The Long and Short of Guided Wave Technology (GWT)

November 13, 2020 | 3 min read

Guided Wave Technology (GWT), which was originally referred to as Guided Ultrasonics Limited, is an extremely useful and effective non-destructive examination (NDE) method, especially for use in pipeline systems. In GWT, a ring transducer array is attached around the pipe that needs to be examined, and low frequency waves are generated and sent along the length of the pipe and in both directions.

The array not only emits these frequency waves, but the echoes are also recorded. It is from these recordings and this data that metal loss, cracks, or other defects can be located and identified. The biggest advantage of GWT is the possibility of examining large sections of pipe at once without the need for excavation or removing insulation. But, it is worth noting, that range is limited based upon pipe condition, coatings, welds, and other internal components.

Guided Wave is not an all-in-one solution to defect or corrosion detection, but it is one of the most useful technologies for examination in the energy and chemical industries, when used correctly. Something else to understand about GWT, is the fact that it is not a stand alone technology. GWT is applied and the results are confirmed by using other technologies, such as other conventional Ultrasonics or Radiographic technologies.

Since GWT is a very experienced-based technology, it is important to only secure companies like IIA for pipeline system examinations. Our technicians are highly skilled and experienced and understand proper technology applications. All of this leads to thorough exams and accurate results.

Aside from improper application, other factors that can affect readings and results are things like coating thickness, weather conditions and temperature, as well as bends and connections. Further reasons to secure only qualified and experienced technicians to conduct GWT and provide invaluable system information, because a technician’s knowledge and skill will play a big role in results.

IIA’s focus on training and experience are unmatched in the industry. Our technicians have experience and confirmed indications, two of which create the most reliable results.

Guided Wave Benefits:

  • Allows for safe inspection of unpiggable pipes
  • Recognized method by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration
  • Superior for detecting pipe rack point-of-contact corrosion
  • Little to no costly and time-consuming soil removal
  • Little to no excavation or traffic disruption for under-road crossings
  • Heater and boiler tube exams
  • A more cost-effective way to achieve more coverage

Consider GWT for your facility. IIA’s team of Guided Wave experts and all our exam technicians provide a fast and cost-effective means of detecting pipeline system issues that could lead to leakage, fire, explosion, or other disasters.

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