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Dr. Eileen Chant has 25 years of experience in the areas of engineering project management, modeling and performance evaluation of mechanical and energy systems. She has managed a number of projects developing and applying risk-based inspection methodologies and software tools for use by the process and power industry in developing cost-effective inspection and maintenance programs in accordance with API RP-580 and the ASME Inspection Planning Document, PCC-3. She has also managed projects developing andapplying fitness-for service software tools in accordance with API 579/FFS-1 and new methodologies for collection, management and statistical analysis of NDE data.

Fired Heater Risk Ranking - Owners Can Mitigate Risks Of Operation

fired-heater-cover
...by Eileen Chant and Abby King Fired heaters are critical equipment items in the process industries and are often overlooked since they don’t fit nicely into a single category of equipment or existing programs in the same way a pump or pressure vessel does. Safe and reliable operation is essential to avoiding adverse health, safety, and environmental consequences. Poor heater conditions and plant practices can increase the risk of a loss of containment (LOC) event, potentially resulting in fire and/or explosion. This can also increase the likelihood of plant personnel being exposed to hazardous situations when starting and operating the heater, or when responding to emergencies. Plants should look for opportunities for improved operations, inspections and maintenance to mitigate the risks associated with the operation of fired heaters. The risk-based approach described is used to identify potential threats to health and safety during operation by assigning a risk to each identified...
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Brittle Fracture Resistance Workbook API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 Approach (Fitness-For-Service)

Brittle Fracture Resistance Workbook API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 Approach (Fitness-For-Service)
Description Process vessels such as towers, drums and heat exchangers may be exposed to low temperatures as a part of normal operation or as the result of an upset condition. Carbon and low alloy steels typically used in process vessels undergo a transition from ductile to brittle behavior as temperature is reduced and are at increased risk of brittle fracture at low temperature. To reduce this risk, the ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code contains requirements for vessels and vessel components with respect to low temperature operation. While these rules are applicable to new construction, API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 Fitness-For-Service uses the Code rules as the basis for evaluating the brittle fracture resistance of existing vessels. This article discusses an approach and spreadsheet tool that was used to provide a client with operating pressure limits as a function of decreasing vessel metal temperature. These limits were used as part of the client’s...
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Statistical Analysis of Non-Destructive Examination Data

Statistical Analysis of Non-Destructive Examination Data
In 2008, Becht Engineering was awarded a project by the Materials Technology Institute (MTI) to develop an inspection guideline document and software tool for the collection and analysis of inspection data for piping, piping components and pressure vessels. Dr. Eileen Chant , as project manager, collaborated with Bob Sims of Becht, Dr. Mark Stone of Sonomatic Ltd., the ultrasonic inspection technology company affiliated with Becht, and Dr. William Meeker, a statistics expert at Iowa State University. MTI was founded in 1977 and is a not-for-profit technology development organization serving the needs of its members in key processing industries such as Refining, Mining, Energy production, Chemical production and other manufacturing industries for which safe and reliable fluid storage is critical. A typical refinery or chemical plant may have hundreds of miles of piping and hundreds of pressure vessels that require regular inspection to permit their safe and reliable operation. The inspection document...
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Materials Technology Institute Polymeric Risk-Based Inspection Pilot Project

Materials Technology Institute Polymeric Risk-Based Inspection Pilot Project
Becht was selected by the Materials Technology Institute (MTI) to adapt its Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) methodology to develop an RBI work process for above-ground, fiberglass reinforced polymer (FRP) storage tanks.  The Becht RBI methodology, which complies with API RP 580, was initially used for metallic fixed equipment and has been expanded to other types of equipment. With a successful demonstration on FRP tanks the methodology is expected to be broadened to other non-metallic structures used in the chemical and refining industry. A major component of the project was to develop damage mechanism documentation for each of the five chemicals / tank construction combinations defined during a project development meeting with the Becht team, MTI project team and a group of FRP subject matter experts. The figure above shows an example graphic which aids the user in identifying tank damage mechanisms. A simple, user friendly spreadsheet tool to guide the user through...
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