Slurry Line Erosion Monitoring with Installed Ultrasonic Sensors

Natural resource movement or transportation via slurry lines is a key part of most mining operations.

In the world of industrial transportation, slurry lines play a vital role in transporting a variety of materials, from ores and minerals to petroleum byproducts. These pipelines are designed to traverse long distances, often through remote and challenging terrains, both above and below ground. However, slurry lines face unique challenges due to the abrasive properties of the materials they transport. The constant friction and interaction between the slurry and the ID of the pipeline gradually erodes the metal, leading to metal loss over time. This poses a significant threat to the longevity and structural integrity of these pipelines. Addressing this issue is crucial not only for maintaining the operational efficiency of slurry transportation systems but also for minimizing the environmental impact and ensuring the safety of the workers.

Traditionally, assessing erosion in slurry lines has relied on manual ultrasonic or radiographic inspections. However, these methods are time-consuming, expensive, and typically performed periodically, leaving potential gaps in monitoring. Manual inspection can also provide variable results by potentially having changes in operators and inconsistency in location placement. To address these limitations, many facilities are adopting a new solution known as Installed Ultrasonic Thickness Monitoring. At Sensor Networks, we offer these solutions through our smartPIMS® and matPIMS™ systems.

Benefits of installed ultrasonic thickness monitoring

Installed Ultrasonic Thickness Monitoring represents a revolutionary approach to pipeline maintenance and inspection. This innovative technique involves permanently attaching ultrasonic sensors to the pipeline’s exterior, and strategically distributing them along the length of the pipe, or in known high-risk locations. 

smartPIMS® and matPIMS™ are non-intrusive ultrasonic-based corrosion and erosion monitoring systems designed to provide consistent and accurate thickness data without the need for in-person inspection. Once installed, these multi-point and area monitors will take ultrasonic readings at user-defined intervals, capturing critical data on the pipe’s thickness and integrity.

The collected data is then transmitted to Sensor Networks’ webPIMS™ back-end software, where it is stored, analyzed, and trended over time. This comprehensive monitoring approach allows operators to have real-time insights into the health of their slurry pipelines. By continuously monitoring thickness data, potential issues such as metal loss, erosion, or corrosion can be detected early, enabling proactive maintenance and minimizing the risk of pipeline failure.

Benefits of installed ultrasonic thickness monitoring

smartPIMS® and matPIMS™ bring numerous advantages to facilities operating slurry lines. Firstly, it proves to be more cost-effective, as it reduces the need for frequent manual inspections and expensive excavation works. Instead of relying on periodic assessments, operators have a continuous stream of high-quality and abundant data, providing a more comprehensive understanding of pipeline conditions. 

Furthermore, the use of smartPIMS® and matPIMS™ improves safety by minimizing the need for personnel to access potentially hazardous or hard-to-reach pipeline locations for inspection purposes. It eliminates the associated risks and costs of sending workers into remote or challenging environments. 

Installed ultrasonic sensors for corrosion/erosion monitoring, such as smartPIMS® and matPIMS™, offer a superior alternative to traditional inspection methods for slurry pipelines. Request a free consultation and HW / SW demo today to discover how smartPIMS® and matPIMS™ can revolutionize pipeline maintenance and management.

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Sensor Networks, Inc.