Tangential X-Ray Radiography for Pitting Geometry Analysis of Outside Wall of Insulated Steel Pipes

Prasetyo Eko Prasetyo*, Henry Pariaman, Sulistijono

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: The piping systems used for the transportation of liquids and gases in power stations, petroleum petrochemical facilities, and chemical plants are significantly impacted by corrosive processes. One of the most destructive forms of corrosion is pitting corrosion, which produces holes on piping metal surfaces. Monitoring pit depth is necessary in order to prevent leakage in the piping system, especially during operation. However, measuring pit depth as a part of periodical inspections is complicated since the pit depth on the outside wall of a pipe may vary. Non-destructive testing (NDT) methods such as ultrasonic, liquid penetrants, and magnetic particles are used to detect defects in industrial components; however, they first require the removal of insulation and the shutdown of the pipe system. Another alternative NDT technique, tangential radiography technique (TRT), offers a solution to this problem as tests can be conducted without removing piping insulation, allowing testing while the piping system is online. In this study, we tested TRT using an X-ray radiation source, which has good controllability (i.e., intensity and exposure time) and a lower impact on the human body than do γ-ray sources. We focused on the comparison of film density measurements using a density meter and a light meter. The magnification of pit diameter was used to obtain an equation for small-diameter pipes (i.e., diameter of less than 50 mm). The working voltage was varied (200, 230, and 260 kV) in order to generate appropriate X-ray energies to measure various pit depth (20, 40, and 60%, receptively) of a stepped steel pipe specimen. Film density measurements using the density and light meters showed similar results; however, the film density result using the density meter was more accurate. All tangential side edges of the specimen burned off for film densities above 3.5. Degrees of magnification (1.0123, 1.0254, and 1.0379) varied as a function of distance from the midpoint of the X-ray target (30, 60, or 90 mm, respectively). Using the results, a linear equation with three variables was obtained to determine the actual diameter of pitting: 0.000385436a + 0.038350128b + 0.000467083c = d; where the actual diameter = film diameter/d. High working voltage produced low film contrast, high film definition, and low scatter. Low working voltage produced high film contrast, low film definition, and high scatter. Based on our results, a working voltage of 260 kV is most appropriate for effective analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-258
Number of pages10
JournalRussian Journal of Nondestructive Testing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • TRT
  • X-ray
  • film density
  • magnification degree
  • pitting geometry


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