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The 8th Tank & Refinery Conference

In-service Inspection of
Sealing Surfaces of Flanges
The 4 Basic Elements of Corrosion

(c) Electrolyte

Fe2+ OH- O2
(a) Anode (b) Cathode
Fe e-

(d) Electrical
Crevice corrosion

1) Corrosive conditions oxygen consumed in crevice cathode

reaction stops
2) Cathode process continues on free surfaces pH drops in crevice.
3) Low pH = favourable conditions for the anode.
4) Occurs in all metallic materials but stainless steel is especially
Small anode + LARGE CATHODE anode corrodes RAPIDLY


Crevice corrosion in flange joints

Flange Joints are typical examples

of origins for Crevice corrosion

OH- e-
Cl- Fe++
Crevice corrosion cases

Duplex flange exposed to seawater with too high temperature!!

SMO Flange

SMO flange exposed to seawater service. Incorrect heat

treatment of the material.
Corrosion of hubs

Corrosion of hubs

Noble facing
Crevice corrosion Ring Type Joint (RTJ)

Erosion-corrosion. Aggressive media with abrasive particles and high

flow velocities.
Leakage in flanges

Leakage in pipe flanges:

Product loss

Safety problems

Environmental problems
Inspection of flanges

Flanges in pipe facilities are usually

inspected visually, which requires:

- Shut down of production

- Disassemblement of flanges

Delivery time of replacement flanges

are often long.
Alternative Inspection Methods

Visual inspection.. Reliable method- but time consuming and

requires shutdown

Radiography Not possible

Conventional ultrasound Not possible, due to the complex geometry

and poor accessibility

Phased array technology Possible, but in order to position and size

flaws correctly, advanced evaluation is
Phased Array Technology

Phased array is an Ultrasonic test method

The main advantage of phased array is the

possibility to focus and steer beam angle
Phased Array Technology

A Phased Array Probe Consist of many small Ultrasonic elements

Each Element is Controlled Seperately
The Multiple waves add up to one single Electronically controllable wave

Phased array probe

History of PA Flange Scanner

The Preliminary test with Flange scanning were perfomed with

manual Phased array, and subsequent a guiding tool.

Not reliable in real-live conditions

Not possible to position and size flaws

Types of Flanges
Types of Flanges
Final Flange Scanner System

Flange Scanner System:

- Phased Array Technology

- Automated Magnetic Wheel Scanner

- Collection of Ultrasound and Position Data

- 3D Phased Array Evaluation Software

Flange Inspection

Ray tracing verify that the volume of interest is covered

Beam simulation
3D Phased array analysis

3D Phased array analysis takes specimen geometry into account

The final result gives accurate position and size of flaws

3D Phased array

The phased array technology enables inspection of complex geometries,

even if the accesibility is poor, as for a flange.

3D phased array analysis takes the complex geometry of the flange into
account, and makes it possible to position and size areas with corrosion.
Raised face (RF) Flanges

Area with corrosion

Ring type Joints (RTJ) Flanges


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Grayloc hubs

A second flange scanner is designed to

inspection of Grayloc hubs with clamps.
Grayloc hubs