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

Updates and New API Standards Addressing Recent Industry Failure/Issues due to Corrosion and Degradation Issues!

In the US and throughout much of the world, pressure equipment for oil refining services is designed according to ASME Codes (possibly augmented by API standards) and the integrity is assured by performing periodic inspection and maintenance according to equipment strategies, which often are developed in accordance with and guidance from API recommended practices and standards. API develops and maintains a suite of downstream pressure equipment standards through the CRE (Committee on Refining Equipment). There are two subcommittees under CRE that involve extensive involvement of industry specialists and treatment of metallurgical and corrosion issues, these are the SCCM (Subcommittee on Corrosion and Materials) and SCI (Subcommittee on Inspection). This blog aims to provide some current information on new materials/corrosion issues being covered by new and existing SCCM and SCI standards. Issues: HTHA : API issued an alert in September 2011 due to a number of reported cases where High Temperature Hydrogen...
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A Novel Nondestructive Technique for Detecting and Sizing Carburization Damage in Heater Tubes

A Novel Nondestructive Technique for Detecting and Sizing Carburization Damage in Heater Tubes
Fired Heaters come in many types and configurations: catalytic reformers, crude heaters, visbreakers, vacuum heaters, coker heaters, etc; and many are prone to carburization damage (i.e. residual carbon diffusing into the tube material, causing damage or even failure). Many refineries today use delayed coking processes to upgrade their crude product. This process includes the use of fired heaters operating at high pressures and temperatures. In a carburizing environment this can lead to coke residue buildup at the tube ID followed by carbon diffusing into the tube wall, degrading the metallurgical structure of the tube. Until recently, the only reliable method of testing for carburization damage was to cut out tube sections, test by metallurgical examination, then weld back in (and repeat as necessary until unaffected tubes are found); a slow and costly approach. Now, a relatively new nondestructive technique application, developed by Sonomatic , and in use worldwide, negates the need...
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Changing Your Crude Slate?

Changing Your Crude Slate? You Need to Consider More Than Just Naphthenic Acid Corrosion and High Temperature Sulfidation. Refiners are constantly evaluating their crude slates in an effort to maximize profits. It involves a continuous effort in trying to get the most product value from the lowest cost crudes. Generating a $1.00 per barrel margin on a crude slate, taking into consideration both product value and cost of the crudes in the slate, can create more than an 100M$ advantage over the course of a year for a refinery processing 300,000 barrels a day. This large advantage can be turned into a large loss with a single related equipment failure which results in weeks of unit shutdown. Typically, when a refiner evaluates a crude change the primary considerations from an equipment reliability and safety standpoint are naphthenic acid corrosion and high temperature sulfidation. Many studies have been conducted that evaluate the...
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