Predicting the residual life of plant equipment that has been in service for 20 to 30 years or more is a major concern of many industries. This paper reviews the reasons for increased concern for residual-life assessment and the general procedures used in performing such assessments. Some examples and case histories illustrating procedures for assessing remaining service life are discussed. Areas where developments are needed to improve the technology for remaining-life estimation are pointed out. Then, some of the critical issues involved in residual-life assessment are identified. Finally, the future role of residual-life prediction is addressed.

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