News & View, Volume 45 | Improved Asset Management Through Test Informed Analysis

News & Views, Volume 45 | Improved Asset Management Through Test Informed Analysis

News & View, Volume 45 | Improved Asset Management Through Test Informed AnalysisBy:  Eri Kjolsing

Introduction
Structures may experience unforeseen operating environments or site-specific hazards leading to changes in the structure’s performance, safety, and longevity.  These changes often prompt asset owners to undertake analysis efforts to ensure satisfactory structural performance for the updated conditions. However, conventional analyses that fail to capture the true behavior of a structure can lead to inaccurate analysis results, causing owners to make less than ideal asset management decisions.  Structural Integrity (SI) is uniquely positioned to pair our dynamic characterization and advanced structural analysis capabilities to generate a better structural model.  SI vibration experts use impact testing, forced vibration, or ambient excitation sources, along with proprietary signal processing software, to non-destructively characterize the dynamic behavior of structural systems.  This characterization is used to inform advanced structural analyses by SI analysis experts to provide more accurate results related to operational improvements, damage location, and retrofits.

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News & View, Volume 45 | Interval Relief from RPV Threads in Flange Examination Requirements

News & Views, Volume 45 | Interval Relief from RPV Threads in Flange Examination Requirements

By:  Scott Chesworth

News & View, Volume 45 | Interval Relief from RPV Threads in Flange Examination RequirementsASME Code Section XI requires that the RPV Threads in Flange component (Category B-G-1, Item Number B6.40, see Figure 1) be inspected each inspection Interval using volumetric examination.  However, there is general agreement that the inspection does not contribute to the overall safety of the RPV.  Industry experience indicates that these examinations have not been identifying service-induced degradation and that they have negative impacts on worker exposure, personnel safety, and outage critical path time.  Savings from the elimination of this inspection can be applied to other more meaningful inspections of other more risk-significant plant components.

EPRI Report 3002007626 (March 2016) provides the basis for eliminating the RPV Threads in Flange examination requirement.  This report includes the results of an industry survey in which 168 units provided the status of their RPV Threads in Flange examination, as well as insight into the impacts of conducting these examinations.

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News & View, Volume 45 | Gas Pipeline Safety Regulation Update

News & Views, Volume 45 | Gas Pipeline Safety Regulation Update

By:  Scott Riccardella. Erica Fisette, and Bruce Paskett

News & View, Volume 45 | Gas Pipeline Safety Regulation Update

Update on the Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines Rulemaking (known as the Mega-Rule)
Structural Integrity (SI) personnel have had significant involvement in the Gas Pipeline Advisory Group (GPAC) meetings focused on consideration of the proposed pipeline safety rule titled “Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines” (Notice of Proposed Rule Making April 8, 2016).  The meetings produced several recommendations to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that are likely to be included in the Final Rule.  A key outcome of these meetings was that PHMSA has decided the Final Rule will be split into three sub-rule packages that will all be final rules to facilitate the rulemaking process:

  1. Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP) reconfirmation, Material Verification, Expansion of Integrity Management Assessments Outside of High Consequence Areas (HCAs) and other related issues,
  2. Repair Criteria, Inspections Following Extreme Weather Events, Corrosion Control improvements, Management of Change; and
  3. Expansion of Part 192 regulations to include additional Gas Gathering Lines.

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News & View, Volume 45 | Latitude™ Delivers Highlights from the First Field Deployments

News & Views, Volume 45 | Latitude™ Delivers – Highlights from the First Field Deployments

By:  Jason Van Velsor, Dave Anthony, Joe Agnew, and Michael Lashley

News & View, Volume 45 | Latitude™ Delivers Highlights from the First Field Deployments

Introduction
For the past 2 ½ years, Structural Integrity Associates (SI) has been working diligently to develop, qualify and deliver the nuclear industry’s first-of-a-kind manually acquired encoded phased array UT (PAUT) examination for Section XI dissimilar metal welds (DMWs).  Development of the encoding technology behind this effort, the LATITUDETM non-mechanized encoding system, was completed in 2017, with our application-specific inspection procedure completed and qualified through the industry’s Performance Demonstration Program (PDI) in the Spring of 2018. Now, with much enthusiasm, we are proud to report that we have successfully completed the first field deployments of the LATITUDE technology and DMW procedure during the Fall 2018 outage season.

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News & View, Volume 45 | Life Management for High Energy Piping (HEP)

News & Views, Volume 45 | Life Management for High Energy Piping (HEP)

By:  Matt Freeman

News & View, Volume 45 | Life Management for High Energy Piping (HEP)High Energy Piping systems, including main steam and hot reheat piping, are typically very reliable and can often operate trouble-free for decades.  However, due to the combination of pressure and temperature at which such systems operate, a failure can have catastrophic consequences from a safety perspective and in terms of equipment loss.  Because of this and the requirements of the ASME B31.1 Power Piping code, HEP programs – or as defined by Code, Covered Piping Systems (CPS) – are established to ensure that the integrity of the system is maintained throughout their lifecycle.  This article discusses the steps required to implement an HEP / CPS life management program.

A Life Management Program is not synonymous with an inspection program.  Inspections are an important part of an overall program but should be complimentary to the use of analytical tools, real-time monitoring, and laboratory examinations

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News & View, Volume 45 | Metallurgical Lab- Case Study – Thermowell Failure Analysis

News & Views, Volume 45 | Metallurgical Lab: Case Study – Thermowell Failure Analysis

By:  Wendy Weiss

News & View, Volume 45 | Metallurgical Lab- Case Study – Thermowell Failure AnalysisStructural Integrity (SI) was recently asked to examine a fractured thermowell and determine the damage mechanism.  The thermowell had been removed from bypass line piping in a heat-recovery steam generator (HRSG) that ran from the High Pressure (HP) bypass valve to the cold reheat section, and sent to the SI Materials Science Center. As reported by plant personnel, the fracture was located within the pipe wall. The pipe material was specified as ASME SA-335, Grade P22, and the thermowell was specified to be ASME SA-182, Grade F22.

Examination Procedure and Results

The fractured thermowell sections were visually examined and photographed in the as-received condition, as shown in Figure 1. The thermowell was comprised of two pieces: the thermowell housing itself which protruded into the steam stream, and a fitting connection to the pipe into which the thermowell housing was inserted.

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News & View, Volume 45 | Metallurgical Lab Featured Damage Mechanism Acid Dewpoint Corrosion in Conventional Fossil Boilers and Combined Cycle HRSGs

News & Views, Volume 45 | Metallurgical Lab Featured Damage Mechanism – Acid Dewpoint Corrosion in Conventional Fossil Boilers and Combined Cycle HRSGs

By:  Wendy Weiss

Acid dewpoint corrosion can occur in conventional and HRSG units in locations where temperatures fall below the sulfuric acid dewpoint temperature. This can occur when either the tube metal temperatures are below the acid dewpoint so that condensate forms on the metal surface, or when flue gas temperatures are below the acid dewpoint, so that the condensate will form on fly ash particles.

Mechanism
This type of fire-side damage occurs when sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the flue gas oxidizes to sulfur trioxide (SO3) and the SO3 combines with moisture to form sulfuric acid. If the temperatures are at or below the acid dewpoint, so that the sulfuric acid condenses, then tube metal corrosion occurs. The temperature at which condensate first forms depends on a number of factors, including the partial pressures of SO3 and water vapor in the flue gas, but is usually around 250 to 300°F.

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News & View, Volume 45 | Proving Performance What Distinguishes an ISO-Compliant Product Certification Agency?

News & Views, Volume 45 | Proving Performance – What Distinguishes an ISO-Compliant Product Certification Agency?

By:  Andy Coughlin

News & View, Volume 45 | Proving Performance What Distinguishes an ISO-Compliant Product Certification Agency?Whether it’s fair-trade coffee, sustain-ably harvested lumber, energy efficient appliances, or other certified products, consumers and companies look for products that have high standards of origin, production, and performance.  Structural Integrity Associates’ TRU Compliance mark is no different.  Our mark shows buyers a product has undergone rigorous assessment for seismic, wind, and blast performance to nationally recognized standards.   

However, not all agencies conform to the internationally recognized set of standards that govern a product certification agency, allowing it to be impartial, objective, and accountable to the public.  The standard ISO/IEC 17065 Conformity assessment — Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services spells out requirements that make agencies like TRU Compliance accountable to its clients and to the public.  The requirements in TRU Compliance’s Certification Manual are broad, but they generally fall into the three categories below.

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News & View, Volume 45 | The Importance of HRSG HP Evaporator Tube Internal Deposit Evaluation

News & Views, Volume 45 | The Importance of HRSG HP Evaporator Tube Internal Deposit Evaluation

By:  Barry Dooley

News & View, Volume 45 | The Importance of HRSG HP Evaporator Tube Internal Deposit EvaluationEvaluation of High Pressure (HP) Evaporator Tube Deposits is important for several reasons:

  • Determining if flow-accelerated corrosion (FAC) might be occurring in the lower pressure circuits.
  • Regular evaluations can provide information on the internal deposit deposition rate, which is information necessary to help prevent under-deposit corrosion damage mechanisms.
  • Provides information necessary to develop an optimized cycle chemistry for HRSGs.
  • Can help determine if the HRSG needs to be chemically cleaned.

The leading heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) tube failure mechanisms are FAC, thermal and corrosion fatigue, and under-deposit corrosion (UDC) and pitting. The corrosion products released by the FAC mechanism are transported from the affected area (typically the feedwater or lower pressure systems) and can eventually reach the HP evaporator tubing, so understanding the deposition in the HP evaporator is an important step in determining if FAC might be occurring. Deposition on the inside of HP evaporator tubing is also a precursor to any of the under-deposit corrosion HRSG tube failure mechanisms.

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Structural Integrity’s Critical Infrastructure Group Mentoring Students from the University of California, San Diego

Structural Integrity’s Critical Infrastructure Group Mentoring Students from the University of California, San Diego

Structural Integrity’s Critical Infrastructure Group Mentoring Students from the University of California, San DiegoStructural Integrity  is mentoring students from the University of California, San Diego during their senior design Capstone project. The goal of the mentorship is to give the students real-life working experience through participation in a design project with industry mentors. The students are learning how to develop forces on equipment during earthquakes and how to design anchorage so that the equipment remains in place and functional during and following an earthquake. At the end of the project, the students will write a report and make a presentation to their Professor, their classmates and other industry mentors.