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Components|Construction|Environment|Fabrication|Flow|Gas|Installation|Oil And Gas|Pipelines|Refining|Safety|Storage|Surface|Systems|Valves|Water|Equipment|Flow|Maintenance|Drilling|Operations
Components|Construction|Environment|Fabrication|Flow|Gas|Installation|Oil And Gas|Pipelines|Refining|Safety|Storage|Surface|Systems|Valves|Water|Equipment|Flow|Maintenance|Drilling|Operations
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Firm provides tips to avoid rust

VALVES PRESERVATION Valve preservation ought to occur during warehousing of critical or operational spares

CLEAN PRODUCTS Ensure valves are clean and rust-free by adding an internal source of Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors

19th May 2023

     

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Ball valves, gate valves, globe valves, butterfly valves, check valves, and valve assemblies are all common and critical components in the oil and gas industry.

Their job of regulating hazardous fluid flow in pipelines and piping systems underscores the importance of keeping them in peak operating condition.

Unfortunately, one of the most common enemies of valve integrity is rust, which can attack and deteriorate valves during hydrotesting, shipping, and layup. The following tips from corrosion control company Cortec Corporation make it easy to achieve successful preservation during the three main phases of a valve’s nonoperational lifecycle.

Preserving Valves for Long Haul

Before a pipeline or plant starts operating, thousands of components must be fabricated, assembled, and shipped to the construction site. Valves must be hydrostatically tested by the valves manufacturer to ensure no leaks. Hydrotesting of valves and components may also be done at coastal fabrication yards where components are assembled into modules and often shipped overseas, halfway around the globe.

Adding VpCI-649 to the hydrotest water does dual duty by protecting against flash rust from the hydrotest water and leaving behind a thin film of corrosion inhibitors that provide both contact and vapour-phase protection. This offers comprehensive coverage that is typically difficult to achieve, owing to valve intricacies. A higher dose can be used for an extended period of preservation. Another approach is to fog valve internals with CorroLogic VpCI-339 fogging fluid, a 100% vapour-phase inhibitor for void space protection.

After internal protection, the entire valve can be enclosed in VpCI film (available in multiple grades for different atmospheric exposure conditions) to keep the vapour phase corrosion inhibitors from escaping and to protect the external surface without cumbersome coating or liquid rust preventive application. The valve is then ready to be shipped through all sorts of environments and arrive in like-new condition at the installation site.

Preserving Valves for Backup

Another critical phase of valve preservation ought to occur during warehousing of critical or operational spares. Protection methods are similar to those previously mentioned, with slightly different underlying reasons. For operational plants, preserving spare valves can mean the difference between millions of rands saved, or millions of rands lost for lack of a reliable spare to install when a replacement is needed.

If all spares are rusty (as too often happens in nonclimate-controlled warehouses or outdoor storage yards), maintenance personnel must choose between installing a rusty, potentially faulty valve that could lead to further failure and disaster, or waiting and experiencing downtime for days, weeks, or months before a replacement arrives.

A much easier path is to “clean, protect and preserve” valves in advance with these three steps:

Remove any existing rust (e.g., use a dip bath of VpCI-422, followed by rinsing and neutralisation with a VpCI-41x series cleaner).

Then f

og the valve internals with VpCI-337 or CorroLogic-VpCI-339 fogging fluid.

Cover openings or wrap the entire valve in VpCI-126 film (indoor storage), VpCI-126 HP UV shrink film (outdoor storage), or MilCorr VpCI shrink film (outdoor storage) depending on the severity of the environment.

This procedure leaves valves in operating condition, ready to use at a moment’s notice as soon as they are unwrapped.

Preserving Valves for a Brighter Day

A third important phase of valve preservation comes when the fluctuating oil and gas market makes mothballing and layup the most cost-effective option, shutting down drilling or refining operations until there is a brighter industry outlook. In the meantime, millions of rands of equipment must be preserved so that value is not lost during the idle period. Valves can be preserved in much the same way as described for other phases. When the market brightens, crews can easily go in, remove the VpCI film, and get the facility up and running.

Whatever the stage, valves are such a critical part of the oil and gas industry that they deserve special attention for economic and safety reasons. Compared with the serious repercussions of inadequate preservation, corrosion prevention is extremely cost-effective.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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