What Does Qualitative Fit Test Mean?
Qualitative fitness testing is a risk analysis method used to gauge the condition of all critical industrial components, such as pipelines, tanks and separators, for signs of corrosion.
Assessment of fitness-for-service (FFS) and remaining life (RL) are conducted to justify the continued use of any equipment. Qualitative testing is conducted when less data is available. The approach adopted depends on the following factors:
- The availability of the equipment's design and construction data.
- Known equipment condition based on inspection history.
- Knowledge of past, current and future operational conditions.
- The complexity and age of systems being considered.
Corrosionpedia Explains Qualitative Fit Test
The internal coatings of industrial equipment have to withstand multiple stresses. Aggressive chemical substances, high temperatures, pressures and sand particles all abrade the inner walls. Over time the coating degrades and the underlying material is exposed. Therefore, periodic fitness tests are conducted to ensure the longevity of the equipment.
Expert technicians conduct qualitative fitness tests when there is no quantifiable data available during the inspection. In qualitative analysis, a descriptive ranking, such as high, medium or low, or 1, 2 or 3, is assigned to each parameter. The advantages of a qualitative approach are a shorter inspection time and lower initial cost outlay. A disadvantage is that the results are subjective because they are based on the opinions and experience of expert technicians.