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Leak Detection Service, Pipe Repair & Reinforcement

INTRODUCTION

Our client is a well-known multinational banking organization headquartered in Singapore, with presence in most Southeast Asian countries. Due to significant leakage and corroded surface area on their existing pipeline system, the client requested a full inspection of the entire pipeline system on every level of their building.  This included soil pipes, vent pipes, and kitchen waste pipes.  Depending on the inspection results, the client would decide on a pipe replacement or pipe repair solution.

PROPOSED SOLUTION

Alstern Technologies proposed the inspection of the pipeline system through two different methods.  The first a physical inspection of the pipelines; the second through the usage of leak detection equipment.  In the first method, a physical examination for cracks, leakages, and odor from the pipes is used to determine the corrosion level of the pipes.  The second method was accomplished with microsonic leak detector equipment, which pinpoints the exact location of leaks on every corroded pipe and reads the corrosion levels.  Both methods combined allowed for greater accuracy, efficiency, and with no damage to the pipeline integrity, as compared to other methods.  By using both methods, we were able to complete the inspection of every pipeline on every floor of the entire 67-floor building within a month.

EXECUTION

Before any inspection could take place, a schedule had to be planned meticulously to accommodate for every pipeline inspection of the 67-floor building.  The original plan was to start from the top of the building and work our way down; however, changes had to be made for pipelines with more severe damages, availability, and accessibility to the pipelines.

A first round of physical inspection was conducted on every pipeline before a second round of inspection with leak detector equipment.  For the physical inspection, a physical observation was made of every pipe for leakage, odor, and corrosive level.  This information was recorded and every inspected pipe was labelled according.

Before the second round of leak detector inspection could be executed, the components of the leak detector machine had to be set up by our experienced technicians.  The microsonic leak detector machine consists of a headset, a pistol style detector with a leak detector plug-in module, and leak detector module sensitivity and meter sensitivity adjusting tools.

Using the pistol detector, our technician scanned the pipes for possible leak areas and received sound frequencies on the headset.  If the pistol approached any leak areas, the rushing sounds became louder and the meter reading on the pistol increased.  Once a leak area was identified, our technician employed a sweeping back and forth motion of the pistol detector to help pinpoint the exact location of the leak.  The sensitivity of the pistol detector was also reduced so that surrounding sounds were reduced for the technician to do the same.  The actual readings from the pistol detector were then recorded.  This process was meticulously carried out for every pipe on every floor.

Fig 1. Physical
Inspection of Pipes
Fig 2. Physical
Inspection of Pipes
Fig 3. Labelling of Pipes After Physical Inspection Fig 4. Labelling of Pipes After Physical Inspection

 

A reading above 30 microsonic level on the microsonic leak detector was indicative of pipe leakage.  Upon completion, the full inspection revealed most of the pipes to be under 30 microsonic level, some with slight corrosion but no leakage.  The pipeline system on most levels were in relatively good condition, with observable corrosion found on four pipes on four separate higher levels but with no leakage.  These pipes will be closely monitored for future leaking.  Only pipes from two of the lower levels were found to have cracks and leaks in critical condition, in the soil and kitchen waste pipes.

The factors which contribute to a high level of corrosion of pipes include the pH of the pipe medium, the oxygen level, composition, temperature, and the velocity or pressure of the pipe medium.  The high acidity or alkalinity of the pipe medium will contribute to a higher rate of corrosion.  A high oxygen level will also degrade metal faster and cause rust to form.  A higher medium temperature will increase the rate of oxidation and accelerate corrosion.  The composition of pipe medium will also affect corrosion rate, such as calcium which causes calcium built up.  Lastly, a higher velocity or pressure will also enhance the corrosion rate.  These factors likely contributed to the soil and kitchen waste pipes leakage in the lower levels.

Fig 5. Leak Detector Inspection of Pipes Fig 6. Leak Detector Inspection of Pipes Fig 7. Labelling of Pipes After Leak Detector Inspection Fig 8. Labelling of Pipes After Leak Detector Inspection

 

PROJECT COMPLETION

After a full month of inspection, Alstern presented the analysis of the results to our client.  Our client decided to keep a close watch on the pipes with slight corrosion but with no leakage, and requested our repair services to the two soil and kitchen waste pipes with critical cracks and leaks.

Alstern pipeline specialists repaired both pipes with C-SmartSeal® repair, rebuilding, and reinforcement products.  A composite repair system was recommended where the pipes were not only repaired but also reinforced against future corrosion.  Our pipeline specialists repaired the pipes with Fix’n’FastBond® Metal Repair Putty and SmartStic® Epoxy Sticks, and reinforced the pipes against future corrosion with CorSmart® Resin & Activator and SealXtreme® Fiberglass Repair Tape.

Fig 9. Pipes Repaired with Composite Repair System Fig 10. Pipes Repaired with Composite Repair System

PRODUCTS FEATURED

Composite Repair System

C-SmartSeal® Composite Repair System offers a range of repair, rebuilding, and reinforcement products for corrosion and leak repair.  The system provides structural strengthening to weakened pipes, vessels, tanks, structures and equipment. It was designed to sustain high pressure, temperature, and provide chemical resistance with reliable and effective methods to repair corrosion damages.  It effectively stops leaks, cuts down critical pipeline system downtime, and facilitates extension of service life of pipes, vessels, tanks, and other structures.

     
SmartStic® Epoxy Sticks are ready to use, hand-kneadable, metal-filled epoxies used to fill & repair holes, cracks & defects. The product is quick-curing and cost-effective in returning worn-off parts and equipment back to service. The product is non-toxic, non-combustible, odorless & develops excellent bonding to almost any substrate surfaces.   Fix’n’FastBond® Metal Repair Putties are high performance metal-filled epoxies used for pipeline reinforcement, routine maintenance, production & tooling applications. They are suited for repairing holes, cracks and defects, and are quick-curing and cost-effective.
     
CorSmart® Resin & Activator is a two component epoxy anti-corrosive coating used for corrosion resistance and protection for metals, plastics and many substrate materials. It mainly acts as a corrosion barrier, remediates & reinforce pipelines, vessels, storage tanks and other structures.   SealXtreme® Fiberglass Repair Tape provides an industrial strength, permanent, quick, and cost-effective  solution to repair and reinforce any kind of pipe leaks in minutes without the need for expensive and time consuming pipeline shutdown.
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