Technical Tips

Flow accelerated corrosion

Flow Accelerated Corrosion (FAC) refers to a wear mechanism which results in severe wall thinning (up to 3mm/year) and metal loss of carbon steel piping and vessels exposed to flowing water and wet steam. FAC is often occurs in power generation units, including both conventional plants as well as nuclear facilities worldwide, but also occurs […]

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Are your bolts preloaded properly?

The joining of components or structures is an essential feature of engineering and the practice of bolting components is ubiquitous. Despite its widespread appeal and usage, however, bolting is not a trivial exercise, and disregard of the fundamentals or lack of awareness of the subtleties associated with bolting, has led to some catastrophic failures. This […]

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Barnacles and Crevice Corrosion

Corrosion, at the most basic level, may be considered as the dissolution of a metal in the presence of an aqueous solution (such as water). When metal corrodes in an aqueous solution such as oxygenated water, the metal anode is oxidised to form metal ions (typically M+), releasing electrons in the process. The electrons are […]

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Heat Treatment of Steel – Martensite Transformation

Steel is a remarkable material in that its microstructural characteristics can be altered by heat treatment, and consequently its properties and performance. Heat treatment would typically include i) heating of the steel (to an alloy dependent temperature), ii) soaking at that temperature, iii) cooling of the metal at some pre-determined cooling rate, and then iv) […]

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Protect your plant – during shut down

Even in normal times, conventional pressures in the economy and in industry can lead to fluctuating production demands, temporary downturns, or even unexpected shutdowns, but with the current COVID-19 pandemic and lock-down restrictions this pressure is now even greater. There may be a need for many companies to consider localised closure and hence temporary mothballing […]

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Austenite to Martensite Transformations and Memory Alloys

Within the realm of steel alloys there is a vast range of alloys and properties, and indeed, as is well known, the carbon content plays a significant role. Together with other alloying elements the carbon content is crucial with regard to the capacity to heat treat the alloy, and the heat treatment condition in which […]

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Don’t let your rump fall into the coals

An essential part of summer in South Africa is the ubiquitous meeting point around a braai, to enjoy a steak, a good chop, a stuk wors, a piece of fish or even a skilpadjie or two. Other countries try to emulate this South African tradition, with the Australian ‘barbies’, gas barbecues in America, or related […]

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Non Uniform Loading Of Bolts Induces Bending

The use of bolts in engineering applications is ubiquitous: they are used everywhere, and in general the Engineering public think they understand their usage. This perception is broadly correct when the loading on the bolt is symmetrical and axial, but this is not strictly true when the loading is not perfectly axial, or accommodates some […]

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Pitfalls in marine corrosion prevention: Electrical Isolation

In marine environments galvanic corrosion cells are readily formed between two dissimilar metals that are electrically connected and exposed to a common electrolyte (i.e. seawater). Provided the galvanic potential of the materials (i.e. of the anode and cathode sites) differs by more than approximately 250 mV, the more active metal (the anode) will be oxidised […]

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Pitfalls in marine corrosion prevention: Cathodic protection (sacrificial anodes)

In marine environments, galvanic corrosion cells are readily formed between two dissimilar metals that are in electrical contact and exposed to a common electrolyte (e.g. seawater). Provided the galvanic potential of the materials (i.e. of the anode and cathode sites) differs by more than approximately 250 mV , the more active metal (the anode) will […]

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