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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.

The Becht Expert Witness – A Partner with Credibility

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In any legal case it is very important to establish a true partnership between the law firm and the expert witness. This partnership facilitates an effective, balanced team with both technical and legal knowledge. This will provide the client with the most cost-effective solution and best chance for a favorable outcome during trial or arbitration.  In some legal cases the expert is kept in a strict “need to know” position rather than being a partner. This situation can hinder the expert’s ability to evaluate the situation and add cost due to potential misunderstanding and rework.  This can also put the expert in an awkward position during deposition and trial since the legal teams have facts that may not have been disclosed to the expert. This does not mean the expert has to review all discovery materials but rather needs to have a complete overview or summary of all relevant issues in...
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Securing the Right Expert to Support Your Lawsuit

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On March 25, 2016 I published a Blog titled “ Expert Witness, a Becht Engineering Service to Avoid ”. This Blog focused on a number of elements that can be used to assure projects do not result in litigation. These elements include: Developing a sound, complete scope of work Selecting a qualified contractor Using proven industry standards with specific addenda Putting a highly experienced management and technical team in the contractor’s office Implementing shop and field quality assurance programs Demanding timely reporting from the contractor However, we find that many times these elements are not implemented on major projects and there is a dispute over cost, schedule or performance resulting in litigation. There can also be cases involving equipment failures, underperformance of projects, patent infringement or injury where we are contacted after the litigation process is well under way. In these cases, it is critical the legal team engage the right...
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Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) Transfer Line Flexibility - Analysis and Design Considerations

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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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Risk Assessment of Refinery Hydroprocessing Unit Reactor Effluent Air Coolers (REACs) Made of Duplex Stainless Steel (DSS)

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Cracking of REAC Duplex Stainless Steel Failures of Refinery Hydroprocessing Unit REACs made of 2205 DSS have in some cases resulted in significant plant damage and extended outages for repairs.  In a few  cases, header box welds have ruptured.  Additionally, failures have occurred at tube-to-tubesheet welds and in REAC inlet and outlet piping made of DSS.  A sufficient number of failures have been reported that the API Subcommittee on Corrosion and Materials has initiated a program to survey the refining industry to understand how wide spread the issue is and to better identify factors leading to cracking.  Additionally, some process licensors have notified their customers of potential concerns and have suggested they undertake risk assessments of their DSS REACs.  In early 2016, the Materials Technology Institute (MTI) issued a publication “Fabrication of 2205 Duplex Stainless Steel REACs in Refinery Hydroprocessing Units” that reviewed case histories of failures and provided guidance on...
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