Solutions Ahead Blog

    Guidelines and Procedures for Spark Testing Glass-Lined Equipment

    Posted by Jennifer Mayo

    Aug 15, 2019 11:34:00 AM

    Spark_testing_performed_on_a_GL_vesselSpark testing is a standard procedure used for inspecting glass-lined equipment.  During testing, the entire glass-lined surface is examined, and any chips, cracks, pinholes and other defects are documented and marked for repair.

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    Topics: Maintenance, glass-lined equipment, field service

    Basic “DIY” Preventative Maintenance for Glass-Lined Equipment [Part 2]

    Posted by Jennifer Mayo

    Dec 18, 2017 10:00:52 AM

    Glass-lined_reactor_maintenance_image.jpgIf you didn’t catch last week’s post, we talked about the importance of preventative maintenance with regards to glass-lined equipment and discussed some recommendations for inspecting the interior of your vessel. This week we’ll concentrate on the exterior of the vessel and the types of procedures you can do to ensure your equipment is in good shape and operating efficiently as well as look for potential issues.

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    Topics: Maintenance, process optimization, field service

    Basic “DIY” Preventative Maintenance for Glass-Lined Equipment – Part 1

    Posted by Jennifer Mayo

    Dec 7, 2017 11:03:00 AM

    OptiMix_16000litres.jpgGlass-lined equipment in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries is the workhorse in the process. You would expect such a critical piece of equipment would receive the top level of care, but this is often not the case. In the past, preventative maintenance, or "PM", was virtually nonexistent; in fact, it was common practice for the equipment to run until failure (The horror! The horror!). Over the last ten years there have been an increase in Reliability Engineers coming onboard to take a more proactive approach to glass-lined equipment and help it run with less downtime (i.e. taking the time to service the ongoing maintenance needs of the equipment in an efficient way). Most companies can find themselves somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. While you may not have the budget to hire a reliability engineer who can focus specifically on managing the lifecycle of your equipment, most plant managers have enough sense to follow equipment guidelines and put best practices into place when operating and maintaining an expensive piece of equipment.

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    Topics: Maintenance, process optimization, field service

    “That Doesn’t Look Right”: How to Evaluate Glass Lining Damage [Part 2]

    Posted by Jennifer Mayo

    Nov 19, 2015 2:00:00 PM

    Glass damage - alkaline corrosionIn last week’s post we talked about mechanical and thermal stresses and shock that can be imposed on glass-lined surfaces, how the damage is caused, and how it can be avoided.  This week, we’ll pick up where we left off and dive into the different types of electrical issues and chemical attacks that can arise with glass-lined equipment operation.   As with the problems we talked about in part 1 of this post, the good news is that most, if not all, of this damage is preventable by following operating guidelines and through proper care and maintenance of your equipment.  But it’s always important to educate yourself on every aspect of your equipment, and knowing the various types of damage can help you to better evaluate what’s going on if something “doesn’t look right”. 

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    Topics: Maintenance, glass-lined equipment

    “That Doesn’t Look Right”: How to Evaluate Glass Lining Damage [Part 1]

    Posted by Jennifer Mayo

    Nov 12, 2015 12:00:00 PM

    We’ve written about the benefits of glass lined equipment in another post, but we thought it might be helpful to explore what happens when things don't go as planned.  If you follow our guidelines on proper operation, maintenance and storage/handling you can prevent bad things from happening to your glass-lined equipment.  However, we know that in the real world sometimes things happen…mistakes, accidents, misunderstandings.  Use this post as a brief guide to give you an idea of what could be going on with your glass-lined equipment if something “doesn’t look right” to you. 

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    Topics: Maintenance, glass-lined equipment

    Correcting Improper Performance of Mechanical Seals [Part 1]

    Posted by Jennifer Mayo

    Jul 23, 2015 12:00:00 PM

    OptiSealThe performance of your mechanical seal is critical to the overall operation of your reactor, so when a seal starts to work improperly it can lead to a number of serious complications. We’ve put together a two-part, Q&A-formatted post that can help you to target the root cause of your seal issue and learn how to troubleshoot leak problems along with some other important wisdom we have to share about seals. 

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    Topics: Maintenance, Mechanical Seals, process optimization

    How to Keep your Glass-Lined Equipment Safe from Thermal Shock

    Posted by Jennifer Mayo

    Jul 9, 2015 12:00:00 PM

    vessel nameplateGlass-lined steel equipment has operating limits that are based on mechanical, thermal, and electrical criteria.  Additional limitations may be present based on the characteristics of your product.  Knowing these limitations is crucial to safely and efficiently using your equipment.  The design limits are clearly stamped on the nameplate of each vessel and should never be operated to exceed those limits.  It is important to also keep in mind that various accessories installed, such as mechanical seals, valves, sight glasses, etc. must be considered when determining the maximum pressure and temperature operation parameters.  If their limits are less than that of the vessel then it will restrict the vessel operation ranges.
     
    One thing to watch out for when operating your vessel is thermal shock, as this can cause an immediate loss of the integrity of the internal glass lining.  Thermal shock to the glass lining can occur when the recommended safe temperature differential is exceeded.  This phenomenon is not limited to industrial equipment.  I’m sure all of you have caused or been the victim of thermal shock at some point.  Have you ever poured boiling water into a cold glass and have it crack?  I actually encountered a similar problem at a restaurant.   I innocently ordered a soda, not knowing they had poured the ice cold beverage into a piping hot glass that was fresh out of the dishwasher.  The drink miraculously got delivered to my table but proceeded to crack and spill all over me when I tried to pick it up to take a sip.  A bit of a mess at the table and an uncomfortable meal with a wet lap was a minor inconvenience, but damage to your process equipment can be a costly mistake!   

    There is a simple solution to this though – just reference our handy “Maximum Allowable Thermal Shock – 3009 Glass” chart and you can easily determine the safe temperature differentials for 3009 glass lining.  The chart is easy to read:  
    • The left side of the figure shows the acceptable temperature range of the jacket fluid based on the temperature of the product in the vessel.  This data is needed when you are introducing a heating or cooling fluid into the jacket.  

    Example 1:  If the glass-lined wall (and the batch) is at 356°F, the fluid introduction should be between 86° F and 518°F.

     

    • The right side of the figure indicates the suitable temperature range of the product based on the current temperature of the jacket fluid.  This data is needed when you are introducing product into the vessel. 

    Example 2:  The reactor is to be charged when the glass-lined wall or fluid in the jacket is 302°F; therefore materials between 32°F and 482°F may be safely charged into the vessel.

      Maximum Allowable Thermal Shock – 3009 Glass

     

    Thermal Shock Allowance ChartIn general, the higher the operation temperature, the lower the safe temperature differential.  If you are ever unsure it is always best to consult with a professional at DDPS who can give you the right guidelines. 

    We recommend consulting our free eBulletin Installation and Maintenance Manual for De Dietrich Glass-Lined Steel Equipment that contains a copy of this chart plus more useful information on the proper operation of glass-lined steel equipment.

     

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    Topics: Vessel, Reactor, Maintenance, glass-lined equipment, thermal shock, operation

    Repair Materials and Techniques for Restoring Glass-Lined Steel

    Posted by Jennifer Mayo

    Dec 4, 2014 12:00:00 PM

    Glass-Failure-Internal-impactGlass-lined steel provides a tried and true, rugged design that has proven its value in countless applications across various industries that require a high level of corrosion resistance and durability in their process equipment.  Nonetheless, people hear the term “glass” and often develop a negative perception of glass-lined steel, associating the material of construction with terms like “fragile”, “maintenance hassle”, and “costly”.  But by familiarizing yourself with the unique properties and advantages of glass-lined steel you can dismiss these misconceptions.  Additionally, by following the operating guidelines (specifically the temperature and pressure limitations) and performing routine vessel inspections and preventative maintenance services you can ensure your equipment will live a long, healthy life as well as optimize your process performance. 

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    Topics: Reactor, Maintenance, glass-lined equipment, service

    A Step-by-Step Guide to Glass-Lined Equipment Inspection

    Posted by Jennifer Mayo

    Nov 13, 2014 12:00:00 PM

    Note: This blog post is designed to provide a general overview of the procedures used to inspect glass-lined equipment.  Its contents should only be used as a guideline; specific instructions from the vessel supplier should always be followed.  Only well-qualified technicians should carry out these inspections. Damage to the glass lining can occur during some inspection techniques if they are not done properly.   

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    Topics: Reactor, Maintenance, glass-lined equipment, service

    Best Practices for Avoiding Damage in Glass-Lined Equipment (Part 2)

    Posted by Jennifer Mayo

    Aug 29, 2013 12:00:00 PM

    large_glass-lined_reactorIn last week’s blog post we discussed two of the four main categories of failure modes that can occur in glass-lined equipment (mechanical and thermal).  Today we’re going to pick up where we left off and continue the conversation with the remaining types of damage that can take place - electrical and chemical.  Through educating yourself on the bad practices to avoid and familiarizing yourself with the good practices you can single-handedly prevent most failures from occurring…but it might not be a bad idea to share these articles with your colleagues to make sure everyone in your plant who handles glass-lined equipment is up to speed on the best practices.

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    Topics: Reactor, Maintenance, glass-lined equipment