Thermal Sprayed Aluminum (TSA) is a recognized optimum solution to corrosion under insulation (CUI). In the past, TSA applications were performed during turnarounds, disrupting schedules and other activities due to noise, fumes, and grit blasting. Bo Andersen, a thermal spray expert and innovator, said: “Plant operators were forced to make tradeoffs between turnaround duration and asset integrity as the amount and location of surfaces protected by TSA in turnarounds are limited. We wanted to find a solution to this problem, to apply TSA onto live equipment while the plant is in operation.”
Bo initiated the “Online TSA” research project with Royal Dutch Shell, a British-Dutch multinational oil and gas company. Following two years of intensive R&D work, the IGS TUFFss Online TSA solution was introduced. It includes safety enclosures, humidity and temperature control, (negative) pressure control, and fully automated safety shutdown systems. “Everything is custom-made and combined in ways unheard of, meeting the highest standards in the industry.” – Bo added.
Pilot project at NLNG goes to plan
Located in a hot, humid, and very salty environment, piping and vessels at NLNG, a Nigerian LNG facility were prone to corrosion. After 20 years in service, Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) has turned into a significant problem with many pipes about to burst.
Traditional TSA coatings would not be practical in this case due to the scale of the work. Applied during turnarounds, it would have taken over 30 years to protect all corroded piping and vessels. The plant would not have lasted 30 years in its present condition!
IGS TUFFss Online TSA pilot project was completed on train 1. The scope included a 50-meter (160 foot) column and a two-level platform with two heat exchangers/reboilers.
The project succeeded in meeting and exceeding objectives by rigidly following all safety guidelines.
Say goodbye to CUI
As equipment within refineries, petrochemical plants, and other facilities continues to age, the demand for maintenance solutions that can be applied all year round is growing. Plant operators are looking at companies like IGS to utilize their global footprint and experience to deliver innovative solutions safely and efficiently.
For more information, visit IGS website here.