API Releases Standard for the Inspection and Assessment of Refractory Linings
The American Petroleum Institute is pleased to announce the publication of Recommended Practice (RP) 982, Inspection and Assessment of Refractory Linings. This first edition standard details industry practices, requirements, and guidance for the installation, in-service inspection, and repair assessment of refractory lining in equipment used in general refinery services. The standard’s purpose is to enhance equipment reliability, bolster operating efficiency, increase personnel safety, and promote operational process safety across the natural gas and oil industry.
While numerous existing API standards have covered refractory inspection methods and the qualifications of refractory inspectors, there has been little guidance on what constitutes a refractory inspection. RP 982 fills in these critical gaps, providing guidelines on what equipment should be inspected, what elements to consider during an inspection, appropriate inspection tools, and the requisite competencies for inspectors.
RP 982 encompasses an extensive array of refinery equipment, including fluid solid units, fluid catalytic cracker units, reforming units, fired heaters, incinerators, sulfur recovery units, flue gas ducts, calcines, steam-methane reformers, hydrogen plant and transfer lines, cracker furnaces, boilers, and flue gas stacks. The refractory linings in these units serve essential purposes, including:
- providing thermal protection for equipment;
- increasing energy retention and process efficiency;
- resisting processes that cause abrasion and corrosion; and
- enhancing personnel safety.
RP 982 includes applications for fired furnaces, which are used extensively in the industry to heat hydrocarbon feedstocks for various high-temperature processes. These furnaces manage the interaction and flow of liquids, solids, and gases at elevated temperatures. Performing a reliable assessment of this lining is crucial for maximizing the furnace’s productivity and durability.
Following RP 982 can help organizations optimize furnace performance, reduce energy consumption and minimize downtime. It can also foster better and more informed decision-making regarding the condition of the existing lining and the necessity of making repairs.
Following the release of RP 982, a new API Individual Certifications Program (ICP) certification will be offered in summer 2024 to certify refractory personnel for lining inspections. RP 982 complements several other ICP certifications and API standards, including API 936, Refractory Installation Quality Control—Inspection and Testing Monolithic Refractory; API 975, Refractory Installation Quality Control—Inspection and Testing of Refractory Brick Systems and Materials; and API 976, Refractory Installation Quality Control—Inspection and Testing of AES/RCF Fiber Linings. Collectively, with the release of RP 982, they strengthen the quality and reliability of refractory installations.
For more information on RP 982, visit www.API.org.