Pipeliners Dictionary

Smart pigs, also known as pipeline inspection gauges (PIGs), are specialized tools used for inspecting and maintaining pipelines.

They are designed to travel through the interior of a pipeline, performing various tasks such as:

  1. Wall thickness measurement: This helps determine the structural integrity of the pipeline and assesses any corrosion, erosion, or metal loss.

  2. Detection of cracks, corrosion, and other defects: Smart pigs are equipped with sensors that detect and identify any anomalies in the pipeline's walls.

  3. Cleaning: Smart pigs can also be used to clean the interior of the pipeline, removing any debris or buildup of material that could obstruct the flow of the pipeline's contents.

  4. Geometry measurement: Smart pigs can measure the diameter, ovality, and bend radius of the pipeline, helping to identify any areas that may need repair.

Smart pigs can be divided into two categories: utility pigs and intelligent pigs. Utility pigs are simpler and are used for basic cleaning and detection tasks, while intelligent pigs have more advanced sensors and can perform more complex inspections.

The use of smart pigs provides several benefits over traditional inspection methods, including improved safety, reduced maintenance costs, and increased operational efficiency. They also allow for more frequent inspections without the need to shut down the pipeline, leading to a better understanding of the pipeline's condition and helping to prevent failures.

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