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Inspection Procedure

01-SAIP-01 31 July, 2004


Small Nipple Inspection Program
Document Responsibility: Inspection Department

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards


Table of Contents

1 Scope............................................................. 2
2 Purpose.......................................................... 2
3 Safety............................................................. 2
4 References..................................................... 2
5 Definitions and Abbreviations......................... 4
6 Inspection Procedure Steps........................... 6
7 Inspection Methods........................................ 7
8 Acceptance and Rejection Criteria................. 8
9 Repairs........................................................... 9
10 Inspection Interval........................................ 10
11 Documentation............................................. 10

Appendix - I........................................................ 11
Appendix - II....................................................... 12

Previous Issue: 31 January, 1999 Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009


Revised paragraphs are indicated in the right margin Page 1 of 17
Primary contact: Supervisor, IEU on 874-6604
Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

1 Scope

1.1 This Saudi ARAMCO Inspection Procedure (SAIP) establishes the inspection
requirements of in service (existing) small pipe nipples of up to 1-½ inch NPS
within existing facilities. This procedure applies primarily to piping in
hydrocarbon service but can be applied to other services as well.

1.2 Nondestructive Testing (NDT) should be performed only by individuals


certified to level I or II in accordance with SAEP-1140 or SAEP-1142.

2 Purpose

This SAIP is intended to assist the Plant and Equipment (PE) Inspectors of Operations
Engineering Units in their selection, on stream evaluation, and tracking of existing
nipple condition.

3 Safety

3.1 Radiographic examination personnel safety should be per SAEP-1143 para. 3.

3.2 All pressure testing should be in compliance with GI-0002.102, "Pressure


Testing Safely".

4 References

The following standards were used in the preparation of this procedure and should be
carefully reviewed by the inspectors. All references should be the latest issued revision
or edition.

4.1 Saudi Aramco References

Saudi Aramco Engineering Standards


SAES-A-004 General Requirements for Pressure Testing
SAES-A-206 Positive Material Identification
SAES-L-004 Pressure Design of Piping Components
SAES-W-011 Welding Requirements for On-Plot Piping

Saudi Aramco Engineering Procedures


SAEP-20 Equipment Inspection Schedule
SAEP-302 Instructions for Obtaining a Waiver

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Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

SAEP-1140 Qualification and Certification of Saudi Aramco


NDT Personnel
SAEP-1141 Industrial Radiation Safety
SAEP-1142 Qualification and Certification of Non-Saudi
Aramco NDT Personnel
SAEP-1143 Radiographic Examination
SAEP-1144 Magnetic Particle Examination of Welds and
Components
SAEP-1145 Liquid Penetrant Examination of Welds and
Components

Saudi Aramco Standard Drawing


AB-036521 Bracing Detail on Small Connection

Saudi Aramco General Instructions


GI-0002.102 Pressure Testing Safely
GI-0150.003 Radiation Safety

Saudi Aramco Inspection Procedures


01-SAIP-02 Retirement Thickness of In-Plant Piping
00-SAIP-07 Positive Material Identification Requirements

4.2 Industry Codes and Standards

American Society of Mechanical Engineers


ASME SEC V Nondestructive Examination
ASME B 31.1 Power Piping
ASME B 31.3 Chemical Plant and Petroleum Refinery Piping
ASME B 31.4 Liquid Transportation System for Hydrocarbon,
LPG, Anhydrous Ammonia, & Alcohol
ASME B 31.8 Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping System

American Petroleum Institute


API RP 570 Piping Inspection Code
API RP 578 Material Verification

Page 3 of 17
Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

5 Definitions and Abbreviations

Nipple: A pipe nipple is a small bore pipe attached to a main header by welding. The
attachment may be by use of a welding boss or proprietary fitting/valve welded to the
pipe header.

Alloy Material: Any metallic material (including welding filler materials) that contains
alloying elements such as chromium, nickel, or molybdenum, which are added to
enhance mechanical or physical properties and/or corrosion resistance.

Fabrication: The preparation of piping and small connection for assembly, including
cutting, threading, grooving, forming, bending and joining of components into
subassemblies.

Face of the weld: The exposed surface of a weld on the side from which the welding
was done.

Filler material: The material to be added in making metallic or nonmetallic joints.

Fillet weld: A weld of approximately triangular cross section joining two surfaces
approximately at right angles to each other in a lap joint, tee joint, or corner joint.

Crack: A fracture type discontinuity characterized by a sharp tip and high ratio of
length to width to opening displacement.

Lack of fusion: A weld discontinuity in which fusion did not occur between weld
metal and base metal or adjoining weld beads.

Incomplete Penetration: The weld beads unable to fill the weld bevel groove.

Porosity: Cavity type discontinuities formed by gas entrapment during solidification of


the weld metal.

Rounded Indications: Indications with a maximum length of three times the width or
less on the radiograph.

Aligned Indications: A sequence of four (4) or more rounded indications should be


considered aligned.

Leg Length: is the thickness of a fillet weld, excluding any allowable reinforcement
measured through the leg.

tm: Minimum thickness required (t) is equal to the design thickness as calculated by the
applicable ASME Code B31.3 formula.

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Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

Hydrocarbon Services: Process streams of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbon (HC)


materials, or HC streams that may contain phenols, carbon dioxide, and ammonia.

Category "D" Fluid Service: A fluid service in which all the following apply:
1) The fluid handled is nonflammable, non toxic, and not damaging to human tissues
as defined in ASME B31.3 paragraph 300.2.
2) The design gage pressure does not exceed 150 psi (1030 kpa)
3) The design temperature is from -20°F (-29°C) through 366°F (180°C)

Low-Chrome Alloy Steels: Alloy materials with nominal chromium contents of 1% to


5% chrome.

Repair: The work necessary to restore a nipple to a condition suitable for safe
operation at the design conditions, without any deviation from the original
configuration.
Abbreviations:
ADIP Amino-Di-IsoPropanol
DEA Di Ethanol Amine
DGA Di Glycol Amine
HAZ Heat Affected Zone
HC Hydrocarbon
MEA Mono Ethanol Amine
MSAER Mandatory SA Engineering Requirements
MT Magnetic Particle Testing
NDT Non Destructive Testing
P&ID Piping and Instrumentation Drawings
PFD Process Flow Diagram
PMI Positive Material Identification
PT Penetrant Testing
PWHT Post Weld Heat Treatment
RT Radiography Testing
RTFI Radiographic Film Interpretation
TEG Tri Ethylene Glycol
UT Ultrasonic Testing
VT Visual Inspection

Page 5 of 17
Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

6 Inspection Procedure Steps

6.1 Piping Categorization

6.1.1 A piping circuit will usually start and end at individual pieces of
equipment and includes all lines of similar metallurgy and corrosion rate,
same service, and design temperature and pressure. P&IDs or PFDs
should be marked to designate to which corrosion circuit each line
corresponds and line designation tables should be prepared for each unit.

6.1.2 Circuits should be categorized according to the anticipated corrosion and


vibration potential of the process fluid they handle. Three (3) priorities
of inspection have been assigned to the individual piping circuits based
on the corrosion potential.
- Priority 1: Vibrating service nipples at all operating temperatures
including cryogenic service and all chemical injection points.
- Priority 2: Non-vibrating service above 450°F or 230°C.
- Priority 3: Non vibrating service below 450°F or 230°C.

6.1.3 Examples of pipe nipple inspection priorities are shown for the following
services / equipment:

6.1.3.1 Priority-1 Nipples


a. Heater outlets
b. Condenser outlets
c. Steam including condensate pots
d. Chemical Injection Point circuits
e. H2S Streams
f. Amine service
g. Caustic service
h. High temperature H2 streams
i. Dead legs
j. Mixed streams (hot and cold junction)
k. Cryogenic services
l. Vicinity of Pumps & Compressors
m. Instrumentation Piping (Orifice, Flange & Gauges, etc.)

6.1.3.2 Priority -2 Nipples


a. Condenser outlets

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Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

b. Steam including condensate pots


c. H2S Streams
d. Amine service
e. Caustic service
f. H2 streams
g. Dead legs
h. Instrumentation Piping (Orifice, Flange & Gauges, etc.)

6.1.3.3 Priority –3 Nipples


a. Flare lines and header
b. Off-gas lines and header
c. Fuel gas
d. Other process piping (L.P. steam and hydrocarbon)
e. Dead legs
f. Category "D" Fluids

6.1.4 Subsequent pipe nipple inspection priorities should be adjusted based on


historical inspection findings, and inspection intervals adjusted according
to paragraph 10.0.

7 Inspection Methods

7.1 Radiography should be used to inspect all pipe nipples for I.D./O.D corrosion on
piping including cryogenic service. If, during the inspection of existing nipples
or replacements, indications are found in welds, these indications should be
evaluated per acceptance/rejection criteria of Table's 1 and 3.

7.2 The radiographic technique for small diameter nipples and to measure side wall
thickness is shown in Appendix I & II.

7.3 Where questionable radiographs are produced, ultrasonic thickness (UT)


gauging of the pipe nipple should be used as comparison.

7.4 Visual inspection should be performed on all pipe nipple systems to determine
the need for replacement or repairs due to external corrosion, threads not
covered by seal weld, vibration fatigue or possibility of overloading of the
nipple. In cases where fatigue is suspected and radiography is not possible then
liquid penetrant or magnetic particle inspection should be performed to
determine if cracking has been initiated.

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Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

Commentary Note:

Over loading is usually associated with over stressing of the pipe nipple welds
due to applied external forces such as people continuously using branch
connection as a step.

Page 8 of 17
Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

8 Acceptance and Rejection Criteria


Table 1

DEFECT ACCEPTANCE LIMITS IN SOCKET WELD RADIOGRAPHY


LACK OF FUSION,
CRACK LACK OF PENETRATION POROSITY
SLAG
NONE Length ≤ 0.4 x OD (note 1) Acceptable provided the fused ≤ 0.31 x "t" and
Width ≤ 0.31 x "t" and fillet leg and throat thickness meet 0.040" (note 2)
0.040" (1mm) (note 2) the minimum acceptable value
(note 4)

Notes:
1 OD is the actual outside diameter of the pipe. See Table 2 for lengths
2 The maximum permitted defect width shall be the lesser of 0.31 x "t" or 0.040" (1mm). "t" is the pressure
design thickness of the pipe.
3 Aligned defects shall be considered as one defect if the separation distance is less than the length of the
longer defect.
4 The minimum fused leg length (Cx ) is 1.25 x "t" (from ASME B31.3 328.5.2.C). The minimum effective throat
thickness is 0.88 x "t". These are determined from radiography not physical measurement. "t" is the pressure
design thickness of the pipe.

Table 2

MAXIMUM DEFECT LENGTHS FOR PIPE SIZES


OUTSIDE DIAMETER 0.4 x OD
PIPE SIZE NPS
(OD) (inches) (Inches)
½ 0.840 0.34
¾ 1.050 0.42
1 1.315 0.53
1 1/2 1.900 0.76

Table 3

ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA FOR OTHER CHARACTERISTICS


Existing piping New piping
GAP IN SOCKET WELDING Rejectable if gap is over 50% Rejectable if gap is over 50%
BOSS of the socket depth or ¼" of the socket depth or 3/16"
whichever is less whichever is less
NIPPLE WALL THICKNESS Rejectable if the corroded Rejectable if the corroded
thickness is below "t" min. per thickness is below "t" plus the
design calculations corrosion allowance
FABRICATION NA Must meet applicable
TOLERANCES industrial standards

Page 9 of 17
Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

9 Repairs

9.1 Calculated retirement thickness (t) code tm and structural minimum thickness
(which ever is greater) should be compared against original nipple thickness
from the line specification. The structural minimum retirement thickness for
carbon steel and chrome-moly alloy pipe nipples up to 1.5 NPS is 0.09 inch
(2.25 mm) per 01-SAIP-02.

9.2 Pipe nipples should be removed at the retirement thickness indicated in


paragraph 9.1. If the pipe nipple has not reached retirement thickness but shows
a reduction in original wall thickness, the corrosion rate and remaining life
should be calculated. The pipe nipples, which show a remaining life of less than
the normal inspection frequency outlined in paragraph 10.2 or the next T&I
inspection period, a temporary repairs (boxing) should be considered until
replacement during scheduled T&I.9.3. All pipe nipples that have been
identified as having the incorrect metallurgy for the piping system should be
removed and replaced regardless of the remaining wall thickness. All alloy
replacement nipples, valves and welds should be evaluated using an approved
Positive Material Identification (PMI) instrument before installation per
SAES-A-206 using 00-SAIP-07 and API RP 578 as guides.

Those nipples which are not braced and subjected to vibration should be
adequately braced per SAES-L-004, paragraph 6.2.3 and Saudi Aramco
Standard Drawing AB-036521 to prevent future fatigue failure.

All repaired or replaced nipples should be radiographed and acceptance/


rejection criteria should be per Section 8.0, Tables 1 & 2.

All nipple repairs / replacement associated with MEA, DGA, TEG and ADIP
service piping should be Post Weld Heat Treated (PWHT) per SAES-W-011,
section 13.0.

All low alloy steel material should be PWHT per SAES-W-011, section 13.0.

All low alloy steel material should be radiographed and MT or PT inspected


after Post Weld Heat Treatment (PWHT) and acceptance/rejection criteria
should be per Section 8.0, Tables 1, 2 & 3.

All piping associated with repaired or replaced nipple should be hydrostatically


tested per SIS requirements in accordance with SAES-A-004.

NDT in-lieu of hydrostatic test is not acceptable unless approved by the


responsible Plant Manager.

Page 10 of 17
Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

If PWHT is a requirement of SAES-W-011, but is not feasible for any reason,


obtain an engineering waiver against the applicable MSAER per SAEP-302.

10 Inspection Interval

10.1 Pipe nipples should be inspected based on the priority designation of the line
and/or circuit in which they are installed. Each line should be identified as part
of a circuit and should be prioritized according to corrosion class as defined per
SAEP-20.

10.2 In general, radiographic inspection frequencies should be based on the corrosion


rate in accordance with SAEP-20, Table-II, or the following Priority Table,
whichever is less. Small nipples in vibrating service should be included in
priority 1 category.

Priority Table

Priority Inspection Frequency


3 Years max. (Chemical Injection Point only per API RP 570)
1
5 Years max. for all other
2 7 Years max.
3 10 Years max.

11 Documentation

11.1 All piping Nipples should be identified on each line in priority 1-3 piping
circuits. These pipe nipples should be added to the OSI Program as additional
data/inspection points.

11.2 Thickness measured from the radiographic film image should be entered into the
OSI Program to track individual corrosion rates and remaining life of each pipe
nipple.

Revision Summary
31 July, 2004 Major revision.

Page 11 of 17
Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

Appendix - I

Radiographic Technique 90° Elbow

Radiographic Technique Tee

Notes:
1. SFD to be 12" with the source lined up in the middle.
2. Shoot with one MX & one AX type film, MX closest to the weld.
3. Only one weld per shot, with the number next to the weld on the pipe.
4. Use three times the pipe wall thickness fro the shot exposure time - MX film.

Page 12 of 17
Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

Appendix - II

Profile Radiographic Technique for Pipe Wall Measurements


NDT Unit Procedure No. 32.60.2.001 Dated 2/28/96

1. Purpose

The purpose of this Operations Inspection Division Procedure is to define a


recommended method of performing Radiographic Corrosion Analysis using
Profile Radiography with a comparator reference.

2. Scope

This procedure should be applied to determine the pipe wall thickness using a
reference comparator on line and/or process piping with or without content and
with or without insulation. It is not intended to replace present methods of
radiographically calculating wall thickness, but to offer an alternate method with
improved accuracy.

3. References

3.1 Saudi Aramco General Instruction GI-0150.003

3.2 Saudi Aramco General Instruction GI-0150.003, Supplement 8

3.3 Saudi Aramco Engineering Procedure SAEP-1141

3.4 Saudi Aramco Engineering Procedure SAEP-1143

4. Definitions

4.1 Profile Radiography - A tangential radiograph produced by alignment of


the radiographic technique such that the radiation passes through or
adjacent to the chord of the pipe producing an image of the ID and OD
surfaces.

4.2 SFD - Source to Film Distance. For the purposes of this procedure, the
minimum source to film distance should be 3 times the outside diameter
of the pipe being radiographed.

4.3 Comparator - A 1.000" carbon steel, nickel or chrome plated, spherical


ball.

Page 13 of 17
Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

5. Procedure

5.1 Radiation Safety

Handling and use of industrial radioactive isotopes should be in


accordance with the safety requirements of 00-SAIP-08 and GI-
0150.003. Particular caution should be applied due to the inherent long
exposure times and/or use of Cobalt60 when performing profile
radiography.

5.2 Technique (Without Insulation)

Figure 1, provides a layout of the technique for the profile radiography


of pipe without insulation. Particular notice should be given to the
orientation of the source, and film in relation to the pipe and comparator.
The source is to be placed on a plane exactly level with the surface of the
pipe and 90° (perpendicular) to the film. With masking tape, the
comparator is to be positioned such that it is exactly on the radius of the
pipe parallel with the film and 90° (perpendicular) to the central
direction of radiation (see paragraph 5.5, Note 2).

5.3 Technique (With Insulation)

Figure 2, provides a layout of the technique for the profile radiography


of pipe with insulation. Particular notice should be given to the
orientation of the source, and film in relation to the pipe and comparator.
The source is to be placed approximately mid point of the insulation and
90° (perpendicular) to the film. With masking tape, the comparator is to
be positioned such that it is exactly on the radius of the pipe parallel with
the film and perpendicular to the central direction of radiation (see
paragraph 5.5, Note 2).

5.4 Calculating Results

In either technique, measure comparator height film image and the film
image of the pipe wall thickness. Because of the geometric relationship
of either technique, the radiographic images will be an enlargement of
the comparator and pipe wall actual dimension. The comparator will
provide a percentage of image enlargement to serve as correction of the
pipe wall image thickness.

Using a 1.00" comparator ball, the correction factor is the measured


height of the comparator and used as indicated in the following formula:

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Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

Actual w.t. = image w.t. of pipe X Comparator actual w.t. / comparator image

Comparator
Image c

w Pipe wall image

actual w.t. = w * c actual /c


5.5 Technical Notes

Note-1: Position of the film is critical. As close as possible, the film is


to be held 90° (perpendicular) to the central beam of radiation
as indicated in either technique. Failure to hold the
perpendicular position of the film will cause the image of the
comparator to appear oval and reduce accuracy.

Note-2: Position of the source in relationship to the tangent of the pipe


is critical. Consider an imaginary radius line drawn from the
center of the pipe to the pipe O.D. surface. The imaginary line
drawn must be 90° (perpendicular) to the central beam of
radiation as indicated in either technique. Position the ball off
this imaginary line either too close the film or too close to the
source will result in an overlap of images of the pipe wall and
comparator reducing accuracy and increase difficulty in taking
measurements.

5.6 Technique Acceptance

The following technique acceptance criteria is based on empirically


established values.

Accuracy of this technique is dependent on adherence to the following


technique acceptance criteria.

5.6.1 Radiographic Quality as defined by SAEP-1143 for film density


and film artifacts should be applied. Film should not be less than
2.0 or greater than 4.0 in density. Film should be free of film
artifacts such as watermarks, smudges, light leaks, etc. that would

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Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

interfere with interpretation. Given that this type of radiography


is not to be used for weld quality examination, minor scratches or
finger nail marks should not be cause for rejection of the film.

Im a g e h

% O v a lity = w /h

5.6.2 Comparator Image - The image of the comparator should be


round. However, variations in the technique and in particular, the
technique for pipe with insulation will result in the comparator
image being oval. Ovality is determined by comparing the height
and width of the comparator image. A measured image height
7% greater than the measured image width is an indication that
the film was not properly aligned 90° (perpendicular) to the
central beam of radiation (see Note 1) and must be radiographed
again.

5.6.3 Comparator Image Enlargement - The maximum image


enlargement of the comparator should not exceed 20% (1.20"). A
measured comparator image greater than 1.20" is an indication
that the SFD was insufficient. To correct, increase the SFD in the
technique and re-shoot. In the event the enlargement exceeds
20%, the SFD may be increased to reduce the image enlargement.

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Document Responsibility: Inspection Department 01-SAIP-01
Issue Date: 31 July, 2004
Next Planned Update: 1 August, 2009 Small Nipple Inspection Program

Min SFD = 3 x O.D.


Note 2

1.000" Sphere

Note 2

Fig 1 Technique Without Insulation

Note 1

Min SFD = 3 x O.D.


Note 2

1.000" Sphere

Note 2

Note 1
Fig 2 Technique With Insulation

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