There are more than 2.6 million miles of pipelines across the US. To keep these pipelines in optimal condition, engineers regularly perform a common form of integrity test called direct assessments (DAs) on them.
DAs are a necessary part of maintaining oil, gas, and water pipelines. Here are the benefits of pipeline direct assessments to help you understand what makes them so vital.
What’s Direct Assessment?
Direct assessment is the process of examining and testing a pipeline to determine its integrity. There are four kinds of DA—external corrosion direct assessment (ECDA), internal corrosion direct assessment (ICDA), stress corrosion cracking direct assessment (SCCDA), and confirmatory direct assessment (DA).
ECDAs and ICDAs check for signs of external and internal corrosion on the pipeline. SCCDAs verify that there isn’t any stress corrosion cracking on the pipeline. Finally, DAs exist to confirm that the results of previous examinations and tests are accurate.
How Does Direct Assessment Work?
Every DA includes four crucial phases—a pre-assessment, indirect inspections, direct inspections, and post-assessment phase.
During the pre-assessment phase, engineers collect relevant pipeline operational data. This is to confirm that a DA is necessary.
The indirect assessment phase involves using a variety of tools to gather additional information on the pipeline.
Once engineers collect the necessary information, they choose a direct examination site. During the direct examination, they perform one or more excavations. This enables direct access to the pipeline for examination.
The post-assessment phase involves the creation of a detailed report that outlines the results of the DA and offers recommendations for maintaining the pipeline.
The Benefits of DAs
The benefits of pipeline direct assessments are immense. Here are some of the pros of DAs.
Identify and Fix Defects
A DA will detect buckling cracking, corrosion, and other defects in the pipelines that could become dangerous if left unaddressed.
The sooner you identify defects in the pipelines, the sooner you can repair them. Problems caught early are much easier—and much less costly—to fix than ones caught late.
Prevent Leaks and Ruptures
Hundreds of pipeline leaks and ruptures occur in the US every year. These leaks and ruptures aren’t just time-consuming and expensive to fix. They can also be devastating and deadly.
Leaking gas pipelines can create dangerous fires and leaking oil lines can form massive spills that are hard to clean and harm the environment. Leaking water pipelines can lead to the gradual formation of sinkholes. Regularly inspecting and maintaining pipelines is crucial for ensuring the safety of those who rely on them.
Dreiym Engineering offers corrosion engineering services to help you keep your pipelines in good order. Our cathodic protection testing ensures the protective measures you’ve taken against corrosion are doing their job. Contact one of our corrosion experts to schedule a consultation service today!