Pipeline Hard Spots

Pipeline hard spots are distinct from other pipeline defects. Pipeline defects and most deformations represent acute threats to their integrity. Hard spots differ since they arise during the plate, strip or original pipe manufacturing processes and result from intimate changes in the microstructure that create regions of greater hardness than in the surrounding metal.

This greater hardness creates domains that are vulnerable to cracking. Similar to pipeline deformations, exposure to a combination of other threats, such as bending strain or corrosion, alongside hard spots, multiplies any potential risk to asset integrity.

Diagram of three pipelines with a graph showing the effects of manufacturing in creating hard spot anomalies.

Managing the threat of hard spots

Managing the threat that hard spots represent is challenging, partly because hard spots may occur anywhere along the pipelines. Our starting point is data collection with its own dual magnetization system (DMG) which identifies and sizes hard spots.

A suite of high-resolution in-line inspection (ILI) technologies provides the best possible solution for managing the threat of pipeline hard spots. Our combination of technologies, including eddy current technology (EC) and magnetic flux leakage (MFL), offers comprehensive data to establish a basis for a thorough integrity engineering approach by considering susceptibility, verification and response strategies.

A holistic approach to understanding pipeline hard spots

Our asset integrity solution serves pipeline operators globally, drawing on proven effective technologies that we have developed over many decades. The result is a hard spot risk management framework for each individual pipeline in your portfolio. A strategy that ensures your pipeline operations comply with codes and regulations, implemented using the largest global fleet in the energy industry. Enabled through our dedicated software and data platforms, all managed by our multidisciplinary and expert engineering teams.

Close-up of a RoMat DMG tool.

In-line inspection technologies

We take a holistic approach to your pipeline integrity, applying a range of in-line inspection technologies that can detect multiple threats, including hard spots. Our tool fleet features multiple in-line inspection technologies and sensor arrays which detect pipeline materials integrity threats. This flexibility, alongside our wide range of service options, enables pipeline operators to make the most informed integrity management decisions.

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Integrity services for hard spots

When left undetected and untreated, hard spots cause containment loss and even failure. As a result of manufacturing and construction defects, they can occur anywhere on the circumference or length of a pipeline. Advanced measurement systems equipped with multiple sensors, including our dual magnetization system, provide full circumferential and axial coverage and mapping. This leads to precise hard spot location and magnitude data.

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Material and welding consultancy

Quality failures during construction may lead to performance or containment loss. Welds and changes to material properties during the fastening process are a threat. Choosing the right processes and materials, training welders, understanding and applying quality inspections and standards and auditing suppliers are all vital to a threat management strategy. Our consultants can support you with these challenges.

Manage pipeline hard spots with our services

We offer various services ranging from in-line inspection, integrity assessments to consultancy services.

Gain deeper insights into our expertise