Operators of plants, facilities, and pipelines have at their disposal multiple resources for evaluating the integrity of identified features and anomalies. With advances in inspection technology, industry is being called upon to evaluate an ever-increasing number of features. When a feature is identified as a threat and severe enough to warrant repair or replacement, operators are faced with sometimes significant costs.
In this paper the authors provide guidance on the benefits associated with full-scale testing for evaluating mechanical integrity, referred to Intentional Destructive Testing (IDT). Unlike many analysis techniques that require the development and implementation of assumed operating and boundary conditions, well-designed IDT programs are able to replicate in situ conditions to provide operators with a clear understanding regarding the behavior of anomalies and their response to simulated operating conditions. Case studies are included to demonstrate the merits of the IDT approach. In using IDT, operators have improved confidence in predicting the behavior of identified features to ensure that maintenance resources are properly allocated for either continuing operation or repairing anomalies.