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New Edition of API 510 Enhances Safety of Pressure Vessel Inspection Code

The American Petroleum Institute published a new edition of API Standard 510 specifying the in-service inspection, repair, alteration and rerating activities for pressure vessels and the pressure-relieving devices used in the hydrocarbon and petrochemical industries.

API 510, Pressure Vessel Inspection Code: In-service Inspection, Rating, Repair and Alteration, 11th edition, enhances operational safety by updating the in-service and condition-monitoring programs needed to determine the integrity of pressure vessels and pressure-relieving devices.

These programs are intended to provide accurate and timely assessments to determine if any changes in the condition of pressure equipment could compromise continued safe operation, allowing operators to respond to any inspection results that require corrective actions. Among other things, the newest edition adds a detailed section for analysis of inspection results to ensure pressure vessels are fit-for-service.

API’s Individual Certification Programs (ICP) offers a Pressure Vessel Inspector certification based on API 510 and other applicable reference documents. More than 18,000 API-certified inspectors show they have a broad knowledge base relating to the standard, including maintenance, inspection, repair and alteration of pressure vessels.

Inspectors evaluate pressure vessels both internally and externally for operational stability, material quality, storage capability, safety and measurements. This allows operators to respond to any inspection results to enhance operational safety.

Over the years, advances in technology and general inspection practices have led to changes in how API 510 methods are utilized in the field. The newest edition incorporates health, safety and environmental learnings based on practices from worldwide inspections that identified opportunities for enhancement. These industry learnings help to drive operational performance while enhancing safety, health and sustainability efforts.

API 510 is also incorporated into the API Process Safety Site Assessment Program (PSSAP®), which will update applicable PSSAP protocols to reflect the latest requirements of this new edition.

Previous editions of API 510 are incorporated by reference by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (49 CFR 195), Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (30 CFR 250) and several U.S. state regulations. The standard also supports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s process safety management regulation (29 CFR 1910.119) and other similar international regulations. Although specific to hydrocarbon and chemical process vessels, API 510 could also be applied to pressure vessels and pressure-relieving devices in other industries at operator discretion.

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