Metallurgical Replication is a nondestructive testing technique that helps eliminate costly equipment failures.
Acuren’s skilled technicians test components in-situ to evaluate the surface features and ensure the reliability of your equipment. This is more efficient than physically removing material for laboratory evaluations.
Replication is a critical method for assessment of in-service equipment in nearly every in every industrial sector, as some damage mechanisms are time-dependent.
By having our team evaluate the microstructure with metallurgical replication, we can detect critical defects or equipment degradation before catastrophic failures occur.
Metallurgical Replication is performed in every industry sector including:
- Power generation
- Oil & gas
- Pulp & paper
- Nuclear and more
What does Metallurgical Replication do?
Metallurgical replication is an important tool used by Acuren Engineers to aid in Fire Investigations, Forensic Investigations, and Life Assessment Studies.
A variety of information can be obtained by metallurgical replication, including:
- Identify the family/type of materials (cast irons, austenitic stainless steel, carbon steel)
- Detect presence of high temperature degradation and other microstructural changes that occur as a result of environmental exposure in boilers, pressure vessels, piping and other components
- Identify presence and stage of creep damage by observing the common metallurgical features including: spherodization, formation of isolated and oriented cavities, microcracks and macrocracks
- Analyze for the presence and type of heat treatments in fabricated materials and post-welded heat treatments in welded components
- Assessment and categorization of surface indications (porosity, slag, laminations, cracks, seams)
- In a fire investigation, replications combined with field hardness testing and additional inspections can determine the limit of damaged components that need to be replaced
Why use Acuren for your replication needs?
Highly qualified replication technicians
There is an art to performing metal replication, and at Acuren this is performed by only highly qualified technicians.
Acuren engineers and inspectors are able to identify the locations on your equipment where replication would be most beneficial.
Rapid, reliable results and full-service analysis
Technicians deliver rapid replication services to help ensure reliability of our customer’s components and help eliminate costly failures and downtime.
Acuren provides responsive turnaround times and are able to meet customer’s required operational and production schedules. If necessary, Acuren can provide follow-up materials engineering or materials testing & lab services to corroborate replication findings.
Metallurgic Replication Process
Acuren follows the guidelines in ASTM A1351 and ASTM E407 in our detailed procedure for preparing the metal surfaces and carrying out the replication process. Field metallographic replication involves the following general steps:
- Grind and polish the surface of the part to be examined
- Etch the metal surface with the appropriate solution for the given material
- Place specialized acetate replication tape on area of interest
- Remove tape and prepare tape
- Engineering examination/interpretation of replica on optical microscope
Surface preparation is critical to the replication process to ensure the surface is free from scale, dirt, debris and other foreign material. The surface is polished to the correct degree to ensure microstructural features are resolved.
Engineering interpretation of the final replica can be performed on an optical microscope in the field, or in the laboratory. In some cases, the surface of the part can be examined following etching, directly on the field mounted microscope.
Richardson Oilseed is one of Canada’s oldest and largest fully-integrated crushing, refining, processing and packaging operations. In the absence of timely manufacturer support for a critical equipment issue, the full time onsite Acuren Condition Monitoring Specialist was able to diagnose and provide a detailed correction path on a defective trunion bearing.
When our large refining customer was faced with the requirement to upgrade one of their major crude storage tanks they turned to Acuren’s expertise. We were able to eliminate the hydrostatic test activities through the application of Fitness For Service (FFS) Methodologies as permitted by API 653.