Conventional Radiography

Much like a familiar medical x-ray, RT uses radiation to capture an image, or an x-ray, of the pipe. An x-ray film or a digital plate is located near the pipe to be inspected and an x-ray or gamma ray energy source is located some meters away. The film or digital plate is then exposed to the radiation, resulting in an x-ray image of a portion of the pipe.

Safety regulations require that a safe working area be established during the creation of the images. This often means that a barrier will be identified, inside of which all personnel will need to be evacuated during the exposure.

RT is often followed by a second NDE/NDT method to further investigate areas of vulnerability identified by the RT inspection.

When determining the best method for your industry and company requirements, there are many factors that should be evaluated. Below is a high-level baseline that is a great place to start, including standard requirements and (RT) Conventional Radiography’s ability to meet these requirements.

I need daily operations to continue uninterrupted during facility inspection.

High risk of radiation exposure, barriers and operations break may be required.

Does not meet need
I do not have/do not want to commit resources to prepare pipes for inspection.

No insulation removal or surface prep is required with RT.

Does not meet need
I need accurate information about the state of tested pipe and indications of threat.

Can identify water or ice in insulation and measure pipe wall thickness and schedule. Moderate detail. Larger pipe (above 6-8” diameter) cannot be measured. Accuracy of indications and measurements are dependent/sensitive to orientation of film and radiation.

Meets need with exception
I need all piping and vessels in my facility or designated inspection area tested.

All pipe cannot be interrogated with RT.

Technicians can inspect up to 20 locations per day.

Does not meet need
I need vulnerabilities in my system identified quickly.

RT provides results post-inspection for future further investigation where necessary.

Does not meet need

For more information about other NDE/NDE methods for pipe inspection click a technology below:


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