Standardization News

New Standard Helps Nondestructively Test Pipe Joints

A new ASTM International standard aims to provide a nondestructive testing alternative that helps reveal imperfections in pipe joints used for gas and water.

Specifically, the standard describes how phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) can test electrofusion joints in polyethylene pipe systems in the field, either during installation or in service.

“Normally, the integrity of these pipe joints is assessed by visual inspection and a pressure test of the installed pipeline,” says ASTM International member Mike Troughton, a technology fellow at TWI. “Neither of these methods will tell you whether the joint contains embedded flaws, such as fingerprints, oil, dirt, or airborne dust, which may reduce the service life of the pipe system. Destructive testing of the joints will pick up these defects but a new joint then has to be made to go into service.”

Troughton notes that PAUT provides detailed information on defects in joints that will go into service as part of gas and water pipelines. End users, such as distribution companies and pipeline installers, will be able to use the new standard to ensure that the PAUT inspections are carried out correctly, he says. Inspectors will find the standard useful as well.

The new standard, soon to be published as E3170/E3170M, was developed by ASTM’s committee on nondestructive testing (E07).

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