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Engineering Encyclopedia

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

Fabrication, Inspection, and


Testing of Pressure Vessels

Note: The source of the technical material in this volume is the Professional
Engineering Development Program (PEDP) of Engineering Services.
Warning: The material contained in this document was developed for Saudi
Aramco and is intended for the exclusive use of Saudi Aramcos
employees. Any material contained in this document which is not already
in the public domain may not be copied, reproduced, sold, given, or
disclosed to third parties, or otherwise used in whole, or in part, without
the written permission of the Vice President, Engineering Services, Saudi
Aramco.

Chapter : Vessels
File Reference: MEX20204

For additional information on this subject, contact


J.H. Thomas on 875-2230

Engineering Encyclopedia

Vessels
Fabrication, Inspection, and
Testing of Pressure Vessels

CONTENTS

PAGE

EVALUATING FABRICATION DRAWINGS FOR


ACCEPTABILITY................................................................................................... 1
Welding Fundamentals................................................................................. 1
Types of Welded Joints ................................................................................ 6
Groove Welds ................................................................................... 7
Fillet Welds....................................................................................... 9
Plug Welds...................................................................................... 11
Weld Joint Categories ..................................................................... 11
Welding Procedures and Welder Qualification .......................................... 12
Welding Procedures........................................................................ 12
Welder Qualification....................................................................... 16
Acceptable Welding Details ....................................................................... 17
Saudi Aramco Weld Detail Requirements ...................................... 17
ASME Weld Detail Requirements .................................................. 17
Tolerances .................................................................................................. 18
Heads and Shells............................................................................. 19
Plate Thickness ............................................................................... 20
Alignment ....................................................................................... 20
DETERMINING WHETHER VENDOR INSPECTION AND
TESTING PLANS SATISFY SAUDI ARAMCO REQUIREMENTS.................. 22
Methods of Examination ............................................................................ 24
Radiographic Examination (RT) ..................................................... 25
Visual Inspection (VT).................................................................... 26
Liquid Penetrant Examination (PT) ................................................ 26
Magnetic Particle Test (MT)........................................................... 28
Ultrasonic Examination (UT).......................................................... 30
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Type and Extent of Required Examination ................................................ 33


Pressure Test Plans..................................................................................... 34
Hardness Test Plans.................................................................................... 42
Brinell Hardness Test...................................................................... 44
Vickers Hardness Test .................................................................... 44
Hardness Test Results ..................................................................... 44
Impact Test Plans ....................................................................................... 46
Applicable Codes and Standards ................................................................ 48
SUMMARY........................................................................................................... 49
Work Aid 2B: Procedure for Pressure Test Plans ..................................... 60
Work Aid 2D: Procedure for Impact Test Plans........................................ 65
GLOSSARY .......................................................................................................... 66

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EVALUATING FABRICATION DRAWINGS FOR ACCEPTABILITY


Welding is the most common method that is used for pressure vessel fabrication; therefore,
this section focuses on welding. Welding fundamentals and details are discussed to the extent
necessary for a pressure vessel engineer to achieve an adequate knowledge of welding
requirements as they relate to pressure vessels. Additional welding engineering details are
beyond the scope of this course.
This section also discusses dimensional tolerances which must be applied to pressure vessel
components and fabrications. Adherence to relatively stringent dimensional tolerances is
necessary to help achieve quality pressure vessel fabrication and acceptable long term
reliability.
Saudi Aramco fabrication requirements supplement those that are contained in the ASME
Code, Section VIII, Divisions 1 and 2. Saudi Aramco fabrication requirements are contained
primarily in SAES-D-001, Design Criteria for Pressure Vessels; 32-SAMSS-004, Pressure
Vessels; SAES-W-001, Basic Welding Requirements; and SAES-W-010, Welding
Requirements for Pressure Vessels. Relevant Saudi Aramco and ASME requirements are
highlighted within the topics that are discussed in this section.
This section discusses only Division 1 requirements. Division 2 requirements are generally
more stringent than those that are contained in Division 1. Participants are referred to
Division 2 for additional details as required.
Welding Fundamentals
A weld is defined as a localized union of metal that is achieved in plastic and molten states,
with or without the addition of filler metal or the application of pressure. Welding is used in
the fabrication of pressure vessels for both pressure containing parts (for example, shells and
heads) and nonpressure containing parts (for example, stiffener rings, lifting lugs, and
supports). Joints that are welded instead of bolted are also sometimes used for pipe-toequipment connections in situations where the leakage potential of a bolted joint must be
eliminated.
The most common welding method is called fusion welding. The fusion welding method
does not require any pressure to form the weld. The seam that is to be welded is heated,
usually by means of burning gas or through the use of an electric arc which is brought to
fusion temperature. Additional metal, if needed, is supplied by melting a filler rod into the
weld area. The filler rod is made of a material whose composition is similar to that of the
pieces that are being joined. The most widely used industrial welding method is arc welding.
Arc welding is the general name that is given to several welding processes that generate the
heat of fusion by the use of an electric arc.

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An arc welding circuit consists of the following elements:

Power source

Two cables (the electrode cable and the ground cable)

Ground clamp

Electrode holder

Electrodes or rods

Two types of power supplies are used for arc welding: the direct current (dc) generator and
the alternating current (ac) transformer. The choice of power supply depends on the
particular welding that is to be done. Figure 1 shows a typical ac arc welding circuit.

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Typical AC Arc Welding Circuit


Figure 1
Regardless of the power source that is used, the electric arc that is produced serves the same
purpose: it produces heat to melt the metal. The two pieces of metal that are to be joined are
placed such that they are nearly touching. The arc from the electrode is directed at the
junction of the two pieces. This arc causes the edges of both pieces to melt. The molten
portions of the pieces flow together along with molten portions of the electrode. As the arc
column is moved along the joint, the molten material solidifies. The two pieces are then
joined with a combination of electrode metal and base metal.
The molten pool of weld metal reaches a temperature of approximately 1536C (2800F), and
there is a temperature gradient into the nearby base metal. The portion of the base metal that
is adjacent to the weld and that is affected by the welding heat is called the heat-affected zone
(HAZ). Figure 2 shows a typical HAZ.

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Heat-Affected Zone
Figure 2
Because the welding heat changes the crystal structure and grain size of the HAZ, a postweld
heat treatment (PWHT) may be necessary to restore the material structure to the required
properties. The need for PWHT for these metallurgical reasons depends on the materials that
are involved and the service conditions that they are exposed to. As the weld metal and HAZ
cool from the very high welding temperatures, the thermal contraction that occurs in the
locally heated area is resisted by the cooler base metal that surrounds the locally heated area.
This resistance to thermal contraction results in residual stresses that remain in the structure.
For thicker plates, these residual stresses must be removed by PWHT. PWHT requirements
based on stress relief considerations are contained in the ASME Code, Section VIII, and were
discussed in MEX 202.02. PWHT is discussed in more detail later in this module.

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Most modern welding electrodes are coated with a flux. As the electrode wire melts, the flux
that coats the wire burns and produces a gaseous shield around the electric arc. This gaseous
shield prevents contamination of the weld by protecting the molten metal from contaminants
that are in the atmosphere. Figure 3 shows a coated electrode weld deposit and the area
around the weld.

Coated Electrode Weld Deposit


Figure 3
When the electrode flux melts, part of it mixes with impurities that are in the molten pool and
causes these impurities to float to the top of the weld. When this mixture of impurities and
flux cools, it forms a slag. The slag protects the weld bead from the atmosphere and causes
the weld bead to cool more uniformly. The slag also helps to form the contour of the weld
bead by acting as an insulator. The slag allows an even heat loss from the local area by
insulation of the weld and HAZ. This even heat loss helps to control the grain structure of the
metal. The slag is chipped away after each weld pass before slag is deposited by another weld
pass; otherwise, weld defects will be caused. In order to permit later weld inspections, the
slag is also chipped away when the metal has cooled after the final weld pass.

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Types of Welded Joints


Welded joints are described by the position of the pieces that are to be joined and are divided
into five basic types: butt, tee, lap, corner, and edge. For design purposes, welds can be
divided into three basic types which call for different design methods. These weld types are:
groove, fillet, and plug. Figure 4 shows several examples of welded joints and weld types.

Examples of Welded Joints and Weld Types


Figure 4
Note that, in some cases, a given joint type may employ only one weld type, such as the
groove weld that is used in the butt joint. Other joint types may employ two weld types, such
as the groove and fillet welds that are used in the corner joint.

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The choice of the joint and weld type that is to be used in each case depends on the following:

Saudi Aramco and ASME Code requirements.

The geometric relationship between the parts that are being joined and the
access that is available for welding.

Economic considerations.

Groove Welds
Groove welds are subdivided based on the shape of the edges of the groove welds. Figure 5
shows the primary types of groove welds that are used in pressure vessel fabrication. Butt- or
tee-type joints with V or double-bevel groove welds are the most common weld joint types
that are used in pressure vessel fabrication.

Types of Groove Welds


Figure 5

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For example, butt-type joints are used to join pressure vessel shell and head plate sections
together. Tee-type joints are used to join nozzles to shell or head sections.
Note in Figure 5 that the edges of the pieces that are to be joined are cut from their initially
supplied straight configuration into some form of bevel. The cut edges are called "edge
preparation." The primary pressure containing welds in pressure vessels must be designed for
full penetration (that is, the weld penetrates through the complete thickness of the metals that
are joined) and for full fusion (that is, the weld metal is completely fused to the base metal
and to itself throughout the full thickness). The full penetration requirement is stated in the
ASME Code, 32-SAMSS-004, and in SAES-W-001. The ASME Code also specifies the full
fusion requirement.
The type of edge preparation that is used depends on the following factors:

The thickness of the parts that are being joined.

The particular welding process that is being used.

Whether the weld will be made in the shop with automatic equipment or
whether it will be made manually.

For thicker plates with access for welding from both sides, double bevel groove welds are
used, and the weld is completed from both sides to help ensure full penetration and fusion.
The angle of the bevel face is also specified to ensure that the welding electrode has complete
access to the bottom of the weld area. The bottom of the weld area is called the "root" of the
weld. The parts that are being joined are separated by a small distance, called the "root gap."
As the thickness of the parts that are to be joined increases, the width of the open area at the
surface of the weld for a V-groove weld preparation increases because the bevel angle is
constant through the entire thickness. This extra width requires a larger amount of weld metal
to make the closure. This extra weld metal increases the cost of fabrication for both material
and labor. The J or U groove-type weld preparations are more frequently used in thick
fabrications. With these J- or U-groove weld geometries, the weld root is completely
accessible, but the total amount of open area that is to be filled with weld metal is reduced in
comparison to the V-groove preparation. The weld preparation cost is more for a J- or Ugroove weld. However, when thick components are being joined, the total weld cost is less
for a J- or U-groove due to the reduced actual welding time and material.

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The strength of a groove weld is based on the following:

Cross-sectional area that is subject to shear, tension, or compression.

Allowable stress of the weld metal (which is nearly always the same as that of
the parts that are to be joined).

Stresses in groove welds are computed through the use of standard formulas for tension,
bending, and shear. The full penetration groove weld is the most reliable of all weld types.
There are no significant stress concentration effects in a full penetration groove weld because
there are no abrupt geometric discontinuities. The joint efficiency is specified by the ASME
Code and depends on the type of weld examination that is used, as was discussed in MEX
202.03.
Fillet Welds
A fillet weld has a triangular cross section and joins two surfaces that are typically at right
angles to each other. Figure 6 shows fillet welds at a tee-joint, and defines some relevant
terms.

Fillet Weld at a Tee Joint


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Figure 6

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The size of a fillet weld is specified by the leg length, w, of its largest inscribed right triangle.
A 45 fillet weld with legs of equal size is the most common and economical type of fillet
weld. No edge preparation is required for a fillet weld. This lack of edge preparation lowers
the cost to make a fillet weld. However, the allowable stress of a fillet weld is also lower than
that of a groove weld. Stress concentrations at the root and toe of a fillet weld can cause
fatigue failure under cyclic loading conditions. Fillet welds are never used as the primary
pressure-retaining weld in pressure vessel construction. Fillet welds are primarily used to
attach reinforcing pads, stiffener rings, and other attachments to the main pressure-containing
parts.
The stresses in fillet welds are complex because of the eccentricity of the applied load, the
weld shape, and stress concentration effects. These stresses consist of shear, tension, and
compression stresses. The stress distribution is not uniform across the throat and leg of a fillet
weld and varies along the length of the fillet weld. However, practical assumptions are made
with regard to the fillet weld geometry and applied load in order to simplify design.
Where fillet welds are used for attachments to a pressure vessel, SAES-D-001 requires that
the weld be continuous. A continuous fillet weld is required to prevent the occurrence of
corrosion between the attachment and the vessel due to corrosive fluid being trapped between
the two parts.
Plug Welds
A plug weld is a circular weld that is made through one member of a lap or tee-type joint.
Plug weld holes in thin plates are completely filled with weld metal through the entire plate
thickness. Plug weld holes are typically only partially filled in plates that are about 9.5 mm
(3/8 in.) thick and over. Plug welds are most often used in pressure vessel construction to fix
a corrosion-resistant strip lining into an existing vessel.
Weld Joint Categories
The ASME Code, Section VIII, Division 1, defines weld joint "categories" by the location of
a joint in a vessel. The joints that are included in each category are designated as Categories
A, B, C, or D. The Categories are used by the ASME Code in the specification of joint type
and degree of inspection for certain welded pressure-containing joints. Recall that these
categories were used in MEX 202.03 in the discussion of weld joint efficiency.
As previously discussed, the ASME Code specifies, in Table UW-12, the weld joint types that
may be used in each Category. The following are examples of specifications in Table UW12:

Buttwelded joints that are made by double-welding (i.e., welded from both
sides) or by other means which will obtain the same weld metal quality on the

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inside and outside weld surfaces may be used for all joint categories. This is
the most commonly used weld type for the weld seams of the main pressure
vessel because it results in the best weld joint efficiencies. If a metal backing
strip is used for this weld, the metal backing strip cannot remain in place.

A single-welded butt joint with a backing strip also could be used for all joint
categories in the ASME Code, but such a joint achieves lower joint efficiencies.
However, both 32-SAMSS-004 and SAES-W-001 prohibit the use of
permanent backing strips.

The ASME Code permits the use of a single-welded butt joint without a
backing strip for Categories A, B, and C; but the code allows such a joint only
for circumferential butt joints that are not over 16 mm (0.625 in.) thick and that
are not over 610 mm (24 in.) in outside diameter. From a practical standpoint,
the allowable weld joint efficiency is so low for this type of joint that it is
typically not used for pressure vessels in refinery applications.

Economics is a consideration in the determination of what weld joint efficiency and weld type
to use. Higher weld joint efficiencies reduce the required component thicknesses, which
reduce material and fabrication costs. However, these cost reductions come at the expense of
more expensive weld joint preparations and inspection.
Welding Procedures and Welder Qualification
The achievement of high quality pressure vessel fabrication requires the use of tested welding
procedures as well as qualified welders or welding machines. The ASME Code, Section VIII
contains rules for the mechanical design, fabrication, and testing of pressure vessels. The
ASME Code, Section IX covers welding procedures and welder qualifications, and the use of
Section IX is specified in SAES-W-001. Section IX is not covered in this section. However,
several welding procedure and welder qualification requirements are highlighted in the
following paragraphs.
Welding Procedures
The pressure vessel designer determines the basic type and size of weld and the weld joint
configuration to use in vessel fabrication. The welding engineer, on the other hand, must
specify exactly how the vessel components are to be welded together, based on the following
parameters:

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Material of components

Thickness of components to be joined

Diameter of components to be joined

Position and direction of welding

Type of weld bevel to use (e.g., V, U, J, one side, both sides)

Welding process (including variables such as the welding speed, shielding gas,
and flux)

Electrode

DC or AC electric current

Voltage and current levels

Manual or automatic welding

Preheat temperature and, possibly, PWHT procedures

The welding engineer produces a welding procedure that details exactly how the weld is to be
done and considers the parameters that are listed above. Each weld joint type in a pressure
vessel has its own welding procedure. When a welding procedure is developed, a welder uses
the procedure to weld a sample piece, and the sample weld is inspected and tested. When the
sample weld is approved, the procedure is said to be "qualified": that is, the welding
procedure has been shown to produce sound welds for the intended application. Pressure
vessel fabricators have well established welding procedures that are available for the types of
welds and materials that they normally use. Therefore, welding procedures do not have to be
qualified for every new pressure vessel that is fabricated. Additional welding procedures are
qualified only for new welds that the vessel fabricator has not made before.
Saudi Aramco welding procedure requirements are contained in SAES-W-001, Basic Welding
Requirements. Several of these SAES-W-001 requirements that go beyond the ASME Code
are highlighted as follows:

Welding procedures must be submitted to Saudi Aramco for review and


approval prior to the start of work. This review and approval procedure avoids
the potential problem caused by welds being made by means of unacceptable
procedures and by the need to then determine whether these welds can be
accepted or whether they must be remade.

A weld map, drawing, or table that specifies exactly where each weld
procedure will be applied must be provided by the vessel manufacturer. This
information simplifies the review process, helps ensure consistency between

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procedure and weld, and assists maintenance personnel should repairs or


alterations be required later.

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Additional requirements are also specified for the test coupon, procedure
requalification requirements, procedure variables, documentation, and approval
requirements.

Preheat and PWHT requirements were discussed in MEX 202.02 and must be specified in the
welding procedure. Saudi Aramco preheat and PWHT requirements are specified in SAESW-010 and are contained in Work Aid 1.
The ASME Code contains the temperature and hold time requirements when PWHT is needed
for stress relief considerations. These ASME Code PWHT requirements are based on
material type and thickness, as specified in Paragraph UCS-56 for carbon and low-alloy
steels. The following parameters (based on the ASME Code, Section VIII, Division 1) must
be controlled during PWHT:

The minimum PWHT temperature and the minimum holding time at


temperature are specified based on the material P-No. and thickness.
Acceptable PWHT procedures are also specified. These requirements ensure
that adequate stress relief will occur.

Heatup and cooldown rates must be controlled within specified limits in order
to avoid excessive local thermal stresses within the vessel during PWHT. For
carbon and low-alloy steels, these heatup and cooldown rates are as follows:
-

The furnace temperature must not exceed 427C (800F) before the
vessel or vessel part is placed in it.

Above 427C (800F), the heatup rate must not be more than 222C
(400F)/hr divided by the maximum metal thickness of the shell or head
plate, in inches. In no case can the heatup rate exceed 222C
(400F)/hr.

During heatup, the maximum temperature variation in the portion of the


vessel that is being heated must be limited to 139C (250F) in any 4.6
m (15 ft.) length.

During the temperature hold period, the maximum difference in


temperature between any two parts of the vessel that is being heated
must not exceed 83C (150F).

The furnace atmosphere must be controlled to avoid any excessive


surface oxidation of the vessel.

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Above 427C (800F), cooldown must be done in a closed furnace or


cooling chamber at a maximum rate of 278C (500F)/hr divided by the
maximum metal thickness of the shell or head plate in inches. In no
case can the cooldown rate exceed 278C (500F)/hr. From 427C
(800F) down, the vessel may be cooled in still air.

Except as permitted for P-No. 1, Groups 1 through 3, and P-No. 3,


Groups 1 through 3 materials, vessels which have received PWHT must
receive an additional PWHT after any weld repairs have been made.
The concern here is that the repair welding may defeat the benefits of
the original PWHT. Weld repairs may be made to these materials after
the final PWHT without doing another PWHT provided that the
following conditions are met:
+

The repairs are made before the vessel hydrotest.

The PWHT is not required for service reasons.

The size of repair is within specified limits.

Specified inspections are made.

It should be noted, however, that SAES-W-001 requires that PWHT be


done after all repairs are completed.
As noted earlier, the ASME Code specifies PWHT based primarily on stress relief
considerations. PWHT may be required based on process service considerations as well,
since welded components are prone to cracking in certain process environments. SAES-W010 requires that PWHT be done on vessels in specific process services. These PWHT
requirements are summarized in Work Aid 1.
Welder Qualification
A qualified weld procedure specifies how the weld is to be made. However, the actual welds
will be made either by men or machines. An unqualified welder or defective machine results
in a poor quality weld, even if a qualified welding procedure is used. Therefore, the
individuals or equipment that actually do the welding must be tested to confirm that they have
the capability to carry out the procedure. The result of these qualifications and tests is that
qualified welding procedures are performed by qualified welders.

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The ASME Code requires that welders and welding operators that are used to weld pressurecontaining parts and to join load-carrying nonpressure parts to pressure parts be qualified in
accordance with Section IX of the ASME Code. Other requirements apply for less critical
welds. Methods must also be established that relate the specific welder to his work and that
permit test records to be maintained.
Acceptable Welding Details
All pressure vessel welds, including the welds that attach heads, nozzles, small fittings, and
nonpressure components to a shell, must conform to requirements that are specified in the
SAESs, 32-SAMSS-004, and the ASME Code. Details that are used for the primary
circumferential and longitudinal welds were discussed earlier in conjunction with weld joint
categories. Other Saudi Aramco and ASME Code weld detail requirements are highlighted
below.
Saudi Aramco Weld Detail Requirements
Saudi Aramco specifies weld detail requirements in 32-SAMSS-004 and SAES-W-010.
These requirements are contained in Work Aid 1. The paragraphs that follow elaborate on
two of these requirements.

For welded connections, a 6 mm (1/4 in.) NPS weep hole is required in each
nozzle reinforcing pad, saddle wear plate, or attachment pad that covers a weld
seam. The weep hole permits later pressure testing of the pad attachment welds
and also provides a vent during welding.

Support skirts are to be welded to vessel heads (with the exception of


hemispherical heads) so that the centerlines of the skirt plate and the straight
flange of the head line up. This alignment eliminates any additional local
stresses that may be caused by eccentric application of the vessel weight loads.
The weld that attaches the skirt is to have no undercut. This lack of undercut
minimizes local stress intensification effects and the potential for fatigue failure
under cyclic loading.

ASME Weld Detail Requirements


Work Aid 1 summarizes two locations of ASME Code weld detail requirements. The
paragraphs that follow provide additional comments about several of the ASME requirements.
Further information related to these and other weld details is contained in the ASME Code.

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Thickness of a pressure vessel head sometimes differs from the thickness of the shell it is
attached to, such as when a hemispherical head is attached to a cylindrical shell. The
transition between the component thicknesses must be made gradually in a taper in order to
avoid an excessive local stress. The head-to-shell weld will typically be made in the
cylindrical shell. However, the weld can also be located within the taper. Head-to-shell
thickness transitions are illustrated in Figure 16 in Work Aid 1.
An intermediate head is attached to the inside of a cylindrical shell when the intermediate
head separates two sections of the vessel. The butt weld between shell sections also attaches
to the head, and a fillet weld is also located between the head and shell. The ASME Code
permits elimination of the fillet weld if there is no access and if the service is noncorrosive.
However, the fillet weld should generally be used for all refinery applications to avoid the
potential for accelerated corrosion due to process fluid getting between the head and shell.
The attachment of an intermediate head to a cylindrical shell is illustrated in Figure 16 in
Work Aid 1.
In some cases, a nozzle neck that has a weld-end may be attached to a pipe that is thinner.
This attachment between components of different thicknesses could occur if extra thickness
was included in the nozzle neck for reinforcement or if the pipe and nozzle materials and/or
allowable stresses differ. In such a case, the nozzle neck must be tapered to the pipe
thickness. Tapers of similar thickness are also used to join shell sections that are of different
thicknesses. Shell thickness and nozzle thickness tapers are illustrated in Figures 15 and 17
respectively in Work Aid 1.
Stiffener rings may be attached to the vessel shell by continuous, intermittent, or a
combination of continuous and intermittent welds. Intermittent welds must be placed on both
sides of the stiffener and may be either staggered or in-line. The ASME Code specifies
acceptable spacing, size, and length of the welds. Stiffener ring attachment weld options are
illustrated in Figure 18 in Work Aid 1.
Tolerances
Pressure vessel components are designed for specified dimensions through the use of
procedures and equations that were discussed in MEX 202.03. The actual fabrication of the
individual components and the completed vessel must match the dimensions that were used in
the design calculations within relatively small tolerances. These small tolerances are required
for the design to be valid and for it to have the reliability that the ASME Code intends.

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The ASME Code specifies acceptable dimensional tolerances for specific situations. This
specification also includes allowable alignment tolerances between components that are being
welded together. Excessive misalignment between welded components can result in poor
quality welds, local stress intensification effects that were not considered in the design, and a
reduction in long-term weld reliability. Saudi Aramco generally accepts the ASME Code
tolerance requirements without additions.
Heads and Shells
The following list summarizes the primary dimensional tolerance requirements for heads and
shells based on the ASME Code, Section VIII, Division 1.

Cylindrical, conical, and spherical shells that are under internal pressure must
be substantially round and must meet the following requirements:
-

The difference between the maximum and minimum inside diameters at


any cross section is not to exceed 1% of the nominal diameter at the
cross section. Since all the design equations are based on circular cross
sections, deviations beyond this value would introduce higher local
stresses that were not accounted for in the design calculations.

When the cross section either passes through an opening, or within a


distance of one inside diameter (I.D.) from the opening measured from
its center, the permissible diametral difference stated above may be
increased by 2% of the opening I.D.

Cylindrical, conical, and spherical shells that are under external pressure must
meet the same dimensional tolerances noted above, plus additional dimensional
tolerances that are specified in Paragraph UG-80 of the ASME Code. These
additional requirements account for local geometric discontinuities, which
reduce the buckling resistance of a shell. Participants are referred to the
ASME Code for details.

The inner surface of a torispherical, toriconical, hemispherical, or ellipsoidal


head cannot deviate outside of the specified shape by more than 1-1/4% of D
and cannot deviate inside the specified shape by more than 5/8% of D. D is the
nominal outside diameter of the vessel shell at the point of attachment. The
knuckle radius cannot be less than the specified value.

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A hemispherical head or any spherical portion of a torispherical or ellipsoidal


head that is designed for external pressure must meet additional tolerances that
are specified in Paragraph UG-81 of the ASME Code. This requirement is due
to the influence that geometric shape has on the buckling characteristics of a
shell.

The difference between the maximum and minimum diameters of head skirts is
to be limited to a maximum of 1% of the nominal diameter.

Plate Thickness
For plate material that is ordered, it must be specified that the material is to be no thinner than
the required design thickness. If plate is furnished with an undertolerance of no more than the
smaller of 0.25 mm (0.01 in.) or 6% of the ordered thickness, it may still be used at the full
design pressure for the thickness ordered.
In the extreme case, this degree of permissible plate thickness undertolerance permits at most
a 6% overstress in the vessel component. This amount of overstress will still be well below a
level that could cause a failure. From a practical standpoint, there will be slight variations in
plate thickness so that the entire plate would not be this thin. In addition, the allowable
stresses are based on minimum permissible material strength properties, and the material will
typically be stronger than these minimum permissible material strength properties. Therefore,
permitting a nominal plate thickness undertolerance of up to 6% is well within reasonable
safety margins.
It should also be noted that, except for certain special provisions that are noted in Paragraph
UG-16, the ASME Code requires that the minimum thickness for shells and heads, after they
are formed, shall be 1.6 mm (1/16 in.) exclusive of any corrosion allowance. This minimum
thickness requirement results in a basic degree of mechanical integrity of the vessel regardless
of the actual design loads.
Alignment
As noted earlier, the alignment between two parts that are being welded together must be
within a reasonable tolerance in order to achieve an acceptable weld. The list that follows
highlights several ASME Code requirements for alignment.

Plates that are to be welded together must be fitted, aligned, and retained in
position during the welding operation. This procedure keeps the parts from
moving during welding.

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Any tack welds that are used to achieve alignment must either be removed
when they are no longer needed, or their ends must be ground and the tack
weld incorporated into the final weld. Tack welds must also be made using
qualified welding procedures. If qualified welding procedures are not used, a
relatively poor quality tack weld could be the initiation point of a weld failure.

Alignment at edges that are to be buttwelded must have a maximum offset


within the limits that are shown in Figure 7, based on weld joint category. The
thickness, t, is the nominal thickness of the thinner edge at the joint.

Joint Categories
t, in.

B, C, & D

1/4t

1/4t

Over 1/2 to 3/4, incl.

1/8 in.

1/4t

Over 3/4 to 1-1/2, incl.

1/8 in.

3/16 in.

Over 1-1/2 to 2, incl.

1/8 in.

1/8t

Lesser of
1/16t or 3/8 in.

Lesser of
1/8t or 3/4 in.

Up to 1/2, incl.

Over 2

Edge Alignment in Butt Welds


Figure 7

Any offset within the allowable tolerances must be fared at a 3:1 taper over the
width of the finished weld. Additional weld metal may be added at the edge of
the weld to meet this requirement. This 3:1 amount of taper minimizes the
effects of local stress concentrations.

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DETERMINING WHETHER VENDOR INSPECTION AND TESTING PLANS


SATISFY SAUDI ARAMCO REQUIREMENTS
Overall inspection of completed pressure vessels includes an examination of the following:

Welds

Base material specification and quality

Dimensional requirements

Equipment documentation

This section discusses only the methods and extent of required weld examinations.
A good weld combines a good design with the execution of a qualified procedure by a
qualified welder. However, the ultimate quality of the actual welds that are made in a
pressure vessel may not be acceptable for a variety of reasons. The pressure vessel designer
is responsible for specification of the type and extent of weld examination that is required in
order to ensure that acceptable welds are achieved. The most common weld defects for which
welds are examined are as follows:

Poor weld shape due to part misalignment.

Cracks in welds or heat-affected zones (HAZ) of the base metal.

Pinholes on the weld surface.

Slag inclusions or porosity in the form of voids.

Incomplete fusion between weld beads or between the weld and the base metal.

Lack of penetration or an insufficient extent of penetration of the weld metal


into the joints.

Undercut, an intermittent or continuous groove that is located adjacent to the


weld and that is left unfilled by weld metal.

Several of these common weld defects are illustrated in Figure 8.


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Typical Weld Defects


Figure 8

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The presence of defects reduces the strength of the weld below the requirements of the design
calculations, reduces the overall strength of the fabrication, and increases the risk of failure.
Weld inspection must be performed in a manner that will detect unacceptable defects and that
will not damage the vessel material. This type of inspection is called nondestructive
examination, or NDE.
Radiographic weld examination, weld joint efficiency, and ASME Code requirements have
already been discussed. For example, a spot radiographic examination produces a weld joint
efficiency of 0.85 in a full-penetration butt weld. A 100% radiographic examination produces
a weld joint efficiency of 1.0 in a full-penetration butt weld. In practical terms, a weld joint
efficiency of 1.0 means that there is greater assurance that high weld quality is achieved, that
there is no difference in quality between the weld and the base metal, and that the vessel parts
may, therefore, be fabricated from thinner material. Main seam pressure-containing welds are
not the only ones whose quality must be assured. Welds that connect nozzles or major
structural components to vessel shells must also be of high quality. The sections that follow
discuss radiographic and other forms of weld inspection, the types of defects that they can
detect, and the extent of required examination.
After a pressure vessel has been completely fabricated, it must be pressure-tested before it is
considered safe for operation. The objective of a pressure test is to bring the vessel, under
controlled conditions, to an internal pressure that is high enough to demonstrate its
mechanical integrity. Later sections discuss pressure test requirements in more detail.
Weld hardness tests may be required prior to fabrication and after the welding of vessel
components, based on service considerations and the vessel material. Weld hardness must be
kept below specified maximum values in order to decrease the potential for weld cracking in
certain process environments.
If the material is not exempt from impact testing in accordance with Division 2 requirements,
Charpy impact tests must be made to confirm that the material has adequate fracture
toughness prior to fabrication. The need for this impact testing must be included as part of the
vessel vendor's fabrication plans.
Methods of Examination
The five primary weld NDE methods are as follows:

Radiographic examination (RT)

Visual Inspection (VT)

Liquid penetrant examination (PT)

Magnetic particle test (MT)

Ultrasonic examination (UT)

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The choice of which weld examination method or methods to use depends on the weld quality
required of the joint, the position of the weld, the material to be joined, and the particular
defects that are expected. These weld NDE methods are discussed in the paragraphs that
follow.
Radiographic Examination (RT)
The most important NDE method is radiographic examination. In radiographic examination,
a ray is emitted from a controllable source, penetrates a test specimen, and leaves an image on
a strip of film that is mounted behind the test specimen. The major advantage of RT is that it
produces a permanent record of the examination on film. Figure 9 shows a typical setup for
RT examination.

Typical RT Setup
Figure 9

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Any change in density of the weld metal shows on the film as a dark spot. Flaws such as gas
pockets, slag inclusions, incomplete penetration, or cracks that are located anywhere through
the weld thickness are readily detected. RT examination is most effective in the detection and
identification of small flaws, but RT is not practical for complex shapes such as tee junctions
because the results of the examination are difficult to interpret. RT examination is most
effective in the examination of buttwelded joints, such as longitudinal and circumferential
joints in pressure vessel shells.
RT examination is a relatively expensive method due to the high equipment cost and required
safety precautions. When RT examination is done, access to the area is restricted to essential
personnel, and the operators are located behind protective shields in order to minimize
operator exposure to the rays that are emitted.
Visual Inspection (VT)
A thorough visual inspection is usually satisfactory for minor structural welds, such as those
that connect insulation support rings to a vessel shell. All weld surfaces that will be examined
by more extensive means are first subject to VT. Visual weld inspection involves measuring
the weld and noting any areas of obvious surface porosity, slag inclusions, weld undercut, or
overlap. The VT provides an overall impression of weld quality and helps to locate areas
where additional NDE should be performed.
Liquid Penetrant Examination (PT)
A liquid penetrant examination is used to detect weld surface-type defects. Defects which a
PT examination may detect are cracks, seams, porosity, folds, inclusions, shrinkage, or any
other surface defect. PT examination is used for both ferrous and nonferrous materials. The
major limitation of PT examination is that it can only detect imperfections that are open to the
surface. It cannot be used as the only examination tool for critical pressure-containing welds.
PT is often used as the first and only step up from VT for relatively minor structural-type
welds. In some cases, PT examination is done on intermediate weld passes for critical welds
in order to detect and repair defects early before an entire weld is made. PT is often done on
the weld root pass to ensure that the first weld pass is sound. PT is also often used after the
final weld pass to find flaws that go through the weld surface, after which another inspection
method is used to search for internal defects.
PT is relatively simple and is less expensive than RT, MT, or UT. The basic steps of a PT
inspection are as follows:

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(1)

Surface Preparation and Cleaning:


All surface coatings, such as paint and
contaminants, must be completely removed since they could prevent the entrance of
penetrant into the metal and could also prevent the identification of the flaw. Solvents
are commonly used for surface preparation.

(2)

Penetrant Application: Liquid penetrant solutions have high fluidity, low viscosity,
and high reliability to permit penetration into defects by capillary action. The liquid
penetrant solutions also contain a fluorescent or visible dye to mark potential defect
areas. Spraying is a common means of solution application. Adequate liquid
penetration into any flaws generally takes 10 to 30 minutes, after which excess
penetrant is removed.

(3)

Removal of Excess Penetrant: Excess penetrant must be removed from the surface by
wiping the surface with a clean cloth or equivalent. The penetrant must still be liquid
at this stage rather than dried, or the entire process must be started again. The
objective is to remove the penetrant from the weld surface without removing any
penetrant that seeped into weld defects.

(4)

Development: After excess penetrant has been removed, developer is immediately


applied to make the flaws readily visible. By acceleration of the capillary bleed-out
process, the developer helps detect penetrant that is retained in surface flaws.
Development emphasizes the presence of a flaw by causing the penetrant that is
retained in it to spread over a larger area. Development also acts as a color-contrasting
background for the dye or fluorescent penetrants.

(5)

Inspection and Evaluation: After development, the weld is inspected. Inspection is


done in normal light when visible dye penetrants are used and in ultraviolet light when
fluorescent dye penetrants are used. With either type of penetrant, both true and false
indications may be revealed.

The standard true flaws that are indicated by PT include cracks, pits, and porosity. A large
crack appears as a solid line of some width and becomes apparent soon after developer
application. A cold-shut crack is an undersurface crack that bleeds to the surface. A cold-shut
crack appears as a line of dots and comes to the surface a few minutes after the developer is
applied. Porosity indications appear as dots and come to the surface almost immediately after
developer application.

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False or nonrelevant indications are not caused by surface flaws. The primary reasons these
false indications occur are poor PT application procedures or rough weld surfaces. The
results of the PT are evaluated to determine if the flaws are real, to determine their extent and
exact nature, and to determine if repairs are needed.
Magnetic Particle Test (MT)
The MT examination can detect cracks, porosity, and lack of fusion at or near the surface of
ferromagnetic materials. Flaws that are up to 6 mm (1/4 in.) beneath the weld surface can be
detected. MT depends on the magnetic properties of the material that is inspected and cannot
be used on nonmagnetic materials. MT is frequently employed on the root and final weld
passes or every 6 mm (1/4 in.) of weld buildup for critical welds where RT inspection is not
practical (such as for nozzle attachment welds).
MT examination is based on the magnetic lines of flux (or force lines) that can be generated
within a test piece. These force lines are parallel if no defects are present. If there is a defect,
a small break in the force lines appears at the defect location. In MT examination, iron
powder is applied to the surface and then the test piece is magnetized. If there are no defects,
the iron powder is aligned in straight lines along the North-South magnetic flux lines. If there
is a defect, the iron powder alignment is disturbed and flows around the defect. Figure 10
shows schematically how the iron powder is distributed at a defect during an MT
examination.

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Sub-Surface Defect Along Magnetic Lines of Flux


Figure 10

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Ultrasonic Examination (UT)


Ultrasonic examination is frequently used to detect subsurface flaws, such as laminations or
slag inclusions, that may be present in thick plates, welds, castings, or forgings. UT is often
used to confirm that high weld quality is obtained in pressure-containing joints that cannot be
RT examined. A heavy wall thickness pressure vessel typically employs 100% RT
examination of the primary longitudinal and circumferential joints. Unless specially designed
nozzles are used, the nozzle attachment welds cannot be reliably RT examined, because
nozzles are typically tee joints. UT inspection may be used to ensure that the nozzle
attachment welds are equal in quality to the primary vessel joints that were RT examined.
In UT examination, sound waves are generated by a power source and applied to the test
piece through a transducer. Figure 11 shows a pulse echo ultrasonic examination system.

Pulse Echo UT System


Figure 11

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In the system shown in Figure 11, the sound waves pass through the test piece and are
reflected back to the transducer either from the far side of the test piece or from a flaw that is
located at an intermediate position within the test piece. By careful calibration, the UT
operator knows if a flaw has been detected and knows its location and its size.
Figure 12 shows a through-transmission UT system. It uses two transducers, one to transmit
the sound waves and the other to receive them. In this case, if a flaw is present, the flaw
blocks the reception of the sound waves from the receiving transducer.

Through-Transmission UT System
Figure 12

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Figure 13 summarizes the types of nondestructive examinations, the defects typically found
by each, and the advantages and limitations of each process.
NDE TYPE

DEFECTS
DETECTED

ADVANTAGES

LIMITATIONS

Radiographic

Gas pockets, slag


inclusions, incomplete
penetration, cracks

Produces permanent
record.
Detects small flaws.
Most effective for buttwelded joints.

Expensive.
Not practical for
complex shapes.

Visual

Porosity holes, slag


inclusions, weld
undercuts, overlapping

Helps pinpoint areas for


additional NDE.

Can only detect what is


clearly visible.

Liquid Penetrant

Weld surface-type
defects: cracks, seams,
porosity, folds, pits,
inclusions, shrinkage

Used for ferrous and


Can only detect surface
nonferrous materials.
imperfections.
Simple and less
expensive than RT, MT,
or UT.

Magnetic Particle

Cracks, porosity, lack


of fusion

Flaws up to 6 mm
(1/4 in.) beneath surface
can be detected.

Cannot be used on
nonferrous materials.

Subsurface flaws:
laminations, slag
inclusions

Can be used for thick


plates, welds, castings,
forgings.
May be used for welds
where RT not practical.

Equipment must be
constantly calibrated.

Ultrasonic

Summary of NDE Types


Figure 13
Complete discussion of the primary NDE methods that are used in pressure vessel fabrication
requires the investigation of many different techniques, procedures, and equipment
possibilities for each method that was described. Such a complete discussion of NDE is
beyond the scope of this course.

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Type and Extent of Required Examination


The type and extent of examinations that are required for pressure vessel welds are specified
by Saudi Aramco requirements and by the ASME Code. Requirements that are contained in
Section VIII, Division 2 tend to be more stringent than Division 1 requirements. Participants
should refer to Division 2 for details when required.
The ASME Code also specifies inspection procedures and acceptance criteria which must be
followed. Work Aid 2A summarizes the steps which may be used to confirm that vessel
vendor inspection plans meet Saudi Aramco and Division 1 requirements. The following
paragraphs elaborate on several of these inspection requirements.

SAES-W-001 requires that any pressure-containing weld that will not be


hydrotested must be 100% radiographed. Such a situation is rare for pressure
vessels. However, this situation could occur in very large field-fabricated
vessels where the foundation has not been designed for the total water weight
and where the vessel is not completely filled with water for field pressure
testing.

32-SAMSS-004 requires UT examination as follows:


-

All plates that are over 50 mm (2 in.) thick must be UT-examined. As


plates get thicker, they are more prone to internal laminations which
could be detrimental to vessel integrity after subsequent fabrication is
done. For example, if attachment welds are made in the vicinity of a
lamination, weld shrinkage stresses could cause a lamination to open
further. Such opening of a lamination could also occur during plate
forming.

All plates that are over 50 mm (2 in.) thick must be 100% UT-examined
for a distance of 150 mm (6 in.) back from a nozzle weld preparation or
other cut-out. The presence of a lamination in these areas could lead to
poor quality welds and/or high local stresses that were not considered in
the vessel design calculations.

Clad steel plates must be UT-examined. UT examination is done to


ensure that there is an acceptable bond between the cladding and base
plate.

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Pressure Test Plans


All pressure vessels that are designed to ASME Code requirements must be pressure tested
after fabrication and inspection in order to demonstrate their structural integrity before they
are placed into operation. The pressure test is made at a pressure that is higher than the
design pressure. This excess pressure provides a safety margin since the vessel component
stress levels during the test will be higher than the stress levels which will occur during
operation. The objective of the pressure test is to bring the vessel to a high enough internal
pressure, under controlled conditions, to demonstrate its mechanical integrity. Successful
completion of the pressure test signifies that the vessel is acceptable for operation.
Pressure tests are typically made using water as the test medium because of the relative safety
of water compared to a pneumatic test. The ASME Code permits performance of a pneumatic
pressure test as an alternative to a hydrostatic test under certain circumstances. However, 32SAMSS-004 specifies that all vessels except those in refrigerant service must be hydrotested.
Vessels in refrigerant service must be either hydrotested and dried or must be pneumatically
tested. SAES-A-004, Pressure Testing, prohibits a pneumatic pressure test without written
approval from the Chief Inspection Engineer.
SAES-A-004 also specifies general
requirements for pressure testing.
Since the hydrostatic test will almost always be used, only the hydrostatic test will be
discussed. Participants are referred to the ASME Code for pneumatic test requirements.
32-SAMSS-004 requires that the pressure at the top of the vessel be determined by the rules
of Paragraph UG-99 (c) for Division 1 vessels or by the rules of Paragraph AT-301 for
Division 2 vessels. These ASME Code rules require that the hydrostatic test pressure at the
top of the vessel be calculated by multiplying the "calculated test pressure" for each element
by 1.5 and by reducing the value by the hydrostatic head on that element. The "calculated test
pressure" for each element is determined based on the appropriate equation for MAWP that
was discussed in MEX 202.03, the nominal component thickness which includes corrosion
allowance, the appropriate weld joint efficiency, and the material allowable stress at test
temperature. The Pressure Vessel Design Sheet (Form 2682 or 2683 for Division 1 or
Division 2 vessels, respectively) also contains the required equations. Work Aid 2B may be
used to help determine if the hydrotest pressure that is specified by a vendor is correct. Use
of this pressure level for the hydrotest permits potential use of the vessel up to its MAWP
without the need for a new hydrotest.

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Form 2682 contains areas that directly relate to determination of the required hydrotest
pressure. Refer to the copy of Form 2682 that is contained in Course Handout 3 and note the
following:

Hydrotest pressures must be calculated for the shop test with the vessel in the
horizontal position, for the field test with the vessel in the final position and
with uncorroded component thicknesses, and for the field test with the vessel in
the final position and with corroded component thicknesses.

The basis for calculation of the initial test pressure for the vessel in the shop is
the lower of the pressure calculated for the shell or the pressure calculated for
the heads.

The shop hydrotest pressure must also consider the permitted hydrotest
pressure of any flanged connections. The calculated hydrotest pressure cannot
exceed the test pressure of the flanged connections.

SAES-D-001 and 32-SAMSS-004 require that, during the pressure test, the stress at any
section of the vessel cannot exceed 90% of the material minimum specified yield strength
(MSYS), based on use of the design weld joint efficiency (E). The stress in the vessel is
limited to 90% of the MSYS to ensure that there is an adequate safety margin before
permanent deformation in vessel components can occur. Also recall that a 48 kph (30 MPH)
wind must be considered to act during the field hydrotest, based on 32-SAMSS-004
requirements.
The requirement to design the vessel for field hydrotest introduces a complication, especially
for tall towers. A tall tower is typically designed for a specific liquid level (design high liquid
level) as part of its normal design conditions. However, the specific gravity of the design
liquid is normally less than 1.0, and the design high liquid level is usually much lower than
the top of the tower. During a field hydrotest, water at a specific gravity of 1.0 is used, and
the tower is filled to the top. The larger specific gravity and fill height of hydrotest water
results in a higher weight and hydrostatic head load than occurs during normal operation.
Therefore, to withstand the hydrotest loads in some cases, thicker plates are required for lower
sections of the tower than would be required for the operational loads.

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There are situations where one pressure vessel may have two or more individual sections that
are separated by intermediate heads. Each vessel section must typically be designed for a
separate hydrotest. Each separate hydrotest could affect the intermediate head design because
the head is exposed to a higher weight and hydrostatic test pressure than would occur during
normal operation.
The paragraphs that follow summarize additional general hydrostatic test requirements that
are based on the ASME Code, Section VIII, Division 1.

If visible, permanent distortion of the vessel occurs during hydrotest, the


ASME Authorized Inspector has the right to reject the vessel. Permanent
distortion should not occur as long as the design is correct and the test pressure
does not exceed the value that was calculated on the basis described above.

Pressure chambers of combination units that are designed to operate


independently must be hydrotested as separate vessels: that is, each chamber
must be tested without pressure in the other chambers. In addition:
-

If the common elements are designed for a higher differential pressure


than the MAWP's of the adjacent chambers, then the hydrotest of the
common elements must subject them to at least 1.5 times their design
differential pressure, corrected for the effect that design temperature has
on material allowable stress. The allowable stress correction is equal to
the ratio of the material allowable stress at test temperature to the
allowable stress at design temperature.

If the common elements are designed for the maximum differential


pressure that can occur, and if this pressure is less than the higher
pressure in the adjacent chambers, then their common elements must
have a hydrotest pressure that is at least 1-1/2 times the differential
pressure that is marked on the unit, corrected for temperature.

After testing and inspection of the common elements, the adjacent chambers
are then hydrotested simultaneously. Care must be taken to limit the
differential pressure between the chambers to the pressure that is used when
testing the common elements.

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All joints and connections must be inspected after application of the hydrotest
pressure. This inspection must be made at a pressure that is not less than 2/3 of
the test pressure.

The metal temperature during hydrotest should be maintained at least 17C


(30F) above the minimum design metal temperature but not over 49C
(120F). The minimum metal temperature is specified to minimize the risk of
brittle fracture. The test pressure must not be applied until the vessel and water
are at about the same temperature.

Vents must be provided at all vessel high points (based on test position) to
purge possible air pockets while the vessel is filled with water.

Sample Problem 1: Calculation of the Required Hydrotest Pressure


The horizontal drum that is described in Figure 14 is being supplied to Saudi Aramco.
Determine the required hydrotest pressures for the new vessel in the shop and field. Also
determine the required service test pressure with the vessel corroded. Work Aid 2B may be
used to help solve this problem.

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Design Temperature - 500F


Design Pressure - 125 psig
Head and Shell Material - SA-516 Gr. 70
- Allowable Stress = 17,500 psi
- Yield Stress = 38,000 psi
Corrosion Allowance - 0.125 in.
E = 0.85 for shell welds
ANSI Class 150 flanges, hydrotested to 450 psig
Drum designed to be completely water filled. Longitudinal stress in the shell due to weight
plus pressure does not govern the specified shell thickness, and it may be assumed that the
specified thickness is correct.
Sample Problem 1
Figure 14

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Solution:

Determine Initial Test Pressure Basis, Pc.


Shell

Sc = 17 500 psi
E = 0.85

T = 0.75 in.
R = 60 in.

Heads

Sc = 17 500 psi

T = 0.75 in.

E = 1.0

D = 120 in.

Therefore, the shell is the limiting component and is the basis for determining test
pressure.

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Answer:
; the smallest of Ps (PE or PD, as applicable).

Determine test pressure of bolted flange connections, PNT.


PNT = 450 psig in this case, as was stated in the given information. PNT can be found
in ANSI/ASME B16.5 for each flange Class.

Determine shop hydrotest pressure at top with vessel horizontal, PSH.


h = 10 ft. (height of test water in vessel with the vessel horizontal).

Solution:

Answer:

Determine the field hydrotest pressure with the drum new and in the final position.

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Solution:

Answer:
Therefore, test pressure at the top = 274 psig (the higher of C or D). Note that the shop and
field test pressures with the vessel new are equal in this case since this is a horizontal drum
and since the hydrostatic head pressures from the water are equal. This would not be the case
for a tall tower which is hydrotested horizontally in the shop but vertically in the field.

Confirm that the stress in the limiting component does not exceed 0.9 of the minimum
specified yield strength times the weld joint efficiency, E.

Solution:
Since the shell is the limiting component, we only need to check its stress:

Note that the pressure used is at the bottom of the limiting component.

Answer:
Since S < 34 200 psi, the hydrotest pressure is acceptable. Note that E was accounted for
already in the equation.
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Determine service test pressure at the top of the vessel with the vessel corroded and
confirm that the stress in the vessel does not exceed 0.9 of the minimum specified
yield strength times E.

Service Test Pressure

P = 192 psig at shell bottom


T = 0.75 - 0.125 = 0.625 in., corroded thickness

Solution:

Answer:
S = 21 865 psi < 0.9 38 000 = 34 200 psi
Therefore, the vessel is acceptable.
Hardness Test Plans
Hardness in metals is defined as the ability to resist the penetration of the metallic surface.
Hardness can be readily measured, is directly proportional to material strength, and is
inversely proportional to ductility and toughness. Therefore, the harder a material is, the more
prone it will be to cracking or brittle fracture. Hardness is affected by material chemistry and
microstructure and is thus greatly influenced by the heat of welding. Therefore, there will be
a variation in hardness across the base metal, weld metal, and HAZ of welded components
due to local variations in chemistry (especially carbon content), welding technique, and
preheat temperature. Welding procedure changes and PWHT are often done to reduce weld
hardness when hardness reduction is needed due to material and/or service considerations.
The Brinell, Vickers, and Rockwell methods are the most common approaches that are used
to measure hardness. It is also possible to convert hardness measurements that are taken
using one method into equivalent values on the other hardness measurement scales.
Discussion of such conversions is beyond the scope of this course. The paragraphs that

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follow briefly describe the Brinell and Vickers hardness measurement methods, since Saudi
Aramco requires these methods.

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Brinell Hardness Test


In the Brinell test, a steel ball that is 10 mm (3/8 in.) in diameter is pressed into the surface of
the metal with a load of 3 000 kg (6 614 lb.). The diameter of the impression that is made in
the metal surface is then measured through the use of a special microscope. The diameter of
the impression is converted to the Brinell hardness number (BHN) by consulting a table. For
example, soft iron is about 100 BHN, and file-hard steel about 600 BHN. A portable Brinell
hardness tester, which uses a much lighter weight to make the indentation, is used for
hardness testing of production welds in a pressure vessel.
Vickers Hardness Test
The Vickers hardness test employs a similar principle as the Brinell test in that the Vickers
test expresses the results in terms of the pressure under the indentor and uses the same units.
However, the indentor is a diamond that is shaped as a square pyramid, the loads are lighter
and vary between 1 and 120 kg (2.2 - 265 lb.), and the impression is measured using a
medium-power compound microscope. The Vickers method is more flexible and is
considered to be more accurate than either the Brinell or Rockwell methods. However, the
equipment is more expensive, and the other methods are faster for production work.
Hardness Test Results
The ASME Code does not have weld hardness testing requirements or limitations. However,
SAES-W-001, SAES-W-010, and 32-SAMSS-004 have weld hardness testing requirements.
Since the requirements that are contained in the two welding SAESs are more complete and
newer, this course will focus on these SAESs. SAES-W-010 specifies when hardness testing
must be done for pressure vessels and also specifies the acceptable hardness limits. SAES-W001 focuses more on the procedural aspects of hardness testing.
Work Aid 2C provides a checklist which may be used to help confirm that vessel vendor
hardness test plans meet Saudi Aramco requirements. Hardness test requirements are
specified for both the welding procedure qualification welds and the vessel production welds.
The paragraphs that follow elaborate on several of these hardness test requirements.

The Vickers hardness test procedure must be used for welding procedure
qualification welds for vessels that are in sour service except for specified
exemptions. However, the exemptions must still comply with all NACE MR01-75 hardness levels and test requirements. Hardness testing is required for
this application since hard welds are prone to cracking in sour service.

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One of the exemptions from hardness testing is if all vessel internal surfaces are
clad or weld-overlaid with austenitic stainless steel or nickel-based alloys. In
this case, the cladding or overlay shields the ferritic base plate from the sour
fluid. Partial or complete strip lining, partial cladding, or partial overlay are not
exempt from hardness testing.
Another exemption from hardness testing is if the weld procedure is used only
for external structural attachments and the vessel wall at the attachment point is
at least 25 mm (1.0 in.) thick. In this case, the weld HAZ will not extend to the
vessel inside surface and thus will not be affected by the sour fluid.

The weld procedure qualification welds must also be hardness-tested for


vessels in any service if the wall thickness is greater than 38 mm (1.5 in),
except for vessels that are made from austenitic stainless steel or nickel-based
alloys, and except when the weld procedure is used only for external structural
attachment welds. The concern here is that the high heat inputs that are
required to make heavy welds could cause the welds to be hard and more prone
to cracking under service loads.

PWHT may be required for specific materials and/or thicknesses in order to meet the hardness
limits that are specified by Saudi Aramco.
SAES-W-010 also requires hardness testing of the production welds for all vessels that are in
sour service, regardless of material, to ensure that the production welds consistently have
acceptable hardness levels. The Brinell hardness test is used in this case because it is
generally quicker and less expensive for production hardness testing than the other hardness
testing methods.
SAES-W-001 specifies hardness testing procedural requirements as follows:

Hardness testing of welding procedure qualification coupons must conform to


Standard Drawing AB-036386 (W), Hardness Testing for Welding Procedure
Qualifications.

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Production weld hardness testing, when specified, must meet the following
requirements:
-

Testing must be done with a portable hardness tester (TeleBrinell or


approved equivalent). The Brinell scale must be used unless another
scale is approved by Saudi Aramco.

The weld must be ground to a smooth flat surface for testing. This
smoothing is required to obtain an accurate hardness measurement.

Hardness indentations must be made at or near the middle of the weld


bead. This indentation location will give an average hardness reading
that is a composite of the weld metal, base metal, and HAZ (considering
the size of the indentor that is used).

Hardness retesting may be performed within specified limits if the


original hardness test results are too high.

The Saudi Aramco hardness testing requirements ensure that weld hardness is considered in
the weld procedure qualification tests when appropriate. The hardness tests then confirm that
the hardness of the actual production welds is acceptable for sour service.
Impact Test Plans
Material toughness, brittle fracture, Charpy impact testing, and the ASME Code exemption
curves were discussed in MEX 202.02. Also recall that 32-SAMSS-004 requires that Section
VIII, Division 2 exemption criteria and impact test procedures must be used for both Division
1 and Division 2 pressure vessels. Therefore, once it is determined that the material cannot be
exempt from impact testing, the vendor's impact test plans must be based on both Division 2
and Saudi Aramco requirements.
Work Aid 2D contains a checklist which may be used to confirm that vendor impact test plans
meet Saudi Aramco requirements. The paragraphs that follow highlight several Saudi
Aramco and Division 2 requirements. Participants are referred to Division 2 for additional
details. Unless otherwise noted, the stated requirements are from Division 2.

Requirements for impact test procedures and apparatus are specified.

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Each set of impact tests must consist of three specimens of a specified size.
Unless otherwise specified, plate specimens may be oriented with the specimen
length parallel to the final direction of rolling. With this orientation, impact
energies will be measured in the direction in which the plate will tend to be
tougher.

Certified impact test reports by the materials manufacturer are acceptable


provided that either of the following conditions are met:
-

The specimens are representative of the material that was delivered and
the vessel fabrication will not reduce the impact properties of the
material.

The materials from which the specimens are removed are heat treated
separately such that they are representative of the material in the
finished vessel.

This approach ensures that the basic materials are acceptable before they arrive
at the vessel vendor and provides earlier materials quality control. The material
"as-tested" must then be confirmed to be equivalent to the material "asfabricated."
As an alternative to this confirmation, the vessel manufacturer may do the
impact testing.

Minimum required Charpy V-notch impact energy values are specified. These
values are stated both as the average value for the three specimens and the
minimum value for any one specimen. Acceptable impact energy values are
specified as a function of tensile strength, and higher values are required as the
tensile strength increases. Higher strength steels are more prone to brittle
fracture than lower strength steels, all other parameters being equal. Therefore,
higher strength steels must achieve higher impact energy values in order to
have adequate fracture toughness.

32-SAMSS-004 requires that the impact test temperature must be 18C (32F)
below the minimum design temperature that is specified on the Pressure Vessel
Design Data Sheet Form 2682 or 2683. This approach provides an extra
margin of safety against brittle fracture. When impact testing is required, it
must include the base metal, weld metal, and HAZ.

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SAES-W-001 contains the following items related to impact tests:


-

For any flux, Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) electrode or for any
Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) electrode that is used for welding
procedures with impact toughness requirements, the specified brand,
type, and maximum size used for the Procedure Qualification Record
(PQR) must be used in the actual fabrication.

Welding procedures with impact test requirements must be submitted by


the Inspection Department to the Consulting Services Department for
final review and approval. This approach provides additional review to
ensure that material toughness is adequately considered in the weld
procedure.

Applicable Codes and Standards


The codes and standards that apply to the evaluation of vendor inspection and testing plans
were discussed throughout the prior sections of this module. These codes and standards
include the following:

ASME Code, Section VIII (Division 1 or 2, as appropriate)

ASME Code, Section IX

SAES-D-001, Pressure Vessels

SAES-W-001, Basic Welding Requirements

SAES-W-010, Welding Requirements for Pressure Vessels

32-SAMSS-004, Pressure Vessels

Work Aid 2 may be used to help determine whether vendor inspection and testing plans meet
Saudi Aramco requirements.

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SUMMARY
This module discussed welding fundamentals, types of welded joints, welding procedures and
welder qualification, and acceptable welding techniques. It has also identified the acceptable
welding details and fabrication tolerances for pressure vessel components that are contained
in the Saudi Aramco SAESs and SAMSSs, and in the ASME Code. These requirements will
enable the Participant to correctly evaluate fabrication drawings for acceptability. The second
section of this module discussed methods of examination; type and extent of required
examination; pressure, hardness, and impact test plans; and the applicable codes and
standards which will enable the Participant to determine whether vendor inspection and
testing plans satisfy Saudi Aramco requirements.
This module completes discussion of the requirements that must be met for a new pressure
vessel. MEX 202.05 will discuss maintenance and repair requirements for existing pressure
vessels.

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WORK AID 1: STEPS, DRAWINGS, AND CODE (SAES-W-001, SAES-W-010) AND


PROCESS REQUIREMENTS FOR EVALUATING FABRICATION
DRAWINGS FOR ACCEPTABILITY
This Work Aid may be used to evaluate fabrication drawings for suitability, and takes the
form of a checklist with appropriate references. Figure references that are noted are in the
ASME Code, Section VIII, Division 1, unless stated otherwise. Reference should be made to
the classroom copies of the ASME Code, Section VIII, Division 1 in Course Handout 1, and
SAES-W-001 and SAES-W-010 in Course Handout 2, in conjunction with this Work Aid.
1.

Vendor fabrication drawings are to reference the ASME Code, Section VIII, Division
1, and 32-SAMSS-004, Pressure Vessels. This reference should generally be
sufficient confirmation that the vendor intends to follow the fabrication requirements
that are contained in these documents, unless there is specific information to the
contrary. For example, dimensional tolerances will typically not be shown on vendor
drawings, but must meet ASME requirements.

2.

Shell and head pressure-containing welds are to be full penetration and full fusion.

3.

Shell and head joint details are to be consistent with weld joint categories that are used
in the vessel design in accordance with Figure UW-12.

4.

Nozzle attachments are to be full-penetration welds.

5.

Nozzles and manholes that extend into clad vessels are to be in accordance with
Standard Drawing AB-036367 (Reference Course Handout 3).

6.

Reinforcing pad attachment welds are to be at least 50 mm (2 in.) from head-to-shell


welds.

7.

A 6 mm (1/4 in.) NPS weep hole is to be in all reinforcement or other plates that are
welded to the shell.

8.

Support skirts are to be welded to the vessel heads such that the skirt centerline aligns
with the head straight flange centerline. This requirement is not applicable to
hemispherical heads.

9.

Welds that are greater than 3 mm (0.125 in.) thick shall be made in at least two passes.

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10.

Internal and external supports, support rings, pads, and structural brackets that are
attached to the vessel shall be seal-welded all around.

11.

Welded attachments are to be continuously seal-welded to the vessel.

12.

Thickness transition details are to meet ASME Code requirements.


ASME Code, Section VIII, Division 1 as follows:

Figure UW-9 for shell transitions.

Figure UW-13.1 for head-to-shell transitions.

Figure UW-13.4 for nozzle neck attachment to thinner pipe.

Refer to the

Figures 15 through 17 provide excerpts from these figures.

Typical Shell Transitions


Figure 15

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Typical Head-to-Shell Transitions


Figure 16

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Nozzle Neck Attachment to Thinner Pipe


Figure 17

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13.

Nozzle attachment details shall be in accordance with Figure UW-16.1, except that
only details that use full-penetration welds are acceptable. Typical nozzle attachment
details from this figure were illustrated in MEX 202.03.

14.

Stiffener ring attachment details shall be in accordance with Figure UG-30.


Figure 18.

See

Stiffener Ring Attachment


Figure 18

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15.

Weld procedure requirements shall be as follows:

A weld procedure is required for each weld type and shall meet ASME
requirements.

A weld map or equivalent is to be provided that relates each weld in the vessel
to the required weld procedure.

Weld procedure test requirements shall be in accordance with SAES-W-001,


Basic Welding Requirements.
Vessel fabrication documentation should
reference SAES-W-001, or the weld procedure test requirements should be
explicitly stated within the documentation.

Minimum preheat temperature shall the greater of:

20C (68F)

Appendix R of the ASME Code

The preheat listed in Standard Drawing AE-036451(W) for field


fabrication or repair of P-No. 1 carbon steel material. (Reference
Course Handout 3).

PWHT shall be based on the ASME Code, Para. UCS-56 for carbon and lowalloy steels. PWHT is also required for the following services in accordance
with SAES-W-010, Welding Requirements for Pressure Vessels:
-

16.

Caustic soda (NaOH) solutions, in accordance with Standard Drawing


AE-036208 (W)
Monoethanolamine (MEA) solutions at all temperatures
Diglycolamine (DGA) solutions above 138C (280F) design
temperature
Rich amino disopropanol (ADIP) solutions above 90C (194F) design
temperature
Lean ADIP solutions above 60C (140F) design temperature
Deaerator service

Welder qualifications are to meet ASME requirements.

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WORK AID 2: STEPS FOR DETERMINING WHETHER VENDOR INSPECTION


AND TESTING PLANS SATISFY SAUDI ARAMCO
REQUIREMENTS
This Work Aid may be used in conjunction with the class reference copies of the ASME Code
in Course Handout 1, and the SAESs in Course Handout 2, to determine whether vendor
inspection and testing plans satisfy Saudi Aramco requirements.

Work Aid 2A: Procedure for Inspection Plans


Use the steps that follow to confirm that the inspection plans that are proposed by pressure
vessel vendors meet Saudi Aramco requirements for Division 1 pressure vessels. All the
requirements are based on Division 1, except where a Saudi Aramco source document is
noted.
1.

Vendor fabrication drawings are to reference the ASME Code, Section VIII, Division
1, and 32-SAMSS-004, Pressure Vessels.

2.

As a minimum, the extent of radiography is to be consistent with the weld joint type,
category, and joint efficiency that were employed in the design calculations in
accordance with Table UW-12 of the ASME Code.

3.

Full radiography is also required for the following cases even if not required by Step 2:

Shell and head butt welds for vessels that are in lethal service.

Butt welds which exceed the following nominal thicknesses:


-

32 mm (1 1/4 in.) for P-No. 1 material (carbon steel)

19 mm (3/4 in.) for P-No. 3 material (C-1/2 Mo through 1/2 Cr-1/2 Mo)

16 mm (5/8 in.) for P-No. 4 material (such as 1 1/4 Cr - 1/2 Mo)

All thicknesses for P-No. 5 material (such as 2 1/4 Cr - 1 Mo)

38 mm (1 1/2 in.) for austenitic stainless steels

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4.

Shell and head butt welds in unfired steam boilers that are over 345 kPa (50
psig) design pressure.

Butt welds in nozzles and communicating chambers that are attached to vessel
sections or heads that must be fully radiographed due to lethal or steam boiler
service. Exception: Category B and C butt welds that do not exceed NPS 10
or 29 mm (1 1/8 in.) thickness do not require radiography.

Butt welds that are joined by electrogas welding with any single pass that is
over 38 mm (1 1/2 in.).

Butt welds that are joined by electroslag welding.

All butt welds in vessels with a minimum design temperature below 0C


(32F), or are in wet, sour service (SAES-D-001 and 32-SAMSS-004).

Welds that are located under reinforcing pads (32-SAMSS-004).

Pressure-containing welds that will not be hydrotested (SAES-W-001).

Category A and B welds that are made from one side, or are located in shell
components that are over 75 mm (3 in.) thick (SAES-W-010).

UT examination is required as follows:

As a substitute for RT for the final closure seam if the vessel construction is
such that a radiograph cannot be interpreted.

Electrogas welds that are in ferritic material with any single pass over 38 mm
(1 1/2 in.). UT examination shall be done after heat treatment.

Electroslag welds that are in ferritic material. UT examination shall be done


after heat treatment.

Welds that are made by the electron beam process.

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Welds that are made by inertia and continuous drive friction process that are
full- or spot-radiographed.

Plate that is over 50 mm (2 in.) thick. UT examination shall be done in


accordance with ASTM A578, Level I (32-SAMSS-004).

Plate that is over 50 mm (2 in.) thick, for a distance of 150 mm (6 in.) back
from a nozzle weld preparation, or other cut-out (32-SAMSS-004).

Clad steel plate. UT examination shall be done in accordance with ASTM


A578, supplementary requirement S7 (32-SAMSS-004).

For vessels that are over 75 mm (3 in.) thick (SAES-W-010):


-

All Category A and B welds

All nozzle attachment welds that exceed 25 mm (1 in.) throat thickness


that cannot be radiographed

Any nozzle attachment welds that exceed 50 mm (2 in.) throat


thickness, in addition to any other inspection

All UT procedures and acceptance criteria are to be in accordance with Appendix 12


of Division 1.
5.

Magnetic particle and/or liquid penetrant examination is required as follows:

When a pressure part is welded to a flat plate that is thicker than 13 mm (1/2
in.) and forms a corner joint:
-

Flat plate weld joint preparation is to be MT- or PT-examined before


welding.

MT or PT examination of the peripheral edge of the flat plate, and any


remaining exposed surface of weld joint preparation, after welding.

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MT (or PT if nonmagnetic) examination of structural attachment welds that are


made to pressurized components that are not hydrotested after making the weld
(SAES-W-001).

Except for nonferromagnetic materials, wet fluorescent MT using AC yoke is


required for (SAES-W-010):

All internal welds, including temporary weld areas, for vessels that are
in sour service

All internal and external welds of 25 mm (1 in.) or greater thickness that


are made by the Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) process

For vessels over 75 mm (3 in.) thick, wet fluorescent MT (PT for


nonferromagnetic material) examination for all welds, including temporary
attachment welds (SAES-W-010).

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Work Aid 2B: Procedure for Pressure Test Plans


The pressure test shall be made using water, unless a pneumatic pressure test is approved by
the Chief Inspection Engineer. The required test pressure at the top of the vessel must be
specified for the cases that follow:
-

Shop hydrotest with the vessel horizontal

Field hydrotest with the vessel in its final position and uncorroded component
thicknesses

Field hydrotest with the vessel in its final position and corroded component
thicknesses

The required test pressures must be shown in the appropriate spaces on the Pressure Vessel
Design Sheet. The procedure that follows may be used to check contractor/vendor test
pressure proposals or calculations for Division 1 vessels.
1.

Determine the initial test pressure basis, Pc, based on the limiting component of the
vessel. This is done by calculation of an allowable pressure based on the nominal
thickness and allowable stress at test temperature for the vessel shell and heads. The
vessel limiting component determines the initial test pressure basis. Use the equations
that follow for the appropriate component type:
Cylindrical Shell:
Spherical Shell or Head:
Conical Shell:
2:1 Semi-Elliptical Head:

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Torispherical Head with 6% Knuckle:

Where:

Sc = Material allowable stress at test temperature, kPa (psi)


E = Weld joint efficiency
T = Nominal component thickness, mm (in.)
R = Inside radius of component, mm (in.)
D = Inside diameter of component, mm (in.)
L = Inside crown radius of the head, mm (in.)
= One-half of the cone apex angle at the centerline, degrees

Pc is the lowest value of pressure that is calculated using the above equations for each
vessel shell and head component.
2.

Determine the test pressure that was used for any bolted flange connections on the
vessel, PNT. If not given, PNT is determined by multiplying the allowable design
pressure at 38C (100F) in accordance with ANSI B16.5 (for the flange Class) by 1.5,
and rounding up to the nearest 25 psig.

3.

Determine the shop hydrotest pressure at the top of the vessel with the vessel
horizontal, PSH.
BSH = the smaller of 1.5 Pc or PNT (at the bottom)

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h = height of water in the vessel during test, m (ft.)

4.

SI Units

English Units

PSH = BSH - 9.81 h, kPa

PSH = BSH - 0.433h, psig

Determine the field hydrotest pressure with the vessel new and in its final erected
position.
A = BSH
SI Units
B= 9.81h, kPa

English Units
B = 0.433h, psig

C = A-B, kPa (psig)


D = 1.5 PT, where PT is the vessel design pressure at the top
E = D + B, kPa (psig), at bottom
The test pressure at the top of the vessel is the higher of C or D.
For the selected test pressure, confirm that the stress in the limiting component does
not exceed 0.9 times the minimum specified material yield strength, accounting for the
weld joint efficiency. Use the following equations for the appropriate component
type:
Cylindrical Shell:

Spherical Shell or Head:

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Conical Shell:

2:1 Semi-Elliptical Head:


Torispherical Head with 6% Knuckle:

Note that the pressure, P, in the above equations must account for the hydrostatic head
to the bottom of the limiting component.
5.

Determine the service test pressure at the top of the vessel as 1.5 PT.

6.

Confirm that the service test pressure does not result in a stress that is greater than 0.9
times the minimum specified material yield strength of the limiting component,
accounting for the weld joint efficiency. Use the stress equation from Step 4 that is
appropriate for the limiting component with:
SI Units

English Units

P = 1.5 PT + 9.81 h, kPa

P = 1.5 PT + 0.433h, psig

T = (Nominal thickness) - (Corrosion allowance)


Note that "h" is the height of the water to the bottom of the limiting component.
7.

Confirm that the requirements in SAES-A-004, Pressure Testing, are followed.

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Work Aid 2C: Procedure for Hardness Test Plans


Use the checklist that follows to confirm that vessel vendor hardness test plans meet Saudi
Aramco requirements. Saudi Aramco test requirements are specified in SAES-W-001, SAESW-010, and 32-SAMSS-004, which are contained in Course Handout 2.
1.

2.

3.

Vickers hardness testing of welding procedure qualification welds for sour service is
required, with the following exceptions:

Vessels fabricated of austenitic stainless steel or nickel-based alloys for all


wetted pressure boundaries.

All vessel internal surfaces that are clad or weld overlaid with austenitic
stainless steel or nickel-based alloys.

Weld procedures are only for external structural attachment welds, and the
vessel wall at the attachment point is at least 25 mm (1.0 in.) thick.

Vickers hardness testing of welding procedure qualification welds is required for any
service if the wall thickness exceeds 38 mm (1.5 in.), except for:

Vessels made from austenitic stainless steel or nickel-based alloys, or

Welding procedure is used only for external structural attachment welds.

Maximum allowable hardness for procedure qualification welds is VHN 250 when
hardness testing is done.

4.
Brinell hardness testing of production welds is required for vessels of all materials that
are in sour service.

5.

Maximum hardness of BHN 200 for P-No. 1 material (carbon steel)

Maximum hardness per NACE MR-01-75, Sulfide Stress Cracking Resistant


Metallic Materials for Oilfield Equipment, for all other materials. Production
weld hardness testing must meet API RP942, Controlling Weld Hardness of
Carbon Steel Refinery Equipment to Prevent Environmental Cracking, and
SAES-W-001 requirements.

Confirm that the vessel fabrication drawing or other vessel documentation references
SAES-W-001 for procedural requirements for hardness testing.

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Engineering Encyclopedia

Vessels
Fabrication, Inspection, and
Testing of Pressure Vessels

Work Aid 2D: Procedure for Impact Test Plans


Use the checklist that follows to confirm that vessel vendor impact test plans meet Saudi
Aramco requirements. This checklist is applied after it has already been determined that the
combination of material category, minimum design temperature, and thickness would not be
exempt from impact testing in accordance with Section VIII, Division 2 criteria.
1.

Confirm that fabrication drawings or other vessel documentation contains reference to


the ASME Code Section VIII, Division 2 for impact test procedural requirements,
even if the pressure vessel is designed in accordance with Division 1 in all other
respects.

2.

Impact test temperature is to be 18C (32F) below the minimum design temperature
that is specified on the Pressure Vessel Design Data Sheet.

3.

Confirm that reference is made to SAES-W-001 for other impact test requirements.

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Engineering Encyclopedia

Vessels
Fabrication, Inspection, and
Testing of Pressure Vessels

GLOSSARY
capillary action

The tendency of certain liquids to travel, climb, or draw into tight


crack-like interface areas due to such properties as surface tension,
wetting, cohesion, adhesion, and viscosity.

communicating
chamber

An appurtenance to a vessel which intersects the shell or heads


and forms an integral part of the pressure-containing enclosure.

crack

A material separation that has a relatively large cross section in


one direction and a small or negligible cross section when viewed
in a direction perpendicular to the first direction.

defect

A discontinuity whose size, shape, orientation, location, or


properties make it detrimental to the useful service of the part in
which it occurs; or a discontinuity which exceeds the accept/reject
criteria of the particular design.

developer

A finely divided material applied over the surface of a part to help


bring out penetrant indications.

electrogas

A modification of the flux-cored welding process in which there is


an externally supplied source of gas or gas mixture.

electroslag

A welding process in which consumable electrodes are fed into a


joint containing flux; the current melts the flux, and the flux in
turn melts the faces of the joint and the electrodes, allowing the
weld metal to form a continuously cast ingot between the joint
faces.

false indication

An indication that may be interpreted incorrectly as a discontinuity


or a defect; a nonrelevant indication.

ferritic

Any magnetic iron alloy that contains more than 12% chromium
and that has a body-centered cubic structure.

flaw

An imperfection which may not be harmful. (An imperfection that


could be harmful is referred to as a defect or discontinuity.)

flux

A coating of mineral compounds on a welding electrode that is


intended to perform some function by chemical reactions in the
weld pool.

flux lines

Imaginary lines used to explain the behavior of magnetic fields.

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Engineering Encyclopedia

Vessels
Fabrication, Inspection, and
Testing of Pressure Vessels

heat-affected zone
(HAZ)

The portion of the base metal that is adjacent to the weld and that
is affected by the welding heat.

inspection

The process of examining and checking materials and parts for


possible defects or deviation from acceptance standards.

lamination

The arrangement of a solid in layers.

magnetic flux

The total number of magnetic lines existing in a magnetic circuit.

nondestructive
examination (NDE)

Testing to detect internal, surface, or concealed defects or flaws in


a material by the use of techniques that do not damage the item
being tested.

penetration

The distance from the original surface of the base metal to that
point at which weld fusion ends. The distance to which a
projectile sinks into a target.

porosity

The ability of a material to allow passage of a liquid. A material


having porosity contains fine holes, voids, or pores.

Postweld Heat
Treatment (PWHT)

A process that relieves residual stresses set up in welded joints


after initial cooling.

radiography

The use of radiant energy in the form of neutrons, x-rays, or


gamma rays for NDE of opaque objects. The radiant energy
produces graphical records on sensitized film; these records
indicate the comparative soundness of the object being tested.

slag

The solidified, glassy mixture of impurities and flux that forms in


the weld pool after chemical reaction.

shrinkage

The contraction of either the base metal or weld metal upon


cooling after the weld process.

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