Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Why Refineries and Processing Plants use Fireproofing and Monitor for Corrosion

Fires can be ignited in industrial and processing facilities from variety of sources: gas leaks, flammable liquid leaks, ignition sources, static electricity, lightning strikes, and third-party damage. If a fire does occur, this can have a significant impact in terms of operational ability and loss of product due to facility shutdowns. A fire can have negative consequences for productivity and profits. It could even result in people being injured and environmental damage. None of this has to happen to your business when you arrange regular inspections and keep your fireproofing well-maintained.

What is Fireproofing?

Fireproofing can be applied as a spray, or hand lathed over a pipeline or pressure vessel that holds pressurized gases and liquids. Generally, the material used is a fire resistant cement, reinforced with wire mesh or metal studs to help hold it on the pipe. This cement acts as a fire barrier to protect the equipment from overheating, failing, and potentially causing a fire to spread and do more damage. In the case of storage sphere legs or tower skirts, fireproofing may prevent the metal from buckling and distorting. Fireproofing is vital because the consequences of a fire are so severe.

A Fire Could Cause Injuries

The safety of people who work and live around processing plants and equipment should be of paramount concern to any company. Employees, contractors, and visitors could be seriously injured or killed should a plant catch fire. No business would want to be responsible for human casualties because a fire occurred on their property that could have been prevented, or minimized, through proper fireproofing.

A Fire Could Result in Environmental Damage

The environmental damage following a fire can be widespread and devastating. The smoke that inevitably billows from a fire may contain toxic substances that pollute the air and water in the vicinity of where the fire took place.The loss of flora and fauna directly impacts the biodiversity of the ecosystem in the immediate area. Also, your company may be held liable for conducting the environmental reclamation and cleanup in the aftermath.

A Fire May Cause Facility Shutdowns and Lost Profits

A plant fire can negatively impact the company's bottom line. It could cause a shutdown of a facility, or halt operations for an extended period of time. While the plant is under repair, productivity and profits will be reduced.

An investment in non-destructive testing will reduce the risk of your fireproofed equipment failing, just when you need it most. Russell's Bracelet Probe Technology can detect corrosion under insulation or fireproofing and ensure your pipes, storage spheres, and vessels aren't at risk, get them inspected by Russell NDE by calling 1(800) 661-0127.