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Ultrasonic Smart Pigs suit small-diameter pipelines.

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September 15, 2010 - Untethered ultrasonic smart pigs, for pipelines and fired heater tubes, inspect straight lines and navigate short radius bends. Operating in several liquid media, units sample 360 of up to 12 miles of tube wall at 2,400 samples/sec, travel velocity of 1-2 fps, and travel measurement resolution of in. Their transducer offers 3D color-coded representations of wall thickness and units can also provide end-of-life calculations based on nominal thicknesses or previous inspection data.

Clean Harbors Introduces Small Diameter Ultrasonic Smart Pigs

(Archive News Story - Products mentioned in this Archive News Story may or may not be available from the manufacturer.)

Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc.
42 Longwater Dr.
Norwell, MA, 02061

Press release date: September 14, 2010

Advanced inspection for small diameter pipelines and fired heater tubes

NORWELL, MA - Clean Harbors, the leading provider of environmental, energy and industrial services throughout North America, today announced new untethered ultrasonic smart pigs to inspect fired heater tubes and small diameter pipelines. The company has miniaturized and advanced a technology that was previously available only for larger diameter pipelines or had limited data storage capabilities. The new technology supports petroleum, refinery, chemical, paper and other process manufacturing operations.

Detailed Inspections and Reporting

Clean Harbors' smart pig inspects straight lines and navigates short radius one diameter bends in process heaters and plant lines. It inspects up to Schedule 160 pipe in a variety of metallurgies, including but not limited to stainless steel, chromes and standard carbon steel configurations. Vacuum-style fired heaters with multiple pipe diameters can be inspected in addition to hard-to-reach convection sections. The tool operates in several liquid media, but is normally run in water at ambient temperature.

The smart pig samples 360 degrees of up to 12 miles of tube wall (using one battery pack) at a rate of 2,400 samples/second with a travel velocity of one-two feet/second and a travel measurement resolution of inch. Its custom-designed transducer produces A, B and C scan data, as well as 3-D color-coded representations of wall thickness. It identifies corrosion and erosion for continued monitoring or replacement and takes radial data measurements to prove tube cleanliness. It also records denting, ovality and pipe and tube swelling.

Clean Harbors' smart pig plots wall thicknesses with end-of-life calculations based on either nominal thicknesses or compared to previous inspection data. Powerful software produces preformatted and custom spreadsheet and graphical reports in many formats. All data collected are turned over to the client.

"Clean Harbors' smart pig is a major advance over manual, visual spot checks of a few accessible points," explained Billy Musgraves, Clean Harbors General Manager Inspection Services. "We now offer comprehensive, real-time inspections for previously inaccessible areas and give our clients the ability to inspect the mechanical integrity of every inch of their small diameter pipes and tubes."

Complete Bundled Pigging Services

Clean Harbors offers highly efficient and cost-effective bi-directional, closed-loop pig cleaning and inspection services. It is the only single-source, full-service provider to offer comprehensive pigging and smart pig inspection technology for refinery and in-plant process equipment, along with unmatched industrial services and hazardous waste management capabilities.

The company maintains complete control through in-house manufacturing of pigs built under strict quality control specifications. The Clean Harbors low-temperature, low-pressure pigging process maintains safety while minimizing downtime and capturing all removed deposits for proper disposal at Clean Harbors facilities when applicable.

Clean Harbors' smart pig services are available immediately. For additional information visit

About Clean Harbors

Clean Harbors is North America's leading provider of environmental, energy and industrial services serving over 50,000 customers, including a majority of the Fortune 500 companies, thousands of smaller private entities and numerous federal, state, provincial and local governmental agencies. Headquartered in Norwell, Massachusetts, Clean Harbors has more than 175 locations, including over 50 waste management facilities throughout North America in 36 U.S. states, seven Canadian provinces, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The Company also operates international locations in Bulgaria, China, Sweden, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

David N. Proud
Vice President, Marketing
Clean Harbors
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User comments about this story

Surface Location

Will the smart pig provide a surface location as it travels through the pipe.

By Peter Young on Nov 30, 2012 11:15

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