The production of sulphuric and phosphoric acids are very hazardous processes and the protection of steel vessels from corrosion, erosion and high temperatures requires refractory and process knowledge and continual maintenance.
The performance of acid-resistant bricks and membranes in these industries is a key challenge to achieving greater relatability and reducing maintenance costs. Quality workmanship can be difficult in such corrosive environments however it is essential to achieve reliable outcomes. Additionally, time constraints for maintenance shutdowns require performance and problem solving under pressure from condition assessment to implementation of repairs.
Our professional engineers can independently assess the refractory repair scope required to meet reliability goals and ensure unnecessary repairs are avoided. We can also generate ‘on the spot’ technical solutions that account for site material limitations and provide engineered solutions to emergent problems within the resource constraints of the shutdown. Additionally, we provide future scope of works for the next shutdown.
When refractory linings fail unexpectedly, it is critical that any investigation correctly identifies the underlying mechanism. We not only know which material and anchor tests to perform but also how to interpret the results. Combined with our computer simulation & modelling capabilities, we have helped many clients correctly identify the root cause of refractory failure and eliminate the problem without multiple attempts.
Concrete Assessment & Repairs
We specialise in the assessment of concrete structures degraded by corrosion, chemical attack, thermal stress, weathering. We undertake assessment of your structures, identify key failure mechanisms, and carry out repairs. Our experts are familiar with silos, stacks, sulphur pits, effluent tanks, plinths, columns, and other structures.
Sulphuric Acid Plant Leak
Palmer Technologies was engaged to manage the refractory repairs to the sulphur furnace in Queensland, Australia. Upon inspection of the vessel it was found that the grout between the carbon bricks had been washed out to a depth of almost 80% in some areas. A section of brickwork directly above the damaged steelwork was removed to repair the Rhepanhol liner and to identify the cause of the leak. The rubber liner was damaged by the Foamglas mortar from thermal expansion and contraction, allowing acid to attack the steelwork. Repairs to the brickwork and Rhepanol lining, in a very challenging environment, were successfully undertaken in the allocated time.
Paper Mill Acid Brick Failure
Palmer Technologies was engaged to assist with an emergency shutdown to repair the bleach tower due to failure of the acid resistant lining on the tower launder. It was found that the bond between the top brick and the mortar was very week or non-existent. There was also evidence of “bubbling” of the membrane. Palmer Technologies prepared a repair methodology that used limited materials on site, as well as an Inspection and Test Plan (ITP).