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Engineering Encyclopedia Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards VISUAL INSPECTION Note: The source of the technical material

Engineering Encyclopedia

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

VISUAL INSPECTION

Note: The source of the technical material in this volume is the Professional Engineering Development Program (PEDP) of Engineering Services.

Warning: The material contained in this document was developed for Saudi Aramco and is intended for the exclusive use of Saudi Aramco’s employees. Any material contained in this document which is not already in the public domain may not be copied, reproduced, sold, given, or disclosed to third parties, or otherwise used in whole, or in part, without the written permission of the Vice President, Engineering Services, Saudi Aramco.

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Section

Page

INTRODUCTION TO VISUAL INSPECTION

4

Elements of an Effective Visual Inspection 4 Auxiliary Inspection Items 5

Applications and Requirements for a Visual Inspection 6

Visual Indications of Corrosion

6

Application Checklist

9

Visual Inspection in Case of Failure

10

Advantages and Limitations of Visual Inspections 12 Advantages 12 Limitations 12

INSPECTION TOOLS AND THEIR USES

13

Fiber Optics

13

Borescope 13

15

Pit Gauges 17

Fiberscope

Description/Operation

17

Application

17

Advantages and Limitations 18

18

Downhole Cameras and Video Logging Devices 18

Cameras

Closed Circuit Television

19

Mirrors

20

Description/ Operation

20

Application

20

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Advantages and Limitations

20

Magnets 21

21

Advantages and Limitations 21

Application

GLOSSARY

22

WORK AID 1: HOW TO IDENTIFY INDICATIONS OF CORROSION THAT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED

23

Work Aid 1A: How to Document a Visual Inspection

23

Work Aid 1B: How to Perform Field Inspection of Equipment Failures

25

Work Aid 1C: How to Identify Corrosion Related Failures

26

WORK AID 2: HOW TO SPECIFY APPROPRIATE TOOLS FOR INSPECTION OF CORROSION

27

Work Aid 2A:

How to Select Corrosion Monitoring Techniques

27

Work Aid 2B: How to Select Corrosion Inspection Tools

28

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

List of Figures

Figure 1. External Pitting

7

Figure 2. Cracking

7

Figure

3. Distortions Or Deformities

8

Figure 4. Evidence Of Failure Due To Corrosion Fatigue

11

Figure 5. Borescope With Lenses And Optical Fiber Light Guide

14

Figure 6. Image Transfer Through A Flexible Bundle Of Fibers

15

 

List of Tables

Table 1. Characteristics of Some Corrosion-Related Failures

26

Table 2. Characteristics of Corrosion Inspection Techniques

27

Table 3

Application, Advantages, and Disadvantages of Corrosion Inspection Tools

28

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

INTRODUCTION TO VISUAL INSPECTION

Visual inspection was undoubtedly the first nondestructive method used by man to examine the objects around him. Having passed the test of time, this method remains the simplest and most effective means of examination.

The following quotation 1 sums up the importance of visual inspections:

“No test instrument or inspection tool has ever been developed that can benefit a corrosion control program as much as thorough on-site inspection by interested personnel. Direct examination and a few simple tests on failed equipment will often reveal the basic cause of the problem.”

Elements of an Effective Visual Inspection

An increased awareness of details is a fundamental element of an effective visual inspection. This awareness involves attention to input from all the senses.

Experience in examining a system or piece of equipment is an element that increases effectiveness with each subsequent inspection. This familiarity enables an inspector to be more aware of subtle changes that can indicate a potential problem.

An effective visual inspection also includes the use of auxiliary items and simple inspection tools, especially when examining inaccessible areas. Using the proper tool can assist an inspector in locating problems and making accurate observations.

Finally, to be effective, a visual inspection should be conducted using an inspection form or checklist. A checklist provides a systematic approach to the inspection that, in turn, produces a clear and concise record of observations.

1 From Corrosion and Water Technology for Petroleum Producers

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Auxiliary Inspection Items

The following is a list of some auxiliary items that can be used to assist in conducting an effective visual inspection.

Standard forms/inspection checklist that includes the Saudi Aramco EIS form, if appropriate, as well as any other approved procedural checklists.

Notebook and pencil to write down observations at the time they are made rather than attempting to recall them later.

Original designs and data from earlier inspections referring to new or previously noted conditions in order to distinguish between deviations, and normal or desired conditions. Notes, and photographs or drawings from earlier inspections can be useful in making decisions about current conditions.

Cleaning tools when needed should be simple cleaning tools such as a scraper or steel brush to clean a surface before making a preliminary visual inspection.

Chalk or similar marking device to mark identify potential or suspected problem areas.

Straight ruler, square, and level to measure, determine square, level and plumb areas. Always record the results for use in follow-up inspections or treatments.

Vernier, micrometer, and measuring tape to determine and record material thicknesses, a key indicator of corrosion.

Visual inspections can include both external and internal surfaces of equipment. Internal surfaces, especially, are often inaccessible and require the use of special inspection tools. In addition to the auxiliary items listed earlier, addidional visual inspections tools were listed in Module COE 103.01 and will be covered later in this module under topic “INSPECTION TOOLS AND THEIR USES”

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Applications and Requirements for a Visual Inspection

Visual inspection is the inspection method most often used for detecting and evaluating these conditions:

General or localized corrosion

Shallow or intense pitting

Ruptures or cracks

Erosion and deformities

Significant changes in deposits on surfaces

Visual inspection can be used on the internal and/or external surfaces of equipment such as:

Visual Indications of Corrosion

Pipelines

Chokes

Lines

Fittings

Valves

Tanks

Welds

Tubing

The following series of drawings and photographs illustrate examples of corrosion-related damage that can be detected and evaluated during a visual inspection.

Visual inspection can be used to detect kinks, deep external pits, or damaged joints of well tubing. Figure 1 illustrates external pitting.

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Encyclopedia Inspection for Corrosion Visual Inspection Figure 1. External Pitting By using an inspection tool such

Figure 1. External Pitting

By using an inspection tool such as a downhole camera, cracking can be detected as seen in Figure 2. Cracking may be due to these things:

Mechanical means such as overload or fatigue

Corrosion such as stress corrosion cracking or corrosion fatigue

Corrosion such as stress corro sion cracking or corrosion fatigue Figure 2. Cracking Saudi Aramco DeskTop

Figure 2. Cracking

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Insulated pipes or vessels often have rust stains; bulged, cracked or distorted insulation; and hot spots, which are indicative of corrosion damage. These features can be noted during a visual inspection. Figure 3 illustrates this problem.

a visual inspection. Figure 3 illustrates this problem. Figure 3. Distortions or Deformities Examination of vessel

Figure 3. Distortions or Deformities

Examination of vessel or pipe exteriors can reveal excessive corrosion and locate areas where thickness measurements are needed.

External signs of leaks in tanks and other enclosed vessels, as well as areas of localized corrosion, can also be detected using this method.

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Application Checklist

To be effective, visual inspection should be performed in an organized manner. Although procedures vary according to the location and type of equipment being inspected, the following general tasks can be applied to most inspection situations:

Observe and measure critical areas

Document observations and measurements

Analyze potential problem areas

As a general rule, the initial check of an area should occur before the area is cleaned. Crack formations and leaks are often easier to discover when an area has not been cleaned. The location and amount, or significant changes in surface deposits such as rust or scale, also need to be noted.

After the initial check, a more thorough inspection should be made. Saudi Aramco documents entitled SAIP (Saudi Aramco Inspection Procedure) detail step-by-step procedures for conducting inspections in specific areas. Work Aid 1A illustrates the type of data that is included on a typical visual inspection checklist.

Section 1 of the sample form should be used to document original or design information about the equipment to be inspected. Original data on hydrostatic pressure and wall thickness can be particularly helpful as a point of comparison for subsequent inspections.

Section 2 lists the critical inspection points or areas.

The final section, section 3, should be used to document the location and time of each observation. Location description can include potential problem areas as well as location identifiers from the manufacturer’s design specifications.

Following a simple inspection checklist such as this one will not only ensure an organized, time-efficient visual examination, but it will also ensure that all pertinent observations are documented for future use.

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Visual Inspection in Case of Failure

Up to this point, the discussion of visual inspection has focused on using this method to locate and evaluate potential problem areas. This section focuses on using this method in case of equipment or system failure.

Direct visual examination and a few simple tests can often reveal why the failure occurred. Work Aid 1B 2 , contains a suggested list of procedures for this type of visual inspection. These steps can be used as a guide for preparation of a data acquisition form. Preprinted forms, with blank spaces for observations and comments, are helpful for use by field crews.

Table 1 from the same source contains a list of observations that may help to identify the cause of the failure.

Figure 4 is an example of observable evidence of equipment failure due to stress corrosion. The drawing shows the broken end of a rod whose failure was caused by stress corrosion fatigue after six months of use.

2 Originally printed as a Table in Corrosion and Water Technology for Petroleum Producers.

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Rough torn area at Rough torn area at Final tensile break Final tensile break Smooth

Rough torn area at

Rough torn area at

Rough torn area at Rough torn area at Final tensile break Final tensile break Smooth surface
Rough torn area at Rough torn area at Final tensile break Final tensile break Smooth surface

Final tensile break

Final tensile break

Smooth surface left

Smooth surface left

Final tensile break Smooth surface left Smooth surface left by crack propagation by crack propagation Pit
Final tensile break Smooth surface left Smooth surface left by crack propagation by crack propagation Pit

by crack propagation

by crack propagation

Pit at fracture origin. Pit at fracture origin.
Pit at fracture origin.
Pit at fracture origin.

Figure 4. Evidence of Failure Due To Corrosion Fatigue

Visible evidence of damage in Figure 4 includes

Pitting along the outer edges

A crack or fracture along the smooth surface of the face

A tensile break on the rough surface

The first two items of visible evidence can be indications of stress corrosion fatigue.

The final evidence, the tensile break, is nonbrittle in nature and probably happened rapidly, as indicated by the rough texture of the area surrounding it. This break more than likely occurred after the diameter of the rod had been reduced to the point at which it could no longer sustain the tensile load.

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Advantages and Limitations of Visual Inspections

Work Aid 1C, Table 2 gives some of the limitations and advantages of the visual inspection techniques mentioned in this module which are briefly reviewed here:

Advantages

 

As Table 2 indicates, visual inspections provide a simple and easy method of determining the location and severity of corrosion-related damage. Often the only tools needed to perform this inspection technique are the trained eyes of the inspector.

The relative simplicity of auxiliary items and tools contribute to a second advantage of visual inspections – economics. Minimal training and low costs for most equipment make visual inspections an inexpensive and cost-effective method of monitoring corrosion.

Another advantage of visual inspection is its flexibility. It can be performed on external surfaces while the equipment or system is on-stream, as well as during planned downtimes or work stoppages. In addition to scheduled intervals, visual inspections can take place any time a line is open, a pump is down, or a tank is cleaned.

Limitations

Distance is a limitation for visual inspections. The human eye can only distinguish finer details when the distance to the object is less than one meter, so visual inspection is usually confined to objects that can be observed at close range.

Furthermore, a visual examination is often neither accurate nor sensitive enough to analyze many complicated corrosion-related problems. For example, the presence or severity of stress cracking cannot always be seen during a visual inspection of damaged equipment.

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

INSPECTION TOOLS AND THEIR USES

The following tools can be used to gather and record data during visual inspections.

Fiber Optics

Pit Gauges

Cameras

Mirrors

Magnets

These simple inspection tools can enhance the effectiveness of visual inspections by helping an inspector locate, inspect, and accurately record observations. Their uses, limitations, and advantages will be addressed in this segment.

Fiber Optics

Fiber optics in a broad sense refers to endoscopes such as borescopes and fiberscopes. Endoscopes are optical instruments used for visual inspection of internal surfaces in tubes, holes, or other hard-to-reach places. Rigid endoscopes are called borescopes. Flexible endoscopes are called fiberscopes.

Borescope

A borescope is similar to a telescope. While a telescope narrows the field of view for observation at a distance, a borescope spreads the field of view for close-up work. A borescope also has relay lenses along its length to preserve precise resolution. Magnification is usually 3X to 4X.

Borescopes are available as one-piece units or as modular units for easier storage and handling. Self-illumination is provided either by lamps integral to the viewhead or fiber optics (Figure 7). Using mirrors and prisms, the viewhead can provide right angle, bottom, circumference, forward oblique, or retrospective views.

Engineering Encyclopedia

Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Encyclopedia Inspection for Corrosion Visual Inspection Figure 5. Borescope with Lenses and Optical Fiber Light

Figure 5. Borescope with Lenses and Optical Fiber Light Guide

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Inspection for Corrosion

Visual Inspection

Fiberscope

Unlike a borescope, a fiberscope can be inserted into curved pipes and cavities. Fiber optics transmit light inside the fiberscope.

A fiberscope holds two optical bundles with as many as 120,000 individual strands of glass fiber. The optical bundles carry light down to the inspection area and carry the image back to the eyepiece (Figure 8). These bundles, protected by a housing of sealed stainless-steel flexible conduit, allow the fiberscope to bend for passage around corners or sharp elbows while sending back a clear image.

The tip of a fiberscope is mobile to give up to 240 degree scanning range and sensitive movement control.

A A

Objective

Objective

Glass fibers

Glass fibers

A A

Eyepiece

Eyepiece

Glass fibers Glass fibers A A Eyepiece Eyepiece Figure 6. Image Transfer Thr ough a Flexible

Figure 6. Image Transfer Through a Flexible Bundle of Fibers

Application. Borescopes and fiberscopes have a wide range of applications that include the following:

Internal visual inspection of pipes, boilers, cylinders, motors, reactors, heat exchangers, turbines, compressors, and other equipment with narrow, inaccessible cavities or channels

Checking process piping internals for blockage prior to start-up. For instance, early detection of blockages is extremely critical for piping going to release stacks that vent in emergencies.

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Inspection of pressure relief and other valves for damage or blockage that can cause valve failures

Examination of internal parts of gear boxes to spot bent shafts, floating gears, broken keys, and teeth

Advantages and Limitations. Many jobs place special demands upon the endoscopic equipment. Selecting the proper equipment to meet the inspection requirements is very important. The following lists some of the endoscopic equipment and their capabilities.

Explosion-proof and watertight. Some equipment can handle up to 3 bars. They can be used directly in liquid- filled containers and piping systems without the risk of causing an explosion, short-circuit, or excessive handling.

Ultraviolet illumination. For surfaces treated with fluorescent material, equipment with ultraviolet (UV) illumination sources and quartz glass conductors provides greater sensitivity for inspection of cracks and porosity than with white light.

Cleaning/retrieving. To clean inspected areas, some models have additional channels for the flow of air or liquid. Other models have pincers for the retrieval of lost objects.

Optical measuring. For accurate length measurements through the viewhead, equipment with optical measuring gratings are available.

Adjustable viewing angle. Some models have a movable prism located at the tip of the optical path so that the viewing angle can be varied during inspection.

Locking position. Fiberscopes can normally be maneuvered into any position by means of a handle and then locked in place.

Camera/video. For permanent recordings, models are available with cameras or video recorders. The video recordings reduce eye fatigue and permit group viewing during and after inspection.

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Inspection for Corrosion

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A borescope offers the best choice for high resolution and rapid

examination. However, it is limited to straight-line viewing. Because it is a rigid instrument, the borescope cannot be used

in curved sections of piping and complex-shaped equipment.

Although a fiberscope can access hard-to-reach locations, it has less resolution than a borescope.

Before a borescope or fiberscope can be used, the equipment or piping to be inspected must be out of service.

Both borescopes and fiberscopes are sensitive to external factors. The following precautions should be taken to prevent tool damage:

Use a soft cloth to clean lenses and the viewhead.

Protect the tool from shocks by storing it in a safe place and handling it with care when in use.

Never bend a fiber optics cable too sharply.

Never twist a fiber optics cable more than 360.

Never dip the tool in a liquid for which it was not designed.

Never operate the tool at temperatures beyond its design limits.

Avoid excessive heat build-up when using the built-in lamps.

Pit Gauges

Description/Operation

Pit gauges are instruments used to measure the depth of pitting by placing a calibrated rod in the pit.

Application

Pit gauges are used to access the severity of localized corrosion pitting. They can be used to measure the depth and width of a depression or cavity in a pitted metal surface.

The distribution of the attack and an indication of the rate of corrosion can be determined by using these tools.

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Advantages and Limitations

Pit gauges are relatively simple to use and the data gathered by using them is easily interpreted.

These tools can be used to measure the depth of pitting on any accessible surface.

Cameras

Downhole Cameras and Video Logging Devices

Description/Operation. In general, downhole cameras and video logging devices can provide high resolution photographic or video images of the wellbore. Some camera systems have a joystick that the operator can use to scan an area and focus directly on a particular section inside a well.

The Visual Inspection System, produced by H. Rosen Engineering GmbH, is an example of a video logging device. It provides high resolution color video records from empty or water-filled pipelines. The following description/operation information applies to this device.

Composed of two segments, allowing it to negotiate 3-D bends

Self-propelled by three electromotors, fed from an accumulator

Is available for all sizes 10 inches and larger

Records while running forward and backward

Travels up to 10 km horizontally and climbs more than 200 meters vertically

Records up to four hours

Relevant location data is displayed on screen and can be updated after the run

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Can be programmed to perform customized inspection. For example, it can travel into a pipeline for a specified distance, record for a certain length of time, and then return.

Advantages and Limitations. An advantage of downhole cameras is their pictorial record of the location and extent of both internal and external corrosion damage.

State-of-the-art video logging devices provide high-resolution color images. Furthermore, by attaching a listening apparatus, an inspector can not only see but also listen to well activity thousands of feet underground.

Cameras and video systems can also be used to provide pictorial evidence of documented problems. Along with an inspection’s observation notes, photographs or video images can be used to evaluate internal corrosion, check internal coating, check valves and welds, and more.

Closed Circuit Television

Closed circuit television can also be used to monitor well activity. This type of visual equipment is capable of surveying to a depth of one thousand feet or more in areas as small as eight inches in diameter.

Application. Cameras can supply observations when ordinary close-up inspections and measurements are not possible. Through the eye of the camera, the distant and inaccessible internal surfaces of well casings and production tubing can be observed and evaluated close-up. Damage can be observed and the condition of the wellbore can be checked in this manner.

Advantages and Limitations. A main advantage of closed circuit TV is that it permits the inspector to monitor conditions in distant or inaccessible locations.

Perhaps the most obvious limitation of these inspection tools is the cost. Although some cameras are relatively inexpensive, a closed circuit TV system can be a major investment.

In addition to cost, the proper use and operation of certain tools such as a video logging system can require extensive training.

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Visual Inspection

Mirrors

Description/

Operation

 

To handle a variety of circumstances, mirrors of varying sizes should be available, from a small dentist-style mirror for small openings to much larger mirrors for larger exterior surfaces.

Miniature light sources can be attached to mirrors in order to illuminate dark areas.

Application

Mirrors can be used to observe inaccessible areas such as the external surfaces of pipelines that are near the ground or a wall. They can also be used to inspect the underside of a pipe that is difficult to see.

In addition, mirrors can be used to look around corners or through small openings.

Advantages and Limitations

The advantages of mirrors include the fact that they are simple to operate and easy to use. They are also inexpensive. They are excellent for close-up viewing.

Their greatest limitation is that their usefulness is limited to short-range viewing.

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Visual Inspection

Magnets

Application

Magnets can assist in identifying the individual material composition of a piece of equipment by checking the magnetic properties. Since only a few metals are easily identified by visual observation alone, a magnet can be used to distinguish, for example, between magnetic types of steel and nonmagnetic stainless steel and other alloys.

Advantages and Limitations

Magnets provide a simple, easy, and inexpensive means of identifying certain types of metal. This simplicity is also a limitation since the use of magnets as an inspection tool is limited to this single application.

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Visual Inspection

GLOSSARY

borescope

downhole camera

endoscopes

fiber optics

fiberscope

fluorescent

joystick

localized corrosion

pit gauges

prism

telescope

tensile break

vernier

video logging device

A rigid type of endoscope; an instrument used for the visual inspection of hard-to-reach locations

A camera that is designed for use inside well casing and production tubing

Optical instruments, such as a borescope or fiberscope, that are used for visual inspection of internal surfaces of hard-to-reach places

A term applied generally to all types of endoscopes and specifically to fiberscopes

A flexible type of endoscope; an instrument used for the visual inspection of hard-to-reach locations

Bright and glowing as a result of emission of electromagnetic radiation; usually as visible light resulting from and occurring only during the absorption of radiation from some other source

A device that is used to operate remotely an electronic viewing instrument such as a television camera

Corrosion that is confined or limited to a certain area

Instruments that are used to measure the depth and width of a depression or cavity in a pitted metal surface

A transparent body bounded in part by two nonparallel plane faces that is used to disperse a beam of light

A tubular magnifying optical instrument; an optical instrument used for viewing distant objects by means of the refraction of light through a lens or reflection of light rays by a concave mirror

A crack or fracture caused by a tension overload

A short scale made to slide along the divisions of a graduated instrument for indicating parts of divisions

A video device used to check wellbore conditions

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Inspection for Corrosion

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WORK AID 1.

HOW TO IDENTIFY INDICATIONS OF CORROSION THAT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED

This work aid consists of tables which specify the corrosion detection method and its primary uses.

Work Aid 1A: How to Document a Visual Inspection

Section 1

Owner or User

VISUAL INSPECTION FORM

Owner

Date

Manufacturer Jurisdiction or Manufacturer’s Serial Number

National Board

Owner

Date

Design Pressure

Temperature

Original Hydrostatic Test Pressure

 

Original Thickness:

A

B

C

D

Corrosion Allowance:

A

B

C

D

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Section 2

Date of

Thickness

Maximum

 

Minimum

 

Date of Next Inspection

Signature of

Inspection

at Critical

 

Metal

 

Allowable

Inspector

Points

Temperature

Metal

   
 

at Critical

 

Thickness

 

Points

 

at Critical

 

Points

 
 

A

B

C

D

A

B

C

D

A

B

C

D

   

Section 3

Description of Location

Date

Description of Location

Date

Description of Location

Date

Description of Location

Date

Description of Location

Date

Note:

Manufacturer’s drawing can be used to show the location of A, B, C, D.

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Work Aid 1B: How to Perform Field Inspection of Equipment Failures

Follow these steps in performing a field inspection of equipment failures:

1. Record specific identification of failed item and position of

use.

2. Describe the gross nature of the failure, for instance,

a. Longitudinal rupture

b. Transverse fracture

c. Perforation

d. Wall thinning – internal and external

e. Internal and external pitting

3. Examine overall and local deposits.

a. Color

b. Texture

c. Thickness and distribution

4. Test solubility and reaction of deposits in dilute acid.

5. Clean a number of local areas and pits by wire brushing and scraping. Visually examine configuration and distribution of pits, cracks, and thinned areas.

6. Photograph the overall failure and take close-ups of local areas before and after cleaning.

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Work Aid 1C, How to Identify Corrosion Related Failures

Table 1. Characteristics of Some Corrosion-Related Failures

Appearance

Probable Contributing Factors

Small conical pits with steep sides and smooth edges. Pits filled with black deposit.

Hydrogen sulfide attack (H 2 S may be natural or generated by bacteria)

As above plus transverse cracks.

Hydrogen sulfide attack with tensile stress (stress corrosion fatigue)

Transverse fracture with little or no pitting but with black deposit.

Sulfide stress cracking

Excessive metal hardness

Round bottom connecting pits with sharp sides. Grey deposit but pit bottoms are bright.

Carbon dioxide attack

General thinning with sharp feathery or weblike residual metal. Little or no deposits.

Mineral acid corrosion

Rust deposits. Shallow, widespread pitting or deep pits under rust nodules.

Oxygen corrosion

Single, isolated pits in a row on one side.

Electrolytic corrosion due to current discharge

Worn or abraded areas with numerous small pits.

Erosion by solids or metal rubbing presence of H 2 S, CO 2 , or O 2

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WORK AID 2.

HOW TO SPECIFY APPROPRIATE TOOLS FOR INSPECTION OF CORROSION

Work Aid 2A: How to Select Corrosion Monitoring Techniques

Table 2. Characteristics of Corrosion Inspection Techniques

Techn-

Time for

Type of

Speed

Relation-

Possible

Type of

Ease of

Techno-

ique

Individual

Information

of

ship to

Environm

Corrosion

Interpreta

logical

Measure-

Respon

Plant

ent

tion

Culture

ments

se to

Needed

Change

Visual,

Slow,

Distribution of

Poor

Accessible

Any

General or

Easy

Relatively

with aid

requires

attack

surfaces

localized

simple, but

of

entry on

experience

gauges

shutdown

needed

Optical

Fast when

Distribution of

Poor

Localized

Any

Localized

Easy

Relatively

aids

access

attack

simple

(closed

available,

circuit

otherwise

TV, light

slow

bulbs,

etc.)

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Work Aid 2B: How to Select Corrosion Inspection Tools

Use Table 3 to determine the type of inspection tool to use for corrosion inspection.

Table 3. Application, Advantages, and Disadvantages of Corrosion Inspection Tools

TYPE OF INSPECION TOOL

APPLICATION

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

Borescope/

Internal visual inspection of inaccessible areas.

Magnifies objects. The viewhead can provide numerous views of the object.

Not flexible

fiberscope

Checking process piping internals for blockage prior to start-up.

Explosion-proof and watertight

Ultraviolet

Inspection of pressure relief and other valves for damage or blockage.

illumination

Some can clean with flow of air or water. Some can retrieve objects with pincers.

 

Optical measuring. Adjustable viewing angle. Locking position (manueverable).

Can mount on careras/videos

Flexible for use in pipe bends (fiberscope only)

Pit Gauges

Measures depth and width of a depression or cavity in a pitted metal surfaces

Measure the depth of pitting on any accessible surface

Surface must be accessible.

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TYPE OF INSPECION TOOL

APPLICATION

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

Pit Gauges

Determine the distribution of the attack and an indication of the rate of corrosion

Simple to use and the data gathered is easily interpreted.

 

(Cont’d)

Can only determine surface defects.

Downhole Cameras and Video Logging Devices

Provide high resolution photographic or video images of the wellbore.

Downhole cameras provide pictorial record of the location and extent of both internal and external corrosion damage.

Expensive and requires accessible area.

May require extensive training to operate

   

Video logging devices provide high-resolution color images

Closed Circuit Television

Used to monitor well activity. Damage can be observed and the condition of the wellbore can be checked.

Capable of surveying to a depth of one thousand feet or more in areas as small as eight inches in diameter. Monitor conditions in distant or inaccessible locations

Cost. Requires extensive training to use.

Mirrors

Used to observe inaccessible areas such as the external surfaces of pipelines that are near the ground or a wall.

Simple to operate and easy to use and inexpensive

Limited to short- range viewing.

Used to inspect the underside of a pipe that is difficult to see otherwise

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Mirrors (Cont’d)

Used to look around corners or through small openings

   

Magnets

Can assist in identifying material composition of a piece of equipment by checking the magnetic properties.

A simple, easy, and inexpensive means of identifying certain types of metal.

The use of magnets as an inspection tool is limited to this single application