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Content archived on 2024-05-29

The development and validation of non-destructive testing techniques for electrofusion joints in polyethylene pipes


Polyethylene (PE) pipe offers significant advantages over other materials, such as cast iron, steel and concrete, for the distribution of fluids such as natural gas, water and corrosive liquids. It has a longer predicted service life, leading to less frequ ent replacement; it is less expensive to install due to its light weight; it doesn't fracture in the event of an earthquake or other earth movements due to its flexibility; and it has significantly lower leakage rates. However, its more widespread use is b eing restricted by the lack of a reliable non destructive testing (NDT) method for the welded joints. Pipeline leakage does not only cause high repair costs but can also result in disastrous environmental consequences and even in loss of life. The develop ment of a reliable NDT method for welded joints in PE pipes will result in both lower leakage rates in these systems and also in lower overall pipe leakage rates, due to an increase in the usage of PE over other materials for pipelines. . This project wi ll develop phased array ultrasonic and thermo graphic NDT techniques and systems for the assessment of electro fusion (EF) welds in PE pipes in the field. The development will be made using manufactured EF joints containing known flaws. The NDT data will b e analysed to determine the limits of flaw detection for each technique. In parallel, the significance of flaw size and quantity will be established in relation to service requirements. This will be achieved by the short-term and long-term mechanical testi ng of EF joints containing known flaws, and comparison with results for welds containing no flaws. Prototype phased array ultrasonic and thermography equipment will be designed and built, specifically for the inspection of EF joints. This equipment will be tested under both laboratory and field conditions

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Middlemarch House, Siskin Drive
United Kingdom

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