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FCCU Expansion Joint Application, System Design, and Reliability Considerations

Presented By

Tej Chadda - FosterWheeler


Expansion Joints in FCCU transfer lines (refractory-lined or unlined) are in critical applications due to high temperature, catalyst service, large diameter, and upset conditions. The expansion joints being the weakest link in the piping system require special consideration in its design and application considering safety and reliability. Therefore, expansion joint application, especially in FCCU service, needs to be optimized during design, fabrication as well as in operation.

Whether the expansion joint can be eliminated or optimized with design upgrade requires composite system design approach. The effect of refractory lining on the stiffness of the system design and detailed stress analysis including FEA are considered for the composite system design approach. Expansion Joint system design upgrades, installation and field monitoring during refractory dry-out, start-up along with routine inspection during operation and during scheduled turnaround improves the safety, reliability, and life of expansion joint in critical FCCU application.

This paper presents a systematic approach to consider these critical issues along with examples of practical application.

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