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Becht Engineering Blog

In this section of the site contributing authors submit interesting articles relating to the various services, industries and research & development efforts of Becht Engineering.

ASME B31.3 - Substantive Changes in the 2018 Edition for Process Piping

B31-3_ASME
In addition to the many clarifications, updated references to codes and standards, updates to basic allowable stresses, and added listed materials, there are several substantive changes to the 2016 Edition of ASME B31.3, Process Piping, which is scheduled to be issued mid-January 2019. These substantive changes are: Owner Added specific permission for the owner to designate a representative to carry out selected responsibilities required by this Code, and noted that the owner retains ultimate responsibility for the actions of the representatives. Flange Design Added the ASME B&PV Code Section VIII, Division 2, para. 4.16 flange calculation method as an acceptable way to design flanges for B31.3 applications. The Division 2 procedure considers pressure, gasket seating, and externally applied axial forces and net-section bending moments. Stress Intensification and Flexibility Factors Added specific references to ASME B31J-2017 as a resource for stress intensification and flexibility factors as an alternate to Appendix D. High Cycle Fatigue...
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Identifying Gaps in Risk Based Inspection Programs (RBI) That Impact Reliability

heater-tube-bundle
Risk based inspection (RBI) is a powerful tool to identify and manage mechanical integrity risks in fixed equipment and piping but is only one part of a robust reliability program.  RBI informs inspection decision making on where, when and how to inspect most of equipment but is frequently misinterpreted as a “Silver Bullet” that covers all necessary inspection activities in a refinery.  Most RBI programs have significant gaps that can result in costly reliability issues or unjustified maintenance costs.  RBI gaps can exist where risk assessments require input from outside of an inspection department or mechanical integrity group.  Examples of these gaps are when failures have process consequences but not mechanical integrity concerns, such as tube leaks in shell and tube heat exchangers and cyclones in an FCC Unit.  Another example is when mechanical integrity is dependent upon other systems functioning per design, such as fired heater tubes.  Quantitative RBI Programs...
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Reducing Loss of Primary Containment (LOPC's) in a Refinery

cover-LOPCs
Reducing Loss of Primary Containment (LOPC's) or commonly referred to as “leaks” in a refinery is a key factor to improve reliability.  Historically, most refiners reduced the high consequence leaks to avoid major incidents; however, lower consequence related leaks were not given high priority.  Today high reliability is required, and reduction of all leaks is desired due to greater legal and regulatory oversight of the industry.  Approximately 90% of the leaks occur in piping systems.  These leaks typically fall into 3 categories; internal corrosion, flange leaks and external corrosion.  Many refiners have programs in place for internal corrosion and programs for flanged joints; however, many lack comprehensive programs for external corrosion. To fully reduce LOPCs a comprehensive internal and external corrosion management system is necessary. Background Many refineries have had Mechanical Integrity related audits performed during the last decade.  These audits have found many areas for improvements and programs were initiated...
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Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) Transfer Line Flexibility - Analysis and Design Considerations

fcc-3images-ppt
FCC’s are complex units - and the design of their transfer lines has some unique considerations.   While many of the lines are refractory lined to permit construction with carbon steel piping, some sections are hot walled, at temperatures well into the creep range, for the purpose of balancing thermal expansion or, in the case of piping between the final catalyst separations device and flue gas expanders, to prevent dislodged chunks of refractory from being drawn into and damaging the expander.  Below are some critical considerations: The stiffness of the piping and resultant loads on equipment are affected by the presence of internal refractory . The composite action of the steel pipe and refractory needs to be considered.  Note that this is not simply including the refractory as a monolithic element, since the refractory will have shrinkage cracks.  There is a paper by T Chadda on an approach that can be...
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