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Pressure Vessel Manual, Rev.-1, Nov.

03
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COVER PAGE

M&I Deptt., Ref. Div. Indian Oil Corporation Limited

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INSPECTION MANUAL FOR UNFIRED PRESSURE VESSELS


INDEX
Sl. No.
1.0
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.7
2.0
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
2.7
2.8
2.9
3.0
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5

Topics
PRESSURE VESSEL
SCOPE
DEFINITION
TYPE OF PRESSURE VESSELS
NECESSITY OF INSPECTION
TYPES OF INSPECTION
TOOLS
REQUIRED
FOR
INSPECTION
PRESSURE VESSELS
FREQUENCY OF INSPECTION

Page No.

OF

SUPPLEMENTARY SPECIFICATION FOR CLADDED


PRESSURE VESSELS
SCOPE
DESIGN
MATERIAL
FABRICATION
WELDING
INSPECTION
HEAT TREATMENT
SURFACE CLEANING
TESTING
PRESSURE VESSELS IN THE SERVICE OF
HYDROGEN,
HYDROGEN
SULFIDE,
SOUR
SERVICES ETC.
REQUIREMENTS FOR HYDROGEN SERVICES
REQUIREMENTS FOR SULFUR CORROSION
REQUIREMENTS IN SOUR SERVICE
REQUIREMENTS FOR CATALYTIC REFORMERS
AND HYDRO-DE-SULFURIZERS
SPECIFIC CONDITIONS WHERE POSTWELD HEAT
TREATMENT IS REQUIRED

4.0

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY OF TALL COLUMNS

5.0

CHECK LIST FOR INSPECTION OF PRESSURE


VESSELS
PRIOR
TO
ERECTION
AND
COMMISSIONING
LIKELY LOCATIONS OF METAL WASTAGE
Main Fractioning Towers of Crude Distillation Unit
Crude Distillation Unit Overhead Accumulators
Dehydrators, LP/ HP Separators
Vacuum Distillation Columns

5.1
5.1.1
5.1.2
5.1.3
5.1.4

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5.1.5
5.1.6
5.1.7
5.1.8
5.1.9
5.1.10
5.1.11
5.1.12
5.1.13
5.2
5.3
5.3.1
5.3.2
5.4
5.4.1
5.4.2
5.4.3
5.5
6.0

Reactors in Reformers
Reactors in FCCU
Regeneration in FCCU
Orifice Chamber in FCCU
Coke Chambers
Bullets and Spheres
Vessels in Low Temperature Service
Ammonia Storage Vessels
Columns & Vessels in Diethyl Amine & Monoethyl
Amine Service
FREQUENCY OF INSPECTION
INSPECTION PROCEDURES
Inspection of Columns
Inspection of Vessels
INSPECTION DURING MAINTENANCE
Weld Build Up
Nozzle Replacement
Partial Replacement of Shell Plates & Domes
REPAIRS,
ALTERATION
&
RE-RATING
OF
PRESSURE VESSELS

6.3

QUALITY
ASSURANCE
PLAN
FOR
NEW
CONSTRUCTIONS
QUALITY ASSURANCE DURING DESIGN STAGE
QUALITY ASSURANCE DURING CONSTRUCTION
STAGE
QUALITY ASSURANCE PLAN FOR VESSELS

7.0
7.1
7.2
7.3
7.4
7.5

CORROSION UNDER INSULATION


INTRODUCTION
MECHANISM
INSPECTION TECHNIQUE
PREVENTION
SCC PREVENTION UNDER INSULATION

8.0
8.1
8.2
8.3
8.4
8.5

STRUCTURED PACKING PROBLEM IN COLUMNS


PHENOMENA
AREAS OF ATTACK
MECHANISM
CONTROL
DETAILED PROCEDURE FOR VACUUM KMNO 4
WASH TO MINIMIZE POSSIBILITY OF PYROPHORIC
IRON FIRE

9.0

TIME
OF
FLIGHT
DIFFRACTION
TECHNIQUES
TOFD AS A NDT TOOL
FUNDAMENTALS OF TOFD TECHNIQUES
DEFECT CHARACTERIZATION

6.1
6.2

9.1
9.2
9.3

M&I Deptt., Ref. Div. Indian Oil Corporation Limited

(TOFD)

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10.0
10.1
10.1.1
10.1.2
10.1.3
10.1.4
10.1.5
10.2
10.3
10.4
10.5
10.6
10.7

PRESERVATION OF EQUIPMENT
IDLE TIME PRESERVATION OF COLUMNS AND
VESSELS AS PER OISD-171
Introduction
Scope
Definitions
Consideration for selection of Protective System
Preservation of Idle Static Equipment
IDLE TIME PRESERVATION SCHEME FOR VESSELS
& COLUMNS IN SULFUR RECOVERY UNIT
IDLE TIME PRESERVATION SCHEME FOR STATIC
EQUIPMENT IN
AMINE TREATING UNIT
MOTHBALLING
OF
REFRACTORY
LINED
EQUIPMENT
INERT GAS PURGING & BLANKETING OF
EQUIPMENT
PROCEDURE FOR PASSIVATION OF AUSTENITIC
STAINLESS STEEL EQUIPMENT
NACE RP-01-70 ON PROTECTION OF AUSTENITIC
STAINLESS STEEL EQUIPMENT

11.0

REFERENCES

12.0

ANNEXURE

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1.0

PRESSURE VESSELS

1.1 SCOPE
This manual covers the minimum inspection requirements for unfired
pressure vessels mainly columns and vessels. The manual specifies
mainly on the methods of inspection and areas to be inspection in
these pressure vessels.
1.2 DEFINITIONS
Pressure Vessel
A pressure vessel is usually defined as a vessel designed to safely
withstand an internal pressure in excess of 15 psig. Some vessels in a
refinery may be subjected to external pressure caused by an internal
vacuum or by a fluid pressure between an outer jacket and the vessel
wall. Such vessels are usually inspected in the same manner as
vessels with internal pressure.
Pressure of each vessel shall be specified in the following manner:
Operating pressure
Maximum pressure likely to occur any time during the lift of the vessel.
The most severe conditions of coincident pressure and temperature
shall be determined not only for normal operation but also during startup, shutdown, regeneration, decoking etc. This will involve
consideration of source relief valve setting, pump shut off head and
static head separately or in combination, together with other system
operational characteristics.
Design pressure
(a) When operating pressure is upto 70kg/ cm2.
Design pressure shall be equal to operating pressure plust 10%
(minimum 1kg/ cm2)
(b) When operating pressure is over 70kg/ cm2.
Design pressure shall be equal to operating pressure plus 5%
(minimum 1kg/ cm2).
(c) Design pressure calculated above shall be at the top of vertical
vessel or at he highest point of horizontal vessel and shall not be
less than 3.5kg/ cm2.
(d) The design pressure at any lower point is to be determined by
adding the maximum operating liquid head and any pressure
gradient within the vessel.

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(e) Vessels operating under vacuum shall be designed for an external


pressure of 1.055kg/ cm2.
Test pressure
(a) Pressure vessels shall be hydrostatically tested in the fabricators
shop to 1.5 times the design pressure corrected for temperature for
new vessels as well as after any subsequent pressure part repair.
(b) In addition, all vertical vessels shall be designed so as to permit site
test of the vessel at a pressure of 1.5 times the design pressure
measured at the top, with the vessel in the vertical position and
completely filled with water. The design shall be based on fully
corroded condition.
(c) Vessels open to atmosphere shall be tested by filling with water to
the top.
(d) Jackets and coils shall be tested separately to the code test
pressure. Vessels shall be tested prior to attachment of jacket.
(e) All pressure vessel foundations shall be designed to take
hydrostatic test loads.
Temperature
Temperature for each vessel shall be specified in the following manner:
Operating temperature
Maximum/ minimum temperature likely to occur anytime during the lift
time of vessel.
Design temperature
(a) For vessels operating at 0 0C and above design temperature shall
be equal to operating temperature plus 15 0C.
(b) For vessels operating below 0 0C.
Design temperature shall be equal to operating temperature.
Corrosion allowance
The minimum corrosion allowance for carbon steel and low alloy/ high
alloy steel shall be 1.5mm and 0.8mm for austenitic stainless steel.
However higher corrosion allowance may be used depending upon
process considerations.

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The corrosion allowance shall be added to both sides of tray support


rings and other fixed internal non pressure parts, when exposed to
corrosive liquid or vapour.
Removable internal parts (with the exception of trays), which are bolted
or clamped in place, shall be provided with extra thickness equal to half
the specified corrosion allowance on each surface exposed to vessel
contents.
On fillet and seal welds on internal attachments, full corrosion
allowance shall be added to the throat thickness necessary for strength
or sealing.
The corrosion allowance for nozzles and manholes shall be at least
equal to that specified for vessel shell/ head.
For alloy lined or clad vessels, no corrosion allowance is required on
the base metal. The cladding or lining material (in no case less than
1.5mm thickness) shall be considered as corrosion allowance.
Cladding or lining thickness shall not be included in strength
calculations.
Wind consideration
Wind load shall be calculated on the following basis:
(a) Indian Standard IS : 875 (latest edition)
(b) Minimum drag coefficient for cylindrical vessel shall be 0.7.
Earthquake consideration
Earthquake forces shall be calculated in accordance with Indian
Standard IS: 1893/ specific spectra developed for particular site. High
earthquake prone zones shall merit special consideration. Wind and
earthquake shall not be taken to act simultaneously.
General consideration
Minimum thickness (inclusive of corrosion allowance) shall be as given
below:
(a) For carbon, low alloy/ high alloy steel vessels 6mm.
(b) Stainless steel vessels 4mm.
(c) For carbon, low alloy/ high alloy steel column 8mm.
(d) For stainless steel columns/ towers 6mm.
Shell thickness shall be set so that during fabrication or shop/ site
hydro-test conditions the combined stresses in any shell component

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(based on corrosion thickness for site test) doe not exceed the
following:
(a) Tensile
:
90% ambient yield
(b) Compressive
:
Code allowable stress
1.3 TYPE OF PRESSURE VESSELS
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.

Cylindrical vessels with flat, conical, toriconical, torispherical,


semi-ellipsoidal or hemispherical heads.
Spheroids
Spherical
Jacketed vessel
Cylindrical vessels may be vertical or horizontal and may be
supported in different ways.

1.4 NECESSITY OF INSPECTION


The reasons for inspection of pressure vessels is to determine the
physical condition of the vessels. Systematic and regular inspection will
also reveal the following:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.

Corrosion rate and remaining corrosion allowance.


Future repair and replacement.
Ordering materials and plan repairs.
Minimizing probability of instantaneous failures.
Cause of deterioration and taking remedial measure.
Sometimes inspection of the pressure vessels becomes necessary
because of the statutory requirements.

1.5 TYPES OF INSPECTION


There are two types of inspection:
i. External inspection
ii. Internal inspection
1.6

TOOLS REQUIRED FOR INSPECTION OF PRESSURE VESSELS


i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.
viii.
ix.
x.
xi.
xii.
xiii.

Ultrasonic thickness gauge


Ultrasonic flaw detector
Pit depth gauge
ID and OD gauge
Magnifying glass
Inspectors hammer
Dye penetrant kit
Paint thickness gauge
Shore hardness meter
Radiography equipment
Magnet
Straight edge
Plumb and bob

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xiv. Petroscanner
xv. Spark tester
xvi. Measuring tape
1.7 FREQUENCY OF INSPECTION
The frequency with which a pressure vessel should be inspected
depends on several factors, the most important being rate of
deterioration and the remaining corrosion allowance. After knowing the
history of the vessels after several inspection, the frequency of
inspection can be decided. The period between inspections should be
planned so that some corrosion allowance remains when the vessel is
taken out of service for inspection. Normally in the refineries, it is not
possible to isolate a vessel or a column for internal inspection when the
unit is on-stream. Hence the internal inspection of the pressure vessel
is programmed along with the unit overhaul. However, the frequency of
external inspection can be decided deepening on history,
corrosiveness of the fluid handled and operating conditions. But
inspection frequencies as per statutory requirements should be strictly
adhered to. As per Static and Mobile pressure vessels (unfired) Rule
1981, all vessels shall be hydraulically tested at intervals of not more
than five years after the date of first test and in case of vessels
containing corrosive or toxic gases (e.g. SO2, NH3 etc.) the periodic
test shall be done at an interval of two years. SMPV rule is not
applicable to vessels, which form a part of processing plant.

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2.0

SUPPLEMENTARY SPECIFICATION FOR CLADDED


PRESSURE VESSELS

2.1 SCOPE
This supplementary specification covers the additional requirements to
be followed in the manufacture of cladded steel vessels, with carbon
steel or low alloy steel base, clad with stainless steel. This is intended
as an addenda to the general specification for pressure vessel/
supplementary specification for C. S vessels.
2.2 DESIGN
The design thickness, in accordance with the specified core, shall not
include any material used for applied corrosion resistant lining or the
cladding material on integrally clad plate.
The use of cladding material of chromium alloy stainless steel with a
chromium content more than 14% is not recommended for service
metal temperature above 4250 C.
Strip lining is not allowed unless specified on engineering data sheet.
Alloy lining for shells and heads shall be integrally bonded cladding or
weld deposit overlay.
Solid alloy nozzles are not recommended, and shall not be used at
design temp. above 2300 C.
Austenitic stainless steel nozzles are not permitted unless otherwise
specified on the vessel data sheet.
Nozzles and manways in alloy-lined portions of vessel shall be alloy
lined and face. The facing shall be made with weld deposit, which is at
least as thick as the vessel lining when properly machined and of the
same alloy as the lining. Weld deposit shall be made with minimum two
passes.
Large nozzles and manways greater than 12 NB shall be made by
using integrally clad plate and/ or weld deposit overlay. For nozzles 12
NB and smaller, cladded nozzle or tubular liners may be used. They
shall be welded to the alloy facing at the surface of the vessel may be
by welding, flush with the vessel inside surface, or an expansion collar.
2.3 MATERIAL
Clad steel plates used for fabrication of vessel shall conform to SA 263
or SA 264 of ASME B & pressure vessel code section II part A, and
CHT specification no. CHT-04-II-Part-J.

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In the alloy lined portions of the vessel, all internal parts like support
rings, lug supports and other shall be made of alloy corresponding to
the lining or as specified in engineering data sheets.
2.4 FABRICATION
Clad plates should be handled in the shop with clad side up, to avoid
damage to clad surface.
Adequate precautions should be taken during shearing and
purchasing, machining, flame cutting and hot working of clad plates so
as to avoid any damage to the clad surface.
Hot working should be followed by suitable heat treatment to ensure
required material properties.
2.5 WELDING
The use of filler metal, that will deposit weld metal with the same or
better composition as the material joined, is recommended.
Welding, in conjunction with alloy lining, is recommended to be done
with electrodes or filler wires made in accordance with the specification
listed below:
Sl.
No.
1.

Applied lining

2.

A240 type 405 or


410S
A240 type 304

3.

A240 type 304L

4.

A240 type 316

5.

A240 type 316L

6.

A240 type 321 or


347

Note: 1(a)
present.

Coated electrodes
for SMAW Process
Alloy to
Alloy to
steel
alloy
Note (1)
Note (1)
SFA 5.4
E 309 Mo
SFA 5.4
E 309 Mo
SFA 5.4
3 309 Mo
SFA 5.4
E 309 Mo
SFA 5.4
E 309 Mo

SFA 5.4
E 308
SFA 5.4
E 308L
SFA 5.4
E 316L or
E 318
SFA 5.4
E 316L
SFA 5.4
E 347

Filler GTAW,
Process
Alloy to steel

Wire GMAW for


SAW
Alloy to alloy

Note (1)

Note (1)

SFA 5.9
E 309
SFA 5.9
ER 309
SFA 5.9
ER 309
SFA 5.9
ER 309
SFA 5.9
ER 309

SFA 5.9
ER 308
SFA 5.9
ER 308L
SFA 5.9
ER 316L or
ER 318
SFA 5.9
ER 316L
SFA 5.f9
ER 347

For service in which fluids containing chlorides are

Alloy to steel weld


Alloy to alloy

Ni-Cr-Fe
Electrode (Inconel) & filler wire
(Non air hardening)

Electrode selected by fabricator shall be got approved by owner before


use.
1(b)

For service other than fluids containing chlorides

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Alloy to steel weld


Alloy to alloy weld

:
:

E 309 Mo
E 309 Mo

For SS 347 clad vessels, columbium content of weld metal shall not
exceed 1.0% except when a higher columbium content is permitted in
the material being welded.
When integrally bonded clad plate is used, the lining shall be cut back
at all seams to permit back welding of the base metal. Weld metal shall
be ground flush and fully covered with the applicable weld deposit
overlay in paragraph 5.2 of this specification. The weld deposit overlay
shall be at least as thick as the lining but not greater than twice its
thickness.
The weld joint in the backing CS plate shall be 100% dye penetrant
checked for detection of cracks/ flaws, before clad side welding is
applied.
Load bearing internal parts, supported from shell/ head (except tray/
demister support ring) shall be welded to the base metal.
The weld deposit overlay procedure shall be qualified on base metal of
the same composition as the vessel and thickness of one-half of the
vessel thickness, or 2 inches, whichever is less.
The weld overlay procedure shall be qualified on base metal of the
same composition as the vessel and thickness of one half of the vessel
thickness, or 2 inches, whichever is less.
The weld overlay shall be applied circumferentially to the vessel and
shall be relatively smooth with no notches and under cuts that would
act as stress intensifiers. Flaws on the surface of the base metal that
would interfere with bounding of the overlay shall be removed by
grinding. The weld overlays shall consist of at least 2 layers.
A minimum of two samples of the weld deposit overlay shall be taken
from each overlaid shall section and head to confirm required analysis.
Each manual weld overlay, such as those on girth seams land nozzles,
shall also be sampled. Analysis to a depth of 2/3 of the required overlay
thickness shall conform to the chemistry requirements for the alloy
specified on the vessel data sheet.
2.6 INSPECTION
The weld joints shall be radiographed as per code.
For shell and dished end, formed from a clad plate, a minimum of 10%
of the clad surface, including no less than 1 square foot in each 10
square feet or fraction thereof, shall be ultrasonic examined for lack of
bond after forming. Unbonded areas that cannot be encompasses by a
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3 inch diameter circle shall be repaired by weld deposit overlay in


accordance with paragraph 5.2 of this specification. When repairs in
excess of 5 percent of the total examined area are require, the vessel
shall be 100% ultrasonic examined. Repaired areas and weld deposit
overlay at weld seams shall be 100% liquid dye penetrant examined in
accordance with ASTM E165. Ultrasonic examination shall be in
accordance with ASTM A 578 S6 for spot examination or S& for 100%
examination.
a) All weld deposit overlay, whether by manual or automatic
procedures, shall be 100% liquid dye penetrant (DP) examined in
accordance with methods described in ASTM E 165.
b) When the overlay involves two or more passes (layers) and the
procedure uses an intermediate heat treatment with cooling to room
temperature prior to applying the next layer, each layer shall be
100% PT examined.
c) Weld deposit overlay on machined surfaces shall be 100% PT
examined after final heat treatment.
d) Weld deposit overlay shall be spot PT examined (a minimum of
10% of the surface, including no less than 1 square foot in each 10
square feet or fraction thereof) after final heat treatment and shop
hydrostatic testing. Flange facings need not be included in the spot
examination after hydrotest.
All cracks and fissures and circular defects greater then 1/16-inch
diameter in weld deposit overlay shall be removed. Repaired areas
shall be 100% re-inspected by liquid dye penetrant.
Dished ends made from clad plate, shall be ultrasonically examined
after final heat treatment or vessel, for lack of bond. Inspection and
repair procedure shall be as per 6.2 above.
2.7 HEAT TREATMENT
a) Cladded vessels or parts of vessels shall be post weld heat treated
when the base material is required to be P.W. heat treated as per
code.
b) Vessels having straight chromium stainless steel cladding/ lining
shall be P.W. heat treated in all thick nesses, except vessels clad
with type 405 or 410S stainless steel and welded with an austenitic
electrode need not be P.W. heat treated unless required by 7.1(a)
above.
When carbon steel vessels, clad/ lined with unstabilized austenitic
stainless steel other than low carbon grade e.g. SS 304 and SS 316,
are to be post weld heat treated, they shall be heat treated at 510 0 C
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for a period of 10 hours per inch of thickness or 10 hours whichever is


longer.
Following precautions should be observed during heat treatment of
clad vessels.
i)
ii)
iii)
iv)
v)

The clad material should not be exposed to a direct flame if gas or


oil is used as a fuel.
Stainless steel clad steels require a neutral or oxidizing atmosphere
during heating.
Maximum sulphur content in the fuel should not exceed 0.5%.
Marking paint and protective oil should be removed from the clad
side before heating.
The plates should he be heated with clad side up.

2.8 SURFACE CLEANING


Stainless steel clad surface must be cleaned from oxides, scale,
welding flux etc. by using SS wire brushes. Paint shall be removed by
using suitable solvent (free from chlorides). Oil and grease shall be
removed using hot clean water and suitable detergent.
After completion of fabrication and testing, all stainless steel clad
surface shall be pickled and passivated, in accordance with ASTM a
380. Pickling and passivation procedure shall be submitted for review.
The stainless steel surfaces shall be free of iron pick up. This shall be
detected by ferroxyl test as per procedure laid down in ASTM A 380.
2.9 TESTING
Attached sleeve type liners, nozzle liners etc. shall be tested preferably
with 15 Psig dry air introduced between the lining and the vessel base
metal, before post weld heat treatment and before pressure testing the
vessel.
After the hydrostatic pressure test, interior of the vessel shall be
checked to test for any seepage of test fluid through the lining. The
trapped liquid shall be completely removed, by heating the vessel
slowly for a sufficient time. After that, the liner shall be repaired by
welding. The test hole is seal welded.
For hydrostatic test, clean fresh water shall be used unless use of a
different medium is approved by the purchaser. In case of austenitic
stainless steel lined vessels, chloride content in water shall be less
than 25 ppm. If chloride content is more than 25 ppm and sodium
nitrate shall be added to provide a test medium of 0.5% by weight
sodium nitrate solution. Vessel shall be dried thoroughly, immediately
after draining, to prevent the possibility of evaporation and
concentration of chlorides.
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3.0

PRESSURE VESSELS IN THE SERVICE OF HYDROGEN,


HYDROGEN SULFIDE, SOUR SERVICES ETC.

3.1 REQUIREMENTS FOR HYDROGEN SERVICES


a) Hydrogen service in this instruction refers to high pressure
hydrogen or hydrogen-hydrocarbon mixtures as occur in catalytic
reforming and hydro-desulfurizing processes where the
temperatures are generally above 260 0 C and the hydrogen partial
pressure exceeds 7kg/ sq. cm. Under these conditions, atomic H 2
diffuses through the metal and in carbon steel reacts with the
carbon causing de-carbonization and the formation of methane in
the metal structure, which in turn builds up pressure and causes
cracks, fissures and blisters to form.
b) Resistance to hydrogen attack is generally obtained by the addition
of chromium and/ or molybdenum in the metal since these elements
form more stable carbides than iron. The limits of resistance of
carbon steel and various alloys for different operating temperatures
and hydrogen partial pressures are given in Nelsons chart, which
shall be the basis of materials selection for vessels in this service.
Refer attached Nelsons chart for reference.
c) Where additional corrosion due to hydrogen sulfide is anticipated,
higher alloy compositions will be required and for this purpose.
Backenstos curves co-relating corrosion rates with hydrogen
sulfide concentration and temperature give a fairly conservative
selection of materials to use. For this application, however, it is
generally more economical to construct pressure vessels with a thin
corrosion resistant layer backed by a hydrogen resistant base plate.
Alloy lining used for this purpose shall be bonded integrally with the
base plate with the final bond layer having hydrogen attack resistant
qualities at least equal to the base plate.
d) Alloy strip or sheet lining shall not be used in hydrogen service
because of thermal expansion problems and the possibility of
hydrogen pressure building up behind the lining.
3.2 REQUIREMENTS FOR SULFUR CORROSION
a) Sulfur bearing streams are only mildly corrosive to carbon steel at
temperatures below 2600 C. At higher temperatures, chromium
steels may be required to combat sulfur corrosion. For corrosive
conditions, either solid 5% Cr steel or 12% Cr clad steel should be
used, depending upon economics and availability.
b) Materials selection and corrosion allowances should preferably be
API based on actual service experience.

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3.3 REQUIREMENTS IN SOUR SERVICE


The discovery and occurrence of surface cracking either resulting from
the frication; or from sulfide stress corrosion cracking (SSCC),
blistering and sub-surface Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC), in
service, is becoming quite common in pressure vessels that operate
under sour conditions. Furthermore, it is now considered to be
unrealistic to distinguish between Wet H 2S Service and General
Services. During startup and shutdown of equipment, moisture will
often be present in refinery streams, which exceed 50ppm H 2S.
However, unless liquid water is present during operating conditions or
damage to equipment has already been experienced, designing for
sour service may not be warranted.
Although most problems have been experienced in FCCU overheads,
crude and vacuum over heads, amine treating and sour water stripping
system; it is now recognized that wherever the H 2S content of the
process stream exceeds 50ppm and water is present, damage may
occur. The presence of cyanides in excess of 10-20ppm may increase
the cracking tendency. The risk may be related to the rate of hydrogen
charging, which can be measured and monitored with hydrogen
probes. It is established the SCC is most prevalent in the temperature
range of 15 350 C. HIC is also a low temperature phenomenon
generally hydrogen induced cracking occurring below 65 0.
a) Special Consideration for LPG Vessels
i) The design pressure shall be established based on the
composition and vapor pressure of LPG at design temperature,
but in no case it shall be less than 15 kg/cm2 (g) at the top of
spheres. The design temp. shall be (-) 27 deg. C (ambient
condition).
ii) Selection of materials of construction for various LPG
applications shall be as per following:
At marketing installation: SA 516 Gr 70
At refinery locations
: SA 516 Gr 60
For design temp. lower than (-) 40 deg. C : SA 537 Cl. I
iii) All spheres shall be post heat treated irrespective of storage
application and adopted shell thickness.
b) NACE Standard:
In the past, it has been accepted practice to use NACE Standard Mr
1-75:88 to determine the material suitability for refinery sour
service even though this standard was prepared specifically for Oil
Field Equipment.

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NACE recommended Practice RP-0472 : 87 gives guidance on the


hardness limits of carbon steel welds to resist corrosive petroleum
refining environments.
c) Inspection

3.4

All welds on the pressure envelopes must be ground smooth


and blended into the heat-affected zone prior to testing.
Testing only by the wet fluorescent magnetic particle
Procedure in accordance with ASME Section V shall be used.
Testing shall be carried out after postweld heat treatment is
complete.
Testing shall be carried on the following welds:
- The inside and outside of all vessel welds including nozzles.
- Support structure welds where they attach to the pressure
envelop.
- Vessel bracket and clip welds including any temporary
erection attachment on the pressure envelops.

REQUIREMENTS FOR CATALYTIC REFORMERS AND HYDRO-DE


SULFURIZERS
The following material recommendations based on economic and
corrosion considerations generally apply to catalytic reformers and
hydrodesulfurizers.
a) (a) Chromium steels/Chromium clad steels (0 to 12%) should be
used when the operating temperature is below 315 deg. C
regardless of hydrogen sulfide concentration. Above 315 deg. C
chromium steels/chromium clad steels should still be used when the
anticipated corrosion rates are lower than .03 ipy.
b) (b) For applications above 315 deg. C and when corrosion rates for
0 to 5% chrome steels exceed .03 ipy, austenitic stainless steels
should be considered as they are generally more economical than
12% Cr. Material.
c) (c) When austenitic stainless steels/austenitic clad steels are
required to resist hydrogen sulfide corrosion of applications below
398 deg. C type 321 or 347 should be used.
d) (d) For applications above 398 deg. C, type 321 or 347 should be
used when an austenitic material is required for corrosion
resistance. The materials should be stabilized by heating at 871
898 deg C for 2 4 hours rather than solution annealed. Also
consideration should be given to the need for a postweld heat
treatment to stabilize the weld metal and heat affected zone and to
relieve residual stresses.

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3.5

SPECIFIC CONDITIONS WHERE POSTWELD HEAT TREATMENT


IS REQUIRED
Equipment constructed of carbon steel must be postweld heat treated
when handling the following material :
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Sodium and potassium hydroxide, etc. depending on


temperature and concentration. No welding permitted after
postweld heat treatment.
Amines No welding permitted after postweld heat treatment.
Uninhibited ammonia that may contain air.
Wet hydrogen sulfide when activators such as cyanide are
present (cat. cracker overhead streams).
Wet hydrogen sulfide in natural gasoline and other light streams.
Hydrofluoric acid when carbon content of steel exceeds 0.25
percent.
High pressure hydrogen.

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4.0

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY OF TALL COLUMNS


Tall Columns
Mechanical design of self-supporting tall column/tower shall be carried
out generally based procedure outlined in Process Equipment Design
by Lloyd B. Brownell & Edwin H. Young, subjected to wind and
earthquake forces.
Loadings
The loadings to be considered in designing a self-supporting tall
column/tower shall include:
a) Internal or external design pressure specified on process data
sheets.
b) Self weight of column/tower inclusive of piping, platforms, ladders,
manholes, nozzles, trays, welded and removable attachments,
insulation and operating liquid etc. The weight of attachments to be
considered shall be as per Annexure-I.
c) Seismic forces and moments shall be computed in accordance with
Section 5.3 of IS 1893 (latest edition) taking due care of attached
piping, equipment etc. The design horizontal seismic coefficient,
shall be determined as outlined in Section 3.4 or IS 1893, based on
seismic zone of place of location, soil foundation system & land
importance factor. Value of damping in response spectra method
shall be taken as 2%.
d) Basic wind pressure and wind velocity (including due to winds of
short duration as in squalls also) for the computation of
forces/moments and dynamic analysis respectively shall be in
accordance with IS 875 (latest edition) Fig. IA. Shape factor for
structures shall be acceptable as per table 3. Additional wind
loading on column due to external attachments like platforms,
ladders, piping and attached equipments should be considered.
e) Loading resulting in localized stresses due to attachments or
mounting of reflux/reboiler condenser etc.
f) Other loadings as specified in UG-22 of ASME Code Sec. VIII Div.
A, where required.
Loading Condition
Analysis shall be carried out for following conditions :
a) Erection: - Column (uncorroded) erected on foundation, without
insulation, platforms, trays etc. but with welded attachments plus full

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wind on column shall be considered for analysis in ERECTION


CONDITION.
b) Operation: - Column (in corroded condition) under design
pressure, including welded items, trays, removable on column,
insulation and operating liquid etc. plus full wind or insulated column
with all other projections open to wind or earthquake forces shall be
used for analysis in OPERATION.
c) Test Condition: - Column (uncorroded) under test pressure, filled
with water + 33% of specified wind load on uninsulated column shall
be used for analysis in Test Condition.
Earthquake and wind do not act concurrently.
Earthquake shall not be considered during hydrotest.
Deflection of column:
Maximum allowable deflection at top of column shall be height of the
column divided by 200.
a) If the deflection of column exceeds the above allowable limit, the
thickness of skirt shall be increased as first trial upto a maximum
value equal to the column thickness and this exercise shall be
stopped if the deflection falls within allowable limit.
b) If the above step is inadequate, skirt shall be gradually flared to
reduce the deflection. Flaring of skirt shall be stopped if the
deflection falls within limits or half angle of cone reaches maximum
limits of 0 deg.
c) If the above two steps prove inadequate in limiting the deflection
within allowable limits, the thickness of shell course shall be
increased one by one starting from bottom course above skirt and
proceeding upwards till the deflection falls within allowable limits.
Stress Limits
The stresses due to pressure, weight, wind/seismic load shall be
combined using maximum stress theory. Shell thickness is accordingly
chosen to keep the stresses well within limits as per following:
a) Allowable Compressive Stress: - Induced compressive stresses
in operation and erection loading conditions shall be limited to least
of following :
i) Maximum allowable stress as per UG 23 (a) of ASME Code
Section VIII Div.1.

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ii) B value calculated as per UG-23 (b) of Code.


b) Allowable tensile stress: - Maximum allowable tensile stresses at
operation and ambient temperatures for operating and erection
loading conditions shall be design code allowable stress as per UG
23 (a) multiplied by joint efficiency.
Allowable stress shall be taken as 90% of yield strength during
hydrotest loading condition.
Allowable stresses in skirt to shell weld shall be limited to code
allowable stress & for skirt material multiplied by 0.49 or 0.7 depending
upon whether the weld in shear or tension. However, allowable
compressive stresses in weld are calculated as per C1.4.1 based on
strength of skirt material.
Skirt Support Base
Base supporting including base plate, anchor chairs, compression ring,
foundation bolting etc, shall be designed based on using over turning
moment (greater of seismic or wind). A minimum number of 8
foundation bolts shall be provided. Nos. of foundation bolts shall be
multiple of four.
Max. Hydrotest Pressure
Maximum Hydrotest Pressure (in Horizontal position) shall be equal to
1.5 x Design pressure x temperature correction factor, as specified in
ASME code section VIII Div.1. Clause UG-99.

Dynamic Analysis of Column/Tower


Dynamic analysis of each column shall be carried out for stability under
transverse wind induced vibrations as per standard design practice.
The recommended magnification factor for unlined towers/column shall
be taken as 70 and allowable dynamic amplitude shall be limited to
tower diameter divided by five.

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Annexure-I
1.

Shape factor for shell


(for wind force calculated)

2.

Weight of trays (with liquid)

3.

Weight of plain ladder

15 kg/m

4.

Weight of caged ladder

37 kg/m

5.

Equivalent projection to be
considered for wind load on
caged ladder.

300 mm

6.

Distance of platform below


each manhole.

Approx. 1000 mm

7.

Maximum distance between


consecutive platforms

5000 mm

8.

Projection of Platforms

1200 mm from column


insulation surface.

9.

Equivalent height of platform


(for wind load computation)

1000 mm

10.

Weight of platforms

170 kg/m2

11.

Platform shall be considered all


around.

M&I Deptt., Ref. Div. Indian Oil Corporation Limited

:
:

0.7

120 kg/m2

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5.0

CHECK LIST FOR INSPECTION OF PRESSURE


VESSELS PRIOR TO ERECTION AND COMMISSIONING
The checklist format shall contain the following information.

Equipment No.
Plant
Duty
Purchase order No. & date
Serial No. & type
Manufacturer
Main dimensions
Material of construction
Max. allow. working pressure/ Vacuum
Max. allow working temperature
Stress-relieve
Radiography
Hydrostatic test pressure
Erection contractor
Contractors inspector
Companys inspector
Date of inspection

Checklist
The following checks shall be made prior to commissioning of new
pressure vessels.
Checks
i. Check for proper alignment of supports.
ii.
Check nameplate attachment.
iii. Check nameplate rating.
iv. Check foundation bolts and shims.
v.
Inspect shell wall for out of roundness, bulges and dents.
vi. Inspect visually, weld joints.
vii. Check alterations made during plant construction.
viii. Check wall thickness of shell and nozzles.
ix. Check and test reinforcement plates and test holes.
x.
Check and test nozzles, facings, gaskets and bolts.
xi. Check outside bolting and stiffening rings.
xii. Check insulation and fireproofing.
xiii. Check insulation protection.
xiv. Check painting quality.
xv. Check internals.
xvi. Check and test internal lining of shell nozzles.
xvii. Check for internal cleanliness before final boxing up.

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xviii. Check whether design of vessel and foundation allows vessels to


be hydrotested in situ.
xix. Test shell hydrostatically, if any alteration has been made in the
shell.
xx. Check whether proper relief valve is installed.
xxi. Check that connected pipings do not stain the vessel nozzles.
5.1 LIKELY LOCATIONS OF METAL WASTAGE
5.1.1 Main Fractioning Towers of Crude Distillation Unit
The fractionating column bottom and internals are subjected to high
temperature corrosion due to presence of sulphur whereas column top
is prone to low temperature acidic corrosion because of salts and H 2S
present in the crude. The crude containing naphthenic acid also causes
the corrosion of the column shell, and the same is pronounced in the
sections where temperature ranges from 200 0C to 4000C. Severity of
naphthenic acid attack is higher where the turbulent conditions exist.
The impingement plate particularly in the columns where the feed
nozzle is radial is subjected to severe erosion. Noticeable corrosion or
erosion is also generally observed where the steam impinges the shell.
The dislodging of the trays (particularly valve trays) is common due to
steam surge.
Galvanic corrosion is also observed at the location where cladded
shells and uncladded shells join together. Where the lining is bulged,
the parent metal is subjected to corrosion. Liquid level corrosion is
noticeable in the top tray down comer collectors particularly at the
reflux collector trays.
5.1.2 Crude Distillation Unit Overhead Accumulators
Pronounced corrosion is generally noticed at the interface level of
water and hydrocarbons. Mostly the corrosion is noticed in the bottom
portion of the accumulators, which are not internally protected.
5.1.3 Dehydrators, LP/ HP Separators
Dehydrators & LP/ HP separators of crude stabilizing units are likely to
get corroded in the bottom portion from 5 to 7 O clock position due to
presence of salt and water.
5.1.4 Vacuum Distillation Columns
The sections where the turbulent conditions exist like impingement
plate/ flash zone are subjected to corrosion/ erosion due to naphthenic
acid and sulphur in the crude. Columns, shells are also liable to
corrode opposite to impingement plate due to rebound of fluid.
Weldments and heat-affected zone are also susceptible to corrosion.

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5.1.5 Reactor in Reformers


Generally the reactors are of low alloy steels like 2-1/ 4Cr 1Mo or
cladded with stainless steel. Due to this superior metallurgy metal
wastage is generally not observed. However, the following locations
give indication of deterioration/ cracking.
i. Cracking of weldment of grid with shell at the bottom.
ii. Baskets for collecting the catalyst dust are also prone to corrosion.
iii.Liners installed in the big diameter nozzles are susceptible to
bulging due to failure of weld joints at the end.
iv.Reactors made of low alloy steel specially 2-Cr 1Mo are prone to
temper embrittlement. (Temper embrittlement is defined as a loss of
ductility and notch toughness due to post weld heat treatment or
high temperature service above 3700C).
5.1.6 Reactors in FCCU
The shell, riser O.D. and portion of the cyclone dipleg O.D. are
severely attacked in the riser extension type of installation. Where the
grids are still used, erosion is found fairly uniform over most of the grid
when high velocities are employed through cyclones. Some erosion
occurs to the wall of the plenum chambers and to the top head where
small plenums are in use. For those reactors with only two cyclones,
high swirl of catalyst through the nozzles cause severe erosion.
The refractory lining generally stands up quite well in reactor cyclones.
Normal repairs require some resurfacing of small areas or replacement
of small-localized sections. There are two kinds of valves at the bottom
of dipleg. The one mostly in use is the flapper type with counter weight.
The other is the trickle valve type, with the flapper plate hanging over
the opening suspended by rings. The flapper type of valves are
subjected to erosion.
5.1.7 Regeneration in FCCU
In the plate type of distribution grid, erosion to the grid plates is a
common phenomenon. Due to considerable vibration and heat
differentials cracking of the grid plate can also take place.
In pipe type of grid design where seals are still in use, these seals may
leak. Migration of catalyst past the seal could destroy a pipe grid in a
very short time.
The branches (pipe coming off each lateral) experience metal loss,
mainly to the top circumference. Occasionally the steam coming out of
a jet blowing directly into another branch, lateral or end plate creates
erosion. Warpage of pipe grids can take place due to overheating
during startup and during operation. Many 5% Cr. Grids experience
weld cracking.
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The failure of refractory lining on the shell is another common problem.


During operation, it may cause hot spots on the shell. Erosion of
cyclone diplegs, failure of cyclone welds along with weld of cyclone
supports may also take place.
5.1.8 Orifice Chamber in FCCU
Erosion of the double disc sliding valve gates, erosion at the core near
the inlet and at holes/ sleeves in the grid plate are common problems.
Bulging or cracking on the shell adjacent to the grid plate also may take
place. The erosion problems in orifice chamber are caused by the
catalyst carryover from the regenerator.
5.1.9 Coke Chambers
Cracking of skirt and shell weld joints is quite common particularly in
the coke chambers where the skirt is not of slotted type. In the coke
chambers generally feed, stripping steam and water quench nozzles
are installed at the bottom. Due to thermal cyclic shocks lower portion
of the coke chamber gets bulged. At the advanced stages of bulging,
circumferential welds which act as stiffeners get cracked in the axial
direction. However, the effect is pronounced just opposite the feed
entry nozzle at an ele4vation of about 1 meter. The chambers where
the feed enters from the top, bulging is confined in the top portion. The
conical portion of the coke chamber where the feed enters is also
prone to cracking at the knuckle portion. Bottom flange to shell weld
joint, weld joints of feed, water quench and steam nozzle are also likely
to crack under thermal cyclic conditions.
5.1.10 Bullets and Spheres
The corrosion and scaling is generally confined to the bottom between
5 to 7 O clock positions probably due to the presence of corrodents
like H2S and water. LPG storage vessels are also prone to stress
corrosion cracking. The circumferential weld joints below the equatorial
plates in the LPG Horton spheres are more prone to such cracking.
5.1.11 Vessels in Low Temperature Service
Vessels in low temperature service e.g. in KTU of refineries and
propane circuit of LPG recovery units of Gas Processing Plants are
prone to external corrosion due to faulty insulation which causes
condensation on the vessels. The severity of corrosion increases in
case of corrosive atmosphere as in KTU.
In these vessels internal corrosion due to moist SO 2 where
condensation can take place, also occurs. Internals and shell are
affected due to this.

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5.1.12 Ammonia Storage Vessels


Generally the storage vessels are fabricated from Carbon Steel and
Nickel Steels. For the operating conditions prevailing at refineries,
material of construction used for ammonia storage vessels in the
refineries are carbon steels. The weld joints of C.S. vessels are prone
to stress corrosion cracking particularly in the vessels which have not
been stress relieved initially or after fabrication/ repairs.
5.1.13 Columns & Vessels in Diethyl Amine & Monoethyl Amine Service
The weld joints and heat affected zone of the columns and vessels in
DEA and MEA service which have not been stress relieved are also
prone to cracking due to presence of H2S or H2S and H2.
5.2

FREQUENCY OF INSPECTION
i. All new vessels, regardless of service shall be inspected within first
2 years of operation. Thereafter, the periods of future inspection
shall be scheduled on the basis of established corrosion rates, the
type of service, remaining corrosion allowance and the life
expectancy.
ii. The frequency of inspection shall be determined based on history,
corrosiveness of the fluid handled and operating conditions. The
periods between inspections shall be planned so that minimum
corrosion allowance remains for the next run. In any case
inspection frequencies as per statutory requirements shall be strictly
adhered to.
Internal inspection of all the columns, and vessels installed in
battery area should be done during scheduled turnarounds, unless
inspection observations and corrosion rates dictate otherwise.
Other pressure vessels installed in offsite shall be internally
inspected at the time when these are due for hydrostatic test as per
statutory requirements.
iii. The internal inspection of reactors is generally programmed when
the catalyst is dumped or topped up. However, it is recommended
that in-situ metallography be carried out once in 5 years or at the
time of replacement of catalyst. The reactors shall be inspected
externally in every turnaround and the internal inspection shall be
carried out within 10 years.

5.3

INSPECTION PROCEDURES
Prior to initiating the inspection of pressure vessels, the inspector
should familiarize himself with the complete previous history of the
vessel, design parameters, service, original thickness, corrosion
allowance, corrosion rate and vulnerable locations of corrosion.

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5.3.1 Inspection of Columns


External Inspection
Most of the external inspection can be done while the column is in
operation. The following shall be checked during the external
inspection:
i. Foundation & Supports
(a) Foundations
Foundations for pressure vessels are mostly constructed of steel
reinforced concrete or of fire proofed structural steel. These shall
be checked for spalling cracking and settlement. If due to cracks,
big gaps have been formed, steel should be checked for external
corrosion by removing the concrete at cracked locations.
(b) Skirts
Skirts shall be inspected for corrosion, distortion and cracking,
from outside as well as from inside. The weather proofing on the
extremeties and fire proofing of structural supports shall be
checked for water tightness.
The inside of the skirt is often subjected to corrosion. This is
particularly true for vessels operating under cryogenic
conditions. Thickness measurements shall also be done to
assess the extent of deterioration. The condition of fire proofing
on support beams and skirts shall be inspected for bulging and
cracks. Very light taps with a hammer will indicate lack of bond
between fire proofing and steel. Appearance of rust stains on the
surface of fire proofing is an indication of moisture ingress and
presence of corrosion on the metal underneath. If there is
reason to suspect that water or moisture has seeped through to
the steel, pockets of insulation should be removed to determine
the extent of corrosion. However, inspection of the skirt after
removal of fireproofing/ insulation shall be done at an interval not
greater than 5 years. Skirt to shell weld joint shall be checked for
cracking.
(c) Support of Horizontal Vessels
Horizontal vessels resting on concrete saddle supports where
water can accumulate and cause external corrosion shall also
be inspected. Horizontal vessels operating at high temperatures
shall be checked to ensure free thermal expansion.
ii. Foundation/ Anchor Bolts

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Foundation bolts shall be inspected for corrosion and damage. The


nuts on anchor bolts may be inspected to see that these are
properly tightened.
iii. Ladders, Stairways, Platforms and Structurals
These shall be inspected visually for corrosion, cracks, paint failure
etc. Visual inspection shall be supplemented by hammer testing.
Corrosion is most likely to occur at points where moisture can
accumulate. Crevice corrosion may exist around the heads and
nuts of bolts. Ladders shall be examined for free movement to take
up expansion of the vessels.
iv. Insulation and Protective Coatings
Visual examination of insulation will reveal its condition. Insulation
shielding shall also be checked for quality and thickness. At few
locations samples may be removed to determine condition of the
insulation and of the metal underneath. Plant or protective coating
shall examined for peeling or rusting. Insulation shielding should be
intact. If at any time insulation shielding/ cladding is blown off or
damaged the same shall be put back immediately after repairs to
avoid corrosion. The insulation retaining rings shall be checked to
see that moisture is not trapped between the rings and the
weldment. The pressure vessels operating at high temperature are
insulated from outside and the skirt is insulated gradient between
skirt and shell weld joint. Any damage to this insulation is likely to
cause the cracking of this joint. Hence the insulation shall be
inspected to ensure that the same is intact.
v. Ground Connections
Grounding connections shall be visually examined to see that good
electrical contact is maintained. The cable shall be examined for
broken strands. Its resistance shall be checked at intervals as
outlined in OISD standard-137 (Inspection of Electrical Equipment).
vi. Nozzles and small Connections
The nozzles on a pressure vessel shall be visually inspected and
thickness surveyed. When vessel is out of service, carbon steel
nozzles may be hammer tested. Small diameter nozzles (less than
50mm) are difficult to be thickness surveyed ultrasonically. The
thickness may be determined by taking radiographs wherever
possible. The tell-tale hole in the reinforcement pad shall be
checked for possible leaks.
Special attention should be given to nipples used for pressure and
temperature gauges etc. These nipples shall be checked thoroughly
in every shutdown. Test nipples of the lined nozzle shall be checked
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for any leakage. Any leakage will indicate damage of the lining. If
leakage is observed, pressure testing through tell-tale hole and test
nipples shall be done during internal inspection to locate the leaks.
Care shall be taken to keep the plugs on the tell-tale holes loose.
vii. External Inspection of Metal Surface
(a) Visual Inspection
The external surface of the pressure vessel shall be inspected
visually. The external surface may show signs of deterioration
due to atmospheric corrosion, caustic embrittlement, hydrogen
blistering, thermal fatigue and mechanical damage. If caustic is
stored or used in a vessel it shall be checked for caustic
embrittlement. The areas around the nozzles and in or adjacent
to weld seams are susceptible to this type of corrosion.
External corrosion takes place in humid areas and in areas
where corrosive chemical vapours are present. External
corrosion can be determined by visual inspection. Hydrogen
blistering is more often found on the inside rather than outside
by may be found at either place depending upon the location of
the void, which causes the condition. Blisters are found most
easily by visual examination. The shell should be checked for
buckles and bulges. These can be found and measured by
placing a straight edge against the shell.
(b) Weld Joints
The weld joints and heat-affected zones (HAZ) shall be checked
visually for cracks. In case of doubt it should be checked by dye
penetrant test.
(c) Hot Spots on Lined Vessels
Hot spots which might have development on the outer surface
due to the failure of internal linings of lined vessels shall be
checked during operation. The areas which have development
hot spots during service shall also be checked for mechanical
damage such as gouges and dents, leaks, cracks and oxidation
of any external stiffeners.
(d) Ultrasonic Inspection
Thickness measurement of the shell and domes may be taken
from outside. Exact location of thickness measurement may be
decided after internal inspection only.
(e) Vessels in High Temperature Service

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Pressure vessel which operates on thermal cycle like coke


chamber and at high temperature like orifice chamber in FCCU
shall be thoroughly inspected from outside. In case of coke
chamber if the entry of feed is at the bottom, insulation of at
least 2 to 3 courses all around shall be removed. The skirt to
shell weld joints shall be thoroughly checked for cracks. The
bottom flange welding with the shell shall also be inspected. The
weld joints, HAZ and shells of 2 to 3 courses shall be checked
for cracks and apparent bulging etc. Presence of suspected
cracks should be confirmed by using Dye Penetrant Kit. Welding
of the nozzles shall also be checked for cracking.
(f) LPG Vessels
LPG bullets and spheres having fireproofing on the outside
surface shall be examined for cracks, spalling, bulging and
deterioration of fireproofing. Appearance of rust stains on the
surface of fireproofing is an indication of presence of corrosion of
metal underneath. If about indications are apparent the
fireproofing in suspected areas shall be removed and the
external surface shall be inspection for any corrosion.
Internal Inspection
Pressure vessels entry shall be made only with an applicable work
permit as detailed in OISD-STD-105 on work permit systems. The area
of the column to be inspected internally shall be decided based on the
past history of the equipment. Available past history shall supplement
the standard inspection procedure of the equipment. The inspection of
a column is divided into the top, feed and bottom zones. If installed
equipment is being inspected for the first time, than all tray manways
shall be opened and the complete inspection shall be carried out.
Internal inspection can be divided into two parts.
i. Preliminary Inspection
Prior to scheduled shutdown of the unit the pressure vessel shall be
examined from the outside to detect any unusual condition during
operation, such as leaks in nozzle welds through tell-tale holes or
gaskets, the condition of the bolts and flanges, the apparent
condition of insulation and any other visible defects. During
shutdown, before cleaning the column from inside, preliminary
internal inspection shall be done. Observations regarding internal
dislodging etc. shall be noted. Samples of deposits shall be
collected for analysis. Preliminary inspection will also reveal the
areas having deposits, scales etc. requiring thorough cleaning to
detect metal wastage underneath the deposits during detailed
inspection. After the preliminary inspection, clearance for internal
cleaning may be given.

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ii. Detailed Inspection


(a) Top Zone
Top dome, shell and internals in the top zone shall be visually
inspected. Inspection shall be done to locate corrosion, erosion,
hydrogen blistering, cracking, laminations or mechanical
damage. Special attention shall be given to weld joints and
surface conditions. If pits are noticed, depth of pits should be
measured with depth gauge or pit gauge. Shell plates below the
reflux nozzle shall be inspected for any possible grooving.
Reflux collector shall be checked for thinning. Spouts and
counter spouts shall be checked by hammer testing for finding
any possible deterioration. The trays and valves shall be
checked for pitting and cracking. Thickness of dome and shell
near the shell and dome welding shall be taken in all four
directions (E, W, N and S). Thickness of the dome around the
nozzles shall be taken. Sample thickness of column internals
like downcomer, downcomer collectors and support plates
should be taken. Besides this, if at certain locations of shell or
measured at these locations to know the exact loss. Shell at the
downcomer collector level shall be checked for any possible
liquid level corrosion in the form of grooving. Reference points
should be marked on shell, dome and nozzles and same should
be monitored for thickness during every inspection to determine
rate of metal wastage.
(b) Feed Zone
While inspecting the feed zone (flash zone), the impingement
plate shall be checked for any corrosion/ erosion and proper
attachment with shell. Shell plates shall be inspected near the
impingement plate where there is a possibility of fluid
impingement. The internals shall also be inspected. Thickness of
the shell plates in four directions and the impingement plate shall
be taken. Sample thickness should also be taken on internals.
(c) Bottom Zone
In the bottom zone, bottom dome and shell shall be inspected.
Special care is to be taken at the area near the bottom draw off.
If pittings are observed, pit depth should be measured. At steam
injection points the shell plate opposite to steam nozzle shall be
thoroughly inspected for possible impingement. All the internal
pipings etc. shall be inspected. Thickness and hammer testing
wherever possible should be carried out. All the nozzles
including the manhole nozzles and retractable spool piece shall
be thickness surveyed. In case of insulated columns, insulation
around nozzles should be broken to facilitate thickness survey.
Wherever, it is not possible to approach the nozzle, ID
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measurements from inside shall be taken to determine


thickness.
(d) Columns in Hydrogen Service
Column in hydrogen service shall be thoroughly inspected for
possible hydrogen blistering. Hydrogen blisters shall be
inspected and evaluated as outlined in Annexure-III.
In catalytic Reactors and Regenerators, the supporting bars for
internal equipment such as cyclones shall be closely examined
for this type of attack. In these, the catalyst and air distribution
facilities are particularly susceptible to erosion and shall be
closely examined for this type of attack. Welding of the grid
supporting rings shall also be checked for cracking and damage.
Out of roundness or bulging may be evaluated by measuring the
inside diameter of the vessel at the cross section of maximum
deformation and comparing it with the original inside diameter. If
the bulging is at intervals, the measurement can be done by
dropping a plumb line and taking the measurements at selected
intervals. This will also reveal the contour of the shell.
Inspection of Lined Columns
Austenitic stainless steel columns and columns lined with austenitic SS
plates shall be passivation as per the procedure given in NACE RP-0170 before opening them in order to protect them against stress
corrosion cracking.
i. Striplined Column
Procedure for inspection of striplined column is similar to the
unlined column as explained above with certain critical locations as
outlined below needing special attention. Strips shall be visually
inspected. Special attention shall be given to the weld joints and
HAZ of welds, where cracking can take place. If cracks are
suspected, dye penetrant test should be carried out. The strips shall
also be inspected for bulging. The strip lining should be checked by
air and soap solution. The pneumatic pressure should be around
0.2-kg/ sq. cm but in no case should it exceed 02.kg/ sq. cm. The
area where the strip lining ends shall be checked carefully as
corrosion may taken place due to galvanic action of strip lining and
carbon steel shell. Thickness on the CS portion shall be measured.
Nozzle liner should be tested by pressurizing the area between the
liner and nozzle by air through test nipple. The pressure shall not
exceed 0.5kg/ sq. cm. After testing, the test nipple shall be kept
open and capped only when the plant/ equipment is commissioned.
Otherwise bulging of the liner may take place. Thickness of the
strips shall be measured at places to ascertain whether strips have

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been subjected to any corrosion. Thickness survey of the column


shall be done from outside to check the parent material thickness.
ii. Cladded Columns
Cladding shall be visually checked for any deterioration like
corrosion/ erosion, pitting, bulging etc. Thickness at designated
locations shall be measured to check the bonding of the cladding
metal with parent metal. The portion where the cladding ends, shall
be checked for corrosion which may take place due to galvanic
action. The weld joints and HAZ shall be checked for cracks. Nozzle
liners should be checked in a similar way as explained in para (i)
above.
iii. Inspection of Internally Painted Area
The temperature limitations of the painting systems used inside the
vessel should be known. While shutting down a unit, water flushing
shall be resorted to instead of steam flushing. If steam flushing is
necessary, care should be taken that flushing steam temperature
should not go beyond 1000C or as recommended by the paint
manufacturer. The painted surface shall be cleaned by water
washing and then mopping with cotton or jute. Cleaning with wire
brush shall not be resorted to. Man entry shall be by wearing soft
shoes or bare foot. Painting shall be visually inspected and
thickness should be measured with paint thickness gauge and the
same shall be compared with original DFT of painting system. The
paint should be checked for holidays. FRE/ FRP linings shall be
visually checked for mechanical damage and cracks. Thickness of
the pressure vessel shall be measured from outside. (Inspection
Checklist for column is given in Annexure-I).
Inspection of Pressure Vessels in FCCU
i. Reactors
Shell of the reactor shall be visually inspected and thickness
surveyed. Thermo-wells shall be inspected for oxidation, cracking or
distortion. Linings for the primary cyclone shall be visually inspected
at locations like inlet horns, barrel and helix cones etc. Dipleg shall
be inspected for perforations by lowering a light through the
cyclones. Lining of the secondary cyclones shall be visually
inspected at the locations like barrel, cone etc. Dipleg should be
inspected for perforations/ plugging by lowering a light through the
cyclones after cutting a window in seal pot. Aeration points in the
secondary dipleg shall be hammer tested. Grid holes shall be
inspected for erosion and plugging. Condition of deflector plate
lining, grid cone lining and riser pipe shall be checked.

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In the stripping section, stripper shell and steam nozzle shall be


inspected for erosion. Thickness measurements of stripper shell
shall be done. Condition of the lining in the fixed and removable
sections in feed riser pipe shall be checked. Inverted V-type bellows
at the expansion joint shall be inspected for perforations. Inspection
of steam and catalyst feed injections piping and nozzles shall be
carried out.
In the plenum chamber, shell shall be inspected for erosion and
thickness measurements shall be taken. Safety valve inlet nozzles
and vapour outlet line shall be inspected for thinning and plugging.
In the anticoking chamber, peripherial holes shall be checked for
plugging. Cyclone supports should be hammer tested. Shell and
weld joints between shell and bottom plate shall be inspected.
Thickness measurements of the shell should be made.
The internal lining of riser pipe shall be inspected with the help of a
cage lowered from the reactor. The bud bayonet shall be removed
and the condition of Y-section shall be critically examined for
erosion and cracking. Whenever, dissimilar weld joints exist in the
riser pipe, these should be checked for cracks. The reaction and
regeneration standpipes shall be examined for failure of internal
lining and metal deterioration. The convolutions of expansion
bellows shall be checked for deposits. The slide valves shall be
examined for erosion and proper operation.
ii. Regenerator
The shell lining shall be checked for deterioration. Particular
attention should be given just near manway and in areas behind the
grid seal. Aeration connections, thermo-wells and trickle valves
shall be inspected.
Lining for primary cyclones shall be checked. Special care should
be taken in the areas at inlet horn, barrel, helix and cones. Diplegs
shall be inspected for perforations. Hangers and supports, spray
shields and support lugs for cyclones shall be inspected. In the
secondary cyclones, barrel, cones and dipleg shall be inspected.
Lining of the plenum chamber and stack above the plenum
chamber shall be inspected. Emergency steam sprays shall be
inspected for oxidation. If the plenum chamber is of SS material, the
bimetal weld joint between chamber and shell shall be examined
from inside.
Grid plates shall be checked for bulges and thickness. Grid seal
shall be inspected for cracks or perforations. Overflow well and seal
boxes shall be checked for erosion and perforations. Lining of the
cone below grid shall be inspected. Auxiliary burner tips, air door
and the pilot shall be inspected visually. Inspection of aux-burner
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dome and the lining of the dome on the inside shall be carried out.
Lugs and supports for the auxiliary burner dome shall also be
inspected.
iii. Orifice Chamber
The orifice chamber shell shall be inspected for erosion. The areas
just after the Double Disc Slide Valve (DDSV) shall be inspected
critically. The holes/ sleeves on the grid plate shall also be
examined for increased diameter due to erosion. The shell adjacent
to grid plate should be examined for any deformation, cracks or
deterioration after removing the insulation at random from outside.
The discs of DDSV shall be examined for erosion and proper
operation.
5.3.2 Inspection of Vessel
External Inspection
External inspection of the vessel is carried out in a manner similar to
the external inspection of column. Various steps detailed in the
previous chapters shall be followed. In addition to above, attention
should be given to metal surface in contact with concrete saddles.
Vessels, which are partially or completely underground, are subject to
soil corrosion where they are in contact with ground. Therefore,
inspection of the external surface should be done, after cleaning of the
surface.
Internal Inspection
Normally there are no trays inside the vessels. Inspection of the vessel
is done similar to internal inspection of the column. Care should be
taken to inspect the liquid level corrosion. Nozzle weldings, internal
stiffners and area around them shall be checked thoroughly from
inside.
Pressure vessels, which cannot be internally inspected due to
mechanical restrictions, shall be inspected using ultrasonic equipment.
In addition they shall be pressure tested as per statutory requirements.
All weld joints in ammonia and LPG storage vessels shall be checked
internally by wet fluorescent magnetic particle examination to detect
cracks due to stress corrosion cracking, once in ten years, besides the
normal inspection.
Similarly, for vessels in DEA/ MEA service spot-checking of T-weld
joints shall be carried out by radiography/ ultrasonic testing. If defects
or cracks are detected, 100% weld joints shall be checked by
radiography/ ultrasonic testing.

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i. Concrete, Gunite & Refractory Linings


Concrete, gunite and refractory linings inside a pressure vessel
shall be visually checked for mechanical damage such as spalling
and cracks. Particular attention should be given at locations where
hot spots have been noticed during operation. Minor cracks and
areas of porosity are more difficult to find. Light scrapping will
sometimes reveal such conditions. Bulging which can be located
visually is usually accompanied by cracking in most cases. If
corrosion occurs behind a concrete lining, the lining will lose its
bond with steel. The sound and feel of light hammer tapping will
usually make such looseness evident. If corrosion behind a lining is
suspected small section of the linings shall be removed for shell
inspection. This will also permit a cross sectional examination of the
lining. In cases where bare metal has been exposed because of
lining failure, visual inspection shall be made of the exposed metal.
Thickness of the shell shall be measured from outside.
ii. Rubber Lined Pressure Vessel
Some pressure vessels are rubber lined from inside for protection
against corrosion. The rubber lining shall be inspected for
mechanical damage, holes, cracking, blistering, bonding etc. Holes
in the lining are evidenced by bulging. A holiday detector should be
used to thoroughly check the lining for leaks and holidays. Care
must be taken so that the test voltage does not approach a value
that might puncture the lining. Standards are available for values of
test voltages as per thickness of rubber lining. For inspecting
rubber-lined vessels, IS-4682-Part-I shall be referred. Bonding of
the rubber lining should be checked ultrasonically from the outside.
Riveted Vessels
Besides the internal and external inspection as given earlier, riveted
vessels shall be examined for tightness of rivets, soundness of
caulking and seal welds and other conditions. For the insulated riveted
vessel, insulation should be removed from all joints for checking at 18
months intervals.
Corrosion Coupons/ Probes
Corrosion coupons are installed in the pressure vessels to evaluate
accurately the corrosion rate or to evaluate a new material in the
existing environment. While doing the internal inspection the corrosion
coupons if installed should be taken out. Nature of corrosion attack on
the corrosion coupons shall be studied. The coupons are then
thoroughly cleaned and weight loss in a specified length of time shall
be calculated. This gives the corrosion rate and cleaned coupons are
again installed for future evaluation. Corrosion probes may be installed
at vulnerable locations on the pressure vessels for onstream
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monitoring of corrosion rates. Coupons and probes can be either fixed


or retractable type.
Safety Relief Devices
The safety valves and safety relief valves on the pressure vessels
should be revisioned and tested. For details on inspection of pressure
relieving devices OISD-Std-132 shall be referred.
Retiring thickness
Before determining the limiting or retiring thickness of any pressure
vessel, it should be determined under which code it has been
manufactured. Retiring thickness shall be calculated as per applicable
code as most vessels are built with some excess thickness in vessel
walls and heads, over that required to withstand the internal operating
pressure. The excess thickness may result from any one or more of the
following factors:
i. Excess thickness as a result of using a nominal thickness of plate
rather than the exact (smaller) value calculated.
ii. Excess thickness available as a result of setting minimum thickness
of the plates for construction purposes.
iii. Excess thickness available as a result of change in vessel service,
by reducing safety valve setting or maximum metal temperature or
both.
Retiring thickness for many accessories of pressure vessels are not
covered in the ASME code; neither are the methods of calculating such
thickness. Some of these parts are trays, internal tray supports, valves,
grid, baffles, ladders and platforms. For some of the equipment, there
are generally accepted methods of setting retiring thickness. Minimum
thickness should be developed for all such equipment. The results of
possible failure of such equipment should be considered for setting
these limits. Safety and continuous efficient operation are the prime
factors affecting retiring thickness for these components. Repair or
replacement should be carried out when they have lost one half their
original thickness. The retiring thickness for nozzles and internal
pipings shall be calculated by applicable codes or ANSI standards.
Widely scattered pits may be ignored provided:
(a) No pit depth is more than one half the vessel wall thickness
exclusive of the corrosion allowance.
(b) The total area of the pits does not exceed 45 square centimeters
within any 20 centimeter diameter circle, and

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(c) The sum of their dimensions along any straight line within the circle
does not exceed 5 centimeters.
As an alternative to the procedures described above, any thinning of
components below minimum required wall thickness due to corrosion
or other wastage may be evaluated to determine the adequacy for
continued service by employing the design by analysis methods of the
ASME code, Section-VIII Divn.-2, Appendix-4.
5.4

INSPECTION DURING MAINTENANCE

5.4.1 Weld Build up


In pressure vessels where some of the small areas within rejection limit
as specified in 11.0-sub clause b, have thinned down and entire
corrosion allowance has been eaten away, repair by local weld filling
may be required to build up the thickness. The area to be repaired
should be marked at site and should be cleaned thoroughly. The area
is filled with weld deposits, in a staggered manner to avoid warping,
with suitable electrodes matching with the base part. After weld build
up, the area should be visually/ dye penetrant inspected for cracks and
defects. Thickness sports are made at a few locations at the built up
area by grinding. Thickness shall then be measured ultrasonically to
check whether requisite thickness has been obtained. Preheating and
post weld heat treatment whenever required should be carried out as
per the code.
5.4.2 Nozzles Replacement
Thinned and deteriorated nozzles shall be replaced. Rejected nozzle
shall be removed by gouging the welding. New nozzles fabricated out
of piping having thickness equivalent to original nozzles are installed.
Welding shall be carried out from inside as well as outside with suitable
electrodes matching with base metal and nozzle material. Preheating
and post weld heat treatment of the welding shall be carried out as per
the requirement of relevant code. The weld joints shall be checked
visually and also by dye penetrant test. Defects, if found are repaired.
The weld joints shall be checked for leaks by pressurizing with air at a
pressure 1.03kg/ cm2 through the telltale hole provided in the
reinforcing pad. Pressurizing the entire column to check the nozzle
weld joints should be avoided. In some cases where the area is
accessible from inside, a box may be provided around the nozzle. The
box is pressurized with water to the test pressure of the column/ vessel
calculated by applicable code. The weld joints and HAZ are checked
for possible leaks. If any defect is found in the weld joints, these are
gouged, rewelded and retested.
5.4.3 Partial Replacement of Shell Plates & Domes

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Some portion of shell plates and domes of pressure vessels may get
thinned due to corrosion or erosion. The thickness of the affected area
may reach the retiring thickness. In such cases, partial replacement of
shell plate or dome is carried out as weld repair of the big area is not
practically possible. The affected portion is cut and removed. The new
plates matching with the metallurgy and thickness of the original plate
is made available.
The edge preparation shall be done as per the code requirement by
grinding. The prepared edges shall be checked for cracks, flaws and
defects by magnifying glass and by using dye penetrant kit. The
welding procedure is developed for welding the old and new piece as
per the relevant code. The welding may be performed either from
inside our outside. The root run shall be thoroughly inspected for
cracks and flaws. After completing the welding from one side, the other
side is chipped and ground. Before welding again, the groove is
checked for cracks and defects. Welding is then completed from the
other side.
Complete welding shall be visually checked and
radiographed as per the applicable code. Detailed inspection of
welding shall be done as outlined in Annexure-II.
Preheat and post weld heat treatment shall be carried out as per the
requirement of relevant code. In order to check whether post weld
treatment has been carried out properly, hardness readings on the
weldment and HAZ shall be taken after PWHT. The hardness readings
should be minimum as indentation marks required during hardness
measurement act as stress riser and this leads to stress concentration.
If post weld eat treatment is required it is recommended to carryout
radiography before post weld heat treatment also. The defects in the
welding are repaired by gouging and rewelding. In lie of radiography,
ultrasonic inspection of weld joints may be carried out.
Hydrostatic Test
After satisfactory inspection and radiography, the column/ vessel is
hydrostatically tested at a pressure calculated by applicable code. The
pressure should be held for a minimum of 30 minutes. During hydraulic
testing the pressure gauge should be installed at the highest point. It is
recommended that two pressure gauges be used. The range of the
pressure gauge should be 30% more than test pressure and calibrated
pressure gauges shall be used. The area, which has been repaired,
should be thoroughly checked for leaks and signs of deformation. The
pressure drop shall also be noted. Before subjecting the column/
vessels to hydrostatic test, the foundation/ supporting structures of the
pressure vessels should be checked for water load. Austenitic SS
pressure vessels shall be pressure tested using DM water or
passivating solution. Hydrostatic testing of vessel operated under
vacuum conditions shall be done as per the relevant code.
Pneumatic Testing
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When testing pneumatically, a soap solution should be used as an aid


to visual inspection. This soap solution is brushed over the seams and
joints on the vessel. The vessel is then examined for evidence for
bubbles as an indication of leaks. Often a vessel, which operates at a
vacuum, may be pressure tested. This is the preferable testing method,
when feasible, because it permits the location of any leaks. When
pressure testing is not feasible, a vacuum vessel can be tested for
leaks by creating a vacuum by means of evacuators or vacuum pumps
installed in the units. If the vacuum can be held for a specified time
after closing off the evacuators or vacuum pumps, it is an indication
that the vessel is free of leaks.
If the vacuum cannot be held, leaks are present but this method gives
no indication of their location. A search, which may be difficult, must
then be made to trace the leaks. It is suggested that pneumatic testing
should be avoided as far possible and if at all is to be carried out it
should be done in accordance with relevant code.
Repair of Cladding and Striplining
The bulged, cracked or heavily pitted cladding inside the pressure
vessels shall be repaired. The deteriorated cladding in removed by
cutting. The edges of the remaining cladding is sealed by welding,
using proper electrodes as per cladding and shell metallurgy. If the
area of the damaged cladding is small, the area is weld overlayed
using suitable electrodes. The area is then ground smooth. The
repaired portion shall be checked visually and by using D.P. for defects
and cracks etc. the welding should be done is a staggered manner to
avoid distortion of the shell. When the damaged area is big, after
sealing the remaining cladding, striplining of the area can be done.
(Details of striplining and welding procedure is given in Annexure II.)
Bulged striplining is replaced by puncturing the lining to remove
entrapped air. The bulged portion of the lining is flattened by light
hammering and then welded. If the striplining has cracked or heavily
pitted the damaged lining should be removed and fresh lining put. The
weld joints are checked for flaws and cracks by DP and visual
examination. While removing or puncturing the cladding/ striplining,
necessary precautions should be taken as hydrocarbon may be
entrapped in between the lining and shell.
Repair of Painted and Rubber lined Areas
If the painting in a small area of a vessel has peeled off or has been
damaged, patch-painting repair can be done. The damaged areas shall
be painted with original painting system with proper curing time etc. if
the area of damage is large, the area is shot blasted to Swedish
standard Sa 2-1/-2 to clean the surface and original painting system is
applied with proper curing time. DFT is measured with paint thickness
gauge. If internal rubber lining of vessels has bulged or cracked in a
small area, the deteriorated lining shall be removed and fresh rubber
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lining is put in that small area. New lining shall be checked for holes and
flaws. Local curing should be done to achieve hardness of 65 + 50A
(shore hardness A). When a large area of the rubber lining has
cracked and bulged, the damaged lining is taken out. Bare metal is
cleaned by shot blasting. New rubber lining is provided. Curing shall be
done to achieve 65 _ 50A (shore hardness A). The lining shall be
visually checked for cracks, holiday and bulging. The holidays shall be
checked by using holiday detector. For inspecting the rubber lining IS4682-Part I shall be referred.
Documentation
Observations of each inspection shall be properly recorded. After
determining the corrosion rate and remaining corrosion allowance,
repair and replacement of a pressure vessel can be planned. The
following cards shall be used for proper documentation of the inspection
findings:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
5.5

Data card (Ref. Form No 1)


Index card (Ref. Form No 2)
History card (Ref. Form No 3)
Data Record card (Ref. Form No 4)
Development Sketch (Ref. Figure 5 & 6)

REPAIRS,
VESSELS

ALTERATION

AND

RE-RATING

OF

PRESSURE

Organization
Authorization
Need of repair, alteration and re-rating of pressure vessels may come
as a result of:
i.

Inspection finding about corrosion, cracking and other type of


metallurgical and structural deterioration.
ii. Change in process condition.
iii. Change in statutory rules.
iv. Re-use of surplus pressure vessel.
Depending upon the reasons of repairs/ alteration/ re-rating following
can be used as guidelines for deciding about authorized person to
recommend necessary repair/ alteration and/ or re-rating.
Owner-user Inspection Organization
Owners Inspection Engineers shall be authorized person. However,
head of inspection shall authorize such inspection engineers with
suitable qualification and experience in writing and then only they will
be authorized to recommend repairs.
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In case of alterations and re-rating, the recommendations shall be


given in consultation with Design and Process Engineers.
Authorized Inspection Agency
An authorized inspection agency can be:
The inspection organization of the jurisdiction in which the pressure
vessel is used.
Explanation
i. Pressure vessels designed and used as per IBR shall need
authorization of Boiler Inspector/ Chief Boiler Inspector.
ii.

Pressure vessels falling under SMPV rule will need authorization


from CCE, Nagpur or its regional offices which can be obtained if,
the repair procedure is approved by the CCE approved third party
inspection agencies like EIL/ PDIL/ DNV/ LLOYDS.

iii.

In case of other pressure vessels falling under jurisdiction of factory


inspection, they shall be intimated in suitable format about the
repair/ alteration/ re-rating of pressure vessels as per applicable
system in different States and Union Territory of India.

Repair organization
Repair and alteration of pressure vessels shall be carried out by
agencies falling under the following categories:
i.

Owners maintenance wing.

ii.

A contractors whose qualifications are acceptable to the owner


who carries out repairs/ alterations in accordance with the
applicable design, inspection and/ or statutory codes and
standards.

iii.

A agency who is authorized by legal jurisdiction. As for example,


IBR authorized contractors and welders for equipment under IBR,
CCE authorized contractors / fabricators for pressure vessels
falling under SMPV (unfired) Rule 1981.

iv.

An organization holder of a valid ASME certificate of authorization


for the use of an appropriate ASME code symbol stamp.

Safety organization
As these practices are mainly applicable to pressure vessels at
installations of Petroleum Companies handling inflammable,

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hazardous, toxic products, also laid down safety precautions of owneruser organization & OISD is to be strictly followed by all concerned.
Repair and Alteration of Pressure Vessels
General all proposed methods of repairs, materials welding
consumables & welding procedure to be used and testing of welders is
to be approved by authorized inspection prior to commencement of
repair work.
Defect repair: cracks
Repair of cracks found in weld joints and parent plate material shall be
made after preparation of proper U or V groove depending upon the
depth and length of cracks. Before filling the grooves with weld deposit,
it should be ensured that cracks have been fully removed by suitable
NDT procedure.
Repair of pits
After removal of surface irregularities and contamination like oil, grease
etc., it can be repaired with weld deposit. Isolated pits having depth
less than half the wall thickness exclusive of corrosion allowance may
not need immediate repairs. However, following should be considered
before finalizing that repair is needed or not:
i.
ii.

The total pit area does not exceed 45 cm2 in a circle of 20 cm.
On any straight line within the circle the sum of dimension of pits
does not exceed 5 cms.

Repair of corroded area


Corroded areas should be restored with weld metal deposit after
surface preparation like removal of irregularities by grinding and
removal of contaminations by suitable means. Depending upon
previous observation (in case of pressure vessels which are in long
use) corrosion rate should be decided and a repair of corroded area
can be deferred to next planned M&I opportunity if remaining corrosion
allowance is expected to be more than half of total corrosion allowance
originally provided.
In case of new vessels, if on first inspection pressure part of the vessel
is found corroded to a considerable extent, the reasons of corrosion
may be investigated by experienced personnel and if required proper
protective strip lining of higher metallurgy should be considered.
(Note: for hydrogen service and design temperature about approx. 450
0
C strip lining may not give satisfactory protection).

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Depending upon the total corroded area repaired by weld deposit may
become uneconomical and time consuming. Hence, in case of large
corroded area replacement should be considered. The replacement
plate may be of the same thickness or higher thickness compared to
original thickness. Replacement plate shall be bend to required radius
and shall have preferably rounded corners.
If pressure vessel is very old and new replacement plate is not of same
grade as original, or there are reasons to believe that old plate might
have gone metallurgical change, it is necessary to carry out weldability
test, before carrying out actual repairs. Plates having carbon
percentage more than 0.25% shall not be used for replacement of
corroded area.
Repair welding procedure
Repair welding procedures are not different from what is used for
fabrication of new vessels.
However, sometimes some innovative techniques of welding repair like
Temper Bead Welding or 360 0C bonding on local repairs may give
some relief to repair organization. However, adoption of these
techniques requires consultation with experienced engineer in the field
of pressure vessel design, welding etc. These techniques shall not be
used where PWHT is due to service requirement.
These approaches of repairs along with necessary precautions are
described below:
(a) Temper Bead Welding
A temper bead welding technique may also be used in lieu of
postweld heat treatment for P-1 and P-3 materials by the following
procedures:
i.

The weld area shall be preheated and maintained at a


minimum temperature of 175 0C during welding. The maximum
interpass temperature shall be 230 0C.

ii.

The initial layer of weld metal shall be deposited over the


entire area with 1/8 (3 millimeter) maximum diameter
electrodes. Approximately one-half the thickness of this layer
shall be removed by grinding before depositing subsequent
layers. Subsequent layers shall be deposited with 5/32 (4millimeter) maximum diameter electrodes in a manner to
ensure tempering of the prior beads and their heat affected
zones. The final bead reinforcement layer shall be removed
substantially flush with the surface of the base material or the
previous weld layer.

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iii.

Heat input shall be controlled within a specified range of


welding current and voltage.

iv.

The weld area shall be maintained at a temperature of 260 0C


(+/-) 28 0C for a minimum period of 2 hours after completion of
the weld repair.

v.

The performance of the repair welding shall be carried out in


presence of Inspector.

vi.

The weld metal shall be deposited by the manual shielded


metal are process using low hydrogen electrodes. The
maximum bead width shall be four times the electrode core
diameter.

vii.

If a welded patch is applied to a riveted vessel, the welded


joint must have at least the efficiency of the riveted longitudinal
joint. A welded patch applied too close (say, less than about 15
centimeters) to a riveted joint may result in joint leakage.
Riveted joints may be sealed by mechanical caulking or seal
welding in accordance with the ASME code after carefully
cleaning the seam and cleaning around the rivet heads.

(b) Local Postweld Heat Treatment


Local postweld heat treatment (PWHT) may be substituted for 360
0
C banding on local repairs on all materials provided the following
precautions and requirements are applied.
i.

The application is reviewed and a procedure is developed by


an engineer experienced in pressure vessel design and
postweld heat treatment requirements.

ii.

In evaluating the suitability of a procedure, consideration shall


be given to applicable factors, such as base metal thickness,
decay thermal gradients, and material properties (hardness,
constituents, strength, and so forth), changes due to PWHT,
the need for full penetration weld, and surface and volumetric
examinations after PWHT. Additionally, the overall and local
strains and distortions resulting from the heating of a local
restrained area of the pressure vessel shell shall be
considered in evaluating and developing PWHT procedures.

iii.

A preheat of 150 0C or higher as specified by specific welding


procedures, is maintained while welding.

iv.

The required PWHT temperature shall be maintained for a


distance of not less than two times the base metal thickness
measured from the weld. The PWHT temperature shall be
monitored by a suitable number of thermocouples (minimum of

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two) considering the size and shape of the area being heattreated.
v.

Heat shall also be applied to any nozzle or other attachment


within the PWHT area.

vi.

This procedure will not be used for LPG, Ammonia and other
such services whose PWHT is done irrespective of the
thickness as a service requirement.

(c) Design Aspects of Repair


Butt joints shall have complete penetration and fusion. Parts should
be replaced when repair is likely to be inadequate.
New connections may be installed on vessels provided the design,
location, and method of attachment are according to the principles
of the applicable code.
Fillet welded patches require special design considerations,
especially relating to efficiency. Such patches may be applied to the
internal or external surfaces of shells, heads, and headers provided
that, in the judgment of the inspector, the proposed patch either:
i.

Provides equivalent safety to a reinforced opening designed


according to the applicable ASME code section, or
ii. IS designed to absorb the membrane strain of the part in a
manner such that in accordance with the rules of the applicable
ASME code section:
The allowable membrane stress is not exceeded in the
vessel part or the patch.
The strain in the patch does not result in fillet weld stresses,
which exceed allowable stresses for such welds. An insert or
overlay patch shall have rounded corners.
Inspection
Acceptance criteria for a weld repair or alteration should include nondestructive examination techniques in accordance with the applicable
code or vessel rating code. Where this is not possible or practical,
alternative non-destructive examination methods may be used.
Testing
After repairs are completed a pressure test shall be applied if deemed
necessary in the opinion of the inspector. Pressure tests are normally
required after alterations. However, superior quality materials, design
details, fabrication procedures and non-destructive examination may
be considered in lieu of a pressure test, substituting special procedures
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for a pressure test after an alteration may be done only after


consultation with an engineer experienced in pressure vessel design.
Any decision on this may require permission from authority of statutory
code/ rule, if applicable.
Re-Rating
Re-rating a pressure vessel by changing the temperature ratings or the
maximum allowable working pressure may be done only after all of the
following requirements have been met:
i.

Calculations from either the manufacturer or an owner-user


engineer experienced in pressure vessel design, fabrication, or
inspection, or his designated representative shall justify re-rating.

ii.

All re-ratings shall be established in accordance with the


requirements of the code to which the pressure vessel was built
or by computation using the appropriate formulas in a later edition
of the ASME code, if all essential details comply with the
principles of the code being used.

iii.

Current inspection records verify that the pressure vessel is


satisfactory for the proposed service conditions and that the
corrosion allowance provided is appropriate.

iv.

The pressure vessel has at some time been pressure tested in


accordance with the new service conditions, or the vessel integrity
is maintained by special non-destructive evaluation inspection
techniques in lieu of testing.

v.

The pressure vessel re-rating is acceptable to the inspector.

The pressure vessel re-rating will be considered complete when the


inspector oversees the attachment of an additional nameplate or
additional stamping carrying the following information:
Re-rated by------------------------------------------------------------------------------MAWP

cm2

------------------------------kg/

--------------------------------temperature 0C
Date----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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6.0

QUALITY
ASSURANCE
CONSTRUCTIONS

PLAN

FOR

NEW

Quality assurance plan of new facilities needs attention right from the
design stage, P&ID review, checks during detail engineering,
construction quality control. Selection of the commissioning team and
the leader is also vital to ensure quality of the final facility. The major
areas to be looked into during these stages are suggested as under.
6.1

QUALITY ASSURANCE DURING DESIGN STAGE


The finalization of design basis has to be done with meticulous care.
The specification and Front End Engineering Design (FEED),
procurement, construction and commissioning stages need adequate
involvement of project team.
The PFD and P&ID reviews and layout checks are also need to be
reviewed critically. The Isometrics and General Arrangement Drawings
(GADs) developed by the detailed engineering contractor also needs
thorough review.
Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) should be developed in advance to
ensure reliability of the new facility. The stages of QAP should include
systematic review of the following depending on the criticality:

Purchase order, drawings and specifications.


Approval of QAP.
Manufacturing process.
Heat treatment.
Chemical composition.
Product analysis.
Tensile strength.
Hydrostatic test.
Transverse tension test.
Dimensions.
Workmanship, finish and appearance.
Marks and abrasion.
End finish.
Product marking.
Packing.
Documentation.
Release note.

The QAP should clearly define the role and responsibility of the
Manufacturer, Third Party Inspector, PMC and Owner.

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Some specific points have been listed below based on the recent
experiences of commissioning of new facilities. These aspects should
also be taken care of during the design stage to ensure reliability of the
new facilities.
i)

All small bore pipings and tracer lines, size and below should
be welded by TIG process for all types of joints, e.g. butt, socket,
tee, etc. to ensure proper quality of welding. Use of half coupling
may be considered to increase reliability of small-bore
connections.

ii)

Minimum thickness of pipe for sizes upto 1 should be Sch. 80


for CS and AS.

iii)

Reinforcement pad shall be provided at support location.

iv)

Steam drain points should be routed to a drain header and taken


out of the unit area.

v)

As far as possible long trunion types of supports more than 500


mm long are to be avoided. In case of long trunion supports are
unavoidable in straight length of pipe, it is to be provided with
reinforcement pad on the pipe.

vi)

Stiffener should be provided in small-bore bleeder/ drain point


connection welded to immediate upstream or downstream of
safety valves.

vii)

Fire fighting points are to be provided at higher elevation in case


of tall columns, structures.

viii) As far as possible, stub in type branch connection are to be


provided when branch size is less than one size than the main
pipe.
ix)

All the reinforcement pad telltale holes should be drilled and


tapped properly. Gas cut holes should not be accepted.

x)

The supports welded on insert plates in the RCC columns should


be checked for their adequacy to bear the required loads and
movements of the system. The insert plates should be fixed with
anchor fasteners grouted in RCC column.

xi)

Insulation windows for inspection and thickness survey are to be


provided in insulating vessels at all approachable location with
provision of caps to avoid ingress of water.

xii)

Wherever insulation is to be provided on vessel for human safety,


it should be replaced by a cage of 1 GI wire mesh wrapped

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around the piping with the help of spacers tack welded on the
wire mesh.
xiii) All the fittings like valves, flanges etc. in high temperature service
(> = 300 0C) should also be fully insulated if they are in open area
or the localized cooling can cause operational problems like
coking etc.
xiv) All SS connections should have chloride free insulation or
preferably should have SS foil wrapped between pipe and
insulation.
xv)
6.2

No cast iron valves should be used in firewater or any other


service.

QUALITY ASSURANCE DURING CONSTRUCTION STAGE


In spite of best efforts in the design stage, the quality of new facilities
cant be assured without proper involvement of Inspection & Project
team of the Owner. The selection of the Project team and
commissioning team is the most vital aspect for the successful
commissioning of the new facility and unfortunately is the most
neglected in our case.
The Owner supervision during construction cant be diluted inspite of
having PMC, EPC or LSTK contractors.
The Third Party Inspection Agencies, wherever employed, should be
different from the executing agency.
Although, the involvement of Owners representative cant be spelt out
however, to mention few one must take care of the followings:
i)

Spring type supports should be unlocked and cold set prior to


commissioning of the system by the contractor as per the
instructions of spring support manufacturer in presence of PMC/
Owners representative.
A complete list of all the spring supports in a particular units is to
be compiled alongwith relevant documents & details and
submitted to IOCL Inspection & Maintenance Department prior to
Mechanical completion of the Project.
Movement of the spring supports to be closely observed during
startup and recorded till system attains its maximum operating
temperature.

ii)

The structural layout and erection should take care of adequate


gap for vessel, piping, considering insulation and expansion
movement of piping.

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iii)

All the mating flanges connecting to equipment like Columns,


Vessels, Heat Exchangers, Pumps, Compressors etc. are to be
welded after proper alignment and leveling of terminal equipment
to avoid the misalignment and tension at nozzle flanges.

iv)

Piping connections passing through technology structure (RCC


floors) or passing near the concrete column etc. should have
adequate annular space to avoid restriction of line movement
during thermal expansion. The gap should be taken care for hot
lines alongwith insulation thickness.

v)

All the RTJ ring gaskets should have proper identification marking
with metallurgical certificate available.

vi)

Positive Material Identification (PM) should be carried out for all


the components of Alloy Steel, Stainless Steel and other higher
metallurgy piping and checked on three-tier basis to ensure
correct metallurgy. First at suppliers shop, second at our stores
and third after fabrication & erection at site. The properly
identified material should be given a distinct colour by supplier
before dispatch to avoid any mixing with other material. Third
Party Inspector should also certify PMI.
Part of the weld joints should also be carried out for Alloy Steel/
Stainless Steel circuits in-situ. This should be incorporated in the
contract.

vii)

Electrical resistance coils should be used for pre heating/ post


heating of all the alloy steel welding of dia. 2 and above. Pre
heating/ post heating should be made mandatory for all the alloy
steels irrespective of fillet/ butt weld sizes.

viii) Temperature recorders used in stress reliving should be


calibrated and the related certificate should be available at site for
verification.
ix)

Contractor, who is awarded the work involving use of low


hydrogen electrodes, must have a furnace suitable for baking of
electrodes at 300 0C.

x)

Welding of alloy steel butt weld joints should not be left


incomplete for long hours. Earlier in few cases, only root run was
done on a day and remaining welding was planned next day. Next
day the partially welded joints were found cracked.

xi)

Cold pull if provided should be specifically certified by Engineerin-charge/ Inspector.

xii)

All critical service gate/ globe/ check valves should be site tested
prior to installation.

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xiii) All the supports of a piping system should be checked for their
correctness and adequacy after complete installation by the
Designer to avoid any problem during operation.
xiv) Flushing should be done properly after dropping the safety valves
and control valves etc. to avoid any ingress of foreign material.
Proper flushing to the satisfaction of Production Department
should be part of main contract.
xv)

All piping system should be drained and air flushed after


hydrotesting.

xvi) A list of all expansion bellows installed area wise alongwith


spares supplied should be handed over to IOCL Inspection &
Maintenance Department by consultant/ contractor.
xvii) Bellows should be checked for proper supporting.
xviii) Bellows shall be unlocked prior to commissioning in presence of
PMC/ Owners representatives.
Distinct colour code to be used for different materials (including IBR
materials) for piping and fitting. On the pipes, the colour strips shall
cover the full length of pipe and bends. This colour marking shall be
part of purchase order for compliance at the suppliers end.
6.3

QUALITY ASSURANCE PLAN FOR VESSELS


Sr.
No.
1.

2.
3.

4.

Activity component
Review of welding procedure,
specification & procedure
quality record

Inspection
Description
Welding parameters,
welding consumable
&
any
other
supplementary
requirement.
Radiography, Bend
test
Physical & chemical
properties

Review
of
welder
performance qualification
Review of materials test
certificates & co-relating with
materials spec. & heat marks.
i)
Top/ bottom heads.
ii) Shell
iii) Nozzles & internals
iv) Non pressure parts
Dimensional check up, joint
alignment,
weld
groove
preparation.
i)
Top/ bottom heads.
Long seam setup
inspection for blanks.
ii) Shell
Circum seam setup
of shell to shell.

M&I Deptt., Ref. Div. Indian Oil Corporation Limited

Reference
Document
ASME Sec. IX

ASME Sec. IX
Approved Std.
Specifications.

Approved
drawings
Code-I.

in

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5.

6.

7.

8.

9.
10.

11.

iii)

Nozzles & internals

iv)
v)

Non pressure parts


Assembly

Dished end/ cone forming


i)
I/D.
ii) Height
iii) C.F.
iv) Minimum thickness
v) Under & over crowning
vi) Identification on mark.
Nozzle orientation/ elevation

Pipe to flange setup


of nozzle, setup of
nozzle on main shell
heads, skirt shell.
Fit up.
Setup inspection of
dished ends to shell.
Checking 100%
Approved
drawings
Code-I.

Marking of 0, 90,
180, 270 degree
orientation and Tan
line.
Checking 100%.
Each weld 100%

NDT test.
i)
D.P. of nozzle to shell/ D
end B/ chip
ii) RT of nozzle, long seam,
circum seam.
iii) PT of weld surface of
internals, back chipped
surface of circ. Seam
joint.
Heat treatment of D end/ Rate
of
heating
heads. HT graph loading/ cooling,
soaking
unloading of D.E. in furnace.
temp. & time of each
D ends 100%
Ultrasonic test of all Butt-weld Full Butt-welds (long
joints in shell and heads after seams
&
circ.
PWHT.
Seams). 100%
Visual & dimensional checkup Appearance, touch
before PWhT & inspection for ups etc.
external
&
internal
attachments & weld surfaces.
Air leak test of R.F. pads
Checking 100% of
weld
surface
of
nozzle to vessel joint.

12.

Skirt fit up

13.

Final dimensional checkup

14.

Hydro testing of the vessel.

M&I Deptt., Ref. Div. Indian Oil Corporation Limited

in

Approved
drawings
in
Code-I
&
specification.
Approved
specification.

Heat treatment
procedure per
approved
drawings.
Approved
drawings
in
Code-I.
Approved
drawings
in
Code-I,
specifications.
Approved
drawings,
specifications.
No leakages.
Alignment,
Approval
straightness,
joint drawings
design, dimensions, specifications.
PCD etc checking
100%.
Checking up of all Approved
parts
dimensions drawings
in
100%
Code-I.
100% visual check in Approved
horizontal position.
drawings
in
Code-I.
No

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15.

Surface cleaning & painting.

16.

Final stamping.

M&I Deptt., Ref. Div. Indian Oil Corporation Limited

leakage.
100% sand blasting, Approved
wire brushing.
drawing
in
Code-I
&
specifications.
Identification
Approved
drawings
in
Code-I

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7.0

CORROSION UNDER INSULATION

7.1 INTRODUCTION
Corrosion under insulation (CUI) is a real threat to the on stream
reliability of many of today's plants. This type of corrosion can cause
failures in areas that are not normally of a primary concern to an
inspection program. The failures are often the result of localized
corrosion and not general wasting over a large area. These failures can
be catastrophic in nature or at least have an adverse economic effect
in terms of downtime and repairs. The American Petroleum Institute
code, API 570, Inspection, Repair, Alteration and Derating of In-service
Piping Systems and the piping code first published in June 1993,
identifies CUI as a special concern. Typically, as it has happened with
API 653 and the Clean Water Act, the API codes become an industry
standard, and the regulations demand that organizations maintain a
program to meet that standard. OSHA 1910 is the rule with the teeth in
this case. CUI is difficult to find because of the insulation cover that
masks the corrosion problem until it is too late. It is expensive to
remove the insulation, particularly if asbestos is involved. There are a
number of methods used today to inspect for corrosion under
insulation. The main ones are profile radiography, ultrasonic spot
readings, and insulation removal. The other method now available is
real-time X-ray. Real-time X-ray has proven to be a safe, fast and
effective method of inspecting pipe in plant operations.
7.2

MECHANISM

Availability of oxygen
High temperature
Availability of water & concentration of dissolved species
In carbon steel, it manifests as generalized or localized wall
thickness loss. With stainless steel pipe it is often pitting and
chloride induced stress corrosion cracking (CSCC).
Major corrosion experienced in the temperature range of 0 0C to
149 0C with a maximum at around 93 0C.

Normally, as the temperature increases, the amount of oxygen


dissolved in solution decreases as the boiling point is reached resulting
in reduced corrosion rates. However, on the surface covered by
insulation, a poultice effect is created which holds the moisture, makes
it a closed system. In fact the measured corrosion rates associated
with corrosion under insulation follow trends to higher corrosion rates
commonly associated with only pressurized systems. Furthermore, in
cases where precipitation becomes trapped on the metal surface by
insulation, corrosive atmospheric constituents such as chlorides and
sulfuric acid can concentrate to also accelerate corrosion. In some
cases, chlorides are present in the insulation, which greatly promotes

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corrosion of the underlying surface when it becomes laden with


moisture.
The problem occurs on carbon steels and 300 series stainless steels.
On the carbon steels it manifests as generalized or localized wall loss.
With the stainless pipes it is often pitting and Chloride induced stress
corrosion cracking (CSCC). Though failure can occur in a broad band
of temperatures, corrosion becomes a significant concern in steel at
temperatures between 32F (0 C) and 300F (149 C) and is most
severe at about 200 F (93 C). Corrosion and CSCC rarely occur
when operating temperatures are constantly above 300F (149 C)(1).
Corrosion under insulation is caused by the ingress of water into the
insulation, which traps the water like a sponge in contact with the metal
surface. The water can come from rain water, leakage, deluge system
water, wash water, or sweating from temperature cycling or low
temperature operation such as refrigeration units.
API 570 specifies the following areas as susceptible to CUI:

Areas exposed to mist over spray from cooling water towers.


Areas exposed to steam vents.
Areas exposed to deluge systems.
Areas subject to process spills, ingress of moisture, or acid vapors.
Carbon steel piping systems, including those insulated for
personnel protection, operating between 25 F and 250 F (-4 C
and 120 C). CUI is particularly aggressive where operating
temperatures cause frequent condensation and re-evaporation of
atmospheric moisture.
Carbon steel piping systems that normally operate in-service above
250 F (120 C) but are in intermittent service.
Dead legs and attachments that protrude from insulated piping and
operate at a temperature different than the active line.
Austenitic stainless steel piping systems that operates between
150 F and 400 F (60 C and 204 C). These systems are
susceptible to chloride stress corrosion cracking.
Vibrating piping systems that have a tendency to inflict damage to
insulation jacketing providing a path for water ingress.
Steam traced piping systems that may experience tracing leaks,
especially at the tubing / fittings beneath the insulation.
Piping systems with deteriorated coatings and/or wrappings.
Locations where insulation plugs have been removed to permit
thickness measurements on insulated piping

7.3 INSPECTION TECHNIQUE


Visual: The most common and straightforward way to inspect for
corrosion under insulation is to cut plugs in the insulation that can be
removed to allow for ultrasonic testing. However, many times such
plugs can be the source of moisture leakage. The main problem with

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this technique is that corrosion under insulation tends to be localized


and unless the inspection plug is positioned in the right spot, the sites
of corrosion can be missed.
Profile radiography: Exposures are made of a small section of the pipe
wall. A comparator block such as a Ricki T is used to calculate the
remaining wall thickness of the pipe. The exposure source is usually
Iridium 192, with Cobalt 60 used for the pipes of heavier wall thickness.
Profile radiography is an effective evaluation method, but becomes
technically challenging in piping systems over 10 inches (25.4 cm) in
diameter and only offers the limited luxury of verifying relatively small
areas. This technique will not detect CISCC in stainless steels. In
addition, radiation safety can be a real concern. Nobody can work
within the area while the inspection is under way, this can result in
downtime and conflicts in manpower scheduling.
Ultrasonic Thickness Measurement: An effective method, but limited to
a small area. It is expensive to cut the insulation holes and cover the
holes with caps or covers. It is not practical to cut enough holes to get
a reliable result. The inspection holes cut in the insulation may
compromise the integrity of the insulation and add to the corrosion
under insulation problem, if they are not recovered carefully. This
technique will not detect CISCC in stainless steels
Infrared Scanning: In the right conditions, infrared can be used to
detect damp spots in the insulation, because there is usually a
detectable temperature difference between the dry insulation and the
wet insulation. Corrosion is a distinct possibility in the areas beneath
the wet insulation.
Neutron Backscatter: This system is designed to detect wet insulation
on pipes and vessels. A radioactive source emits high-energy neutrons
into the insulation. If there is moisture in the insulation the hydrogen
nuclei attenuate the energy of the neutrons. The instrument's gauge
detector is only sensitive to low energy neutrons. The count displayed
to the inspector is proportional to the amount of water in the insulation.
Low counts per time period indicate less moisture presence.
Real Time Radiography: Fluoroscopy provides a clear view of the pipes
outside diameter through the insulation, producing a silhouette of the
pipe outside diameter (OD) on a TV-type monitor that is viewed during
the inspection. No film is used or developed. The real-time device has
a source and image intensifier/detector connected to a C-arm. There
are two major categories of RTR devices on the market today; one
using a X-ray source and one using a radioactive source. Each has its
own advantages and disadvantages, however the X-ray systems
deliver far better resolution than the isotope based equipment.
7.4

PREVENTION

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Inhibitors such as Na2SiO3 have been tried with varying success


since repeated wet / dry cycles may make inhibitors ineffective.

Water proofing to prevent the ingress of water from outside sources


is another method. However, it has been shown that sometimes
these techniques tend to lock in moisture, which can also increase
corrosivity.

Careful selection of insulation materials to prevent those that


contain high levels of corrosive impurities such as chlorides is
critical to reducing corrosion under insulation. One of the best but
most expensive options to prevent corrosion under insulation is the
use of protective coating systems. Unfortunately, in most cases,
coatings that have been successful for atmospheric service are
used under insulation with disastrous results. It is often a surprise
that under-insulation service is a more severe condition than
straight atmospheric service.

Special coating system must be utilized that have proven


performance. In some applications inorganic zinc has worked well,
but not in others. Use of zinc rich paint, however, is not permitted on
stainless steel because of its susceptibility to embrittlement in
contact with liquid zinc. As a matter of fact even galvanized wire or
wire nets (for retaining insulation in position) are not to be used. In
case of fire the molten zinc falling on the SS can lead to cracking.
Anticorrosion and inhibitive coatings are being proposed or
considered for long-term performance.

7.5 SCC PREVENTION UNDER INSULATION

Keep the insulation dry.


Use low leachable chloride containing insulations.
Addition of Sodium Metasilicate as an SCC inhibitor to the
insulation at a minimum concentration of ten times the Chloride
content.
For maximum protection Metasilicate is painted on vessels or piping
before installation of inhibited insulation.
Catalyzed high build epoxy paints up to 100 0C.
Catalyzed coal tar epoxy enamel paints upto 150 0C.
Silicone base coatings upto 200 0C.
These coatings are more effective on sandblasted SS surface.
Protection of the vessel or piping with SS or Aluminum foil under
insulation. It is effective between 60-500 C. The aluminum foils are
however first attacked by Alkaline leach water from insulation and
hence needs to be periodically renewed.

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8.0

STRUCTURED PACKING PROBLEM IN COLUMNS

8.1 PHENOMENA
Structured packing failure has been experienced in LVGO Section of
Vacuum Column of Mathura Refinery. In CPCL produced in the column
is entrapped between the packing. During running there is no problem.
Because Fe-sulfide is pyrophoric, it spontaneously burns, if dry on
coming in contact with air after the column is opened. To avoid the
packed column is drenched with copious amount of water to flush out
the entrapped sulfide prior to opening also similar failure has been
reported resulting in bending up the column. Pyrophoric iron burns in
presence of oxygen during shutdown, as the flushing scheme was not
adequate to clean the iron sulfide entrapped within small gaps in the
structured packing. The fire many times occur in pockets area one side
of the packing. This is due to inadequate distribution of flushing water
or channeling, which leaves some parts unwashed, which later catches
fire.
8.2 AREAS OF ATTACK
Structured packing provided in the distillation columns to improve
distillation are the probable areas of attack. The lower void area of the
structured packing also increase the possibility of such failure. This
type of failure can also be experienced where packings are used for
removal of H2S in gas sweetening plant.
8.3 MECHANISM
The sulphur in the crud reacts with steel components and forms
pyrophoric iron (iron sulfide). This is carried along with flow to the
column and deposit in the small gaps of structured packing. This
catches fire in presence of oxygen during shutdown. If coke particles
are also present along with sulfide, the consequence is more severe.
Structured Packing Failure in LVGO Section of Vacuum Column in the
main column of Vacuum distillation Unit in one of the refineries SS 410
S structured packing has been provided. In one of the shutdowns it
was observed that structured packing had fallen down and caved-in, in
the LVGO/ HVGO section. The operating temperature of this zone is
between 181 0C to 275 0C. The structured packing is 1200 mm high
with 225 mm height of each section packed together. The top and
bottom portion of about 150mm height was found intact whereas
brittleness was observed towards inner section.
Chemical analysis revealed that the metallurgy confirmed to SS 410S
as per the original specification. No low melting eutectic forming
elements were noticed in the analysis. However carbon content in the
fused sample was 0.18% (by weight) against 0.08% in the fresh
sample. This confirms carbon pick-up in the material, which can occur
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at high temperature and is not expected at the operating temperature


here.
The micro-structural observation on the cross-section of fused packing
consists of equiaxed ferrite grains with presence of coarse carbide
precipitates in relatively higher quantity on grain boundary as well as in
grains. Carbide precipitate forming networks along with the grain
boundaries are also seen in the microstructure which confirms that the
packing has been exposed to relatively high temperatures.
Analysis of the scale sample collected was carried out and Sulfur was
found in the range of 25 to 35 %, Iron 45 to62%, Cr-2% and Mn-0.22%.
After magnetic separation and spirit wash, the magnetic sample was
analyzed in Scanning Electron Microscope and found to be FeS. This
confirmed the possibility of Pyrophoric iron.
Carbon pick-up and chromium carbide precipitation along grain
boundaries confirm that the packing must have been exposed to high
temperature. The most probable reason for high temperature appeared
to be burning of pyrophoric iron in presence of air during shutdown.
Once the burning starts the presence of carbon in form of coke and
entrapped hydrocarbon can lead to more severe damage. As cleaning
of structured packing cannot be ensured during normal shut down
procedures, fire due to pyrophoric iron is more evident. Literature
survey also brought similar failure in structured packing due to
pyrophoric iron. Hence it was concluded that the failure is due to
pyrophoric iron fire at the time of shutdown.
To prevent re-occurrence of such incident it was recommended to
separate wash water line should be provided and existing wash water
system to be checked for adequacy. Proper water washing of the
structured packing to be ensured during shut down in future.
8.4 CONTROL

Use of structured packing with higher void area.

Provision of separate wash water facility along with arrangement to


ensure proper distribution above each structured packing layer.

Proper water washing to be ensured during shutdown.

Keeping additional water hose near manhole during opening of


manholes for use during emergency.

Keeping the structured packing wet during the shutdown period as


far as possible.

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8.5

Provision of pressure gauges across structured packing layers to


note any increase in pressure drop.
DETAILED PROCEDURE FOR VACUUM COLUMN KMNO 4 WASH
TO MINIMIZE POSSIBILITY OF PYROPHORIC IRON FIRE
Potassium permanganate wash is proposed for chemically neutralizing
pyrophoric iron sulphides. As compared to other method, the
permanganate treatment does not generate H 2S and has no other side
effects. This has been used successfully in refineries all over the world.
The by-product manganese di-oxide is biologically inert and can thus
be discharged in wastewater. The purple color of KMnO 4 solution turns
brown upon reaction with iron sulphides and hence acts as an indicator
of the completeness of pyrophoric iron removal from the column.
Procedure for KMnO4 wash 12-C-01

First the column will be steamed out and washed with hot water as
per existing procedure.

While undertaking water wash of the column, run all the pump back
(IR) streams to ensure proper cleaning of the packing.

Fill up accumulator vessel 10-V-5 with water (above 80%) and


slowly introduce 6 bags of KMnO4 (300 kg) from the upper manhole.
Steam hose may be connected at one of the vessel bottom nozzle
and steam is introduced at slow rate to agitate the vessel content
and facilitate dissolution of KMnO 4 into water. Makeshift Sparger
with air hose connection may be provided inside the vessel to
improve agitation. This will make 2%w KMnO 4 solution.

KMnO4 solution will be introduced into the column and the flow rate
has to be calculated based on the total volume.

For Mathura refinery Vacuum column the KMnO4 wash scheme will be
as follows:The flow rate will be @ 10 M3/hr as per following line-up (refer
Enclosure-1).

10V5 10P2 10E15 (bypass) LVGO CR control valve 12C1


top

About 20 M of 3 dia temporary piping will be provided to connect


10-E-5 to LVGO CR control valve 12-FCV-63.

While introducing KMnO4 solution into column, firewater flow will


also be simultaneously maintained thru adapters provided at the
location marked A in Enclosure-1.

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Following pumps will be used for internal reflux (refer Enclosure-2):


Sl. no.
1.
2.
3.
4.

Pump
12-P-2
12-P-7
12-P-9
12-P-4

IR to Bed
LVGO pumpback
LDO pumpback
HVGO washzone
Stripping trays

About 50-60 M3/ hr flow will be maintained thru each pump. As the
pumps will be running with water, amperage should be observed while
loading the pumps so as to avoid tripping of motors.
Ensure that the filters on pump back headers are on line to prevent
entry of unwanted material into the packing.
As KMnO4 solution passes, the pyrophoric iron, trapped in the column
packing will get oxidized. The purple color of KMnO 4 turning into brown
indicates oxidation reaction.
Column bottoms will be drained thru 12-P-5 suction strainer to waste
water drainage.
The above process has to continue till the effluent from column turns
back to purple. It is estimated that about 1 MT of KMnO 4 will be
required for the wash procedure and 3 batches of solution will have to
be prepared in 10-V-5 for the purpose.
Once KMnO4 wash is completed, rinse the column with cold water for
about 3-4 hrs.
Some Important Points

Ensure proper cleaning of the column with adequate steaming and


water wash before starting KMnO4 wash.

While opening the column manholes, start them from top with the
one after another at a time interval of about 2 hrs. It is important
NOT to open the manholes simultaneously at the top and bottom
since this could create an air draught through the column and may
initiate combustion of residual pyrophoric iron, if any.

It is always advisable to keep some water flush in the column while


opening the manholes.

If any hot job is to be undertaken in the column, proper isolation


with asbestos blankets to be ensured to avoid fire splinter spreading
around.

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10-E-15

10-V-5

LVGO CR to 12-C-1

2 X 3
2

10-P-2

LVGO ex 12-E-3

12-FRC-63

3
A

3 X 8

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LVGO CR for KMnO4


0
LVGO R/D + CR
12-P-2
LDO R/D
12-C-1

12-P-7

12-P-9
Vac Slop R/D
12-P-4

12-P-5

KMnO4 drain to waste water

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9.0

TIME OF FLIGHT DIFFRACTION (TOFD) TECHNIQUES

9.1

TOFD AS A NDT TOOL


The TOFD method was first developed in 1977 and has only been
gaining importance as a technique since last few years. The increasing
popularity of the technique is attributed to the high probability of
detection, low false call rate, portability and intrinsic accuracy in flaw
sizing (depth). Earliest field application of TOFD dates back to 1985 in
assessment of Nuclear reactor welds.

9.2

FUNDAMENTALS OF TOFD TECHNIQUES


TOFD is an ultrasonic based technique in which the forward scattered
diffracted energies from the defects are monitored unlike the reflected
waves in the conventional pulse echo technique. A schematic of the
probe arrangement is shown in Fig.-1. The technique utilizes two wide
beam angle probes connected together in the Transmitter & Receiver
modes. Broad beam probes ensures flooding of the entire area of
interest with ultrasonic energy consequently a large volume of
inspection is made possible at a time.
The diffracted waves have a different velocity than the reflected
longitudinal waves. Diffraction is stronger for longitudinal than
transverse waves and hence are used in TOFD. The diffracted signals
from the two tips of any given defect are at 180 0 phase shift and hence
can be easily distinguished. The various signals received by the
receiver from the front and back surfaces as well as the defect edges
are non linear with respect to time scale.
Four different types of waves are involved in the constitution of a TOFD
image:

Longitudinal wave generated by the transmitter and partially


transformed into spherical wave when the beam strike the tip/ tips
of discontinuities.
Lateral wave that propagates on the surface between the two
transducers.
Longitudinal wave reflected by the back wall.
Shear wave generated by the mode conversion longitudinal/
spherical on the interface of discontinuities.

In an A-scan image of TOFD, a lateral wave traveling along the


scanning metal surface in a shortest path, Back wall echo and other
diffracted signals within the scan volume at heterogeneities can be
seen as distinct amplitudes as shown in Fig.-1. An A-scan image in
TOFD is not a rectified one and so cant be directly used for defect
interpretation. Therefore, TOFD is always applied with imaging
methods. The echo amplitudes are displayed in grey scale with light
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grey for zero amplitude, black for negative maximum and white for
positive maximum amplitudes. This is accomplished usually by Radio
frequency (AC) signal phases that can enable viewing of images in real
time.
9.3

DEFECT CHARACTERIZATION
The TOFD technique is based on measurement of time with respect to
diffracted signals arriving from the heterogeneities. If the heterogeneity
is big enough, the diffracted signals from the boundary of the
heterogeneities will be time resolved. In order to calculate the defect
size, depth from the inspection surface a simple Pythagorean principle
is used. The same is illustrated in Annexure-1.
Configuration of TOFD System
The TOFD system comprises of a minimum set of two small crystal
angle probes (30-700), probe assembly unit with special holders to
allow scanning either parallel or transverse to weld, dedicated
computer with software and printer. These probes are special probes
with capacity to emit short wider pulses for improved accuracy in time
of flight measurement. The frequency selection is based on the
thicknesses to be scanned. A minimum off 5MHz is normally used. A
typical TOFD configuration is shown in Fig.-2.
TOFD Scanning Procedure
A minimum of two angle probes is used in TOFD. The distance of
separation of the probes is calculated according to the wall thickness.
The probe assembly ensures a constant distance of separation
between the probes. Often the frequency of the probes and the angle
selected may warrant use of four probes having different angles. For
defect detection in weldments, the probes are aligned transversal to
the weld and the scanning/ movement of the probe assembly is made
along the weld. This is termed as D-scan, which is non-parallel placing
the weldments at the centre of transmitter and receiver as shown in
Fig.-3. D-scan is the most popular scanning procedure for weldments.
Thus the D-scan image that is generated is in the direction of the
defect with defect perpendicular to the vertical probe movement plane.
However, in cases where flaws are noticed an additional scan
perpendicular to the weld axis is also performed to characterize the
shape and dimension.
All the scan data are collected in real time by the system. The back
wall and lateral waves appear constantly on the screen indicating good
contact and correct amplification selection. From the real time scan
data, proprietary software is used for mathematical computation of
defect dimensions and location.
Calibration of TOFD System

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Depending on the thickness of the section to be scanned, the system is


calibrated using standard test blocks of nearly identical thickness. The
British Standard BS-7706 Calibration and Setting up of the Ultrasonic
Time of Flight Diffraction TOFD Technique for the Detection, Location
and Sizing of Flaws is the earliest TOFD standard. This is a guide
standard and thus contains a lot of detail about the technique in
addition to the application requirements.
The system calibration for the chosen probe characteristics and
metallurgy is done on standard blocks containing known flaws
incorporated through electro discharge machining. These known flaws
vary in size, depth and orientation. The gain of the instrument
(sensitivity) is set for each of these situations in such a way to
compensate the electronic noise in the system and the inherent
graininess of the material.
Application of TOFD
TOFD is mainly applied in the integrity assessment of weldments of
thick walled components after Heat treatment, Hydrotesting or service
exposure. It can verify the absence of cracks not detectable by
Radiography and prove conformity with any prior ultrasonic manual
examination carried out during construction. A list of scans outputs of
TOFD depicting some of the standard defects is presented in
Annexure-2. Present day TOFD systems can be used for online
monitoring of welds during service life upto operating temperatures of
250 0C. The more accurate through wall sizing of flaws allows more
reliable fracture mechanics calculation for residual life estimation.
TOFD facilitates periodic inspection of pressure vessels that dont
permit man entry due to presence of catalyst, internal lining etc.
Advantages and Limitations of TOFD
Advantages

Defect detection independent of defect orientation unlike pulse echo


ultrasonic testing.
Defect height can be determined aiding crack growth monitoring.
Defect can be visualized through imaging as in radiography.
Higher speed of inspection as compared to conventional NDT.
TOFD base scan during fabrication welding can help quality control
as well as monitor structure with service exposure.
TOFD has high probability of defect detection.
TOFD is safe from environmental hazards in comparison to
Radiography/ X-Ray detectors that need to be employed in case of
thick weldments.
TOFD can accurately defect and quantify microscopic degradation
caused by SCC, HIC, Fatigue etc.

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Limitations

TOFD technique is specified along with gain/ amplitude level


settings in order to set acceptance criteria. A low level of gain would
indicate no diffracted signals. On the contrary a high level of gain
close to the noise signals may exaggerate very small local
heterogeneities of the weld.

Since close to the back wall the


small, diffracted waves may not
TOFD. Hence, detection of small
scan surface in difficult and hence
testing.

In practice diffracted echoes at crack tips may not always be clear


and may get merged with the noise depending on the sensitivity
settings. Sizing and interpretation of the defects requires operator
skills.

crack echo amplitudes are very


be detected at the receiver in
cracks close to the backside of
call for supplementary Ultrasonic

TOFD Related Codes and Standards


Application of TOFD has fully demonstrated its reliability and detection
capability with respect to other conventional NDT methods. This has
led to user-established procedures for TOFD as standard norms.
The British Standard BS-7706 Calibration and Setting up of the
Ultrasonic Time of Flight Diffraction TOFD Technique for the Detection,
Location and Sizing of Flaws is the earliest TOFD standard. ASME
code has included in section-V, Appendix E, the computerized
ultrasonic system and TOFD technique for ultrasonic examination of
welds. ASME Code case no.2235 has accepted. TOFD in lieu of
Radiography examination for thickness over 4.

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Annexure-1

The TOFD technique is based on timing measurements made on the


signals diffracted by the crack. The general situation is depicted in Fig.1. The transmitting transducer T emits a short burst of ultrasound into
the steel plate which thickness is H mm. This energy spreads out as it
propagates into a beam with some definite angular variation. Some of
the energy is incident on the crack tip (O & O) and is scattered by it.
Scattering from the edge of the cracks, called diffraction, causes some
fraction of the incident energy to travel towards the receiving
transducer R.
If the crack is big enough then the signals from the two extremities of
the crack will be time-resolved. As well as these two signals, there will
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be some energy, which arrives at the receiver directly from the


transducer by the shortest possible path (L1 + L2) and (L3 + L4) just
below the surface of the component and an echo from the back wall.
Such a set of actual signals is displayed in the lower part of Fig.-2. In
the example, the transducers were moved, at constant separation, in
the vertical plane, over a defect perpendicular to that plane. The
signals appearing are, from the top of the figure to the bottom, the
lateral wave, signals from the top crack (O) and bottom crack (O) of the
defect and finally the back wall echo.
Calculation Size and Depth of Defects
To calculate the defect size and depth from the inspection surface
users Pythagorass theorem. Suppose, that the defect is oriented in a
plane perpendicular to both the inspection surface and the line jointing
transmitter and receiver along the inspection surface. Suppose also
that the defect is midway between the transmitter and receiver (a
position that can be found by minimizing the time of flight by probe
scanning), its position below the inspection surface at a depth D mm.
The distance of the two probes separation is taken S mm, the length of
the defect is L mm, the thickness of the steel plate is H mm and the
speed of propagation of sound waves is C, then the arrival times of the
various signals are:
The first arrival time from the lateral wave signal to the receiver:
t
L

S
C

(1)

The second arrival time from the top tip diffracted signal to the
receiver:
AOB is right-angled triangle and OA perpendicular to the surface AB.
Accounting to Pythagorass theorem
OB2 = OA2 + AB2
Where
OB = L2, OA = D and AB = S/2 (half of the probes separation).
Then
L22 = D2 = (S/2) 2 and L2 = C*t1/2
Where
C speed for the longitudinal wave in steel.
L2 half of the path of the diffracted signal so its takes time t 1/2.
S/2 half distance of the probes separation.
t1 the arrival time of the top tip diffracted signal.
Substitute, L2, the equation is form as below:
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(C*t1/2) 2 = D2 + (S/2) 2
Then the arrival time from the top tip diffracted signal to the receiver is:
t1

4D2 + S2
C

(2)

The third arrival time from the bottom tip diffracted signal to the
receiver.
The basic principle is the same as described above, the only change
need to be done OA instead of OA.
Where
OA = D + L : L defect size
t2

4(D + L) 2 + S2
C

(3)

The fourth arrival time from the back wall echo to the receiver.
The time for the back wall echo is:
Tbw

4H 2 + S2
C

(4)

Where
H- the plate thickness.
Rearranging the above equations, we are able to calculate depth (D),
size (L), Thickness (H) and the probe separation (S). They are shown
in the below:
The value of the depth D is from the equation 2:
D

1C2t12 S2
2

(5)

The value of the defect size L is from the equation 3:


D

1C2t22 S2
2

D (6)

The value of the thickness of the plate H is from the equation 4:


H

1C2t2bw S2
2

(7)

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The value of the separation of the probes S is from the equation 4:


S

= C2t2bw 4H2

(8)

Where C is the speed of the lateral wave. On a flat plate this speed is identical
to longitudinal wave.

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10.0 PRESERVATION OF EQUIPMENT


10.1

IDLE TIME PRESERVATION OF COLUMNS AND VESSELS AS PER


OISD-171.

10.1.1 Introduction
Preservation of idle equipment installed in the plant involves
safeguarding unattended and inactive equipment from deterioration
during their down period, generally above one month arising out due to
the reasons like feed problems, haulage problem, major repairs,
revamps, modifications, retrofitting, etc. Deterioration of equipment
during periods of idling is usually caused by conditions entirely different
from those that exist during operation. Many deposits formed during
operations turn usually corrosive under shutdown conditions. Moisture,
oxygen, dirt, dust, ultraviolet rays, extreme pressure and temperature,
corrosive environment of coastal areas and closeness to other
chemical plants, are the some of the factors causing deterioration.
Preservation of static and rotary equipment and their spare parts,
which are required to be kept in store for prolonged periods, needs to
be carried out to prevent their deterioration, and as such preservation
procedures for the equipment/ spares kept in store should be adopted.
New equipment received at plant/project site should be preserved
considering manufacturers recommendations.
10.1.2 Scope
This standard lays down the preservation procedures to be followed in
oil and gas installations for various static and rotary idle mechanical
equipment installed at plant and for the equipment/spares kept in
stores.
The scope does not include the electrical equipment,
instruments and chemicals.
10.1.3 Definitions
a) Preservation: - Preservation is safeguarding of unattended and
inactive equipment from deterioration during their down period.
b) Coating: - Coating means an application of a coat of preservative
media like paint, Oil or grease etc.,
c) Surface Preparation: - Surface Preparation includes cleaning of
the parent metal surface for removing foreign particles like rust,
scale, liquid etc., by mechanical or chemical cleaning techniques.
10.1.4 Consideration for Selection of Protective System
A careful study should be undertaken before finalizing a protection
system. This should consider the type of equipment, its cost and ease
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of repair/replacement, period of protection, rate of deterioration


expected and allowable deterioration etc. Equipment, which can be
shifted easily, should preferably be moved to warehouse.
Before going for protective measures, following should be considered:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)
h)
i)

Period of shutdown
Allowable deterioration and rate of deterioration
Probability of reuse
Expenditure for repair/replacement
Time for repair/replacement after the shutdown
Type of protection systems (various alternatives)
Condition of the equipment
Criticality of the service
Type of environment in which equipment/spares are to be stored.

Equipment/spares will need no preservation if


a) It has become obsolete and will not be put to service again.
b) It has deteriorated beyond economical repair and required to be
condemned.
c) The estimated value of the equipment is not worth the expenditure
to be made for preservation, if it is not in critical service.
10.1.5 Preservation of Idle Static Equipment
This section covers the Preservation of following idle equipment.
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)

Heat Exchangers
Columns & Vessels
Fired Heaters, Ducts & Stacks
Cooling Towers
Storage Tanks
Boilers
Pipelines

Preservation of Heat Exchangers


Exchangers need to be carefully protected when idle. Exchangers
may deteriorate due to conditions, which are different from those that
exist during operation. The deterioration may be primarily due to
water, sludge or other corrosive elements in the entrapped process
fluids and environmental conditions. Some fluids may have a tendency
to congeal after a long time of retention. Preservation technique
should be based on the duration of idleness, type of equipment, its
service and environment. Exchangers in non-corrosive service should
be preserved in case idle period is more than six months. For
exchangers in corrosive services, preservation should be done based
on corrosiveness of the fluid.
The following procedures for
preservation should be adopted:
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a) Open the exchangers, remove the bundle, and disassemble all


components.
b) Clean all the parts thoroughly by hydroblasting / hydrojetting or
chemical cleaning. No deposits should be left on inside or outside
surface of the equipment/bundle.
c) Thoroughly coat with preservative oil/grease on the required
surfaces including bolting flange and gasket faces, etc.
d) Reassemble all components, blank off all nozzles and close all
vents and drains.
e) All the exposed bolts and flanges to be coated with grease.
f) Austenitic stainless steel component should be suitably passivated
before exposure to atmosphere in line with the procedure as laid
down in NACE Standard RP-01-70.
g) Depending on the environmental conditions, coating to be applied
on the external surfaces. If the weather is very humid, completely
remove the insulation and apply the paint.
h) For finned air cooler, clean the tubes internally, circulate
preservative oil through the tubes and seal off all the header boxes.
i) When the tube bundle is to be stored separately, bolt wooden
flanges to both the tube sheets and cover with waterproof tarpaulin,
if necessary.
Preservation of Columns and Vessels
In columns/vessels when idle, corrosion can take place either due to
condensation of retained vapours or from the moisture in the
atmosphere. Corrosive products may also form due to the chemical
reaction of water with scales/deposits. Following procedures for
preservation should be adopted:
a) Flush/clean the equipment, carry out neutralization wherever
applicable and drain.
b) Purge with nitrogen after ensuring that all the openings are sealed
and leak free. Maintain a positive pressure of 100 mm of water
column. Alternatively spraying oil on the inner surfaces or filling
and draining oil or placing desiccants like bags of lime or silica gel
may be considered.
c) Remove the safety valves (bolted only) and close all the openings.
Safety valves shall be stored indoors.
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d) Coat all the exposed bolts anchor bolts, gaskets, flange faces with
grease/preservative oil.
e) Austenitic stainless steel components shall be suitably passivated
before exposure to atmosphere in line with the procedure as laid
down in NACE Standard RP-01-70.
Preservation of Fired Heaters, Ducts and Stacks
In heaters when idle, corrosion may take place either due to
condensation or chemical reaction of atmospheric moisture with
scale/deposits on the tubes. Following procedures for preservation
should be adopted.
a) Tubes should be completely cleaned from outside and inside
surface. After cleaning the header, boxes should be sealed. For
vertical heater drying with nitrogen/ air should be considered. If the
complete cleaning is not possible, suitable neutralizing agent should
be flushed through the tubes to avoid any damage that may occur
during idle period.
b) All the hinges on access doors, peep holes, drains and dampers,
etc. should be coated with grease to ensure smooth operation after
shutdown.
c) When the external surface of the furnace/ducts/stack reveals paint
failure, it is advisable to touch up and maintain the paint on a
regular schedule. Sulphur deposits if found, should be removed.
d) Refractory should be kept dry at all the times to prevent any
cracking due to water ingress. The ingress of atmospheric moisture
should be avoided by proper capping of stack and duct opening and
by sealing all those locations from where water or moist air can
seep in. Supplementary heat or a desiccant can also be considered.
Preservation of Equipment in Cooling Towers
The cooling tower consists of concrete basin, main structure of red
wood, fan and fan motor. The conditions are more severe when the
cooling tower is in operation than it is idle. Following preservation
procedures should be adopted while cooling tower is idle.
a) Drain and flush all the pipelines.
b) Drain all water from the basin, remove all debris, muck, etc. and
clean the basin thoroughly.
c) Replace all unsatisfactory structural members. Replace warped and
missing slats.
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d) Carryout repairs to the concrete walls and floors of the basin for
cracks, loose concrete, slope of the floor, etc.
e) Remove fan motor and protect it as per OISD-146 (Preservation of
idle electrical equipment).
f) Drain the oil from gear box and refill it with a high grade mineral oil.
Clean the exterior surfaces of the gear reducer housing and paint
them. Wrap all exposed shaft with Plastic tape. Store the reducer in
a warm and dry area.
g) Clean the fan with appropriate cleaner and apply suitable paint, if
required.
h) Cover the fan drive gear with a light grease and water proof paper.
i) Secure the fan blades to prevent rotation and to provide supports.
In areas where it is undesirable or unnecessary to remove the fan drive
components, the fan should be operated every 3-4 weeks and routine
preventive maintenance be carried out.
The dry wood of an idle cooling tower is a serious fire hazard.
Therefore, for idle periods of about two months, a perforated hose
should be laid around the tower and spray water periodically to keep
wood in wet condition all the time. For extended shutdowns, the
plenium and fill should be sprayed with a fire retarding chemical and a
biocide.
Preservation of Atmospheric Storage Tanks
Tank interiors can be corroded by the water present in the product or
by condensation of the vapours in fixed type of roofs. Floating roof is
subjected to exterior corrosion due to stagnant water on the roof.
Following procedures for preservation should be adopted.
a) The tank shall be made free of gas and any residue. Extra
precautions shall be taken when pyrophoric iron sulfide or residue
of leaded gasoline are present.
b) All the loose scales on the internal surface of the tank should be
removed.
c) The internal surface should be coated with preservative oil by
spraying. Brushing can be used in the case of structural members.
d) All the manholes should be closed.
e) The external surface should be cleaned and protected by suitable
repainting as necessary.
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f) Tanks located in areas subjected to windstorms of high velocity


shall be filled with an inhibited water.
g) If the tank is with steam coils, the condensate should be drained off
and the steam coil should be positively blinded.
h) The tanks isolated from service shall be externally inspected
annually.
i) In case of floating roof tanks, the floating roofs should preferably be
kept afloat by filling with inhibited water and roof drains be kept
open. Water accumulated on the roof tops due to rain etc, if any,
shall be cleaned periodically.
Preservation of Idle Boilers
Unless proper storage procedures are followed, severe corrosion may
occur in idle boilers. The method to protect idle boilers depends
primarily on length of downtime. Cold storage of boilers includes dry or
wet storage. Dry storage is preferred when the boilers will be out of
service for a period of 45 days or more while wet storage may be
suitable for a shorter duration.
Cold Storage
a)

Dry Storage:
The boiler should be drained, thoroughly cleaned and dried
completely by means of hot air. Close attention should be given to
complete elimination of moisture from nondrainable super heater
tubes. A suitable absorbing material in a water tight container
should be placed in the boiler drums or on top of the flues in a
fire tube boiler. The most commonly used moisture absorbents
are quick lime and silica gel. Silica gel is more efficient in
absorbing moisture and can be regenerated by heating so that it
can be used over again and again. Since it is not a caustic
substance, can be used more easily and safely, it is generally
preferred.
After placing the quick lime or silica gel in the boiler as per
manufacturers recommendation, all openings should be tightly
closed. The unit should be checked at an interval of every two or
three months, as experience dictates, for renewal of the lime or
regeneration of silica gel.

b)

Wet Storage
The boiler should be cleaned and inspected and then filled to the
normal water level. If deaerated water is not available, dissolved
gases should be expelled by boiling water for a short time with

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boiler vented to atmosphere. The boiler water alkalinity should be


adjusted with caustic soda to a minimum of 400 PPM. Sufficient
Sodium sulfite should also be added to produce a minimum sulfite
residual of 100 PPM. After the boiler is cooled and before a
vacuum is created, the unit should be filled completely with water
and all connections closed.
Test should be conducted on weekly basis and additions to the
treatment chemicals should be made necessary to maintain the
minimum recommended concentrations. When treatment
additions are required, the boiler water should be circulated by
means of an external pump or by lowering the water to operating
levels and steaming the boiler for a short time. The boiler should
then be completely flooded as outlined previously. The
temperature of boiler should be maintained as low as possible
since the corrosion rate increases at higher temperatures.
When the boiler is returned to service, a high rate of blowdown
should be maintained initially so that alkalinity and sulfite be
reduced to normal operating levels rapidly.
In some small installations or where weekly testing is not
practicable, Chromate salts can be employed to protect idle
boilers against corrosion. The concentration maintained should
be 2000-2500 PPM as sodium chromate. The boiler should be
completely filled and closed tightly. To assure good mixing,
circulation of the water with a pump is recommended. Boilers
stored in this manner should be blown down heavily to dissipate
the chromate colour, before being returned to service.
Nitrogen or other inert gas may also be used for storage purpose.
A slight positive pressure of the gas is maintained after the boiler
has been filled to operating level with deaerated feed water.
c)

Super heater Storage


In some boilers it is not possible to separate the super heater
section from rest of the boiler. Accordingly, it is necessary to
follow the same storage procedure for the super heater section as
for the other portions of the boiler. Wet storage of drainable
super heaters is relatively simple while wet storage of
nondrainable super heaters is more complicated. In dry storage,
care must be taken to remove all the moisture from the
nondrainable super heaters by reheating the super heaters
sufficiently to evaporate all the water. This may be accomplished
by means of a small fire in the boiler furnace. In some cases it
may be possible to dry the nondrainable super heaters with hot
air diverted from the air heaters of one of the operating boiler.
Depending on the actual design, there may be a choice as to

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whether the dry air is directed over the external surfaces or


internally.
Since a residue will be left in nondrainable super heater tubes
after boiling out, if the superheater has been flooded with water
containing boiler water salts, it is desirable to employ a method of
wet storage which does not involve the use of solid chemicals.
Volatile chemicals or inert gases can be used in superheater
section. The volatile chemicals recommended are hydrazine and
ammonia or neutralizing amine. If high purity is not available to fill
the entire boiler, the superheater tubes can be filled with
condensate or demineralised water from the outlet end. The
recommended treatment concentrations are approximately 100
PPM of hydrazine and sufficient ammonia or neutralizing amine to
elevate the PH to approximately 9.0-10.0.
Hot Storage
Instead of keeping standby boilers in banked condition or operating all
the boilers in lower capacity, standby boilers can be kept under
pressure as Accumulator with a simple modification. The modification
required is a 2 steam line from main steam header to be connected to
the blowdown line upstream of blowdown valves with 2 nos. of 2 NRV.
Through this accumulator steam line, steam from the main steam
header enter into MUD DRUM and get condensed and hence the
boiler will be under pressure without keeping the burners in service.
About 3 to 5 Tonnes per hour of steam may be consumed in this way
to keep the boiler as Accumulator- depending upon the insulation of
the boiler.
To keep the boiler as accumulator:
a)
Stop the burner/s
b)
Stop the FD fan
c)
Close the main stop valve
d) Open both accumulator steam line block valves slowly avoiding
water hammering
To put back the boiler in service:
a)
Open the start up vent line
b)
Open the SH drain
c)
Start FD fan
d)
Take the burner/s into service
e) After about 5 minutes of venting of steam, open the main stop valve
and close the start up vent and SH drain valve

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To operate blowdown valves during accumulator condition (drum level


may rise during accumulator condition due to the condensation of the
accumulator steam in the MUD DRUM) to lower the drum level.
a) Close the accumulator steam 2 gate valve near the MUD DRUM
b)
Operate the blowdown valves
c) After blowdown - close the blowdown valves and open the
Accumulator Steam 2 gate valve
Preservation of Pipelines
The following procedures should be adopted
a) Flush the lines clean
b) Open the flange joints and valves at low points to ensure complete
draining.
c) Dry the lines or circulate an inhibited or uninhibited oil through them
d) Inspect insulated and wrapped lines, uncovering the piping where
leaks are suspected.
e) Repair all damaged insulation and wrapping. Bare pipe should be
wire brushed and painted.
f) Lubricate all valves.
g) Spray all external surfaces of the valves with oil and cover valve
stem with grease. Relief valve should be rotated or separated from
their discharge piping. Their discharge side should be sprayed with
oil and covered with water proof paper or plastic.
h) Tighten all flanges. Spray mating flanges joints with oil, and wrap
them with suitable wrapper to prevent crevice corrosion between
mating flanges.
On idle units, process and utility lines (except fire water lines) should be
blinded off near the battery limit.
Preservation of Materials In Stores
Moisture, oxygen and atmospheric conditions are the main contributing
factors causing deterioration. These may cause rusting, pitting of
surfaces and other forms of deterioration. Proper identification system
should be used for material stored in the warehouse to avoid mixing.
Procedure for preservation of stored material should be adopted as
follows.

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10.2

IDLE TIME PRESERVATION SCHEME FOR VESSELS & COLUMNS


IN SULFUR RECOVERY UNIT (FOR 1 TO 18 MONTHS)
Preservation Scheme for Sulphur Recovery Unit
Before taking shutdown for idle time preservation, liquid/solid materials
from all the lines, vessels, exchangers and any other metallic
equipment shall be drained, thereafter, all the lines, vessels and
equipments shall be cleaned thoroughly by steam flushing and
water/solvent flushing. This is required to avoid choking of lines and
equipments by sulphur and sulphur compounds, as any leftover
sulphur and sulphur compounds, upon cooling from incrustation, which
cannot be removed easily.
Static Equipment
Acid Gas Knock Out (K.O) Drum (Carbon Steel), Hydrogen Rich Gas
K.O.Drum, Fuel Gas K.O.Drum: SWS Gas K.O.Drum, Ammonia Rich
Gas KOD. Acid Gas condensate collection drum, SWS / NH3 Rich Gas
condensate Drums. Atmospheric Flush Drum

Remove all the condensate inside the K.O. Drum


Clean the internal surfaces of K.O. Drum by manual cleaning and
solvent cleaning by Naphtha. The surface shall be free of all debris
clean with potable water if required before cleaning with naphtha.
Check for condition of internal coating, if any
If the internal coating is in good condition, no painting is required.
If the internal coating is found to be peeling off, clean the surface by
manual and hand tool as per SSPC-SP-2.
Apply one coat of two component self priming epoxy cured with
Polyamine hardener @100 microns DFT (Dry film thickness/coat)
by spray/brush
Dry with instrument air
Seal all the openings of K.O. Drum to prevent ingress of moisture
into K.O. Drum.

Blow down drum (carbon steel)

Remove all water and liquids inside the Blow down drum. Clean the
inside drums manually. Wash with potable water if required and dry
with air.
Blind all the inlet and outlet nozzles and ensure all the openings are
sealed and leak free excepting one inlet and one outlet.
Purge with nitrogen and maintain a positive pressure of 5-10 psig.

Chemical injection pot (Carbon steel) & Chemical Preparation


Tank (Carbon steel)

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Remove all the chemicals from the chemical injection pot and store
separately in plastic carboys. Wash inside surface of the pot and
connected piping by potable water and drain out after washing.
Waste heat recovery boiler (Carbon steel)
Tube side: Process gas

Blind all the inlet and outlet nozzles and ensure all the openings are
sealed and leak free excepting one inlet and outlet.
Purge with Nitrogen and maintain a positive pressure of 5-10 psig.

Shell side: Boiler feed water / Medium Pressure steam:

Flush with D.M. water and then fill with D.M. water containing
200ppm of Hydrazine. The system shall be completely filled.

Sulphur condensers (CS)


Tube side: Process gas:

Blind all the inlet and outlet nozzles and ensure all the openings are
sealed and leak free excepting one inlet and outlet.
Purge with Nitrogen and maintain a positive pressure of 5-10 psig.

Shell side: LP Steam / Water


Flush with D.M. water and then fill with D.M. water containing 200ppm
of Hydrazine.
Reheaters: (Carbon steel)
Tube side: Process gas

Blind all the inlet and outlet nozzles and ensure all the openings are
sealed and leak free excepting one inlet and outlet.
Purge with Nitrogen and maintain a positive pressure of 5-10 psig.

Shell side: High Pressure Steam / Condensate


Flush with D.M. water and then fill with D.M. water containing 200ppm
of Hydrazine.
Pit heating coil and sump heating coil

If heating coils are made of carbon steel with steam as heating


medium
D.M. water wash / D.M. Water with 200 ppm Hydrazine.

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Otherwise remove all the liquids inside and dry. Then purge with
Nitrogen after ensuring all openings are sealed and leak free
excepting one inlet and outlet.

Maintain a positive pressure of 5-10 psig.


Sulphur pit made of Concrete

Clean inside of the pit manually and close the pit of all openings to
avoid any ingression of water and debris.
Heating coils (Low Pressure steam)
Flush with potable water and fill with D.M. water containing 200
ppm of Hydrazine.

Pit ejector (Steam ejector)


Same as heating coils as mentioned above.
Catalytic converters associated components
Service H2S, SO2, Sn, N2, CS2, H2O) Wash with potable water/solvent
to remove all chemicals completely and finally flush with D.M. water,
dry with instrument air and keep closed.
Catalytic incinerators / Burners
Main Burner, Line Burner

Remove all the nozzles and oil gun and keep it in safe custody.
Cover the burner from inside by a plastic sheet to avoid falling of
debris.

Grease and/or oil all moving parts associated with burners, Seal burner
openings.
Sulphur yard (concrete)
Keep the yard clean and prevent accumulation of dirt and debris. Keep
the sulphur bags covered.

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10.3

IDLE TIME PRESERVATION SCHEME FOR STATIC EQUIPMENT IN


AMINE TREATING UNIT (FOR 1 TO 18 MONTHS)
Before taking shutdown for idle time preservation, the Amine Treating
Unit shall be operated without feed process gas to remove acid gases
from amine solution as much as possible. Required level of corrosion
inhibitor shall also be maintained in the circulating amine before idle
time shutdown. This is required to avoid corrosion of carbon steel
surfaces by the leftover amine solution after the shutdown.
Static Equipment

LPG Absorber with Amine


Fuel gas Absorber with Amine
Flash column
Amine Regenerator
Sour Fuel Gas filter/separators
Amine Storage Tank
Skim off vessel
Amine Regenerator Reflux Drum

Purge individual equipment with Nitrogen and ensure that all openings
are sealed and leak free. Maintain under a positive pressure of 5-10
psig.
Amine Sump, corrosion Inhibitor drum, Amine Settler vessel, Amine
Regenerator Reboiler condensate pot, Antifoam Agent Drum

Clean with potable water and dry by compressed air and keep
closed.

1st stage and 2nd stage caustic wash vessel. Clean and flush with
potable water. Keep covered.
Sour Gas Cooler
Gas side: Purge with Nitrogen and seal all the openings and maintain
positive pressure of 5-10 psig with Nitrogen.
Cooling water sides: Drain cooling water and purge with Nitrogen and
keep under positive of 5-10 psig N2.
Rich Lean Amine Exchanger:
a)

For shell & tube Exchanger


Drain amine and flush with D.M. water and air-drying. Keep
closed.

b)

Heat Exchanger

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For plate Heat Exchanger


Perform normal washing, chemical cleaning or mechanical
cleaning prior to protection
Disassemble plates to ensure complete cleaning and drying.
For storage periods over twelve months, coat rubber sealing
rings with a suitable compound to promote ease of removal.
Reassemble plates. Leave drain valves open. Reprime frame
materials as necessary, coat bolts and nuts with Rust
preventive oil.
Amine Regenerator Condenser: Amine Side: Purge with Nitrogen
and seal all the openings and maintain positive pressure of 5-10
psig. with Nitrogen
Cooling waterside: Drain, purge with N2 and keep under positive
pressure of 5-10 psig.
Amine Regenerator Reboiler Steam Side Keep filled with D.M.
water containing 200ppm Hydrazine
Lean amine cooler Amine side: Purge with Nitrogen and seal all
the openings maintain positive pressure of 5-10 psig.
Cooling waterside: Drain, purge with nitrogen and keep under
nitrogen pressure of 5-10 psig.
Filters

Charcoal Filters
Cartridge Filters
Drain, backwash with potable water and keep filter media/cartridge
under Potable water

Piping

Lean amine liquid piping


Rich amine liquid piping
LPG/lean amine piping
Fuel gas vapor piping
LPG piping
Sweet LPG piping

Purge with Nitrogen and seal all the openings without any leaks and
maintain positive pressure of 5-10 psig.
Antifoam agent liquid piping. Flush with potable water and dry by air.
Weak caustic liquid piping
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Strong caustic liquid piping


Fresh caustic piping
Flush with D.M. water and dry by air
Valves
Lubricate and cover exposed valve stem with Industrial grease. Spray
petroleum oil in between flanges, if any operate the valves once in a
fortnight.
Flanges, Joints, Nuts and Bolts
Spray petroleum based oil of approximately SAE 20 to 30 viscosity of
Rust preventive oil and wrap the flange joints with plastic tape

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10.4

MOTHBALLING OF REFRACTORY LINED EQUIPMENT

Equipments with refractory lining are to be thoroughly flushed with


warm air and cleaned to remove any deposit of combustion
products including sulphur,

Seal all burner openings, close man ways and other openings
completely.

Place silica-gel/lime trays inside as desiccants. In case of lime rake


the same once a month and change after six months. For silica gel,
it may be changed once the color changes.

Flanges and bolts are to be coated with suitable grease

Insulated surfaces are thoroughly inspected for wet insulation. Wet


insulation is to be removed. The metal surface in such case is to be
thoroughly cleaned and primed before reinsulation. Weather jackets
are to be inspected thoroughly to ensure that no water ingress
takes place. If required, the joints of cladding may be sealed by
MAS-35 of Macrotech or equivalent. The open ends of the
insulation are to be fully sealed, particularly at valves, pumps etc.
and caulking of all openings are to be done, such as at hangers,
supports etc., by MAS-35 or Macrotech or equivalent.

A cap is to be provided on the stack to prevent ingress of rainwater


but enough provision of opening for a positive draft may be given.

The mothballed equipments shall be subjected to periodic


inspection to detect any changes in the protection applied.
Equipments that has been sealed and contain desiccant are
examined once a month to ensure that the sealing is intact. If
moisture is found, the equipment is opened, dried and reprotected.

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10.5

INERT GAS PURGING & BLANKETING OF EQUIPMENT


Inert gas purging and blanketing of equipment may be accomplished
by one of two methods purge and fill or the continuous purge. However,
prior to purging the tightness of all joints should be determined. This is
done most easily by filling a vessel with an inert gas (e.g. nitrogen) at a
pressure of 14 psig (0.0965 Mpa) and testing all the joints with soap
solution. Any leaks should be repaired. Care must be exercised to
ensure the equipment is capable of retaining the required pressure.
Atmospheric tanks are purged by a flow of gas without raising the
pressure.

Purge and Fill

Pressure the vessel or system with inert gas to 10 psig (0.069


Mpa).

Depressurize to 2 psig (0.014Mpa) by opening the top vent valves.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the oxygen content at all sample points
is less than 1% by volume.

Measure the dew point of the inert gas in the vessel. If it is greater
than 0 deg. F (-180C), continue the purge and fill until a satisfactory
dew point is reached, less than 0 0 F.

When the oxygen level is less than 1% by volume and the dew
point is less than 00F, pressurize the vessel to 10 psig (0.069Mpa)
minimum and close off all valves.

Maintain the vessel under a positive pressure of inert gas of 5 psig


(0.034) Mpa) minimum, adding gas as necessary to maintain the
pressure.

Continuous Purge

Purge the vessel or system with inert gas with the top valve open
until the oxygen content and the dew point are below 1% by volume
and 00F(-180 C), respectively.

Ensure that the inert gas expanding through the nozzle does not
chill carbon steel vessels below 590 F (150 C) to avoid possible
brittle fracture.

Close the vent valve and pressurize the vessel to 10 psig


(0.069Mpa) minimum.

Maintain the vessel under a positive pressure of 5 psig (0.034 Mpa)


minimum, adding inert gas as necessary.

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Monitoring
Each vessel or system maintained under an inert gas blanket is fitted
with a pressure gage to permit periodic monitoring of the pressure. The
pressure is monitored, generally on a weekly basis, until no pressure
loss is noted for three consecutive weeks. Monitoring is then performed
monthly as long as no loss of the inert gas blanket occurs.
Caution
The use of nitrogen or any other inert atmosphere may present a safety
hazard to personnel. It is an important safety precaution to post
warning signs at each manway or other point of entry into equipment
and systems protected with inert atmospheres.

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10.6

PROCEDURE FOR PASSIVATION OF AUSTENITIC STAINLESS


STEEL EQUIPMENT

Introduction
Neutralization of Austenitic SS is necessary to avoid stress corrosion
cracking due to polythionic acid attack of the S.S. equipment and
piping. This is formed if the system is opened to the atmosphere
without due safeguard. IOCL, Mathura has developed a draft
procedure for passivation, which has been reviewed by EIL (SMMS)
and a detailed guideline prepared. This is given for Refineries to
develop specific passivation scheme for desired equipment.
Neutralization Solution
Wt% Soda ash solution as envisaged by Mathura Refinery will provide
adequate level of residual alkalinity on the metal surfaces (after the
solution is drained from the equipment) that will neutralize any
polythionic acid formation. Other parameters like addition of 0.4 wt%
sodium nitrate, pH of solution at minimum of and chloride level at
maximum of 100 ppm is in order.

Samples of solution should be taken from suitable points and


concentration should be adjusted, if needed.

Chloride content should be checked before pumping the solution to


the system.

Use neutralizing tank by adding low chloride 250 Kgs. Soda ash
and 50 Kgs. Of Sodium nitrate for each batch. Alternative
combination and batches may also be used as may be suitable.

Preparation and Blinding

Scheme for 2 (two) circuits may be made. One for tube side of
exchanger alongwith other equipment that can easily be taken on
line e.g. Reactor, vessels etc.

Another circuit may be made for covering shell side of the


exchanger and some other equipment in this circuit.

Column should be treated separately, so also the heaters.

Isolation and positive blinding of Heater should be ensured.

Blinds in heater exchangers and column should be installed under


nitrogen positive pressure with due precautions. A typical
neutralization and blinding scheme with solution entry and exit
points is enclosed for reference.

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Two blinds on heater outlet (H1), line No. 04 to V-10-01.

Tube side inlet to E-05, line No. 01.

Line No. 02, inlet to E-01C shell and FRC by pass.

Provide spacer alongwith a blind on line 03 (E01A) shell outlet.

Suitable scheme may be developed as above depending on actual


layout of equipment and piping site.

Before taking the Reactor into the circuit for neutralization, approval
of licensor should be taken. If no work is involved in Reactor, the
same may be maintained under Nitrogen positive pressure with inlet
and outlet positively blinded.

Column
Circulation of solution in the column is not feasible. Hence swabbing or
spraying will have to be resorted to. Opening of minimum number of
manholes should be ensured as more the opening more possibilities of
ingress of air into the system. Manholes closer to S.S. portion should
only be opened. As suggested in procedure by Mathura Refinery,
maximum manpower should be developed to ensure completion of
work as early as possible. Gas free atmosphere should, however, be
ensured before man entry. Spraying is preferable than swabbing for
uniformity.
Furnace/ Heater
External
External surface should be sprayed with suitable sprayer (long nose
nozzle). Swabbing may not give uniformity and will not be possible to
cover the entire lengths and breadths of tubes. Entire operation should
be done at the earliest possible time. Minimum number of
manhole/pinholes should be opened.
Internal
Can either be kept under nitrogen positive pressure if feasible or filled
with neutralizing solution by pumping and ensuring that the heater is
completely filled with solution through suitable inlet and outlet joints.
Procedure

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Fill the tube side and Reactor from the filling point No. 1 (see attached
drawing) with the solution backward to Exchangers E01 C/B/A tube
side.
Fill Exchangers E01 A/B/C shell side from point 3 with the solution.
Continue filling the system until Soda Ash solution can be collected
from points 2 and 4 (on the drawing) and make sure that the system is
completely filled up with the solution.
Take samples from points 2 and 4 and check the concentration of the
solution, prepare additional batches and continue re-filling if the
solution concentration is less than 1%.
Soaking Time
Soak the system for 8 hours minimum before dumping the catalyst, if
Reactor is involved.

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BLIND
VALVE
PROCESS
FROM HEATER

LINE
SOLUTION

OUT

SOLUTION

LINE

V-10-01
REACTOR

0
4

E-1A
OUT
E-1B
4

1
E-1C
1
E-05

03

TO HEATER

02

TYPICAL PROCESS EQUIPMENT NEUTRALIZATION SCHEME

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10.7

NACE RP-0170 ON PROTECTION OF AUSTENITIC STAINLESS


STEEL EQUIPMENT
Protection of Austenitic Stainless Steel and Other Austenitic Alloys from
Polythionic Acid Stress Corrosion Cracking during Shutdown of
Refinery Equipment
General
If sulfide corrosion products are present on the surfaces of austenitic
stainless steel and other austenitic alloy process equipment, there is a
definite risk of polythionic acid stress corrosion cracking (SCC) when
oxygen (air) and water are admitted during an outage. Tensile stresses,
both residual and applied, are usually present in cold equipment. In
the presence of polythionic acids, SCC may occur in stressed
austenitic stainless steels and other austenitic alloys that are in a
sensitized condition.
a) Polythionic acid SCC normally occurs with the standard (0.08%
carbon max.) and high carbon (0.10% max.) grades that have
become sensitized either by weld fabrication or by operation in the
sensitizing range of 3700 to 8150C (7000 to 15000F).
b) Low-carbon (0.03% max) and chemically stabilized grades (e.g.,
alloys with titanium or columbium alloying additions) may also
become sensitized by prolonged exposure in the sensitizing
temperature range. Sensitization will be more rapid in the presence
of carbon (coke).
c) The resistance of chemically stabilized stainless steels and other
austenitic alloys to polythionic acid SCC may be significantly
improved by thermal stabilization treatment.
The degree of sensitization and stress levels are generally not known.
Therefore, austenitic stainless steel and other austenitic alloy process
equipment on which sulfide corrosion products may be present should
be protected using one or more of the following methods.
a) Exclusion of oxygen (air) and water by using a dry nitrogen purge.
b) Alkaline washing of all surfaces to neutralize any polythionic acids
that may form. (Field experience has demonstrated that austenitic
stainless steels and other austenitic alloys are effectively protected
with properly applied alkaline solutions.)
c) Exclusion of water by using a dry air purge with a dew point lower
than150C (50F).

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If process equipment remains unopened and hot (above the water


dew point of the gas in the equipment), additional protection is
unnecessary.
The internal surface of austenitic stainless steel and other austenitic
alloy furnace tubes maybe susceptible to polythionic acid SCC whether
or not they have been thermally decoked and should be protected. If
thermally decoked, protection should be performed after decoking.
Protection of the external surfaces of austenitic stainless steel and
other austenitic alloy furnace tubes should be considered when sulfur
containing fuels have been used for furnace firing.
Nitrogen Purging
Process equipment may be protected by keeping it tightly closed and
purging with dry nitrogen to exclude oxygen (air). Use of dry nitrogen is
an effective means of lowering the water dew point temperature to less
than ambient. Nitrogen purging provides optimum protection for
catalysts.
If reactors to be opened but furnaces are not, the furnaces may be
purged with nitrogen and blinded off. A small positive nitrogen pressure
should be maintained.
Nitrogen should be dry and free of oxygen. (The user is cautioned that
oxygen levels as high as 1000 ppm have been found in commercial
nitrogen).
At the users discretion, 5000 ppm ammonia may be added to the
nitrogen.
a) The addition of ammonia is generally unnecessary when purging
with dry nitrogen, but may be advantageous where water and/ or
oxygen may be present.
b) Ammonia is toxic, and fresh air breathing equipment must be worn
during installation and removal of blinds.
c) Copper based alloys must be isolated from ammoniated nitrogen.
d) It should be determined that ammonia will not have an adverse
effect on catalyst.
Nitrogen purging is preferable for protection of vertical tube heaters if
alkaline wash solutions cannot be drained fully.
If steam is being used for purging or steam air decoking, steam
injection should be stopped before the metal temperature cools to 56 0C
(1000F) above the water dew point. When de-pressured, but before
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cooling lower than 560C (1000F) above the water dew point, the system
should be purged with dry nitrogen. Some purge flow should be
maintained until blinds are installed. A positive nitrogen purge pressure
should be maintained on the system after blinding.
The user is cautioned that wearing fresh-air breathing equipment in
nitrogen-purged equipment requires special precautions, in accordance
with local plant safety procedures.
Alkaline Wash Solutions
Sodium carbonate (soda ash) solutions are used to protect austenitic
stainless steels and other austenitic alloys from polythionic acid SCC.
Solution pH should be greater than 9. These solutions may also
contain an alkaline surfactant and corrosion inhibitor.
The recommended wash solution is 2 wt% soda ash (industry practice
varies from 1 to 5 wt%, with a majority using 2 wt% solutions). A 1.4 to
2 wt% soda ash solution will provide a sufficient level of residual
alkalinity on metal surfaces after the solution drain from the equipment.
Additionally, this low concentration will facilitate solution preparation.
a) The use of caustic soda is not recommended.
b) Experience with potassium carbonate is limited. No cracking has
been reported by those who have substituted it for soda ash.
Because of successful past experience with solutions containing small
amounts of chloride, it is not always necessary to provide chloride-free
solutions.
a) Chloride concentration in the freshly mixed wash solution should be
limited to 150 ppm. This nominal chloride limit is attainable with
commercially available chemicals.
In special cases, flushing with ammoniated condensate may be
necessary. The solution should have a pH above 9 and a chloride
content of less than 5 ppm.
The addition of an alkaline surfactant to the wash solution at 0.2 wt%
concentration is recommended to promote penetration of coke, scale,
or oil films. Heating of the wash solution to 490C (1200F) may
accelerate the penetration of oily films and residues.
Corrosion inhibitors have been used to decrease the possibility of
chloride SCC by these alkaline solutions.
a) At the users option, 0.4 wt% sodium nitrate maybe added. (In
laboratory tests, low concentrations of sodium nitrate have been
found to be effective in suppressing SCC of austenitic stainless
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steel in boiling magnesium chloride solutions). Caution: Excess


NaNO3 can cause SCC of carbon steel.
Alkaline Washing
Austenitic stainless steel and other austenitic alloy equipment to be
opened to the air is best protected with a soda ash solution (defined in
section-3). Soda ash solutions neutralize acids and, after draining,
leave a thin alkaline film on the surface that can neutralize any
additional acid formation. It is vital that this film not be washed off and
that it remains in place as the equipment goes back on-stream.
a) The equipment must be alkaline washed before any exposure to air.
It is very important to contact 100% of the equipments internal
surfaces.
b) The equipment should be soaked for a minimum of two hours. If
deposits or sludges are present, the solution should be circulated
vigorously (two hours minimum). Longer times are not detrimental
in either case.
c) The circulating solution should be analyzed at appropriate intervals
to ensure that pH and chloride limits are maintained.
d) It is essential that the alkaline wash not be followed by a water
wash.
e) Each system must be evaluated individually and precautions taken
to ensure that unvented gas pockets or cascading through downflow sections do not prevent complete surface contact.
f) If washing the outside of furnace tubes is necessary to remove
deposits, a soda ash solution should be used because these
surfaces my be subject to polythionic acid SCC.
Hydrojetting of equipment should be conducted using a soda ash
solution.
a) After hydrojetting, equipment should be kept dry and out of the
weather. If this is not possible, the soda ash wash should be
repeated as required to maintain a residual film of soda ash.
Equipment shall be reinstalled with soda ash residual film left on
surfaces.
Hydrostatic testing of equipment should be conducted using a soda
ash solution. Ammoniated condensate may be used if the equipment is
not reopened or exposed to oxygen (air).
If sodium chloride ions cannot be tolerated in the process system, the
equipment can be washed with ammoniated condensate after being
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closed. If the unit is not started up immediately, the solution can be left
in place or displaced with nitrogen or dry hydrocarbon. The unit must
not be exposed to oxygen (air) after this procedure. Ammonia solutions
do not leave a residual alkaline film after being drained.
On completion of alkaline washing, all remaining alkaline solution must
be drained from all low points in the system prior to returning
equipment to service. Failure to do so can result in concentration of
carbonate and chloride salts by evaporation, which can also lead to
SCC in austenitic stainless steels.
Protection of Reactors
Reactors containing catalyst require special consideration. Personnel
safety and protection of the catalyst may dictate the use of procedures
that are less than optimum in terms of protection from polythionic acid
SCC.
a) Non-regenerated catalysts frequently are pyrophoric. This may
require that such catalysts either be kept wet or out of contact with
oxygen (air) by the use of nitrogen purging.
Industry experience suggests that austenitic low-carbon and stabilized
grade weld overlays and stabilized grade wrought internals in reactors
are very resistant to polythionic acid SCC for reactor operating
temperatures below 4500C (8500F).
Recommended procedures for protection of reactors that will be
opened for entry and have a history of successful use in the field are as
follows:
a) Catalyst unloading and loading can be conducted under nitrogenblanketing conditions by personnel using appropriate fresh-air
breathing equipment. Following unloading, the reactor is purged
with dry air and this purge is maintained while the reactor is open.
Purge air dew point temperatures from 15 0 to 460C (50 to 500F)
have been used.
b) If the catalyst is to be discarded, the reactor can be filled with soda
ash solution to wet both catalyst and reactor parts. The solution
strength should be increased to 5 wt% to compensate for the acidity
of deposits held by the catalyst. Unloading can then be conducted
in air while keeping the catalyst wetted with soda ash solution to
prevent pyrophoric ignition. The reactor should then be washed
down with soda ash solution and dried prior to repairs or catalyst
loading.
c) If the user wishes to eliminate the use of soda ash solutions and
fresh air breathing equipment while unloading the catalyst, the
catalyst may be dumped, following wetting with good quality fresh
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water (less than 50 ppm chloride), without nitrogen purging. This


should be preceded by a careful investigation to determine that:
-

Only stabilized grades have been used where austenitic


stainless steel materials have been specified.
These alloy materials have not become sensitized as a result of
either vessel fabrication procedures or the reactors thermal
history during operation.

This procedure involves some risk of polythionic acid SCC through


either accidental use of unstabilized grades or misinterpretation of
the thermal history of the reactor.

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11.0 REFERENCES
General References
i. API guide for inspection of Refinery Equipment chapter-VI,
Unfired Pressure Vessels.
ii. ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code. Section VIII Division -1 & 2.
iii. Indian Standard for Unfired Pressure Vessels IS 2825.
iv. BS -5500 Specification for Unfired Fusion Welded Pressure
Vessels.
v. AP I-510 Pressure Vessel, Inspection Code Maintenance,
Inspection, Rating, Repair and Alteration.
References for Idle Time Preservation of Column and Vessel as
per OISD
i.

API Guide for Inspection of Refinery Equipment - Chapter XVIII


Protection of Idle Equipment.

ii. NACE Standard RP - 01 70 - Protection of Austenitic Stainless


Steel in Refineries against Stress
Corrosion Cracking by Use of Neutralizing Solutions During Shut
Down.
iii. ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code, Sec VII Recommended
Rules for care of Power Boilers.
iv. The Preservation of Equipment and Piping Standing Idle DEP70.10.70.11 GEN of Shell Group.
v. OISD-STD-126 Specific Maintenance Practices for Rotating
Equipment.
vi. OISD-STD-146 Preservation of Idle Electrical Equipment.

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11.0 ANNEXURE
Annexure-I
EXTRACTS FROM ASME, SEC. VIII - DIV.-I
UG-97 Inspection during Fabrication
a)

When conditions permit entry into the vessel, as complete an


examination as possible shall be made before final closure.

b)

The inspector shall make an external inspection of the completed


vessel at the time of the final hydrostatic test or pneumatic test.

c)

All welds, including the nozzle welds of homogenously lead-lined


vessels shall be visually inspected on the inside prior to
application of lining. A visual examination of the lining shall be
made after completion to insure that there are no defects, which
might impair the integrity of the lining and subject the vessel to
corrosion effects.

UG-99 Standard Hydrostatic Test


a) All completed vessels, except those tested in accordance with the
requirements of UG-100 or UG-101 shall satisfactorily pass the
hydrostatic test prescribed in this paragraph.
b) Except as otherwise permitted in (a) and (k) vessels designed for
internal pressure shall be subjected to a hydrostatic test pressure
which at very point in the vessel is at least equal to 1-1/2 times the
maximum allowable working pressure to be marked on the vessel
multiplied by the lowest ratio (for the materials of which the vessel is
constructed) of the stress value S for the test temperature on the
vessel to the stress value S for the design temperature (see UG21). All loadings that may exist during this test shall be given
consideration.
c) A hydrostatic test based on a calculated pressure may be used by
agreement between the user and the manufacturer. The hydrostatic
test pressure at the top of the vessel shall be the minimum of the
test pressures calculated by multiplying the basis for calculated test
pressure as defined in 3-1(e) for each pressure element by 1-1/2
and reducing this value by the hydrostatic head on that element.
When this pressure is used, the inspector shall reserve the right to
require the manufacturer or the designer to furnish the calculations
used for determining the hydrostatic test pressure for any part of the
vessel.
d) The requirements of (b) represent the minimum standard
hydrostatic test pressure required by this Division. The requirement
of (c) represent a special test based on calculations. Any
intermediate value of pressure may be used. This division does not
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specify an upper limit for hydrostatic test pressure. however, if the


hydrostatic test pressure is allowed to exceed, either intentionally or
accidentally, the value determined as prescribed in (c) to the degree
that vessel is subjected to visible permanent distortion, the
inspector shall reserve the right to reject the vessel.
e) Combination units (see UG-19(a) and UG-21) shall be tested by
one of the following methods:
i) Pressure chambers of combination units that have been
designed to operate independently shall be hydrostatically
tested as separate vessels: that is, each chamber shall be
tested without pressure in the adjacent chamber.
ii) When pressure chambers of combination units have their
common elements designed for the maximum differential
pressure that can possible occur during startup, operation and
shutdown, and the differential pressure is less than the higher
pressure in the adjacent chambers, the common elements shall
be subjected to a hydrostatic test pressure of at least 1-1/2
times the differential pressure to be marked on the unit,
corrected for temperature as in UG-99(b).
Following the test of the common elements and their inspection as
required by UG-99(g) the adjacent chambers shall be
hydrostatically tested simultaneously (see UG-99(b) or UG-99(c)).
Care must be taken to limit the differential pressure between the
chambers to the pressure used when testing the common
elements. The vessel stamping and the vessel data report must
describe the common elements and their limiting differential
pressure.
f) Single-wall vessels designed for a vacuum or partial vacuum only,
and chambers of multi-chamber vessel designed for a vacuum or
partial vacuum only, shall be subjected to an internal hydrostatic
test or when a hydrostatic test is not practicable, to a pneumatic test
in accordance with the provisions of UG-100. Either type of test
shall be made at a pressure not less than 1-1/2 times the difference
between normal atmospheric pressure and the minimum design
internal absolute pressure.
g) Following the application of the hydrostatic test pressure an
inspection shall be made of all joints and connections. This
inspection shall be made at a pressure not less than two thirds of
the test pressure.
The visual inspection of joints and connections for leaks at two
thirds of the required hydrostatic test pressure may be waived
provided:

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i) A suitable gas leak test is applied;


ii) A substitution of the gas leak test is by agreement reached
between manufacturer and inspector;
iii) All welded seams which will be hidden by assembly by given a
visual examination for workmanship prior to assembly.
iv) The vessel will not contain a lethal substance.
h) Any non hazardous liquid at any temperature may be used for the
hydrostatic test if below its boiling point. Combustible liquids having
a flash point less than 110 0F (44 0C) such as petroleum distillates
may be used only for near atmospheric temperature tests. It is
recommended that the liquid temperature be not less than 60 0F (16
0
C) where practicable. The test pressure shall not be applied until
the vessel and its contents are at about the same temperature.
Caution
A small liquid relief valve set to 1-1/2 times the test pressure is
recommended for the pressure test system, in case a vessel, while
under test, is likely to be warmed up materially with personnel
absent.
i) Vent shall be provided at all high points of the vessel in the position
in which it is to be tested to purge possible air pockets while the
vessel is filling.
j) Before applying pressure, the test equipment shall be examined to
see that it is tight and that all low pressure filling lines and other
appurtenances that should not be subjected to the test pressure
have been disconnected.
k) The test pressure for enameled vessels shall be at least equal to,
but need not exceed, the maximum allowable working pressure to
be marked on the vessel.
l) Vessels which are to be galvanized may be pressure-tested either
before or after galvanizing.
m) Homogenously lead-lined vessels may be pressure tested before or
after completion of all lead lining, including nozzles.
UG-100 Pneumatic Test
a) The pneumatic test prescribed in this paragraph may be used in lieu
of the hydrostatic test prescribed in UG-99, as follows:

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i) For vessels that are so designed and/ or supported that they


cannot safely be filled with water;
ii) For vessels, not readily dried that are to be used in services
where traces of the testing liquid cannot be tolerated and the
parts of which have, where possible, been previously tested by
hydrostatic pressure to the pressure required in UG-99.
b) Except for enameled vessels, for which the pneumatic test pressure
shall be at least equal to, but need not exceed, the maximum
allowable working pressure to be marked on the vessel, the
pneumatic test pressure shall be at least equal to 1.25 times the
maximum allowable working pressure to be stamped on the vessel
multiplied by the lowest ratio (for the materials of which the vessel is
constructed) of the stress value S for the test temperature of the
vessel to the stress value S for the design temperature (see UG21). In no case shall the pneumatic test pressure exceed 1.25 times
the basis for calculated test pressure as defined in 3-1(e).
c) The pressure in the vessel shall be gradually increased to not more
than one-half of the test pressure. Thereafter, the test pressure
shall be increased in steps of approximately one tenth of the test
pressure until the required test pressure has been reached. Then
the pressure shall be reduced to a value equal to fourth-fifths of the
test pressure and held for a sufficient time to permit inspection of
the vessel.
The visual inspection of the vessel at four-fifths of the required test
pressure may be waived, provided:
i) A suitable gas leak test is applied;
ii) Substitution of the gas leak test is by agreement reached
between manufacturer and inspector;
iii) All welded seams which will be hidden by assembly by given a
visual examination for workmanship prior to assembly;
iv) The vessel will not contain a lethal substance.
Note:
In some cases it is desirable to test vessels when partly filled with
liquids. For such vessels a combined hydrostatic and pneumatic
test may be used as an alternative to the pneumatic test of this
paragraph, provided the liquid level is set so that the maximum
stress including the stress produced by pneumatic pressure at any
point in the vessel (usually near the bottom) or in the support
attachments, does not exceed 1.5 times the allowable stress value
of the material multiplied by the applicable joint efficiency. After
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setting the liquid level to meet this condition, the test is conducted
as prescribed in (b) and (c).
Air or gas is hazardous when used as a testing medium. It is
therefore recommended that special precautions be taken when air
or gas is used for test purposes.
UG-102 Test Gages
a) An indicating gage shall be connected directly to the vessel. If the
indicating gage is not readily visible to the operator controlling the
pressure applied, the additional indicating gage shall be provided
where it will be visible to the operator throughout the duration of the
test. For large vessels, it is recommended that a recording gage be
used in addition to indicating gages.
b) Indicating pressure gages used in testing shall preferably have dials
graduated over a range of about double the intended maximum test
pressure, but in no case shall the range be less than 1-1/2 times
that pressure.
c) All gages shall be calibrated against a standard deadweight tester
or a calibrated master gage. Gages shall be recalibrated at any time
that there is reason to believe that they are in error.

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Annexure -II
Format 16.1
VESSEL DATA CARD

EQPT

Information
Design
Manufacturer
Manufacturers Drg.
Order No.
Job No.
Requisition
Bill of material
In use

:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

Total Height
Height between tangents
Diameter
Wall Thickness

:
:
:
:

Type of heads
Corr. Bench mark

:
:

UNIT
Weights

Carbon Steel
Internals
Insulation
Empty vessel
Operating
Full of water
Capacity

:
:
:
:
:
:
:

Shell
Heads
Skirt
Base Plates
Nozzle Manway
Nozzles
Reinf. Pad

:
:
:
:
:
:
:

Dimensions

Materials

Conditions
Design temp. 0C
Operating temp. 0C
Design pressure kg/cm2
Operating pressure kg/cm2
Hydr. test pressure kg/cm2
Corrosion allowance
Stress relieved
Radiographed
Long joint eff.
Head eff.
Code

:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

Linings

Internals

I.O.C. LTD.,
(Ref. DIVN.)
From 8

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INSPECTION SCHEME
Name

Inspection Interval
Year:
IOC
Govt. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

I.O.C. LTD.
(Ref. DIVN.)

M&I Deptt., Ref. Div. Indian Oil Corporation Limited

10 11 12

Year:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 11 12

Year:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 11 12

Format 16.2
Year:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Form No.-1

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HISTORY CARD
Format 16.3

Equipment

Unit
Date

Description

Sign.

Form No. 2

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Format 16.4
DATA RECORD CARD
Insp.
Point

Description

Size

Sched.

Material.

Org.
Thk

UNIT

Disc.
Limit

I.O.C. LTD.
(R & P. DIVN)
Form No. 9

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Development Sketch (Column)

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Development Sketch (Vessel)

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Annexure III
Inspection checklist for Columns
Unit

Equipment No.

Date

1. Services
2. Reason for inspection
i) Shutdown
ii) On-stream

iii) Breakdown

3. Internal Inspection
A) Top Zone
a) Scaling Nature
b) Dome
c) Shell
d) Welding
e) Nozzle Welding
f) Internals
g) Spouts and Counter Spouts
B) Middle Zone
a) Scaling Nature
b) Shell
c) Welding
d) Nozzle Welding
e) Internals
f) Spouts and Counter Spouts
g) Impingement Plate
C) Bottom Zone
a) Scaling Nature
b) Shell
c) Dome
d) Welding
e) Nozzle Welding
f) Steam Coils
4. External Inspection
a) Foundation and Foundation Bolts
b) Insulation
c) External Corrosion
d) Ladder and Stair Case
e) Nozzle Flanges
f) Bosses and Nipples
g) Grounding Connections
h) Testing Nipple of Liners of Nozzle

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5. Thickness survey of column including all nozzles

Yes/ No

6. Condition of internal lining, if any.


7. Repair, if any
8. Corrosion Coupons

Yes/ No

9. Remarks

(Inspection Engineer)

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Annexure IV
Safety Aspects during Inspection of a Pressure Vessel
General safety rules should be followed while inspecting a pressure vessel.
However, some of the important safety aspects which should be kept in mind
while inspecting the pressure vessels has been given below:
i)

Before entering a pressure vessel make sure, the vessel has been made
gas free. Where required protective equipment should be worn that will
protect the eyes, lungs and other parts of the body from specific hazards
that may exist in the vessel.

ii)

It is always better to take a helping hand while entering a pressure


vessel.

iii)

Always use 24 volts hand lamps or safety torches for the inspection
inside the vessel.

iv)

Inspection of a pressure vessel should be avoided when hot jobs like


welding or gas cutting is being done.

v)

Hammer testing of nozzles of pressure vessels in service should not be


done.

vi)

When conducting hydrostatic or pneumatic pressure test, it is good


safety practice for all personnel not connected with the test to remain
away from the area until the test is completed and pressure released.
Inspection personnel in the area should also be limited to the number
necessary to run the test.

vii)

During hydrostatic testing, hammering of the parts of pressure vessels


should be avoided.

M&I Deptt., Ref. Div. Indian Oil Corporation Limited

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