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API RP 572 - Inspection of Pressure Vessels

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API RP 572, Inspection of Pressure Vessels is a recommended practice developed and published by the American Petroleum Institute (API) that covers the inspection of pressure vessels, including those with a design pressure under 15 psig, and the standards for their construction and maintenance. In addition, API RP 572 also discusses, with relation to pressure vessels, the reasons for inspection, causes of deterioration, the frequency and methods of inspection, methods of repair, and preparation of records and reports. The document was originally published in 1992, with the most recent fourth edition published in December of 2016.

Whereas API 510 defines requirements and expectations for inspection of pressure vessels, this recommended practice is intended to supplement API 510 by providing practical knowledge on inspection practices to pressure vessel inspectors.It covers a large variety of topics related to the inspection of pressure vessels including safety precautions, thickness measurements, both internal and external inspections, and special methods of detecting mechanical damage. 

To be most effective, this recommended practice requires knowledge of other API standards and practices. Some of these standards include, but are not limited to:

It is also helpful to have a general familiarity with the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII: Pressure Vessels when using API RP 572.

API RP 572 Contents

In addition to typical document sections such as Scope and Terms and Definitions, API RP 572 contains the following sections:

  • Introduction to Pressure Vessels: methods and materials of construction, internal components and equipment, uses of pressure vessels, and design/construction standards.
  • Reasons for Inspection: general, safety, reliability, and regulatory requirements.
  • Inspection Plans: inspection for specific types of damage, developing inspection plans, reviewing and updating inspection plans, and risk-based inspection.
  • Frequency and Extent of Inspection
  • Safety Precautions and Preparatory Work
  • Inspection Methods and Limitations: thickness measurements, external and internal inspections, special methods of detecting mechanical damage, metallurgical changes and in-situ metal analysis, and testing.
  • Condition Assessment and Repair: visual inspection, thickness measurements, remaining life, and methods of repair for pressure vessels and supporting equipment.
  • Records and Reports

The document also includes three informative annexes (“Exchangers,” “Towers,” and “Sample Record Forms”).

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