Repair, Alteration and Re-Certification of Pressure Vessels

Pressure vessels generally fail in a catastrophic fashion and can cause devastating consequences for workers, for other critical components and for the surrounding environment. So what do you need to know when preparing to repair, alter and re-certify a pressure vessel?

The re-certification process means that a pressure vessel will be evaluated for continued service based on safety and reliability. This evaluation determines whether a vessel can be returned to service within known and acceptable margins of safety.

There’s a strong incentive for re-certification rather than replacement of a pressure vessel, as the re-certification process typically runs less than 15% of replacement costs and doesn’t require a lot of downtime.

Here are the major steps that must be completed when you plan to repair, alter and re-certify a pressure vessel for continued service:

  • Locating original design documentation and service records.
  • Performing stress, fatigue and fracture testing.
  • Non-destructive testing and examination of the pressure vessel.
  • Evaluating the effects of corrosion.
  • Determining the most limiting factor mechanism.
  • Repairing or completing further analysis to demonstrate the acceptability of existing defects.
  • Setting the next inspection interval based on the most limiting factor mechanism.
  • Estimating the remaining life of the pressure vessel.
  • Documenting accurately the conditions for which the vessel can operate following re-certification.

Developing a specific plan of action based on these steps, when attempting to return a pressure vessel to service, will ensure an adequate factor of safety.

This entry was posted in AJP Engineering, Pressure Vessels and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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