The federal government recognizes the potential for catastrophic failure of high pressure systems which merits stringent controls over those performing repairs and alterations. A pressure vessel is defined as any tank or vessel designed for operation above 15 p.s.i.g.
Repair or alteration of pressure-containing parts of a container must be performed in compliance with the applicable provisions of the current edition of the National Board Inspection Code (NBIC). Where specific procedures are not given, it is intended that subject to acceptance of the inspector, all repairs or alterations must conform as much as possible to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) section and edition to which the container was constructed.
As practical guidance, the NBIC has many provisions that must be met. Among these:
- The firm that completes any repair to a pressure vessel must hold a valid certificate of authorization to use the copyright-protected repair symbol of the National Board, commonly referred to as a “R”-stamp. The R-stamp may authorize repairs to be made at the repair firm or a field location, or both. The prospective repair firm must be able to display a valid certificate of authorization upon request;
- A R-stamp firm is required to hold a valid contract with an Authorized Inspection Agency;
- The authorized inspector has several duties, including oversight of the repair firm’s quality manual and oversight of the repair. The repair firm may only complete repairs or alterations within the scope of its quality manual, as approved by the authorized inspector. Ultimately for the repair or alteration, to qualify as a NBIC repair, the authorized inspector must complete the section titled “authorized inspection” on either the form R-1: Report of Repair or the form R-2: Report of Alteration; and
- The R-stamp firm must apply the appropriate repair tag to the pressure vessel that displays the copyright-protected repair symbol of the National Board and stamp it with the R-stamp firm’s name, R-certificate number, date of repair and other information as required by the NBIC.Prior to starting fabrication, Contractors should supply to facility personnel all welding procedure specifications (WPS) and procedure qualification record (PQR) for review. Each individual welder should be certified in each process that they will be performing. All WPS’s and PQR’s should conform to the latest edition of ASME BPVC Sec. IX – Qualification Standard for Welding, Brazing and Fusing Procedures.Qualifying for and retaining an “R”-Stamp is an involved process. The applicant must outline all repair procedures and demonstrate competence performing actual repairs. Each repair or alteration must be documented thoroughly, and related documents are kept on file. The applicant’s Quality System shall be treated confidentially by the NBIC and by the Review Team.American Boiler & Welding Company are very proud to have been an “R”-Stamp certified shop since 2015.