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These pipelines have been in operation for decades due to the ubiquity of piping systems for the safe transport of various liquids and gases over long distances. Like any other industrial equipment, pipelines require regular maintenance to maintain optimal functionality. With exposure to both internal and external conditions, pipelines can undergo corrosive damage leading to contaminant buildup, structural damage, and product contamination. Regularly scheduled cleaning activities can be used to prolong the useful lifespan of pipelines.

Importance of Pipeline Cleaning

Maintaining industrial pipelines is critical to production operations for several reasons. To begin with, oil and gas pipelines are susceptible to wear over time, exposing them to moisture and chemical attacks. Unchecked oxidative processes will result in pipeline corrosion and the buildup of deposits within the pipeline channels. This will result in damage to the structural integrity as well as contamination of products being conveyed by the pipelines.

Regular pipeline cleaning will identify points of concern, eliminate buildup within the channels as well as inhibit negative oxidative reactions, and prolonging pipeline durability. Perhaps more importantly, routine pipeline cleaning should be an integral part of the industrial safety checklist to ensure occupational health and safety risks to personnel are as minimal as possible.

When to Implement Pipeline Cleaning

Having established the usefulness of industrial process pipeline cleaning, it is equally important to know when to implement pipeline cleaning solutions. There are various points in the lifetime of a pipeline where pipeline cleaning solutions must be applied.

Among the critical phases of pipeline operation where cleaning should be done include:

  • Pipeline pre-commissioning activities immediately after a new pipeline have been installed but before full operational use is commenced
  • During pipeline commissioning (dewatering, drying, and conditioning)
  • Routine operation (gas transport)
  • Adoption of a new service or installation of a new component
  • Conduit clearance before termination of gas transport
  • Pipeline decommissioning and abandonment, recovery, or re-use in another process

The above-mentioned scenarios mandate pipeline cleaning to ensure the safety of all persons involved in the pipeline operation. Further, careful maintenance will ensure compliance with environmental safety regulations.

The first task is to remove all kinds of deposits in the pipeline that hinder the transportation of liquid or gas. In addition, it is necessary to remove rust and garbage from the pipes that enter or remain on the construction site for various reasons.

Regular cleaning of the pipes makes economic sense because it can greatly reduce the shipping costs of the product. Cleaning is performed using a variety of pigs that pass through the pipeline with the flow of liquid or gas. Pig accessories (polyurethane discs, cuffs, brushes, magnets, etc.) remove deposits from the pipe walls and bring them to the pig receiver.

The cleaning pig should be designed to make it safe (no downtime and jamming) through the entire length of the pipeline from the pig launcher to the pig receiver. Since each pipeline has its design features and construction flaws, different pigs can be used.

Experts in pipeline operators, they have different preferences. EMT’s engineers put great effort into providing pig designs that can be customized to customer requirements while maintaining equipment reliability, low cost, and short manufacturing times.

EMT mainly manufactures Foam Pig, Polyurethane Cups Pipeline Pigs and Solid Cast Pig:

Foam Pig

Foam pig is an economical and effective pig for several applications. EMT Polyurethane Foam pigs for pipe cleaning are used on all types of pipes (steel, polyethylene, cast iron, etc.). Its adaptive performance meets the pipeline with a small turning radius or even a right-angle bend and major diameter reductions. The foam pig can be used for cleaning, isolation and drying .

It has good traffic-ability and is cheaper than the skeleton pig. It is generally used for preliminary exploration of pipelines.

EMT Polyurethane Cups Pipeline Pigs

It is applied to pigging before production, cleaning the stones, wood bars and other matters left in the pipeline. EMT pigs are specially designed for cleaning the inner surfaces of pipes.

The EMT CUPS range of cleaning pigs are very flexible devices that can be easily adapted to specific tasks, the polyurethane discs with extremely high abrasion resistance allow cleaning in almost any environment (oil, gas, petroleum products, sea water).In order to control the movement of the pig through the pipeline, the pig can be equipped with a transmission.

In addition, it can be equipped with other accessories:

* Gauging disc: Check whether the pipeline is deformed. The material is aluminum (soft, better to pass through the deformed pipeline without jamming). Generally, the diameter is 80% – 95% of the inner diameter of the pipeline. If there are no specific requirements, it is usually 85%. The caliper plate is generally placed in the middle of the pig.

* Wire brush: The default material is carbon steel, as well as stainless steel (stainless steel rigid brush is required for electronic pig with DN < 300mm) and nylon (for plastic pipeline). The wire brush is used to remove rust, wax and other impurities, and its size is 1-2mm smaller than the inner diameter of the pipeline.

* Spring steel brush: The default is carbon steel, as well as stainless steel and nylon. It is usually placed in the front, which is more thorough than ordinary steel wire brush.

* Magnetic steel: The material is neodymium iron boron, which is mainly used to absorb rust.

* Guide plate: The material is polyurethane, which can better help the pig enter the pipeline. At the same time, it also plays a supporting role, increasing the running distance (wear resistance) and making the front discs or cups more wear-resistant; the size is similar to the pipe diameter; it is usually placed at the front.

* The brace pad: Polyurethane material is mainly used to prevent sparks and explosions caused by impact on the quick opening closure. For example, some natural gas pipelines are usually placed at the front end of the pig.

Product features:

*Various accessories can be combined according to customer requirements.

*Consumables such as leather cups and straight plates can be replaced separately to reduce the cost.

*Compared with other brands, polyurethane has strong wear resistance. There are wear-resistant materials in polyurethane.

EMT Customized Conical Cup Solid Cast Pig

EMT customized Conical cup solid cast pig, integrally formed, made of polyurethane.

The solid cast pig is uaually applied to the pipelines containing the medium of water, gas or oil. The pressure difference between the front and the back of the pig pushes the pig forward so that the pipeline is cleaned by the pig.

EMT solid cast pig has the features of good looking appearance, strong wear resistance performance, etc.

Its product features are good cleaning effect, integral pouring, no framework, better traffic-ability.

For many tasks related to pipeline cleaning or diagnostics, we already have ready-made solutions. Even if you did not find on our website a description of the equipment that your organization needs to solve any specific task. Our experts will definitely answer and try to find a solution.