are tested before operation and as part of in-service inspections – or on an ad hoc basis, for example, in case of a missing certifi cate. With the use of XRF technology this type of alloy identifi cation can be carried out in seconds. XRF spectra reveal the relative abundances of metals, which are then automatically checked against a preloaded library of alloys and grades. T is approach enables fast decision-making and saves time on PMI inspections. T e sensitivity of XRF analysers also makes the technology well suited for detecting trace elements. T is feature enables XRF analysers to be used in other applications, such as corrosion inspection. For example, the presence of trace elements such as Cr, Ni, Cu in carbon steel can indicate RE corrosion in hydrofl uoric (HF) alkylation units, or carbon steel with low Si content can exhibit signifi cant accelerated/non- uniform corrosion due to the known sulfi dation corrosion process.

TRACEABILITY AND RELIABLE REPORT GENERATION A key challenge in the inspection of large plants and structures, such as long pipelines, is traceability of measurements. Even when measurement results are generated quickly, collating the data into detailed reports can make PMI inspections laborious and time-consuming. T e large number of measurements involved also increases the risk of human errors in report generation. To simplify the creation of inspection

reports and improve measurement traceability, advanced XRF analysers are equipped with GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and cloud storage. T e combination of GPS and timestamping of all measurements saves time on reporting and reduces the risk of errors; easy internet access enables automated data sharing and archiving.

DEALING WITH THE ELEMENTS T e working conditions in industrial plants are often tough for inspection equipment. Damage due to water, dust, drops or shocks is highly likely when unsuitable equipment is used. Also, due to the layout of a plant it is often necessary to inspect in hard-to-access locations, for example using ladders. Designed for portability and damage

resistance, XRF analysers are well equipped to handle the harsh conditions


XRF technology enables fast, convenient PMI measurements of pipes and other components

of oil and gas plants. T e devices are lightweight and can be carried in one hand or stored in a holster and worn on a belt. Additional features, such IP ratings, drop-tested design, detector shutter protection and cooling fans make XRF analysers highly suitable for in- service testing. Olympus’ Vanta XRF analysers

fulfi l all the requirements for a reliable effi cient PMI programme in oil and gas plants. Vanta’s drop-tested, rugged design and IP65 rating improve return on investment by vastly reducing the risk of damage. T ese features, combined with fast results that are both accurate and repeatable underline its suitability for PMI programmes that help to avoid part failures and ensure plant safety and profi tability. ●

The Vanta’s precise, reliable readouts make it easy to determine the composition of an alloy

Thierry Couturier is with Olympus Europa.

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