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TRACERCO Diagnostics™ - MUI

Corrosion Under Insulation

Refinery from a distanceAn increasing problem on vessels and pipelines within chemical and refinery units is the “invisible menace”, more commonly known as “corrosion under insulation”.

When this occurs unseen erosion of the pipe or vessel wall takes place ultimately leading to either an operational stoppage or at worse a catastrophic failure of the unit.

The TRACERCO Diagnostics™ MUI technology offers an inspection tool to examine the water content of the insulation. Although this does not directly examine the condition of the metal wall it gives an accurate indication as to the “wetness” of the insulation indicating where the conditions for corrosion to occur are most prevalent. The benefit of doing such a survey is that it gives the client an early warning of an impending problem.

The unit is self-contained and allows for instantaneous interpretation of the results to be made. The unit in operation is shown below.

Neutron backscatter technologyAn example of the successful use of the technology is on a gas transportation line in Europe. This line is over 16km long and suffered a catastrophic failure around 5 years ago. On inspection the client found that this was due to corrosion from the outside of the line and that the insulation in this area was extremely wet. This obviously raised major concerns as to the condition of the remainder of the line.

The TRACERCO Diagnostics™ MUI technology was used to conduct a detailed examination of the line. This initial survey showed significant areas of wet insulation, which on removal showed that major “corrosion under insulation” had taken place.

Large sections of the line were replaced and re- insulated and since then an annual inspection has taken place. The line has improved but even the latest survey showed one area of concern.

If you feel your unit could be suffering from this “invisible menace” then please feel free to contact us.

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