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1, 2006

DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2006.00705.x

of Process Components/System

Faisal I. Khan,1 Mahmoud M. Haddara,1 and Subrata K. Bhattacharya1,2

Process plants deal with hazardous (highly flammable and toxic) chemicals at extreme conditions of temperature and pressure. Proper inspection and maintenance of these facilities

is paramount for the maintenance of safe and continuous operation. This article proposes a

risk-based methodology for integrity and inspection modeling (RBIIM) to ensure safe and

fault-free operation of the facility. This methodology uses a gamma distribution to model the

material degradation and a Bayesian updating method to improve the distribution based on

actual inspection results. The method deals with the two cases of perfect and imperfect inspections. The measurement error resulting from imperfect inspections is modeled as a zero-mean,

normally distributed random process. The risk is calculated using the probability of failure and

the consequence is assessed in terms of cost as a function of time. The risk function is used

to determine an optimal inspection and replacement interval. The calculated inspection and

replacement interval is subsequently used in the design of an integrity inspection plan. Two

case studies are presented: the maintenance of an autoclave and the maintenance of a pipeline

segment. For the autoclave, the interval between two successive inspections is found to be

19 years. For the pipeline, the next inspection is due after 5 years from now. Measurements

taken at inspections are used in estimating a new degradation rate that can then be used to

update the failure distribution function.

KEY WORDS: Failure modeling; integrity assessment and evaluation; quantitative risk assessment; riskbased inspection; risk-based maintenance

1. INTRODUCTION

the consequences of failures occurring to these systems, an assessment of the condition of existing infrastructure (major process units, pipelines, etc.) is

necessary. The condition assessment quantifies the

degradation of the material and provides a basis

for the decision-making process regarding preventive

maintenance and/or replacement. With limited maintenance resources, it is essential that the available

funds be spent where they are most effective in reducing potential risks (Concord, 1993; Pandey, 1998).

The traditional methods of assessing the condition of process systems are based on a deterministic

load-resistance methodology in which the integrity

of the components is evaluated by comparing the

aging process components is a subject of prime importance to process companies all over the world. In

Canada, there are more than 250,000 km of pipelines

carrying natural gas, crude oil, and petroleum products (Pandey, 1998). To protect the public, the fiFaculty of Engineering & Applied Science, Memorial University

of Newfoundland, St Johns, NL, A1B 3X5, Canada.

2 Department of Ocean Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, 600 036, India.

Address correspondence to Faisal I. Khan, Faculty of Engineering

& Applied Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St

Johns, NL, A1B 3X5, Canada; fkhan@engr.mun.ca.

1

203

0272-4332/06/0100-0203$22.00/1

204

current operating conditions with a design-limit state

beyond which the component cannot operate safely.

Load-resistance methods have the disadvantage that

they often yield somewhat conservative results, leading to potentially unnecessary repairs and inspections

that result in an overall increase in maintenance costs.

Use of deterministic methods does not provide information about potential risk that results in the

unrealistic maintenance planning for process plants

(Desjardins, 2002).

Risk is defined as multiplication of the probability of failure and its likely consequence. Risk-based

methods aim at identifying, characterizing, quantifying, and evaluating the likelihood of the loss caused

as a result of the occurrence of a specific event. The

use of risk-based methods for the management of the

process components provides reliable quantification

of potential risks. This provides an alternative strategy for the maintenance of assets instead of the use of

simple ranking (prioritizing) based on reported failure occurrences.

This approach also provides a means for quantitatively establishing future reliability levels for the

components. These levels can be used as a basis for

optimizing reinspection intervals. The uncertainties

associated with the design and operation of process

components have led to an increasing use of riskbased approaches in making decisions regarding asset

integrity management.

In risk-based inspection (RBI) strategy risk is

used as a criterion to prioritize inspection tasks for the

components in a process plant. This provides many

advantages, which include (1) an increase in plant

availability, (2) a decrease in the number of failure

occurrences, (3) a reduction in the level of risk due

to failure, and (4) a reduction in the direct inspection cost of the plant. Operational safety of a process plant increases as a result of decreasing the number of failure occurrences and the potential risk due

to failure. This makes RBI a useful strategy to meet

the rising societal expectations regarding operational

safety of complex onshore and offshore process facilities. These expectations resulted in a number of

regulations that the oil and gas industry has to meet.

The last two decades saw a number of studies that attempted to address the subject. Different methodologies were suggested to meet maintenance planning requirements. These methodologies range from the fully

qualitative to the fully quantitative. A brief summary

of these approaches is presented in the subsequent

section.

2. AVAILABLE RISK-BASED APPROACHES

Since the late 1980s, numerous quantitative, semiquantitative, and qualitative models have been developed to aid plant engineers with the prioritization of

components inspections. In the following sections, we

outline briefly these methods.

2.1. Qualitative Approaches

Qualitative risk index approaches assign subjective scores to the different factors that are thought to

influence the probability and consequences of failure

(Muhlbauer, 1992; Cagno et al., 2000; Dey & Gupta,

2001). These scores are then combined using simple

formulas to give an index representing the level of

risk. Risk index approaches provide a ranking of the

different process components based on the perceived

level of risk estimated. The ranking obtained by using these methods is highly subjective. In addition,

these approaches do not provide any indication of

whether the risk associated with a component is unacceptable and consequently no guidance is provided

regarding whether any risk reduction action is necessary. The index system scoring format suggested

by Muhlbauer (1992) accounts for the use of in-line

inspection tools to locate metal loss corrosion by

awarding up to 8 points out of a maximum of

400 points representing resistance to failure (i.e., 2%).

This underestimates the benefits of high-resolution

pigging, which is known to result in significant reductions to the large percentage of failures that are

attributable to corrosion (2040% of all failures).

Therefore, index systems provide at best an approximate risk-based ranking of process components,

which has serious limitations when being used as a

basis for integrity management decision making.

2.2. Quantitative Approaches

These approaches determine the level of risk

based on direct estimates of the probability and/or

consequences of failure. Current quantitative risk assessment approaches focus on a single aspect of the

consequence associated with failure. Published studies deal with either loss of life risk or economic risk

(Hill, 1992; Concord, 1993; Nessim & Stephens, 1995;

Pandey, 1998; Nessim et al., 2000).

Integration of environmental damage, life safety,

and economic risks has not been addressed adequately. Another limitation of quantitative risk

assessment approaches is that they typically base the

failure probability estimates on historical failure rates.

Publicly available databases do not usually allow subdivision of the failure data according to the attributes

of a specific process component and where adequate

subdivision is possible, the amount of data associated with a particular attribute set is very limited because of the rarity of the failures. Failure probabilities

estimated from public data are, therefore, not sufficiently specific to represent a given failure in a specific

process component.

Another approach to calculate failure probability is based on the concept of structural reliability

that includes Markovian models and hot spots on a

component-by-component basis (a number of interesting articles may be seen in Journal of Infrastructure Systems). The effect of the correlation from one

hot spot to another has been investigated by Lotsberg

et al. (1998), Faber and Sorensen (1999), Brown and

May (2000), and Montgomery and Serratella (2002).

Faber et al. (2000, 2003) proposed an informal decision

analysis where the number of considered elements is

reduced in a consistent and systematic way. However,

due to the numerical effort required and the stability of the method such an approach did not prove to

be practical. Straub and Faber (2000) indicated that

an integrated approach to the decision problem that

is suitable for industrial purposes has not yet been

developed.

2.3. Semi-Quantitative Approaches

Semi-quantitative approaches were developed to

provide a practical and easy tool to be used for designing maintenance programs that optimize the use

of resources and in the meantime ensure effective and

efficient asset management. These approaches use

semi-quantitative models for consequence estimation

as well as failure probability calculations. Examples of

these approaches can be found in Khan and Haddara

(2003a, 2003b), Khan and Haddara (2004), and Khan

et al. (2004). It is easily employed in process plants and

to components like pipelines or pressure components.

These approaches provide a tool to ascertain that the

estimated risk of failure satisfies a predetermined acceptance criterion (Khan et al., 2004; Willcocks & Bai,

2000; Dey, 2004).

The risk-based inspection and maintenance approach discussed by Willcocks and Bai (2003) uses

a failure modes effect analysis to identify the failure

modes of system components and their consequences.

It then uses failure patterns and rates to calculate the

205

probability of failure, and it determines the risk to

be used in inspection and maintenance planning. Depending on the level of risk for each mode and pattern

of failure, the required analysis, inspection, maintenance, and repair tasks are selected. For example, a

review of historical failure databases indicates that

the major failure modes in a pipeline are internal corrosion and external impact. Thus, the main efforts (in

terms of design, structural modeling, inspections, etc.)

should be focused on these failure modes. Of course,

this is a simple example of risk-based inspection and

maintenance. In practice, more specific details about

the specific pipeline need to be considered.

Guidelines to help hydrocarbon and process

chemical industries in establishing risk-based inspection programs on fixed equipment and piping were

issued by the American Petroleum Institute (API,

2002). This document describes a recommended

practice for developing risk-based maintenance programs. The document does not preclude the use of any

of the three methodologies mentioned above, but outlines the limitations of each methodology. This document explains the basic elements for developing and

implementing a risk-based inspection program.

2.4. Maintenance Optimization

A large number of articles were published on the

subject of optimizing maintenance through the use

of mathematical models (Montgomery & Serratella,

2000; Khan & Haddara, 2003a, 2003b; Willcocks &

Bai, 2003; Dey, 2004). Most maintenance optimization models are based on lifetime distributions or

Markovian deterioration models. It is often difficult to

collect enough data for estimating the parameters of

a lifetime distribution or the transition probabilities

of a Markov chain. This presents an obstacle in the

way of using these models to design practical maintenance programs. The combined use of the reliability

index methods and the limit state approach may prove

helpful in removing this drawback.

Typically, structural reliability methods are used

to estimate the probability of failure of components

or structures. In these methods, the condition of the

material is described by a state function g. The state

function represents the strength margin that the material has over the applied load. Thus, the limit-state

function, gt is defined as

gt = R L,

(1)

applied stress.

206

As degradation of material occurs and operating conditions change, material strength and applied

stress become random functions of time. Thus, the

limit-state function becomes a stochastic process. A

failure model can be developed based on the limitstate function approach and allowing for material

degradation variability, operating conditions variability, and measurement errors. Data collected during inspections provide a means to update the failure model

through the use of Bayess theorem.

Risk-based maintenance takes into consideration

the consequence of failure as well as the probability

of failure. In this article, the consequence is measured

in terms of the cost of failure in addition to the cost

of the inspection/maintenance program.

3. QUANTITATIVE RISK-BASED INTEGRITY

AND INSPECTION MODELING (RBIIM)

RBIIM aims at modeling inspection tasks to

achieve safe operating conditions at minimum cost.

Determining the relationship between inspections

periodicity on one side and the level of safety and

maintenance costs on the other, provides an insight

into the application of the as low as reasonable practicable (ALARP) principle. In order to implement

an integrated RBIIM approach, it is necessary first

to formulate acceptance criteria for each function

of the plant facility. Thereafter, the relationship between each function and the performance of the

various components responsible for achieving this

function is established. To simplify the implementation, the acceptance criteria for each function of

the facility are transformed into acceptance criteria

for the individual components. Subsequently, risk assessment is performed relating the event of component failure to the consequences in terms of monetary

losses. The main objectives of RBIIM are:

1. To identify critical equipment in a process

plant. These are pieces of equipment that have

a high level of risk.

2. To develop an optimum inspection and maintenance strategy for the equipment that will

guarantee the integrity of the plant.

Fig. 1 depicts the overall framework designed to

achieve these objectives. The framework comprises

five stages. These are: identification of equipment

to be analyzed, identification of degradation mechanisms for each component, calculation of the risk

associated with the failure of each component, deter-

each component, and development of a comprehensive policy for the plant integrity assessment.

3.1. Material Degradation Mechanisms

Material degradation is a common cause of process components failure. Material degradation can be

caused by one or more mechanisms. These include:

internal and external thinning due to corrosion; stress

corrosion cracking; brittle fracture; and fatigue due to

vibration. These mechanisms cause material deterioration and thus affect the ability of the component to

withstand the applied load.

Two basic models will be used in this work to

describe material degradation mechanisms: a thinning model and a crack model. The thinning model

is used to describe the reduction in the thickness of

the components material as a result of internal or

external corrosion. The crack model is used to describe the reduction of the load-carrying capacity of

the component as a result of cracks. Cracks may result

from stress corrosion, brittle fracture, or fatigue (see

Kallen, 2002).

3.1.1. Thinning Model

Corrosion wear failure is a complex failure mode

in which a component is affected by a combination of

corrosion and wear. Continuous wear results in material thinning, which may be localized or can spread

over a large surface area. In the former, material

degradation is seen in the form of pitting, while in the

latter, a general thickness loss occurs. Carbon steel or

copper are usually more susceptible to general thinning, while stainless steels and higher alloy materials are usually more prone to localized thinning and

pitting.

The state function in this case, gt , is defined as

PD

C t

gt = R St = S 1

, (2)

d

2d

where R is material resistance, St is the applied stress,

S is material strength, C is corrosion rate, P is operating pressure, D is the diameter of the component, d is

the material thickness, and t is a time increment.

Corrosion can occur on the internal or external

surface of the component. The same thinning model

can be used for both cases; however, the corrosion

rate may differ from one case to the other.

The state function gt , is a measure of the ability

of the material to resist failure. Failure will occur only

if the magnitude of the function gt reaches zero.

207

(process) components, e.g., vessel, pipeline

segments, reactors, etc.

identify possible degradation mechanisms

Model component

failure using a gamma

stochastic process

degradation mechanism

and inspection modeling methodology.

Obtain past

inspection

results for the

unit under

investigation

Estimate the

consequence using cost

data for inspection,

failure, and replacement

Determine failure

probability using a

posterior and past

inspection results

Risk calculations

replacement intervals

Have all

components been

considered?

integrity of the process system

safety in terms of material thickness. Assuming a linear degradation model, the incremental wall thickness

loss (x) during an element of time t, is given by

x = Ct = 1

PD

d.

2dS

(3)

The margin of safety in terms of the minimum required material thickness, mt , is then obtained as

mt = d

PD

.

2S

(4)

Stress corrosion cracking (SCC) failure occurs

when the applied stresses on a component in a corrosive environment generate a field of localized surface

cracks, usually along grain boundaries, which renders

the component incapable of performing its function.

208

There are many material/environmental combinations within which SCC can occur. They include caustic cracking, amine cracking, carbonate cracking, sulfide stress cracking, hydrogen-induced cracking, and

polythionic acid cracking, and chloride cracking for

stainless steels (Kallen, 2002).

The SCC state function uses a resistance minus

stress model based on Pariss crack growth law used

in linear elastic fracture mechanics,

PD

gc = KIC Y

+S

A,

(5)

2d

where KIC is the material fracture toughness, Y is a

dimensionless geometric factor, S is residual stress,

and A is the crack depth.

The crack depth, A, is determined by

lcr = Ccr t n ,

lcr

A=

,

Rl/a

(6)

length, the crack growth rate, and the crack to lengthto-depth (thickness) ratio, respectively. The value

of KIC , material fracture toughness, is taken to be

300 ksi(in)1/2 (10,425 MPa (mm)1/2 ) for stainless steel.

The material fracture toughness for carbon and low

alloy steel may be calculated using the following formula (Kallen, 2002):

KIC

= Minimum 33.2 + 2.806e(0.02(T+100)) , 200 ksi in.

Equation (6) can be used to derive an expression for

the incremental increase in crack depth as

2

x = Ccr t =

Rl/a

KIC

.

PD

Y

+S

2d

(7)

mc = d Ccr t.

susceptible to brittle fracture. Furthermore, vibration

may cause components to fail prematurely. Improperly supported piping near vibration sources is prone

to fatigue. In contrast to the other degradation mechanisms discussed above, this mechanism is modeled

using a simple indexing methodology (Kallen, 2002).

In the previous section, we reviewed the different mechanisms that control material degradation.

The net degradation of the material is the total sum

of degradations that take place as a result of one or

more of the above-mentioned mechanisms. Although

the above-mentioned mechanisms are deterministic,

there is a level of uncertainty associated with some of

their variables. For instance, the strength S, the corrosion rate C, and the operating pressure, P in the

thinning model, and KIC , Y, P, S, and A in the stress

corrosion cracking mechanism, have uncertainty associated with their values. Therefore, these variables

have to be considered random and the material degradation process is expected to be a stochastic process.

Let us define the accumulated material degradation measured at a certain point in time t, to be the

sum of the incremental degradations that occurred

from the start of service till time t. Let us also assume that the incremental material degradations are

independent, exponentially distributed random variables. Then, the cumulative degradation from the start

of service till time t, X(t), is a gamma-distributed

stochastic process with stationary increments. The

gamma-distributed stochastic process has many advantages: it has a nonnegative distribution and it is

easy to manipulate.

A gamma density function with a shape parameter , and a scale parameter , where and > 0, is

given by

(8)

At low temperatures carbon steels may suffer

a brittle fracture at loads significantly below the intended design loads. This is because carbon steels lose

their ductility as the temperature is lowered. The temperature at which ductility is lost is called the transient

temperature. While most materials are designed to

operate well above the transition temperature, some

materials in older plants may still operate near or

f (x) =

(x)1 ex

()

for

x > 0.

(9)

assumed to be linear in time. Thus, the shape parameter, , will be replaced by a linear function of time

= o t.

The probability density function describing the

cumulative wall thickness degradation, X(t), is described by Equation (10):

f X(t) (x) =

o t

(x)ot1 ex

(ot)

for

x > 0.

209

(10)

material degradation caused by each individual degradation mechanism described above.

Thus, the mean and variance of the cumulative

degradation in the wall thickness, X(t), are given by

0

X(t) = E[X(t)] = t = t,

o

2

(11)

X(t) = Var[X(t)] = 2 t 2 = 2 t.

2

o =

and = 2 .

(12)

It is common practice to express the standard deviation ( ) in terms of the mean () through the use of

a coefficient of variance (): = . Using this relationship, the gamma density function for corrosion

can be rewritten as

t

1 2

t

2

x

(x) 2 1 e 2 .

f X(t) (x) =

(13)

t

2

In this expression the average corrosion rate () is the

only uncertain parameter that would vary with time.

Considering this, the above expression can be represented in terms of single-variable Bayesian gamma

conditional function G as

1

1

G x 2 t,

2

t

1 2

t

2

x

(x) 2 1 e 2 = f X(t) (x).

=

(14)

t

2

For stress corrosion cracking, the cumulative crack

depth is assumed to be a function of tn . Thus, in this

case = ot n and the density function becomes

f X(t) (x) =

o t

n

(x)ot 1 ex

o t n

for

x > 0.

(15)

The mean and variance for the cumulative wall thickness degradation become

o

X(t) = E[X(t)] = t n = t n ,

o

2

(16)

X(t) = Var[X(t)] = 2 t n = 2 t n .

2

and = 2 .

(17)

o =

tn

1 2

tn

2

x

n (x) 2 1 e 2

f X(t) (x) =

t

2

1 n 1

.

= Ga x 2 t ,

2

(18)

terms of a single variable conditional gamma function

G as

1

1

G x 2 t n ,

2

tn

1 2

tn

2

x

n (x) 2 1 e 2 .

= f X(t) (x) =

t

2

(19)

in the inspection updating for the cases of perfect and

imperfect inspections.

3.3. Inspection Updating Modeling

The results of inspection can be effectively used in

updating the prior knowledge of the average degradation rate (). This updating could be best done using

Bayesian updating. Bayess theorem provides a formal and structured approach that can be used to update the prior based on component data gained from

actual inspections. Inspection updating modeling involves two main steps: (1) selection of an appropriate

prior, and (2) Bayesian updating of the prior using

new inspection data. Bayesian updating can be applied for the two cases: perfect or imperfect inspection

data. Bayesian updating is widely discussed in the literature; excellent reviews are given by Kallen (2002)

and Kallen and Noortwijk (2003).

3.3.1. Step ISelection of a Prior

Bayess theorem indicates that a posterior probability can be obtained from an assumed prior probability when modified based on new knowledge

210

3.3.2. Step II(i)Posterior: Perfect

Inspection Updating

have the special property that if used in Bayess theorem as a prior distribution and the new information is used in the form of a random variable with

a certain distribution, the posterior distribution has

the same distribution as the prior. These pairs of

distributions are called conjugate distributions, examples of which are normal-normal-normal, normallognormal-normal, and gamma-exponential-gamma

distributions (see Harr, 1987).

Following the suggestions made by van Noortwijk

and van Gelder (1996), Kallen (2002), and Kallen and

van Noortwijk (2003), the inverted gamma distribution is used here as a prior distribution. The inverted

gamma density is given as

IX(t) (x) =

ba

(a)

a+1

b

1

exp

x

x

for

The conditional prior density function for the decrease in the thickness of the material, X(t), can be

expressed as

( | x) =

l(x | ) ()

(21)

l(x | ) () d

is the likelihood of a measurement x given .

Kallen (2002) used Equation (21) to obtain a

posterior density function for the loss in the material thickness for the perfect inspection case, ( | x),

given by

t

x

( | x) = IX(t) 2 + , 2 + ,

(22)

x 0.

(20)

Consider the case when the inspection is repeated

n times, thus, n measurements x1 at time t1 , x2 at

t2 , . . . , xn at tn are carried out. The posterior for the

loss in the material thickness can be written as

density function for the material degradation caused

by corrosion and stress corrosion cracking. The density is nonnegative and has a longer tail, which represents uncertainty over higher degradation rates. Fig. 2

depicts the simple discrete prior density and also the

continuous version of this density function. The inverted gamma density function has been fitted to

the discrete prior given in Fig. 2, through the use of

simulation.

( | x1 , . . . , xn )

n

n

ti ti1

xi xi1

= IX(t)

+ ,

+ .

i=1

2

2

i=1

(23)

80

70

60

Density (%age)

50

Inverted gama prior

information and inverted gamma prior

fitted to these data.

40

30

20

10

0

0.00

0.06

0.11

0.17

0.22

0.28

0.34

0.39

0.45

0.50

0.56

0.60

0.70

211

actually depends only on the last inspection, because

the standard deviation ( ) is expressed in terms of the

mean (). Therefore, the above expression reduces to

l(y | ) () d

1

1

f

G y 2 t n ,

()

d

() d.

2

=0

( | x1 , . . . , xn )

n

n

tn

xn

= ( | xn ) = IX(t)

+ ,

+ .

i=1 2

2

i=1

(24)

it is thus important to model imperfect inspections as

well.

3.3.3. Step II(ii)Posterior: Imperfect

Inspection Model

This model is based on the approach discussed

by Newby and Dagg (2002), and Kallen and van

Noortwijk (2003). Let us consider a stochastic process Y(t) given by

Y(t) = X(t) + ,

(25)

is considered to be a zero mean normal process with

a standard deviation . Y(t) is the degradation measured (material lost) during an inspection at time t.

A brief description of the posterior density formulation and solution algorithm is presented here;

for more details see, Kallen (2002) and Kallen and

van Noortwijk (2003). The likelihood of a measurement y given the degradation rate is

l(y | ) = fY(t) (y)

= f X(t)+ (x) =

f X(t) (y ) f () d,

(26)

where f X (t) (y ) is the likelihood of the gamma increment, X(t), having parameters and . To solve

the above integral, we replace the integral in Equation (26) by a summation

n

fY(t) (y)

G y i ot n , p(i );

i=1

where

p(i ) = 1.

(27)

degradation model: a linear model can be obtained by

substituting n = 1.

Using the parameters of the gamma density function, the denominator in Equation (21) becomes

(28)

This integral can also be approximated by the following summation:

l(y | ) () d

0

n

k

i=1

j=1

1 n 1

p( j ) p(i ),

G y 2 t ,

2

(29)

where p(i ) = Pr{ = i } is the discrete density of

. Using these results, the posterior is approximated

as

p(i | y)

k

1 n 1

p(i )

p( j )

G y 2t ,

2

j=1

;

= n

k

1 n 1

p( j )

p(i )

G y 2 t ,

2

i=1

j=1

for i = 1, . . . , n.

(30)

In case of multiple imperfect inspections, we need the

product of the individual likelihoods for the measured

increments

l(y1 , . . . , yk | ) =

lY(tk)Y(tk1 ) (yk yk1 | ).

k

(31)

likelihood can be rewritten as

l(y1 , . . . , yk | )

=

...

f X(tk)X(tk1 ) (yk yk1 k)

f (1 , . . . , k) d1 , . . . , dk,

(32)

where k = k k1 . Because the s are not independent, the likelihood can be approximated as

l(y1 , . . . , yk | ) = E

f Dk(dk k)

k

N

1

j

f Dk dk k

N j=1

as

N ,

(33)

the last step we used the strong law of large numbers

212

the use of simulation (see Kallen, 2002).

For each k, we sample k (j = 1, . . . , N) and calcuj

j

j

late k = k k1 . Because the gamma distribution

f Dk = G(x | [t k t k1 ], ) is not defined for x < 0,

j

we need to make sure that the condition (dk k )

0 is satisfied.

l(y1 , . . . , yk | )

N

tk tk1 1

j

1

.

Ga dk min k , dk

,

N j=1 k

2

2

(34)

The posterior for multiple imperfect inspections can

now be obtained as

p(i | y)

N

t 1

1

j

Ga dk min k , dk 2 ,

p(i )

2

N j=1 k

,

= n

N

t 1

1

j

p(i )

Ga dk min k , dk 2 ,

2

N j=1 k

i=1

(35)

for i = 1, . . . , n and t k = t k t k1 .

We now have a Bayesian updating model that accepts the results of multiple imperfect inspections. The

advantage of using the simulation technique to calculate the posterior density as a function of the degradation rate is that one can use different levels for the

magnitude of the error in each inspection.

3.4. Risk-Based Optimal Inspection

Interval Calculation

Determining an optimal integrity inspection

and/or maintenance action is a problem of optimization under uncertainty. The most comprehensive approach for solving such a problem is through the use

of decision theory, which provides a systematic and

consistent way to evaluate the alternatives and identify an optimal choice (see Nessim & Stephens, 1995;

Nessim et al., 2000; Goyet et al., 2002).

In the previous steps, we have developed a model

to calculate the probability of failure of a process component as a function of time. In order to calculate the

risk, we have to calculate the consequences associated

with that failure. In the present study, we estimate the

consequence in terms of the cost incurred as a result

of failure. Having estimated the risk, we will use it

to decide when to inspect and when to replace the

component. In other words, we intend to determine

the maximum length of time between two consecutive

inspections that would result in a minimum accepted

been suggested by Wagner (1975). This criterion is referred to as the average cost over unbound region.

This criterion is derived using renewal theory and uses

the concept of a components lifecycle. The length of

this cycle spans the time from the start of the service

until a renewal is affected. Renewal consists of either

a preventive or a corrective replacement. The risk factor is calculated as the ratio of the expected costs per

cycle over the expected cycle length. A brief formulation of this criterion is presented below (for details,

see van Noortwijk, 2000, 2003).

We will model the maintenance tasks as a discrete renewal process. In this case, the component

returns to the as-good-as-new condition after each

replacement. A discrete renewal process {N(n), n =

1, 2, 3, . . . } is a nonnegative integer-valued stochastic process that registers the successive renewals in

the time interval (0, n). Let the renewal times T 1 , T 2 ,

T 3 , . . . , be nonnegative, independent, identically distributed, random quantities having a discrete probability function

Pr {Tk = i} = pi ,

and

where i = 1, 2, . . . ,

pi = 1,

(36)

i=1

time i. The cost (consequence) associated with a renewal at time i is denoted by ci , i = 1, 2, 3, . . . . The

risk factors (expected average costs per unit time)

are determined by simply averaging the risk factor

over an unbounded horizon. The expected risk over a

bounded horizon (0, n), denoted by R(, ), is given

by

n

R(, ) =

pi ci + E( (n i)) ,

i=1

for

n = 1, 2, 3, . . . ,

and

(0) 0.

(37)

T i = i is ci plus the additional expected cost during the

interval (i, n), i = 1, . . . , n. Using the discrete renewal

theorem, the risk factor (expected average costs per

unit time) is expressed as

E(cycle risk)

E(cycle length)

ci (, ) pi (, )

E(Ci )

i=1

=

=

,

E(I)

i pi (, )

R(, ) =

i=1

(38)

213

of time i and the probability of renewal during this

time, respectively. {m, } represents the replacement level, which is the ratio of the material degradation to the critical safety margin. It is calculated for

each time interval . The random variable I is the cycle length with a cycle cost of cI . Considering replacement cycle as the time period between two renewals,

the numerator of Equation (38) represents expected

cycle risk and the denominator is the expected cycle

length (mean lifetime). Equation (38) can be rewritten as

R(, )

n

j=1

n

j=1

4.1. An Autoclave

Geary (2002) presented a review of risk-based

inspection approaches practiced in the United Kingdom. Four different case studies were performed by

seven different agencies. In the present article, we

will apply the methodology outlined above to the

case study no. 3 of Gearys report: an autoclave. We

will determine the optimal inspection interval for this

component. A brief description of the autoclave is

presented here and the input data used in the study is

given in Table I.

4.1.1. Process Details

ci (, ) pi (, , | P, S . . .) p ( j |

y)

i=1

4. CASE STUDIES

i pi (, , | P, S . . .) p ( j |

y)

i=1

(39)

where ( | y) is the posterior density, (p(j | y)) is the

discrete version of the posterior density over a given

number of the measurements, y = y1 , y2 , . . . , yk .

In order to include the uncertainty over the various material and operating characteristics such as

pressure (P) and material strength (S), we can sample these variables from their respective probability

distribution functions. It is better to include the uncertainty over the degradation rate in the simulation,

instead of using a discrete solution. The advantage of

using a simulation technique is that the degradation

rate, , can be sampled before we go into the loops to

calculate the expected average risk. Also, there will be

no extra loop needed if we assume that other parameters such as the pressure, P, and material strength,

S, are also uncertain. The solution in this case is given

by

E|R(, )|

N

1

j

j

j

ci (, ) pi , | , P , S . . .

N j=1 i=1

=

,

n

I

j

j

j

i pi , | , P , S . . .

N j=1 i=1

(40)

where E|R(, )| denotes expected average risk and

is measured as dollar per unit time.

and pressurized to 10 Barg. The pressure is subsequently released and water is then agitated and a vacuum is applied to evacuate air from the empty space.

Subsequently, an ammonium sulfate solution (as a

catalyst) is introduced along with tetrafluoroethylene

(TFE) (in a gaseous state). TFE is immediately polymerized by the water. The temperature of the exothermic reaction is controlled by cooling the water jacket

(circulating water at 15 C). The process operates in

batches, 3 cycles per day for 48 weeks in a year.

The vessel has been inspected three times and the

results of the inspections are given in Table I. This unit

has been studied using the methodology outlined in

the previous sections and results are briefly discussed

below.

5. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

The prior and posterior density functions for thinning and cracking in the autoclaves material are

shown in Figs. 3 and 4, respectively. It may be observed

from Fig. 3 that the posterior supports the prior. The

posterior for perfect inspections shows a tall peak at

a corrosion rate of 0.185 mm/year, which is comparatively higher than the prior peak. Peaks for the posterior (imperfect inspections) and the prior occur at

almost the same location (0.11 mm/year). This indicates that the results of the inspection (with possible

errors in the measurements) confirm the suitability of

the originally assumed thinning rate.

In case of crack growth, the peak of the posterior (perfect inspections) function occurs at a degradation rate of 0.2 mm/year, which is much higher than

that for the prior given as 0.012 mm/year and the

posterior for the imperfect inspections occurring at

214

Background information

Autoclave dimensions

Material of construction

Active damage mechanism

Inspection history

Other Parameters

Tensile strength

Operating pressure

Corrosion rate

Crack growth rate

Corrosion allowance

n (power function for crack

growth rate)

Crack length to depth ratio

Inspection cost

Preventive replacement cost

Failure cost

Design temperature 100 C and pressure 25 Barg

Operating temperature 895 C and pressure 10 Barg

5 ft diameter; 11 diameter, 1 in. wall thickness

Stainless steel 321, carbon steel jacket

Stress corrosion cracking

Internal thinning

Three inspections

Material loss (thinning): mean 0.7 mm 0.9 mm 1.5mm,

CoV 0.50

Crack growth: mean: 0.06 mm 0.3 mm 0.6 mm, CoV 0.20

Values

Mean 515 MPa, coefficient of variance (CoV) 0.20

Mean 3.2 MPa, CoV 0.05

Mean 0.1 mm/year; CoV 0.25

Mean 0.01 mm/year; CoV 0.25

4.5 mm

0.50

6

$15,000

$30,000

$3,000,000

a rate of 0.04 mm/year. This indicates that the posterior function for the perfect inspections represents an

idealized condition and does not represent the actual

degradation mechanism in this case. Furthermore, the

prior and posterior functions for the imperfect inspections are fairly close together, which indicates

that they give a better representation of the actual

situation.

imperfect inspections assumption and considering all

possible variations in the operating parameters. The

results are shown in Figs. 5 and 6 for the thinning and

cracking mechanisms, respectively. It can be seen from

Fig. 5 that the replacement time is 43 years and that the

failure time is about 212 years. There are two minima

observed in the plot. The first is at 43 years (which

30

25

prior

postprior

post_imp_prior

20

Density

post_imp_prior_CDF

distribution for corrosion degradation

mechanism.

15

10

0

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

215

1.2

70

60

50

0.8

40

Density

prior

postprior

post_imp_prior

post_imp_prior_CDF

distribution for crack growth.

30

0.6

0.4

20

0.2

10

0

0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

0.3

0.35

0.4

0

0.45

This plot has also two minima: one at 85 years and the

other at 535 years. The second minimum is impractical. Now, as the autoclave has already survived for

24 years, the next inspection should be done within

the next 50 years, assuming SCC to be the only degradation mechanism. These results were obtained by

considering the effects of only one degradation mechanism at a time. This is partially responsible for the

the second is at 203 years. The second minimum is

a mathematical result that has little meaning in real

life. The first minimum, which occurs at 43 years, is

the one of interest. Considering that the component

has already survived for 24 years, the next inspection

should be within 19 years.

It is evident from Fig. 6 (crack growth) that preventive replacement time is estimated at 91 years

18000

16000

corrosion degradation mechanism.

14000

12000

10000

Replacement time

Failure time

8000

6000

4000

2000

0

0

50

100

150

200

250

216

6000

5000

4000

Replacement time

Failure time

3000

cracking degradation mechanism.

2000

1000

0

0

100

200

300

400

500

600

the long inspection interval is the fact that we have

used a relatively slow crack growth rate.

Considering both degradation mechanisms to be

acting at the same time, it is evident that the autoclave

should be inspected at a maximum of 19 years from

now. The analysis suggested here can be used repeatedly to modify the inspection interval based on newer

inspection data.

6. A PIPELINE

Pandey (1998) studied the probabilistic models

for the assessment of the condition of a pipeline using in-line inspection data. He used a segment of

an oil and gas pipeline of 914 mm diameter and

8.74 mm wall thickness to illustrate his approach. We

will consider the same case considered by Pandey

(1998) to illustrate the approach developed in the

present work. Input data used in this example are

given in Table II. Pandey (1998) showed that the

time of inspection should be between 5 and 20 years

depending upon the repair criteria (considering corrosion to be the only degradation mechanism). He also

concluded that a single inspection after 10 years with

a repair criterion of 1.4 would minimize the pipeline

failure probability to 0.01 per km over 25 years.

7. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

This is a comparatively new segment of the oil

and gas pipeline and had only one regular inspection.

of the prior and the posterior functions are very much

separated from each other. The prior is more spread as

compared to the posterior (perfect and imperfect inspections). The posterior distribution for imperfect inspections shows the least spread. The results for crack

growth rate are shown in Fig. 8. In this case the peaks

of the posterior functions occur at degradation rates

of 0.2 and 0.195 mm/year for imperfect and prefect

inspections, respectively. These peaks are away from

the prior peak, which occured at a degradation rate

of 0.12 mm/year.

A detailed cost analysis is conducted for both

degradation mechanisms based on the posterior for

imperfect inspections. The results are shown in Figs. 9

and 10. When corrosion is the dominant degradation

mechanism, it was found that the preventive replacement time is 14 years and the failure time is 26 years

(see Fig. 9). The results considering SCC to be the

dominant mechanism are 23 years for the replacement

and 62 years for failure (see Fig. 10). It is evident that

the thinning degradation mechanism is fast and thus

must be used as the basis in inspection planning. The

cost curve has two minima, one at 10 years and the

other at 22 years. The first minimum occurring at an

interval of 10 years (though not the global minimum)

is a more conservative basis for inspection. Since the

pipeline has already been in operation for 5 years,

the next inspection is due in 5 years. The measurements obtained from the next inspection can then be

used to update the distribution and to predict a better

217

Background information

5 years of operation

Design temperature 120 C and pressure 7.0 MPa

Operating temperature 40 C and pressure 5.7 Barg

914 mm diameter; 1 km length, 8.74 mm wall thickness

Steel grade 60

Stress corrosion cracking

Internal thinning

One inspection, defect of depth (mean) 0.5 mm, CoV 0.20

Pipe dimensions

Material of construction

Active damage mechanism

Inspection history

Table II. Input Details for Segment of

Oil and Gas Pipeline

Other Parameters

Yield strength

Operating pressure

Corrosion rate

SCC rate

Corrosion allowance

n (power function for crack

growth rate)

Crack length-to-depth ratio

Inspection cost

Preventive replacement cost

Failure cost

estimate for the following inspection time. If data obtained from the next inspection support the current

posterior then the following inspection will coincide

with the preventive replacement of this pipeline. The

optimum inspection intervals are calculated, based

Values

Mean 461 MPa, coefficient of variance (CoV) 0.20

Mean 5.7 MPa, CoV 0.05

Mean 0.15 mm/year; CoV 0.25

Mean 0.1 mm/year; CoV 0.25

2.5 mm

0.50

6

$5,000

$10,000

$100,000

Because corrosion effects are more dominant in the

case of a pipeline, the SSC-based inspection interval

is not of importance. However, in the next inspection

(5 years from now) inspection for crack growth should

50

45

40

prior

postprior

post_imp_prior

post_imp_prior_CDF

35

for corrosion degradation mechanism.

Density

30

25

20

15

10

5

0

0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

0.3

0.35

0.4

0.45

218

14

1.2

12

0.8

8

Density

prior

postprior

post_imp_prior

post_imp_prior_CDF

0.6

0.4

10

distribution for cracking growth in

pipeline.

0.2

0

0

0.5

1.5

2.5

8. CONCLUSIONS

In this work, we have presented a method for the

determination of optimal maintenance intervals for

process components. The method takes into account

the random nature of material degradation of pro-

be linear or nonlinear. The method allows the updating of the probability density function for the material degradation, using a Bayesian approach. Thus,

the failure rate can be adjusted based on actual measurements made during inspections. The updated failure rate obtained reflects the changes in operating

and environmental conditions. The inspection intervals obtained are more reliable because they are

based on actual measurements. The method takes into

7000

6000

5000

4000

Replacement time

Failure time

corrosion degradation on pipeline.

3000

2000

1000

0

0

10

15

Inspection interval (years)

20

25

30

219

1800

1600

for crack degradation mechanism in

pipeline.

1400

1200

Average cycle cost

Replacement time

Repair time

1000

800

600

400

200

0

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

consideration the random error that may be associated with the measurements obtained during

inspection.

The method optimizes maintenance intervals

based on the risk associated with component failure.

The optimization criterion is based on a level of risk

that satisfies the acceptable risk criteria. Using risk

as an optimization criterion allows the maintenance

interval to be a function of both the probability of failure as well as the consequences of this failure. Proper

attention can then be devoted to the maintenance of

critical equipment.

The gamma distribution seems to describe the

material degradation process well. Results obtained

using the assumption that measurements obtained

during inspections are imperfect are more realistic

than those assuming perfect measurements.

The method has been applied to two case studies:

an autoclave and a pipeline. The results obtained for

these two case studies are in general agreement with

results discussed in the literature. Results of the case

studies presented above show that the method produces reliable estimates for the inspection intervals.

The optimal inspection intervals given by the model

for the case studies considered are reasonable and in

general agreement with results obtained using different approaches.

The main disadvantage of the method is that

it is computationally intensive. For the autoclave

case study, the simulation using 200 samples (coded

in MATLAB) took about 8 hours, whereas for the

pipeline case study, it took about 5 hours of computation time on a personal computer with an Intel Pentium 4 (clocks at 1.81GHz) and 256 MB RAM.

However, the method can be easily programmed

and the data required can be easily obtained from

operational records and original design documents.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) under a discovery grant and

Canada Foundation of Innovation (CFI) new opportunity award.

NOMENCLATURE

A Crack depth, mm

D Diameter of the component (vessel,

pipe, etc.), mm

C Corrosion rate, mm/year

Ccr Crack growth rate, mm/year

cmax Corrosion allowance, mm

ci (, k) Costs incurred during unit time (i

1, i) as a function of replacement

percentage and inspectional interval, $

C(, k) Expected average costs per unit

time as function of replacement

percentage and inspection interval,

$/year

220

E(X) Expectation of the random variable

X

f X (X) Probability density function of the

random variable X

G State function, dimensionless

Ga(x | , ) Gamma density of X as a function

of x with the shape parameter and

the scale parameter

Ig(x | , ) Inverted gamma density of X as a

function of x with the shape parameter and the scale parameter

KIC Material

fracture

toughness,

MPa(mm)1/2

lcr Characteristic crack length, mm

L( | x) Likelihood of the variable given

the measurement x

m Safety margin, the amount of degradation at which the component is assumed to fail, dimensionless

N Crack growth exponent; for example, PWHT components n = 0.25

and for non-PWHT components n

= 0.50.

P Operating pressure, kPa

P( | y) Conditional probability of failure

due to wall loss y, given degradation

rate

Rl/a Crack length-to-depth (thickness)

ratio; it is considered as 6

R Material resistance, MPa

R(, ) Risk factor, dollar per unit time

E|R(, )| Expected average risk factor, dollar

per unit

S Material strength, MPa

St Applied stress, MPa

thickness Thickness of the material of construction, mm

X(t) Random variable in stochastic process

Y(t) Variable in stochastic process consisting of variable X(t) and an error,

X(t) +

Y e Geometric factor, dimensionless

GREEK SYMBOLS

Shape parameter for gamma and inverted gamma densities

Scale parameter for gamma and inverted gamma densities

E Normally distribution error with mean

0 and standard deviation

Mean of the uncertain gamma density

(random variable X)

Standard deviation of the random variable X

Coefficient of variance

Replacement stage, percentage of

safety margin at which the component

should be replaced

{m, } Ratio of replacement to failure level

and calculated for each time interval

Time interval

(a) Gamma function

(a, x) Incomplete gamma function

() Prior density of the variable

tk Time interval between two inspections

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