Everything You Should Know About a Pipeline Pig

Oftentimes, pipelines get blocked up and clogged. Debris, grime, dirt, and a lot of stuff can create difficulties that when left untreated can become worse. As the situation progresses, cracks may form, leading to irreparable damage and leakage. To prevent this from happening, pigging is performed to clear off any debris that is accumulating as soon as possible. For this procedure, a pipeline pig is introduced into the pipeline either by being pulled in via an internal cable or a product flow. The tool is cylindrical and is dragged through the pipeline to push away dirt and debris. Not only that, it is also utilised in investigating issues that may occur down the line. Particularly, those that are invisible to the naked eye.

More about the procedure of pigging…

Based on the earlier description, you might get an impression that pipeline pigging is easy. However, you must understand that specifications must be met first in order to achieve positive results in the procedure.

Clear and investigate the pipeline first before considering which particular shape and specific type you might require. Furthermore, each type of pipeline pig in Australia has a definite function. Therefore, it is important to have an expert or an engineer to help you out with planning the process ahead.

They will have to identify factors, such as wear and tear, as well as the nature of debris within the pipeline.

The types of pig…

Each type of pig can help with specific jobs. Therefore, it is extremely important to gauge and determine what type of job you are undertaking before you start pigging. To learn more about this, check out the pipeline pig types available.


This is perhaps the most utilised type. Essentially, this is used for unblocking and removing dirt and debris that has accumulated within the pipelines. Ideally, the pigging procedure is done prior to and in between work production. The utility can be purchased in various forms, such as foam, mandrel, and spherical, since not all pipelines are similar to one another.


Also known as smart pigs, inspection pigs are tools used in scouting through the pipelines and collecting data regarding the situation internally. With the use of magnetic influx or ultrasonic technology, engineers can tell the curvature, thickness, diameter, and bends, as well as, the temperature. Thus, making this tool an important research apparatus of inspection work. Moreover, magnetic pipeline pig is extremely useful in detecting corrosion and leakage that may need immediate attention.


Otherwise called specialty pigs, these are used in isolating a specific portion of the pipework through creating a blockage. In this way, maintenance work can be performed easily. Furthermore, the specialty types help keep the pipeline pressure whilst remedial work is done. They can also come in a variety of shapes and sizes for a variety of needs and jobs.

Gel Pigs

These types of Australian pipeline pig is excellent for flushing out unwanted material including debris, condensation, and even a stuck pig. Made out of a combination of gelled solutions, these can be used as supplementary pigs that can ensure you of a perfectly clear pipeline after maintenance work is done. On the other hand, these are also used in product separation, hydro testing, and dewatering.

Because of the nature of pipeline systems across the country, more types are being developed regularly. Nowadays, you will find multi-diameter and dual pigs for multi-diameter pipelines. Needless to say, this is simply just a beginner’s guide into pigging. To determine the best pipeline pig for your specific pipeline, check out pipeline testing firms, such as Pipe Tek, for your pipe testing and maintenance needs.