Cost-effective ultrasonic inspection of large diameter pipelines



Published May 31, 2020
Ries Augustijn João Gonçalves Joost Haaksman


To be successful in the ILI business, organization require the right mix of technological capabilities, operational agility and quality standards. The business is fairly competitive, and often technological capabilities are pivotal in the customer proposition of the company. However, the best technologies are not solely required for successful ILI companies. Robustness of the system, operability by the ILI inspector, fitness of the product with commercial route to the market all contribute to a rapid return on investment. Providing a robust, versatile, high-resolution and cost-effective method to inspect large diameter pipelines was recognized as a challenge and opportunity. For that, a Large Diameter Ultrasonic Inspection tool capable of inspecting pipelines of 20 inch to 64 inch with high resolution was developed. The tool is always bi-directional and capable of mitigating 1.5D bends. Gathered data can be reviewed real-time during the inspection. The operating envelope of the tool is such that it can cope with various products in the pipeline, varying from (high salinity) water, crude oil and a multitude of refined products. Despite the fact that product properties (e.g. speed of sound, attenuation, temperature, etc) vary, the tool is designed such that this is not a limiting factor for the operating envelope. The application of advanced ultrasonic beam forming methodologies and signal generation and -processing ensure that the system is versatile and robust for these types of real-life operating conditions. This presentation will provide an overview of the utilization of these technologies, the validation program that has been used to demonstrate tool specifications and the experiences gained at successful projects.

How to Cite

Augustijn R, Gonçalves J, Haaksman J. Cost-effective ultrasonic inspection of large diameter pipelines. PST [Internet]. 2020May31 [cited 2021Jan.24];4(2(4):108-16. Available from:


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Inline inspection, pigging, ultrasonic testing, signal processing, phased array.

[1] Specifications and requirements for inline inspection of pipelines - Version 2016.
[2] API Standard 1163, In-line Inspection Systems Qualification, Second edition, April 2013.
[3] Manual for Determining the Remaining Strength of Corroded Pipelines, B31G – 2012.
[4] Phased Array Ultrasonic Technology, 2th Edition, 2013, Eclipse Scientific.
Original Work