Onex received a call that a customer’s flare stack had experienced some erosion and burn out of refractory fiber. The area that had failed and was in need of repair was approximately 20’ up the sidewall of the unit. The flare stack burns off excess gas collected from the nearby waste facility. The 41′ x 11′ unit only runs a few times a year. The original fiber installation was approximately two years ago.
Flare Stack Inspection
First, the client had a drone flown up into the flare stack in order to inspect the refractory insulation lining. The report was provided to Onex so that we could offer a solution as to how to properly make the required refractory repairs.
Then, the client and Onex developed a game plan to tear out the damaged fiber and install new refractory.
The Problem and Solution
What could have caused the area to burn out in the first place? In this situation, burner flame turbulence was the cause of the failure. To prevent this from happening in the future, Onex sprayed a layer of a proprietary rigidizer that would give the fiber additional fire proofing.
The maintenance team had to work through a small manhole opening. In nearly a day, we completed the project. Scaffolding pieces were passed into the flare stack using an opening in the burner area.
In addition to the original repairs, we were able to identify an issue with the flare’s ignitor. Onex personnel notified the client, preventing a potential safety issue in the future.
At Onex, we believe in making things better. This means we take the extra care to identify future possible failures so that the client can schedule preventive maintenance instead of experiencing an unexpected failure causing costly downtime.
As can be seen, the new fiber installation is complete.
Do you know the condition of your flare stack’s refractory lining?