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.
Becht staff include over ten senior materials experts with expertise in applications including power, refinining, petrochemical and chemical facilities, and materials including metals, coatings and linings, and nonmetals such as refractories, thermoplastics (e.g., high density polyethylene) and reinforced thermosetting resins (e.g., fiberglass).  O...ur services include material selection, establishing operating envelopes for equipment, failure analysis, remaining life assessment, and establishing deterioration mechanisms and their associated probabilities for risk based inspection and development of equipment reliability plans.  We are experts in modifications to existing chemical processes to alleviate and control corrosion that allows continued operation of existing equipment.  We are experts in the equipment requirements for processing corrosive crudes (e.g. high TAN crudes such as Doba crude) as well as material applications for high temperature services such as steam cracking furnaces and furnaces to produce synthesis gas. More

New Method for Prioritizing Equipment for Inspection and Replacement in HTHA Service

New Method for Prioritizing Equipment for Inspection and Replacement in HTHA Service
Gerrit Buchheim, Manager of the Pono Division of Becht Engineering, has developed a practical and simple-to-use approach to prioritizing the inspection and replacement of equipment in High Temperature Hydrogen Attack ( HTHA ) service.  This approach utilizes the existing and accepted “Nelson Curve”, but adapts it to better fit the realized operating conditions at an individual facility, based on several factors that have not been previously considered. Background Historically, the industry has used experienced-based curves (API 941 Nelson Curves) in the selection of materials as well as evaluating existing in-service equipment.   These curves have served the industry well to now, but in the past 5 years, there have been several notable cases of HTHA that fall below the established curves and there is still a sizeable base of C-0.5 Mo equipment operating above the carbon steel curve.  Therefore, industry needed a more realistic method for evaluating existing equipment in potential...
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Statistical Analysis of Non-Destructive Examination Data

Statistical Analysis of Non-Destructive Examination Data
In 2008, Becht Engineering was awarded a project by the Materials Technology Institute (MTI) to develop an inspection guideline document and software tool for the collection and analysis of inspection data for piping, piping components and pressure vessels. Dr. Eileen Chant , as project manager, collaborated with Bob Sims of Becht, Dr. Mark Stone of Sonomatic Ltd., the ultrasonic inspection technology company affiliated with Becht, and Dr. William Meeker, a statistics expert at Iowa State University. MTI was founded in 1977 and is a not-for-profit technology development organization serving the needs of its members in key processing industries such as Refining, Mining, Energy production, Chemical production and other manufacturing industries for which safe and reliable fluid storage is critical. A typical refinery or chemical plant may have hundreds of miles of piping and hundreds of pressure vessels that require regular inspection to permit their safe and reliable operation. The inspection...
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Materials Technology Institute Polymeric Risk-Based Inspection Pilot Project

Materials Technology Institute Polymeric Risk-Based Inspection Pilot Project
Becht was selected by the Materials Technology Institute (MTI) to adapt its Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) methodology to develop an RBI work process for above-ground, fiberglass reinforced polymer (FRP) storage tanks.  The Becht RBI methodology, which complies with API RP 580, was initially used for metallic fixed equipment and has been expanded to other types of equipment. With a successful demonstration on FRP tanks the methodology is expected to be broadened to other non-metallic structures used in the chemical and refining industry. A major component of the project was to develop damage mechanism documentation for each of the five chemicals / tank construction combinations defined during a project development meeting with the Becht team, MTI project team and a group of FRP subject matter experts. The figure above shows an example graphic which aids the user in identifying tank damage mechanisms. A simple, user friendly spreadsheet tool to guide the user...
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Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Confirms Cause of Deaerator Cracking

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Confirms Cause of Deaerator Cracking
CFD was used to confirm that poor design of the steam inlet nozzle was the main contributor to deaerator head to shell weld cracking, and confirmed proposed design improvements.  This recent Becht project illustrates one of the causes of deaerator cracking. A through-wall crack had been found at the head-to-shell junction at the steam inlet end of the drum. This crack was attributed to corrosion fatigue, a common occurrence in deaerators. The crack was most likely initiated at a weld surface defect on the I.D. of the drum and grew with time. The daily operating cycles of the drum during periods of reduced steam demand and thermal stresses which we attributed to a poorly designed steam inlet nozzle were the main contributors to the crack growth.   A large diameter superheated steam inlet nozzle extended through the head of the drum terminating 18” into the vessel. The steam exited through...
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