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Reliability Analysis of Pressure Vessels in Lubricant Process Unit for Risk Based Inspection

[+] Author Affiliations
Chi-Hui Chien, Chun-Hung Chen

National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Paper No. PVP2008-61180, pp. 1427-1435; 9 pages
  • ASME 2008 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 6: Materials and Fabrication, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 27–31, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4829-6
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


As a safety concern to a pressurized system, to monitor the corrosion rate of each pressure vessel in order to make the repair decision at the right time based on the required thickness to withstand the maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP), is important to the plant owner. A plant inspector will normally assess the risk by evaluating the probability of failure of each pressure vessel during service hours with inspection and maintenance planning. Therefore, a scheme of reliability assessment to the pressure vessels should be established. The objective of this study is to discuss the failure probabilities of the pressure vessels in a lubricant unit in order to provide the input information for Risk Based Inspection (RBI) assessments. The reliability assessment of a pressure vessel involves the estimation of the failure pressure and evaluation of the limit state function. Based on the formula for calculating required thickness of a pressure vessel component, and due to the presence of non-linearity in the limit state function and the non-normal distributed variables, the first order second moment method (FOSM) was adopted for carrying out the reliability analysis. The uncertainties of the random variables in the limit state function were modeled by using normal and non-normal probabilistic distributions. As the heat exchanger is an important pressure vessel to a pressurized system, the failure probabilities together with the ranking categories of the heat exchangers in a lubricant unit are chosen as a case study to be discussed and presented in this paper.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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