JANDAKOT, Australia -- A girth weld pipeline offshore Western Australia is the first pipeline in the world to be completely inspected using computed radiography, according to Global Technical Services Group (GTSG). The company performed the inspection using GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies' CR50P portable scanner. The team inspected girth welds on the clad pipe, which consisted of 128 km (18 mi) of 18-in. (46-cm) pipe, during laybarge operation on the northwest shelf in Western Australia.
GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies' IPS and IPC2 phosphor imaging plates were placed around the weld on top of an insulating layer to protect them from the very high pipe surface temperatures. The plates were then exposed to the radiation of a source carried by an X-ray crawler inside the pipe. The exposed plates were fed into an adjacent CR50P portable CR scanner.
GE's CR50P weighs 22 kg (48.5 lb) and offers high image quality through its optimized optics and a scan resolution which can be user variable from 50 to 130µm pixel pitch. Plates can be fed on a continuous basis, with one plate being fed into the unit while another plate is being scanned. Results are displayed on a black and white monitor with a resolution of 3 million pixels and 65000 gray scale. The data is managed and processed using GE's Rhythm software platform, which offers advanced image review tools and storage capability. Data is stored in the DICONDE protocol, which has been specifically developed for non-destructive testing inspection applications and allows images to be stored with text to facilitate future database searches.