One of today’s most pressing integrity problems is Corrosion Under Pipe Support (CUPS), the corrosion that develops at the contact points between pipes and pipe supports. Pipelines typically have physical contact with supporting structures every 4 to 6 meters, therefore a large proportion of aging pipelines could potentially be affected by a hidden and inaccessible defective spot every few meters.
To inspect these hidden areas, Guided Ultrasonics Ltd (GUL) has developed an innovative technology to indirectly measure corrosion at pipe support locations.
Quantitative Short Range (QSR) guided wave scanning device – the QSR1® – makes this possible. This recently patented device scans the pipe sections travelling axially along the pipe under its own power, using non-contacting electro-magnetic acoustic transduction (EMAT) which does not require any couplant. The QSR1® quantitatively measures sites of corrosion of depths of up to half the pipe wall thickness.
At present, for corrosion deeper than half the pipe wall thickness QSR1® gives a qualitative estimation of the damage severity.