An Overview of Laser Pipe Profiling Technology


When it comes to ensuring longevity and health of pipelines, the importance of internal examinations is paramount. Regular inspection of the interior of the pipeline allows us to find out different early signs of damage including denting, corrosion, cracks, and more. CCTV and laser profiling technology is one of the most trusted methods for pipe interior assessment.

The traditional pipe profiling methodology was labour intensive and it didn’t reveal the specific problems with the pipeline. A mandrel was pulled by two operators through the pipe to figure out if there is any debris, deposits, or pipe deflections. This process was not only tedious and time consuming, but also required digging up pipes at times. Moreover, there was no way understand what caused the mandrel to stop.

With the advent of modern cameras and profiling, laser pipe profiling technology has emerged as a quicker, less physical, and more accurate pipeline inspection methodology. This is the technology of using lasers along with cameras for accurate identification of pipe joints, cracks, and deflection.

Laser Pipe Profiling Types:

Laser light ring and direct measurement are the two commonly used techniques for laser pipe profiling.

  • Direct Measurement: In direct measurement, highly sophisticated pipe cameras with laser diodes on both sides of its lens are used. Once the camera is placed within the pipe, operators can measure the circumference of the pipe and distance from the manhole by driving the camera. They can also visualise the pipe’s inclination and different causes of deflection such as pipe compression, previous repair issues, cracks, accumulation of debris, etc. This method allows the necessary point repairs to be carried out with pinpoint accuracy. If at all required, digging is limited to the exact area. In most instances, however, digging is not required at all.
  • Laser Light Ring: Laser light ring technology has some similarities with direct measurement as it also makes use of laser equipped camera systems. A rod is fixed at the front portion of the camera system, and is strapped on its end with the source of laser. Within the view of the camera, a ring of light is projected by the laser against the pipe’s interior wall. Here also, the causes of deflection can be viewed by the operators. However, in this method, human data entry is required before carrying out any measurement. Also, the cameras are required to be field calibrated. At times, a third-party may be required for the review and interpretation of data received from profiling.

Benefits of Laser Pipe Profiling:

Laser profilometry inspections are extremely popular these days because they provide a clear view of the interior of a pipeline by sending crawlers through the system and transmitting images simultaneously to above-ground computers. Laser Profilometry systems are considered to be perfect for several applications including

  • Internal corrosion pit detection and measurement
  • Accurate identification of the location of leaks
  • Provides clear visuals related to the condition of the pipeline interior, including tubercles and debris
  • Mapping the exact location of elbows, T-junctions, and valves
  • Helps operators identify the sources and reasons of unexplained flow restrictions and blockages
  • Assessment of any changes in pipeline materials.

Austeck has been the most recommended pipeline inspection and rehabilitation service provider in Australia for close to three decades. Please contact our experts today to discuss your laser pipe profiling requirements.