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Integrity of transport infrastructure

The challenges

The use of metal pipes in fluid transport infrastructure has a long history. The control of the various phenomena likely to compromise their integrity is nevertheless a matter for specialists. Structural defects, impact of different types of stress, corrosion, etc., the challenge is to maintain the safety and integrity of the installations at a very high level, while optimizing operating costs.

Rice has been developing recognized expertise in the field of metal pipeline integrity for over 30 years. This expertise is based on skills in various fields:

  • material properties, electrochemistry, corrosion;
  • corrosion monitoring and means of limiting corrosion kinetics;
  • improvement in the efficiency of cathodic protection through the development and optimization of measuring equipment;
  • monitoring the integrity of the coatings and developing new anti-corrosion coatings;
  • external stresses on the pipes;
  • modelling the mechanical behaviour of pipes;
  • residual lifetime calculations for the infrastructures;
  • inspection and monitoring instruments;
  • qualification of rehabilitation techniques.
Our competencies
Our study and test means

RICE has the means of calculations and tests led by a multidisciplinary and experienced team.

The mechanical test hall allows to characterize the mechanical phenomena on real size pipes, representative of the customer’s network, in order to :

  • to assess the acceptability of certain defects;
  • to assess the reparability of defects;

Equipment:

  • pits equipped with hydraulic units with a capacity of 150 bar;
  • mechanical aggression bench for the creation of defects (sinking with or without metal tearing).

– The materials characterization laboratory allows the material properties to be traced back via different types of standardised tests: tensile test (two test benches with a capacity of 100 kN and 250 kN), impact bending at different temperatures, toughness, hardness/micro-hardness, 3-point and 4-point bending, metallographic analysis and expertise on fracture surfaces.

– Modelling

Finite element modelling capabilities (Abaqus, Code Aster, Z-Set), software and business tools to determine the mechanical strength of structures with or without defects subjected to various mechanical loads.

– The corrosion laboratory

  • Electrochemical analyses to study the corrosion behaviour of infrastructures according to the environment (different types of soil, presence of electrical interference, overvoltages, etc.);
  • Tests on measuring equipment (reference electrode, IR-Free electrodes, etc.) to optimize corrosion monitoring on site;
  • Test area for testing the identified solutions in real operating conditions;
  • Development of monitoring and measuring equipment to optimize the efficiency of cathodic protection (in situ pH sensor, measuring probes, etc.);
  • Study of anti-corrosion coatings, their applicability to gas infrastructures and their resistance to cathodic disbondment.

Our services
  • Study of the aging of pipelines and cathode protection equipment (electrodes, data acquisition units, etc.).
  • Qualification of new materials and/or applications:
    – measuring potential
    – conducting aging cycle tests
  • Optimizing defect analysis criteria.
  • Qualification of repair techniques.
  • Development of technical files for response to administration,based on models mastered and validated by experiments.
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