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Becht piping services

Becht Engineering provides expert consulting services in the areas of piping design, analysis, and troubleshooting across the Oil & Gas, Process and Power industries.

Becht has performed numerous designs, design reviews, analyses, and troubleshooting of piping systems.  This includes flexibility analysis, dynamic analysis, vibration troubleshooting, water hammer and other fluid transient analysis, and piping specification preparation and review.  We have designed and analyzed both metallic piping systems and non-metallic piping systems such as lined pipe, fiberglass and other reinforced thermosetting resin systems and thermoplastic pipe. These piping services span the Oil & Gas, Process and Power industries.

Below are more specific services that Becht supplies in the area of Power Piping across all industries:

  • Condition and Life Assessment Program of Critical Piping and Pipe Support Systems
  • Troubleshooting of Piping and Mechanical Equipment
  • Reviews and Studies of Piping Designs
  • Plant Start-up Support
  • Plant Arrangements
  • Modular Design
  • Project Management

Becht Piping Services by Industry

  • Oil & Gas/Process
  • Fossil Power
  • Nuclear Power

Piping Specifications

Becht Engineering has piping experts that work with clients in a variety of oil & gas and process industries and who participate or have participated in several industry standards groups such as ASME B16, ASME B31 and API Refinery Department. The combination of years of experience writing international and national standards, writing corporate and project specifications, and encountering and solving a variety of piping problems gives Becht Engineering a unique set of experiences to develop on-target piping specifications.

Becht Engineering has commented on and developed from scratch piping specifications of all types for many different clients. These types of specifications include:

  • Piping material specifications
  • Valve and other component specifications
  • Design guides covering subjects such as flexibility analysis, support selection, cathodic protection and heat tracing
  • Construction specifications covering fabrication, examination, installation and testing

Becht Engineering has also commented on and developed from scratch piping specifications for specific projects. These included scope of work and design criteria documents.

High Pressure Design

Becht Engineering is expert in the design and analysis of high pressure equipment.  Our staff includes the former Chair of the high pressure subgroup of ASME B31.3 responsible for Chapter IX rules and the former long time Chair of the Subgroup on High Pressure Vessels, which is responsible for the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII, Division 3.  We have designed piping and pressure vessels for pressures in excess  of 3,500 bar, such as for the manufacture of low density polyethylene (LDPE).  We have reviewed and commented on the design of  pressure vessels for pressures up to 6,000 bar.  Our designs have included high pressure composite vessels for natural gas transport (glass fiber) and hydrogen fuel tanks (carbon fiber). We use our in-house fracture mechanics software for the design of such equipment for cyclic loading.

Flanged Joints

Bolted flange joints can be extremely complicated parts of pressure equipment.  Leaking flanges can have personnel health and safety, environmental, fire, and loss of production implications.  We have extensive experience and expertise in solving leaking flange problems.  One of our experts, Clyde Neely, is the founding chair of ASME PCC-1: Guidelines for Pressure Boundary Bolted Flange Joint Assembly.  Often, leaking flanges can be solved by applying well-tested techniques from our wealth of experience.  Other times, analysis (including finite element analysis) is needed to both pinpoint the cause of the leakage and simulate the proposed solution.  Our track record of solving leaking flanges is the envy of the industry.

Plant-Wide Fire Water Systems

Refineries, petrochemical plants and other facilities with their own dedicated firewater distribution systems need to know the capacity of their firewater systems to prepare for major incidents, to comply with local, state and federal  regulations, or to demonstrate that their facilities have adequate firefighting capacity for insurance purposes.

Commonly, a facility's firefighting department, with assistance from maintenance or operations personnel will perform a few firewater system tests annually, in which a number of hydrants within a part of the site will be opened and flow data recorded. This approach is often less than systematic and may not be sufficient to provide a proper assessment of the system's capability or deficiencies. A complete systematic approach is necessary to provide a proper assessment of the system's strengths and weaknesses. A systematic approach is necessary to consider "what-if" scenarios, which could include, for example, the simulated loss of a key pump or the breakage of critical underground mains.

We have developed firewater system models for the existing systems in refineries, predicted their performance, correlated results with testing, and determined the system demand.

A recent project for a client involved the development of firewater loads for all of the onsite process areas and for a number of the more critical tank storage fire risk areas. The firewater grid model contained over 30 miles of piping, over 1,800 individual pipes, over 1,800 junctions including approximately 800 hydrants plus seven firewater pumps and miscellaneous system wide leaks. To complete the model we reviewed and modeled nearly 100 individual D-size sub-drawings of the firewater grid. Using our approach our team was able to construct and preliminarily validate the model in less than eight weeks. The resulting flow simulations reproduced the site's existing test data to within a few percent of the flows and pressures. Later we assisted the client in evaluating several options to enhance firewater coverage by performing analyses on alternative cases.

Fossil Power Piping Engineering & Design

Becht fossil piping services include:

  • Pipe line sizing (ΔP, V)
  • P&ID development
  • Pipe & Pipe Support Specifications
  • Piping layouts
  • Modularization and Optimization
  • Stress analysis
  • Pipe Support design
  • Coordination with equipment suppliers
  • Coordination with civil/structural loading
  • Construction and Fabrication drawings
  • Fabrication Specifications
  • Erection sequence and procedures
  • Field Technical Support during erection, startup and commissioning

Condition and Life Assessment Program of Critical Piping and Pipe Support Systems

This includes piping design, pipe stress analysis, pipe support design, engineering assessment of pipe condition and its fitness for service.

Utilizing an integrated approach to plant life assessment whereby a utility can maximize its knowledge of a plant's condition with a minimum of expenditures. This integrated approach to plant life assessment, where the past history of the plant coupled with a walk-down of the plant high energy piping systems, can be used to form the basis of a detailed inspection plan. Establishment of this detailed inspection plan identify the appropriate systems to be inspected and establish the level and type of inspections to be performed. The inspection data obtained than provides the basis for determining the condition of the plant. This integrated approach recognizes the interrelationship between the various plant systems. Boiler, piping, pipe supports, deaerator, condenser, etc have a synergistic affect which plays a part in establishing the most cost effective plant life assessment program.

The assessment process consists of:

  • Physical examination of the major plant systems utilizing line walk-downs to document hot/cold hanger readings and benchmarked thermal movements at strategic points in the system,
  • Pipe Stress Analysis, (PSA), to document original and current system stresses, loads and displacements,
  • Metallurgical, non-destructive examination (NDE) inspections including ultrasonic, magnetic particle, (at locations selected based on the PSA), and specialized techniques to assess hydrogen damage and oxide film thickness.

Troubleshooting of Fossil Piping and Mechanical Equipment

Typical problems are:

  • Identification, analysis and resolution of unexpected flow induced transient events such as relief valve , water hammer, steam hammer and water slug analysis.
  • Resolution of piping problems such as piping interferences, insufficient flexibility, incorrect slope and broken or inadequate hangers
  • Review and recommend solutions to turbine misalignment, vibration, rubbing or balancing ("horn load") problems
  • Flow induced piping vibration
  • Mechanical equipment problems such as pump vibrations, leaking flanges at equipment connections and repeated failure of expansion joints
  • Piping and tube failures to identify the root cause of failure using metallurgical inspection methods (NDE)
  • Pipe Supports not performing their intended function
  • Damage assessment

Reviews and Studies of Piping Designs

Design Reviews include items such as Heat Balances, Process Flow Diagrams and P&I Diagrams.

Specifics in piping design study include:

  • Pipe sizing, material selection, thickness/schedule selection, long lead material pre-buy
  • Advisory on critical pipe fabrication related issues
  • High Pressure/Energy piping system layouts
  • High Pressure/Energy piping interface studies
  • Pipe Rack layouts (Combined Cycle Power Plants)
  • Stress analysis
  • Pipe support concepts
  • BOP piping arrangements
  • Plant Modularization concepts

Becht Nuclear Piping services include:

Mechanical and Structural Integrity Assesments

  • Operability assessment in accordance with ASME codes and NRC regulations
  • Evaluation and resolution of damage
  • Accident and failure analysis for equipment and piping systems
  • Buried pipe assessment programs and support
  • Advanced analysis methods, extreme loads analyses
  • Repair and replacements in accordance with ASME codes and NRC regulations

ThermoHydraulics Analysis

  • Pump, compressors and valves selection and sizing
  • Flow induced-vibration
  • Fluid-structure interaction analysis and resolution

Materials and Corrosion

  • Corrosion root cause analysis and resolution
  • Welding quality issues resolutions

Piping Staff

Becht's senior specialists in piping include Dr. Charles Becht, Don Frikken, both former Chairmen of the ASME B31.3, Process Piping Committee and Frank Fronek, Division Manager of the Piping Services group.