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Fitness-for-Service

ffsmainpicBecht Engineering has extensive experience and expertise in the field of Fitness-For-Service. We have performed evaluations for all of the damage mechanisms covered in ASME FFS-1/API 579 for clients around the world. We have performed Fitness-For-Service evaluations on piping, pressure vessels, heat exchangers and tanks. Our wealth of knowledge and experience enables us to provide authoritative, practical, knowledge based answers, and to solve your problems. We have performed fitness for service assessments on more than 2,000 pressure vessels.

We are organized to quickly and efficiently handle all levels of Fitness-For-Service assessments including rapid response to emergency situations where quick assessments are required to keep a plant running or when damage is found as part of discovery during turnarounds, and rapid assessments are necessary to determine the path forward. For immediate response, contact our FFS coordinator, Magnus Gustafsson at 571-550-0722 or click on the urgent request button on this page. The request will go to Mr. Gustafsson, as well as our President, Dr. Charles Becht and General Manager, John Basil.

Our knowledge comes from active participation in the new construction codes for equipment such as pressure vessels and piping as well as post construction standards. Magnus Gustafsson is a member, Gerrit Buchheim has been a member since inception and is taskgroup chair for Part 7 Hydrogen Blistering/HIC/SOHIC, Jim McLaughlin is a contributing member, Bob Sims is a member and the past vice-chair and George Antaki is past vice-chair of ASME FFS-1/API 579. Dr. Charles Becht IV is the founder and immediate past-chair of ASME PCC-2: Repair of Pressure Equipment and Piping and member and past chair of the ASME Post Construction Committee. When required, we design the repairs to restore the equipment integrity.

FFS Becht

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Failure Analysis

In some occasions, damage is not detected prior to failure.  In these cases, plant operations involve us to assist them in determining the root cause of the failure.  We apply the same approach used in Fitness-For-Service.  In failure analysis, we form up teams including the relevant discipline specialists, including mechanical, materials and equiprment specific experts such as rotating and fired equipment experts.  Our findings and recommendations are used to prevent failures in other equipment.

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Brittle Fracture

Becht has performed brittle fracture assessments of over 2,000 pressure vessels in various ethylene plants.  These vessels had not been designed for the low temperatures that could occur as a result of autorefrigeration.  Most of these assessments were based on API 579, Level 2 methods, and were performed very rapidly using a custom computer tool Becht Engineering developed to expedite the assessments. 

Detailed Level 3 fracture mechanics assessments were also performed for a number of vessels.  The detailed fracture mechanics assessments performed to evaluate potential for brittle fracture in vessels subject to colder operation, as well as those with existing cracks to be evaluated.  The fracture mechanics assessment performed in the design of Section VIII, Div 3 vessels for fatigue are performed with Becht's custom fracture mechanics analysis tool which is designed to be able to simultaneously consider multiple loading conditions...

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Code Expertise

Becht Engineering staff is active in National Codes and Standards Committees.  Becht's staff holds over 40 positions in ASME, API and ASTM Codes and Standards Committees and has chaired many of them.  Updated November 2014

ASME COMMITTEES

ASME President
Board of Governors - Current & Former Members
Board on New Development - Current Chair
Board on Hearings and Appeals - Former Chair
Board on Nuclear Codes and Standards - Current Member, Former Chair
Board on Pressure Technology Codes and Standards - Former Chair, VP & Members
Board on International Standards (Inactive Committee) - Former Member
Board on Council Operations - Former Chairs
Council on Standards and Certification - Current Member, Former Chairs & Sr. VP's

ASME POST CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS

Post Construction Standards Committee - Former Chairs & Vice-Chairs
Post Construction Executive Committee - Current Members, Former Chairs & Vice-Chairs
Subcommittee on Repair and Testing - Founding Chair, Current Member, Former Chair & Members
Subcommittee on Inspection Planning - Current Member
Subcommittee on Flange Joint Assembly - Current Chair
Subcommittee on Flaw Evaluation - Former Member

 ASME PIPING AND COMPONENT CODES AND STANDARDS

B31, Code for Pressure Piping, Executive Committee - Current & Former Members
B31, Code for Pressure Piping, Mechanical Design Committee - Current Vice-Chair & Member, Former Vice-Chair
B31, Code for Pressure Piping, Standards Committee - Current Members, Former Chair
B31.3, Process Piping Section Committee - Current Members, Former Chairs
B31.12 Hydrogen Piping and Pipelines Section Committee - Current Members
B31.3 Subgroup on High Pressure Piping - Former Chair
B31.3 Subgroup on Design - Current & Former Members
B16 Standards Committee for National & International Standardization of Valves, Flanges, Fittings, Gaskets - Current Member
B16 Subcommittee on Steel Flanges and Flanged Fittings - Current Member, Former Chair
B16 Subcommittees on fittings, gaskets, copper components and valves - Current Member 

ASME BOILER AND PRESSURE VESSEL CODE COMMITTEES

Committee on Pressure Vessels (BPV VIII) - Current Chair & Members, Former Members
Subcommittee VIII, Pressure Vessels (Inactive Committee) - Former Vice-Chair & Members
Committee on Transport Tanks - Former Member
Committee on Construction of Nuclear Facility Components - BPV III - Current Vice-Chair
Design and Analysis Committee (Inactive Committee) - Former Chairs & Members
Subgroup on Design Analysis (BPV III & VIII) - Former Chairs & Members
Executive Committee on Strategy and Project Management (BPV III) - Current Chair
Project Team on Hydrogen Tanks - Current Member
Special Committee on Interpretations (BPV III) - Current Chair
Special Interpretations Committee (SC-VIII) - Current Member
Special Working Group on High Density Polyethylene Piping (SC III) - Current Member
Special Working Group on High Pressure Vessels, Section VIII, Div 3 (Inactive Committee) - Former Chair
Standards Committee on Qualification of Mechanical Equipment - Current Member
Subcommittee on Accreditation - Former Member-Alternate
Subcommittee on Design - (Inactive Committee) - Former Members
Subgroup on General Requirements (BPV III) - Current & Former Members
Subgroup on High Pressure Vessels (Section VIII, Div 3) - Current Member, Former Chair
Subgroup on Design (BPV VIII) - Current Member, Former Chair & Members
Subgroup on Design SC-VIII (Inactive Committee) - Former Chair & Members
Subgroup on Design/Analysis (SC-D) (Inactive Committee) - Former Chair & Members
Subgroup on General Requirements (BPV VIII) - Current Member, Former Chair
Subgroup on Heat Transfer Equipment (BPV VIII) - Current Member, Former Chair
Subgroup on Toughness (BPV II & VIII) - Current Member
Subgroup on Component Design - Current Member
Subgroup on Elevated Temperature Design - Current Member, Former Chair
Task Group on Impulsively Loaded Vessels (SC VIII) - Current Members
Technical Oversight Committee (former Main Committee) - Current & Former Members
Working Group on Piping (BPV III) - Current Members, Former Chairs & Vice-Chair
Working Group on Piping (SG-D) (BPV III) - Current Member
Operation and Maintenance of Nuclear Power Plants – Piping Group - Current Member
Task Group on Buried Pipe - Current Member
Working Group on Supports (BPV III) - Former Member
Working Group on Design-By-Analysis (BPV VIII) - Current Member
Subgroup on External Pressure (BPV II) - Current Vice-Chair

ASME/API

ASME/API Joint Fitness-for-Service Committee (API 579/ASME FFS-1) - Current Members, Former Vice-Chairs & other Members
Chair of Part 7 Hydrogen Blistering

API / COMMITTEE ON REFINERY EQUIPMENT

Subcommittee on Corrosion and Materials – Current Members
Task Group on API 941 High Temperature Hydrogen Attack – Current Members and technical editor for API 941 TBD revision 1
Task Group on API 939-C Sulfidation - Author and Current Vice Chairman
Task Group on API 945 Amine Cracking – Current Chairman
Task Group on API 970 CCD/IOW - Current Members
Task Group on API 584 IOW’s- Member
Taskgroup on API 571 Refining Damage Mechanisms – Former Chair
Task Group on API 934 Heavy Wall Vessels - Members
Part F) Development of a Guidance Document for Establishing Minimum Pressurization Temperatures for Heavy Wall Reactors in Hydrogen Service – Technical Editor and Current Member
Part G) Coking Drums in Delayed Coking Units – Technical Editor and Current Member
Parts H& I Hydrotreater reactors (Maintenance and inspection) – Current Member
Task Group on API 580/581 RBI Member
Subcommittee on Piping - Former Vice-Chair
Subcommittee on Above Ground Storage Tanks - Former Member
Subcommittee on Heat Transfer Equipment - Former Chair
Task Group on Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers - Former Member
Task Group on Air Cooled Heat Exchangers - Former Member

ASCE

Working Group on Revision of ASCE Standard 4 Seismic Analysis of Safety-Related Nuclear Structures - Voting Member
ASCE Dynamic Analysis of Nuclear Structures (DANS) Committee - Current Member
Working Group on Revision of ASCE Standard 43, Seismic Design Criteria for Structures, Systems, and Components in Nuclear Facilities – Voting Member

ADDITIONAL COMMITTEE INVOLVEMENT

MTI - Board of Directors - Current Member
MTI – Knowledge Management Project Development Committee - Current Chair
NACE STG 34 Refining Corrosion – Current Members
SP-0296 Wet H2S Cracking Inspection - Vice Chair
Publication 34103 Sulfidation Corrosion – Vice Chair
AWS A5 (Filler Metals) Committee - Source for ASME IIC - Current Member
ASTM F-17, Plastic Piping Systems Main Committee - Current Member
ASTM Standards and Certification Board of Directors - Current Member, Former Chair
ASTM Committees CO3, C-16, and D-20.23 - Current Member
ISA – The International Society for Measurement & Control, member of SP 93, Sealing Technologies Committee - Former Member
Materials Technology Institute’s Technical Advisory Council Committee - Current Member
Materials Technology Institute, Evaluation of Gaskets Committee - Current Member
US TAG for ISO/TC 153/SC 1 – Valve Design, Manufacturing, Marking and Testing - Current Member
US TAG for ISO/TC 5/SC 10 – Metallic Flanges and Their Joints - Current Member
US TAG for ISO TC 197 – Hydrogen Technologies - Current Member
US TAG for ISO TC 11 - Boilers and Pressure Vessels - Current Member
Joint ASME – IEEE Seismic Qualification Committee - Former Chair
ASME – ASCE Joint Task Group on Buried Piping - Founding & Current Chair
Process/Industry Practices (PIP): Coatings and Insulation - Former Function Team Leader
Process Industry Practices (PIP): Piping - Former Member
Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC): Standards Review Committee - Former Member
US DOE Hydrogen Safety Panel - Current Member
The Materials Properties Council - Former Member
Section III, SG on General Requirements - Current Member
Section III, SWG on Polyethylene Pipe (Inactive Committee) - Former Member
Section III, Working Group on Piping Design (Inactive Committee) - Former Member
PVRC Committee on Continuing Operation of Equipment - Former Chair
ASME Hydrogen Steering Committee (Inactive Committee) - Former Chair
ASME High Pressure Systems Committee - Former Vice-Chair & Member
ASME Task Group on Risk Analysis for the Critical Assets Protection Initiative - Former Chair & Member
ASME BPTCS Ad Hoc Task Group on Incorporation of Risk Based Principles into Pressure Technology Codes and Standards - Former Chair & Member
PVP Design and Analysis Committee - Current Chair
PVP Executive Committee - Current Member
Working Group Duties and Responsibilities (SGGR-BPVIII) - Current Member
QAI-1 Qualification for Authorized Inspection - Former Chair
Subcommittee on Accreditation of Authorized Inspection Agencies - Current Member-Alternate
National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) - Vice President, Board of Directors

Correcting Leaking Flanges

Bolted flange joints can be extremely complicated parts of pressure equipment.  Leaking flanges can have personnel health and safety, environmental, fire, and loss of production implications.  We have extensive experience and expertise in solving leaking flange problems.  One of our experts, Clyde Neely, is the founding chair of ASME PCC-1: Guidelines for Pressure Boundary Bolted Flange Joint Assembly.  Often, leaking flanges can be solved by applying well-tested techniques from our wealth of experience.  Other times, analysis (including finite element analysis) is needed to both pinpoint the cause of the leakage and simulate the proposed solution.  Our track record of solving leaking flanges is the envy of the industry.

Evaluation of In-Service Damage

We are frequently called in to evaluate damage (cracks, corrosion, blisters, etc) on equipment that remains in-service.  We have been able to quickly perform the Fitness-For-Service assessments to assist the plant operations in determining if the equipment remains safe to operate.  We work with plant operations to evaluate further deterioration mechanisms to determine the optimal time to perform repairs.  Often the damage is found in routine inspections between turn-arounds.  If the equipment can be safely operated until the next planned outage, we will recommend that and work with plant operations for further in-service inspection/monitoring.

Finite Element Analysis - Mechanical/Thermal/Fatigue

Becht Engineering has developed a reputation as one of the premier providers of Design-By-Analysis services.  We have a deep reservoir of staff that perfrom finite element analysis using commercial programs such as ABAQUS, ANSYS, SolidWorks and products of Paulin Research Group.  Types of analysis include linear and nonlinear analysis, stress, heat transfer and dynamics including seismic. Given the many analytical tools available, we are able to choose the most efficient and cost-effective tool for the task at hand; for example, we frequently use non-linear analysis to develop more efficient equipment designs and/or to demonstrate that existing equipment is fit for service. Our extensive code expertise enables us to provide authoritative interpretations of the analysis results. Our experts include such frequently published engineers as Greg Hollinger, Trevor Seipp, and Dr. Charles Becht.

Becht FFS Form

FFS button onForm

We are organized to quickly and efficiently handle all levels of Fitness-For-Service assessments including rapid response to emergency situations where quick assessments are required to keep a plant running or when damage is found.

For immediate response, contact our FFS coordinator, Magnus Gustafsson (click to email / phone at 571-550-0722) or complete the form. Your form request will go to Mr. Gustafsson, as well as our President, Chuck Becht and General Manager, John Basil.

A quick response is guaranteed!