Ultrasonic Industrial Inspection of Pipework Revealed through 3D Visualization

3D data visualization software developed for Cokebusters reveals defects in boiler pipework

The industrial inspection professional services project for Cokebusters Ltd. involved data visualization development for reviewing and publishing data from state-of-the-art ultrasonic imaging. The project included development of a new “Insight Vision” application to visualize data in 3D on desktop, tablet, inside web-browsers and in 3D PDF. The successful project is now deployed and used world-wide for inspections of industrial plants using boilers and heating pipework.

What is Coke-Busting & Inspection?

De-Coking is the process used for the removal of coke contamination from fired header process tubes in furnaces and boilers. Inline inspection technology is performed by using an ultrasonic sensor “pig” passed through the internal heater pipework. The sensor measures radius and wall thickness to identify flaws and defects. This inspection is critical to reduced downtime, optimizing the pipework lifetime, and to avoid hazardous manual inspections.

During a Cokebusters pipeline inspection the smartpig is able to detect and categorise a number of flaws and defects, including; internal and external metal loss (corrosion, abrasion, erosion etc.), areas of pitting, bulging, swelling, ovality, manufacturing defects and internal fouling.

The smartpig records and stores the received data to its on-board memory, which is later uploaded. The data is then automatically interpreted and analysed by the Cokebuster’s Merlin software.

The Insight Vision 3D software is used to give a clearer understanding of the patterns of internal fouling. This software offers clients a fully interactive, immersive view of individual fired heater process piping.

The colour mapped 3D models provide the data analyst with a comprehensive display of dimensional details, including wall thickness, internal radius, outside radius and coke thickness, resulting in a rapid evaluation of flaws and anomalies utilising its vast array of sophisticated assessment tools.

About Cokebusters

Cokebusters Ltd. (https://cokebusters.com/) is an international company specialising in the mechanical decoking, descaling and associated in-line inspection of fired heater process tubes. Based in two headquarters in the UK and the US, they are committed to consistently delivering high quality technical services to the oil and petrochemical industries around the world.