Advantages of Ultrasonic Testing for Pipeline Inspection


Maintaining proper condition of the pipelines is extremely important in our residences as well as industrial premises, and regular inspection plays an important role in ensuring pipeline integrity. With changing times, different non-destructive testing regimens have gained popularity for the purpose of determining the need for pipeline repair or maintenance. Sound testing is one of the most commonly used NDT methods for preventing expensive pipeline failures.

What is Ultrasonic Testing?

There are many different types of non-destructive testing, and each of these methods has distinct advantages and disadvantages.  Ultrasonic testing for pipeline inspection is highly preferred these days because it can generate images of the internal structure of a material inexpensively, effectively, and quickly.

The basic function of ultrasonic testing equipment is quite simple. They are capable of transmitting sound waves through composite materials as well as metals. The transmission or reflection of sound waves is captured and analysed by the ultrasound testing equipment to generate images of anomalies or irregularities in the medium. These images are used by the pipeline inspection technicians to identify and report flaws that may lead to pipeline failure in the future.

Advantages of Ultrasonic Testing

Ultrasonic testing of metallic components has been in use for almost a century. Over the years, this technology has improved continually and significantly. Industries as well as homeowners rely on ultrasonic testing because of its numerous advantages.

  • Speed is one of the most important advantages of ultrasonic testing of pipelines. Advanced ultrasonic techniques such as Time of Flight Diffraction (TOFD) and Phased Array (PAUT) are capable of generating immediate results. The software of the instrument displays a visual image of the material’s interior whenever the probe passes over the material surface. This allows the technicians to cover large areas within a short time and instantly make informed decisions related to scan results. This is why phased array probes are extremely useful for scanning larger areas at a higher inspection speed.
  • Though it requires some training, ultrasonic testing units are very simple to use. Thanks to modern instruments and software, the testing process is smooth and intuitive. The instruments are easy to carry because they are cordless and lightweight. Most importantly, very little preparation is required for scanning.
  • The efficiency of ultrasonic scanning remains the same, regardless of the thickness of the material. Compared to other NDT methods, UT instruments can travel much deeper into the materials. This enables greater and more effective detection of pipeline flaws.
  • By applying advanced software algorithms, ultrasonic testing can determine the position, shape, and size of most of the pipeline flaws with a higher accuracy compared to other NDT techniques. Also, ultrasonic testing is sensitive to pipeline surface flaws.
  • The instruments used for ultrasonic testing are handheld, lightweight, and self-contained. As a result, technicians find it easier to carry these instruments to the job site and cover more ground in less time.
  • Ultrasound testing instruments are highly durable as they can withstand dust, humidity, vibration, and temperature.
  • Unlike some other NDT methods, ultrasound technology poses no threat to the technicians.

Austeck is one of Australia’s most trusted names in pipeline inspection and rehabilitation. Please contact our experts today to find out more about our advanced sound testing instruments.