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September, 2013 - Over the last two decades pipeline operators have been under increasing pressure to prevent incidents. To their credit, the operators have responded well and, despite the ageing of the assets, have substantially reduced the number of incidents per km-year. The main driver behind this success has been the standardisation of philosophy and practice within the industry: through sharing knowledge and experience, the industry has developed a set of good practices that are sufficiently robust to protect and defend its engineers and managers from prosecution for negligence and incompetence.
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May 1st, 2011 - The battle for pipeline integrity is won or lost right here. Cleaning to the bottom of the pits to remove microbes, debris, or water is a job for pencil brushes (Figure 1). The old fashioned flat wire brushes are not flexible enough or small enough to get to the bottom of the pits. Pigs without brushes act as a spatula and spread the debris out in the pipeline and cover up the pits. If water or microbes are present in the pits, the urethane seals of the pig will cover them with debris and provide the protection they need to continue their attack on the pipe wall. A brush is needed to get to the bottom of the pits and remove the corrosion inducing substances.
We prefer to mount the brushes on a Bi-Di pig with the proper brush to pipe wall interface. The brush length, or trim length as it is called, must be calculated to get the brush ends to the bottom of the pits, but not too long so that the brush becomes ineffective.
To select the proper pipeline cleaning brush, one of the first things that needs to be clearly understood is that the purpose of the pig is to deliver the brush to the pipe wall. It is the brush that does the cleaning. The pig will assist in removing debris from the pipeline, but it is the brush that accomplishes the essential pipe wall cleaning.
Brush choices for pipeline cleaning are seemingly endless. New designs pop up from time to time. One may choose flat wire or round wire. Then there is carbon wire or stainless steel bristles or, if you wish, a less aggressive bristle material such as polypropylene or nylon.