Smart Pigs are inspection vehicles that move inside a pipe line pushed along by the flowing material. Smart Pigs use different technologies to locate problems along the pipelines. Magnets have been used to detect corrosion where the most common technology is the Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) that detects corrosion on thinning walls. Another detection technology uses ultrasonic sensors to detect coating disbondment, cracks, dents and gouges. The Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is being adapted to smart pigs to obtain the exact location of any problem in the pipe or to map the pipe itself. Some of these new Smart Pigs have a collapsing characteristic that allows them to get into multidiameter pipes and gate valves.
Fact Sheet ID Number
Internal Pipeline Assessment Technology
pipeline, inspection vehicle
Date of this Version
ECT Team, Purdue, "Smart Pigs" (2007). ECT Fact Sheets. Paper 139.