The main pipelines, like many engineering structures, are subject to high operational safety standards. The safety of their operation is supervised by various institutions from the operator, including supervisors such as the Office of Technical Inspection. Safe operation requires knowledge of their technical condition and trends. One of the important sources of information on the condition of pipelines is their periodic inspection carried out with so-called smart pigs. As a result of the inspection, the operator expects the following questions to be answered: what is the condition of the pipeline examined; where and what metal losses are occurring in its construction; what are the hazards causing these damages for the safety of the pipeline operation; what is the rate of increase in the size of metal losses in the pipeline wall. This article presents technical solutions and methodology to answer the above questions.
Magnetic non-destructive testing methods can be classified into the earliest methods developed for assessment of steel constructions. One of them is the magnetic flux leakage technology. A measurement of the magnetic flux leakage is quite commonly used for examination of large objects such as tanks and pipelines. Construction of a magnetic flux leakage tool is relatively simple, but a quantitative analysis of recorded data is a difficult task. Therefore, methods of magnetic flux leakage signal processing and analysis are still under development. A magnetic flux leakage in-line-inspection tool called FLUMAG 500 was constructed. FLUMAG 500 was designed for gas and oil pipelines inspection. In this paper principle of operation of FLUMAG 500 was described. Advanced algorithms of the signal processing and analysis was also developed. Results coming from the development stage as well as from the final construction of the tool were presented. Analysis of these results shows that FLUMAG 500 is a suitable tool for detection of corrosion defects in a pipeline wall.