Inspectioneering

2003 Inspectioneering Journal Article Index


  • July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    This is the name given to a form of embrittlement that occurs in 400 series of stainless steels, duplex SS's and less commonly in some 300 series stainless steels containing a metallurgical phase called ferrite. The embrittlement occurs from 600 F to 1000 F, but most readily at a temperature of 885 F, hence the name.

  • November/December 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Ammonia stress corrosion cracking (SCC) has been around a long time. Most everyone has experienced it from time to time. It's not uncommon in brass tubes in cooling water service that is contaminated with ammonia due to biological growths or other contamination. Sometimes ammonia is added intentionally to process streams as a neutralizer by folks who do not know what it might do to brass tubes. Brass condenser tubes will fail brittlely when bent after they have significant ammonia stress corrosion cracking present. Eddy current inspection of brass tubulars is effective at finding ammonia cracking. Cupro-nickel alloys are usually not susceptible, and if necessary you can upgrade to austenitic stainless steels (which has it's own set of problems).

  • November/December 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Carbonate cracking (CC) of carbon steel has seen an increase recently in frequency and severity in some refinery cat crackers, especially in fractionator and gas processing overheads. Some gas scrubbing units are also susceptible. CC is a form of alkaline stress corrosion cracking that often occurs more aggressively at higher pH and higher concentrations of carbonate solutions.

  • January/February 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    I already mentioned this common affliction in the introduction. Caustic cracking was long called caustic embrittlement, but since no embrittlement actually occurs that name is fading away.

  • July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Cavitation is the sudden formation and immediate collapse of vapor or air bubbles in a liquid stream when system pressure falls below the vapor pressure of the liquid. The sudden collapse of these tiny bubbles generates enormous, though tiny forces that mechanically damage (erode) metal (often on pump impellers or just downstream of let down valves).

  • November/December 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Chloride stress corrosion cracking (SCC) is about as well known as any SCC mechanism can be, so I won't dwell much on it here, but want to mention it for the sake of completeness and hopefully mention something that is not as commonly known about it. Chloride SCC is clearly the bane of austenitic stainless steels and one of the main reasons they are not the "miraclecure" for many corrosion problems.

  • July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Graphitization is not something that operators can do much about, and thankfully it is not very common. We as engineers and inspectors have to know about this one and prevent it or detect it. It occurs when the microstructure of some carbon and low alloy steels breaks down after long exposure to elevated temperatures, like in FCCU's.

  • Partner Content

    InVista is a lightweight, hand-held ultrasonic in-line inspection tool (intelligent pig) capable of detecting pipeline wall loss and corrosion in unpiggable or difficult-to-inspect pipelines. The pipeline geometry inspection data captured by the InVista tool is exceptionally powerful when combined with the LifeQuest™ Pipeline fitness-for-service capabilities, providing an integrated solution set for the pipeline industry.

  • 99 Diseases of Pressure Equipment: Green Rot & High Hardness Fittings
    January/February 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Now you say, he's got to be putting me on. What is green rot? I didn't invent it. I first read about it in one of the early texts on corrosion engineering by Ughlig or Fontana, the venerable corrosion professors at MIT & Ohio State. But when I experienced it, it became very real, even though I've only seen it once in my 35-year career.

  • November/December 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Hydrogen Embrittlement (HE) is an insidious form of degradation that can strike during equipment fabrication, cleaning, repairs or while in-service. It stems from the infusion of atomic hydrogen into some higher strength steels that then leads to embrittlement, cracking or catastrophic brittle fracture.

  • Partner Content

    It is difficult to cover all inspection applications with basic inspection procedures like radiography, ultrasonics, magnetic particle testing, and dye penetrant inspection. Owner-operators are finding that advanced NDE services such as guided-wave ultrasonics, AUT corrosion mapping, and eddy current testing are essential tools to keep their facilities operating safely and efficiently.

  • November/December 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Liquid Metal Cracking (LMC) (aka "liquid metal embrittlement") is another insidious form of cracking that strikes when you least expect it. It most commonly afflicts austenitic stainless steels, but can afflict other copper, nickel and aluminum alloys. LMC occurs when molten metals come in contact with susceptible materials. One of the more common such occurrences is during a fire when molten zinc from galvanized steel parts or inorganic zinc coatings drips down on SS equipment.

  • July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    This failure mechanism is unfortunately all too common in our industry. It's also known as stress rupture, and it is usually entirely preventable by proper maintenance and operating procedures. It occurs when equipment, piping or furnace tubes that are designed to operate safely and reliably in one temperature range are suddenly (and sometimes not so suddenly) exposed to higher temperatures.

  • July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Thermal shock is another one of those pressure equipment afflictions where communication with operating groups is a vital factor in prevention. Thermal shock failures usually involve sudden quenching of high temperature equipment and furnace tubes with a relatively cooler liquid or saturated steam containing some liquid, but not always.

  • July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Few of us have not experienced or heard about vibration fatigue (cracking) failures, especially around pumps and compressors. Typically small branch connections, equalizer lines, vents and drains are susceptible, especially if they are screwed connections. Such failures have often led to safety and reliability events because of the sudden release of flammable hydrocarbons.

  • November/December 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    There are a variety of forms of wet H2S cracking. In this short article I will focus on two of the most common forms: hydrogen induced cracking and stress-oriented hydrogen induced cracking (HIC/ SOHIC). HIC is often fairly innocuous (but not always), while SOHIC is a type of cracking that can easily lead to failure and needs to be mitigated. HIC is a form of tiny blistering damage that is mostly parallel to the surface and to the direction of hoop stress, hence is usually not damaging until it is extensive and affects material properties or gives rise to step-wise cracking that propagates into a weld or begins to go step-wise through the wall.

  • A New API Recommended Practice, API RP 577
    May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    A new recommended practice from the API is in the final stages of preparation before publications. It is API RP 577 on Welding Inspection and Metallurgy.

  • About Cooling Tower Inspections
    November/December 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By George L. Getz at The George Company

    The following article on the art and science of cooling tower inspections is part one in a series. This first is a primer. We recommend that readers consider using this article to edit their engineering practices for cooling tower inspection against. Subsequent articles will cover case histories.

  • September/October 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By P.E. Myers at Chevron Research & Technology Co.

    Recently an unnecessary financial incident was caused as a result of an inadequate tank inspection and failure to recognize the hazards of rain entering leaking fixed roofs of storage tanks. A bolted bladder tank upgrade was scoped for miscellaneous repairs including a bladder replacement. The terminal requested a tank inspection but limited the inspection to only certain accessible portions of the tank. The job was then scoped and cost estimated. Later additional funds had to be allocated to fix unanticipated problems that the inspection failed to reveal. These problems included severe internal corrosion of the bladder ring and the entire second course, which now must be replaced, but which was unanticipated after the tank had been inspected and the job cost estimated.

  • September/October 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

    On September 1, 2003 API has launched an exciting new service for the inspection industry - Individual Certification Program (ICP) Directory, an online listing of certified individuals. The new ICP Directory provides a free and easy to use method for locating inspectors by certification and/or by geographic location. Over the years, API has received many requests to publish the API Individual Certification Programs participants' information, so this program was long expected and much needed. Already since this information was first published on API's website, the ICP Directory drew over 2000 searches. Inspectors' participation in this listing is completely voluntary.

  • API Inspection Benchmarking Survey
    September/October 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    The API Inspection Subcommittee has issued the second edition of their inspection benchmarking survey. We are encouraging as many sites, worldwide, to participate as possible, so that we have the most amount of data available for analysis and conclusions.

  • API TES - Tank Entry Supervisor Certification (TES)
    September/October 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

    API is currently developing a new Certification Program - Tank Entry Supervisor Certification (TES).

  • November/December 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Kelley Jones at Pro-Inspect Inc.

    In the previous articles, we have put all the Pre-Turnaround and actual Turnaround activities in place to get the job safely done. Now we need to find the API Inspectors and have them approved by the client as quickly as possible. I have indicated below how to accomplish this task in a quick and efficient manner.

  • January/February 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Kelley Jones at Pro-Inspect Inc.

    We have discussed most of the pre-turnaround planning details. We are ready for the next step. The cost for the Turnaround is normally the most important item right behind SAFETY. In many cases the salary, per diem and travel costs have been part of early discussions with the client. Now it is time to examine these inspector costs in-depth. What affects these costs? How can we increase our efficiency in this area?

  • March/April 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Dr. Nand K. Gupta at Omega International Technology, Inc.

    During the past two years, a new High Resolution Gamma Ray Detector Array System to detect and measure small corrosion pits in real-time in the inservice piping in process industries, has been in development. This High Resolution Gamma Ray Detector Array can be substituted in place of the standard detector array in our ThruVU (TVU) system. The first High Resolution detector array has a total width of 1.00" and consists of 76 channels with 0.013" detector pitch. On the other hand, the detector pitch is 0.130" in the standard TVU detector array. So, the new High Resolution detector array can potentially provide a 10x better spatial resolution compared to the TVU standard detector array.

  • May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By David R. Hall at Longview Inspection

    Many of the guyed flare stacks and wire rope or strand supported structures in use in U.S. and overseas refineries, pipelines and chemical plants were erected in the 1950's, 60's and 70's. Some were built even earlier. While many of the components of these structures have been routinely inspected by various methods of testing, the wire rope and strand that support and hold these structures in position have, typically, been taken for granted and only elementary visual inspections have been performed. Wire rope and strands in sedentary environments deteriorate and lose their working capability due to many factors. These factors exist both internally and externally.

  • Introduction to the 99 Diseases of Pressure Equipment
    January/February 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Welcome to a new series of articles about the ninety-nine leading types of degradation, flaws and failure that can and do happen to pressure equipment in the hydrocarbon process industry.

  • July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    "Low Hanging Fruit" and "Step Change" are analogies that have been bantered around in our industries for some time. Picking the low hanging fruit is just the beginning and something that most passersby can glean. Also, real change that affects an entire organization, change that lasts, does not happen overnight and usually involves a combination of education, mentoring and recognition, appreciation and understanding of the limitations, resources, potential and culture of/at the various levels of the organization. Low hanging fruit is the easiest to see and pick, but what about the vast amount of fruit that resides amongst the leaves and branches? That is now the challenge of our industries. This is where the greatest harvest lays. Why have change and greater rewards been so difficult to realize? I believe there are many reasons, such as a lack of mentoring, a lack of appreciation and understanding of the limitations, resources, potential and culture of the various levels of the organization.

  • New API Inspector Recertification Program
    May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Next year, the API Inspector Recertification Program (ICP) will be recertifying inspectors who have held their API certifications for more than 6 years. Things have changed this time though, and inspectors will be required to pass a short exam covering material that has changed in the past 6 years.

  • Proposed API In-Line Inspection System Qualification Standard 1163
    January/February 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

    A meeting of the API Pipeline In-Line Inspection Standards Group was held in Houston, Texas on October 17, 2002. The following is an excerpt from the Draft Scope of the Standard in the working dated, May 13, 2002.

  • RAND Report Released
    September/October 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

    This newly issued (28 August, 2003) document reports the results of discussions with representatives of refining firms, technologies, and services providers, research institutions, and other organizations on current and future trends in the U.S. refining industry.

  • May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    There are many aspects to successful, effective and efficient implementation of RBI 1, such as; - Data collection - Operations data - Mechanical data - The role of inspection histories and inspection planning - How much data do I really need to perform a study - Data sensitivity - Use of assumptions - Training - Procedures - Documentation - The RBI team - RBI technology basis - RBI codes and standards This article will focus on, "the role of inspection histories and inspection planning".

  • March/April 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal, and Mahdi Al-Marzouqi at ADGAS

    The large LNG facility is located on DAS Island, offshore of Abu Dhabi, in the Persian Gulf and experiences extremely high humidity year round. These conditions are known to produce a high potential for external corrosion and under insulation corrosion of carbon steel and mild steel alloys. If chlorides are present, which can drift from seawater, and are sometimes present in insulation, there may be a potential for Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking (Cl SCC) of austenitic stainless steels (SS).

  • March/April 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Eitan Shibi at Techs4Biz Corporation

    Many engineers are still performing their inspection and service activities and daily tasks using manual, paper-based forms. However, applying appropriate technology and providing simple-to-use automation tools can increase productivity, improve utilization of resources, and improve profitability. By combining easy to use but sophisticated software and handheld devices, organizations can save time and money while improving operational efficiencies and minimizing downtime.

  • July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

    This document gives an overview about the structure and the contents of the Pressure Equipment Directive.


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