Fitness-for-service is a best practice methodology used in the oil and gas and petrochemical processing sectors, forming the cornerstone of asset integrity monitoring. To determine whether components are competent to stay in service, the method and related data function on an objective basis.
The American Petroleum Institute and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers jointly created one widely used approach, API 579-1/ASME FFS-1, which aids API inspection companies with pressurized equipment’s safe and dependable operation. This specification contains tanks, pipelines, and pressure vessels.
Accurate inspection data is essential to this standard and every other FFS program. The key to assessing the fitness-for-service is specifically the wall thickness loss brought on by widespread or localized corrosion. The FFS estimates and overall evaluation depend on the wall loss’s development. In order to accurately estimate the wall loss over time, it is crucial to remove factors from the data.
Using the same places every time you conduct an ultrasonic inspection is one of the simplest ways to ensure predictability for wall thickness loss. The professionals can map out the trajectory of deterioration or loss by contrasting the results of the most recent inspection with earlier data. Predictive models can be developed using corrosion rate measurements that take into account pressure, working temperature, the materials’ properties, the damage’s current state, and more. These designs can assess a system’s suitability for service and help prioritize maintenance tasks.
Specialized inspection tags are created to withstand tough environments, unlike marking equipment that frequently fails owing to operational or environmental factors.
However, not all marks are made equal.
For your pipeline and apparatus process safety monitoring program, you may gain better statistics, better analyses, and better projections by using inspection point labels made with ruggedness for pressure vessels, containers, and pipes in mind.
What entails in a Tank Inspection?
When inspecting a tank, API inspection services experts typically examine for corrosion and flaws on the interior as well as the outside. This is so because metals typically used to construct tanks can react with oxygen, water, and other liquid contents. Along with damaging the tank’s structural stability, this also causes valuable supplies, such as water, gasoline, and industrial chemicals, to get contaminated.
It’s critical to identify those flaws and corrosion symptoms quickly. By doing this, inspectors can safeguard the chemical integrity of the tank’s contents and extend its usable life. Oxidation can nevertheless occur in microsites and places that are unsecured or compromised, despite the use of highly resistant paints (such as paint-based or epoxy). It won’t take long for damage to become evident. The best they can do at that point is to stop the harm from worsening. In this manner, the facility owner would avoid costly downtimes, and they will make repairs sooner.
A trustworthy inspection and testing procedure should be used to stop things from getting worse. Visual examination and ultrasonic thickness assessment are frequently used. Visual inspection is simple and effective, especially if there is a clear checklist of what to look for in terms of flaws and corrosion indicators. When testing for ultrasonic thickness, ultrasound waves are allowed to pass through the material, and the time it takes for the ultrasound wave to come back to the level is then recorded. Based on the material being examined and the presence of faults, a different amount of time may be required. From there, we can identify flaws and start the necessary repairs.
Ultrasonic thickness analysis is constructive in tank inspection because it is a non-destructive testing method and can be designed to work with coatings. The treatment can be simply carried out on-site, and the required equipment is not very expensive. For instance, portable scanners make it possible to inspect tank floors very easily, up close, and completely.