Inspections ensure the integrity of equipment and components in any industry, maintaining quality, safety and reliability.

We support inspection teams with additional resources: a complete metallurgical laboratory, in-situ metallography and metallurgical expertise. With these services, your inspection can integrate root cause failure analysis, material testing and material knowledge.

Field Metallography

Supporting inspection.

Field metallography is a non-destructive technology that evaluates a component’s material condition in place. Assessing the material structure of components at accessible locations on-site, this method provides details without destruction so you retain serviceability and the option for crack repair.

This method of analysis can support inspection in the following applications:

  1. Plant shutdown inspection
    • Assessing for thermal degradation of boiler tubes, reactor shells and other parts which experience life-limiting service degradation
  2. Irregular NDT indications examination
    • Identifying details regarding crack formation and condition of surrounding material
  3. Boiler/reactor failure damage assessment
    • Determining essential information to ensure applied repairs remove damaged materials

Laboratory Analysis

The tool you need for repair decisions.

After NDT inspection alerts you to the presence of cracks, knowing the cause and extent of damage is essential for making appropriate repair decisions. Using lab-based equipment, we perform metallurgical analysis to provide details of damage not visibly apparent. These results can explain how and why irregular cracks had formed.

Steel Image can help:

  • Prove the damage mechanism
  • Identify relevant environmental/loading factors
  • Assess if a material condition had contributed to failure

In combination with inspections findings, our analysis results can help you develop a comprehensive understanding of the damage so you can develop strategies to resolve the issue.

If inspectors are constantly looking for cracks, shouldn’t they learn how to interpret them too?

Imagine that, after finding a crack, if an inspector could examine that crack and determine what type of crack it is, where it started from, contributing deficiencies and the nature of loading.

Well they can. We can teach them.


Case Studies

Creep Damage to Heater Manifold

During shutdown inspection, in-situ metallography inspection was conducted at several high stress sites along piping and heater manifolds. Creep cracks were found at several locations at the manifold lug welds.

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Linear Indications in Heater Tube

The nature and severity of cracks found on a critical path heater during shutdown were strongly disputed within the refinery. Non-destructive in-situ metallography was used to determine the crack type. This work was completed within 24 hours.

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NDT Assessment of Overheated Heater Tubes

During shutdown, pigging inspection had found several heater tubes to have experienced diametric expansion. In-situ metallography inspection was used to evaluate the tube condition and assess their serviceability.

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