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Fixed Equipment

Double Containment Pipe

Becht Engineering has performed  many design, analysis, and design review projects on double wall piping systems constructed of metallic, thermoplastic (e.g. polypropylene), and thermosetting (e.g. FRP) material. We have found, particularly in our design review activities, that a commonly misunderstood and/or neglected aspect of the design is differential thermal expansion between the inner and outer pipe. This can be from normal operating temperatures of the contained fluid, or during occasional events such as steam out.

The common situation is when the inner pipe may contain a hot fluid and expand lengthwise relative to the outer pipe. It also can contract relative to the outer pipe when containing cold fluids. An additional contributor, which can be significant for plastic piping systems due to their lower stiffness, is longitudinal expansion due to internal pressure.   The relative strength of the inner and outer pipe is also an issue when nonmetallic pipe is used to enclose metallic pipe.  The differential thermal expansion can be accommodated using a floating system where the inner pipe is free to expand within the outer pipe (this is normally the required option when nonmetallic pipe encloses metallic pipe) and a fully restrained system in which the inner and outer pipe are connected, and differential thermal expansion is restrained by axial forces in the piping.  Design of the connecting elements and consideration of buckling are key elements to the latter design approach.

Becht Engineering has designed many double containment systems using both of the above approaches. 

Plant-Wide Firewater Distribution Systems

Becht has the capabilities and software to analyze large-scale firewater networks and has conducted the evaluation of firewater networks for two US refineries. Both networks included several hundred hydrants, a number of firewater pumps and several miles of underground piping. Becht evaluated the system pressures and flow capacities for a number firefighting contingencies and participated in the testing of the systems.

New/Novel Vessel Design and Specification

newscaleupvesselBecht engineers have worked closely with the corporate research and engineering organizations of a number of companies on equipment designs for new/scaled-up equipment technology. This work included preparation of both process and mechanical design specifications and fabrication drawings for a biomass facility and the scale-up of the major process vessels in a manufacturing process for industrial gases and a chemical production process.







Vessel Rerating

Becht conducts rerates of pressure vessels for different operating conditions, e.g., higher pressures and/or higher or lower temperatures.  Rerates are permissible under certain conditions that in the US are specified by the NBIC (National Board Inspection Code). Analysis is required to demonstrate the vessel meets ASME Code rules at the new design conditions. An inspection is also required to determine if deterioration has occurred and if found, a Fitness-for-Service analysis per API 579 is conducted to determine if repairs or component replacement are necessary. In addition we have conducted studies for clients who want to bring a used or non-code stamped vessel into their plant. These types of studies require meeting the regulations set by the jurisdiction (usually the State).  Whether it is a rerate or "state approved pressure vessel," Becht can provide the full service, i.e., analysis, inspection, fitness for service and pull together the full package for jurisdictional or state approval.


Mechanical Specifications Development & Reviews

Becht Engineering has substantial experience with development and review of mechanical specifications, owing to our experience with owner organizations.  We have reviewed or developed everything from corporate specifications to specific equipment specifications, and everything in between.

On behalf of our clients, we have 1) reviewed mechanical design specifications prepared by others, e.g., an EPC contractor, 2) developed generic mechanical (purchase) specifications which the client can readily adapt to cover different design conditions and locations, and 3) developed detailed specifications for a specific vessel including fabrication drawings. The specifications are in sufficient detail for an owner to solicit bids from fabricators and would cover applicable codes, materials of construction, design, fabrication, inspection, testing and shipping.  Preparation of a specification of this detail typically requires sufficient analysis, e.g., Finite Element Stress and Heat Transfer analyses to support the design.

Offsite and Utilities

Becht has the expertise to provide design basis, basic designs and optimization for cooling water, boiler feedwater treatment, steam/power generation and distribution, compressed air, flare gas recovery, fuel gas and fuel oil systems, tankage, blending and product receiving/loading systems.  We also model process plant firewater systems, including determining demand requirements, and evaluating system performance.Becht specialists provide practical recommendations to improve reliability.  Further, we troubleshoot and correct operating problems such as waterhammer problems in steam systems.

Brittle Fracture Assessment

Becht Engineering has significant expertise in brittle fracture assessments.  We hold over 40 positions in ASME, API, and ASTM Codes and Standards Committees, and have chaired many of them. Bob Sims was one of the original developers of the API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 guideline document. A number of our experts are current or past members of the API 579-1/ASME FFS -1 committee, including several committee vice-chair members.

Fracture mechanics and brittle fracture assessments are used in two different situations, Fitness-For-Service and Design of Section VIII, Division 3 vessels.

Our Brittle Fracture Assessment Methodology evaluates the potential for brittle fracture in vessels subject to colder operation using Levels 2 and 3 assessments, as well as those with existing cracks to be evaluated for fatigue life, using a Level 3 assessment. Our approaches are compliant with API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 and ASME Section VIII, Division 3 fracture mechanics methodologies for brittle fracture and fracture mechanics. Our web-based software is designed to facilitate rapid computation of the minimum allowable temperature (MAT) curve from 0 to design pressure, and compare with applicable fluid depressurization curves and the site’s critical exposure temperature (CET).

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Becht brittle fracture with chart400

evel 2 Brittle Fracture Assessment

Example Projects for Brittle Fracture

Becht has performed many studies and reviews involving brittle fracture, such as:

Level 2 brittle fracture review of over 2,000 pressure vessels for an international petrochemical company.  These vessels had not been designed for the low temperatures that could occur as a result of auto-refrigeration.  Most of these assessments were based on API 579, Level 2 methods and were performed very rapidly using our custom FFS software.

  • Customized depressurization curves using client data
  • Assisted with procedures for developing engineering and administrative controls for protection of the vessels.

Level 2 brittle fracture review of 70 pressure vessels for a US based chemical company.

  • Calculated stress ratios using Compress to help lower the MSOT by using the stress ratio approach in API-579/ ASME FFS-1 Part 3.

Level 2 & 3 brittle fracture review of 120 pressure vessels for an olefins plant.

  • Customized depressurization curves for auto-refrigeration events and plotted these versus the master temperature curve of the vessel.
  • Calculated stress ratios using Compress.

FFS Software

We utilize our proprietary API 579 Fitness for Service software package. Our software was developed for performing brittle fracture screening, fracture mechanics, pitting and local/general metal loss analyses.

Capabilities Include:

  • Brittle Fracture per API 579-1/ ASME FFS-1 Part 3, Levels 1, 2A, 2B, 2C
  • Fracture Mechanics per API 579-1/ ASME FFS-1 Part 9 & ASME VIII, Div 3, Article KD-4
  • General Metal Loss per API 579-1/ ASME FFS-1 Part 4, Levels 1 and 2
  • Local Metal Loss per API 579-1/ ASME FFS-1 Part 5 and B31G, Levels 1 and 2 5) Pitting per API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 Part 6, Level 1 6) Additional MAWP and T-min calculations
  • Pitting Level 1 per API 579-1/ASME FFS-1, Part 3
  • Weld Misalignment per API 579-1/ASME FFS-1, Part 8


Download Becht’s FFS software brochure

Becht Fitness For Service

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We are organized to quickly and efficiently handle all levels of Fitness-For-Service assessments including rapid response to emergency situations where quick assessments are required to keep a plant running or when damage is found.

For immediate response, contact our FFS coordinator, Magnus Gustafsson (click to email / phone at 571-550-0722) or complete the form. Your form request will go to Mr. Gustafsson, as well as our President, Chuck Becht and General Manager, John Basil.

A quick response is guaranteed!

Finite Element Analysis

Becht Finite Element Analysis
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Becht Engineering has developed a reputation as one of the premier providers of Design-By-Analysis services.  We have a deep reservoir of staff that perfrom finite element analysis using commercial programs such as ABAQUS, ANSYS, SolidWorks and products of Paulin Research Group.  Types of analysis include linear and nonlinear analysis, stress, heat transfer and dynamics including seismic.

Given the many analytical tools available, we are able to choose the most efficient and cost-effective tool for the task at hand; for example, we frequently use non-linear analysis to develop more efficient equipment designs and/or to demonstrate that existing equipment is fit for service. Our extensive code expertise enables us to provide authoritative interpretations of the analysis results. Our experts include such frequently published engineers as Greg Hollinger, Trevor Seipp, and Dr. Charles Becht.