Prevent Premature Failure of Industrial Equipment

Read this article to learn how taking a collaborative approach to prevent premature failure of industrial equipment is key to developing superior solutions for equipment in harsh environmental situations.

Failure of Industrial Equipment in Harsh Environments

Cracks. Leaks. Splits. Pitting. If you’ve spent any time in the industrial equipment world, you’ve probably come across several of these types of equipment failures. No matter how well the piece of equipment was manufactured, all equipment will eventually fail. The problem with equipment failure is when it happens long before expected end-of-life ranges.  

Unfortunately, this scenario happened to a recent customer of ours from the specialty chemicals industry. This international company had a water-cooled ASME jacketed chute feeding a drying kiln in their chemical processing facility in Kentucky. After only four years, the chute jacket, made of 316 stainless steel, cracked and started leaking. They needed a more dependable solution for their process, to eliminate the costs and productivity losses that come with unexpected equipment failure.

asme jacketed pressure vessel

For more information about the different types of ASME jacket types, check out our article here.

A Checklist of Causes for Equipment Failure

When evaluating equipment failure, all aspects of the manufacturing process need to be evaluated. In evaluating failure, it’s easy to prematurely assume one root cause. But, before making significant decisions, ask these questions of the manufacturing process:

  • Weld procedures: are proper AWS codes and regulations being utilized for the metal grade and weld wire? 
  • Material quality: is the material used being sourced from reputable mills? 
  • Metal grades: given the environmental conditions (pressure, temperature, stress [tensile, load, etc.]), has the correct material grade been selected for equipment performance? 
  • Weld quality: has proper NDT, such as x-ray and dye penetration testing, been performed to ensure fabrication quality before shipment. 

Finding the Right Metal Grade and Fabricator

Analysis of the industrial equipment failure determined that the material used was not designed for the kiln drying process. The previous specifications, calling for 316 stainless steel with a water-cooled jacket, could not stand up to the abrasive slurry and extreme flue gas temperatures exceeding 2,000°F. 

To offer the best solution, our team collaborated with experts from one of our trusted material suppliers, Rolled Alloys, to analyze the specific case of equipment failure and environmental factors. Over meetings with R-V’s fabrication team and metallurgical experts, a new materials of construction were developed.

Group consensus determined that metal plate, piping, and weld wire combinations of RA333 and RA-602 CA were the best approach for the customer’s harsh environment. RA333 (technical data sheet here) has exceptional resistance to high-temperature oxidation and carburization, making it a great solution for chemical processing facilities and power generation plants. In-house weld engineering department and experience qualifying over 450 weld procedures gave us the expertise to supply a chute that will perform in the environment.

Chute Specifications
Length: 118 7/8″
ID: 12 3/4″
Chute Wall: 1/2″
Material: RA333