The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched a new standard which is likely to be significant to the UK industrial and compressed gases business.

The new standard is for the inspection and testing of high pressure (HP) gas tubes which cannot be removed once they have been installed – it’s thought that in-situ inspections will help companies save on downtime costs.

The standard was actually created in a response to industry concerns over safety, as previous guidance for this was far less specific than for re-test methods for transportable tubes.

As revealed by gasworld in its recent June magazine, the new standard was proposed to the BSI by Chesterfield Special Cylinders, which contributed to its development along with other members of the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) and the Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed).

Chesterfield initiated a request to the BSI to develop a new standard that would set out NDT procedures which covered the testing of cylinders in fixed positions, and the particularly important inspection of internal condition by a ‘competent person’. The work of a panel of industry experts resulted in BS8562:2011.

Long-standing concern

BS 8562 is a non-destructive ‘In Situ’ testing standard applicable to HP tubes in locations where their removal would be hazardous or impossible (such as offshore oil installations) or where the downtime required to remove the vessel would hinder the safe operation of a plant or service.

The latter is thought likely to be relevant to power generation applications, hospitals, advanced research applications and marine installations such as heave compensation systems on semi-submersible drilling rigs.

Chesterfield Special Cylinders’ re-testing technology specialist, Mark Dickens (left), said of the standard, “There has been a long-standing concern with regard to tubes whose removal is impractical. A lack of detailed examination and re-test criteria can lead to insufficient or unsuitable written schemes of work, which can create safety issues.”

“By addressing the absence of specific testing guidelines for fixed tubes, the new standard employs non-destructive capabilities, including acoustic emission testing, and so provides an equivalent level of requalification to accepted and proven national and international standards including BS EN 1968: 2002 and ISO 6406: 2005.”

“There are many situations where it is dangerous or impractical to remove cylinders for inspection. This new standard will help companies save on downtime costs, by allowing cylinders to be inspected without the need to dismantle equipment”

Dan Palmer, BSI

Dan Palmer, BSI’s Head of Market Development, added, “There are many situations, such as on oil rigs, ships or vehicles, where it is dangerous or impractical to remove cylinders for inspection. This new standard will help companies save on downtime costs, by allowing cylinders to be inspected without the need to dismantle equipment.”

It’s thought that the new inspection standard will save industry the huge cost of the tubes’ removal and related downtime as they will now be fully tested in situ. BS 8562 applies to seamless steel tubes with a capacity between 150 litres and 3,000 litres and the inspection and test programme must only be carried out by competent persons with the necessary technical knowledge, experience and authority.

The new standard also includes a comprehensive list of supplementary tests, such as ultrasonic examination and eddy current inspection, to support the minimum test requirements.

 

Feature online

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Learn more about in-situ cylinder inspection and Chesterfield Special Cylinders’ role in the development and implementation of standard BS 8562 online at www.gasworld.com/2000795.article.

Published in the Safety-themed June issue of gasworld magazine, Chesterfield’s very own Alan Harding authors an exclusive feature about in-situ cylinder examination and the company’s experience in this field.

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