Pipeline external corrosion analysis

Pipeline external corrosion analysis using a 3D laser scanner

Pierre-Hugues Allard, Creaform

Pipeline operators have to inspect their pipeline network directly or through NDT inspection service companies. In-line inspection (ILI) tools allow the identification of zones with critical external corrosion by magnetic flux leakage (MFL) or ultrasonic (UT) methods. The code specifies that a prove-up from the outside of the pipeline is required for critical zones, often requiring excavation. Various techniques can be used for external corrosion assessment to identify appropriate remediation. Each technique presents certain limitations which can be minimized or avoided with the latest 3D optical innovations coming from dimensional metrology and now applied to NDT applications.