Corrosion in Pressure Vessels
Corrosion is a formidable enemy for high-pressure systems. It is a natural phenomenon that can be triggered by a variety of different factors in both the external and internal environment of a pressure vessel. Thankfully, pressure vessels that exhibit signs of corrosion can be treated and returned to optimal working condition. Better yet, corrosion can be prevented before it starts through regular maintenance and testing. Treating and preventing corrosion in pressure vessels starts with an understanding of the specific factors that trigger it in the first place.
Corrosion can result from conditions inside or outside of the pressure vessel. Some common causes of corrosion inside a vessel include exposure to chelants, dissolved oxygen, and copper deposits. Chelants are chemical compounds that are deliberately added to pressure vessels to keep the minerals inside soluble, but can cause corrosion when exposed to salt. Oxygen, whether in dissolved form or otherwise, is also responsible for corrosion. Copper deposits, furthermore, trigger corrosion through electrolysis.
The external environment can also produce corrosion. Unequal stresses on certain points in a high-pressure system, combined with high temperatures, can speed up the process of corrosion by exposing vulnerabilities. Examples of corrosion due to stress include caustic embrittlement and transgranular cracking. Caustic embrittlement requires the presence of sodium hydroxide, while transgranular cracking is triggered by the accumulation of hot gases. Both result in cracking and loose or leaky tubes.
The best way to reduce the risk of corroded pressure vessels is to take steps to prevent it. It is up to you to maintain your pressure vessel as soon as it is filled. Maintenance involves regular inspections from industry professionals, and will ensure that the system will have a long service life. After the process of corrosion has begun, it is much more difficult and costly to treat. To avoid wasting unnecessary time and money on your vessel, you should conduct regular follow ups even when the equipment shows no visible sign of damage.
Engineered Pressure Systems is proud to be your partner in high pressure technology. For more information about our products and services, feel free to visit our website or contact us today.
Offshore Drilling: Keeping it Safe
One of the most talked about and most controversial topics these days is offshore drilling. It’s a highly debated subject that has many on one side discussing the benefits and opportunities, and others bringing up serious environmental concerns.
While no one knows precisely how much oil could be made available, it is estimated at around 18 billion barrels. Those in favor of it say that increased offshore drilling would lead to more abundant, less expensive fuel for the U.S., and therefore less reliance on foreign oil. This, they say, would come with minimal environmental impact.
On the other side are those who argue that offshore drilling could severely impact the oceans’ ecosystems, without providing enough of an impact on our oil supply and prices. Clearly, it’s a heavily debated, challenging subject.
What we do know is that many companies who have been involved in ocean drilling have taken a huge beating from oil leaks (i.e. BP), and that nobody is on favor of those scenarios. As a result, most companies are now significantly increasing their building and spending related to all safety aspects involving deep sea drilling. Testing all equipment before it goes into the ocean will prevent future catastrophes.
This is where we get involved. Our high-pressure Deep Sea Simulators and Offshore Simulators are used by these companies to perform extensive testing and ensure everything involved in these processes is at peak performance and will not harm the environment through failure.
If we can ensure that the benefits of offshore drilling are achieved without the risks many fear, then everybody wins.
The use of high-pressure systems is crucial to a number of industries and applications. The applications range from the manufacturing of aeronautical components to medical implants. The highest quality is necessary to design engineer and manufacture these systems from safe and reliable operation. Equally important is the testing and inspection needed to evaluate their condition for continued safety and reliability. This inspection should be a standard part of regular periodic maintenance.
At Engineered Pressure Systems, we provide inspection and testing service for both our vessels and competitors’ vessels. We utilize highly qualified Inspectors for each inspection. Each inspection is based on the individual design and material of the vessel. The testing performed is Nondestructive Test Inspections (NDT) methods.
This inspection applies detection methods to verify there are no defects that would diminish the effectiveness of the pressure retaining structure to continue to withstand in-service operating loads. It also evaluates the condition of the vessel to detect any maintenance or operating conditions that could reduce the life of the vessel. To ensure maximum effectiveness and optimal vessel operation, periodic inspection is highly recommended.
Specific methods to use for NDT inspections of vessels include:
- Magnetic Particle and dye penetrant Inspection: One of the best methods to use, this method detects surface and near subsurface flaws. This location is where most defects initiate.
- Ultrasonic Inspection: By penetrating sound through and reflecting from the pressure vessel wall, this method detects surface and subsurface flaws.
- Acoustic Emissions Testing: This method uses the sound emitted for a defect in the vessel when it is growing. It requires that the vessel be pressurized to a stress higher than recent pressurization’s. This method enables an inspection of geometries not accessible by any other nondestructive testing.
EPSI engineers can determine the right method to use for a particular vessel. It’s important to develop a periodic nondirective examination plan and remember to schedule testing according to the plan.
Coming Soon: MS&T ’13!
In today’s competitive business landscape, it’s not enough to simply manufacture a product. Just as important is staying abreast of trends, news, and new technologies.
One of the best and most effective ways to do this is by attending trade shows. They are an invaluable opportunity to network, meet new people (both potential customers and competitors), generate leads, and learn about the latest trends in your industry. Staying up-to-date and connected is what differentiates a moderately successful business from a great one.
We take this seriously, and are excited to be attending the upcoming Materials Science & Technology (MS&T) 2013 conference, October 27-31 in Montreal. For the past 25 years we have been attending—more often than not as exhibitors—and this year we are going as attendees, to learn, network, and stay connected.
This exhibition is based around our core business of isostatic pressing ceramic powders, and here we will learn about new industry trends and topics, as well as concerns within the industry. We will then take the information gained back to our company and continue to provide innovative products that are consistently meeting industry concerns and needs.
The show itself, a partnership of Acers, AIST, ASM, MetSoc, and TMS, brings leaders in the industry together to focus on research, technology, and the future of materials science. For five days, everyone from scientists to students to powder material suppliers and equipment manufacturers will gather, discuss, and learn. There are various lectures, short courses, and sessions, and we are truly looking forward to taking part in this.
We are more than excited to bring back what we’ve learned to further our expert offerings to our clients. We look forward to seeing some of you there!
Viewing Ocean Life Up-Close and Personal
This summer a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) set sail to explore the seas. Their mission was to investigate the diversity and distribution of deep-sea habitats and marine life along the Northeast U.S. Canyons and Mytilus Seamount off the coast of New England. Exploration isn’t really anything new for NOAA but the way they did it this year was a first.
Based off the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, with a support team on shore, researchers launched a brand new 6,000-m remotely operated vehicle (ROV) called the Deep Discoverer. Outfitted with a Seirios camera sled and lighting platforms the ROV transmitted live video from the ocean floor. These largely unknown areas of the ocean were the best viewing of the summer.
The ROV allowed researchers a view like they never had before. During the first leg of the cruise, the ROV explored the seafloor off Nantucket and confirmed gas seeps in the seafloor and mussels and other animals that live off chemical energy that bubbles up from the bottom. The summer cruise closed with a sighting of a large Greenland Shark in its native habitat.
All the data from the ROV was transmitted via satellite to researchers and viewers all over the world. If you were lucky enough to catch “Deep Sea TV,” you would have been entertained by the banter of the scientists as well as enthralled by the beauty of the sea. The success of this summer’s field season is a guarantee that the Deep Discoverer will continue to explore the depths of the oceans for many years to come.
Robots Bring Remote Monitoring to Remote Environments
The automatic manufacturing era age began with the industrial revolution and hasn’t stopped advancing and improving. From the Gutenberg Press to the Baxter Robot, people have been inventing more and more complex machinery to make working situations better, faster, and safer.
Industrial automation is the use of robotics to handle the routine tasks of manufacturing and has improved the manufacturing and assembly processes tremendously. More and more companies are adding automation processes to the manufacturing lines. The newest technologies in industrial automation reduce the amount of human involvement in everyday, repetitive jobs and offer hope to an industry that is coming back from the brink. Industry Week’s article “The New Age of Robotics” highlights the ability of small to medium sized companies to integrate automation into their manufacturing processes. The benefits to industrial automation include increased productivity, better quality and safety, remote monitoring, and reduced costs.
Industrial automation is changing the way manufacturers run their businesses but the use of robotics is not limited to the factory floor. The newest robotic technologies are being used in science and research as well.
A group of researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute are using robotics in a new way. They are tackling the problem of recognizing harmful algal blooms to prevent seafood contamination and illnesses with a mobile robotic laboratory. The development of the Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) allows the scientists to receive data from algae samples to determine if toxins are present without having to wait for the samples. The ESP does all the work while in the ocean so the information is in real time and immediate.
The newest generation ESP fits on a small autonomous underwater vehicle which has the ability to cover approximately 1000 km (621 mi) collecting samples and detecting changes in the environment. In addition to monitoring algae blooms, the ESP has the potential to monitor and study the ocean for contaminants and the microbial ecology.
This instant information via remote monitoring is the cornerstone of new technological advances in science. In industry as in research, automation and robotics are improving techniques and processes to help us manage the world around us and how we live and work in it.
High Pressure Vessels: Meeting Tomorrow’s Challenges Today
Ocean exploration is one of the most fascinating, important, and complex scientific processes out there. It has also made huge leaps and bounds in recent years. Nowadays, ocean exploration is going deeper and deeper, and the requirements and expectations for it, accordingly, are getting higher and higher. Equipment that goes into these depths must be made and tested to withstand that environment and do the work that needs to get done.
Factors such as equipment stability and safety must be assured prior to deployment. Beyond that, the high pressure requirements are especially important to the equipment and processes. Ten years ago, the typical pressure requirement was 3,000 psi. Now, as exploration is going deeper and ocean and oil research is dramatically increasing, people are looking for pressure of 8,000-10,000 psi or more. As deep water exploration approaches over 10,000 psi pressure, more and more companies are looking to change and adapt their equipment to suit those needs. Many pressure vessel manufacturers are not able to handle it.
We are constantly receiving inquiries for pressures over 10,000psi—not a simple task. However, as an elite and experienced company with true expertise in the field, we have the ability to design and build to well over 10,000 psi—even up to 100,000 psi. We are in the perfect position to build a special, custom chamber for our clients’ needs. We are able (and happy) to adapt to any requirements and can tailor designs to suit each individual customer’s requests. This is one of the many things that make us so unique in the high pressure vessel industry.
Perhaps it’s over 40 years of experience and innovation that makes us able to do this. Or perhaps it’s our passion for what we do—and what our customers do—that makes us so excited to meet these challenges and exceed expectations.
Now more than ever, in a competitive business landscape marked with challenges and high expectations, it’s crucial that a company optimizes their efficiency, and therefore their performance. Efficiency is not just a buzz word, it’s the all-encompassing term that signifies a company gets the job done right, done quickly, and done in the most economical way. It’s what differentiates a fine company from a good one, and a good one from a truly great success story.
Oftentimes the best way to optimize efficiency and performance is to partner with another, equally trusted company, utilizing each other’s technologies and skills to better benefit their own performance. A good example of this is our recent work with Halliburton, a multinational leader in the energy industry that hardly needs much introduction.
At their state-of-the-art Advanced Perforating Flow Laboratory, part of their Jet Research Center, they perform unparalleled system research, development, and testing, meeting highly demanding challenges while improving upon customers’ efficiency and production—and therefore their own. They recently expanded their Advanced Perforating Flow Lab with, according to Halliburton, “leading-edge vessels and technologies…[which will] provide our customers with the most accurate information possible today…”. These vessels, “giving [them] the ability to operate beyond [their] clients’ most challenging environments,” were provided by us.
At EPSI, we are proud to have fabricated the vessels that Halliburton uses to perform such industry-advancing work, leading to success for them and their clients. It’s just one example of how a partnership with a leader in their field can provide mutually-rewarding benefits and immeasurable efficiency, performance, and overall success.
The Search for Shale Gas Continues
Water, air, clothing, food; these are all things that come to mind when you think of day to day necessities. Oil is often over looked; many think we use it solely for gasoline; however it is perhaps one of the most used commodities by nearly everyone on earth. As the oil and gas industry continues to excel, major companies located within the United State are realizing now may be the time to explore this industry in depth.
According to a recent article “Right now, the map of who sells and who buys oil and natural gas is being radically redrawn. Just a few years ago, imported oil made up nearly two-thirds of the United States’ annual consumption; now it’s less than half. Within a decade, the U.S. is expected to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia to regain its title as the world’s top energy producer.” Companies like General Electric are picking up on this and realizing it is time to explore this expansion. GE recently announced they are spending $110 million on a research lab in Oklahoma City to study ways to improve extraction of hard-to-reach oil and gas deposits, including hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Hydraulic fracturing is a process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers located deep within the earth. Chief Technology Officer Mark Little confirmed they will hire up to 125 engineers and scientists for the upcoming project, and hope to expand the research to more conventional drilling techniques.
Recent reports from GE name oil and gas as one of their fastest growing segments, with revenues increasing to $15.2 billion in the last 3 years. The main focus of the project will not be limited to supplying equipment and services to energy farms. GE will concentrate on creating engines that can run on liquefied natural gas instead of diesel fuels, as well working with corporate fleets to add compressed natural gas-powered vehicles.
Some may ask why Oklahoma? In a recent phone interview with Governor Mary Fallin she explained Oklahoma offered incentives. One of the incentives includes the states participation in a program that provides quarterly payments of as much as 5 percent of new employees’ salaries. A start date has yet to be released, while GE is still scouting for an exact location.
We would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on hydraulic fracturing? What impact do you feel this research will have?
At Engineered Pressure Systems, Inc., We Deliver Services That Drive Repeat Business
Welcome to our blog! We will be posting frequently, so please come back to read our latest insights on the industries that we serve, updates on our company and products, as well as other thoughts on topics important to our customers and suppliers. Before we begin, we’d like to provide an overview of who we are, how we got here and what we do.
For over 50 years we have been identified as the leader for designing high pressure systems for manufacturing, testing, research and specialized high-pressure applications for the automotive, oil, deep well, powder metal and ceramic, and offshore industries. Our engineers have designed state-of-the-art high pressure systems as well as actively contribute to various code and regulatory agencies throughout the world. All of the equipment we produce is in accordance with ASME, TÜV, and PED to ensure all codes and standards are properly met.
We pride ourselves in the number of repeat customers who have stayed with us through the years. Prior to 1992, EPSI was well known in the high-pressure world under the names National Forge Europe in Belgium, and National Forge Pressure Systems Division in Massachusetts, USA. Both companies were subsidiaries of the National Forge Co., from Irvine, Pennsylvania, producing precision- forged components. Since April 1996, we have operated as EPSI, an independent company with headquarters in Belgium and Haverhill, MA, USA.
Customers value our expertise in the high pressure field with systems of 10,000 psi and higher. Our customers can count on us to design and manufacture unique systems that have undergone rigorous testing and inspections to ensure quality. We are also proud to provide spare parts, service, and free phone support throughout the life of the product. For more information on how EPSI can help you with your high pressure applications call 978-469-8280.