Failure analysis was performed on a refinery piping control loop system. The failure had resultied in a fire that caused considerable equipment damage. The accident occurred during startup of a desulfurizer at an oil refinery.

The analysis involved hydraulic and vibration analysis on the control valve piping loop. The results showed that the piping failed in fatigue, due to loop vibration caused by turbulent flow through the control valve. Subsequently, lateral bracing was designed to prevent future failures.


We perform failure analysis for clients in industries including energy, mining and petrochemical.

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Tom O’Donnell, PE
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