As widely recognized in the industry, it is important to evaluate the creep damage of an elevated temperature vessel so that the mechanical integrity of the vessel can be achieved through the adequate repair and replacement planning. This is quite straight forward procedure for internal pressure vessels.
For an external pressure vessel, it is not easy to assess the creep damage due to the complexity of the creep buckling analysis. Eventually, creep cavity evaluation technique without identifying the correct stress distribution has been used so often. However, due to the uncertainty of the technique itself plus conservative mindset of the inspectors, it tends to leads to an excessive maintenance most of the cases. In order to conduct a reasonable remaining life assessment, it is desirable to use the creep cavity inspection in conjunction with another assessment technique such as FEM creep analysis as stated in API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 10.5.7.
In this paper, comprehensive approach with FEM and field inspection such as creep cavity evaluation to reinforce the uncertainty of each method will be demonstrated.