Excellent Opportunity to join a New Group Sponsored Project "Feasibility Study of Drones & Miniature Robots for Power & Process Plant Inspection"

ETD, together with its industry sponsors, are planning to start a new multi-client Group Sponsored Project (GSP) at the start of 2018. The mere size of industrial plant (such as, for example, power plant boilers and HRSGs, burners, ducting etc.) means that visually examining various parts needs time, costly scaffolding and hazardous climbing. Some preliminary investigations on the use of commercial drones, with basic modifications for safe operation, are now being considered by some industrial plants. Similarly, the use of small robots or robotic arms that can help to inspect difficult to access areas or operate in environments that are hazardous can save cost, money and lives.

The aim of this short term (up to six months duration) feasibility study GSP “Drones and Robots for Inspection” is to investigate automated devices available in the market and those being developed by universities, research institutes or SMEs and make recommendations for appropriate and cost effective devices (which may even be used as consumables, for example, 3D printed drones with light plastic frames and safety cages) for industrial inspection. Please click on the image below to see a brief of the proposal.

The benefit of joining this GSP, in which costs are shared, is that each participant gains the results of the whole project at a fraction of the total project cost.

As this is a feasibility study project the costs involved are very small. For the detailed proposal and costs involved please contact us.

February 2018 Technology Newsletter

Please click on the image below to access the latest edition (February 2018) of ETD's Technology Newsletter. This illustrates various power and process plant activities, new technologies and methodologies developed for plant inspection, integrity and life assessment through our Third Party and Group Sponsored Projects (GSPs).

Also in this newsletter you will find information on our next Conference & Training Course which will take place in London in July 2018. The Conference will be on Power Plant Operation & Flexibility and will be preceded by two optional 1-day Training Courses on 'Power Plant Operation, Maintenance & Materials Issues' & 'Power Plant Long & Short Term Preservation'.

New ‘Plant Services Engineer’

New Staff Member: Meet Mr. Baginda Affendy, our new Plant Services Engineer. Baginda gained his master's degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Portsmouth, UK. He has been a leading member of the team responsible for developing ETD’s precision portable hardness tester, known as ‘Smart Sleeve’. At ETD, Baginda is mainly dealing with power and process plant on-site NDE inspection and other plant services type work.

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Recent Sale of Portable Scanning Force Microscope (P-SFM) to a Power Utility in Asia

ETD’s portable Scanning Force Microscope (SFM) has recently been purchased by an Asian power utility. After ETD’s initial R&D work for the client followed by the successful study and life assessment of P91 components in the client’s plants, the utility engineers and managers decided that it was an investment worth making. This success comes after a similar purchase earlier by CRIEPI in Japan.

SFM’s electronics has now been made more compact and the new model can be powered by solar charged battery so no need to connect SFM to electricity mains and the use of long electricity cables causing safety issues.

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For more information on our SFM services, please click here.

Recent Completed Project on ‘Accelerated Rupture Testing and Integrity/Life Assessment of HP Steam Header Material’

In a recent outage in a process plant in the Middle East, damages (i.e. misalignment, bulging, graphitisation etc.) were observed on certain welds of HP steam header. The scope of study involved metallographic examination, including microstructure analysis and hardness testing, and accelerated rupture testing for material samples removed from respective sections. This allowed assessment of the remaining life of the service-exposed header material, enabling improved remaining life predictions for the components within the HP steam header system.

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For more information about our life assessment services please click here.

Offer of Both Traditional and Innovative Plant ‘Inspection’ & ‘Life Assessment’ Services

In this Plant Services Brochure you will find useful and interesting information on ETD’s plant inspection and integrity/ life assessment services. These include:

a) Traditional NDE inspection: Using, for example, Boroscopy, PAUT (Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing), EMAT (Electromagnetic Acoustic Testing), PEC (Pulsed Eddy Current), LFET (Low Frequency Electromagnetic Testing), Replication (including replica assessment), Hardness testing, Wall Thickness profiling, Oxide Thickness measurement etc.

b) New state-of-the-art Innovative NDE Inspection Techniques: Developed through ETD’s collaborative joint industry projects. This includes equipment such as (details later in this brochure): a) Portable spark erosion ‘boat sampling’ machine (called EDSE), b) Portable Scanning Force Microscope (SFM) for on-site early stage nano and micro level damage detection especially in materials like P91, c) ‘Obikou’ pipe reinforcement technique which offers creep life extension of creep damaged seamless or seam welded pipes, by simply and quickly reinforcing them with multiple layers of a thin high-temperature alloy strip, and, d) Our newly invented first of its kind portable ‘precision’ hardness tester, called ‘Smart Sleeve’, which improves the accuracy of the ‘MIC 10’ or other portable hardness testers.

c) Integrity/ Life Assessment: In addition to inspection, ETD offers independent and impartial plant safe remaining life assessment using both deterministic and probabilistic techniques. It has its own software for crack assessment, RBM/ RBI and carries out routinely both root cause failure analysis (RCA), replica and life extension/ assessment for pressure parts and turbine components and RCM.

Details of the services and opportunities being offered can be seen by clicking on the image.

Investigation and Condition Assessment of P91 Large Bore Piping for a European Power Plant

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The client required an independent technical review of all their P91 material following the discovery of some cracking in the manufactured welds. Therefore, ETD were approached to submit a proposal with the objective of assessing the condition/ suitability of the piping system for safe start-up and long-term use.

Required work included:

  • Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) and Weld Procedure Qualification Records (WPQR);
  • Weld and parent metal microstructures (reports including microstructure images supplied by the client);
  • Mechanical test results for full section weld sample;
  • Metallographic reports on surface breaking and detected subsurface defects;
  • Fitness for Service (FFS) study reports;
  • Contractors consultant report on weld condition;
  • Extent and type of NDT carried out on completed welds.

The final report included the results of documents review and the recommendations of any additional actions/testing considered necessary to ensure the integrity of the piping system.

For more information on our condition assessment services, please click here.

Root Cause Failure Analysis of P91 HP Steam Pipe for an Asian Power Plant

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Following a recent failure of a HP steam pipe, a client invited ETD to submit a proposal to carry out Remaining Life Assessment (RLA) of a HP bypass steam piping system and Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCA) of a failed pipe section. The work involved performing RLA and RCA study including recommendations to prevent any future failures based on data review, pipeline stress analysis, laboratory testing and assessment on the HP bypass steam piping system and the failed pipe section.

The objectives and scope of the work to be carried out was:

1. Perform metallurgical Assessment of the failed pipe section. This included the following tasks:

  • Visual (macroscopic analysis) and dimensional/ thickness examination of the pipe sample including internal scale, external appearance and condition of the pipe inner surface;
  • Chemical analysis of base material to determine the chemical composition of the pipe material to establish actual material constituents;
  • Chemical analysis of filler material to determine the chemical composition of the filler to establish actual material constituents.
  • Metallographic examination of the pipe sample using optical microscopy to assess the condition of internal and external surfaces, material degradation and also to identify the damage mechanism(s);
  • Fractographic assessment of the fractured surface using SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) to confirm the damage mechanism(s);
  • Hardness testing and evaluation to determine the equivalent tensile strength values (using published hardness/UTS correlation tables) to assess the mechanical strength or softening of the tube materials or welds;
  • Observation of sequence of the crack initiation and propagation;
  • Assessment of the heat‐treatments (incl. PWHT) from microstructural examinations, quality of welds and fabrication defects in welds.

2. Perform pipeline stress analysis of HP bypass steam piping system. This included:

  • Reviewing the design/ isometric drawings clearly showing all dimensions and piping connections of HP bypass steam piping system.
  • Reviewing and analysing the inspection data/ information of hangers and supports collected during hot and cold condition inspection.
  • Performing pipeline stress analysis of the piping system using CEASER II software.

3.  Reviewing the design and operating parameters, previous failure and maintenance history;

4.  Reviewing the existing welding & NDT records obtained from construction and during replacement of failed piping.

5.  Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCA) based on the findings of above investigations to determine the actual causes of failure/ damage mechanism(s);

6. Performing life assessment of higher stress regions of the piping system based on the findings of pipeline stress analysis.

7. Submitting a report covering results of investigations, failure analysis, stress analysis, life assessment, detail explanation of root causes & recommendations for any further actions to be taken to prevent reoccurrence of failures and for safe operation of the component.

For more information on our failure analysis services, please click here.