Forensic Engineering - Piping

Piping system failures in power plants, refineries and buried pipelines are investigated by Intertek’s forensic engineering specialists.

Industrial piping failures can cause serious damage and injuries when the high-energy liquids or gases they carry are suddenly released through a crack or breach in the pipe wall. Our piping system consultants and laboratory staff have performed hundreds of forensic investigations of piping system design and failures.  Our multidisciplinary expertise includes field examination, laboratory testing and computational modeling.

Field examination techniques include:

  • Magnetic particle testing
  • Ultrasonic testing
  • Metallurgical surface replication 
  • Corrosion testing
  • Piping hanger walkdowns

Laboratory testing techniques include:

  • Macro-imaging
  • Micro-imaging
  • Fractography
  • Metallurgical mounting
  • Deposit analysis
  • Optical and scanning electron microscopy
  • Hardness testing
  • Mechanical testing. 

Computational techniques include:

  • Creep, fatigue and fracture mechanics analyses 
  • Piping stress analysis 
  • Finite element modeling


Coming Soon:  Case study examples of the types of piping failures that we have analysed in our forensic engineering practice: 

  • Penstock failure at a pumped storage hydroelectric plant 
  • Pipe seam rupture investigation 
  • High pressure water pipe rupture in a power plant 
  • Blue water corrosion of residential piping 
  • Seam weld failure in high energy steam piping 
  • Longitudinal seam weld rupture in main steam pipe