Last edited 22 Dec 2020

Main author

BSRIA Institute / association Website

Ultrasonic pipe testing

[edit] Introduction

Changes in building occupation patterns, and the ambitious plans for green recovery stated in governments recent announcements, are prompting organisations to stage plans for refurbishment of their buildings.

Although not at the forefront for refurbishment-related decision taking, a well-maintained and safe pipework system is a key component of success in achieving a building’s refurbishment targets. Healthy pipework is also a prerequisite for any building to function well and to prevent heating and water system failures through pro-active maintenance.

[edit] The need to monitor

Over time, corrosion and erosion of pipes lead to leakages that can cause wide ranging damage to the building structure and have costly consequences for businesses.

Ultrasonic thickness testing of pipework systems is often used to determine the condition of the pipework. It is useful to consultants or contractors to validate the state of the existing system they are going to work on, to justify replacement or reuse.

Ultrasonic testing is a non-invasive survey and can be done using a portable meter to provide wall thickness results for pipework. It helps determine the condition of the pipework non-destructively and provides sanity checks on existing systems when new works are planned or after a failure has occurred.

Ultrasonic testing is also an important part of a preventive maintenance strategy to keep systems safe from leakage, as, when performed regularly, it provides valuable information about the trends in the system's history which helps proactive maintenance regimes.

While ultrasonic testing is a relatively simple measuring process, it takes experience and good corrosion and water system knowledge to know where to test and how to understand and use the obtained data.


This article was originally published on the BSRIA website as "Ultrasonic pipe testing gives a quick but meaningful view on the state of a building’s pipework." in December 2020.

--BSRIA

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