- New construction reviews
- Existing facility reviews
- Property assessments
- Process reviews
- P&ID development
Reliability Inspections, LLC (RI) is qualified to assist with any of these additional services. All of our technicians are familiar with and have been trained in various codes and standards and understand the research necessary to compare existing as-built conditions with code requirements. Many of our technicians are trained and proficient in the use of AutoCAD. Their abilities begin with field drafting, component verification, and dimension establishment so that the AutoCAD they generate reflects the actual conditions in the field. And all of our technicians have been trained in the use of digital photography for industrial applications. We have written procedures for these practices and we are capable of using these tools to provide our customers with field verified assessments of as-built facility conditions at a point in time. Our detailed reports provide comparisons to original or applicable codes & standards and include an evaluation of the results of our findings so that our customers can develop effective corrective action plans for ongoing and/or future facility utilization.
Structural Steel Inspection
Structural steel inspection is a broad description for various types of tests and inspections that are performed to evaluate various designs and constructions of steel components that may be used as supports or for various structural functions. As may be expected, and in consideration of all the variations, a number of different codes, practices and procedures may be applied. Some examples are from the American Welding Society (AWS), D1.1/D1.1M, “Structural Welding Code – Steel,” and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), B30.20, “Below the Hook Lifting Devices (BTHLD).” These two codes provide testing and inspection methods for general structural steel constructions (AWS D1.1) and structural steel designs and constructions for a specific application (ASME B30.20). There are many more. It is the responsibility of an owner/user to determine what code or standard best fits their application. These codes generally employ a number of testing and inspection techniques that include but are not limited to visual testing & inspection (VT), ultrasonic testing (UT), magnetic particle testing (MT) and dye penetrant testing (PT). The testing and inspection of structural steel includes a number of categories of equipment, from the aforementioned BTHLD to supports for installed equipment such as pipe racks and vessel containment structures, to building wall and roof structures. Inspection procedures generally cover welding, fasteners, components such as I-beams and brackets, plate, and foundation interfaces. Inspection techniques are intended to identify conditions such as rust & corrosion, protective coating failure, loss of material, inadequate thread engagement, missing components, misalignment, poor weld quality, weld failure (cracking), inadequate design for applied load, deformation, and other conditions that may be specific to a given design condition. As with most other inspection categories, the availability of original design documentation, original design drawings and specifications, and/or documented design purpose are important elements in the development of inspection plans for structural steel.
Reliability Inspections, LLC (RI) is qualified to perform structural steel inspection for most applications. We have considerable experience with applicable AWS and ASME standards and are very familiar with the equipment, components and failure modes. We can help you determine which testing method and what types of testing equipment may be best for your application. We are also qualified to evaluate and interpret testing results to applicable design and construction codes. RI employs a number of NDT Level II’s and III’s, AWS Certified Welding Inspectors (CWI) and Crane Inspectors who are trained and qualified to perform the testing, inspection and analysis to specified standards. Our ASNT Level IIIs and CWI’s can write procedures and provide testing, qualification and support for owner/user in-house structural steel inspection programs. Our Level II technicians can perform structural testing & inspection at the owner/user’s facility (ongoing maintenance or repair), at new construction sites where structural steel may be in the process of being installed, or at fabrication shops where structural steel (such as BTHLD) is being constructed or repaired. We can provide structural steel testing and inspection services for most designs and constructions in a cost effective and efficient manner for customers who have equipment for which quality control of structural steel is essential for continued safe and reliable operation.
Positive Material Identification
Positive Material Identification (PMI), or “material analysis,” is a non-destructive testing method specified by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) in a number of recommended practices including ASTM E 1486, “Standard Guide for Metals Identification, Grade Verification, and Sorting,” ASTM E 572, “Standard Test Method for Analysis of Stainless and Alloy Steels by X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry,” and ASTM E 322, “Standard Test Method for X-Ray Emission
Spectrometric Analysis of Low-Alloy Steels and Cast Irons.” By reference, ASME Section II (all) and in particular, Part D (Properties) provide the acceptance criteria for materials that would be identified with the PMI method. In addition, the various publications of the American Society of Materials (ASM) may be referenced, including the complete set of handbook volumes (39). PMI is considered to be a “surface testing method,” that uses gamma or x-ray fluorescence (XRF) in conjunction with digitized spectrometry to field-verify the chemical composition of various materials. As indicated by the previously mentioned ASTM standards, acquiring material data with gamma or x-ray emissions varies for non-ferrous metals and stainless alloys versus low-alloy carbon steels and cast iron. The variation applies to the instruments utilized to gather the data. This causes the preliminary determination of a general material of construction to become a critical factor in selecting the proper instrument and technique for the PMI method. PMI instruments in general utilize ionizing radiation to produce an emission that can be analyzed spectrometrically. In some states, this requires licensing with the state department of health, and generally requires certain safety precautions in the operation of the instruments. PMI is a useful tool for a number of applications that involve material determination; when no original design information exists or can be found, when repairs that involve welding are required and the original material is unknown, when there is a need to verify materials in a QA program at the time of material receiving or during construction, or when there is a requirement to validate existing materials of construction to support a written mechanical integrity program.
Reliability Inspections, LLC (RI) is qualified to perform PMI on most materials. We can provide instruments for non-ferrous and stainless alloys, and with advanced notice can acquire instruments for low-alloy carbon steel and cast-iron materials. We can help you determine which testing method and what types of testing equipment may be best for your application. We are also qualified to evaluate and interpret testing results to applicable and appropriate design and construction codes for given applications. RI employs a number of NDT Level II’s and III’s who are trained and qualified to operate the instruments and perform the analysis to code or customer specified standards. Our ASNT Level IIIs can write procedures and provide testing, qualification and support for owner/user in-house PMI inspection programs. Our Level II technicians can perform PMI testing at our facilities or our customers, including field locations. We can provide PMI services for most materials and can perform batch quantity testing of materials in a cost effective and efficient manner for customers who have bulk products for which quality control of material specifications is essential to a detailed design requirement.
Discontinuity (Holiday) Testing
Discontinuity (holiday) testing, or “spark testing,” is a non-destructive testing method specified by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) in a number of recommended practices including ASTM D 4787 and ASTM D 5162. Of these two standards, ASTM D 5162, “Standard Practice for Discontinuity (Holiday) Testing of Nonconductive Protective Coating on Metallic Substrates,” has generally had greater applicability to the evaluation of pressure vessels and tanks in the chemical and petrochemical industry. ASTM D 4787 (“Standard Practice for Continuity Verification of Liquid or Sheet Linings Applied to Concrete Substrates”) applies to protective coatings for concrete surfaces. The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) is another source of standards for discontinuity testing, including NACE RPO 188-99 (“Discontinuity (Holiday) Testing of New Protective Coatings on Conductive Substrates”). Discontinuity (holiday) testing is considered to be a “surface testing method,” that uses an electric current in a circuit to field-identify discontinuities or voids in protective coatings such as glass, epoxy and other materials. Protective coatings or liners may be applied to the surface of the substrate to prevent aggressive chemical attack, or erosion / corrosion due to environmental or process conditions. Voids such as pin holes and cracks, or uneven application of the coating that results in very thin areas that may be less than the protective coating specification can lead to severe damage of substrates such as carbon steel. The performance of discontinuity testing with appropriately qualified instruments will result in a visible spark, and/or a [dramatic] change in instrumented voltage / alarm when a void or thinned area is identified. Discontinuity (holiday) testing can be separated into two categories: 1) low-voltage testing (wet sponge method) for protective coatings of 20 mils (0.5 mm) or less, and 2) high-voltage testing (brush/electrode method) for protective coatings greater than 20 mils (0.5 mm). NOTE: high-voltage testing per ASTM D 5162, Table 1, covers protective coatings from 0.2 mm to 6.5 mm (approximately 0.008” to 0.250”). Discontinuity testing may be performed after a protective coating has been applied and cured prior to service (QA) and/or may also be performed at regular intervals after service initiation to assure continued integrity of the protective coating.
Reliability Inspections, LLC (RI) is qualified to perform Discontinuity Testing on most materials. We can provide instruments for both low-voltage and high-voltage methods, and with advanced notice may acquire instruments for testing of protective coatings on concrete surfaces. We can help you determine which testing method and what types of testing equipment may be best for your application. We are also qualified to evaluate and interpret testing results to applicable and appropriate design and construction codes for given applications. RI employs a number of NDT Level II’s and III’s who are trained and qualified to operate the instruments and perform the analysis to code or customer specified standards. Our ASNT Level IIIs can write procedures and provide testing, qualification and support for owner/user in-house Discontinuity Testing programs. Our Level II technicians can perform Discontinuity Testing at the owner/user’s facility (ongoing maintenance or repair), or at field locations / fabrication shops where protective coatings are installed/applied. We can provide Discontinuity Testing services for most coating and substrate applications in a cost effective and efficient manner for customers who have equipment for which quality control of protective coating applications is essential to continued safe and reliable operation.