The Importance of Rigorous Pipe Testing

The Importance of Rigorous Pipe Testing

A fundamental element of dependable, high quality fabrication is rigorous quality testing. This testing is particularly important when the fabrication in question involves industrial pipes because the stakes are especially high with industrial piping. It is crucial that any weak or failure-prone pipes be detected and weeded out before they are installed at the job site. Failure to detect faulty pipes can have severe operational and economic consequences in the future.

Pipe Spools Are Fabricated Off-Site

It is important to note that while pipes may occasionally be fabricated on-site where they will be installed, it is much more common for them to be fabricated off-site in an industrial fabrication facility. This allows for much greater control over the work environment, removing the potential for bad weather or other environmental factors to delay the production timeline. Off-site fabrication is also more cost efficient, faster, and often yields higher quality piping. Finally after the pipe spools are fabricated, off-site fabrication allows for very rigorous, thorough testing to ensure that all of the piping is up to industry codes and standards, and that it will fit together properly at the job site.

Types of Piping Tests

Industrial piping undergoes a variety of thorough testing depending on the particular facility and the requirements for the piping. Fundamentally pipe testing will ensure that the pipe meets hardness standards, that the welds are high quality and reliable, that the pipe will not leak, and that it can withstand the pressure requirements that will be placed upon it. Common testing includes the following:

  • Radiography
  • Positive Material Identification (PMI)
  • Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI)
  • Ultrasonic testing
  • Hydrostatic Testing

It is crucial that pipe testing does not damage or weaken the pipe in any way and that they yield reliable, accurate results. It is much safer, easier, and less expensive to correct any piping defects before the piping leaves the fabrication facility than once it is in place at the worksite.

The Importance of Pipe Testing

High quality pipe testing is important for several key reasons including the following:

Safety – The most important reason for rigorous pipe testing is safety. Pipe failure could cause dangerous accidents.

Regulations – Pipe testing is also crucial to stay in compliance with governmental regulation. The US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) sets industry safety standards which include requirements for inspection and testing of pipe welds, non-destructive testing, and repair and removal of defects.

Economy – Pipe failure is extremely expensive. It results in lost product and cessation of production while the pipeline is repaired. A pipe failure may also result in costly cleanup and waste remediation.

STI Group Ensures Rigorous Quality Testing

STI Group is an industry leader in fabrication services for the oil and gas industry. A major component of that involves ensuring the quality and safety of every spool of pipe and weld that comes through our fabrication shops. We are meticulous in maintaining industry standards and produce only high quality materials fabricated by expert welders and craftsmen.


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