Visual Inspection Tools

Visual inspection technologies are very useful for documenting defects such as offset joints, defective joint mortar, dented or out-of-round pipe, cracks or spalling of the mortar lining, rust staining, open/close position of inline valves, illicit connections, and other features of interest. Visual inspection can be used as the primary inspection method, or it can be conducted along with an electromagnetic inspection to validate and supplement the high-resolution data, and therefore, provide a more thorough understanding of the pipe’s condition. PICA’s CCTV, laser, and LiDAR tools offer exceptional image quality, even for large pipes. High-definition 360o CCTV and LiDAR are often used in combination to validate NFT and RFT inspection results and for documentation of current conditions that can later be compared with the results and observations obtained during future inspections. CCTV is especially useful to document accumulated cracking that may be difficult to measure or document through still photographs.

HD CCTV

High-definition (HD) CCTV can be deployed as a stand-alone inspection tool or added to a high-resolution inspection platform. It provides detailed mapping of the internal conditions of a pipe, including insight on missing liner (mid-span and at joints), cracked liner, joint condition, past repairs, tie-ins, and internal deposits. Our HD 360o CCTV provides a continuous scan during the inspection; the camera does not stop at areas of interest to pan/tilt in a specific direction. Features and defects are labeled after the inspection using artificial intelligence (AI) software from an outside vendor. Later, the viewer can watch the video recording and pan around 360o using the computer mouse as the video is playing or paused to review areas of interest.

APLICATIONS & CAPABILITIES 

  • The best video quality is obtained in dewatered pipe; the clarity of video is greatly reduced under water.
  • Can be used on any pipe material and any pipe diameter.
  • Deployment choices:

    • Hand-pushed (2.5-inch to 8-inch diameter pipe)
    • Crawler-mounted (8-inch and larger pipes)
    • Pig-mounted (6-inch and larger pipes)
    • Walk-through (60-inch and larger pipes)
  • PICA has dedicated equipment for potable water, wastewater, and industrial or oil & gas applications, ensuring that cross-contamination does not occur.

Laser

Laser profilometry delivers information about the internal ovality and diameter of a pipeline.  It is used to verify liner condition, measure dents, quantify bulging caused by freezing, identify internal corrosion pitting or tuberculation, measure stress-related deformations, such as soil loading or side slip, detect third party damage or general pipe deterioration, and calculate debris build-up.  The equipment projects a red laser ring on the interior wall of the pipe and records 4,000 measurements per second, which are documented by a camera.  Machine Vision software is used to interpret the shape of the ring and generate Measurement Reports.  Accuracy is certified at +/- 1 mm.

APPLICATIONS & CAPABILITIES

  • The pipe must be dewatered, as the laser cannot record underwater.
  • Laser technology can be used on any pipe material and any pipe diameter, as the laser unit is centered inside the pipe.
  • Laser profiling is a very good technology to use when highly accurate quantifiable measurements are needed.
    • True, median, and min./max. diameter
    • Condition, ovality, hydraulic capacity
  • Can be used to validate visual information from a CCTV video.
  • Can be added to the NFT and RFT tool platforms and used to validate the NFT and RFT electromagnetic inspection results.

LiDAR

Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has similar capabilities to laser profiling but is a superior technology in many respects. LiDAR can also be deployed as a stand-alone inspection tool or added to a high-resolution inspection platform. The basis of the technology is “time of flight ranging,” where a focused beam of coherent or pulsed radiation is transmitted out, and that radiation then reflects off the target surface and returns back to the receiver. PICA’s system uses Laser Triangulation Ranging, where the receiver measures the angle at which the transmitted radiation hits the receiver; the distance is then calculated using trigonometry.

LiDAR is highly accurate over long distances and is commonly used to map topography from aircraft or space or to measure inside buildings. PICA’s LiDAR unit is typically an add-on for our RFT tools to supplement the RFT capabilities. Our system collects 4,000 points per second. Each data point consists of a time stamp, an absolute rotation angle, and a distance value. By cross-referencing the LiDAR data points with the odometers on the RFT tool, we can map out the inner surface of the pipeline.

APPLICATIONS & CAPABILITIES

  • The pipe must be dewatered.
  • LiDAR can be used on any pipe material and any pipe diameter, as the unit is centered inside the pipe.
  • LiDAR produces a 3D model of the pipe interior.
  • LiDAR is especially useful to document liner integrity when numerous lining cracks and/or spalling of cement mortar liner are present (potential locations of cylinder corrosion), as it is time-consuming to hand-document multiple defect locations.
  • LiDAR can be added to the NFT and RFT tool platforms and can be used in combination with CCTV to validate NFT and RFT electromagnetic inspection results and to document current conditions that can later be compared with results and observations in future inspections.