Visual Pipe Inspection

Key details

  • Inexpensive method to assess the condition of an asset such as a pipe

  • Fully-trained operators capable of defect detection

Detection of the following items:

  • Pipe features and defects

  • Pipe corrosion and erosion

  • Pipe rust, scale and pitting


Visual inspection is usually the first tool to be used to assess the condition of an asset such as a pipe. The features of interest can be cracks, erosion, corrosion, debris, grinding, scouring, welding, manufacturing defects, discolouration, weld splatter, location of insertions or state of the coating.

With pipes it is not physically possible to get access to the internal surface and hence crawlers and cameras are typically used. A typical requirement is to use the visual inspection, which is quick and easy, to direct a more thorough inspection which will often be a 3-D survey.

Visual inspection with laptops.jpg


The most common solution is to put a camera with a variable zoom and focus onto a pan and tilt mount and then move this system through the pipe. Of course variable lighting is also needed and preferably the camera should be mounted centrally to allow an even magnification of the pipe surface. Other solutions can use a camera which is mounted to see the side of the pipe wall and then rotated to collect a sequence of images which can then be reviewed in much higher resolution than using a typical video camera.


Getting the camera into the right place in order to conduct the survey may require push-rods, pull wires or crawlers using tracks or wheels.