Positive Material Identification PMI
PetroChem Inspection Services, Inc. has developed a comprehensive program that meets a major need in the refining, petrochemical and energy industries for positive material identification. As the industry leader in mechanical integrity services, PetroChem has put together a program that addresses the major elements required for a successful positive material identification program.
The unintentional mixing of specified materials has caused serious injuries and deaths in process industries that use low or high pressures, hazardous materials or exacting material specifications critical to the performance of a component. Material Test Reports (MTRs) received by suppliers have been the traditional method to track specified materials. However, during the fabrication, installation or reassembly of components during routine maintenance, it becomes harder to track if mixing of specified materials has occurred. In addition, historic data of existing critical component systems is often lacking or missing altogether.
Regulatory agencies such as the American Petroleum Institute (API) have issued recommended practices (API RP-578) for positive material identification in order to help the owner/users maintain the mechanical integrity of their systems and to prevent catastrophic release of highly hazardous materials. With the increase of accidents and injuries over the last few years attributed to use of improper materials, the oversight and auditing of positive material identification programs have also increased. In general, a material verification program that follows recognized and established good engineering practices are an important part of a quality assurance program that prevents accidents and economic hardships to the owner/user.
Current Industry Practices
The most commonly used methods for qualitative
(XRF) X-Ray Fluoroscopy uses a radiation source to excite the material under test and obtains an elemental fluorescent spectrograph of the elements of the material. This is then compared to commonly used material grades stored in the units library. This is an extremely accurate test method to verify some low-alloy steels, most high-alloy steels and other select metal alloys. The limitation of (XRF) is the inability to quantify light elements such as Carbon, Silicon, Sulfur, and Phosphorous.
(OES) Optical Emission Spectroscopy employs a spark or arc to excite the material under test obtaining a full spectrum of light wavelengths. This method provides a quantitative percentage of all metals and metal alloys and will verify the light element content such as carbon in low alloy steels and high alloy stainless steels that (XRF) cannot quantify.
Owner/users have purchased this equipment which operators with minimum training or experience have used, or have used service providers with operators having the similar levels of training and experience. Competency of operators by verified by examination is rare, as is refresher training for updates in the technology. Most use the test equipment without having a written procedure for the equipment in use. Some material verification programs are not formally written, updated to the latest standards, or exclude items auditing agencies will be monitoring.
PetroChem Inspection Services, Inc. will provide you with a positive material identification program that will meet and exceed the mechanical integrity program requirements of the industry. We have put together a program for PMI that can be used to satisfy your needs: