Failures, Failure Prevention and Repair of Pressure Vessels, Piping, Boilers and Rotating Machinery with Life Extension Considerations

Richmond, British Columbia /
May 27 - 30, 2019 /
Course Code: 09-1209-2358

The confirmation of a course and venue depends on early registration; Register early to avoid the postponement or cancellation of a course.
  • Overview
  • Syllabus
  • Instructor
  • Location


After participating in this course, you will be able to:

  • understand that the mechanical integrity of process equipment and piping systems depends jointly on their proper design, operation, condition assessment, and maintenance
  • identify and use the relevant codes, standards, and best industry practices for design, operation, maintenance and repair of equipment and piping systems
  • select the appropriate non-destructive testing methods, conduct thorough risk-based inspections, and interpret results correctly to determine the condition of the equipment and piping
  • implement appropriate economically efficient repair methods
  • perform fitness-for-service assessment of damaged equipment, make run/repair/replace decisions, and extend the useful life of equipment
  • improve reliability and availability of your pressure vessels, boilers, piping, and rotating machinery

Process equipment and piping systems constitute the major portion of plant assets and their integrity and reliability are essential for plant availability and performance. Many process equipment and piping systems are subjected to hazardous service conditions and damage mechanisms which, if not adequately monitored and assessed, could result in major failures with consequential significant injuries and business losses.

It is essential to inspect the process equipment and piping system to detect any damage, characterize it, and assess its impact on the equipment integrity. With so many pieces of equipment and extensive piping systems and networks, it is obviously impossible to inspect totally every piece of equipment or piping in a plant. Therefore, an approach based on criticality, i.e. risk-based, taking into consideration the damage mechanisms and failure risk must be taken.

The course combines structured and focused presentations and discussions of topics covered with actual relevant examples. It combines sound engineering principles, methods, and applicable codes and standards and best industry practices with workshops that cover case studies of major failures, their root causes and the lessons learned to prevent similar failures. It provides an opportunity to learn from the practical experience and extensive knowledge of the instructor and to discover proven methods for assessing and extending the useful life of equipment.

Course Outline

  • Mechanical integrity, operability and maintainability
  • Regulations, codes, standards and recommended practices
  • Material of construction – types; selection; in-service degradation processes (API 571)
  • Basic design of pressure equipment and piping systems
  • Failures in process equipment and piping systems – causes, learnings, and prevention
  • Failure investigation techniques and root cause analysis
  • Estimation of consequences of pressure vessels and piping failures
  • Inspection methodology (Risk-Based per API 580/581; Non-Intrusive) and deliverables
  • Fitness-For-Service assessment in accordance with API STD 579-1/ASME FFS-1 
  • Maintenance programs – predictive, proactive, precision
  • Repairs, alterations and rerating per API 510, API 570, API 653 and ASME PCC-2
  • Workshops – Case studies on pressure equipment and piping failures

Who Should Attend
Process, Mechanical, Project, and Maintenance Engineers • Technologists and Inspectors in the Petroleum, Process, Power, Manufacturing and Other Industries • Military and other Facilities who are Involved in the Reliable Design, Operation, Maintenance and Repair of Pressure Vessels, Heat Exchangers, Storage Tanks, Piping Systems and Rotating Machinery • Engineers in Training Will Benefit Greatly from this Course.

More Information


Daily Schedule:
8:00   Registration and Coffee (Day I only)
8:30   Session begins
12:00 Lunch
4:30   Adjournment

There will be a one-hour lunch break each day in addition to a refreshment and networking break during each morning and afternoon session. Lunch and refreshments are provided

Day I - Mechanical Integrity – Fundamentals, Threats and Safeguards

Registration and Coffee

Welcome, Introduction, Course Preview, Learning Outcomes, and Assessment Method

1.1 Overview

  • Operability and maintainability
  • Mechanical integrity
  • Regulations, codes, standards, and best industry practices
  • Equipment failure causes
  • Pressure vessels and boilers failure statistics
  • Consequence of failure

1.2 Behaviour of Metals Under Stress

  • Metal types; characteristics
  • Stress/strain criteria and curves
  • Material degradation processes
  • Failure mechanisms and failure modes

1.3 Regulations, Codes, Standards and Recommended Practices
Provincial Acts and regulations - Alberta Safety Codes Act (formerly called the Boilers and Pressure Vessels Act); Technical Safety BC (external link) (formerly BC Safety Authority)

  • CSA B51, CSA Z662
  • ASME BPVC: section II, section VIII, Div.1, Div.2 and Div.3; Section V, section IX
  • ASME B31.1, B31.3, B31.4, B31.5, B31.8 piping codes
  • ASME B16.5, B16.9, B16.10, B16.11, B16.34 valves, flanges, fittings, and Gaskets Standards
  • API 510 Pressure Vessel Inspection Code
  • API 570 Piping Inspection Code
  • API RP 571 conditions causing deterioration and failure
  • API STD 579-1/ASME FFS-1 Fitness-For-Service
  • PIP Process Industry Practices

1.4 Basic Design of Pressure Vessels

  • Codes, standards, and regulatory requirements
  • Design considerations
  • Design pressure and temperature
  • Maximum allowable working pressure
  • Criteria for choice of materials of construction
  • Nozzles, closures, lifting lugs
  • Supports and foundations

1.5 Basic Design of Piping Systems

  • Codes, standards, and regulatory requirements
  • Design considerations
  • Loads on piping systems
  • Calculations: guidelines and rules of thumb
  • External loads on piping
  • Piping systems configuration and sizing

Day II Failures in Process Equipment and Piping Systems - Causes and Prevention

2.1 Change Control Management

  • Change control policy and procedures: process changes, plant changes, assessment, authorization, and documentation
  • Illustrative change control procedure

2.2 Failures in Pressure Vessels, Piping, and Boilers

  • Overview of failure modes
  • Corrosion and corrosion protection
  • Fatigue
  • Stress corrosion cracking
  • Conjoint corrosion
  • Creep
  • Hydrogen embrittlement
  • Brittle fracture

2.3 Piping System Vibration and Failure

  • Causes of piping system vibration and failure
  • Related standards and acceptance criteria
  • Measurement methods and analysis
  • Experimental and analytical diagnostic techniques
  • Corrective methods and options

2.4 Failures in Rotating Equipment

  • Failure evolution process
  • Fault causes, detection, and diagnosis
  • Shaft misalignment
  • Bent shafts: thermal distortion, large unbalance force
  • Cracked shafts: vibration caused by fatigue-induced cracks
  • Bearing lubrication, misalignment, and rubbing
  • Excessive forces and moments by connected piping
  • Economics of machinery failures and reliability improvement

2.5 Failure Prevention

  • Industry failure prevention practices
  • Human factor
  • Plant integrity audits
  • Corrosion monitoring and control
  • Process and operating changes
  • Engineered changes and controls

Day III Inspection, Condition Assessment, Maintenance and Repairs

3.1 Examination, Testing and Monitoring

  • On-line stress/strain monitoring
  • Non-destructive examination
  • Acoustic emission
  • Corrosion monitoring
  • Periodic pressure test and examination

3.2 Inspection, Testing and Repair Regulations, Codes and Practices

  • Provincial Safety Codes Act
  • ABSA (Alberta Boilers Safety Association) - the pressure equipment safety authority for Alberta
  • AB 505 Risk-Based Inspection Requirements for Pressure Equipment
  • AB-512 Owner-User Pressure Equipment Integrity Management Requirements
  • Inspector qualification: API body of knowledge
  • Criticality-inspection interval and extent
  • Cost considerations

3.3 Evaluation of Inspection Data

  • Data quality
  • Corrosion rate calculations
  • Remaining life calculations
  • Common problems and what to watch for

3.4 Fitness-For-Service

  • API STD 579-1/ASME FFS-1 fitness-for-service
  • Fracture mechanics and mode of failure of material
  • Flaw characterization, growth, and stability
  • Disposition versus repair and life management
  • Worked examples

3.5 Maintenance Practices and Procedures

  • Maintenance roles and responsibilities – traditional and world-class performance
  • Maintenance strategies
  • Business-focused maintenance
  • Repairs and alterations
  • Relocation and retirement of equipment
  • Maintenance-induced failures

3.6 Repair Methods for damaged Pressure Equipment and Piping

  • ASME PCC-2 Repair of Pressure Equipment and Piping
  • API 510 Pressure Vessel Inspection Code: In-service Inspection, Rating, Repair, and Alteration
  • API 570 Piping Inspection Code: In-service Inspection, Rating, Repair, and Alteration of Piping Systems

Day IV Consequences of Pressure Equipment and Piping Deterioration and Failures

4.1 Rerating Piping and Pressure Vessels

  • Overview
  • Guidelines
  • Regulatory requirements

4.2 Estimation of Consequences of Pressure Vessels and Piping Failures

  • Stored and potential energy available
  • Qualitative effects of energy release
  • TNT equivalents
  • Scaled distance
  • BLEVEs: vapour cloud explosions
  • Pressure relief device requirements

4.3 Workshop 1 Case Studies - Equipment and Piping Failures due to Design/Modification

  • Piping component design failure
  • Piping modification failure
  • Repair of thinned vessel

4.4 Workshop 2 Case Studies - Major Industrial Accidents Causing Pollution in the EU

4.5 Workshop 3 Case Study – Equipment and Piping Failures due to Improper Maintenance

  • Williams Olefins Plant Reboiler Rupture and Fire - Geismar, Louisiana  

Questions and Answers and Feedback to Participants on Achievement of Learning Outcomes

Concluding Remarks and Final Adjournment


Nabil Al-Khirdaji, M.Eng., P.Eng.

Nabil is president of Kappa Associates International, which provides engineering and project services to the petroleum, process, energy, and related industries.

Mr. Al-Khirdaji has taught well over 200 technical professional development courses in Canada and internationally. He has over 40 years of experience in the petroleum, petrochemical, and related industries both in Canada and the Middle East, including 24 years with Shell Canada Limited, where he assumed a number of project, engineering specialist, and engineering management positions. He also held the position of mechanical program director with EPIC and a number of senior international positions including project management with an oil and gas engineering company in Milan, Italy. Mr. Al-Khirdaji served for several years on the API committee on refinery equipment.


To be announced

Although the venue is not officially confirmed, EPIC courses are generally held at the following location(s):

Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport, Pacific Reach Hotel OP (Richmond LP)
8181 Cambie Road
Richmond Vancouver BC  V6X 3X9

Please confirm with EPIC that the venue has been officially confirmed before making any reservations or travel arrangements.


We always want to improve the quality of our courses. Please select any reasons why you feel this course is inadequate (check all that apply).

Please check this box:
Course Rating
4.6 out of 5

Overall rating of this course by its previous attendees!

Fee & Credits
  • 2.8 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • 28 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)
Early Registration Fee:

$2545 + taxes

Fee after April 19, 2019:

$2695 + taxes


On-Site Training
This course can be customized and delivered to your group of staff at your facility, saving time and money.
EPIC's email newsletter is a great source of information for:

  • course updates
  • surveys
  • informative articles/papers
  • exclusive discounts