An Introduction to Guided Wave Technology

Global leader in the development and manufacture of guided wave solutions


There has been quite an interest in Guided Wave Technology of late and Fusion invited well-known supplier, Guided Ultrasonics, to explain the technology.

Established in 1999, Guided Ultrasonics Ltd. (GUL) has been at the forefront of guided wave technology for pipe testing. Since then, the company has led the way in setting up the global standards for guided wave pipeline inspection and monitoring, and has been committed to continuous improvement to meet the needs and expectations of clients and the wider industry.

Guided Wave Testing

Guided Wave Testing (GWT) is a Non Destructive Testing (NDT) method, that is largely used to avoid expensive invasive investigations. The method exploits mechanical stress waves that are guided by the walls of the pipe, so it can rapidly provide 100% coverage.


Today a conventional role for guided wave testing is screening. The echoes returning from discontinuities and received by the instrumentation indicate the severity of any findings, but they do not give detailed information about the morphology or dimensions of the damage. Therefore, most inspection procedures deploy guided waves to indicate locations of concern, and then follow up with localized inspection techniques where required.

This is a practical combination: GWT provides a high probability of detection, and the local follow up inspection provides a high probability of correctly assessing the impact the defect will have on the integrity of the pipe.

Typically, guided wave test instruments are battery powered, portable, and fully ruggedized for deployment in the field. The instrument is connected to the transducer ring, which is mounted on the pipe, by two flexible cables. The test is controlled by bespoke software – WavePro™ – on a ruggedized and portable computer that is connected to the instrument by a USB cable. The setup of the GWT equipment and collection of the data can be achieved within minutes.

The innovative Wavemaker® system is the most reliable long range screening equipment in the market. The G4mini is the latest instrument model, a device with extended capacity and increased efficiency. The lightweight low profile Compact® rings, with the practical multiple spacing EC Trio modules, are ideal to further increase precision and productivity.


gPIMS® – Guided Wave Permanently Installed Monitoring Sensors (see pic below) – was the first and remains the leading edge technology in guided wave monitoring, giving the industry a cost efficient option to continuously evaluate their pipelines. The latest generation of this permanently installed system incorporates multi point wall thickness measurement capability for the pipe circumference area beneath the sensor.


The recently released QSR1® is the first quantitative short range guided wave scanning system. Designed to automatically measure wall loss, this instrument allows users to quantify Corrosion Under Pipe Supports (CUPS) before making integrity decisions.


All users are certified following GUL’s globally respected training and qualification scheme. This scheme is administered to ensure GUL qualified inspectors are able to provide high quality accurate results.


GUL services also include consultancy and onsite support by some of the world’s leading GWT experts, helping our clients to make GWT an efficient solution for their inspection projects.
As guided wave applications expand with new techniques of the method, GUL’s position as the global leader for this technology will expand and become ever more important. The company’s commitment to continuous innovation and improvement underpins this process.

Why you should attend the South Africa GUL Summit 2018

The GUL Summit is the ideal occasion for you to meet our experts in Guided Wave Testing (GWT) and see the equipment that will help solve some of your challenges.

November 20 – Johannesburg
SAIW Headquarters

November 22 – Trichardt
Multilink Conference Centre

For more details contact Willie Rankin on