Structural Integrity Associates Appoints Anthony (Tony) W. Robinson as Senior Vice President & Chief Nuclear Officer

Structural Integrity Associates Appoints Anthony (Tony) W. Robinson as Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer

Structural Integrity Associates | Anthony (Tony) W. Robinson | Senior Vice President & Chief Nuclear Officer

Structural Integrity Associate, Inc. (SI) is pleased to announce that Anthony (Tony) W. Robinson will be joining Structural Integrity as the Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer, effective January 4, 2021.  Tony spent more than 25 years (collectively) at Framatome (formerly AREVA, Inc. and predecessor companies), and most recently was the Senior Vice President of Products and Engineering.  He previously held roles of Senior Vice President Customer Accounts & Government Affairs, Vice President New Builds North America, and Vice President New Builds Business Development.  Additionally, he was the Vice President US Nuclear Services for BWXT from 2013 – 2016.

“With nearly 30 years of progressive executive leadership in diverse areas of nuclear energy, Tony brings a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, and we are very excited to have him join the SI Team, commented Mark Marano, SI CEO.  “I have had the opportunity to work with Tony in the past and his collaborative leadership skills along with his ability to work closely with both customers and partners to ensure lasting and mutually beneficial relationships meet our preferred partnership objectives”.

Tony holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Akron, attended the Executive MBA program at Kent State University, and is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the state of Ohio.

Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. is an employee owned specialty engineering and services company providing structural integrity assessment insights and services to achieve asset management excellence across multiple industries including Nuclear, Fossil, Oil & Gas, and critical infrastructure.

Structural Integrity Associates Releases 4th Generation BIoGEORGE BioFilm Growth Detector System

Structural Integrity Associates Releases BG4, a 4th Generation of the BIoGEORGE™ Biofilm Growth Detector System, enables real-time data monitoring

Structural Integrity Associates Releases 4th Generation BIoGEORGE BioFilm Growth Detector SystemThe Structural Integrity (SI) Chemistry and Materials Team have completed the development and release of BG4, the 4th generation of the BIoGEORGE™ Biofilm Growth Detector system. The 4th generation release includes analytical software (BGConnect) and enhanced communication utilizing Bluetooth enabled phone/tablet App (BGMobile). Our system provides real-time data, customizable graphs, and shareable reports, allowing the user to evaluate their chemical treatment program’s effectiveness on-demand.

“We are excited to provide an updated version of the BIoGEORGE™ Detector system, BG4, to our clients. The BIoGEORGE product has been shown to reduce O&M costs by optimizing chemical treatments. With this next generation of enhancements, clients will be able to take advantage of real-time data with less effort”, commented Mike Ford, SI Chemistry and Materials Director. “We see this as a necessary step in product innovation for our clients as they continue to focus on controlling costs.”  SI has begun to receive orders for the BG4 units from a returning client based on their positive experiences with the 3rd generation of the BIoGEORGE™ system and SI support.

About BIoGEORGE™

For over 20 years, SI has supplied previous generations of the BIoGEORGE™ Biofilm Growth Detector system to numerous clients in the power generation, refinery, pipeline, and chemical industries with great success. The product uses electrochemical methods to detect biofilm activity in water-based buildup on the probe surface to support chemical conditioning and plant performance.

For more information on BG4 and the latest marketing flyer, visit si-biofilmgrowth.com.

Deepwater Offshore Equipment Benefit From Fatigue Load Monitoring In Challenging HPHT Conditions

In this article, we’ll share with you how we are using validated and reliable processes, procedures and software that we developed 30 years ago for application in the nuclear sector for the Load Monitoring of critical equipment used in the high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) oil and gas industry, and how we’re directly applying these methods to deep offshore well head equipment. We’ll also share some of the results and insights we’ve gained in recent HPHT applications. Those of you who have implemented Structural Integrity’s FatiguePro™ software in your nuclear plants will likely recognize some familiar benefits that can be realized in HPHT equipment.

Figure 1. Schematic of a Deep Sea HPHT Installation

Oil and gas operators view deepwater installations as the primary source of significant future discoveries of oil and gas reserves. The challenge facing the industry is that the environments for such installations present design conditions for which proven American Petroleum Institute (API) pressure rating designs are not yet available. These applications reside in ocean water that may be more than a mile deep, and the equipment is exposed to internal sour environments at pressures greater than 15,000 psig and temperatures greater than 350°F, while surrounded by near freezing ocean water (Figure 1). To further complicate design, such high pressures require thick-walled equipment that are designed to ASME Code, Section VIII and API standards; but, these emerging pressure and temperature extremes are beyond what API standards currently address. These conditions provide technical challenges to components not previously seen by in-service equipment. Inside surface initiated fatigue cracking, not previously considered a likely threat in earlier subsea applications, has a greater potential to be an influencing integrity threat in these very thick-walled components.

Figure 2. Revised API Technical Report

Using our FatiguePro™ 4 software, coupled with our in-house API and ASME Code expertise, we have developed a methodology for load monitoring and fatigue management for thick-walled, nickel-lined forgings subjected to these harsh conditions that can be applied in any HPHT application by any knowledgeable engineer. FatiguePro™ 4 uses reliable technology that has been validated over several decades of successful wide-spread use since its development in 1986 for application in the commercial nuclear power sector. In addition, we have shared our expertise with the API community by volunteering as authors of the Load Monitoring Annex A in the new API Technical Report 17TR8, Revision 2, which is currently being finalized for publication (Figure 2).

Although fatigue has traditionally not been a concern for deep sea well head equipment, small imperfections in the material and continuous exposure to the sour environment, coupled with extreme pressure and temperature fluctuations, increase the potential for fatigue damage in the form of crack initiation and environmentally-enhanced crack growth. In addition, standard equipment design practices that used stress concentrations for lower-pressure well equipment now estimate very large stresses in the high-pressure well head equipment. Subsequent growth and penetration of these small fatigue cracks through the corrosion resistant interior layer into the forging base material could then result in through-wall crack propagation, ultimately leading to leaks, which could be environmentally disastrous. Unfortunately, the location and assembly of these subsea components do not readily lend themselves to in-service nondestructive examination (NDE) after deployment. As a result, load and/or fatigue monitoring becomes a necessary engineering solution. Load monitoring with FatiguePro™ 4 provides a way to consistently and constantly monitor the condition of equipment to alert the operator before a critical condition threatens component integrity.

Figure 3. Counting and Categorizing Loads

FatiguePro™ 4 provides load monitoring of critical locations in subsea equipment – in essence, a “fatigue and load odometer” for equipment “hot spots” that serve as leading indicators of fatigue. We do this by strategically pairing, counting, categorizing, and tracking all of the actual loads to which the equipment is exposed in a more rigorous method than simply counting the extreme minimums and maximums. (Figure 3). Once the actual unique loading history is identified, it may be compared to loadings assumed in the design, or fatigue crack initiation and growth parameters may be calculated for comparison to allowable values or alarm limits. The key locations selected for sentinel monitoring are readily determined from the finite element analysis (FEA) performed as part of the ASME Code, Section VIII design analysis (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Finite Element Model and Critical Location Selection

We identify locations of highest stress, including the effects of structural or material discontinuities, through the modelling process and selected for monitoring in FatiguePro™ 4. We configure the software to utilize all of the same methods and inputs that are used to qualify the equipment to ASME standards. However, actual loading measured from installed instruments is used in place of design assumptions for loading, thus providing in-situ measurement and assessment of the actual component duty. The analysis can be performed remotely onshore at regular intervals or immediately updated after unusual operational events.

Figure 5. Use of Green’s and Transfer Functions

A key feature of our FatiguePro™ 4 software is that it uses existing instrumentation and previously developed FEA to provide remote and continuous load monitoring of critical well head equipment. This feature avoids the need for costly installation of additional instrumentation, especially in cases where routing of remote instruments and added electrical cabling may be cost-prohibitive, keeping the implementation cost of this solution low. The key to this approach is the use of Green’s Functions and transfer function logic, which provide mathematical modelling of available instrument measurements and their relationship to conditions at the monitored location of interest (Figure 5). Such modelling provides for a “virtual instrument” – that is, predicted measurements of pressure and temperature at the critical monitored location of interest as if there were instruments installed at that location (Figure 6). The technique, used also in nuclear power, can be applied as early as the design stage, or once a component has entered service.

Figure 6. Virtual Instrument Concept

FatiguePro™ 4 analyses all use measured fluctuations of pressure and temperature, or other available measured loads. Those fluctuations are identified, counted and categorized according to severity for direct comparison to the loads postulated in the equipment Design Specification. This comparison can serve as a first-level measure of the equipment’s condition, in that the loading is measured and compared against its accepted, benchmarked design standard.

Figure 7. Actual Data and Comparison to Design. (Top Plot: comparison of temperature and pressure loading; Bottom plot: comparison of allowable fatigue cycles based on stress evaluation)

A typical field observation for most equipment is that the actual field loading is much less severe than the loading postulated in the design of the equipment (Figure 7). Accounting for this difference can extend the equipment’s life, oftentimes significantly – but more importantly, provide the added level of confidence in the safety and reliability of the equipment. Using the Green’s and transfer functions, FatiguePro™ 4 may also be used to calculate both a cumulative usage factor (cuf) as a measure of fatigue crack initiation or postulated fatigue crack growth (Figue 8). Both of these parameters can be plotted real-time and trended into the future to provide insight to operational practices, equipment maintenance or for proactive planning of equipment replacement (Figure 9). Alert levels can be set to trigger other proactive measures by operators long before problems are encountered.

Figure 8. Result of Using Green’s Functions to Determine Available Margin

Our FatiguePro™ 4 software also provides evaluation of both past and future “what-if” operational practices to show the results of planned or desired operational improvements. This provides important feedback to operators ahead of time that allows for procedure adjustment or the avoidance of operating practices that can prematurely consume equipment operational life.

Figure 9. Trending and Extrapolating Component Life

Our FatiguePro™ 4 computational fatigue analysis software integrates both FEA and fracture mechanics to establish improved fatigue tolerance and fatigue life cycle management during operation. Implementing this methodology will also provide key technical data that can be used to improve future well completion designs. Properly understanding the influence and effects of HPHT environments on new-generation equipment can result in significant weight and cost savings.

To learn more about FatiguePro™ 4 and its application to your well head equipment, or to partner with us on load monitoring applications, contact us at 1-877-4SI-POWER.