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Inspection of Ammonia Plants

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000218778D
Publication Date: 2012-Jun-06

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Page 01 of 23

Paper No. 7 8b

INSPECTION OF AMMONIA PLANTS

BY

S. MADHAVAN AND S.Y. SATHE


THE M.W. KELLOGG COMPANY, HOUSTON, U.S.A.

Pre.sented a

                             onia S Safety in Aum~onla Pl~n~s~d Related

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Boston, Massachusetts

August 1986


Page 02 of 23

TABLE OF COI~TENTS

Abstract


I. Introduction


II. Plant On-stream Inspection


A. Rotating Equipment


B. Corrosion Monitoring


C. Thermographic Inspection


D. Ultrasonic Techniques


E. Miscellaneous Techniques


F. Computer Applications


III. Shutdown Inspection


A. Primary Reformer Tubes


B. Vessels


C. Exchangers


D. Steam System


IV. Conclusions


V. References

APPENDICES

Appendix I: API Standards for Vibration Monitoring

Appendix 2: Characteristics of Corrosion Monitoring

Techniques

1

1 3 6

7

8

9

9

i0

12 13 14

15

16

18

19

Appendix 3: Checklist for Primary Reformer Tube 20

Examination


Page 03 of 23

Safe operation of an ammonia plant and high on-stream factor depend, to a large degree, on proper and timely inspection of the equipment to detect mechanical degradation. This paper addresses the inspection techniques, monitoring techniques, frequencies and interpretation of the results for all major pieces of equipment where problems have occurred in the past. This inspection can be a shutdown inspection or an on-stream inspection.


Page 04 of 23

Page 1

I o INTRODUCTION

This topic on inspection of ammonia plants is so vast that it is impossible to do justice for all different aspects of inspection in one paper. We have not attempted to do it either. This paper is a modest attempt to summarize various important aspects of inspection of an ammonia plant and get across ideas that the reader will find useful. The available published literature on plant inspection is very extensive. Only those publications that have an immediate bearing to the contents of this paper have been cited.

Inspection is a very important function in a process plant, from the standpoint of ensuring the plant reliability, equipment integrity, personnel safety, and optimization of the overall operating cost of the plant. A properly planned and executed inspection program will easily pay for itself in terms of extended plant on-stream time and capital expenditure savings.

Inspection activities generally fall in the following two categories:


i. Plant on-stream inspection


2. Shutdown inspection

Visual inspection for integrity of the external add internal components of an equipment is considered routine and part of the operating discipline. This paper emphasizes the non-destructive testing (NDT) aspects of inspecting and monitoring an ammonia plant. We will examine the potential areas of problems that require monitoring or inspection, reasons for mechanical degradation, techniques of inspection and guidelines for acceptable limits.


II. PLANT ON-STREAM INSPECTION


A. Rotating Equipment

A good machinery monitoring system should be implemented based on the following justifications (1):

INSPECTION OF AMMONIA PLANTS

" BY


S. MADHAVAN AN...