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  • Becht Offers Full-Service Engineering Consulting - Project Turnaround - Heavy Lift - Reliability
  • Becht Is Industry Focused Oil & Gas - Refining - Chemical - Nuclear
  • Becht Works in Partnership Teams with clients for optimal results
  • Becht has Convenient Locations NJ - CA - LA - TX - SC - FL - WV - MO - PA - WA - Canada
  • Becht has Great People Engineering Experts - Reliability - Design - Project Mgt
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Becht logo Welcome to Becht Engineering

Becht Engineering provides engineering consulting and project/turnaround management services to the energy sector, including upstream and downstream oil and gas (refining and production), petrochemical, chemical, industrial gas, fossil and nuclear power, as well as specialized support for innovative technologies.

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Information regarding pertinent topics of the day written by our industry experts.

ASME Code | Piping | Fitness for Service | Safety | Pressure Vessels ... and much more

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Becht personnel hard at workBecht Engineering is a service-oriented engineering consulting firm that is focused on providing technically excellent engineering services and innovative, sustainable solutions for clients world-wide. We are the “go-to” firm that clients approach when the job needs to be done right – the first time. The Becht Team comprises world-class resources that provide unparalleled engineering solutions, project management support, and technically excellent engineered products.

Headquartered in New Jersey, Becht has offices throughout the U.S. and in Canada that allow Becht’s experienced and knowledgeable resources to partner and support clients throughout all phases of a project.

Recent projects and the industries that Becht supports include:

  • Oil Refineries – planning and managing turnarounds
  • Petrochemical – repair of steam cracking furnace
  • Oil & Gas Production – reliability & maintenance planning; design of high pressure well head/downhole equipment
  • Equipment Manufacturers – design of equipment for severe services
  • Industrial Gas – troubleshooting world's largest nitrogen plant
  • Fossil and Alternative Power – evaluating and troubleshooting water hammer for fossil power plant and large solar power plant
  • Nuclear Power – LOCA analysis
  • New Processes – Pilot plant design/readiness reviews

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Becht Engineering recently reviewed a utility company's deaerators which experienced a through-wall, circumferential crack at the toe of the fillet weld attaching the saddle to the shell and a through-wall crack was found at the head-to-shell junction at the steam inlet end of the drum.

The saddle to shell cracking was attributed to restrained axial thermal expansion of the shell at a tightly bolted sliding saddle support. The crack was ground out, welded and the support modified to permit sliding.

cfd35

The head to shell crack cause was attributed to corrosion fatigue, a common occurrence in deaerators. The crack was most likely initiated at a weld surface defect on the I.D. of the drum and grew with time. The daily operating cycles of the drum during periods of reduced steam demand and thermal stresses which we attributed to a poorly designed steam inlet nozzle were the main contributors to the crack growth.

A large diameter superheated steam inlet nozzle extended through the head of the drum terminating 18” into the vessel. The steam exited through a rectangular shaped slot opening on the underside of the pipe which directed the flow of superheated steam directly into the condensate on the bottom of the drum near the shell-to-head weld.

Becht’s computational fluid dynamics model (CFD) indicated that there was little dispersion of the steam exiting the nozzle and that the velocity of the steam mixing with the condensate was relatively high. The superheated steam contact with the cooler condensate resulted in a violent reaction with localized heating and cooling of the vessel shell. This cycling can cause thermal stresses which can result fatigue cracking. Generally, fatigue cracking occurs at welds and heat affected zones adjacent to the weld. Notably no such weld cracking occurred at the opposite end drum where there is no steam inlet nozzle. Figures 1a and 1b demonstrate that the flow trajectory of the incoming steam acts more like a high velocity jet of steam directed at the condensate in the bottom of the drum.

To provide better dispersion, Becht recommended that the inlet pipe be modified with multiple and wider distributed holes. In this configuration, the nozzle acts as a sparger which better disperses the steam in all directions and at lower velocities as can be seen in Figures 2a and 2b.

 

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Becht Engineering is performing a seismic analysis to assess the structural integrity of the tanks subjected to a postulated earthquake. The motivation for performing the soil-structure interaction (SSI) analysis in the time domain is to capture the behavior of several contact interfaces present in the tanks including the interface between the tank concrete and the surrounding soil. The presence of this contact interface helps to establish a realistic initial geostatic stress state under gravity loading.

Before the SSI analysis was conducted, a site-response analysis was performed to determine the strain-compatible soil properties. Boundary conditions on the model were prescribed to enforce shear beam behavior of the soil column surrounding and supporting the tank. The seismic input was applied at the base of the SSI model as a force time series corresponding to the known acceleration record.

The model includes the tank waste and the effects of concrete degradation as illustrated below. The soil and concrete are modeled using linear elastic material properties with concrete degradation simulated through the use of equivalent degraded elastic properties. When linear elastic material properties are used to model soils, there is potential for developing artificial soil arching. Excessive arching behavior will result in underestimating the vertical loads on the concrete dome and tank sidewalls. To mitigate the potential for soil arching above the dome, vertical contact surfaces are inserted into the soil above the dome to create annular rings of soil that are free to displace vertically consistent with the tank dome, but allow the load to be transferred laterally during horizontal motion. This effectively creates a nonlinear yield mechanism that acts in the vertical direction only and allows for horizontal load transfer from one ring to the other ring. A low coefficient of friction is used, thereby ensuring that the soil load is carried by the tank structure.

sst1sst2The response history analysis results in large amounts of information generated during the simulation. To efficiently manage this information, post-processing routines are written to extract the maximum concrete demands in the tank and envelope those demands both spatially and temporally. This approach allows the analyst the flexibility to review and present results that are enveloped in both space and time, or that are enveloped in either space or time. The complete results that provide the response history for each point of interest in the model are also available, although the file sizes are much larger.

The seismic demands on the tank are combined with thermal and operating load demands and the combined demands are evaluating per the provisions of the American Concrete Institute Code 349 (ACI 349) entitled Code Requirements for Nuclear Safety Related Concrete Structures. When the updated analysis of record for the SSTs is complete it will provide a defensible technical basis for operating and maintaining the tanks and performing waste retrieval activities for the SSTs.

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Focus on Corrosion – A Refinery-Wide Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) Program

Becht Engineering has completed development of a Refinery-wide Risk Based Inspection Program (RBI) at a Caribbean Refinery with a focus on corrosion damage mechanisms. The Refinery has observed accelerated corrosion in recent years, resulting in a higher than expected equipment replacement rate and commissioned the study in order to develop a plan to mitigate the corrosion.

Becht Engineering - RBI Corrosion ProjectBecht used its proprietary Risk-Based Equipment Reliability Planning work process which is embedded in the our software program STIER© (Strategy Tool for Improving Equipment Reliability) to develop the Risk-based Inspection and Maintenance Plan to address corrosion-related failure scenarios for fixed equipment, rotating equipment and piping circuits. Our work process is compliant with API RP 580, Risk-Based Inspection and ASME PCC-3-2007 Inspection Planning Using Risk-Based Methods.
The subject matter expert (SME) based approach was employed to develop failure scenarios. Once the relevant equipment data were collected and loaded into STIER, a Senior Metallurgists, James McLaughlin, reviewed the information and pre-developed damage mechanisms and failure scenarios for each item. Becht also employed the advice of a Senior Furnace SME, Robert Dubil, to develop failure scenarios, and inspection and maintenance plans for the furnaces. The facilitation team for the RBI Work Process was Dr. Eileen Chant and James McLaughlin.

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Becht News

Bob Sims Named ASME President-Nominee

Becht Engineering is very proud to announce that one of our senior specialists, Bob Sims, has been...

Training and Qualification of Bolted Joint Assembly Personnel

For quite some time now, Section VIII Division 1 of the ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code has...

A Lift Plan for Every Lift

Ten Questions That Must Be Answered Before Attempting Any Lift

When...

Becht Training Upcoming Schedule

Mon Apr 28, 2014
ASME Section VIII, Division 1 Design with COMPRESS Training Course
ExecuTrain, 2060 North Loop West, Suite 110, Houston, TX, 77018-5218
Mon Apr 28, 2014
ASME Section VIII, Division 2 - Part 5, Design-By-Analysis
FE Consultants, 31 Folkestone Street, Bowen Hills, Queensland, 4006, Australia
Mon May 05, 2014
ASME B31.3, Process Piping - Design, Construction, and Mechanical Integrity
Eagle Pointe Recreation Complex, 12450 Eagle Pointe Drive, Mont Belvieu (Houston area), TX 77580
Mon May 26, 2014
ASME Section VIII, Division 2 - Part 5, Design-By-Analysis
Wingate Hotel, 400 Midpark Way SE, Calgary, Alberta T2X 3S4, Canada
Mon Jun 02, 2014
ASME PCC-2 Repair of Pressure Equipment & Piping
Venue To Be Determined, Edmonton, Alberta

Becht Affiliates

sonomaticSonomatic is a worldwide organization whose expertise in ultrasonic inspection design, development and application, dates back more than 25 years to our roots in the nuclear sector. Today the company has widened its focus and provides proven yet pioneering services to customers in defense and power generation, but our largest client base is in the challenging oil and gas industry, both upstream and downstream.

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helidexHelidex Offshore specializes in the design and manufacturing of aluminum helidecks for the offshore oil industry. We also supply rooftop aluminum helipads.  Helidex offers high quality products at competitive prices with lead times unmatched in the industry. First helideck supplier in the world to develop and use the economical "V" shaped Heliflex decking planks, which have since become the standard shape in the industry.

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hydro engHydrocarbon Engineering is a group of senior, technical professionals with in-depth engineering and scientific experience in diverse disciplines. Providing a wide range of services to energy, chemical and related businesses. Many are located in the Philadelphia area and serve Delaware Valley clients.

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