2014 was another successful year for UK based pigging specialists Pigtek Ltd. Among the highlights was overcoming the challenge of delivering a cleaning pig for a 2,500mm internal diameterpipeline – that’s 98” diameter in old money!

The line in question – a 2.5km pipeline carrying raw seawater, consisting of GRP and reinforced concrete sections with no internal lining, would be subject to natural fouling from marine growth, such as barnacles and mussels. If left to accumulate, this type of debris would affect product throughput and ultimately compromise the efficiency of the pipeline.

Occasionally divers have been utilised to clean the internal surface of large diameter seawater pipelines, but this is not only laborious, time consuming and expensive, but also an obvious health and safety risk to personnel.

Whilst Pigtek have delivered pigs for successful cleaning of other large diameter pipelines, including 60”, 70” and 78”, undertaking this project was no mean feat as the step up to 98” pushed boundaries – the logistics for manufacturing, handling, assembly and transportation had to be carefully considered.

The Pigtek team based their design around a steel mandrel pig body fitted with replaceable polyurethane guide discs and seal discs for scraping and sealing within the pipeline. All discs were supplied as one solid piece, rather than utilising overlapping or segmented discs, to maintain the cleaning efficiency of the pig. The design also included a number of unique features to aid cleaning efficiency and assist handling and operation of such a large piece of equipment.

With the pig weighing in at just over 5 tonnes, certified lifting points were fitted and a steel handling/storage frame supplied.

Having delivered what could be the world’s largest diameter pig, Pigtek are well placed to tackle new challenges in the design and supply of cleaning tools for not just large diameter, but very large diameter pipelines!



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Pipeline Pig Testing and Trialling