Inspectioneering Journal

Corrosion Surveys of NPS 6 and Smaller Lines with High Production Digital Radiography

By Chris Bishop, CR and DDA Subject Matter Expert at IRISNDT, and Ana Benz, Chief Engineer at IRISNDT. This article appears in the July/August 2021 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


Piping failures account "for 60% of mechanical integrity losses [1]." Traditionally, we have monitored piping corrosion losses with ultrasonic thickness testing (UTT) based corrosion surveys. While these surveys are valuable, their information for small diameter piping can be challenging to interpret. In contrast, for NPS 6 and smaller lines, digital radiography (DR) based piping corrosion surveys give clearer and much broader information: an image showing wall loss, weld condition, threaded connection integrity, potential problems with insulation, internal product buildup, and often much more.

Using profile radiographic techniques (PRT) for small diameter lines is not a new concept. The API 570 "Piping Inspection Code: In-service Inspection, Rating, Repair and Alteration of Piping Systems" has clear guidelines for PRT of small-bore piping. This article illustrates the significant value of digital radiography as an efficient tool to visualize corrosion and other small bore piping anomalies without disturbing insulation. It also highlights the importance of properly interpreting radiography images and using PRT in conjunction with UTT to survey small diameter lines.

Some Key Benefits of Profile Digital Radiography

Profile radiography is described in detail in API RP 583 "Corrosion Under Insulation and Fireproofing." As stated in the RP, "The exposure source is usually iridium-192, with cobalt-60 being used for heavier wall piping … can also be done using X-ray sources." A typical exposure setup is illustrated in Figure 1. All DR digital detector array (DDA) images shown in this article were obtained using iridium-192.

Figure 1. Image illustrating a profile radiography setup.
Figure 1. Image illustrating a profile radiography setup.

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Comments and Discussion

Posted by Kevin Wieland on September 10, 2021
Great article that emphasizes that not only one... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by Ana Benz on September 10, 2021
Thank you, Kevin. Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by UDAYAN PATEL on September 30, 2021
It is a great article. However there are couple... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by Ana Benz on October 1, 2021
Hi, Udayan, We have been using DDA to identify... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by Chris Bishop on October 4, 2021
Hi Udayan, For the second question , this is... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by UDAYAN PATEL on October 19, 2021
Thanks for response. It is vey helpful Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

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