Whether white (rich in aerosols or water vapour), grey (a mixture of aerosols and solid particles) or black (large solid particles), the smoke released from fires presents several risks. Beyond death from intoxication, fumes are a potential health hazard owing to the substances they contain. Smoke is also corrosive to metal structures or electronic components. Finally, they can accentuate the combustion of surrounding goods by pyrolysis.
In early March 2017, the ARIA database identified 349 events involving fittings and seals/gaskets. These elements are often encountered on pipe flanges and are also essential sealing components for valves or other equipment. Insufficiently tightened flange bolts and deficient leak inspections on seals/gaskets are often the cause of an accident
Numerous forms of corrosion have been found on steel equipment used in the manufacture or transport of biogas. Three corrosion degradation modes are presented here based on events that occurred in France. It seems that corrosion should be taken into account from the design stage of the installations.
When operating an industrial site, it is essential to research its economic optimisation, though systematic reasoning in terms of the cost/benefit ratio has its limitations! Minimising the risks when the initial signs of aging appear or trying to keep one's equipment going until it eventually falls apart can be very dangerous. And sometimes, the financial consequences of accidents are much higher than the investments related to quality design and regular maintenance. This is illustrated below by several recent events presented in this flash.
The accident can quickly occur when the repair of an ageing equipment is not conducted in a timely manner! Often involved: an improper management of replacement parts, which are not available in due course. Patch-up jobs, consisting in reallocating pieces coming from other units without taking sufficient precautions, can also be particularly dangerous. Based on illustrative events, this flash draws a panorama of risky configurations and provides some good practices.
Ageing of industrial installations is a normal and well-known phenomenon. However, it deserves to be properly managed! Conception or construction defaults, insufficient maintenance are some of the several factors that can contribute to an uncontrolled acceleration of ageing… and that continue to lead to accidents with sometimes heavy consequences. As far as ageing is concerned, anticipation remains the key word! This flash offers an overview of the main degradation mechanisms and some lessons learnt from accidents.
Commonly used to plug leaks on pipelines, seal boxes serve stop discharge flows without entirely shutting down production. Despite this advantage, several accidents have shown that this type of remedial action is not sustainable and moreover necessitates regular monitoring during operations while awaiting definitive repairs.
This document presents the conclusions of an analysis conducted on more than 700 French accidents, extracted from the ARIA database, involving ageing. If corrosion is the first cause underlying accidents, fatigue is another recurrent one. Recurrent failures leading to corrosion are inappropriate technical choices, insufficient maintenance or human errors.
Besides property damage and operating losses generated by an eventual accident, structural ageing represents a sizeable cost for industry. Taking preventive action serves to extend installati [...]