TDW designs unique EMAT

TD Williamson (TDW) has produced what it says is the market’s first 10-inch electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) after a natural gas operator discovered there was not one available.

The two companies worked together in the development of the tool which achieved success when it was run on the operator’s pipeline.

The operator raised the issue with TD Williamson after it determined stress-corrosion cracking (SCC) was a serious threat to its 10-inch pipeline, but still needed to detect, size, and repair the SCC without hydrostatic testing or ultrasonic crack detection (UTCD).

EMAT was deemed appropriate because it produces guided waves through the entire thickness of the pipe wall and does not require a liquid couplant, so avoiding post-inspection drying, which is required by both hydrostatic testing and UTCD inline inspection.

TDW adapted its SpirALL EMAT tool – which is available for use with larger-diameter pipelines – to fit the smaller pipeline.

TDW’s Product Manager Sean Moran said “TDW was challenged with producing a new tool that would benefit the entire industry.

“That included miniaturising the electronics, improving data quality, and advancing the functionality from existing EMAT tools.

“We verified the ruggedness of the design, feature detection and sizing capabilities, and pipe navigation abilities of the 10-inch EMAT tool through numerous high- and low-speed pull tests, flow loop tests, sensor wear tests, and temperature and pressure tests.”

The tool ran successfully on the operator’s line in April after several at TDW’s Salt Lake City facility. It took approximately 12 hours to traverse the 54 km pipeline

“With this new technology, operators who had limited choices for 10-inch diameter crack-inspection tools now have a new, validated option in this small diameter,” Mr Moran said.

For more information visit the TD Williamson website.

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