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Analysis and Redesign of a Refinery Control Valve Piping Loop that Failed in Startup

During startup of a desulfurizer at an oil refinery in the Virgin Islands, piping failed in a control loop resulting in a fire that caused considerable equipment damage.

O’Donnell Consulting performed hydraulic and vibration analyses of the control valve piping loop. The results showed that fatigue failures of the piping occurred due to loop vibration caused by turbulent flow through the control valve. Lateral bracing was designed to prevent future failures.
 

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