What is a Pipeline Pig?
Pipeline Pigs are devices used to clean or clear debris from the internal bore of pipelines. There are a number of names applied to “Pigs” such as
- Pipe Cleaners
- Cleaning Pigs
- Poly Pigs
- Pipeline Intervention Gadget (P.I.G.)
- Intelligent Pigs(ILI’s MFL’s)
What is Pipeline Pigging?
Pipeline Pigging refers to the practice of using devices or implements known as "Pigs" to perform various cleaning, clearing, maintenance, inspection, dimensioning, process and pipeline testing operations on new and existing pipelines.
How does the Pigging process work?
By inserting the pig into a 'pig launcher' (or 'launching station') and then applying flow under pressure to the rear of the device it will move into the pipeline. The force applied by a pig as it traverses a pipeline can be calculated by multiplying the cross sectional area of the back of the pig by the pressure applied to the rear of the pig. Once a pig has launched and is moving through the pipeline the differential pressure can be calculated by subtracting the pressure in front of the pig from the pressure acting on the back of the pig. The pig speed can be calculated by tracking the pig at various points along the pipeline and calculating the time it takes to arrive at each point against the input pressure and flow rate and then converting to velocity. Generally the outside diameter of most pigs will be sized to be larger than the internal bore and the resultant ‘interference’ enables the pig to scrape and remove debris as it traverses the pipeline. The degree of effectiveness in cleaning or clearing a pipeline is determined by the type of pig employed along with other influencing factors such as flow rate, pig speed, pressure, temperature, volume of debris to be removed, length of the pipeline, number of pigging runs, number and type of bends, pipeline elevations. pigging frequency and others. When the pig reaches the other end of the pipeline it is captured in a Pig Catcher (or ‘Receiving Station’) which is isolated via a shut-off valve, allowing the pig to be safely removed.
Why is it necessary to Pig a Pipeline?
Typically Pipeline Coating or Wrapping Systems are designed to protect areas of the pipe surface which cannot be factory coated such as the girth welds on new buried pipeline constructions, river & road crossings and other areas. In addition Pipeline Coating and Wrapping Systems are used on existing buried pipelines to provide protection against corrosion where the existing factory-applied and/or field applied coatings have failed after a number of years in service due to poor quality materials or mechanical damage.
Polyguard Products, Inc. are manufacturers of high performance anti-corrosion pipeline coating and wrapping systems. Specific pipeline anti-corrosion coating systems such as Polyguard's RD-6 allow cathodic protection currents to reach any disbonded area which may occur along the pipeline. To date, neither external corrosion nor SCC has been detected as a problem under the RD-6 Coating System. HORIZON Industrial has been awarded the distributorship for their products in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Polyguard's Pipeline Coating and Wrapping systems are manufactured for individual anti-corrosion/sealing problems and were developed with the realities of an on-site application in mind. The extensive product range is suitable for use in a wide range of highly corrosive environments.
The RD-6 Pipeline Wrapping System has been used on thousands of projects around the world for over 25 years and has a proven track record backed by documented case histories.
HORIZON Industrial are the exclusive distributors & applicators for Polyguard Products, Inc. throughout Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Anti-corrosion Pipeline Coating system supplied and application supervised by Horizon Industrial for corroding gas pipeline in New Zealand
A Pigging Services contract to clean 3”, 4” & 6” reticulated water mains for Georgetown Shire in far North Queensland was successfully completed by HORIZON Industrial.
In addition to cleaning the town’s water supply pipelines the alliance also cleaned a Raw Water Mains Pipeline running from a dam to the treatment plant.
High efficiency cleaning pigs were propelled down through Fire Hydrant connections via a specially adapted pig launching device. By opening and closing strategic valves the pigs were directed to specific outlet points in the system.
The results of field testing have shown that Pipeline Pigging is approximately 9 times more effective than other pipe cleaning methods such as Flushing and Air Scouring. HORIZON Industrial has over 80 years collective experience in the design and supply of Pigging Equipment, supply of Pipeline Pigs and provision of Pigging Services.
HORIZON Industrial technicians have cleaned pipelines ranging in size from 50mm (2”) through to 2,400mm (96”)for customers across Australia. A wide range of pig types are available for light duty cleaning through to aggressive heavy duty cleaning, regardless of the pipeline length.
HORIZON Industrial also provides Air Scouring Services, Pipeline Assessments, Pipeline Maintenance, Pipeline Installation and Rehabilitation services.
One of the biggest Air Scouring Contracts awarded in Australia was completed on time by HORIZON Industrial. The Contract included the cleaning of over 1,320,000 metres of potable and non-potable reticulation water mains throughout northern Victoria. The customer's minimum contractual conformance requirements included:
- OHS Management
- Environmental Management
- Delivery of Public Notices and provision of Customer Liaison services
- Extensive Reporting
- Quality Assurance & Quality Control
- Approvied Works Planning Schedules
- Crew Management
- Traffic Management
With allowances for breaks during the summer months, holiday periods and the completion of a new water treatment plant, the initial work commenced in October 2011 and was completed in 2013.
Air Scouring is a proven method of efficiently removing bio-films, sediment and other debris from the internal bore of reticulated water mains. The method employs the injection of filtered compressed air into the water mains to form 'slugs'. The air/water combination along with an increase in the flow velocity removes the solids, sludge, particulates and other foreign matter from the internal walls of the pipeline.
HORIZON Industrial provides Air Scouring Services as an effective means of ensuring the delivery of high quality drinking water whilst extending the life of the reticulation system and, maintaining optimum operating levels.
HORIZON Industrial also has extensive field experience in all aspects of Pipeline Pigging and provides a wide range of Pigging Services to customers across Australia and throughout the Pacific region. Effective Pigging (Swabbing) Services requires detailed planning including equipment design, pig selection, safety of all personnel, environmental management, project timing and a competitive cost structure.
HORIZON Industrial personnel have performed successful Pigging operations for customers across Australia in pipelines ranging from 50mm through to 2,400mm diameter.