When pressure vessels are subjected to fire damage, they maybe deform partially and the mechanical properties of materials would be degraded. Fitness for service assessment can help to minimize reconstruction costs and allow safe resumption of unit operation as fast as possible. The safety of a packed column subjected to fire damage due to spontaneous combustion of FeS during a shutdown period is assessed according to API 579-1/ASME FFS-1. First, the highest temperature during the fire accident was estimated. The possible damage was examined by hardness test, dimensional checks, in-situ field metallography, ultrasonic test and penetration test. The Heat Exposure Zones were defined based on the results of visual inspection and test. The plates containing Widmanstätten or localized distortions were replaced. The column leaned with the vertical deviation of 85mm which could not satisfy the requirement of the national standard GB 50461-2008. The finite element method is adopted to analyze the influence of the vertical deviation with the consideration of wind loading. The analytical results show that the vertical deviation of 85mm has no significant effect on the safe operation of the column before the next inspection.

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