What Does Wall Loss Mean?
Wall loss is defined as the loss of material on the internal or external surface of a pipeline, casing or tube due to the deteriorative effects of corrosion. Pitting, erosion and uniform corrosion are the most common causes of wall loss. Wall loss can result in the reduced thickness of the pipe at the affected area, which can lead to leaks and ultimately pipeline failure.
Corrosionpedia Explains Wall Loss
Wall loss can have detrimental effects on pipeline infrastructure, especially in the oil and gas industry. Mechanical properties such as burst, collapse, flexural, tensile and axial strength are all a function of a pipe’s wall thickness. As the pipe thickness decreases due to corrosion, so too does the pipe’s strength properties and its ability to withstand various external and internal forces. This can ultimately have devastating consequences such as oil leaks and explosions.
Wall loss can be difficult to identify, especially if it occurs in the pipe’s inner walls. Therefore, nondestructive inspection methods such as probes, manual inspections and electromagnetic imaging techniques are essential to detect any reduction in a pipe’s wall thickness.