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Introduction Sulfidic corrosion of piping and equipment within the refining industry continues to be a significant cause of leaks and issues that can lead to early replacements, unplanned outages, and incidents potentially resulting in loss of property and injury to workers. Carbon steels with low silicon (<0.10%) content have been shown to corrode at an accelerated rate when exposed to sulfidation corrosion conditions1.According to the American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice 939-C (Guidelines for Avoiding...
This is the first in a series of three articles that will introduce Electro Magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) and its practical applications in the field of nondestructive testing (NDT). EMAT, or Electro Magnetic Acoustic Transducer, is an Ultrasonic Testing (UT) technique that generates the sound in the part inspected instead of the transducer.
A new API Individual Certification Program (ICP) will be offered soon to certify inspectors who perform quality assurance (QA) surveillance and inspection activities on new materials and equipment for the energy and chemical (E&C) industry. It is being developed by the API with the assistance of numerous, experienced subject matter experts (SMEs) involved in source inspection activities.
This article is the third of a series of articles that will focus on one critical sub process within a PEIP that is key in managing the integrity of process piping: thickness monitoring programs for internal corrosion. These articles will discuss what constitutes an effective piping thickness monitoring process and will present several practices that may be new to some readers, but these practices have produced beneficial results in other major piping reliability programs.
If an operator finds cracking in a furnace waste heat boiler, excessive thinning in an absorption tower, or severe bulging in a converter, FFS assessments—not standard code analyses—are needed to evaluate the unit’s mechanical integrity. FFS assessments, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API), are “quantitative engineering evaluations that are performed to demonstrate the structural integrity of an in-service component containing a flaw or damage.”
A pattern of requests for key performance indicators (KPIs) related to equipment integrity management (IM) programs has appeared on Inspectioneering’s LinkedIn group discussion as well as other industry forums. Furthermore, the topic came up numerous times at the recent API Inspection Summit. Performance is the key.Keep in mind that KPIs can portend good and poor (sometimes dangerous) performance in our quests to achieve certain objectives and goals. Sometimes KPIs tell us we need to change our rules or practices (for example, managing engineering practices in an...
Over the past few years increased feedstock flexibility has become a growing reality for sustainability of the refining business, requiring processing of more difficult crudes, increased volumes of spot cargoes, and rapid response to crude acceptance requests. Equipment reliability and process safety threats have occurred in the industry from changes in crude supplies or varying crude blends and quality. Examples of these threats include:Corrosion Catalyst Poisinging HSE IncidentsFouling/CokingOffspec Product...
It is another day at the plant and as usual, your boss calls and says there is a meeting in the conference room that he wants you to attend regarding a compressor failure. That is all you know, but from experience you know it must be something major since all the “brass” will be in the conference room. The meeting starts with an overview from the production folks on what happened and their plan to put a spare into service that has not been refurbished and it had already failed once before. The bottom line is to get the plant back up and running safely, as the margins are good...
Editor’s Note: True Asset Integrity Management (AIM) starts early in the process. Considerations of operating environment, feedstocks versus materials of construction are critical. The following article highlights this as well as aspects of the new shale plays.For crude oil refiners and traders, information is the lifeblood of their operations and business decisions. The information obtained by crude oil assays, which includes physical properties and compositional analysis of a crude oil, provides in-depth insight and serves as an important decision-making...
In response to reader feedback, we implemented some important improvements in 2012. As we broaden our scope to include all aspects of Asset Integrity Management, its synergy and leverage become increasingly important. We will sustain this forward movement in 2013 by continuously seeking ways to serve the Inspectioneering community at maximum value, as you will see by the comprehensive Inspectioneering client survey soon to launch.
In this article you will find the failure investigations of six 0.094 inch thick carbon steel vessels. These vessels were in service in natural gas well facilities; some functioned as dryers and were subjected to cyclic loads. Metallographic tests, hardness tests, and fracture surface scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination results are presented for each of the vessels.
Steam reformers are critical assets to many refining and chemical manufacturing plants and facilities, and it is well known that the reformer is one of the most challenging assets to maintain and operate. Common problems in reformer operations include burner firing, flue gas distribution, and catalyst damage.
The benefits of adding fitness-for-service (FFS) assessments to energy sector reliability projects are numerous. The acceptance of API 579/ASME FFS-1 is increasing across the energy sector and other industries, as these benefits have been demonstrated in a wide range of projects. Several of these benefits are illustrated in this article using real-world examples.