Non destructive testing techniques for risk based inspection

  • Filip Van den Abeele
  • Patrick Goes


Ensuring the safety of offshore structures is of vital importance for the reliability of oil and gas drilling rigs.Risk based inspection (RBI) is becoming an industry standard for management of equipment integrity. Theobjective of risk based inspection is to determine the likelihood of equipment failure (probability) and theconsequences of such an event. Combining the probability of an event with its possible consequencesallows determining the risk of an operation. Risk based inspection enables to optimize the frequency ofinspection, by moving from periodic inspection (based on arbitrary calendar dates) to an informedinspection program (based on equipment condition).One of the most important tools to determine the condition of the equipment, and to calculate its reliability,is the use of non destructive testing (NDT) techniques to detect cracks, flaws and defects. The probability ofdetection and the probability of sizing depend on the type of NDT method used. Combining NDTinformation on crack size and depth with fracture mechanics based damage models, allows predicting theremaining life time of a component.In this paper, the philosophy of risk based inspection is introduced and recent advances in non destructivetesting (in particular ultrasonic and electromagnetic techniques) are reviewed. Then, the use of fracturemechanics based damage models is demonstrated to predict fatigue failure for offshore structures.

How to Cite:

Van den Abeele, F. & Goes, P., (2012) “Non destructive testing techniques for risk based inspection”, International Journal of Sustainable Construction and Design 2(2), 161-171. doi:

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Published on
05 Nov 2012
Peer Reviewed