Used in Saudi Arabia ... the 456 gauge.

Products from Elcometer Instruments of the UK are being used to check the quality of coatings at a major gas project and a pipe coating plant, both in Saudi Arabia.

"Elcometer has a long association with the Gulf, having supplied products through local distributors for many years," says public relations and advertising manager Nanette Sellars. "And recent examples of these links are two contracts in Saudi Arabia - one for Saudi Aramco and the other for Raymond Saudi Arabia - where different requirements are being catered to."

Saudi Aramco is using the Elcometer 456 coating thickness gauge for assessment and control of pipeline coatings at its Haradh gas project. The coatings will provide corrosion protection and must therefore achieve their specification values for thickness in order to perform satisfactorily over their expected life.

The Elcometer 456 is a palm-sized, easy-to-use, menu-driven gauge with a full graphics display that includes operating instructions for the user to follow on screen, says Sellars.

The gauge uses intelligent probes and a selection of options is available for a single gauge covering different ranges of coating thickness and different substrate options.

Probes are available for 0 - 1,500 microns, 0 - 5 mm and 0 - 13 mm for measurement of coatings on steel (ferrous substrates) and for 0 - 1,500 microns for either non-ferrous substrates and dual ferrous/non-ferrous gauges. They can also measure on non-ferrous metals such as aluminium and stainless steel.

"For the project, the Elcometer 456 Standard version of the gauge was chosen, as it has the capability to store readings for further analysis or record keeping," says Sellars. "Main contractor Arabian Pipe Coating (APC) chose the Elcometer data transfer software (EDTS+) for this application. EDTS+ allows the gauge to be linked directly to Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet program so that the coating thickness readings can be uploaded from the memory of the gauge to the spreadsheet for reporting and for archiving."

The Elcometer 456 also offers fast operation of up to 60 readings per minute, multiple language operation, selectable by the user and a full statistics display for quick and accurate decision-making, she adds.

Raymond Saudi Arabia chose the Elcometer 236 high voltage holiday detector for use at its pipe coating yard, to ensure that there are no flaws or defects in its pipe coatings.

"The Elcometer 236 is available in two fully-adjustable test voltage ranges - 0 - 15 kV and 0 - 30 kV - and Raymond Saudi Arabia chose the latter to maximise the thickness of coatings that can be tested," says Sellars.

The Elcometer 236 is a lightweight, portable, rugged and simple-to-use instrument, which is supplied with a brush probe and uses a fully-enclosed rechargeable battery pack as its energy source. Charger units for any mains voltage, 230V (UK) standard plug, 230V European standard plug or 110 V (US) standard plug are supplied according to the customer's choice.

To avoid the difficulty of field recharging, an optional external battery pack is available that can be charged separately to the main instrument and can then be plugged into the instrument to bypass the intemal battery and provide further power for additional testing,

A carry-case, also included in the instrument kit, has straps for carrying the probe when it is not in use and a simple twist-and-lock pouch location for the spare battery pack or the mains charger unit. The instrument, in its carry-case with the probe fitted, weighs 2.8 kg and can be easily carried over the shoulder.

A full range of probe options is available for holiday detection including right-angle probes in either phosphor-bronze wire or conductive rubber for large test areas; circular wire brushes with a range of diameters for internal pipe coatings; rolling-spring probes for external pipe coatings; a pipe-testing kit that allows up to three rolling springs to be assembled for multiple pipe diameters and extension-pieces and telescopic probe handles where long reach is required.

"For Raymond, the larger telescopic probe handle was chosen for testing internal coatings in the longer pipe sections," says Sellars. "This telescopic probe handle has a normal length of 1.8 m but can be easily extended to a maximum reach of 3.6 m.

"Elcometer Instruments," adds Sellars, "is proud of its long involvement in coating quality control in the Gulf and in particular for these two current projects involving the latest Elcometer products."