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Featured Projects

High Temperature Valve Transient FEA

valvefeaBecht engineers performed this analysis on a high temperature valve for a jet engine test facility. The valve had an operating temperature of 1850°F with short term excursions to 2075°F. The valve is exposed to thermal shock heating due to the jet engine gas being forced through it at a high velocity. The work included a finite element thermal transient analysis, coupled with a stress analysis, to determine the stresses on the valve during the heat up and cool down during operation. We determined that the highest stresses were experienced only a few seconds into the transient cycle, something that a steady state analysis would not have captured. Using the information from the stress analysis, a fatigue life assessment was performed on the valve.

Specialized Design

Special Purpose Computer Program for Large Diameter (10-30ft)
Gas-Gas Heat Exchanger Design

gas heat exchangerSpecialized equipment oftentimes do not lend themselves to standard design tools or even Finite Element Analysis which can be expensive for complex equipment and require individuals with background in FEA. In this case the client's design methodology used a combination of experience, hand calculations, spreadsheets and subcontracted analysis using proprietary software. Their desire was to have all the design done in one comprehensive in-house software package with the capability of investigating multiple design options rapidly. Over an elapsed time of about one-year Becht developed Windows based application with a user friendly interface for the design of large diameter, fixed tubesheet, gas-to-gas heat exchangers. The program, uses the method of finite differences supplemented with built in subroutines, e.g., materials allowable stresses, perforated tubesheets, etc. based on ASME Code Section VIII, Div. 1 rules. The program was validated using more elaborate FEA methods.


Deflagration Events

baghouseDeflagration is a combustion that propagates through a gas/dust mixture at a rapid rate. Dust collection systems often use bag houses to enclose long tubular filters to remove the dust from a gas/air before it is vented. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have rules for suppressing the combustion or venting the excess pressure that occurs in a deflagration. In this case the client had a bag house and wanted to determine if it was structurally adequate to contain the rapid rise in pressure without a catastrophic failure. Although the baghouse had a suppression system, it takes time for the system to detect a deflagration and for the suppressant to be injected into and baghouse., i.e., there is a lag time between the very rapid pressure rise and slower suppressant activation time. In the Finite Element Analysis (FEA), the dynamic pressure rise was applied internally to the sides, top and bottom of the baghouse as shown in the pressure-time history graph. The peak pressure occurs in less than 50 milliseconds and reaches a level of nearly 3 psig, the maximum unsuppressed pressure that the baghouse must sustain without failure. The figure shows the stresses in the baghouse with the grey areas exceeding two-thirds of the yield stress of the material. Structural modifications were recommended to meet the required NFPA requirements.

Vessel Life Assessment

Vessel Remaining Life Assessment

pressure vesselAn incident in a process used to remove contaminants from a process waste gas required the shutdown of the unit. The process contains multiple similar vessels that follow the same pressure and temperature cycle daily. The vessels had been in service for more than 40 years. (A typical pressure cycle is shown in the sketch.) The client wanted to determine a safe remaining life for the vessels. As an initial step, Becht conducted a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) using the operating pressure and temperature cycles. The focus was on those areas of the vessel with high peak stresses where a crack may already exist or develop in future operation. The remaining fatigue life was based on the methods in ASME Code Section VIII, Div. 2. Working with our affiliated company (Sonomatic) an estimate was developed of the minimum detectable crack size in the vessel wall. Becht recommended a fracture mechanics crack growth analysis be conducted to determine the number of cycles for a crack of the minimum detectable size to grow/propagate through the vessel wall. This information is used to set the maximum interval between inspections and to set a safe margin below the number of cycles for a through-wall crack to occur. Based on the outcomes of the above a long-term inspection program for the vessels could be established,

Technology Scale Up

New Process Technology Scale-up

new process1Becht has worked closely with the a number of our clients' process research and engineering groups on the on the scale-up of new process technology. One example of such an activity is the development of a process and mechanical design specification for a pyrolysis-based fluid bed biomass pilot plant. Becht engineers in the areas of fluid-solids process design, process simulation, analytical methods and mechanical design worked with a joint venture company to develop a process design specification of sufficient detail to provide an EPC contractor information needed to develop the detailed design. The specification included the preliminary design of the three major vessels (see reactor sketch) and solids transfer lines. In addition, Becht worked on the development of the process model (PROII simulation), the characterization of liquid product from the reactor overhead system and recommended the analytical laboratory program and methods needed to characterize the reactor overhead products