Inspectioneering Journal

Microwave Inspection Technology Applied to Composite Pipeline Repair

By Buddy Powers, VP - Product Management and Technical Services at Clock Spring Company, and Donald McNichol, Application Specialist at Evisive, Inc. This article appears in the July/August 2017 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


Maintaining a pipeline can be a costly, but the cost can pale in comparison to the cost of a failure. Pipeline operators must balance maintenance costs with pipeline integrity. The purpose is not to save money regardless of potential consequences, but to attain a level of safety that is acceptable to the company and the public at a cost the company can afford. The authors believe that composite technology developed for pipeline repair can be a significant variable in the integrity equation. This technology can be a cost-effective method of improving safety while keeping maintenance costs down.

Not all composite installations are of equal craftsmanship and pedigree.   This is why the industry is pushing to develop Nondestructive Examination (NDE) techniques to provide quality assurance at the time of installation and during the life of the repair to accurately determine remaining wall in the defect region.

Evisive and Clock Spring recently took part in a joint study on how best to serve the pipeline industry as it moves toward monitoring composite repairs with operating pipelines in any environment.  

Pipeline excavations provide an opportunity to combine multiple in-situ technologies into existing repair to monitor the performance of composite, which are sometimes expected to last 50 years or more. The investment on most pipeline excavations will far outweigh the added expense to provide a continuous monitoring of the composite systems to support integrity/risk assessments.

The distinctions between different types of composites used for pipeline repair are important and must be understood to ensure the composite repair selected will meet the rigorous specifications demanded by sound engineering.

Just as the selection of the type of composite repair is important, ensuring that the selected system has been correctly installed is critical to ensure that the repair can meet the operating criteria that it is intended to address.

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Comments and Discussion

Posted by RAJ KRISHNASWAMY on October 9, 2017
You mention composite materials which is a broad... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by Corne Uytdewilligen on October 10, 2017
Thanks for this article, but I have some... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

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