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Piping

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In every processing facility, you have feedstock and product that need to get from point A to point B. Piping is the vehicle that moves these liquids and gasses through a refinery or chemical processing plant. They can be made of steel, cast iron, copper, plastic, or other materials depending on the environment and materials being transported. Segments of pipe are often joined together using either bolted flanges or by welding pipes together. The major difference between piping and pipelines is that pipelines transport materials long distances between separate facilities or for distribution. Piping on the other hand is made to transport gasses and fluids, such as water or chemicals, within a single facility.[1]

There are several standards and recommended practices that apply to piping systems, including but not limited to:

References

  1. http://www.exponent.com/pipelines/

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Articles about Piping
July/August 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article discusses how composite materials can be used to mitigate light CUI damage and/or repair and restore structural strength to the affected piping system.

Authors: Casey Whalen
July/August 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article illustrates the value of digital radiography as an efficient tool to visualize corrosion and other small bore piping anomalies without disturbing insulation, as well as using PRT in conjunction with UTT to survey small diameter lines.

July/August 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

Practical steps to mitigate corrosion under insulation (CUI) damage on fixed pressure equipment and commentary on common mitigation techniques and good engineering practices for external insulation or fireproofing system design and application.

March/April 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article provides insights into the AIV damage mechanism, reviews approaches to calculate the probability of AIV failure in piping, provides design practices to prevent AIV failure, and introduces a RBI approach to evaluate risk of AIV failures.

March/April 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

Globally accepted FFS procedures for non-metallic components, such as reinforced thermoplastic pipes, do not exist. There may be opportunity in adapting existing procedures for metallic components and their damage mechanisms to composite components.

Authors: Dr. Rob Kulka
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...

January/February 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

Restoring process piping within a short time frame requires an innovative approach. This article discusses how a repair using composite materials proved to be successful and enabled a quick return to operations.

March/April 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

Field hardness tests can provide valuable information when evaluating piping and pressure vessel anomalies. This article summarizes laboratory examinations designed to gain a better understanding of UCI hardness test results taken in the field.

Authors: Ana Benz
March/April 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

This article describes the construction of corrosion-resistant fiber reinforced polymer (FRP), commonly used for pressure vessels and piping in the chemical processing industry, and the practices used for inspecting corrosion-resistant barriers.

Authors: Geoff Clarkson
January/February 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

The health of piping and piping supports is critical to processing facilities, however there are very few facilities where a documented inspection program exists for spring supports. This article outlines some issues surrounding spring supports

Authors: Ashfaq Anwer
September/October 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

Everyone wants fewer leaks and failure of their equipment and piping; but I find very few sites that effectively use one method to make substantial reductions in their piping leaks and failures.

Authors: John Reynolds
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...

September/October 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

There are inspection requirements in many construction disciplines, including electrical, welding, coating, and the list goes on, but not for mechanical insulation. The need for a certified mechanical insulation inspection program is long overdue.

Authors: Ron King
Blog

Here is four-step process for developing effective and efficient piping management strategies that can help optimize costs, refocus resources, and reduce risk.

Authors:
May/June 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

While planning methods for thickness data acquisition in any Inspection Data Management Program, PRT should be considered as a cost-efficient, effective way to increase the value of your program for small bore piping or any other suitable situation.

Authors: Ryan Baggett
Blog

Over the last six months, Inspectioneering has released a plethora of interesting and educational content that has been read more than 150,000 times online. In case you missed it, here's a recap.

Blog

What do you do when you first discover a mechanical failure? Maybe your pipe sprang a leak, a drive shaft snapped, or a welded joint fractured, and you need to find out why. This infographic details some steps you can take to avoid critical mistakes.

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.

January/February 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

Welding imperfections vary in impact from being acceptable to requiring repair. It is important to ensure the quality of welds using NDT and to ensure the strength of the entire piping system with hydrotesting.

Authors: Qasem Fandem
January/February 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

The distinction between primary and secondary loads is certainly important in analysis of pressure systems. But this distinction is also important for plant operations and reliability engineers to keep in mind when dealing with day-to-day problems.

Authors: Greg Garic
May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

According to API 570, facilities must have a mechanical integrity program in place for critical check valves. But what criteria determines whether or not a check valve is critical in your process? How should check valves be inspected and by whom?

May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

There is concern in the industry over recent findings of reduced toughness fittings and flanges at risk of brittle fracture. This article provides an overview; possible contributors; measures taken to address; and a proposed FFS approach to address...

March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Implementing RBI for process piping can be a very tedious and lengthy exercise, especially for major process plants with thousands of feet of interconnected piping. This article shares the experience of ADNOC LNG following a structured RBI approach...

Partner Content

It’s a scary thought to think that with all the new advancements in technology, some facilities still rely on traditional inspection contractors that perform out of date procedures. You rely on technology to keep your home and identity safe, so...

January/February 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

The actions you take immediately after a failure are critical in understanding the cause and appropriate steps to remedy the problem. However, the wrong moves might prevent you from getting the answers you need.

Authors: Neil Burns
July/August 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Failure analysis of piping that has experienced corrosion damage provides operators with valuable information needed to prevent future failures. Effective processes and procedures are essential when investigating the cause of corrosion on pipelines...

May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

This article discusses the use of the RBI methodology supplemented by a well-designed IOW program to assess and manage aging in fixed equipment and piping in hydrogen generation units.

January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Evaluating remaining wall thickness of an asset is not enough to ensure its continued safe operation. Proactive strategies should be implemented to assess the entire environment affecting an asset’s condition, including the development of more...

Partner Content

Integrating a new digital technology that combines data-driven insights and data storage with innovative mobility can provide a new level of connected intelligence. Digitalization can improve workflow, increase worker productivity and allow better...

November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Beyond the financial hits, undetected degradation from corrosion can also lead to critical safety risks. To effectively manage mechanical integrity, organizations need reliable methods of identifying the current states of corrosion occurring within...

Authors: Adam Gardner
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

Authors: Mohamed Amer
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

This article will go through the methodology of each process that could be used in determining the structural component for the required pipe wall thickness, but will focus on the use of Beam Flexural Stress calculations and Beam Deflection...

Authors: Nolan L. Miller
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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.

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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.

Partner Content

Are you truly prepared for your next Turnaround? Effective work processes are required to successfully plan, manage, review and supervise plant turnarounds. Inspection planning and work scope selection are critical aspects of any turnaround...

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

An overview of process piping vibration and evaluating piping systems in vibration service to reduce harmful vibrations.

Online Article

Updated editions of both API 570 and API RP 580 were recently released by the American Petroleum Institute.

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Excessive vibration is a problem frequently encountered in industrial plants and their peripheral equipment, including piping systems, pressure vessels, and steel structures. Long term excessive vibration can lead to fatigue crack propagation and...

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

This article is Part II of a three-part series that explores the various methods, benefits, challenges and solutions to efficiently and effectively clean heat exchangers, both onsite and offsite.

Authors: Harold Marburger
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

This article introduces portions of a “Best-In-Class” Fitness-for-Service (FFS) program that includes the performance of regular visual inspections of pipe supports and hangers, coupled with in-situ load testing of suspect supports. This...

Partner Content

Piping accounts for roughly 40% of “accidental releases” at major petroleum facilities. Modern robots can inspect every inch of piping while still in service, giving you a clear picture of your most concerning areas.

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

In recent years, the growing use of composite repair systems for the rehabilitation of piping systems in the refining and chemical industries has increased the need for associated technologies for their manufacturing, installation, and inspection....

Authors: David A. Hunter
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Avoiding cracking under pressure when managing high-energy piping systems is common subject matter in the power industry. Just as high-energy piping can give way to pressure, stress and fatigue, so can the people in charge of operating them when...

Authors: Pamela Hamblin
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

The future of inspection will be based on predictive and proactive technologies that effectively monitor material properties of structures and systems over their entire service life.

November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

The introduction of PAUT is a challenging effort initially, but can have a very positive impact on your first TAR and become a routine inspection for future TARs. When fully implemented, radiation safety boundaries can be reduced significantly or...

Blog

Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) is an insidious damage mechanism that, despite being incredibly well-known and understood, still makes up an inordinately large percentage of global maintenance expenditures. CUI has been extensively researched and...

Authors: Nick Schmoyer
Partner Content

TEAM provides full inline, onsite and, shop valve repair services and maintenance programs for virtually all valve types, brands, sizes, materials, pressures, and operating conditions, including actuators and operators. Our valve repair solution is...

September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

Authors: John Reynolds
Blog

Fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) failures are not caused by damage mechanisms; rather, they're caused due to failure to create, implement, & maintain adequate management systems to avoid failures. Nearly all failures that have occurred...

Authors: John Reynolds
Blog

In 2013 Inspectioneering published content covering a wide array of topics, from risk-based inspection, to advanced nondestructive testing methods, to pipeline integrity management systems. Last year, we published more content than any year prior;...

Authors: Nick Schmoyer
November/December 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Small bore piping is present in many variations throughout numerous industries. This article will address an incident involving a small bore piping failure that occurred on a 140,000 BPD crude distillation unit in the refining industry.

September/October 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Composite repair systems can be a great option for owner/ operators to extend the life of their assets without disrupting operations.

Authors: Matthew Green
Partner Content

How is reliability affecting your bottom line? Download our Economics of Reliability report, where Pinnacle analysts take data from the oil refining industry and dive into how that key sector is being affected by reliability today.

September/October 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

This article is the fifth of a series of articles that will focus on one critical sub process within a PEIP that is key in managing the integrity of process piping; Thickness Monitoring Programs for Internal Corrosion.

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
July/August 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection and fitness-for-service assessments of critical in-plant piping systems are a concern for the chemical industry. This presents a potentially insurmountable task and discovery of a number of areas where the condition is at risk.

Authors: James R. Widrig
May/June 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Piping failures still represent a frustrating and ongoing problem for processing plants. Failures are still commonly reported and contribute to large losses. In the author’s experience, piping represents the highest percentage of fixed equipment...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
January/February 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

This article is the third of a series of articles that will focus on one critical sub process within a PEIP that is key in managing the integrity of process piping: thickness monitoring programs for internal corrosion. These articles will discuss...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
November/December 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

Piping failures still represent a frustrating and ongoing problem for processing plants. Failures are still commonly reported and contribute to large losses. In the author’s experience, piping represents the highest percentage of fixed equipment...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
Partner Content

Traditional, paper-based inspection processes can prevent plants from being as effective as they can be. By digitalizing your mechanical integrity process and data with MISTRAS Digital®, plants have realized up to 75% gains in IDMS data entry and...

September/October 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

An all too familiar scenario in power plants is one in which an inspection finding occurs late in an outage and consequently, the return to service date may need to be postponed to allow time for corrective action. Historically, cracks or thinned...

September/October 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

Piping failures still represent a frustrating and ongoing problem for processing plants (example in Figure 1). Failures are commonly reported and contribute to large losses. As well per the author’s experience, piping still represents the...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
September/October 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

The refining industry has applied ultrasonic-based intelligent pigging to inspect serpentine coils in fired heaters since the 1990s. Today, thousands of serpentine coils in fired heaters are inspected annually at process facilities around the globe.

September/October 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

On August 6, 2012, a piping failure occurred in the #4 Crude Unit at the Chevron U.S.A. Inc. refinery in Richmond, CA. Chevron U.S.A. would like to share some potentially significant preliminary information regarding the incident.

May/June 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

A self-propelled in-line inspection tool tested at Electric Power Research Institute and utilized in Europe can traverse a complex piping configuration and discriminate areas of metal loss. This tool is becoming available to inspect traditionally...

Authors: Clay Goudy
Partner Content

Gecko's TOKA Flex robot is designed to give unprecedented access to piping systems with a robust ultrasonic data-collection capability. The Flex, our most advanced RUG robot, is equipped to find and collect the critical inspection data you need....

September/October 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

Leaks or spills over the life of nuclear power plant operation can lead to undesirable consequences. The nuclear industry’s GroundwaterProtectionInitiativeandthelessonslearnedand experiences gained from implementing groundwater protection...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

September/October 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

The Inspectioneering Journal Discussion Forum is a great storehouse of knowledge and experience for people involved in fixed equipment reliability. A few samples of discussions follow, to motivate you to participate.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

January/February 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

NACE International has approved two highly anticipated standards dedicated to the control of internal pipeline corrosion.

Partner Content

The OmniScan X3 flaw detector is a complete phased array toolbox. Powerful tools, like total focusing method (TFM) images and advanced visualization capabilities, enable you to complete your inspection with greater confidence.

January/February 2006 Inspectioneering Journal

After a pressure equipment or piping failure, it’s not uncommon to find out during the failure analysis part of the investigation that the failure initiated at a welding flaw of some sort.

Authors: John Reynolds
March/April 2005 Inspectioneering Journal

Once the microwave inspection method was determined to be capable of providing reliable and meaningful inspection results for defects located on the exterior, interior, and interior surfaces of non-metallic components, potential industry...

September/October 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

The impetus for the development of LRUT is that ultrasonic thickness checks for corrosion, erosion, etc. are localised, in that they only measure the thickness of the area under the UT transducer.

May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

Authors: John Reynolds
March/April 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 2001 Inspectioneering Journal

This article describes a new inspection technology for rapid, on-stream,quantitative examinations of piping under support areas. This portable production system has been in commercial operation in the major U.S. Gulf Coast refineries for the past...

January/February 2001 Inspectioneering Journal

Part 5 of this article continues to outline the 101 essential elements that need to be in place, and functioning well, to effectively and efficiently, preserve and protect the reliability and integrity of pressure equipment (vessels, exchangers,...

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

This paper outlines the 101 essential elements that need to be in place, and functioning well, to effectively and efficiently, preserve and protect the reliability and integrity of pressure equipment (vessels, exchangers, furnaces, boilers, piping...

Authors: John Reynolds
May/June 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

EMATs (Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducers) have been used for over six years for field service inspection of in-service piping. Recent advances in technology have allowed us to inspect new types of on-stream piping.

Authors: Paul K. Davidson
January/February 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

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

November/December 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

We have been asked many times by existing and prospective users of PCMS (a computerized, inspection database management system), how many TMLs (Thickness Management Locations) should be installed per piping circuit. These inquiries must be addressed...

September/October 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

This is the fourth in a series of articles on piping inspection that I'm writing for the Journal. One of the previous ones dealt with improving thickness data taking accuracy with digital ultrasonic methods. This article is a "sister article" that...

Authors: John Reynolds
May/June 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

Authors: John Reynolds
March/April 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

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.

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

It's probably more important to those of us who don't have a brain tumor. Unfortunately, it's precisely because piping inspection is not neurosurgery that it's often done poorly, which can lead to significant impacts on process unit reliability, or...

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

There are a number of terms to describe commonly experienced problem conditions with reciprocating compressors. One of the terms that I have always appreciated is the pendulum action of a large unsupported mass on the end of a vibrating pipe.

Authors: Del Underwood
May/June 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

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....

Authors: Del Underwood
January/February 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

September/October 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

A key to any piping evaluation program is to understand where problems can occur. Vibrating piping can propagate a crack relatively quickly. Have you ever installed gussets to stabilize a vibrating pipe situation only to find, shortly thereafter,...

Authors: Del Underwood
May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

For reason of economy, the hot reheat pipework in many US power plants is fabricated from seam-welded low chrome-moly carbon steel spools. Unlike girth butt welds, where the critical weldment microstructures can off-load stress to the stronger...

Authors: Bob Browne
March/April 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

High energy piping (HEP) systems, main steam lines and hot reheat lines (typically low chrome molydbdenum steels), are susceptible to creep damage. Such damage can lead to leaks, and in extreme cases, catastrophic failure.

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