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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.

Gerrit is a recognized industry expert in damage mechanisms, sulfidation, wet H2S cracking, creep, HTHA, fire assessment, IOW’s, corrosion reviews, RBI, and FFS assessments. With his over 33 years of experience, he has been involved in all aspects of materials engineering including corrosion prevention, failure analysis, fire damage assessment and fitness-for-service assessments in the entire range of fixed equipment primarily in refineries, but also petrochemical units and upstream facilities.

CalOSHA Update – Damage Mechanism Reviews (DMR)

On May 18, 2017, the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Occupational Safety and Health Standards (CalOSHA) board approved a new regulation that changes how Process Safety Management (PSM) is handled for oil refineries within the state of California.  This regulation was approved in response to high-profile industry incidents in the state of California in the last 5 to 10 years.  The new regulation introduces a “refinery safety order” that will be enforced by the PSM unit within CalOSHA ( CLICK HERE for the regulation ).  Some key elements introduced in this regulation are: Damage Mechanism Reviews (DMR's) – Reviews that consider where corrosion, mechanical damage, environmental cracking, etc. are identified for process equipment; Hierarchy of Hazard Controls Analysis – A review to identify appropriate the most appropriate means for managing hazards; Human Factors Program – Analysis of personnel related factors such as employee fatigue, staffing levels, shift turnover, and training;...
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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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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...
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