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PURPOSE

Procedure for long range (guided wave) ultrasonic test-LRUT- for the in-service monitoring of pipes and pipelines, using Teletest , designed primarily for detection of corrosion and other metal loss damage.

SCOPE
Provision for carrying out long range (guided wave) ultrasonic test-LRUT- for the inservice monitoring of pipes and pipelines in compliance with standard procedures and practices of NDT. It applies to both General Inspection procedure: Teletest data gathering and Teletest Interpretation Procedure for Examination of Pipes Incorporating focusing of the guided waves.

RESPONSIBILITIES
It is the responsibility of Topline technician as the Teletest Operator to follow the steps listed in these procedures; Data collection and Interpretation Procedure for Examination using the Teletest WaveScan.

PROCEDURES AND METHODOLOGY Equipment


Test Equipment
Laptop personal computer (PC) loaded with Teletest Version 2 WaveScan software Teletest ultrasonic unit Teletest tools to fit pipes to be tested (transducers and mounting devices) Umbilical lead Interconnection leads Ultrasonic thickness meter or flaw detector Various tools

Software
The laptop PC is supplied with Teletest Version 2 WaveScan data acquisition and processing software.

Laptop PC specification for Teletest WaveScan: Processor: 2 Ghz Centrino equivalent or better Memory: 2GB Recommended (1GB minimum) Hard Disk: 1 GB Free (500 MB minimum) Screen: 1024x768 Operating System: Windows XP/ Vista/7.

Transducer Requirements
The Teletest tool consists of three or five rings of piezoelectric transducers. A flexible modular arrangement is used. The tool size is chosen to fit the diameter of the pipe being tested. The number of transducers required in each ring depends on pipe diameter. The individual transducer elements are connected in either quadrants or octants, each containing an equal number of elements

System Set-up
Powering the Equipment A Lithium Ion battery pack provides 28V DC power. The battery pack is rated for greater than 20 inspection locations. Connecting the PC and TELETEST Unit The PC controlling the Teletest unit is located remotely from the test site, normally in a cabin or vehicle. The data link is provided via a USB MAU (Media Access Unit), which is inserted into an appropriate port in the PC. Data are transferred to the unit via the umbilical cable which may be up to 50 metres in length. Connecting the TELETEST Unit to the Transducer Tool The Teletest ultrasonic unit is sited close to the transducer tool, the leads being kept short (~5m) to minimize any pick up of electrical noise. For the modular tools, the leads from the Teletest unit terminate in eight 5-way connectors, colored brown(a), red(b), white(c), yellow(d), green(e), blue(f), black(g) and grey(h) each of which is connected to the appropriate octant on the tool.
ELECTRICAL TESTS

Transducer Tool It is essential to establish that the individual transducer elements within the tool are functioning correctly, so that the transducer as a whole behaves as expected. This is most easily achieved by; y measuring the capacitance of the transducer elements. Measurements of capacitance shall be made on the populated Teletest tool prior to testing. y The required capacitance may be calculated from the individual transducer capacitance and knowledge of the number of transducers in the tool. It is also necessary to ensure that the tool does not present a low resistance load to the Teletest unit, as this causes over-current faults.

Using the transducer test box, y measure the resistance of each quadrant or octant for each ring on the tool using a multi-meter with a resistance range of at least 60 MOhms. y The resistance of each quadrant or octant should exceed 30 MOhms to avoid over-current errors. y Note, the insulation resistance may also be subject to a more rigorous check in the workshop with an insulation tester using a dc voltage not exceeding 250V. y The transducer lead is tested for continuity and short circuits as part of the test regime for the transducer tool. y The umbilical cable can suffer damage through use and shall be checked before use using the umbilical tester box. y There shall be continuity from pin to pin at each end, and no continuity between different pins. Starting the TELETEST WaveScan Software Launch the Teletest WaveScan software by double-clicking the icon on the PC screen. There are four options on the start-up screen: y Create a new inspection. (Sets up a new inspection session for a particular test location) y Create a new test from an existing test. (Sets up a new inspection session using the parameters from a previous test. This is useful when multiple test locations are required on a single pipe) y Analyse a previous inspection. (This recalls stored data for analysis) y Create a Teletest report. Conducting a Test

y During data gathering (and for subsequent analysis) relevant information is y


required to be entered into the Teletest program. This information is also recorded in a log book for future reference.

Dimensional Checks y The diameter and wall thickness of the pipe to be tested shall be checked by means of suitable measuring equipment. y Whilst measuring the pipe wall thickness it is also important to determine that no internal metal loss is present at the proposed tool locations.

Tool Attachment Surface Preparation The Teletest transducers require direct contact with the pipe surface to couple the ultrasound into the pipe. No coupling fluid is necessary. The presence of thin, welladhered coatings, such as paint, does not adversely affect the coupling.

The region where the tool is to be located shall be prepared with a wire brush and/or emery cloth to remove any loose corrosion products or poorly adhered paint. Mounting the Tool It is important that the coupling of the transducers is as uniform around the pipe as possible. Care must therefore be taken that the device is centered on the pipe and that all the transducers come into adequate contact with the surface. Tool location In the field the choice of suitable locations for the Teletest tool may not be freely available. Wherever possible avoid locations equidistant between two consecutive girth welds, as this can cause superimposition of key features. Where possible the tool shall be positioned in the , position between the welds. It is not advisable to position the tool closer than 1m from a weld or other feature, such as a branch or flange. When mounting the tool the forward test direction must be recorded along with any angular offset. The location of the tool (measured to the centre ring of transducers) relative to a known and agreed datum shall also be recorded. Note: the connectors on the tools face in the 'backward' test direction. Data Gathering The following information is required to be entered or set up prior to testing: On the Job Set-up Screen:  General information about the client, job no. pipe reference, test procedure etc, (There is a free text box to enter other relevant information)  Pipe material (The default is ferritic steel. Stainless steel, aluminum and copper are also selectable. Choose other if material differs from category)  Standard to which the pipe was produced (if known)  Nominal pipe diameter. (The actual diameter is calculated based on the standard selected)  The nominal wall thickness. This thickness will be used for determining test conditions if no actual thicknesses are entered. (The range of thicknesses for the selected standard and diameter is displayed to aid selection)  The actual wall thickness, measured at the test location. Provision is made for up to four readings. An average is taken of these and is used to set up the test conditions.  Whether any special conditions apply. These are: non-ambient temperature, heavily pitted surface, viscous contents or a heavy coating.  The transducer tool type.  If a multi-mode tool is selected, the wave mode to be used may be selected if only one mode is to be used. On the Tool Set-up Screen

 Whether the pipe is horizontal or vertical.  If vertical, whether the forward direction is up or down.  The position of the datum for distance measurements relative to the transducer.  The datum feature must also be described.  If the pipe is vertical, the orientation of the top dead centre position has to be identified.  If the top dead centre of the tool is not aligned with the top dead centre of the pipe, the offset angle must be entered  The direction of flow of the fluid in the pipe may also be entered.  The forward and backward test distances should be specified. Excitation Parameters  Once the pipe material, diameter and thickness, and the tool geometry are entered, the excitation parameters are determined automatically.  The selected test frequencies for the wave modes in operation are also displayed on the Tool Set-up screen.  The test frequencies selected by the software may be modified by, or on the instruction of, a Level 2 certified technician. Where such modifications are made a justification for the changes must be given. Amplitude Normalisation There may be differences between the output levels of the different rings or segments of the tool and coupling may vary. It is therefore necessary to adjust the output levels of the instrument to normalise the tool. This is done automatically by the Teletest WaveScan Software. If the relative response levels of different parts of the tool are outside pre-determined limits, a warning will be displayed. If such a warning is displayed it is recommended that the tool is re-positioned and the test recommenced. The software does permit the operator to proceed without the responses from all parts of the tool being within the limits, but a justification as to why this should be must be included in the report. Data collection Once the normalisation process has been completed, the software automatically collects the sequence of tests specified. Once the first data set have been collected they are displayed for evaluation. Each test may be displayed in turn for viewing and evaluation.

DATA EVALUATION 6.4.1. Determination of Reference Levels The ultrasonic responses are assessed with respect to a number of thresholds. These are represented by distance amplitude correction (DAC) curves at 5 levels:

Black (solid): 0dB, equivalent to a pipe end, (100% reflector) Blue: -14dB, equivalent to an idealised weld Red: -20dB, equivalent to the amplitude from an idealised weld. Green: -26dB equivalent to an idealised 9% of pipe wall cross-sectional area Black (dotted): -32dB The target noise level to achieve at least a 6dB signal to noise ratio from a 9% pipe wall cross-sectional area reflector. Determination of Valid Test Range This is determined by the test length for which the background ultrasonic noise level does not exceed the 32dB level, i.e. the range over which the signal-to-noise ratio is at least 6dB at the 9% cross-sectional area loss level. The range from the transducer in the test direction over which the above signal to noise criterion is met, shall be determined and recorded. Beyond this range, weld signals and larger anomalies may be reported but where possible should be re-inspected from another test location. Evaluation of Responses Data are evaluated along the valid test length in order to identify symmetric and asymmetric pipe features. Peaks identified are automatically marked with a symbol on the display and are entered on the reporting sheet. In practice, there is no lower cut off amplitude for the consideration of responses in these tests. Any signal which is recognizable above the baseline scatter level must be identified so that it may be evaluated by the interpreter such that a decision is made regarding recommended follow up. Where responses are identified by this preliminary evaluation as a potential defect, focused data must be gathered to provide additional information necessary for the full interpretation to be carried out. Focusing Focusing may show valuable circumferential positioning and distribution of a response. In order to achieve a focus, the Teletest tool is split into 8 segments of transducers, controlled by independent channels similar to a phased array. Time delays are exerted on the firing of each segment. These delays are specific for test frequency, pipe material and geometry (diameter and wall thickness), and focal position (both axial distance from the transducer, and angular position around the pipe). This is automatically controlled by the software.

To focus on an indication, click the Focus Here option. This adds the focused test to the list of additional tests to be performed. For any one indication, the focused tests must be carried out at all frequencies where the indication is observed.

DATA INTERPRETATION
Data gathering Long range ultrasonic tests using guided waves normally employ an axi-symmetric wave, typically either the L(0,2) or T(0,1) mode. Such waves are useful in that they can be well controlled, but they only give a limited amount of information about any defects. The reflection from a defect is effectively averaged around the pipe circumference, so that there is little information about its size or shape. Associated mode-converted signals do provide some information about the location of the defect on the pipe circumference, but it is difficult to determine any degree of severity other than that obtained from a very crude assessment of signal amplitude. As for conventional ultrasonic testing, signal amplitude is a very unreliable means of determining defect size. The additional use of guided waves focused at the defect, which is a unique and essential feature of the Teletest system, allows more information to be collected which is specifically related to the size and shape of the defect. This permits a more accurate assessment of the priority to follow up the screening information provided by Teletest with more non-destructive tests or other remedial work.

Evaluation method
Indications identified on the A-scan plots are evaluated on the basis of a combination of:  The signal amplitude,  The directionality of the focused response. This takes into account that large amplitude responses will be from a large crosssectional area defect. Small defects cannot produce large amplitude reflections. However, the converse is not always true; A small amplitude response does not necessarily mean that the defect is small, as the response may be affected by a number of factors. In order to provide a means of identifying defects which are potentially significant in terms of the integrity of the pipe it is also necessary to examine how localised the response is in terms of the pipe circumference. This may be obtained from the focused tests and is plotted on a polar response charts. The responses may be categorized as;

Category 1 responses are those which are lower than the green -26dB line (formerly Minor). Category 2 responses are those above the -26dB line, but are lower than the new red line at -20dB (formerly Moderate) Category 3 responses exceed the new red -20dB line (these are broadly the same as the previous Severe classification, but the limiting amplitude is now better defined) NOTE - In practice, there is no lower cut off amplitude for the consideration of responses in these tests. Any signal which is recognisable above the baseline scatter level must be evaluated by the interpreter such that a decision is made regarding recommended follow up. The overall classification is obtained by multiplying the two values, amplitude x directionality, obtained from a defect. A score of 3 or greater gives a recommendation for a High priority follow up, a score of 2 gives a Medium priority and a score of 1 gives a low priority. This is summarised in Table below Evaluation matrix Table Amplitude Directionality Score Follow up priority High High High High High Medium High Medium Low

3 3 3 2 2 2 1 1 1

3 2 1 3 2 1 3 2 1

9 6 3 6 4 2 3 2 1

Hence a defect with a high amplitude response always results in a high priority follow up (unless deemed to be a feature such as a weld), as does a low amplitude response which is highly directional.

Interpretation The sequence for data interpretation may be summarised as follows: 1. Gather data from the chosen test length using the test conditions identified by the software as the most suitable. (The test schedule may be modified if the operator has level 2 certification.) 2. Apply the DAC curves and determine that they are of the correct gradient and at the correct level. 3.    Identify the signals which are from: Identifiable pipe features, e.g. welds, Suspected defects, Mark these using the tool provided in the software.

4. Select a focused test at each location where a feature has been identified and more information is required (Focus Here function) and collect the additional data. (Focusing may be carried out at more than one frequency at a particular location, if deemed necessary.) 5. The test data are now available for the full interpretation sequence and reporting