Inspection of Protected Infrastructures: Ensuring Operational Integrity

In critical environments such as buried pipelines, inspection plays a vital role. These analyses provide fundamental data to understand the current state of the installation and estimate its remaining service life. This ensures that the infrastructure operates safely within established parameters and optimises inspection, maintenance and repair plans.

Infrastructure Inspection Specialists

Procainsa excels as an expert in inspections of protected infrastructure, especially buried pipelines. With extensive experience and expertise, we carry out accurate and detailed inspections using state-of-the-art technologies. Our commitment is to ensure the operational integrity of our clients’ infrastructure by providing reliable and effective solutions.

Our techniques include:

  • Cathodic Protection Stray current studies
  • Direct Current Voltage Gradient (DCVG)
  • Close Interval Potential Survey (CIPS)
  • Alternating Current Voltage Gradient (ACVG)
  • External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)
  • Soil resistivity survey
  • pH analysis
  • Pipeline mapping
  • Pipeline locating and depth measurement

At Procainsa, we use a wide range of inspection techniques to guarantee the integrity and safety of our clients’ infrastructures.

Coating Inspection with DCVG Technique: Accuracy and Audit of Cathodic Protection

The DCVG (Direct Current Voltage Gradient) coating inspection technique is recognised for its accuracy in locating coating faults, as well as allowing effective auditing of the installed Cathodic Protection system.

This technique uses a direct current pulse generated by a current switch. Current flow through the soil causes a gradient of potential around defects in the coating. These are detected using two grounding electrodes that allow measurement using a specifically designed voltmeter. This system evaluates the electrical magnitude of the defects found.

Procainsa SA technicians will carry out the measurements and geo-locate the defects using a GPS system. The defects will be classified according to the highest percentage of IR (Rectification Index), thus identifying the most severe, moderate, slight or non-significant defects.

At Procainsa, we are committed to performing detailed inspections using the DCVG technique to ensure the integrity of coatings and the effectiveness of Cathodic Protection systems, thus providing a reliable solution to our customers’ needs.

Close Interval Potential Survey (CIPS): Assessment of Cathodic Protection and Pipeline Fault Detection

The Close Interval Potential Survey (CIPS) is a fundamental inspection technique in the evaluation of the effectiveness of the cathodic protection system in buried pipelines. This methodology involves taking potentials under on/off cycles at regular intervals along the pipeline route.

The main objective of CIPS is to provide an accurate assessment of the effectiveness of the cathodic protection system, while simultaneously allowing the detection of areas affected by coating failures and stray currents.

In summary, the Close Interval Potential Survey (CIPS) is an essential tool for ensuring the integrity of buried pipelines by assessing the condition of the cathodic protection system and detecting potential problems such as coating failure or stray currents.

Procainsa SA: Combination of Inspection Techniques for Detailed Pipeline Evaluation

Procainsa SA uses a combination of inspections, such as the DCVG and CIPS technique, to obtain an exhaustive knowledge of the severity of coating defects and to certify their anodic or cathodic behaviour.

The DCVG technique makes it possible to locate and assess the electrical severity of coating faults, expressed in percentage voltage gradient (%IR). It also characterises the electrical behaviour of the defect, identifying whether it receives protective current (cathodic) or emits current to the ground (anodic).

Subsequently, the CIPS technique is applied in the areas where the defects are detected. This technique determines on/off potentials in 20-metre sections, every metre, 10 metres upstream and 10 metres downstream from the position of the epicentre of the fault.

The combination of both techniques provides detailed information on the electrical characterisation of the defect and the effectiveness of the Cathodic Protection. This enables appropriate remediation strategies to be established, optimising resources.

The detailed information obtained, together with other data such as soil resistivity, pH and the presence of stray currents, allows predicting the rehabilitation requirements of the pipeline. This facilitates the prioritisation of repairs in an efficient and cost-effective manner..

ECDA Process: An Alternative to Smart Piston Inspection

The ECDA (External Corrosion Direct Assessment) process can be an effective alternative to smart piston inspection, especially for those pipelines that cannot be inspected by this method due to operational or technical limitations.

The ECDA consists of four main steps:

1. Initial Phase: An exhaustive study of the historical and current data of the pipeline is carried out, including design data, construction, operating variables, maintenance and inspection results. This phase makes it possible to determine the feasibility of the ECDA, identify priority areas for evaluation and define the inspection techniques to be used.

2. Indirect Inspections: During this phase, inspections are carried out on the pipeline trace using two or more inspection techniques. These inspections provide valuable information on the condition of the pipeline and help to identify possible areas of corrosion or coating failure.

3. Direct Inspection: Based on the data obtained in the previous phases, excavation points are selected for direct inspections. The results of these inspections are combined with the previously collected data and evaluated for coating defects, corrosions and the performance of external corrosion protection systems.

4. Final Evaluation: At this stage, a final analysis of the data collected in the previous three phases is carried out to determine the frequency of application of the ECDA method and to establish long-term monitoring and maintenance strategies.

In summary, the ECDA process offers an effective alternative for assessing the integrity of pipelines, providing a complete picture of the condition of the infrastructure and allowing informed decisions to be made on necessary maintenance and repair measures.

Do you have a project?