Commercialization of ILI Technology which Accurately Detects, Locates, and Measures Pipeline Girth Weld Defects

Diakont Sensor Identifies Defects Inside Natural Gas Pipelines


Diakont Advanced Technologies, Inc


San Diego, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

Diakont integrated the MS-EMAT sensor on Diakont's existing pipeline robot. In addition, Diakont demonstrated the MS-EMAT sensor on a pipeline in the Pacific Gas and Electric Company service territory. The project is completed, and the final report is published and posted on the Energy Commission's website at…

The Issue

America's natural gas pipeline network is more than 300,000 miles of large-diameter transmission lines, and most were constructed before 1980. Pipeline girth welds are particularly sensitive to ground movements. The seismic nature increases the importance of determining the condition of girth welds to ensure system safety. There are no sensors available to inspect these highly sensitive regions internally, and pipeline operators typically rely on hydrostatic testing. It is often unable to detect growing defects that may cause damage. The Diakont technology will provide the industry with a needed capability to perform inspections.

Project Innovation

Diakont demonstrated its multichannel scanning electromagnetic acoustic transducer (MS-EMAT) fitted on a robotic crawler and performed comprehensive remote in-line inspection of gas pipeline girth welds. The MS-EMAT sensor technology inspects for hidden defects remaining from construction and operational defects, such as cracks induced by ground movement. These types of defects worsen over time and reduce pipeline safety. The sensor provides a comprehensive method to evaluate a pipeline girth weld and provide operators with accurate data on the infrastructure integrity of the California pipeline network. The sensor technology performance has the potential to provide operators with valuable information on critical pipeline features.

Project Benefits

The MS-EMAT technology can potentially replace current best practices for validating the integrity of pipeline girth welds. The MS-EMAT sensor will allow operators to accurately assess pipeline girth welds without putting its integrity at risk.

Lower Costs


Relative to hydrostatic testing, this technology can perform in-line inspection to detect girth weld defects faster and without excavation costs.

Greater Reliability


Early and timely damage detection using in-line inspection technology will improve reliability of gas pipelines in California.

Increase Safety


Early and timely damage detection and adequate measures to prevent pipeline failure will improve safety of gas pipelines in California.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Brian Carlson

Contact the Team