Ensuring Performance Compliance of Radiographic Examination in Project Construction

Radiographic examination is a proven NDE tool widely employed in project construction, whether it is nuclear, chemical, refineries or power sector projects. As the projects are constructed with huge capital outlay, it is essential that the construction activities are progressing in a sequential and planned manner to avoid time and cost over run. Welding is an important activity in project construction and often, the quantum of welding carried out in the day/week is used as a measure of progress monitoring. In most of the projects, the welding work is carried out in the day time and evening hours, leaving the night time for radiographic examination. Hence, there is always pressure on the radiographic examination crew to keep pace with the welding work. And this is all the more difficult, considering the scattered location of weld joints in the horizontal as well as vertical planes of the project area. Hence, there is always a possibility of error either intentionally or accidentally resulting in the right, hard to reach, joints getting not radiographed and in its place, more easier joints finding radiographed. The endeavor of any quality assurance engineer is to reduce such margin of error. It is all the more important considering that there is heavy reliance on this NDE method to ensure quality and reliability of weld joints. Even national construction codes provide higher joint efficiency factor for radiographically examined weld joints. Therefore, it is necessary to devise ways and means of ensuring compliance of performance. This paper outlines a few steps that the Project Quality Assurance Group, can perform in this direction. They are random punch mark method, physical correlation of radiographic films with actual weld joints in the field, audit radiography, and Verification of film processing room activities. The methodologies of these steps are elaborated and when performed the margin of error is much reduced, resulting in safety and reliability of the plant in operation.

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