Pipeline Integrity Testing

pipeline integrity testing destructive mechanical tensile full asset knowledge cutout

Without a defined Integrity Management (IM) plan, the potential for dramatic and costly pipeline failures continues to be a top concern for regulatory agencies, pipeline operators and energy providers.  In 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a final rule that mandates several preventative and documentation processes designed to standardize the measurement, testing and assessment of pipeline inspection procedures.

IMR Test Labs-Louisville is a well-equipped and experienced pipeline materials testing center.  We've helped several regional, national and international petro-chemical production and transmission companies answer questions specifically related to pipeline material properties.  IMR has the mechanical, chemistry and metallurgical expertise to help operators apply the test data to decisions about future pipeline maintenance plans.  Our clear, concise reports contain the critical analyses to insure compliance with 49CFR, Part 192- the requirement that operators have full asset knowledge of assets operating in High Consequence Areas (HCA).

The Final Rule

Among the regulations the Final Rule spells out:
-          Operators must submit annual safety-related condition and incident reports
-          Hazardous liquid transmission line inspections that can accommodate in-line inspection (ILI) tools must be completed every 10 years
-          Operators have 20 years to modify their pipelines to accommodate an ILI device
-          ILI devices will ultimately be the only acceptable testing option

Engineering-Critical Assessments

The Final Rule also specifies how operators are to perform “Engineering Critical Assessments (ECA), which include critical repair criteria.  Detection of any of pipeline integrity testing destructive mechanical tensile full asset knowledge cutoutthese criteria requires immediate documented repair.
-          A topside dent with a depth of 6% or better
-          Any dent that points to metal loss/cracking/stress riser
-          Metal loss of 80% of the nominal wall
-          Significant stress corrosion cracking (SCC)
-          Selective seam weld corrosion (SSWC)
-          Metal loss defect with predicted failure of less than 1.1 times maximum operating pressure
To maintain compliance to this Rule, terminal and pipeline owners are obligated to operate their pipelines safely, requiring an effective inspection, maintenance and repair program.   To be in compliance, operators are accountable for the development, documentation, implementation, execution and assessment of pipeline inspection methods.  Meeting these requirements means a safer energy grid, and saves operators from potential disasters to their corporation’s goodwill, finances and personnel.

Full Asset Knowledge

pipeline integrity testing destructive mechanical tensile full asset knowledge cutoutMECHANICAL TESTING- CUTOUT 

By utilizing destructive testing techniques to a section of pipe that's been cutout, operators will receive the the most accurate tensile strength measurements, as well as data on other physical characteristics.   


To accurately test the carbon equivalency (CE) values of a pipe specimen, an Optical Emissions Spectrometry (OES) testing protocal is advised.  By measuring the spectral peak intensity from various elements, the CE values can be used to provide required documentation, as well as support welding process approval.



Case Depth 
Certified Weld Inspections 
Grain Size 
Heat Treat Analysis 
Inclusion Rating 
Intergranular Attack 
Intergranular Oxidation 
Microhardness Testing (Knoop, Vickers, Macro Vickers) 
Microscopy (SEM, Macro, Micro) 
Particle Analysis 
Plating & Coating Analysis 
Plating Thickness 
Quantitative Image Analysis 
SEM Analysis 
Surface Topography 
Thermal Spray Coating Evaluations 
Weld Qualifications


Contaminant Identification 
Corrosion Failure 
Fixed and Rotating Equipment Failure 
Nonmetallic Failure Analysis 
Root Cause Determination 
Structural Failures


Accelerated Weathering 
Chemical Exposure Testing  
Chemical Resistance Testing  
Cyclic Corrosion  
Electrochemical Corrosion Simulation  
Environmentally Assisted Cracking (EAC)  
Heat & Fluid Aging  
Mercurous Nitrate Testing  
Salt Spray Testing  
SO 2 Exposure  
SO 2/CO2 Exposure  
Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC)  
Temperature & Humidity Cycling


3 & 4 Point Bend Testing (including wraparound)
Charpy Impact Testing 
Coating Shear Fatigue 
Creep & Stress Rupture Testing 
Fatigue Testing 
Fracture Mechanics 
Hardness (Brinell, Rockwell, Barcol, Durometer, Shore) 
Hydrogen Embrittlement 
Rotating Beam Fatigue  
Slow Strain Rate Testing (G129) 
Tensile Testing 
Torsion Testing 
Weld Inspection/Testing


Alloy Chemistry  
Contaminant/Corrodent Identification  
Corrosion Product Analysis  
DSC Analysis  
FTIR Analysis  
GC/MS Analysis  
Hazardous Substances  
Heavy Metal Impurities  
ICP-AES Analysis  
ICP-MS Trace Element Analysis  
Ionic Contamination  
Internal Cleanliness  
Metallic Material Verification  
N, O, C, S, H  
OES Analysis  
On-Site Positive Material Identification (PMI)  
Polymeric Material Identification  
Rare Earth Elements  
RoHS Testing  
Surface Cleanliness  
TGA Analysis  
Trace Element Analysis  
XRD Analysis 
XRF Analysis