Advancements in Pipeline Girth Weld Inspection

Today, circumferential welding of large diameter steel pipe is more likely to be carried out by mechanized or “automatic” welding processes rather than by manual techniques. This conversion has also seen an accompanying conversion to automated inspection techniques and particularly to automated ultrasonic testing or AUT in similar fashion as seen in pipe manufacturing where both ultrasound and radiography techniques are now highly automated. At the same time pipeline constructions in the offshore space required to overcome corrosiveness of sour crude are proving to be very difficult if not impossible to inspect with ultrasound thus driving a resurgence of radiography. This paper discusses current advancements that provide improved technical capability and inspection efficiencies.

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