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Comment PDF Automation & Control

Implementing a Corrosion-Under-Insulation Program

By Russ Davis, The Mistras Group, Inc. |

Corrosion to the external surface of process piping and vessels that is hidden under the insulation is referred to as corrosion under insulation (CUI). Aging piping and equipment in chemical plants and petroleum refineries have made CUI detection and assessment requirements increasingly important. Because the need to detect and assess CUI is critical in chemical process industries (CPI) facilities, inspection and testing methodologies have been pushed to improve. However, many CPI facilities lack an insulation-repair program. The best approach to address the problem of CUI is to develop and adopt a comprehensive and facility-wide CUI program. This article describes the components of such a program and is designed to help facility managers and engineers identify strategies to implement it. Industry estimates indicate that CUI costs the chemical and oil-and-gas industries in excess of $100 million annually. This cost represents only the estimated damage to the equipment, and does not include the losses that may be associated with process downtime. Taking equipment and piping out of service when they are needed to make product will raise the level of losses. This estimate also does not include the risk posed by CUI for potential exposure…
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