Latest Advancements in Positive Material Identification (PMI) for Handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Handheld Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)

Wednesday, September 15, 2021: 10:20 AM
241 (America's Center)
Mr. James Stachowiak , Thermofisher Scientific, Tewksbury, MA
Positive Material Identification (PMI) has become an important NDT inspection protocol at petroleum refineries, chemical and power plants around the world to help prevent catastrophic failures of piping systems. Many of these failures are caused by accelerated corrosion resulting from the chemical makeup (elemental content) of the pipes. Three corrosion mechanisms will be discussed which include Residual Elements in HF Alkylation Units, Sulfidation, and Flow Accelerated Corrosion (FAC).

Traditionally, chemical analysis of carbon steel piping has been performed by laboratory analysis of filings, or more recently, by use of spark-based optical emission spectroscopy (OES) instrumentation. With its dramatically improved detection limits, ease of transport, and nondestructive analysis, handheld XRF and LIBS technology has now become a valid and industry-accepted method for PMI (both of these technologies are referenced in API 578 3rd. edition) particularly for the detection of carbon with LIBS.

Details of recent advancements of handheld XRF and LIBS technology will be provided in the presentation and how they can be used as tools to prevent failures due to accelerated corrosion.