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Becht Featured Projects

Becht Engineering Featured Projects

Becht Engineering is continuously working on challenging and innovative projects for our clients.
Listed below is a select sampling of recent projects from our portfolio.


Becht Awarded Heartland Petrochemical QA Project

InterPipeline Heartland ComplexBecht Engineering has been awarded an Owner’s Engineering Quality Assurance Project for Inter Pipeline Heartland Petrochemical Complex in Alberta, Canada. The Heartland Petrochemical Complex is being designed to convert locally sourced, low-cost propane into 525,000 tonnes per year of polypropylene utilizing Propane Dehydrogenation (PDH), Polypropylene (PP) and Central Utilities Block (CUB) facilities. Construction of the Heartland Petrochemical Complex is in progress with completion scheduled for late 2021. Becht Engineering will conduct a series of Cold Eye Reviews focused on operability of the complex.

Becht Engineering provides a wide array of engineering services to the refining, petrochemical, and power industries – including continuing services to 90% of the refineries in the United States and Canada.

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Fitness for Service (FFS) Analysis for Major Refinery

Becht FFS Elastic Plastic Analysis

Becht Conducts Fitness for Service (FFS) Analysis for Major Refining Client

Becht Engineering recently conducted a Fitness for Service analysis of an FCC Regenerator for a major refining client. The client contacted Becht after they discovered that the Regenerator had a small region near its riser nozzle with compromised material strength.

Becht conducted a hardness test during the client’s March 2018 turnaround and found that the Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) at the particular location was approximately 20% lower than the minimum UTS of SA-516 Gr. 70 material. After a detailed analysis, Becht Engineering found the material UTS was compromised because of the previous hot spot at the location, so the strength reduction was likely due to creep damage.

The client requested Becht conduct an analysis in order to figure out exactly what was happening. Becht Engineering did an elastic plastic finite element stress analysis per API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 requirements to determine whether the Regenerator is fit for service with the compromised material property.

Becht’s analysis concluded that the FCC Regenerator was fit for service and recommended that the refractory in the hot spot region be repaired to prevent future hot spots. If stud welded anchors were used, Becht recommended a variety of testing options to determine the quality of the weld.

Please see our broad range of capabilities at Becht Services

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Crack Flaw Analysis of Coker Bottom Flange

Crack Flaw Analysis of Coker Bottom Flange

Becht Engineering Performs Crack Flaw Analysis of Coker Bottom Flange

During a routine inspection of a Delayed Coker Bottom Flange, a ½” deep, 360-degree crack was found by a refinery client the location of the crack is shown in Figure 1. At the time of discovery, the flange was set to be in service until the next turnaround, so a crack-like flaw analysis was performed to evaluate the flange integrity.

Becht analysis Bottom flange D 501 C 

Becht Engineering was contacted to perform a detailed analysis. Once the client provided Becht Engineering with all requested material data, Becht conducted a detailed investigation and analysis and presented the client with a report with conclusions and recommendations.

Becht performed a variety of unique methodological analysis during for this project, some of which included:

  • Modeling the Coker Bottom flange, and the connecting flange, gaskets and bolts using axisymmetric elements in ABAQUS finite element software
  • Applying a PWHT temperature of 1275oF to the Coker Bottom Flange to determine the residual stress.
  • Analyzing the model for bolt pre-load, internal operating pressure, and thermal transient effects from the heat up and quench cycles to determine the stresses on the model
  • Using the calculated stresses to evaluate the existing crack to determine the crack is Fit for Service (FFS) using the procedures in API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 Fitness–For-Service standard.

Becht also conducted a Transient Heat Transfer Analysis, a Stress Analysis, and a Crack Stability and Crack Propagation Analysis for the client. After a thorough analysis for the client, Becht provided the following conclusions:

  • The existing 360o 0.5” deep crack was stable and fit for service.
  • Becht found that it would take approximately 8 years for the crack to grow to a depth of 2.5” and become unstable.
  • Becht Engineering recommended monitoring the crack after one year to determine the crack depth. Based on the crack growth, future monitoring could be modified if necessary.
  • Becht found it unlikely that the crack would propagate into the bolt holes since the axial load on the bolt hole/threads from the bolts should reduce the axial stresses and hence preventing the crack from propagating.

Becht found that if the crack propagates into the bolt holes, the crack should stop once it reaches the bolt hole.

Please see our broad range of capabilities at Becht Services

Do you have a question about this article or wish to contact one of our experts? Contact Us

Design and Analysis of Steam Injection Piping

Design and Analysis of Steam Injection Piping

Becht Supports Client for Design and Analysis of Steam Injection Piping

Recently a client installed a flue gas expander at refinery in Colombia. The refinery had been experiencing problems with excessive vibration and expander trips that was due to the accumulation of catalyst on the expander blades. The client contacted Becht Engineering for support on the design and analysis of the steam injection piping, and requested support in the evaluation of the erosion/corrosion potential on the injection of steam into the flue gas line.

Research and Analysis

Becht Engineering sat down with the client and reviewed the drawings provided by the refinery. Based on the data, Becht found that a conflict between the original design intent and the current design. Additionally, the discharge velocity at the design steam rate was found to be very high, and Becht was asked to provide a recommendation to solve the problem.

Utilizing Subject Matter Experts with many years of experience in the industry, Becht Engineering conducted a process analysis and resulting report that detailed findings for the normal expander operation, the operation during the thermal cycle, and the potential for erosion and corrosion.

We Provide Recommendations

Becht Engineering closely went over the data with the client and provided recommendations to mitigate the high velocity at the steam injection point by replacing the single radial injection nozzle with two angled nozzles. Becht developed a concluding report that detailed all the recommendation for mitigation and delivered it to the client.

Please see our broad range of capabilities at Becht Services

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Jet Fuel Reliability Best Practices and Recommendations

Becht Shines on Jet Fuel Analysis

Becht Shines on Providing Recent Jet Fuel Reliability Best Practices and Recommendations

Last April, Becht Engineering completed a walk-down of a client’s refinery jet fuel treating system from the MEROX unit down through the polishing unit operations, including the salt and clay treating towers. Becht worked closely with the client to continue the investigation around root causes of recent severe operating difficulties meeting the ASTM Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Test (JFTOT), and to provide further technical analysis toward ranking considerations in the previously submitted RCFA Report.

What We Did

The Becht team was accompanied by a chief area operator and other supporting process engineers knowledgeable of the jet fuel treating system. Together, multiple 1-liter sample bottles were filled consecutively at various existing sample point locations along the jet fuel treating sequence, including low-point drains between process vessels where no routine sample point exists.

All of the jet fuel treating vessels and interconnecting pipework were externally inspected for piping configurations that include horizontal sections followed by vertical risers that could act as liquid traps for caustic, as Bob had encountered this phenomenon in other jet fuel processing units.

Based on our SME’s experience in evaluating numerous other jet fuel treating systems, it was Becht Engineering’s impression that client’s system was in relatively robust shape, but with some separation units undersized. Several retrofit improvements had been made on the client’s side, and the Becht team concluded that the MEROX Unit section was performing well, but dealing with ongoing contaminant issues destabilizing the JFTOT test which compounded the challenges of undersized separation equipment.


The Becht team concluded that the client’s jet fuel treating system was suffering JFTOT reliability issues due to high levels of surfactants, likely entering the facility with the crude oil, and leading to hazy jet fuel which increases the likelihood that contaminants will lower JFTOT reliability. Several recommendations were submitted to the client including improved sampling and monitoring procedures, new analytical procedures to generate leading indicators of JFTOT quality deterioration, cutting edge technology in filtration and coalescing technology, optimized drying techniques, and finally the SME performed a small-scale tabletop analytical demonstration confirming that the prescribed improvements would greatly lower moisture and haze content.

Please see our broad range of capabilities at Becht Services

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Becht Conducts HTHA and Crack-like Flaw Assessment for Reactor

Becht HTHA Crack Like Flaw

During turnaround inspection of a Reactor, High Temperature Hydrogen Attack (HTHA) damage was found on the 18” nozzle and the inclusion/planar flaw was found on the 18” nozzle to head weld. Figures 1(a) and (b) show the locations of these flaws. Figures 1(a) and (b) show the locations of these flaws.

Becht HTHA Fig1

Becht HTHA Fig2

Besides these two flaws, an inclusion/planar flaw was also found at the head to shell weld. This inclusion was 0.2” from the inside surface, 0.12” in depth and 9.3” in length.

Becht was contacted to conduct the analysis of the HTHA damage and used some of the following in its methodology:

  • Modeling the 18” nozzle to head intersection using 3-D finite elements
  • Use 80% of the yield stress and ultimate tensile stress to generate the elastic plastic material model for the analysis per Part 7 API 579/ASME FFS-1 Level 3 procedure
  • Application of internal pressure and nozzle loads with a load factor
  • Conservative estimation for the loads since nozzle loads were unknown, we will use
  • Solving the model with non-linear geometry effects
  • Utilization of the same finite element model with only elastic properties and analyzing the model with design pressure and nozzle loads
  • Assuming the HTHA damage as a crack like flaw and evaluate using the procedures per Part 9 in API 579-1/ASME FFS-1

Becht provided a detailed report and presentation for the client, and delivered its conclusions that were among the following:

  • The inclusions/planar flaws found at the nozzle to shell weld and at the head to shell weld were analyzed as crack-like flaws per API 579-1/ASMEFFS-1 and they were found to be fit for service.
  • The HTHA damage found in the nozzle was analyzed as hydrogen damage and cracklike flaw per API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 and it was found to be fit for service.
  • At the operating conditions, the C-0.5Mo material was found to be susceptible to HTHA. There are no published methods for performing a FFS assessment on known HTHA damage. The approach used here demonstrates the vessel was safe to operate in the current damaged state.
  • Eventual replacement of the reactor within 3-5 years is recommended with an inherently resistant HTHA material, such as 1.25Cr or 2.25Cr alloy steel.
  • Prior to replacement, follow-up HTHA inspection should occur on a 6 to 9-month interval to assess any growth of the HTHA damage. If growth greater than 20% of the original depth of damage has occurred, re-evaluation of the FFS should be performed.
  • Additional recommendations and analysis was provided

Please see our broad range of capabilities at Becht Services

Do you have a question about this article or wish to contact one of our experts? Contact Us

Becht Conducts Steam Coil Failure Analysis

Becht Steam Coil Failure Analysis

Background & Approach

Last March, Becht Engineering was asked by a client to inspect and analyze the development of oxidation and associated failures in a steam preheat coil mounted in a stack of a reformer heater. Because the client intended to replace the steam coil during an upcoming shutdown, they requested that Becht tailor an analysis to identify more robust design options that could be incorporated during that time.

Becht Engineering deployed three Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) that conducted work in four stages: 1) Design Review; 2) Operational Review; 3) Root Cause Analysis (RCA), and then 4) offered recommendations to the client. The SMEs consisted of a Furnace Engineering Specialist, a Fire Heater Process expert, and a Fitness for Service (FFS) Specialist in Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics and Non-linear Stress Analysis.


Our SMEs found that oxidation of the coil creates tube cracks and other failures. With their many years of experience in heavy industry and ability to conduct empirically-sound testing and analysis, our SMEs found that oxidation and blistering of the tube was caused by increased flame extension and/or secondary combustion of unburned combustibles in and around the coil.

Becht Engineering provided three detailed recommendations to the client in order to mitigate the situation. After reviewing a variety of data sheets from the client, Becht provided a robust 18-page report that outlined methodology, analysis, conclusion, and recommendations to solve the problem. The entire scope of work was completed in less than two weeks after receiving the proper documents and data sheets from the client.

As a direct result of Becht Engineering’s failure analysis, these issues that were previously unknown to the client were mitigated in a safe, timely, and cost-efficient manner.