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IAEA/EPRI Technical Meeting on the

Aging Management of Buried and


Underground Piping and Tanks

Application of Guided Wave


Technology to Buried Piping

Mike Quarry
Project Manager
EPRI NC
Charlotte,
October 15, 2014
Objective

• The objective of this session is to introduce the use of


guided wave to the inspection of buried pipe, and identify
some of its key uses and limitations.

• EPRI “Buried Pipe Guided Wave Examination Reference


Document” – 1019115 is an excellent reference and
should read prior to any guided wave testing at your site.

• A Guided Wave Seminar is also conducted yearly in


Charlotte for a more detailed discussion.

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Animation of Guided Wave Crack Detection

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Generation of Guided Waves

• Probes or sensors are installed on the component and pulsed with the GW system.
• Probes “listen” for reflected energy and convert to an electrical signal that is
recorded for subsequent data analysis. Exact values are not displayed. Peaks in
reflection of degradation are evaluated

Piezoelectric Probe Magnetostrictive Sensor

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Electronics and Setup of Equipment

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Mode Shape of T(0,1) torsional mode (twisting)

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Guided Wave Concept

Transducer Ring
Weld
Flaw
Guided Reflection Reflection
Wave

Amplitude

Distance
A guided wave is generated by a ring of piezoelectric transducers. The guided wave
propagates down the pipe and changes in the cross-section of the pipe or material
properties create reflections. These include welds, flaws, corrosion, flanges, valves,
wall thickness changes, etc. The reflections propagate back to the ring where they are
received. The received signal is plotted as a function of distance from the ring.
Typically welds are used as reference markers and calibration for the test. Prior to the
setup, UT thickness measurements should be taken to verify pipe thickness.

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Where Guided Waves Are Being Used

• Oil and gas industry


– Road Crossings Cased Piping
– “Non-piggable” lines
• Chemical processing
– Corrosion under insulation
– Wall penetrations
• Aerospace industry – Structural Health Monitoring

Guided waves are still a relatively new technology and most applications
have only begun using GW in the last 10 years. Buried applications have
been studied in the last 3 to 4 yrs.

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Benefits of Guided Waves

• Efficient 100% volume inspection of a large section


• Can potentially propagate long lengths, although flanges and large
valves act as obstructions
• Inaccessible locations including wall penetrations, buried, coated, or
obstructed areas
• Limited cleaning and excavation (required at locations where
transducer ring is applied), but does require removal of coating
• Does not require access to inside of pipe or cleaning of inside pipe
walls
• May inspect while system is operating
• No risk of getting anything stuck or lossed inside of pipe
• No risk of contaminating inspection equipment
• Potential for periodic monitoring via permanently mounting sensors
• Technology available from 2” to 96” diameter

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Challenges of Guided Waves

• Thick viscous coatings attenuate signal, thus reducing


effective inspection lengths and sensitivity to flaws
• Flanges are barriers for guided wave propagation –
inspection beyond a flange is not possible
• Elbows distort the guided wave signal and reduce signal-
to-noise making inspection beyond them difficult
• Distinguishing flaws from other nonaxisymmetric
reflectors such as welded attachments
• Quantifying size of damage is often not highly accurate

Work needs to be done in these areas to study and improve GW capabilities.

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Current Guided Wave Capabilities/Limitations

Guided Waves CAN Guided Waves CANNOT


Provide a rapid method of Provide actual remaining wall
screening relatively long runs of thickness
pipe
Detect inside and outside surface Differentiate between inside and
wall loss as well as circumferential outside wall loss
cracks
Examine an inaccessible area of a Inspect past a flange or detect
component from a remote location isolated small pits or “pin-holes”
reliably over long distances
Be used to examine a pipe Accurately size damage
containing a product

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


24” Pipe mockup with an elbow and several
flaws – elliptical dishes and flat-bottom holes
Flaws

EPRI Report 3002000466, “Nondestructive Evaluation: Guided Wave Analysis Tools”

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Flaws in 24” Pipe Mockup

Flaw #1 – 3” x 1” (50% thru-wall) Flaw #2 – 2” x 1” (50% thru-wall)

Flaw #3 – 1” dia. flat-bottom holes


Flaw #4 – 6” x 1” (50% thru-wall)
(50% thru-wall) set of 3 – 1 ft. apart
© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.
GW data with MsS sensor at right end of pipe
6’ 8’ 7’

315o 270o 0o
#3 #2 #1
MsS sensor

5’
90o #4
Reverberation
Weld TOP – 0o
Bend Weld

90o 270o
End of Pipe
Bend 180o

Weld

Flaw #1 Flaw #3 Flaw #4


Flaw #2
MsS Strip

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Sources of attenuation for Guided Waves
which reduce propagation distances

• Coatings
• Concrete
• Soil
• Surface Roughness
• Pipe Product (sludge)
• Material Attenuation – cast iron is usually highly
attenuative

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


GW Data from Pritec coated Pipe 1 with native clay
backfill shows a reflection from a flange at about 40’
r )
a
e
in

+F1
1.0
L
(

0.8
p

0.6
m

0.4
A

0.2

0.0

20
Distan

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


GW Data from Pritec coated Pipe 3 with pea gravel
backfill shows a reflection from a flange at about 80’
)
r
a
e
in

0.6 +F1 +F2


L
(
p

0.4
m
A

0.2

0.0
0 20 40
Distance (ft)

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Surface Roughness

• Scattering can take place at the surfaces of the pipe as


the guided wave bounces back and forth during
propagation
• As roughness increases so will scattering and attenuation
• As pipes age surface roughness can increase
• Attenuation due to surface roughness becomes
significant when it reaches 10%-20% or greater of the
wall thickness along most of the pipe
• Some pipes with heavy pitting throughout the pipe may
not be inspectable

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Elbows and Bends

• Elbows reflect and distort guided wave energy making


inspection beyond them more difficult
• 45’s are generally worse than 90’s
• Distortion worsens as the radius of curvature tightens
• Pipe that pulled-bends cause much less distortion
provided their radius of curvature is greater than 3.

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Obtaining Credit for Guided Wave as a Direct
Examination

• EPRI Report 3002000468, “Nondestructive Evaluation:


Guidelines for Obtaining Credit for Guided Wave as a
Buried Pipe Direct Examination
• EPRI has done research providing a technical justification
for obtaining credit for guided wave as a direct exam
• Created a framework with performance indicators based
on experimental data to show the essentials criteria for
determining if an exam should count as a direct exam

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


Periodic Monitoring via permanently installed
OD Guided Wave Sensors

• Collars can be installed on


a pipe system permanently
with leads to come later
and test without digging
again for access.
• Has the benefit of having
baseline data, so signal
processing techniques can
be used to look for
changes.
• EPRI Report 1025213,
“Buried Pipe Structural
Health Monitoring”

© 2009 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.