Vol. 8 3, 2018 p 264-272


Article name, authors, abstract and keyword


Application of automated ultrasonic inspection systems in assessing the quality of girth welds of main pipelines

Alexey V. Geit a, Igor I. Mikhailov a, Eugeny E. Zorin a

a Pipeline Transport Institute, LLC (Transneft R&D, LLC), 47a Sevastopolsky prospect, Moscow, 117186, Russian Federation

DOI: 10.28999/2541-9595-2018-8-3-264-272

Abstract: Decreasing the weld-joint defects and, respectively, reducing the repair scope and enhancing the pipeline reliability are critical tasks and key incentives fro introducing the manufacture of automated ultrasonic inspection systems (AUIS). AUIS ensures both inspection operational efficiency and high sensitivity to the defects like lack of side fusion, which are typical of the existing automated welding equipment.
The technology of area control was initially used in AUIS. The use of an additional technology, i.e. ultrasonic control (diffraction-time method), as a part of them, was the next step. Since the 2000s, the common application of the phased-array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) instead of traditional piezoelectric transducers (PET) made the AUIS by far more simple, facilitated its adjustment and enabled the implementation of the settings functions, which were not available for PET. Adaptation of non-mechanical (i. e. program-based) linear and sectoral scanning was another important result of UPA implementation.
Transneft R&D, LLC carried out studies of AUISs that are available in the Russian market: PipeWIZARD, Argovision, PV128, Rotoscan Paulis PA 128 and Avtokon-AR. The study included the repeatability test for inspection results, verification of AUIS sensitivity to the weld joint temperature, comparison of the weld joint AUIS inspection results with the pair metallographical test results to assess the detectability of defects and to determine the absolute error in measurements of defect conditional sizes.
Tests were performed for six test weld joints (TWJ) of Ø1220×22.0 mm and Ø720×8.0 mm grade K56 steel pipes with defects of different types, orientations and sizes. The TWJ was performed by double automatic welding using solid wire in shielding gas.
Additionally, the serviceability of AUIS was verified under continuous production conditions and at low ambient temperature. The tests were carried out at the Kuyumba Taishet pipeline transportation system, pipeline section Ø 720×11, welding operations were performed using the RC-Evans automatic welding machine. The PipeWIZARD, Argovision and Avtokon-AR systems were checked in tests. The ambient air temperature dropped below 30 during tests, the temperature of 47 was registered in some cases. All systems proved to be serviceable under minus temperature conditions. The test averaged performance was as follows: PipeWIZARD 13.3 weld joints/h, Argovision 11.2 weld joints/h, Avtokon-AR 10.3 weld joints/h.

Keywords: automated ultrasonic inspection (AUI), weld joints examination, fased-array ultrasonic testing, zonal control, TOFD, estimation errors of defect geometric parameters.

For citing:
Alexey V. Geit, Mikhailov I. I., Zorin E. E. Application of automated ultrasonic inspection systems in assessing the quality of girth welds of main pipelines. Nauka i tehnologii truboprovodnogo transporta nefti i nefteproduktov = Science & Technologies: Oil and Oil Products Pipeline Transportation. 2018;8(3):264272. DOI: 10.28999/2541-9595-2018-8-3-264-272.

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