Special Testing on the Largest Test Rig Produced by Pipeline Engineering

(February 19th 2007)

Pipeline Engineering has been awarded a contract to design and test a pipeline pig capable of towing a dual module inspection tool through a 30" natural gas pipeline.

In addition, the pig has been designed to house odometer wheels and weld sensors supplied by the client to carry out separate inspection runs to those undertaken by the inspection tools.

The project includes a number of very complex conditions that involves a lot of detailed engineering and development work to provide a successful solution.

The main features are:

a) The pipeline has varying internal diameters along its length, namely 30"nominal bore, 32" nominal bore and 34" nominal bore.

b) There are short radius 90° bends for the 30", 32" and 34" nominal bore pipelines.

c) There is also back to back 30" nominal bore 90° bends with only a short length of pipe between the bends (approx. 600mm).


The test rig that Pipeline Engineering has assembled is the biggest to date by the Company and has been built in our dedicated testing zone. The test rig is approximately 85m in length and has a capacity of approximately 42m3. This testing zone is used to carry out tests for the many specialist pipeline pigging operations that we provide.


The tests are to be carried out at a pigging speed of 1m/s, which requires a pumping capacity of approximately 435 ltr/sec. The tests to be undertaken will evaluate the capability of the Pipeline Engineering supplied pigs to negotiate the various features on their own as well as towing the two different inspection tools.

Pipeline Engineering manufactured dummy inspection tools to replicate the actual designs in order that these can be run through the test rig prior to using the actual tools.

The inspection tools are 2.1m and 2.4m in length and 900kg and 600kg in weight respectively. The geometry of the tools has a major bearing on the capability of the pig and tool train to negotiate an isolated 1xD bend as well as the back to back bend feature.


Pipeline Engineering has worked to tight deadlines to fulfil this contract which was awarded at the beginning of November 2006 and the testing is due to be completed by the end of March 2007.