In-Line inspection (ILI) tools consisting of combined sensor technologies provide a unique opportunity for operators to understand the conditions of pipelines. There is also an additional opportunity to contrast and validate individual sensing techniques against each other when their functionalities and purposes overlap.

By using multi-technologies ILI measurements for strain, a pipeline operator can gain further insight into the pipeline strain behavior at any point along the length of the inspection. This paper establishes the relationship between ILI axial strain measurement tool data and conventional geometric strain data obtained from inertial measurement unit (IMU) based on data collected during in-service inspection of a 12″ liquid pipeline.

Within any pipeline section, the tool configuration with circumferentially spaced strain sensors allows the use of appropriate analysis techniques to decompose the longitudinal strain into its primary components (axial, bending and out of roundness).

The axial strain measurement tool sensing system provides an indirect measurement of bending strain that can be compared to the geometric measurement of bending strain determined from the pipeline trajectory as determined from the IMU analysis. Flexural bending strain resulting from horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is investigated in this paper. Convergences and divergences between the measurement techniques are presented.

Data available from different strain technologies mounted on ILI tools offers an opportunity to conduct a comparative study and to provide a better understanding of a pipeline’s strain condition. This paper will present the framework for understanding the different strain measurement technologies and an investigation into the pipeline prior strain history (effects from fabrication, hydrostatic testing and external loads) and their corresponding impact on the material state at the time of inspection.

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