Investigating a mystery pipe with quick, accurate radiography tests


Part of the enjoyment of mysteries is the process of figuring out the answer. Whether it is developing outlandish theories about “who did it” while watching the latest Daniel Craig Knives Out sequel or determining the murder weapon during a game of Cluedo, the fun is in unravelling the truth.

But when you’ve got a tight schedule, the last thing you can do is take time to enjoy the journey.  You want a resolution quickly. 

When you have a mystery solving quickly in the world of NDT, a solution we frequently find ourselves relying on is Digital Real-time Radiography. 

Fast, portable and easy to use, our RTR set was the perfect solution to determine the true nature of a mystery pipe that they had unearthed.

The Problem

While working on a construction project, the rail company’s construction team encountered a cast iron pipe buried underground on the site. Despite their available information identifying the pipe as a drain, a CAT scan revealed that there was power running through the pipe. 

They reached out to us through our website,  as they wished to determine whether there was a cable within the pipe. 

This project would be tricky to complete, as the site was an existing railway. We would only be able to access the work area at certain times and days and obviously, we needed to ensure that our team of technicians stayed perfectly safe at all times.

Our Solution

We quickly realised that Digital Real-time Radiography would be the best solution to this problem for the following reasons: 

  • Fast set-up. The set only takes 5-10 minutes to set up, keeping time on the railways to a minimum.
  • Portable.
  • Fast processing time. The digital nature of the technology means that it only takes a minute to take an image. 
  • Fast processing time. The image processing process is similar to wet film methods, in that it captures the image on a “phosphor imaging plate”. But rather than being processed with chemicals, the plate can be scanned into the equipment’s scanner. This image is then sent directly to a laptop or computer and the image can be viewed straight away.
  • Easy to share images. As the image produced is digital, the image can be shared quickly with the client.

The Result

We quickly set up the equipment, conducted the test and then processed the image. The test revealed that the pipe was indeed empty. The client was able to proceed with their work.

Responsive testing that delivers assurance that your equipment is safe.

Contact us for a quality testing service with a fast report turnaround. We can respond to any challenge.


Keep up to date with site and asset safety

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates on keeping your site and assets safe.
(We won’t pass your email on to anyone else)