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Checks to assess fire damage in a post-fire investigation


There are currently no standards detailing a definitive list of inspection and assessment procedures for post-fire investigation. However, API-579 does include some information on this topic. One article that does detail a general procedure and information about the effect of temperature on a range of materials can be found in Materials Performance, Volume 27 Numbers 11 and 12, November and December 1988, by D R McIntyre, entitled 'Evaluating and Repairing Fire Damage to Chemical Process Plant Equipment'.

Definition of an inspection programme, and the exact methods that should be used, will require detailed knowledge of the exact operating conditions, material, time in service and the extent of the fire. However, the programme will almost certainly include non-destructive testing, microstructural examination of replicas (replication), and hardness testing. It may also be necessary to remove scoop samples for assessment as replication only allows examination of the surface microstructure. TWI can offer services and assistance in all these areas.

The criteria for the replacement of fire-damaged items need to be assessed on a case by case basis. It will depend on the material affected, the maximum temperature experienced, likely damage mechanisms, the extent of distortion, whether the properties have deteriorated significantly, and the service requirements of the component.

TWI has carried out assessment of a number of cases of fire damage, and two of these are indicated below:

  • Prompt inspection of fire damage puts client's mind at rest
  • Far East rescue mission

If you require assistance, contact TWI at


API Recommended Practice 579-1, Fitness-For-Service, 2016

McIntyre, D R, 1988: 'Evaluating and Repairing Fire Damage to Chemical Process Plant Equipment', Materials Performance, Volume 27 Numbers 11 and 12, November and December

See further information about Materials and Corrosion Management or please contact us.

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