API RP 579 - Fitness-For-Service (FFS)

Last update: Jan 16, 2017

API RP 579-1 / ASME FFS-1, Fitness-For-Service, Second Edition, is a recommended practice developed and published by the American Petroleum Institute (API) that describes several standardized fitness-for-service (FFS) assessment techniques for pressurized equipment used in the oil & gas, petrochemical, and chemical industries. The latest edition was published in June of 2007.

API RP 579 gives procedures for performing proper fitness for service evaluations and ensuring the safe and reliable operation of older plants and existing facilities. This RP contains numerous sections on assessment procedures for calculating the impact of damage mechanisms such as brittle fracture, general metal loss and local metal loss, pitting corrosion, blisters and laminations, weld misalignment and shell distortion, crack-like flaws, creep damage, and fire damage.

This RP has procedures for several different types of equipment that may contain flaws or damage. These include the evaluation and rerating of pressure vessels designed based on the the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, and piping systems that were constructed to either the ASME B31.3 Piping Code or those constructed under API 650 and 620, along with pressure containing equipment constructed to any other codes that are recognized in the publication. The assessments laid out in this RP can provide information on the current state of damage, as well as offer an estimate for the projected remaining life.

API RP 579 also has appendices on several other important topics, such as equations for determining MAWP, thickness, and stress in components, methods of stress analysis for Level 2 and Level 3 FFS assessments, a compendium of stress intensity solutions, guidance on material properties, failure modes and damage mechanisms, validation of assessment procedures, and information on submitting technical inquiries to API, among other things.

 

Relevant Links

Recommend changes or revisions to this definition.

REGISTER FOR INSPECTIONEERING'S WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

Join 8,000+ fellow asset integrity professionals! Get Inspectioneering's latest information straight to your inbox. Enter your information below:


November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Michael Turnquist at Quest Integrity Group

This article exhibits how modern inspection methodologies combined with innovative computational analysis practices demonstrate the value of conducting fitness-for-service (FFS) assessments on sectional piping.

Blog
December 29, 2016 By John Reynolds at Intertek

The Fall API Standards Meeting was incredibly productive and addressed, among other issues, the API Inspection Summit, balloting for the 11th edition of API 510, and improvements to the inspection section of each damage mechanism in API RP 571.

Remaining Life Sensitivity to Longitudinal Weld Seam Peaking in High-temperature Low Chrome Piping
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Phillip E. Prueter at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., Jonathan D. Dobis at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., Mark Geisenhoff at Flint Hills Resources, and Dr. Michael S. Cayard at Flint Hills Resources

This article summarizes a recent finite element analysis (FEA)-based study that employs creep simulation techniques to investigate the elevated temperature response of piping with peaked longitudinal weld seams.

New API Inspector Certification Endorsement Program (ICEP)
November/December 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

Several new API inspection recommended practices exist in which inspectors need to be knowledgeable and qualified. This article details some of those standards.

Effective End of Useful Life Strategies for Pressure Equipment
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Asset managers need to know when repairs and replacement are required for many reasons, including safe operation, accurate budgeting, replacement planning, and on-going reliability. When predicting design life based on a simple, linear corrosion rate versus remaining thickness, metallurgical degradation, or crack propagation rates are often not accurate or realistic. Even if the models are good, things change.

Blog
January 5, 2015

There are numerous benefits to adding fitness-for-service (FFS) assessments to energy sector reliability projects. 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.

Stress Assisted Corrosion and Fitness for Service in 66 Year Old Boilers
September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Amanda Nurse at BP, John Companik at BP, and Scott Vest at BP

Maintaining mechanical integrity for aging power boilers can be challenging. This article provides a case study on how mitigating one damage mechanism led to the discovery of another, and how refinery engineers collaborated with industry experts to fully understand an unfamiliar damage mechanism and perform a fitness for service assessment for the safe and reliable operation of power boilers.

May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Hugo Julien, P.E. at GCM Consultants, Serge Bisson at GCM Consultants, and Guy St-Arneault, P.E. at GCM Consultants

Inspections, repairs, modifications, or Fitness-For-Service (FFS) assessments on an old, unfired ASME Section VIII (Div. 1) pressure vessel - Which ASME Section VIII (Div. 1) Code Edition should you use?

Have you determined whether or not your equipment is subject to Brittle Fracture?
Partner Content

Auto-refrigeration can impose low temperatures onto process vessels and piping causing them to be at risk of brittle fracture, the sudden break-before leak phenomena that can result in catastrophic rupture of the equipment.

March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Guy St-Arneault, P.E. at GCM Consultants, and Hugo Julien, P.E. at GCM Consultants

Since important decisions will be based on the results of the fitness-for-service (FFS) determination, you need to be sure that you have a strong FFS team. But what are the key ingredients of a good FFS team? This article provides some guidelines to help you answer this question.

Have you determined whether or not your equipment is subject to Brittle Fracture?
Partner Content

Auto-refrigeration can impose low temperatures onto process vessels and piping causing them to be at risk of brittle fracture, the sudden break-before leak phenomena that can result in catastrophic rupture of the equipment.

Navigating ASME Section VIII (Div.1): Managing Your Pressure Vessels - Part 1
January/February 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Hugo Julien, P.E. at GCM Consultants, Serge Bisson at GCM Consultants, and Guy St-Arneault, P.E. at GCM Consultants

Inspections, repairs, modifications, or Fitness-For-Service (FFS) assessments on an old, unfired ASME Section VIII (Div. 1) pressure vessel - Which ASME Section VIII (Div. 1) Code Edition should you use?

When Bad Things Happen to Good Pressure Vessels: A Story of Localized Metal Loss
November/December 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
By Michael Turnquist at Quest Integrity Group

While there are many types of damage mechanisms that can occur in a piece of equipment, localized metal loss is one of the most common. If an inspection reveals that metal loss has occurred, many questions are raised...

Auto-Refrigeration / Brittle Fracture Prevention And Process Safety Mitigation
November/December 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
By Ralph E. King P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc.

Auto-refrigeration is a process where an unintentional and/or uncontrolled phase change of a hydrocarbon from a liquid state to a vapor occurs, resulting in a very rapid chilling (refrigeration) of the liquid containing local equipment and/or piping. This phenomenon can result in a catastrophic ‘break-before-leak’ scenario commonly referred to as brittle fracture.

FFS using 3D Structured Light and Pipeline Integrity
September/October 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
By Joe Pikas at Technical Toolboxes

Even though oil and gas pipelines and their related facilities are generally safer for people and the environment compared to other means of transportation, occasional leaks and failures due to corrosion and other defects have become an issue in maintaining pipeline integrity.

September/October 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

The assessment procedures in this Standard can be used for Fitness-For-Service assessments and/or re-rating of equipment designed and constructed to recognized codes and standards, including international and internal corporate standards.

September/October 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

The assessment procedures in this Standard can be used for Fitness-For-Service assessments and/or re-rating of equipment designed and constructed to recognized codes and standards, including international and internal corporate standards.