Inspectioneering Journal

New and Revised API Inspection Standards in Progress

By John Reynolds, Principal Consultant at Intertek. This article appears in the September/October 2011 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.

New and Revised API Inspection Standards in Progress John Reynolds, Principal Consultant
Three new recommended practices (RP) are underway within the API Inspection Subcommittee (SCI) which will add to the list of SCI standards available to owner-users to improve their mechanical integrity (MI) and inspection programs. Additionally, the API 510 In-Service Pressure Vessel Inspection Code is being substantially updated with numerous revisions being incorporated into the 10th edition due out next year. The three new API RP’s are:

  • API RP 583 Corrosion under Insulation
  • API RP 584 Integrity Operating Windows
  • API RP 585 Pressure Equipment Integrity Incident Investigation

API RP 583 Corrosion under Insulation will cover the design, maintenance, inspection and mitigation practices for pressure equipment, piping, and storage tanks due to external corrosion under insulation (CUI) and corrosion under fire-proofing (CUF). The recommended practices in this standard are intended to provide the user with information that will improve plant reliability by describing all the variables that give rise to CUI including: temperature, coating type and age, insulation types, climate effects, insulation maintenance practices, etc. and provide a method of risk ranking equipment for CUI potential based on the primary factors that affect the potential for CUI.

It will cover external chloride stress corrosion cracking (ECSCC) of stainless steels under insulation as well as general and localized metal loss of carbon and low alloy steels. It will also cover all the more modern methods of NDE for inspection for CUI without having to remove the insulation. The document is still in draft stage, so if it goes through at least three ballots and the normal consensus building process, I expect it could be published sometime around the end of 2013.

API RP 584 Integrity Operating Windows (IOWs) will explain the importance of IOWs for process safety management and guide users in how to establish and implement an IOW program for refining and petrochemical process facilities for the express purpose of avoiding unexpected equipment degradation that could lead to loss of containment. IOWs are established limits for process variables (parameters) that can affect the integrity of the equipment if the process operation deviates from the established limits for a predetermined amount of time. The RP will provide descriptions of the various types of IOWs needed for process units (including Critical, Standard and Informational IOW Limits).

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