‘MRI’ scanner for pipelines

4D Imaging’s magnetic response imager—pig-less, real time pipeline health monitoring.

4D Imaging has patented a system for monitoring pipeline integrity with magnetic ‘response’ imaging (MRI). The system provides a non-invasive, pig-less means of providing operators with a real-time picture pipeline health, checking for fractures and corrosion. MRI Pipeline works by wrapping the pipe in wire coils. One set of coils magnetizes the steel pipe, the other monitors the induced magnetic field. As steel corrodes and degrades its magnetic properties are affected, indicating possible corrosion or other damage.

Coils record their data one at a time in sequence along the length of the pipeline. It takes three seconds to thoroughly test a segment of pipe. Once the check has been performed the data is sent back to a computer and can be plotted against a schematic of the pipe, displaying which areas might require attention. The 4D Imaging team includes emeritus UC-Berkeley professor Jerome Singer, co-inventor of medical resonance imagery used in hospital radiological departments. But 4D’s MRI has nothing to do with magnetic resonance. Singer prefers the term ‘magnetic response imaging’ for the MRI Pipeline tool. To us it sounds like a magnetometer—but what do we know! More from 4D Imaging.

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