A number of Fitness-for-Service (FFS) procedures (include analytical methods) have been specifically developed and used to address the components of a particular industrial sector. A number of industrial sectors, such as nuclear power, petrochemical, offshore, aerospace or pipeline girth weld applications have established FFS standards in place for the assessment of flaws found in-service. Some methods for design and remaining life assessments of fatigue-loaded structures are still unduly conservative in different loading regimes. Hence, there is still a need to generate a general purpose, unified, comprehensive and updated FFS methodology in Europe by covering four major failure modes (fracture, fatigue, creep and corrosion) in metallic load bearing components with or without welds. As a result, the European Community funded the project FITNET in the form of a Thematic Network (TN) organisation to review the existing FFS procedures and develop an updated, unified and verified European FITNET FFS Procedure to cover structural integrity analysis to avoid failures due to fracture, fatigue, creep and corrosion. FITNET TN is a four year project with the objective of developing and extending the use of FITNET FFS Procedure for welded and non-welded metallic structures throughout Europe. It is partly funded by the European Commission within the fifth framework programme and launched at February 2002. The network currently consists of 50 organisations from 16 European and three non-European countries representing various industrial sectors and academia. Further information can be found in the FITNET TN website: http://www.eurofitnet.org. FITNET Fitness-for-Service analysis of engineering structures aims to provide better design principles, support for fabrication of new components, prevention of service failures due to fracture, fatigue, creep and corrosion damages (no coverage of structural instability due to buckling). FITNET FFS criteria can be used to establish the size limits for defects in various engineering structures and can provide substantial cost savings in operating such structures. The use of the FITNET FFS Procedure involves making an assessment of a component containing a defect to ensure its structural integrity for its intended design life or until its next inspection period. The outcome of the assessment of a component in service is a decision to operate as is, repair, monitor (including re-setting of inspection intervals), or replace. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the objectives and technical content of the FITNET FFS Procedure currently developed and validated by the European Fitness for Service Network FITNET and hence inform the offshore technical community.

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