Structural Integrity assessment is the process of inspection and analysis of the components or structures to ensure they are fit for service under normal operational circumstances and safe to operate if the conditions exceed that of the original design.
Structural integrity inspection is often carried out not only to prevent catastrophic failures, but also to ensure that the component is able to support its own weight, prevent breakage or any deformations throughout its predicted life.
Integrity does not stop at the design stage, but it is something that needs to be maintained for the entire lifetime of a structure. Periodic inspection and maintenance ensures that components are fir for purpose and this is the duty of skillful engineers to ensure structures are safe, reliable and perform their designed function throughout their lifetime.
How is the integrity of structures measured?
When designing a structure, engineers combine a range of consideration into the process, from materials performance and stress analysis to fracture mechanics. However, when the structure is put into use, regular inspection and assessment shall be carried out in order to ensure the integrity of the components. At this stage, Engineers could use a variety of techniques such as:
- Inspecting the component using non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques to identify damage
- Auditing the production process of the component and verifying whether it is built in accordance to the appropriate design, procedures and standards
- Verifying whether the structure is being used appropriately for the environment it is designed for
- Addressing the areas of concern and providing recommendations for modifications
Structural failure root causes:
Structural failures happen because of various reasons. The type of failure is often associated with the industry, environment and application of the structure. The main root causes of failure can be summarized to:
- Weak structure
- Structural deterioration
- Manufacturing errors
- Defective material
- Improper environmental considerations
- Improper operational conditions
Pipeline structural integrity
TWI engineers have unrivalled experience in delivering optimized integrity services through various methods of Fitness for service assessments, engineering critical assessment (ECA), defect assessment, crack and lamination assessment, corrosion growth analysis and remnant life assessment.
TWI SEA Structural and pipeline integrity services include:
- Fitness-for-service assessments
- Defect assessment
- Remnant life assessment
- Corrosion growth analysis (including raw signal data comparison)
- Crack and lamination assessment (fracture and fatigue)
- Engineering critical assessment (ECA)
If you are interested in our structural integrity inspection services, get in touch with us for an appointment to discuss about your options.