Tests Applied to Pipelines and Large Storage Tanks

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    At SCI we are a worldwide reference in Special Tests Applied to Pipelines and Large Storage Tanks. These tests are part of the non-destructive tests, together with others such as radiographic, ultrasonic, magnetic particle or liquid penetrant tests.

    The special tests that we perform at SCI are of 3 types: automatic radiography, advanced ultrasonic testing and verification of buried pipe coating.


    SCI develops and manufactures its own Crawler, which is equipment that is inserted into the pipe lines and whose purpose is to perform 360º radiographs to the circumferential welds and are suitable for diameters from 3″ to 60″. Thanks to the R&D of these Crawlers, it has allowed SCI to position itself as a leader in Spain in the oil and gas pipeline inspection market and to be able to expand abroad.

    SCI has inspected more than 30,000 km. pipeline around the world with this type of equipment.

    SCI has the following equipment for.
    automatic radiography:

    • X-ray crawlers with thermal motors and batteries.
    • Gamma-ray crawlers with Ir-192 or Se-75 sources.
    ensayos aplicados a pipelines
    ensayos aplicados a pipelines 2


    SCI has been developing its own automated ultrasonic inspection equipment for more than a decade, based on conventional pulse-echo techniques, or on other more innovative techniques such as Phased Array or TOFD.

    This type of automated inspection is a valid alternative to the radiographic inspection that is already commonly demanded in our neighboring countries.

    In recent decades, the energy sector has undergone a strong expansion, which has led to the construction of major projects and facilities, such as new petrochemical plants, gas pipelines, oil pipelines, cryogenic LNG tanks, combined cycle thermal power plants and, more recently, solar thermal power plants. These types of techniques have been intensively demanded in these construction projects.

    SCI currently has semi-automatic recordable ultrasound equipment (SAUT) based on Phased Array and TOFD techniques.

    SCI has also developed its own automatic recordable ultrasonic systems (AUT) that allow the testing of high production pipeline line welds, as well as repairs, special points, etc… covering all the necessary requirements in the inspection of pipelines.



    SCI has PCM type equipment for the verification of the condition of the coating of buried pipelines. This technique is based on circulating an electric current through the buried pipeline, being able to detect those points where, due to the absence of coating, the current drifts to ground.

    The detection of faults in the lining is carried out by walking along the route through which the pipeline runs. The equipment carried by the inspector is capable of detecting where the coating is damaged.

    This inspection is usually used to verify that the pipe coating has not been damaged when the soil is reinstated or as a periodic in-service inspection.

    In addition, this technique is able to determine the location and depth at which the pipeline runs.



    Magnetic Flux Leakage, Vacuum Box, Thickness Gauging

    Petrochemical plants and storage farms frequently request inspection and certification of their tanks by API 653 inspectors.

    Among others, one of the most demanded tests in this field is the inspection of tank bottoms using the magnetic flux leakage technique, which allows a quick and reliable determination of the areas of a bottom that have suffered significant loss of thickness due to corrosion.

    For the control of the tightness of the tank bottom welds, SCI also carries out the inspection by means of vacuum box equipment. We design and manufacture our own equipment according to different configurations.

    In support of these inspections, proprietary automatic ultrasonic thickness gauges have been developed for recording thickness measurements in the generatrices of large storage tanks or in specific areas where the presence of corrosion is suspected. This equipment can be used remotely, without the need to place scaffolding or auxiliary structures on the tank.