Robotic Flare Stack Guy Wire Inspections

Guy wire inspection service

Locates Problem Areas on the Exterior as Well as Loss of Metallic Area Inside the Steel.

Properly inspecting wire ropes with this robotic Non Destructive Testing (NDT) service can:

Help to extend their service life
Help the asset manager know when to replace their wire rope
Prevent catastrophic failure
Help prevent business shutdown

What is a Flare Stack?

Gas and oil industry flares are critical in preventing dangerous pollutants and hydrocarbons from entering and polluting the atmosphere.

A flare stack, is a gas combustion device used in industrial plants such as petroleum refineries, chemical plants, and natural gas processing plants as well as at oil or gas production sites having oil wells, gas wells, offshore oil and gas rigs, and landfills.

In industrial plants, flare stacks are primarily used for burning off flammable gas released by pressure relief valves during unplanned over-pressuring of plant equipment. During plant (or) partial plant startups and shutdowns, flare stacks are also often used for the planned combustion of gases over relatively short periods.

Flare stack inspection

What is a Flare Stack Guy Wire?

Flare stack guy wire inspection service

A guy-wire, guy-line, or guy-rope, also known as simply a guy, is a tensioned cable designed to add stability to a free-standing structure. They are used commonly in flare stacks, ship masts, radio masts, wind turbines, and more.

Guy wires are constantly under tremendous stress with additional stress caused by their constant motion.

These wire ropes that are helping to support these structures are continuously exposed to a myriad of hostile elements throughout the entire life of their service.

For this reason, all wire rope and bridge strand manufacturers agree that every maintenance program needs to include regular inspection services including lubrication, and proper re-tensioning in regular cycles of approximately every 18-24 months.

Infraspect offers an efficient and safe manner to professionally inspect and evaluate all guy wires with our remotely operated wire rope inspection service using RopeScan®.

RopeScan® is a lightweight portable, wireless magnetic flux leakage inspection services robot that locates loss of metallic area inside the individual metal strands either exposed or right through a High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) sheathing.

Guy Wires

A guy-wire, guy-line, or guy-rope, also known as simply a guy, is a tension cable designed to add stability to a free-standing structure. Wire rope terminology is shown in the figure to the right. Wire rope terminology is shown here.

Wire – Single wire
Strand – Bunch of wires
Core – Bunch of wire placed center
Rope – Core surrounded by a number of strands

Different configurations of wire ropes are shown in the figure. These ropes are designed and used for various applications. Infraspect’s RopeScan® was designed to peer through the steel strands to locate the loss of metallic (corrosion) within the steel.

By determining loss of metallic area early in the life of a guy wire or any wire rope then on further inspections, the inspector can monitor the deterioration progression over time knowing when to replace a wire rope before it is too late.

Inspecting Flare Stack Guy Wire Ropes with Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL)

Magnetic flux sensing for wire ropes has been in use successfully since 1970. The technology was used in various NDT devices that were used for quantitative inspection of wire rope, principally for improving the safety of mine hoisting operations. The primary reason for the retirement of running wire rope has been wire breaks and other Local Flaws (LF), caused mostly by running and repeatedly bending over sheaves. It is just recently that advancements in interpretation data and robotics that the technology is commercially viable for normal and not just special inspections.

With the introduction of Infraspect’s RopeScan® the technology has matured to where the integration of MFL, robotics, and interpretation software brings wire rope inspections into the 21st century. Lightweight, portable, wireless, and robotics mean no lane closures or heavy equipment causing traffic delays or endangering public welfare.

MFL For Wire Rope Inspections.

Magnetic flux devices are well suited for measuring Loss of cross-sectional Metallic Area (LMA). LMA produces an absolute change in overall magnetic flux throughout the cross-section.

As long as the wire rope is saturated with a sufficiently strong magnetic field, LMA is easily and accurately measured by an arrangement of annular coils, semi-annular coils, or magnetometers. Since magnetic flux flows equally throughout the cross-section of the wire rope, LMA within the interior is just as easily measured as that on the exterior of the wire rope.

Since corrosion products are non-magnetic, LMA is an ideal measurement for directly quantifying the loss of tensile strength due to corrosion.

Since the mining industry has been concerned almost exclusively with wire breaks, LMA measurements for corrosion quantification remain a rather undeveloped, untested, and unevaluated potential for magnetic flux technology.

For wire rope inspection, the rope generally runs through a magnetizing sensor head. For application on a stationary guy, a moving inspection tool
must travel along and high up a stationary guy. The robotic device can be easily driven up a wire rope saturating and magnetizing the steel and taking LMA and corrosion readings in real-time.

Infraspect has taken the technology to a new level with devices that can not only inspect guy wires, cranes, hoists, and pulleys but ones that can run up a bridge cable-stay and peer through the HDPE sheathing to properly inspect a bridge cable. It can do this with no lane closures or bucket trucks.

What is having quantitative data of a critical infrastructure asset worth for the same taxpayer dollar? Data can make the difference in properly budgeting for repairs as well as the safety of the inspectors and the traveling public.