The need for more detailed dimensional inspection techniques is now being met with laser profiling in open pipes and sonar profiling of water filled pipes that cannot be easily drained or bypassed. Dimensional analysis using these technologies reveals and quantifies absolute diameters, ovality, offsets, cracks and discontinuities in a pipe structure that effect the life and performance of the pipe line. This dimensional information is just now starting to be used by the engineering and design agents to accept, evaluate and design new, existing or rehabilitated pipe structures.
The systems consist of the laser profiler attachment, calibration equipment and analysis software. A light ring is projected onto the pipe wall and recorded onto DVD for analysis in the field or in the office. The system is capable of inspecting from 6” to 72” pipelines. When used as a video survey tool it can provide accuracies up to 1 mm while measuring pipe size, deformation, erosion, encrustation, debris, grease, flows, joint displacement, lateral protrusion, surface damage and holes.
Attention to proper equipment calibration and operator training are issues that are being addressed by the industry to raise the level of confidence in the data produced through the laser profiling technology.