ULTRASONIC PHASED ARRAY NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING AND IN-SERVICE INSPECTION SYSTEM FOR HIGH INTEGRITY POLYETHYLENE PIPE WELDS WITH AUTOMATED ANALYSIS SOFTWARE

Speaker:
Thorpe, N.; Tecnitest Ingenieros; Spain

Authors:
Thorpe, N.; Tecnitest Ingenieros; Spain
Acebes, M.; Tecnitest Ingenieros; Spain
Wylie, D.; TWI Ltd; United Kingdom
Troughton, M.; TWI Ltd; United Kingdom
Gilmour, O.; TWI Ltd; United Kingdom
Roy, O.; M2M; France
Benoist, G.; M2M; France
Dweik, R.; Palad HY; Israel

ID: ECNDT-0325-2018
Download: PDF
Session: Composite Material - UT 4
Room: G1
Date: 2018-06-15
Time: 09:40 - 10:00

The traditional way to ensure the quality of Butt-Fusion (BF) and Electrofusion (EF) welded joints in Polyethylene (PE) pipes during installation is by controlling the welding parameters used, together with a visual inspection and a hydrostatic pressure test. As part of the quality control process, these tests are complemented by destructive test on representative welded joints.
The main disadvantage for visual inspection is that only the outer surface of the pipeline can be examined. Although the hydrostatic pressure test normally tests every joint for gross flaws for the short-term integrity of the pipeline; there’s no guarantee in the long-term. In addition, destructive testing can only be carried out on representative welded joints, rather than the joints that will be in service, and only tests a small percentage of the circumference of the weld. For this reason, the integrity of the pipeline can’t be ensured.
On the contrary Non-destructive volumetric testing can provide a complete analysis of the whole welded joint, removing the requirement for destructive tests.
In this paper, the PolyTest™ technology is presented. This non-destructive inspection system Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) shows the weld joint integrity level of PE pipe systems commensurate to the safety critical function of the pipe component and furthermore opens up new uses for PE pipe in the energy industry that haven’t yet been possible due to the lack of a suitable commercially available inspection and testing transducers/sensors and data analysis software.
The overall concept is based on taking an existing proven PAUT – NDT technique and through a process of product engineering and signal processing/software algorithms enabling the rapid inspection of PE pipe BF and EF welds with automated data processing and automated defect recognition (ADR) such that the reliance on laborious, time-consuming and subjective manual inspection data evaluation is eliminated