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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.

Crane Mats of the Future – Timber, Composite or Steel

crane_mats_fig4
Where will crane mats be in 10 years, 20 years, 50 years? It takes approximately 90 years to grow a 12-inch by 12-inch oak timber twenty feet long. High quality hardwood timbers are becoming harder to find. This is widely known but rarely discussed. The shortage of wood timbers is a national problem. Timber Mats Crane mats have typically been constructed using oak or other select hardwood timbers.  In recent years, as supply dwindles, timbers do not measure a full 12-inch cross section. As they are milled, we often see one or more sides are not square but rounded due to the smaller diameter of the raw cut logs. In some cases, we are seeing timber mats made from mixed wood species, and some with combined hard and soft woods. Ground bearing pressure and load distribution calculations for timber mats are based on a full cross section of matched hardwood with...
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Do I Have to Replace My Bulged Pressure Vessel?

Figure1-Bulged_Shape_of_Vessel-cover Need to replace bulged pressure vessel?
There are a variety of conditions an in-service component (e.g. vessel, tank, piping) can be found in.  The purpose of Fitness-for-Service (FFS) is to evaluate the integrity of an in-service component given a certain degraded condition and rate it for future service considering potential for any additional degradation.  A degraded condition does not have to just be based on corrosion. Sometimes a component can experience a large deformation due to unexpected one-time loads resulting in stresses greater than yield.  When such a large deformation event occurs it is important to inspect the vessel to make sure no cracking occurred during the deformation event.  If it is found that the impacted area is defect-free then the next step is to determine if the component can operate in the deformed shape. One example of a non-corrosion related degraded condition is a bulged tank.  Figure 1 shows an example of a tank that bulged...
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Charles Becht V

FFS approach

Yes, any degraded condition that goes beyond the tolerances of the original Code of Construction must be demonstrated to meet cert... Read More
Thursday, 11 April 2019 21:14
Trevor Seipp

CSA B51-14 and AB-535

The situation of vessels that have damage is not something that is well covered by the Canadian Codes. CSA B51-14 does not addres... Read More
Friday, 12 April 2019 19:09
Charles Becht V

common approach

By common approach I simply mean pressure vessels are essentially designed identically. In the case of this vessel, an ASME Secti... Read More
Thursday, 11 April 2019 22:25
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Risk-Based Work Selection (RBWS) – Choosing a Software Tool

software-tool-cover Choosing the right software tool for RBWS
Using the right software tool can save time and improve results of Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS) which is a standalone work process aimed at optimizing turnaround (TA) work scopes.  RBWS uses risk assessments to determine if individual worklist items are justified by Health, Safety, & Environmental Risks or Financial Risks.  Significant reductions in turnaround work scopes typically result from this structured work process. Becht Engineering has conducted RBWS sessions using a variety of tools ranging from Excel spreadsheets to our custom-built STRAITS Software.  Some tools have distinct advantages over others, so we wanted to highlight why a specialized tool should be used for RBWS and what are the key features to look for when selecting a tool.  Why is a Specialized Tool Needed? The information necessary to conduct an RBWS should already exist.  The challenge is digging the information out of desk drawers, databases, and excel spreadsheets, and organizing it...
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All That Glitters Is Not Gold - Due Diligence Can Define The True Value

pot_of_gold_rainbow
A few years ago I conducted what might be the world's cheapest, fastest and most cost effective due diligence study ever done. This study took one hour and cost the client about $500.  I was approached by two new members of a well-recognized financial institution. They were assigned to evaluate opportunities to capture low cost natural gas. They had discovered an ammonia plant for sale in an intensely agricultural region in the Midwest-US. Considering feedstock cost, proximity to market and asking price for the plant, they thought this was a gold mine.  Their superiors had some concern about the enormous enthusiasm of these new employees and asked them to evaluate the condition of the asset to determine if it would perform at reasonable rates with acceptable mechanical availability. That is when they reached out to me. A call was scheduled and they explained the situation and “golden” opportunity. They we indeed...
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