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Corrosion Under Insulation Inspection Challenge

Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) is a worldwide inspection Challenge. It is one of the greatest concerns in many Oil and Gas operating facilities where highly dangerous liquids and gases are processed throughout facilities’ insulated piping systems. CUI become one of the main causes of premature pipe failure because of hidden corrosion that takes place under the cover of insulation and the deterioration might not be discovered until it is too late. Many petrochemical companies put this challenge as top priority and search for the latest available NDT technologies to assess the condition of the plant insulated piping systems. CUI inspection can be very expensive due to the cost of removing insulation and erecting scaffolding. There are several techniques/methods used to inspect for corrosion under insulation. The most common techniques are profile radiography, ultrasonic spot readings, and insulation removal. Regular inspection utilizing NDT techniques provide measurable data that can be monitored over time to track changes in the equipment’s condition and identify areas of concern. Then, repairs or replacement can be planned before the problem becomes too severe. This paper will highlight in detail several advanced NDT techniques used to overcome many challenge of inspecting piping for corrosion under insulation. Those technologies can be utilized to quickly and easily scan an insulated pipe while in service. Advanced NDT reports of CUI inspection can provide useful information when conducting engineering evaluation to assess insulated line systems.


[1] API Piping Inspection Code 570: In-Service Inspection, Rating, Repair and Alteration of Piping System. 4th ed. American Petroleum Institute, 2016. Print.

[2] Jason Barron, 2014, “How Corrosion Under Insulation Could Be Destroying Your Pipes”, North Country Mechanical Insulators.

[3] CUI Investigation, Digital Profile Radiography,“”.

[4] Oil and Gas, What Is a LIXI Profiler System, “”.

[5] Sentinel Integrity, Real-time Radiography, “”.

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