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Proceedings Paper

In-service pressure vessel inspections
Author(s): Marvin Fields
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Paper Abstract

Eliminate any doubt that the vessel condition is suitable for continued operation through a planned inspection program that can mitigate or avoid failure of a pressure vessel due to corrosion or erosion. Proper inspection and documentation help you in identifying the problem and confirming the actual thickness leading to properly correcting deficiencies. Proper inspection is the antidote for any inspection program. Vessel life can be extended, risk can be minimized and unscheduled downtime can be prevented by implementing and managing your inspection program. A successful program includes maintaining accurate records, conducting inspections in regular intervals, and taking proper action on deficiencies. Therefore, you will know what you have and the condition of your equipment. Pressure vessel inspections can be classified into two general categories: surface inspection and volumetric inspection. Surface techniques for vessels include two of the commonest types: dye-penetrant and magnetic particle testing. Board qualified inspectors are required to perform these two tests. Volumetric techniques for vessels include three common types: ultrasonic testing, eddy current testing, and radiography. At Abbott the use of advanced NDE (non destructive examination) techniques, ultrasonic b-scan, has provided us with the proper tools to obtain the above objectives. We have been applying ultrasonic b-scan utilizing a pulse echo pitch catch technique to provide us with essential data on each of our pressure vessels. This reduces equipment downtime because the nondestructive examination usually takes place while our vessels are in service. As inspections take place we are able to view a real time image of the defective discontinuities on a video monitor. This ultrasonic b-scan technique is allowing us to perform fast accurate examinations covering up to 96% of the surface area of each pressure vessel.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 March 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3398, Nondestructive Evaluation of Utilities and Pipelines II, (15 March 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.302513
Show Author Affiliations
Marvin Fields, Abbott Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3398:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Utilities and Pipelines II
Walter G. Reuter, Editor(s)

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