Pipe Grade Classification

Pipe Grade Analysis Helps Operators Mitigate Pipeline Integrity Risk

Learn how Pipe Grade Analysis uses data captured in a single ENTEGRA® inline inspection run using MFL/CAL/IMU to help you know your pipeline.

Pipe Grade Classification for Confirmation and Compliance

Your pipeline can read like a timeline, with a history of repairs and additions. As infrastructure ages, your lines may be a virtual patchwork of vintages. Understanding the material classification of a pipeline not only helps you mitigate risk and remain Mega Rule compliant, it can also help you improve throughput by ensuring you’re making the most of your pipeline’s capabilities.

ENTEGRA® offers pipe grade analysis through a specialized assessment of data gathered during the regular Ultra-High Resolution MFL/CAL/IMU in-line inspection. Our data analysts then align this data with historical information about your pipeline to help operators truly “know their pipe.” A specialized pipe grade assessment offers four major operational benefits.

1. Characterize Complex Anomalies

    POD, POI and sizing of anomalies is more complicated when your pipeline has multiple — or unknown — grades. Each change in grade could present its own unique challenges, and without understanding factors like pipe type, grade and wall thickness, anomalies could be missed or mischaracterized. ENTEGRA® True UHR MFL/CAL/IMU ILI technology enables identification and classification of multiple material variables while also accurately detecting metal loss and other anomalies, down to pinhole size. This lets you put features like manufacturing flaws, mechanical damage, previous repair structures, metal loss and complex corrosion into the proper context. Is the anomaly you’re seeing a gouge, corrosion, or both that’s captured by the sensors? Is that metal loss an immediate concern or an item for the watchlist? True UHR technology paired with in-depth analysis give you more insights for better decision making.

    Pipe Grade Classification Performance Specification Table with POD and POI

    2. Fill in Your Pipeline’s History

    If you’re managing older pipelines, chances are your records are not as complete as you’d like. Gaps in knowledge could open you up to integrity and compliance issues. An ENTEGRA pipe grade analysis combines the historical data you do have, including past ILI data and repair records, with the data captured by our True UHR ILI system. Our Level III-led data analysts then carefully correlate the information, filling in any gaps in pipeline information as well as looking for inconsistencies or changes from past runs to highlight any changes or new interpretations of anomalies.  

    3. Assess Integrity Without Digs

    In the past, with legacy ILI technologies, some materials classifications simply couldn’t be made without a physical dig. In hard-to-access areas, operators were left with blind spots. The MFL/CAL/IMU combined data from ENTEGRA True UHR lets us extract nuances within a pipes’ metallurgy and other key physical characteristics without ever breaking ground. The analytical process can also help identify undocumented joints, so you have a real map of seams and areas that might require priority oversight. This lets you highlight current and future potential integrity concerns.

    4. Operate with Higher Confidence

    When you know your pipeline, you know its capabilities. For a pipeline with a mix of grades and incomplete records of seams and repairs, you need information to stay in compliance and ensure you can operate the line at the optimal throughput. The longer and older the line, the more complicated this can be.

    In one case, an ENTEGRA analysis of a 59-mile run included pipe from nine different manufacturers with various pipe material combinations; this 60+ year old pipeline revealed eight wall thicknesses, six pipe grade differences, and five pipe types. The data also uncovered previously undocumented joints and allowed for the detection, identification, characterization and sizing of several different pipeline integrity threats from pinholes to physical damage. By comparing materials information, our analysts were able to confirm that the previously unknown joints matched other previously classified materials. This eased operator concerns and allowed for continued operation at the necessary pressure. The data for this extensive analysis was gathered in a single run, with immediate information available just 10 days later, and a full report in 50 days.

    Really knowing your pipeline goes beyond understanding its integrity threats. Pipe grade and a complete materials classification helps put anomalies in context and gives you complete a historical view of your pipeline that makes it easier to prioritize repairs and know what to watch for. For aging infrastructure, a comprehensive pipe grade analysis from ENTEGRA helps fill in the gaps — including information you didn’t even know you were missing — for more confident integrity management and decision making. To learn more, download our paper on Pipe Grade Classification Through UHR ILI Survey.