ASME B&PV Code, Section VIII “Rules for Construction of Pressure Vessels” do not have requirements for baseline examination by vessel manufacturers. However many Owners require baseline data to establish as-built conditions of pressure vessels. Capturing baseline data at the manufacturing stage in a manner suitable for the Owner’s operations can preclude the need for post installation or preservice examination. Baseline NDE data can be easily referenced and compared to inservice inspection results to determine if any specific damage mechanisms manifest during operation and subsequently develop into damages to the vessel. Baseline NDE data can also provide guidance on inspection scheduling and damage monitoring. Therefore baseline examination in manufacturing phase is important to post-construction inspection and evaluation activities.

This paper discusses baseline NDE considerations based on pressure vessel service conditions and damage mechanisms. It presents a systematic approach to acquire baseline NDE data in Manufacturers’ shops, including Owner’s role, Manufacturer’s responsibilities and design considerations to allow NDE access to all welds. Topics include examination location reference systems and baseline NDE methods, techniques, and tools that facilitate comparison to inservice examination. This paper also provides an example on implementing baseline NDE of a typical pressure vessel.

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