NDT.net - February 1999, Vol.4 No.2
PACNDT '98 Table of Contents

Mechanized Ultrasonic Inspection of Large Diameter Gas Pipeline Girth Welds

N. Dubé
R/D Tech, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada;
E.A. Ginzel ,Email: eginzel@mri.on.ca,
Materials Research Institute, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada;
M.D.C. Moles
R/D Tech, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Corresponding Author Contact:
Email: Mmoles@rd-tech.com



System Concept

Zone Discrimination

Calibration Block


Data Display

Data Storage

Probe Pan


Typical Results

In-Service Applications

Advantages and Disadvantages


  1. Mechanized ultrasonics is replacing radiography for gas pipeline girth weld inspections worldwide.
  2. Ultrasonic zone discrimination is one of the key factors which makes mechanized UT feasible.
  3. The output display has been specifically developed to aid rapid and reliable interpretation of data.
  4. The mechanics and probe pan have been designed for robust operation.
  5. Mechanized ultrasonics offers lower reject rates due to improved sizing accuracy.
  6. While there are disadvantages of mechanized ultrasonics, these can be overcome.
  7. Overall, mechanized ultrasonics offers a better inspection for roughly the same cost (on-shore).


  1. J.A. de Raad, "High Speed Ultrasonic Inspection of Field Girth Welds During Pipeline Construction", European Journal of NonDestructive Testing, August 1991, Volume 1, Number 1.
  2. E. Ginzel, P. den Boer and M. Hoff, "Application of Mechanized Ultrasonic Inspection to Manually Welded Pipeline Girth Welds", UT Online Application Workshop, May 1997, http://www.ndt.net/article/wsho0597/ginzel3/ginzel3.htm.
  3. H. Heckhäuser and S. Schultz, "Advanced Technology in Automated Ultrasonic Weld Inspection of Pipeline Girth Welds", Insight, vol 37, no 6, June 1995, p. 440.
  4. J.A. de Raad and F.H. Dijkstra, "Mechanized Ultrasonic Testing on Girth Welds During Pipeline Construction", Materials Evaluation, August 1997, p. 890.
  5. TransCanada Pipelines Welder Inspector's Manual 1996, Section TWE-1 "Total Weld Evaluation of Mechanized GMAW Pipeline Girth Welds".
  6. American Petroleum Institute Standard 1104, "Welding of Pipelines and Related Facilities", Eighteenth Edition. May 1994, ANSI/API STD 1104-1994.
  7. See ASTM Committee Draft No. 1, 14 April 1997, "Standard Practice for Mechanized Ultrasonic Examination of Girth Welds". ASTM E-1961 was released in August 1998, but no final version is available at the time of printing.

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