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Metallurgical Testing May Reveal the Cause of Recent Fuel Pipeline Failure


EMSL Analytical offers metallurgical testing services to help identify problems with metal components.
Cinnaminson, NJ, February 6th, 2012
Last month, over 116,000 gallons spilled from a ruptured fuel pipeline in Wellington, Ohio.  The 60 year old pipeline runs for 107 miles and was shutdown following the leak. A football field-sized area was contaminated with a variety of toxic chemicals that included toluene, ethylbenzene and benzene.   
The spill resulted in the evacuation of numerous residents around the area as emergency spill responders and public health officials began investigating and remediating the contaminated area.  According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official, the amount of chemicals measured in the air was nearly 11 times what is considered a safe rate.  Some residents were kept away from their homes for a week as a result of the spill.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has served the pipeline owner with a Correction Action Order.  The agency has located a 30 inch section of the pipeline that split and a metallurgical analysis will be conducted to help determine the cause of the pipeline failure.
“Most pipelines are scheduled for an inspection every five years,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading metallurgical testing laboratory.  “Fortunately this spill was contained before it could impact nearby Lake Erie.  However, the spill has caused the pipeline to be shut down and expensive remediation of the site is underway.  In addition, events like these may result in fines and expensive litigation down the road.  Metallurgical testing can help identify problems in pipelines that can prevent future failures,” he continued.
EMSL Analytical’s metallurgical testing utilizes some of the most advanced instrumentation available.  For example, Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES), a unique surface analysis tool that is sensitive to the elements in the top two-to-three atomic layers on a surface, could be utilized to help identify problems when metals are analyzed.  This and many other analytical techniques are available at EMSL to help provide answers to a wide variety of metallurgical analysis questions.
To learn more about metallurgical testing services, please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 metallurgical testing
 metallurgical lab service
 metals components
 fuel pipeline

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