Sep 1, 2013

What is Pipeline Pigging?

Pipeline Pigging

Pigging is a valuable service in the industry. It is completed to increase efficiency and avoid potential problems on existing pipelines, and to remove new construction debris to assist during hydrostatic testing.
Types of Pipeline Pigs
Although first used simply to clear the line, the purpose of pipeline pigging has evolved with the development of technologies. Utility pigs are inserted into the pipeline to remove unwanted materials, such as wax, from the line. Inline inspection pigs can also be used to examine the pipeline from the inside, and specialty pigs are used to plug the line or isolate certain areas of the line. Lastly, gel pigs are a liquid chemical pigging system.
Similar to cleaning your plumbing line, utility pigs are used to clean the pipeline of debris or seal the line. Debris can accumulate during construction, and the pipeline is pigged before production commences. Also, debris can build up on the pipeline, and the utility pig is used to scrape it away. Additionally, sealing pigs are used to remove liquids from the pipeline, as well as serve as an interface between two different products within a pipeline. Types of utility pigs include mandrel pigs, foam pigs, solid cast pigs and spherical pigs.

Intelligent pigging

Modern intelligent or 'smart' pigs are highly sophisticated instruments that include electronics and sensors that collect various forms of data during their trip through the pipeline. They vary in technology and complexity depending on the intended use and the manufacturer.

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