Part 7 of the seven-part series on material selection for chemical process equipment focuses on the benefits of proper material selection for chemical process equipment and process areas. In Parts 1 through 5 of this series, a diverse range of materials for chemical process applications was summarized, including metals, plastics, rubbers and elastomers, fiberglass reinforced plastics (FRP), advanced composites, technical ceramics, glass, and other materials. Material options may also include a range of liners and coatings that can extend the application range of lower-cost base materials to chemical environments that would not be recommended for the base materials. Powder coat and paint systems are also important for overall process installations to protect exposed surfaces from relatively low levels of exposure to process chemistries and for overall system aesthetics.
Selecting and installing appropriate and cost-effective chemical process equipment and process area materials results in substantial life cycle cost savings. For successful life cycle cost savings and benefits from proper equipment and systems materials, comprehensive engineering is important to assure that proper material selection for minor components is not missed (e.g., seal materials). Life cycle cost savings can be achieved either through initial selection of appropriate robust materials or, in some cases where value engineering and applications experience provide compelling justification, using lower cost and shorter-life materials where more frequent changeout provides cost advantages without significant disadvantages (see Part 6).
More robust chemical process equipment and process area materials are logical choices, where initial installation of materials pays off quickly compared to installing much shorter-life materials and then paying for removal and replacement with more robust materials. Other savings can be far more substantial than the material/equipment removal and replacement purchase and installation savings alone. These other cost savings can include:
- Avoiding process shutdowns, fluid removal and replacement, and other production impacts for replacement of equipment and systems that degrade or fail early.
- Avoiding paying for quick turnaround and/or off-shift work premiums for equipment/systems removal and replacement.
- Avoiding special access and safety measures for equipment/systems removal and replacement with process solutions in place.
In addition to long-term cost-effectiveness, more durable materials for chemical process equipment and systems can also provide additional benefits (depending on application specifics):
- Enhance production performance and reliability
- Reduce maintenance requirements for repairs
- Reduce risks associated with equipment failures
- Reduce waste generation and conserve raw materials
- Help maintain positive plant image for workers and customers
- Achieve overall energy savings
- Provide flexibility for future process modifications, including potential change out of process chemistry.
Good engineering work for selection and implementation of materials for chemical process equipment and systems provides significant life cycle savings plus a range of other benefits.
ITI is a global consulting, engineering, and design-build firm based in Burlington, Vermont. We specialize in manufacturing processes, water and wastewater treatment, recycling, and ventilation applications for the metal and surface finishing industry.
If you’ve received this email, you opted in to receive the Integrated Technologies, Inc. email newsletter at some point in the past. We only store your email address and name with the sole purpose of sending you our email newsletter on a quarterly basis.
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of this or any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected].