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Freeze Drying Condenser

Issue:

  • Customer's original vessel was failing at numerous locations
  • Failures interfered with production
  • Repairs were very expensive and time consuming

Analysis:

  • The failures were caused by stress cracking corrosion (SCC) due to a chloride bearing insulation used on the vessel earlier on in its service life
  • Original welding on the vessel was of poor quality leaving initiation sites for cracking and corrosion
  • Additional equipment had been added around the vessel since its original installation, presenting a difficult situation to remove the old vessel and replace with a new one
  • The door hinge on the original vessel was crude and worn, requiring manipulation by technicians to allow the door to be bolted shut

Solution:

  • Avoid exposure to materials that lead to SCC during fabrication and insulation
  • All welds were sealed with the TIG procedure
  • The door hinge was redesigned to include provisions for fine adjustment and bearings to substantially reduce technician effort

Result:

  • Vacuum testing results on the completed vessel are the best seen at this customer's site
  • The redesigned door hinge allows for perfect alignment, and the ability to open and close a door weighing 1,000 pounds with ease
  • CHL Systems service team installed the vessel through tight clearances with minimal disturbance to operations