Solutions Engine

Weld Defects

Pipelines often contain weld defects from construction, such as missed weld passes or lack of fusion, that can lead to problems like cracks and crack-like defects. Under conditions of high pressure or shifting landscape, these weld defects can cause cracking or other integrity issues that may eventually lead to pipeline failure. 

TDW offers a suite of solutions to help pipeline owners and operators detect weld defects such as misalignment, crack-like features, missed weld passes, lack of fusion, and corrosion. These services enable the Gas Transmission market to:

  • Detect weld defects before they lead to failure.
  • Perform a comprehensive assessment with no damage to the pipeline.
  • Monitor defects and prioritize repairs.
  • Repair defects without pipeline shutdown.
  • Keep lines running safely and efficiently, in compliance with company, industry, and regulatory standards.

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Pigging assists Gas Transmission operators in assessing weld defects by cleaning the pipeline prior to evaluation with inline inspection tools, helping to improve data capture and providing the most accurate information about necessary repairs. In addition, as isolation operations are often necessary to facilitate the repair of pipeline defects, pigging prior to the isolation is essential to success. By removing built-up liquids, contaminants, and deposits on the pipe wall, operators can help ensure a flawless isolation. This translates into a quicker turnaround and less downtime.

  • VANTAGE® V cleaning pig  – Multi-use pig designed to remove both hard, crust-like, and soft, gummy deposits, as well as ferrous materials.
  • WCK cleaning pig – Removes contaminants and deposits that increase resistance to flow.
  • REDSKIN™ foam pig – Used for light cleaning; one version incorporates a urethane cleaning wrap with a bypass groove that effectively removes paraffin and other soft deposits that could lead to corrosion.
  • UNISPHERE™ pig – Provides heavy-duty removal of liquid hydrocarbons and water from pipelines and piping systems.

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Through advanced inline inspection (ILI) technology to detect and characterize weld defects, TDW helps Gas Transmission operators by utilizing the appropriate technologies, saving time while lowering operational risks and costs.

  • Magnetic flux leakage (MFL)  – High resolution technology that detects and sizes volumetric features, and circumferential grooving/slotting features that may exist in the girth weld. Utilized primarily in small diameter liquids pipelines.
  • Gas magnetic flux leakage (GMFL) – High resolution technology that detects and sizes volumetric features, and circumferential grooving/slotting features that may exist in the girth weld. Utilized primarily in natural gas pipelines.
  • Multiple Dataset (MDS) platform Combines multiple technologies to generate comprehensive, critical information in a single tool run. To detect axial planar/crack-like defects, MDS utilizes SpirALL® Magnetic Flux Leakage (SMFL), and leverages Axial Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) to improve characterization.
  • SpirALL® Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) – A tool that optimizes the number of receivers and transmitters through the use of a helical magnetic field. EMAT detects axial planar/crack-like defects that are below the detectable limits of SMFL.
  • XYZ mapping (XYZ) – Supplies highly accurate location information about every defect reported by pairing global positioning system (GPS) coordinates with inertial mapping.

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In the Gas Transmission market, where hundreds – or thousands – of employees often work in close quarters and capital investments may be in the hundreds of millions – or even low billions – of dollars, safe pipeline repairs are of utmost importance. TDW offers safe, proven hot tapping and plugging (HT&P) solutions for a wide array of pipeline defects and maintenance challenges from dents to corrosion to valve failure.

The HT&P process incorporates a high pressure pipeline fitting, valve, tapping machine, and isolation equipment – all working together to provide a safe and proven isolation solution. Once the area of pipeline that needs work has been safely isolated and evacuated, the line modification can be performed.

TDW isolation technology plays a critical role in this process, and a temporary bypass allows work to be performed without the need to stop product flow. The TDW STOPPLE® Train  isolation system, for example, uses double block and bleed technology to help increase efficiency and safety during pipeline modification. This approach to line isolation, which only requires a single pipeline tap, reduces costs associated with fittings, valves, welding, and inspection services. The bleed port affixed on the line ensures that any product that bypasses the first seal is contained and evacuated through the bleed port, which helps operators better protect people and the environment.

Whether operators are purchasing equipment to perform their own HT&P jobs or turning to TDW to execute the service, they can rely on the TDW line of equipment and consumables. TDW application engineers are recognized industry experts, ready to assist operators through each project phase – from start to finish.