Battelle has developed dual field magnetic flux leakage (MFL) technology for the detection and characterization of mechanical damage to pipelines. The basic principle involves the use of a high magnetic field between 140 and 180 Oersted (11.1 to 14.3 kA/m) and the use of a low magnetic field between 50 and 70 Oersted (4 to 5.6 kA/m). At high magnetic field levels, the flux leakage signal is primarily influenced by changes in the geometry of a pipe wall. At low magnetic field levels, the MFL signal is due to residual stresses and metallurgical changes as well as geometry changes to the pipe caused by mechanical damage and wall thinning. A decoupling signal processing method developed by Battelle is used to isolate the portion of the mechanical damage signals due to metallurgical damage and residual stresses, which allows the characteristics of a dent-gouge feature to be more clearly differentiated. The decoupling method involves first scaling down the high field signal to the level of the low field signal, and then subtracting it from the low field signal. This produces a decoupled signal that is primarily influenced by the residual stresses and metallurgical changes caused by mechanical damage. Rosen has developed a tool to test the dual field technology and is evaluating tool performance by running the tool in a 30 inch diameter pipeline segment. The tool itself is composed of three separate modules coupled together: a high field unit downstream of a low field unit which is downstream of a caliper arm unit that is used to detect and characterize reductions in the internal diameter. The general and magnetic design of the tool, along with the scaling algorithm is discussed. Results from a pull test in a pipe section with dents whose geometry has been independently characterized are also discussed. This work is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety administration (DOT PHMSA) and the Pipeline Research Council International, Inc. (PRCI).

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