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Mechanical Integrity (MI)

Overview of Mechanical Integrity (MI)

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Mechanical Integrity (MI) can be defined as the management of critical process equipment to ensure it is designed and installed correctly, and that it operates and is maintained properly (i.e. no leaks and all elements are fit for service). A mechanical integrity program should take into account the inspection and testing of the equipment using procedures that are recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP), and should also consider the suitability of newly-fabricated equipment for usage. Written procedures should be established and implemented, and employees tasked with maintaining the ongoing integrity of process equipment should be adequately trained.

The term mechanical integrity is often used in reference to preventing loss of containment. In the United States, OSHA Regulation 1910.119 requires that the mechanical integrity of equipment is properly managed in order to prevent or minimize the consequences of catastrophic releases of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive chemicals.

Mechanical Integrity of Fixed Equipment

Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity (FEMI), also sometimes referred to as pressure equipment integrity management, is the process of creating, implementing, and maintaining management systems in order to avoid fixed equipment failures in the oil & gas, petrochemical, and chemical processing industries. It is important not just to have an adequate FEMI program, but to have a high quality and sustainable one that exceeds compliance. 

To prevent FEMI failures, there are many steps that need to be taken, including:

  • Risks need to be identified and prioritized for each process unit.
  • Corrosion Control Documents (CCDs) should be kept for each process unit.
  • Proper inspection programs should be put in place for piping and other systems that comply with the latest industry standards and use the latest technology.
  • An Integrity Operating Window (IOW) program needs to be put into place.  
  • A comprehensive Management of Change (MOC) process should be implemented.
  • ... and so on.
 
Special thanks to the following contributors to this Integripedia topic:
  • Pat Williams, KBC Advanced Technologies, Inc. 

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Articles about Mechanical Integrity (MI)
  • May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Ryan Myers at PinnacleART, and Brian Marino at PinnacleART

    Effective condition monitoring location selection is a key component of a best-in-class mechanical integrity program. Learn how moving beyond traditional qualitative approaches to optimized CML selection can reduce risk and maximize the value of each inspection.

  • May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    35 years ago, an inspection supervisor, some inspectors, and a project engineer could cover an entire refinery. So why are so many more mechanical integrity resources needed today?

  • May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By David E. Moore at Becht Engineering, PONO Division

    Read a firsthand account of how organizing Process, People, Plant, and Performance can reveal breakdowns in your corrosion management practices and drive down corrosion related leaks.

  • May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

    Steam systems account for almost a third of the energy used in industrial applications for product output. Maintaining their integrity and efficiency is vital. Learn how an effective risk-management process aids in the optimization of these critical assets.

  • May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Justin Nickel at PK Technologies

    Are you giving CUF the attention it deserves? Learn the vital role fireproofing plays in maintaining the integrity and reliability of what it protects as well as what's needed for managing potential CUF issues.

  • Partner Content

    If you are developing a mechanical integrity program, or you would like to optimize your existing mechanical integrity program, do you have qualified MI consultants to meet your regulatory needs? If you already have a sound, defensible MI inspection system in place, do you have qualified and experienced personnel maintaining your program?

  • May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Hossam Aboegla at Lloyd's Register Energy

    Asset integrity and life cycle management are unique but intertwined concepts. The dynamic process between these principles has a significant impact on the lifecycle of individual assets and, therefore, the integrity of an entire plant.

  • March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Fernando Vicente at ABB, and Laza Krstin at ABB

    Myths, challenges, and good practices related to process piping integrity management activities that help inspection and maintenance managers make the right decisions to develop cost-effective piping inspection plans without compromising the asset’s reliability or performance.

  • March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    Inspectioneering Founder and Chief Editor, Greg Alvarado, recently had the privilege to sit down with Clay White, Director of Mechanical Integrity for Phillips 66 (Downstream), to discuss the world of fixed equipment reliability in the refining and petrochemical industry.

  • March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Ibrahim Kodssi at ADGAS

    Flare systems provide hydrocarbon facilities with safe and efficient discharge of relief and waste gases by controlled open flame burning. This article provides information on the selection, inspection, and maintenance of various types of flares.

  • January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    In this article, the roles and responsibilities of the corrosion and materials SME will be outlined as I see them, fully recognizing that there is probably no one person out there with all the knowledge and skills suggested herein.

  • Partner Content

    The problem is, you don’t. With the out of date procedures that traditional inspection contractors use, data is usually invalid by the time it reaches your system. You rely on this data to make critical decisions regarding integrity concerns, and with the exorbitant amount of money you pay for the data, it should be accurate and delivered in real-time.

  • January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Chuck Provost at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

    Some facilities lead the industry with streamlined RBI/IOW programs, and some facilities are just implementing standard calendar-based programs. Both are still susceptible to inspection interval gaps.

  • November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Blake Stermer at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

    As the industry strives to maintain PSM/OSHA compliance through owner/user mechanical integrity programs, inspection professionals should fully understand technical standards to generate an adequate repair recommendation or request further inspection and testing

  • November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Loganatha Pandian at Meridium, Inc.

    This article summarizes seven key questions that an organization needs to answer to create a robust mechanical integrity program that is properly designed to monitor corrosion and indicate when issues increase to a level requiring review or maintenance.

  • November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Mohamed Amer at TUV Rheinland

    This article describes a high-level dead leg integrity management program overview and is based on experience, knowledge, and adaptation of inspection management philosophies currently being implemented within the Oil & Gas and the petrochemical industry.

  • November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Lynne Kaley at Trinity Bridge LLC / Trinity Bridge Digital

    This paper provides the background for the technology behind the Third Edition thinning model as well as step-by-step worked examples demonstrating the methodology for thinning in this new edition of API RP 581.

  • Partner Content

    AIM systems should ensure that the your facility’s MI software is accurately performing the calculations needed to calculate minimum thickness, long/short term corrosion rates and remaining life used to predict future inspection intervals. They should evaluate your MI software’s basic design and corrosion monitoring variables.

  • November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Marc McConnell, P.E. at Versa Integrity Group, and Grady Hatton at Versa Integrity Group

    The concept of reducing Condition Monitoring Locations (CMLs) is misguided, and the number and location of CMLs should be OPTIMIZED, not systematically reduced. CML allocation in piping requires a good process, otherwise, you can run into a lot of dead ends before arriving at your intended destination.

  • September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Did you ever wonder where you fit into the entire hierarchy of a fixed equipment asset integrity management (FE-AIM) program? Or who is responsible and accountable for what aspects of FE-AIM at your site? All the way from top management down to those doing the work at the field level? That’s what I will try to address in this article.

  • September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Kevin Birkby at PinnacleART

    Integrity and reliability personnel at processing facilities are no strangers to initiatives to improve processes in the pursuit of establishing best-in-class reliability programs. It is common practice for operators to enlist help from third parties that specialize in implementation of programs like Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) and Asset Management.

  • July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Grady Hatton at Versa Integrity Group, and Melissa Guerra at Chevron Products Company

    Many plants inspect PRDs on preset intervals as recommended by inspection code API 510, and implement inspection practices such as API RP 576. Just seeking PRD compliance with codes and standards usually results in mediocre mechanical integrity and process safety. Companies must go further to climb the ladder to “excellence.”

  • May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

    This paper identifies the attributes and benefits of a data and metrics-driven management system focused on process safety design integrity and reliability relative to loss of primary containment (LOC). This management system process focuses on the four key business drivers of risk (i.e. regulatory compliance, operations, and profits), and involves several distinct business methods involving people, processes, and tools/technology.

  • Partner Content

    LOTIS utilizes laser profilometry to conduct internal steam reformer tube inspections. The data captured by LOTIS is exceptionally powerful when combined with our LifeQuest™ remaining life assessment capabilities, providing an integrated solution set for the process and syngas industries.

  • May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Dr. Yury Sokolov at SVT Engineering Consultants

    RBI and NII are designed to achieve significant cost savings and risk mitigation benefits over a piece of equipment’s lifetime in the long term (e.g. through greater reliability and inspection optimization). It is important to strategically consider new NDE technologies to obtain data of sufficient confidence to satisfy the requirements of the risk model.

  • January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART, and Mauricio Olivares at Pinnacle ART

    Equipment integrity and reliability programs are essential for refinery and chemical facility operators. The processes of the programs are developed to ensure safety, optimize component life cycles, and promote smooth and economical operations.

  • November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Ralph E. King P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc., and Brian Olson at Stress Engineering Services Inc.

    To ensure the mechanical integrity and fitness-for-service (FFS) of equipment, facility managers, reliability engineers, and inspection technicians must understand the HTHA damage mechanism.

  • November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Fernando Vicente at ABB, and Khulani Ndimande at ABB Consulting

    This article highlights several benefits of sound reliability and mechanical integrity practices and how they serve as the cornerstone of effective asset management. Moreover, we believe effective asset integrity management is not only important, but essential, to overcoming the challenges presented by operating in the current oil and gas market.

  • November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Once upon a time in the land of Ooze, there were two processing plants that boiled oil to make fuels and various other valuable petrochemical products. On one side of the river, rests a site called Perfecto Process Plant, while just across the river lies another plant called InZayna Zylum.

  • 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.

  • September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Virginia Edley at Trinity Bridge, LLC.

    If everyone in an industrial setting actively looked for things that were not right or seemed different, or looked at small mistakes as opportunities to prevent larger ones, what would the future look like?

  • September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC.

    Inspectioneering recently had the opportunity to sit down with Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton and discuss the evolution of reliability in the oil and gas industry.

  • July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Rarely is there a new and unknown cause of a major Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity (FEMI) failure in the petrochemical and refining industry. This article briefly summarizes five major fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) failures from the petrochemical and refining industry.

  • Online Article

    In the oil & gas, chemical and petrochemical industries, identifying, understanding, and controlling process hazards in order to prevent process-related injuries and incidents is of the utmost importance. EPA and OSHA have released numerous regulations aimed at eliminating process safety incidents on American soil. Help ensure your facility stays in compliance with these 10 simple tips for improving your PSM program.

  • March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By A.C. Gysbers at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

    The tubes of heat exchangers (HX), whether for a shell and tube bundle or an airfin, are typically subject to some form of nondestructive examination (NDE) to try and quantify the remaining wall thicknesses and corrosion rates to help a plant to determine remaining life or the need for intervention via re-tubing or replacement of these thin wall components.

  • Partner Content

    FFS assessment techniques are applicable to a wide range of damage types: LTA's, cracks, creep damage, dents, and more. These are very powerful analytical tools that often allow operators to not only keep the plant running, but to keep it running safely.

  • January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Fred Schenkelberg at FMS Reliability

    Reliability engineering tools and concepts can be used to avoid or delay failures, thus increasing product service life. Design or maintenance teams use reliability engineering techniques to identify failures and their causes.

  • November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Based on my 45+ years of experience working with fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) issues in the refining and petrochemical processing industry, this article summarizes what I believe are the top 10 reasons why pressure vessels and piping systems continue to fail, thus causing significant process safety events (e.g. explosions, fires, toxic releases, environmental damage, etc.).

  • November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Marc McConnell, P.E. at Versa Integrity Group, Josh Yoakam at Holly Refining and Marketing - Tulsa, LLC, and Jeannie Beth Richey at Sasol North America, Inc.

    The role of an API inspector is rapidly changing. Necessary skills for success have transformed as technology, standardization, and regulations have become part of the way of life.

  • Blog
    December 1, 2014 By John Reynolds at Intertek

    One of the reasons we continue to have too many fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) events in the refining and process industries is the lack of understanding and appreciation by site management for the hazards posed by the 101 FEMI issues.

  • Blog
    November 24, 2014 By Nick Schmoyer at Inspectioneering

    For over 20 years, OSHA's process safety management (PSM) standard worked to guarantee safe and healthy workplaces in industries that use hazardous chemicals. For most of that time the standard had remained largely unmodified. This all changed last year.

  • Partner Content

    The Vanta handheld XRF is Olympus’ first full spectrum PMI analyzer that is IP65 rated and drop tested. The analyzer provides accurate, repeatable material chemistry and alloy grade matching in as little as 1–2 seconds. Operation is simple with an intuitive touch screen and swipe interface. Optional Wi-Fi, with the Olympus Scientific Cloud, provides seamless connectivity for efficient data and fleet management.

  • September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Based on my 45+ years of experience working with fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) issues in the refining and petrochemical processing industry, this article summarizes what I believe are the top 10 reasons why pressure vessels and piping systems continue to fail, thus causing significant process safety events (e.g. explosions, fires, toxic releases, environmental damage, etc.).

  • July/August 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC.

    The Province of Alberta has a long history of pressure equipment safety dating back to 1897 when the first boiler laws were introduced to regulate the new technology of steam boilers. Boiler inspectors were hired, and soon thereafter the Alberta Boilers Branch was established as the government organization that administered those laws.

  • July/August 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By A.C. Gysbers at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

    One of the more common inspection monitoring programs for pressure vessels is to perform thickness measurement at Corrosion Monitoring Locations (CMLs) to allow monitoring of minimum thicknesses and provide estimates for corrosion rates. These minimum thicknesses and corrosion rates are critical in supporting risk based inspection techniques or in setting half-life prescriptive re-inspection intervals.

  • Blog
    August 11, 2014 By John Reynolds at Intertek

    This blog post is the second part of a two part series that assesses the top ten reasons for FEMI failures that cause process safety incidents. The ten reasons I’ve outlined are a result of doing 60+ FEMI audits within refineries and chemical plants in the last 45+ years, tracking 150+ serious FEMI incidents in the petroleum and petrochemical industry and their causes, and defending numerous clients in the industry from lawsuits pertaining to FEMI issues.

  • May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    There are typically three tiers to pass through for most fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) programs before they reach excellence in FEMI. In my 45 years in the FEMI business, I have observed FEMI programs in all three tiers (phases).

  • Partner Content

    Industrial Rope Access is a proven method of achieving a safe work position at elevated heights or areas that are difficult to access. When combined with advanced NDE technologies, rope access technicians can substantially reduce the cost of inspections and maintenance activities by virtually eliminating the need for fixed scaffolding.

  • September/October 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC.

    Earlier this year, our friends at Pinnacle Asset Integrity Services hosted a webinar entitled Mechanical Integrity Assessment: Why Bother? The broadcast included discussions on the history and value of asset integrity programs, as well as the evolution of the processes and methods necessary to ensure these programs achieve the objective of decreasing risk to improve safety. We have selected a small sample of these exchanges to present to you because we feel they provide important information regarding the need for mechanical integrity assessments in our industry.

  • July/August 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    I have written numerous technical articles addressing how to improve your fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) program. This time I will deviate from the FEMI technologies and methodologies to address a topic that may be equally important to improving your FEMI program – managing your manager(s).

  • July/August 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Holly F. Baker at Baker Inspection Group, L.L.C.

    The Process Safety Management Rule (29 CFR 1910.119 - PSM) has long been recognized as a collection of interdependent requirements. In recent reviews of PSM programs by OSHA, it has been shown that two of the most cited elements in agency audits tend to be Mechanical Integrity and Process Safety Information.

  • July/August 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    This is the last out of the ten articles in this series. Clearly, Continuous Improvement (CI) has a major role in achieving excellence in PEI&R. All the advances we’ve made over the years in achieving excellence in PEI&R stems from our continuous improvement programs to apply new and better techniques and methods by learning from what has already occurred.

  • March/April 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Cliff Knight, P.E. at KnightHawk Engineering, Inc.

    What I am primarily concerned with, in this article, is erosion corrosion control. Now, what is erosion corrosion? Well, no matter how you might look at it, erosion corrosion involves the degradation of the material by some mechanical action, in conjunction with a chemical interaction between the material and the media it is in contact with.

  • Partner Content

    The problem is, you don’t. With the out of date procedures that traditional inspection contractors use, data is usually invalid by the time it reaches your system. You rely on this data to make critical decisions regarding integrity concerns, and with the exorbitant amount of money you pay for the data, it should be accurate and delivered in real-time.

  • March/April 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Fernando Vicente at ABB

    Air-cooled heat exchangers (AC-HEs) are used extensively throughout the oil and gas industry, from upstream production to refineries and petrochemical plants, under high pressure and high temperature conditions, as well as corrosive fluids and environments. Some defects and discontinuities can be introduced during the heat exchanger manufacturing process and are not necessarily found as part of QA/QC inspections.

  • January/February 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Devon Brendecke, P.E. at Quest Integrity Group

    Thanks to constantly improving technology developments, inspection of atmospheric storage tanks has yielded better data which, when used as input, improves the accuracy of advanced assessment techniques. Coupling the improved inspection data with an advanced engineering assessment often means that tank operators are able to postpone repairs until the next shutdown, eliminate the need for repairs or be exempt from hydrostatic testing.

  • January/February 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Clearly, record-keeping and data management have a major role in achieving excellence in pressure equipment integrity and reliability (PEI&R). Everything else we do to achieve excellence in PEI&R stems from keeping high quality and complete PEI&R records, as well as doing all the necessary data analysis.

  • November/December 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    In the first article entitled How to Put It All Together - Guide to Organizing a Successful PEI Program in the current series of articles that I am writing, I provided an overview of the necessary Management Systems (MS) for a successful program to achieve excellence in pressure equipment integrity and reliability (PEI&R). The eighth article in this series will appear in the November/December issue of the Inspectioneering Journal.

  • September/October 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Barry Snider at Small Hammer Incorporated

    Maintenance has been around since prehistoric man fixed a broken, trusted spear instead of fashioning a new one. One concept of maintenance is any activity that extends the useful life or enhances the performance of an item of interest. A broad concept for sure but for most of recorded history, maintenance has been synonymous with fixing or repairing.

  • Partner Content

    Offshore platforms are exposed to some of the roughest conditions on earth and require regular attention to ensure they are structurally sound and safe for continued operation. With so many components and major joints at elevated locations, it is clear why a well-trained rope access technician can be an invaluable resource for offshore operators.

  • September/October 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Cliff Knight, P.E. at KnightHawk Engineering, Inc.

    The morning meeting at the plant was a tough one for you. As an area engineer you are not satisfied with the information you are receiving from your team's investigation into a major compressor wreck that has happened once again. The conclusion from the team has always been corrosion fatigue, and suggestions have been made to change the material to a more exotic type...

  • July/August 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Cliff Knight, P.E. at KnightHawk Engineering, Inc.

    Once again there is a crack found in the inlet tubesheet in your high-pressure high temperature heat exchanger. As head of the maintenance engineering effort, you know that plant management will ask you if it can run safely and reliability until the next scheduled shutdown.

  • May/June 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Paul F. Schubert, Ph.D. at SGS North America Industrial Services, and Travis Keener, P.E. at SGS North America Industrial Services

    Putting off the initial inspection (i.e. baseline) of piping and vessels in a new process unit is both common and problematic. The tendency of owners is to rely on the nominal thickness because the actual original thickness was either not measured or not recorded for calculating corrosion rates after the first wave of thickness readings are taken with the equipment having been in service for some period of time.

  • May/June 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Del Underwood at Det Norske Veritas

    In two previous issues we discussed the important difference between steady and cyclic loading, and why loose bolts fail while tight ones do not. This issue will offer two suggestions for reducing the tendency for bolts to become loose.

  • March/April 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Del Underwood at Det Norske Veritas

    In the previous issue we dealt with the fact that bolts can withstand significantly less cyclic loading than steady loading. We are now looking at the mechanics of why bolts fail if flanges are allowed to separate during operation.

  • Partner Content

    Our proprietary furnace tube inspection system, FTIS™, is an ultrasonic inspection technology capable of rapid, automated fired heater coil inspection in refinery fired heaters. The data captured by our furnace tube inspection system is exceptionally powerful when combined with our LifeQuest™ remaining life assessment capabilities, providing an integrated solution set for refinery fired heaters in the refining and chemical industries.

  • March/April 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Lyle Breaux P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc., Eric Luther P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc., and Scott McNeill Ph.D., P.E. at Stress Engineering Services

    The most common equipment vibration problems are often solved in industry without the use of specialty engineering resources. Routine vibration problems-from machinery imbalance and misalignment to simple cases of noise and resonance-are often addressed at the plant level without help from consultants.

  • January/February 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    In the first article in this series entitled How to Put It All Together - Guide to Organizing a Successful PEI Program, (1) I provided an overview of the necessary Management Systems (MS) for a successful program to achieve excellence in pressure equipment integrity (PEI). This is the sixth article in that series.

  • January/February 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Del Underwood at Det Norske Veritas

    A continually frustrating phenomenon to many of us is the situation where a tight bolt will function satisfactorily, but in the same situation, a loose bolt will fail...

  • November/December 2010 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    High Temperature Hydrogen Attack (HTHA) is a long known and still occurring degradation issue for fixed equipment construction materials in the hydrocarbon process industry where hydroprocess plants (hydrogen plus hydrocarbons) are in service. Though HTHA failures in these units are the focus of this article, it is important to recognize that HTHA damage can also occur in high pressure boiler tubes, hydrogen producing units, synthetic gas units, ammonia plants and other equipment where hydrocarbons may not be involved but high temperatures are involved.

  • July/August 2010 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Craig Emslie BSc at Sonomatic Ltd., and Karen Gibson at Sonomatic Ltd.

    Inspection intervals for equipment have in the past been defined in a prescriptive manner. However, industry is now embracing the Risk Based Inspection (RBI) approach which in contrast prioritises inspections based on an assessment of the risk to each individual item.

  • 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.

  • January/February 2010 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Like all of the other 10 MSs in our filing cabinet, this MS on Management Leadership and Support of PEI (shown in Figure 2 below) is vital to success and linked inextricably to all the other PEI MSs.

  • September/October 2009 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Warren Brown at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., Wayne McKenzie at Syncrude Canada, and Shane Ryan at Syncrude Canada

    Leakage of pressure vessel and piping bolted joints in refineries is an unnecessary hazard, with high associated cost, that can be easily rectified using currently available technology. There have been advances in gasket testing technology in recent years that have allowed great improvements to be made in the specification of gaskets for refinery applications. This minimizes the likelihood of joint leakage and results in reduce operating cost. In addition, there have also been advances in joint assembly procedures that have enabled significant reduction in joint assembly times, while resulting in a better final gasket stress distribution and therefore lower likelihood of leakage.

  • September/October 2009 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Knowing what needs to be accomplished in order to achieve excellence in pressure equipment integrity (PEI) is one thing, but knowing how to organize it all for success is quite another. I have previously written numerous articles for the IJ about what all needs to be accomplished (1-2). In this article (and 10 articles to come with more details) I will show how to organize all this \"PEI stuff\" to achieve overall success in order to make sure that everything that needs to be accomplished, is accomplished using management systems (MS) and work process (WP) descriptions.

  • May/June 2009 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Fernando Vicente at ABB

    In the oil and gas industry, pressure vessel integrity is a major concern. After internal and external inspections various anomalies or defects can be reported and repairs could be required for pressure vessels in order to restore its original condition. The first question for engineers, operators and managers is, can we keep operating at this pressure level? Is it safe? Or do I have to take it out of service to repair?

  • November/December 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    It is important to preserve as accurate an account as possible if we are to learn from the past. I believe it is important to protect ourselves from ourselves from rationalizing the past to justify movement toward "rationalization of abnormalities", as explained by Mr. Don Holmstrom from the US CSB, appearing in paragraph 21 of the copy of the presentation given by the US Chemical Safety Board to the BP Independent Panel, headed by James A. Baker III, former US Secretary of State. This presentation immediately follows this article. Each paragraph is numbered. These paragraphs will serve as references further in this editorial.

  • 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.

  • September/October 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    It has been over 3 years since the fatal blast at the BP Texas City Refinery on March 23, 2005, where 15 lives were lost, more than 170 people injured and survivor's lives changed forever. Historical memory can be an odd thing.

  • September/October 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard Green at Accurate Metallurgical Services

    You're at 32,000 feet in an airplane when you look out the window. You observe the wing of the jet moving up and down with the turbulence, like a child bending a coat hanger over and over again until the wire fractures into two pieces. You wonder how many times has this wing flexed. Such work causes fatigue. Fatigue is the science of things that grow tired.

  • March/April 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    OSHA’s National Emphasis Program (NEP) (1) is now well underway, with 17 of 81 targeted refineries having been reviewed so far (2). OSHA launched the NEP in 2007 after the deadly incident at BP Texas City. As of March this year, OSHA claims to have uncovered 146 violations so far and recommended nearly $1 million in fines.

  • November/December 2007 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Mark Vining at Sunoco Inc.

    Facilities are often content in compiling event data, entering thickness measurements, assigning a system description, tracking work requests and recommendations in their databases. These are certainly valuable data points but using your database for performing just these tasks relegates a valuable resource to nothing more than a ledger of inspection events. The value of these systems becomes more apparent when they are utilized to show you where you should be inspecting.

  • July/August 2007 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Sanjoy Das at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, P.R. Vaidya at BARC, and B.K. Shah at BARC

    Degradation of materials with time during service is a common phenomenon for all engineering components. Hence periodic inspection is required to ensure structural integrity and availability for service. During in-service inspection (ISI), wall thickness measurement of insulated and non-insulated pipe is a typical non-destructive evaluation technique in the oil & gas, chemical, petrochemical and nuclear industries. Ultrasonic testing is available for wall thickness measurement, but in some cases, it may not be the preferred technique. For ultrasonic testing, accuracy is dependent on the temperature of pipe, which may carry fluid at high temperature. Hence shutdown of the installation is required. Moreover for insulated pipe, insulation has to be removed before ultrasonic testing. The radiation technique is a complementary testing method which can be carried out without disturbing the installation. In this technique electromagnetic radiation passes through the object of inspection and is finally recorded in a recording medium. The recording medium is either an industrial X-ray film or a radiation detector. This paper is devoted to detection of pipe wall thinning by the radiation technique. Two different methods i.e. radiography and radiometry, are discussed with their relative merits and demerits.

  • Partner Content

    AET is a powerful, non-intrusive inspection technique to verify the structural integrity of pressure vessels, spheres, high-temperature reactors and piping, coke drums, above-ground storage tanks, cryogenic storage tanks, and more.

  • May/June 2007 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    From time to time, I'm asked why some operating sites don't seem to pay adequate attention to the need to protect and preserve pressure equipment integrity (PEI). Too often a few sites don't seem to "get it" until they have a major process safety event associated with a failure of pressure equipment. And unfortunately when that happens, they are suddenly on board with PEI needs and don't seem to be able to apply their available resources fast enough. Fortunately, I see less and less of this type behavior as time passes and the word spreads throughout the industry about PEI catastrophes and how to avoid them.

  • November/December 2006 Inspectioneering Journal
    By F. Walter Pinto at Lyondell Chemical Company

    This series of articles describes the elements for a successful fixed equipment reliability program in a petrochemical facility. These articles will address management systems, engineering practices, preventive/predictive maintenance/inspection systems, performance metrics and resources. The fixed equipment reliability program at Lyondell Chemical Company and a number of best practices developed as part of the reliability program will serve as much of the basis. Some success stories and lessons learned are shared.

  • September/October 2006 Inspectioneering Journal
    By F. Walter Pinto at Lyondell Chemical Company

    This series of articles describes the elements for a successful fixed equipment reliability program in a petrochemical facility. These articles will address management systems, engineering practices, preventive/predictive maintenance/inspection systems, performance metrics and resources. The fixed equipment reliability program at Lyondell Chemical Company and a number of best practices developed as part of the reliability program will serve as much of the basis. Some success stories and lessons learned are shared.

  • September/October 2006 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Bob Baker at John H. Carter Co., Inc.

    The July/August 2006 issue of the IJ contained Part 1 on the integrity of salvaged, remanfactured and repaired control valves. This second part includes recommendations for the straightforward and efficient identification, abatement, and ongoing organizational awareness of potentially non-compliant control valves. To set the scene for Part 2 for those that might not have seen Part 1 or don't remember it, the introduction portion of this article reiterates the essential elements from part 1.

  • July/August 2006 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Bob Baker at John H. Carter Co., Inc.

    Control valve damage resulting from severe service applications is typically recognized by visual inspection and corrective action (assuming such repair actions appropriately return the valve to its original design specifications and dimensions as covered in the remainder of this article). However, there are many process applications where gradual degradation of control valve surfaces or thickness may not be noticeably visible, possibly resulting in potential integrity failure (loss of containment) with potential injury or property damage.

  • Partner Content

    Properly anticipating and finding the damage in your facility is no small task, and spending millions of dollars on inspection may not be getting you anywhere if it’s not the right inspection processes. PinnacleART can use industry best practice models and corrosion expertise to proactively identify damage types, locations and magnitudes so you can ensure you’re performing the right inspections at the right times. Visit us at pinnacleart.com to learn more.

  • March/April 2005 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    We are happy to announce the 10-year anniversary of the inaugural issue of the Inspectioneering Journal!

  • March/April 2005 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    One of the more important uses of the 99 Diseases of Hydrocarbon Process Equipment is to determine how to safely operate process pressure equipment. Such a work process thereby minimizes the impact of any potential degradation mechanisms (the 99 Diseases), by establishing the appropriate boundaries for long and short-term safe process operation. Such boundaries are called Integrity Operating Windows (IOW's).

  • November/December 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Julian Speck at TWI Ltd., and Dr. Brian Cane

    Demanding cleaner fuels Environmental regulators drive refiners to introduce bottom-of-the barrel conversion hydroprocessing units, to produce cleaner fuels. These include hydrotreaters and hydrocrackers with reactors that operate at high temperature, and pressure and in the presence of hydrogen. (Catalytic reforming units are in the same category, with respect to the challenge of ensuring the integrity of reactor vessels).

  • July/August 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Jonathan D. Dobis at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., Dana G. Williams at Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, and David L. Bryan, Jr. at Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC

    The following is the final part of a 2 part series. Part 1 covered the following considerations that are critical in establishing effective reliability and inspection programs for these complex units: - HF Alkylation Process Description - An extensive explanation of how HF alky unit process conditions affect corrosion for the various sections of these types of units. The abstract, introduction, explanation of terms, references, figures and a typical unit PFD are reiterated in part 2 as reference materials.

  • May/June 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Jonathan D. Dobis at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., Dana G. Williams at Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, and David L. Bryan, Jr. at Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC

    Corrosion and fouling in HF Alkylation Units are closely linked to feed quality and operating conditions. This paper outlines the relationship between key operating parameters and corrosion that has been used to develop a set of guidelines to define an operating envelope. These guidelines have been used to benchmark operating units and to help maintenance and inspection groups understand how corrosion is directly affected by operating parameters. An example where this methodology has been used to troubleshoot operating problems is included. A web-based data collection system has been used as a tool to build a database of actual operating conditions found in the unit, and the corresponding problems or damage observed.

  • Partner Content

    AIM systems should ensure that the your facility’s MI software is accurately performing the calculations needed to calculate minimum thickness, long/short term corrosion rates and remaining life used to predict future inspection intervals. They should evaluate your MI software’s basic design and corrosion monitoring variables.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Partner Content

    If you are developing a mechanical integrity program, or you would like to optimize your existing mechanical integrity program, do you have qualified MI consultants to meet your regulatory needs? If you already have a sound, defensible MI inspection system in place, do you have qualified and experienced personnel maintaining your program?

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • January/February 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.

  • Partner Content

    Facilities are facing increasing challenges, including justifying inflated budgets, managing contractor hours, ensuring regulatory compliance and qualifying the work being completed. To help facilities manage evolving inspection requirements, PinnacleART offers Fixed-Price Inspection (FPI), meaning we will develop and execute a comprehensive Risk-Based Inspection plan for one fixed-price. Yes, you read that right – one fixed-price.

  • 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.

  • September/October 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    In part 1 we covered: - Evolution of the emergence of advanced NDE - External and internal motivators to develop more effective inspection programs - Risk based approaches - Sources of industry reference materials - Setting the Course - Why Inspect - Metrics for inspection program progress - Role of Risk Based Inspection I will now cover some of the remaining key aspects in assuring healthy evolution of the equipment integrity process.

  • September/October 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
    By W. David Wang at Shell Global Solutions

    Hydrogen-induced cracking is a damage mechanism commonly observed in the petroleum refining industry [1, 2]. The damage appears as laminar cracks and blisters, which can link up in the through-wall direction to form stepwise cracking.

  • July/August 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    We've come a long way since my introduction to plant inspection processes in 1975 and certainly since the industrial revolution in the late 1800's. As I recall from history class it was the intent of the wealthy industrialist to make money, plain and simple. Safety and environmental responsibility were not the primary concerns, in some cases not concerns at all! Hence, for safety's sake, terms like "sweatshops" were coined. This was to connote factories and textile mills where human beings, often times young children worked, in poor conditions.

  • March/April 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Deal Moore at NDE Seals, Inc.

    Determination of the mechanical integrity of pipe and equipment in US process industries has evolved from day to day business to federal mandate (OSHA 1901.119) to a part of industry best practice. Insulated pipe and equipment pose specific challenges for the examination effort. This article is an attempt to review the regulations that are driving these efforts and the innovations designed to address these challenges. Understanding both will enhance the value added services offered by the insulation industry.

  • Partner Content

    Turnarounds are costly in terms of lost production. In many respects a turnaround can be even more complicated than the initial construction of the facility, so a carefully designed plan will reduce overall costs. After execution, safety reviews, Corrosion Monitoring Program updates, MOC documentation, and PHA Revalidations are a must.

  • September/October 2000 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Russel T. Mack at National Association of Inspection Companies (NAIC)

    In part 1 of this article we covered the importance of quality assurance of UT data, that is, understanding for each particular application, the accuracy required of the UT data, and new ways/graphical program to analyze and show the interrelationships of data by location for trending. Part 1 article areas then included: -UT Data Reporting and Evaluation -Imaging UT Data Evaluating the Quality of Static UT Data -Visual Trending of UT data -Mathematical Trending of UT Data Now, in Part 2, we will cover data quality issue statistics and possible sources of poor quality UT data.

  • July/August 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Art Leach at Krautkramer

    Many digital ultrasonic thickness gauges have internal memory that allows the storage of thousands of thickness readings. Some instruments have "sequential" data loggers that store the thickness values in a numerical series. These data loggers are easy to use and many allow the creation of multiple files. The multiple files are typically used to separate the storage of data from different pieces of equipment or different locations.

  • May/June 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Art Leach at Krautkramer

    Keeping critical equipment on-line can be a challenging task. Monitoring the wall thickness of equipment subjected to corrosive chemicals, temperature and operational changes is both a safety and manufacturing concern. Thus, on-line testing of equipment is common in most plants. A traditional testing method is digital ultrasonic thickness gauging for the measurement of wall thicknes. This one method has become the most widely used method of assuring mechanical integrity of equipment items that are prone to erosion / corrosion.

  • May/June 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Del Underwood at Det Norske Veritas

    In two previous issues we discussed the important difference between steady and cyclic loading, and why loose bolts fail while tight ones do not. This issue will offer two suggestions for reducing the tendency for bolts to become loose.

  • January/February 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Joseph E. Pascente at Lixi, Inc.

    One of the greatest challenges facing many of refining, fossil power, and pulp and paper industries is: How to effectively examine their insulated piping?

  • Partner Content

    PinnacleART’s engineers and inspectors can help your facility define, prioritize and mitigate risks within your facility. Let our team build, implement and maintain a comprehensive mechanical integrity and RBI program for your pressure vessels, heat exchangers, towers, storage tanks, piping, pump casings, pressure relief valves, critical check valves and more.

  • January/February 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Del Underwood at Det Norske Veritas

    In the previous issue, we dealt with the fact that bolts can withstand significantly less cyclic loading then steady loading. We are now looking at the mechanics of why bolts fail if flanges are allowed to separate during operation.

  • November/December 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    In Part 1 of this article, in the last edition of the IJ, I introduced the work process that we use to assess the effectiveness of our pressure equipment integrity (PEI) management. It involves a self-assessment workbook filled out by site personnel, which is in turn reviewed and validated by a team of company auditors from outside the site. I also introduced the seven major categories of assessment that we conduct.

  • July/August 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Lynne Kaley at Trinity Bridge LLC / Trinity Bridge Digital, and Ricardo R. Valbuena at DNV Inc

    Damage of carbon steel pressure vessels due to various in-service damage mechanisms continues to be a serious concern in the refining and petrochemical industries. A survey conducted in 1990 by the NACE T-8-16 Work Group to determine the nature and extent of cracking problems in wet H2S refinery environments showed that there was insufficient information reported about the type of cracking found to correlate cracking incidence with cracking mechanisms. Most of the inspections for cracking reported were detected during internal inspection using Wet Fluorescent Magnetic Particle Testing (WFMPT). As a result, it was concluded that in addition to the service related cracks reported, a number of "cracks" detected were the result of original fabrication, repair or alteration of the pressure vessels.

  • July/August 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Del Underwood at Det Norske Veritas

    In a past issue, we discussed one solution to the instrument line block valve pendulum problem. This was where the valve assembly can be mounted remotely from the vibrating product line, such as at-grade. This issue covers two possibilities where the valves need to remain close to the vibrating line.

  • May/June 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    In the Jan/Feb issue of the IJ, I mentioned how important the Management of Change (MOC) process is when it comes to maintaining safe, leak-free piping systems; stating that we in the inspection business cannot do it alone; that is, we taint the integrity of piping systems without a lot of help from operating personnel and operations support engineers.

  • March/April 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    This is the second in a series of articles on piping inspection. In the last article, I enumerated four inspection issues that I believe contribute to inadequate piping mechanical integrity in the hydrocarbon process industry.

  • January/February 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Lynne Kaley at Trinity Bridge LLC / Trinity Bridge Digital, Eivind Johnsen at DNV Inc., and Andy Tallin at DNV Inc.

    This is Part II of a series of reliability of coke drums. Part I discussed some of the causes of bulging and cracking in coke drums. Here, the effect of operation on damage will be covered, along with possible solutions for increasing drum life and decreasing the probability of an unscheduled shutdown.

  • July/August 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard S. Boswell, P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc.

    A set of delayed coker drums were placed in service in 1968, and now have 27 years of service in what may be the most violent and severe cyclic loading conditions of any petrochemical vessel. As part of the continuous evaluation of their integrity, surface contour measurements were performed to document the growth of the bulges.

  • May/June 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Del Underwood at Det Norske Veritas

    This final issue on gusset problems will discuss why gussets are "stiffeners" rather than "strengtheners." The effective load bearing capacity of a member of given strength is based upon how large a cross-sectional area is carrying the load. Gussets are commonly welded to tubular members to reduce their flexure under a bending load.

  • May/June 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard S. Boswell, P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc., and Tom Farraro at CITGO Petroleum Corp.

    A set of delayed coker drums was placed in service in 1968, and now have 27 years of service in what may be the most violent and severe cyclic loading conditions of any petrochemical vessel. As part of the continuous evaluation of their integrity, surface contour measurements were performed to document the growth of the bulges.

  • March/April 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard S. Boswell, P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc., and Tom Farraro at CITGO Petroleum Corp.

    A pair of delayed coker drums was placed in service in 1968, and now have 28 years of service in what may be the most severe cyclic loading conditions of any petrochemical vessels. They are a conventional ASME VIII/Div 1 pressure vessel design based on 60 psi and 836 degrees Fahrenheit at the top and 899 degrees Fahrenheit at the bottom. This design provides increasing thickness, from the bottom up, in seven rings constructed with clad plates, using longitudinal and circumferential weld seams.

  • January/February 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Del Underwood at Det Norske Veritas, and Tim Munsterman at Det Norske Veritas

    Last issue, in keeping with the evaluation that "gussets are stiffeners, not strengtheners," we discussed welding around the ends of the gusset plate instead of just along the sides in order to reduce the stress concentration. A further improvement in the gusset life can be obtained by welding it to a reinforcing plate and/or a fitting instead of directly to the pipe.

  • January/February 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By George Jones at ERA Technology, Inc.

    On-line condition monitoring concepts which have originally been applied to vibration monitoring of rotating equipment are now being applied to monitoring the structural integrity of power plant components. Market demand for more flexible plant operation is dictating the need to reduce operating costs by demanding increased run times and reliability and by reducing the length of outages.

  • November/December 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    In our inspection organizations, we have identified a number of critical success factors (CSF's) which are vitally important if we are to achieve the level of pressure equipment reliability and integrity to which we aspire. One of our CSF's is the level of service provided to our refineries and chemical plant sites by our Nondestructive Examination Technical Direction Team.

  • November/December 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal, and Dr. W. David Wang at Shell Oil Products Company

    Nelson Curve changes in the late 1980's provided cause for Shell Oil Company to look at more reliable NDE non-destructive evaluation methods for assessment of materials/equipment in high temperature hydrogen service. The primary change motivating Shell was the lowering of the C-0.5 Mo steel Nelson Curve to the carbon steel level.

  • September/October 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Susan W. Borenstein at Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., and George J. Licina at Structural Integrity Associates, Inc.

    Low-energy piping system failures in power-generating facilities are often the result of fouling and corrosion. These degradation mechanisms can affect the capacity of piping for fluid-carrying, the heat transfer rates of heat exchangers, and the structural integrity of piping systems. Steels are not immune to pitting, underdeposit corrosion, and microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). Once advanced inspection technique, using an enhanced ultrasonic inspection system coupled with special imaging software, has demonstrated the capability to accurately image and size closed tunneling pits that often form in austenitic stainless steel weldments due to MIC.

  • July/August 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

    Eight years ago PG&E began a program for its fossil plants for early detection, repair and prevention of Erosion/Corrosion (E/C) failure mechanisms. Since its inception, hundreds of worn piping components have been detected and repaired before failure. E/C failures have become very rare. A number of recurring patterns have become evident allowing a certain degree of location predictability using practical methods.

  • May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

    Corrosion is one of those "equal opportunity" hazards that affects all industries indiscriminately, to the tune of billions of dollars annually in repair and replacement costs. Some types of corrosion are readily apparent, such as rusting of unprotected plain carbon steel tanks and piping.

  • May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By David A. Moore, PE, CSP at AcuTech Consulting, Inc., and Dana P. Albert at Acutech Consulting, Inc.

    The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 29 CFR 1910.119, "Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals," has been in effect since may of 1992. To enforce this standard, OSHA has targeted seven industries for which it plans and conducts routine compliance inspections.

  • May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Paul Pausky at F.B. Dunn & Associates, Inc., and Mark Fitzgerald at F.B. Dunn & Associates, Inc.

    Equipment maintenance methods and philosophies continue to evolve. What has taken many by surprise is the rate of change and the sense of urgency that now surrounds issues related to Mechanical Integrity (MI) in the field of maintenance management.

  • March/April 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    We dedicate this forum to the owners/operators of Chemical, Refining and Utility process facilities. The Inspectioneering Journal will publish articles on a bi-monthly basis. Some of the topics we will cover as they relate to mechanical integrity...

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