Pipelines are quite critical infrastructures in present-day times and to the economy of any nation. Across the United States alone, there are more than 2.4 million miles of these infrastructures. They are typically long lines of pipes that transverse several state lines and span thousands of kilometers.
Pipelines are designed to be sectioned since they run over long distances and each of these sections is bolted together. Sectioning the lines allows for easy management, maintenance, and repair. These lines are equipped with different devices such as valves, pumps, gauges, and so on. These devices are essential for monitoring as well as managing the pipes.
Pipelines carry a range of substances including water, crude oil, chemicals, slurries, and gas. They convey these substances from where they are produced to where they are needed.
Usually, they are buried below the ground and are not visible. They may be made of concrete, plastic, clay, or metals such as steel, aluminum, or cast iron. These pipes also come in a variety of sizes and all these may be dependent on what they are meant to convey.
These infrastructures have the advantage of safety, speed, and security. They are also more economical than any other means of transporting the kind of substances they convey. Other methods available to transport these substances are more expensive, more dangerous, and takes more time. Moreover, because they are usually buried inside the ground, they may be safe from attacks a lot of the time.
This is what sets pipelines apart and makes them quite crucial to the economy. They ultimately help to bring about development, growth, and advancement to a nation.
Pipeline Repair and Maintenance
Despite being made to be durable and tough and with non-reactive materials, pipelines are susceptible to damages, corrosion, and other issues. Using a non-reactive material is important to ensure that it does not affect the quality of the product being transported. Additionally, it prevents an explosion when temperatures are on the high side especially for substances that are combustible.
Taking care of these critical infrastructures is therefore important to ensure their integrity and so that they keep delivering. Maintaining and repairing them will not only help to prevent a breakdown, but it will also help to protect the environment.
When there is an issue with a pipeline infrastructure, it has a cascading effect. It can be quite grave to the operators and to those who require their services. Many issues can arise from just this single incident. Asides from the company losing revenue, they may face lawsuits and cause environmental pollution.
Typically pipeline companies may not have the capacity and resources to maintain and repair these infrastructures. However, there are various companies that specialize in repairing and maintaining pipelines.
They use a variety of methods to do this and help to limit downtime due to damages. Some of these procedures are discussed below. In the meantime, you can check out RJStacey’s Website – Pipeline Maintenance Services to find out more.
Pipeline Repair Procedures
There are several procedures that pipeline repair companies can employ in carrying out repairs on them. These include:
This is a method in which a connection is made to a pipeline without emptying it or interrupting its flow even while it is being serviced. This technique is good as it can be employed to isolate certain sections for maintenance while other sections will remain operational.
Hot tapping may also be used to drain off any pressurized fluid and add testing points and sensors to the pipes. It allows pipeline operators to avoid a shutdown so that they do not lose their product or revenue. It also helps to avoid the release of toxic gases into the atmosphere.
This is another procedure that is used for isolating pipelines without service interruption. It is used to shut down the pipeline temporarily so that repairs, as well as modifications, can be completed. While this is being done. The system can keep operating normally.
Line stops can be used on most types of pipes. It allows for easy repairs, bypassing a line, making adjustments, replacements, as well as emergency shutdowns.
Freeze plug is a simple as well as a cost-effective method that is used for carrying out pipeline maintenance and repairs. This is without the need to drain the pipes. It is used to detect small leaks and helps to isolate sections of the pipeline instead of shutting down the whole system
Typically, a CO2 or Nitrogen gas may be used. However, the particular one that will be used is dependent on the kind of repairs to be carried out. With this, the issue can be isolated and the pipe frozen till repair work is completed. Afterward, the pipes are thawed.
Pressure grouting involves injecting and pumping grout mixtures under pressure to the underneath of a pipe. This is to stabilize as well as fill the space between the soil and the pipe. The earth surrounding an underground pipe may shift or be eroded which makes it susceptible to damage or separation at the joint.
Grouting helps to prevent this and is also used to fix a broken line. It is also used for decommissioning abandoned pipes so that contaminants do not leak into the ground.
Other procedures such as high-pressure leak repairs, composite sleeve on, removal by grinding, and so on may be used.
Normally, a pipeline repair company will evaluate your system. They will look at factors such as the product, pipeline orientation, turbulence, flow rate, and so on. This will then inform the best procedure to determine how your pipeline will be repaired.
Due to their importance to the economy and survival of a nation, it is important that pipelines are kept in good conditions always. This can only be achieved through constant monitoring as well as maintenance and repairs.
There are companies that offer maintenance and repair services using various methods that ensure that there is no downtime. All you need to do is ensure that you choose a company that has the experience, knowledge, and the necessary equipment to do this. Also, be sure that they can provide emergency services so that you are not stranded when you require one.