INSPECTIONS OF PROCESS PIPING SYSTEMS
Many process piping systems run continuously at high temperatures and pressures for extended periods. They are often complex and appear as a maze of pip runs, instrumentation, heat tracings, valves and gauges. Inspections provide a means of preventing failures in such process piping systems.
Required inspections and testing for each piping system will vary depending on the specifics of the piping system. Contract, government, in-house or other specified inspections and testing must be carried out in accordance with the appropriate specification(s). Inspections must be carried out by qualified personnel.
In general, once a process piping system is in place and operating, inspection becomes more difficult to perform. Process piping systems are normally painted, insulated or otherwise coated. Layers of dirt and grime often coat exterior piping. Once a process piping system is in place and operating, there is often considerable expense involved in down time, disassembly performed solely for inspection purposes.
Despite the difficulties associated with inspections, they must be performed. IF performed and selected properly, inspections will often pay for themselves by preventing losses associated with, unwarranted down time, loss of product, costly removal of partly processed product, and loss of equipment. In addition, inspections provide a level of safety and allow for scheduling or repairs.
Inspections should be selected to identify the following;
Deterioration is identified in the form of erosion, corrosion, creep, wall thinning and fatigue cracking.
Other items are various in nature, i.e. loss of fasteners, loss of insulation, flow restrictions, blockages, etc.
Indications or cracks approaching or exceeding design limits.
Inspections must identify deterioration or defects with sufficient time to initiate and complete corrective action prior to failure. In this manner, inspections ensure the safety and reliability of a continuous process system and facilitate maintenance by allowing time to schedule repairs.
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Walters Forensic Engineering | 277 Wellington
Street West, Suite 800 | Toronto, ON M5V 3H2