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Non-destructive testing of polyethylene pipe welds


Within the scope of an international cooperation between Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, the possibilities of non-destructive testing for welded PE pipes were investigated in the so-called DVGW-GERG project (DVGW: German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water, GERG: European Gas Research Group). As important and approved welding methods for pipeline construction, mainly heated tool butt and electro fusion welds were analysed with various non-destructive test methods in this project. Microwave and computer tomography testing were used as well as the Time of flight diffraction technique (ToFD) and phased-array ultrasonic testing. The samples to be examined were actual faultless joint as reference measurements on the one hand and faulty welds with specifically placed defined defects on the other hand.

A comprehensive assessment of the individual non-destructive test methods regarding their applications, possibilities and limitations of fault detection in pipe welding is one of the objectives of the cooperation project.