Understanding the Basics of Pipeline Construction

April 30, 2018

Out here, there are giant excavators at work. They're busily extending a new pipeline. First comes the bureaucratic chores, then the trenches are excavated and the pipe sections are placed. Wrapping up the project, the backfill phase safely covers the pipeline. These massive sections scale down to less than one-hundred centimetres wide, but the main channels are larger, perhaps larger than several metres in diameter.

Understanding Pipeline Kinematics

After the easement is defined, the pipeline route takes shape. It's conveying oil or gas across large distances. Alternatively, the project is creating a new pathway for water in a remote region. All things considered, a burly worker and his mates can't get the required trench excavated in a timely manner. Instead of a team of muscly labourers, we need mobile mechanical excavators. No worries, the team is clearing the land and topsoil. Meanwhile, the excavators are cutting the trench into the soil, removing rocks and other obstacles, and they're laying the bedding. Section by section, kilometre by kilometre, the pipeline construction process cuts through the region.

Down in the Trench

Specialized cranes are following close behind the excavators. This is the stringing and welding phase of the project, so those heavy lifters need to be quick on their knobbly wheels. The pipeline sections are lowered into the ground channel. They're positioned, checked for defects, and coupled. Made from perfectly engineered steel tubes, these discrete pieces fit snugly together, one against the other, at which point a welder gets to work. An expert welding service is essential here, for pressurized and combustible fluid loads are going to be contained by the welded segments.

The Post Construction Phase

The pipeline construction operation has sunk the steel segments to a code-governed depth, as dictated by a series of national and international guidelines. Next, we need to coat the pipe and install a corrosion protection system. Is the job finished? Not quite, for we need to inspect the welds and carry out a post-installation hydrostatic test. When the pipeline pressure test is properly validated, the work is coming to an end. Still, there's the pipeline interior to deal with, so hold back on the certification paperwork. Large volumes of pressurized air can be sent down the pipeline to dry out the interior and blast away residual dirt.

Pipeline construction projects involve large-scale excavation and lifting resources. Teams of workers are on hand to clear the soil while the pipes are lowered and welded. At the end of all of that effort, the pipeline commissioning phase is actioned. Those welds and pipe bedding layers must be meticulously fashioned by an expert service if the commissioning period is to conclude successfully.

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