Abstract

Degradation of pressure equipment is becoming an important issue due to increasing asset service time in process and power plants across Europe. For this reason it is important to assess life consumption of these assets to avoid catastrophic failures. Therefore it is necessary to refer to national/international normative on this subject. At present time the Italian thermotechnical committee (CTI) has drawn up a comprehensive set of norms which help the user to set up an inspection plan to investigate and assess degradation of pressure vessels and boilers. In the first part of this paper creep damage of Steam Generators is analyzed. For this purpose results of INAIL (Istituto Nazionale per l’ Assicurazione contro gli Infortuni sul Lavoro) database of steam boilers with 100’000 service hours or more is illustrated. Critical components are identified with reference to materials, geometry and operating parameters (pressure, temperature and time). At the end of the design life cycle, components of pressure equipment operated in creep regime must subjected to specific checks to estimate their residual life and the suitability for further use in safety conditions. The procedure allows to define reinspection intervals keeping acceptable the risk associated with the further use of the component related to creep even in evidence of defects in progress. The first check must be performed after 100,000 hours of effective use. Then, residual life evaluations must be repeated according to period of time that are defined as function of the results of all the checks carried out. In the second part of this paper boiler degradation is discussed with reference to NDT results and in-field inspection campaigns which are carried out traditionally after 45 years of service time, to minimize the risk of pressure components failures. In this paper results of different case studies are discussed with reference to degradation mechanisms and applicable standards.

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