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Corrosion under Insulation (CUI) Guidelines: (EFC 55)
Description: - guidelines cover inspection methodology for CUI, inspection techniques, including non-destructive
evaluation methods and recommended best practice
- case studies are included illustrating key points in the book
Corrosion under insulation (CUI) refers to the external corrosion of piping and vessels that occurs
underneath externally clad/jacketed insulation as a result of the penetration of water. By its very
nature CUI tends to remain undetected until the insulation and cladding/jacketing is removed to
allow inspection or when leaks occur. CUI is a common problem shared by the refining,
petrochemical, power, industrial, onshore and offshore industries.
The European Federation of Corrosion (EFC) Working Parties WP13 and WP15 have worked to
provide guidelines on managing CUI together with a number of major European refining,
petrochemical and offshore companies including BP, Chevron-Texaco, Conoco-Phillips, ENI, Exxon-
Mobil, IFP, MOL, Scanraff, Statoil, Shell, Total and Borealis. The guidelines within this document are
intended for use on all plants and installations that contain insulated vessels, piping and
equipment. The guidelines cover a risk-based inspection methodology for CUI, inspection
techniques (including non-destructive evaluation methods) and recommended best practice for
mitigating CUI, including design of plant and equipment, coatings and the use of thermal spray
techniques, types of insulation, cladding/jacketing materials and protection guards. The guidelines
also include case studies.
About the editor
Dr Stefan Winnik is a Materials and Corrosion Specialist with ExxonMobil chemical company in the
Purpose of document. References.
Statistical analysis. Size of the issue. Key performance indicators (KPI’s).
Ownership and responsibility
Senior management. Engineering manager. Maintenance. Operations. Inspection. Members of a
project team – CUI program.
The risk-based inspection (RBI) methodology for CUI
Introduction. Unit level prioritisation. Challenging the need for insulation. Data validation. Using risk
-based inspection to design CUI inspection plans. References.
General considerations. Typical locations on piping circuits susceptible to CUI. Typical locations on
equipment susceptible to CUI. Examples of risk based inspection plan.
NDE/NDT screening techniques for CUI
NDE/NDT Techniques. References.
Recommended Best Practice to Mitigate CUI
Background. Current CUI prevention methods. How to achieve a life expectancy of over 25 years.
Benefits of thermal sprayed aluminium (TSA). Use of personnel protective guards. Use of
aluminium foil to mitigate Cl-ESCC of austenitic stainless steel. References.
Design for the prevention of CUI
Introduction. Challenge the requirement for insulation. Plant layout. Mechanical considerations –
equipment & tanks. Mechanical considerations – piping. Materials of construction. Coatings &
wrappings. Insulation. Weatherproofing. References.
Appendix A: Cost-economic evaluation Appendix B: Quality assurance Appendix C: Additional
guidelines on the implementation of CUI best practice Maintenance and remediation issues;
Minimum Sstandards; Types of insulation service; Surface preparation. Appendix D: Coatings
General; Protective coatings; Thermal spray aluminium; Surface/moisture tolerance - alternative
coatings; Tape coatings. Appendix E: Application of thermal sprayed aluminium (TSA) Thermal
spray application; Use of organic top coats; Application strategies; Thermal spray coating
specification; Definitions; Referenced codes, standards and specifications; Coating philosophy;
Coating system; Thermal spray coating material; Seal coat; Design; Surface preparation; Weather
and surface conditions; Application process; Specific requirements for on-site thermal spray coating
application; Piping field welds; Inspection and acceptance; Documentation. Appendix F: Insulation
material types and forms Mineral fibre; Low density glass fibre; Calcium silicate; Cellular glass;
Ceramic fibre Ppaper; Glass rope insulation; Self-setting cement; Flexible reusable insulation
covers; Preformed rigid polyurethane foam (PUR/PIR); Flexible elastomeric foam (FEF); Flexible
elastomeric foam (EPDM); Polyethylene; Perlite; Vermiculite. Appendix G: Cladding/jacketing
materials Metallic cladding materials; Non-metallic materials. Appendix H: Use of protection guards
Design considerations; Method guidance notes. Appendix I: NDE/NDT techniques Visual inspection;
Manual ultrasonic thickness measurement through inspection openings; Radiography; Real-time
radiography (RTR); Guided wave ultrasonic measurements; Pulsed eddy current; Digital
radiography; Infrared thermography; Neutron backscatter; Dye penetrant testing. Appendix J:
Case studies Case studies 1-8
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