1. Home
  2. »
  3. Technology
  4. »
  5. DAMAGE CONTROL The Quest to Keep Pressure Equipment Running Reliably 2019 API INSPECTION AND MECHANICAL…

Despite the best efforts of personnel who work to keep pressure equipment running reliably, leaks happen. We choose materials carefully for their service, we inspect equipment when it is new and as it ages, and we do our best to operate equipment within its intended process conditions. Unfortunately, temperature and pressure values can deviate from those expected, equipment can be run improperly, the composition of the products/fluids that we process may be outside the range needed. Once a leak has occurred, personnel in our field analyze the failure, investigate the root cause, implement changes to operating routines and follow many other steps to minimize the likelihood of recurrence and the consequences of a leak.

A great deal of knowledge is needed in this field; each of the steps listed above is a specialty on its own. Fortunately for us, we have conferences such as the 2019 API INSPECTION AND MECHANICAL INTEGRITY SUMMIT which will be held the last week of January. Through a quick scan of the program I saw papers/discussions on:

  • Processes for buying new equipment.
  • Equipment failures (even some from the last century).
  • Advances in digital technologies that impact turn-around and data management data for pressure equipment in general.
  • Corrosion, corrosion monitoring and corrosion under insulation (CUI).
  • Innovations in post weld heat treatment (PWHT), non-destructive examinations (NDE), alloys, coatings, and welding.
  • Every TLA (three-letter acronym) in our industry’s vocabulary: RBI, IOW’s, CCD’s, FFS, PRV’s, AST’s, PMI, XRF, ERW’s and many more (please see below for the meanings of some).
    I look forward to discussions and presentations about developments on using NDE to detect high temperature hydrogen attack (HTHA), which is very challenging. We need reliable examinations – HTHA resulted in seven deaths in a 2010 refinery explosion (https://www.csb.gov/csb-investigation-finds-2010-tesoro-refinery-fatal-explosion-resulted-from-high-temperature-hydrogen-attack-damage-to-heat-exchanger/).

I am pleased to give a presentation about storage tank failures and damage investigations. One of the cases is about a septic tank leak; fortunately for me, a leak that developed prior to the tank being in service. If you attend, please visit us at the IRISNDT booth (#418).

CCD: corrosion control documents. RBI: risk-based inspection IOW: integrity operating windows

PMI: positive material identification XRF: x-ray fluorescence ERW’s: electric resistance welds

AST’s: above ground storage tanks FFS: Fitness for service PRV’s: pressure relief valves