INSPECTION OF PRESSURIZED VESSELS & PIPELINES WITH ACOUSTIC EMISSION TECHNOLOGY
METALEX-ELTEST is engaged in technical diagnosing of different facilities in petroleum, gas, chemical, petrochemical, oil refining industry some of them working with explosive, toxic and harsh environments. Russian Company ELTEST is a leader in the field of study and practical application of acoustic emission (AE) technologies. They possess the perfect AE equipment, testing ground, training center, the well-proven control techniques, a significant databank of various equipment defects and qualified experts. AE technology bases on result of the long-term fundamental researches including study of acoustic emission processes at deformation and destroying of materials. It is a practical method of non-destructive testing based on the phenomenon of ACOUSTIC EMISSION and allows prevention and localization of a phase of possible breakdown. The method allows detecting defects such as cracks, zones of significant corrosion damages, plastic deformations and leaks.
The acoustic emission diagnostics provides the non-destructive control of the state of pipelines, petrochemical industry equipment, reservoirs, high-pressure vessels, bridges and cranes. Russian Company ELTEST owns all necessary licenses of the state municipal technical supervision committee of Russia for the performance of the diagnostics works relevant to pipelines and petroleum chemistry constructions. This brings the rights for the durability resource estimation and giving out the conclusion.
METALEX-ELTEST partnership has evolved from the idea to provide AE diagnostics services to the Clients based in Middle East, Gulf and North African countries while ELTEST is handling the Former Soviet Union on its own. Depending on the demand from the customer, diagnostics can be performed without stopping the operation or product transfer. Our pricing for the cited geographical area depend on the services required and it is much lower than the pricing of the same services provided by the western origin companies. Only in 19982006 period METALEX-ELTEST executed diagnostics of pipelines and high-pressure vessels at 57 plants. Under a preliminary agreement with the Clients, METALEX-ELTEST experts mobilize to the location of the facilities to perform the necessary works. We permanently employ minimum 5 teams with a full hardware and software.
ACOUSTIC EMISSION METHOD
The method is based on the registration of the elastic compression waves emitted by the defects developing in the stressed constructions. The compression waves propagating through the metal reach the sensors and then they are transformed into electric signals. These signals are thereafter filtered, amplified and registered by a computer and special software. The subsequent analysis of the registered signals determines the existence of the defect, their coordinates and the level of risk and danger they create. Acoustic emission method provides the possibility to determine and localize the locations of possible damage in advance. Types of the detected defects are cracks, corrosion damages, zones of significant plastic deformation and leaks.
The diagnostics can be performed without any shutdown requirement and interruption of the product pumping. Among the existent non-destructive control methods, the acoustic emission method is the only one that provides to eliminate completely the sudden probable damages on pipelines and vessels. In year 2005 only, AE Tests conducted for 9 customers by METALEX-ELTEST on various facilities in the geographical area revealed more than 33,200 defects of 4 th th and 5 levels (less dangerous) and 517 defects of st nd rd 1 , 2 and 3 levels of danger which demand immediate liquidation or follow-up with repeated control in 6 months.
Another direction of joint activity of METALEXELTEST is the development and manufacturing of the multi-channel acoustic emission equipment of LOCUS series. This device has successfully passed the state tests in GOST Standard of Russia. The acoustic-emission devices of the Locus series are recommended for the non-destructive diagnostics of the equipment used in the petroleum, gas, and petrochemicals industry, as well as in the power engineering, shipbuilding, and other domains. It is also possible to install these devices permanently for continuous monitoring of the plant structures. In case we provide the devices’ handling teaching, guarantee and post-guarantee service, free of charge software renovation and consultations are also provided.