Pressure vessels are subject to deterioration processes, such as corrosion and fatigue, which can lead to failure. Inspections and repairs are performed to mitigate this risk. Large industrial facilities (e.g., oil and gas refineries) often have regularly scheduled shutdown periods during which many components, including the pressure vessels, are disassembled, inspected, and repaired if necessary. This paper presents a decision analysis framework for the risk-based maintenance (RBM) planning of corroding pressure vessels. After a vessel has been inspected, this framework determines the optimal maintenance time of each defect, where the optimal time is the one that minimizes the total expected cost over the lifecycle of the vessel. The framework allows for multiple defects and two failure modes (leak and burst), and accounts for the dependent failure events. A stochastic gamma process is used to model the future deterioration growth to determine the probability of vessel failure. The novel growth model presents a simple method to predict both the depth and length of each corrosion defect to enable burst analysis. The decision analysis framework can aid decision makers in deciding when a repair or replacement should be performed. This method can be used to immediately inform the decision maker of the optimal decision postinspection. A numerical example of a corroding pressure vessel illustrates the method.

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