Investigative Process Uncovers Cause of Surface Tearing In Cold Box Aluminum Alloy Pipe Components

The 21st Ethylene Producers Conference
2011 AIChE Spring Meeting
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
March 14, 2011 - 8:00pm

Abstract: This paper describes the investigative tools and techniques, learning’s, and logistical challenges faced by an international team assembled to uncover the source of surface tears in newly manufactured 6061 aluminum alloy pipe elbows. The cold box, with its complex piping layout, and a tight project construction schedule required a thoughtful and effective strategy for non-destructive testing (NDT), component review and sampling, and mechanical- and metallurgical testing of similarly-manufactured replicate pipe elbows. Good cooperation between the end user operator, engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) company, subject matter experts, and cold box and pipe elbow manufacturer culminated in a successful outcome and repair.

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