Research offers faster way to confirm safety of oil and gas pipelines

UBC research offers faster way to confirm safety of oil and gas pipelines
Assistant Professor Hadi Mohammadi. Credit: UBC

A simple vibration test can help oil and gas companies prevent pipeline spills in a way that is faster and cheaper than conventional methods, a UBC study shows.

The study, conducted at UBC's Okanagan campus, found pipeline imperfections could be identified by "tapping" the side of a pipe and then measuring the resulting vibrations, known as modal analysis, against the vibrations predicted by computer models.

"After developing the mathematical platform and entering it into a computer, we can predict what the level of should be if the pipeline that is being tapped is free of imperfections," says Hadi Mohammadi, an assistant professor of engineering. "When I conducted the tap test on actual pipeline material and looked at the resulting patterns of vibrations, weak points could quickly be identified.

"This method of attaching small machines to pipelines that are above ground and having them tap and measure vibrations offer a faster and cheaper way to find cracks or patches of internal rust than the conventional method of using imaging techniques."

Mohammadi, whose research area focuses on bio-engineering, began employing his "tap test" theory on pipeline material after testing its validity on human bones.

The "tap test" was equally useful in identifying areas of deficient bone density, which could be used to help identify conditions such as osteoporosis.

Mohammadi's study was recently published in the Journal of Pipeline Engineering.


Explore further

Pencil test for pipeline cracks

Citation: Research offers faster way to confirm safety of oil and gas pipelines (2016, October 18) retrieved 24 April 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-10-faster-safety-oil-gas-pipelines.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
2 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more