self-contained, self-propelled and self-operated vehicle that travels inside the pipeline, stops at the location of a girth weld, irradiates the weld with x-rays and then moves to the next one where it again stops and repeats the x-ray operation.
Pipeline radiography with a crawler is similar to a conventional radiography however an x-ray tube on a crawler device is run inside the pipe to each weld. Radiographic film is wrapped around the outside of the pipe so as to cover the weld. The entire weld (i.e., 360°) is then irradiated from the center of the pipe with x-rays. The radiation beam penetrates through the weld and exposes the film which is subsequently developed in our mobile dark room on-site to provide almost immediate results.
Our pipeline radiographic technique is quick and can inspect over 100 welds per day.
All our radiographers are certified according to ISO 9712 (EN473). They operate within strict safety parameters and produce high-quality radiographs that allow us to utilize our interpretation skills developed through many years of experience to determine if an indication is actually a defect or can be accepted per code requirements.
You can trust the skilled professionals at LBNiW, all our radiographers are radiation safety qualified. Prior to commencing any site radiography, a specific risk assessment will always be carried out by a senior radiographer (minimum RT level 2 acc. to EN473) to ensure the work is carried out safely in full compliance with HSE legislation.
We partner with the leading radiography equipment manufacturers to ensure that our inventory includes the most advanced productive and reliable equipment available. Additionally, LBNiW always has spare equipment on hand to facilitate the quick and easy resolution of problems encountered in the field environment with damaged or faulty machines.
We utilize JME pipeline crawler that is designed for non-destructive examinations of circumferential butt welds in all types of oil and gas transmission pipelines, providing high quality 360° panoramic radiographs. The unit is equipped with Yxlon 300kV panoramic constant potential X-ray tube which in combination with highly efficient power electronics of the crawler guarantees optimized penetration and maximized number of exposures per battery cycle. The crawler is robust and reliable in all kinds of climatic conditions ensuring continuous operation without costly delays.
We have also invested in state of the art film processing equipment which guarantees quick turnaround times. We can provide immediate on-site RT results with our mobile darkroom which offers fully automated film processing.
Advantages of Automated Radiographic Testing of Pipelines
- Inspects very large volumes of welds per shift
- Consistently produces very high quality radiographs
- Very fast method with short exposure times
- Delivers superior radiographic image quality and therefore, better defect detectability as compared to conventional radiography using gamma sources.
- Provides a permanent record of the inspection
Disadvantages of Automated Radiographic Testing of Pipelines
- Testing must be performed a considerable distance from the welding crews
- Safety precautions are required for the safe use of radiation
- The crawler must be run into the pipe