DESIGN AND ANALYSIS OF BRICK LINED AUTOCLAVES FOR THE MINING INDUSTRY. Paul Tucker SNC-Lavalin Inc., Toronto, Canada

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1 Proceedings of the ASME 2014 Pressure Vessels & Piping Conference PVP2014 July 20-24, 2014, Anaheim, California, USA PVP DESIGN AND ANALYSIS OF BRICK LINED AUTOCLAVES FOR THE MINING INDUSTRY Radoslav Stefanovic Fluor Calgary, Canada Paul Tucker SNC-Lavalin Inc., Toronto, Canada George Miller Fluor, Houston, Texas, USA Barry Messer Fluor, Calgary, Canada Christopher Doctor Fluor Calgary, Canada ABSTRACT This paper focuses on design optimization of bricklined autoclaves to reduce wall thickness without compromising autoclave integrity. The use of acid resistant, brick lined, horizontal, autoclaves is common for hydrometallurgical processing within the mining industry. To prevent corrosion of the carbon steel pressure boundary, autoclaves are often lined with an acid proof flexible membrane and high nickel alloy overlay localized at nozzle areas. A brick lining protects the membrane against high temperature and abrasive damage that would result in corrosion of the carbon steel pressure boundary. Because of stringent out-of-roundness and deflection requirements, autoclave designers are faced with the challenge of choosing the proper thickness and layout of the autoclaves. Common practice for satisfying stringent requirements is to design much thicker autoclave than what is required to satisfy pressure and temperature conditions. This paper provides a methodology for the design that utilizes stiffening rings for controlling out-of-roundness that results in thinner and lighter autoclaves. autoclave design with significantly thinner wall without compromising autoclave integrity. Consequently, fabrication and transportation costs are much lower than for heavy-wall autoclaves. The new design not only reduces cost of the autoclaves but also improves the life of the weld overlay in the nozzle area. These weld overlaid areas in nozzle area are made from high nickel alloy that is sensitive to intergranular precipitation if exposed to Post Weld Heat Treatment (PWHT). Thin wall autoclaves avoids ASME VIII Div I thickness limitations for PWHT requirements. The paper discusses the methodology of the design process and provides an example of the FEA. DESIGN The design of the brick-lined autoclaves must satisfy not only pressure and temperature requirements, but also prevent any damage and crack formation to the internal brick lining. To satisfy these requirements, the design of the autoclaves shall INTRODUCTION The brick lining used in autoclaves has low resistance to bending and tensile stresses and is prone to cracking, dislodgement, and premature failure. To prevent this occurrence, normal practice in the mining industry is to design the autoclave wall thicker than that required for pressure and temperature requirements in order to satisfy stringent requirements for shell out-of-roundness tolerance and deflection limits. In this paper a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and methodology utilizing stiffening rings and gussets, in place of heavy vessel wall thickness, is introduced for better control of out-of-roundness and deflection in the radial and longitudinal directions and saddle areas. The result is an Figure 1: Autoclave Layout go beyond the basic design requirements specified in the existing codes for pressure vessels. The basic requirements for these additional factors are specified in DIN [3] and DIN Supplement 1 [4]. The design of autoclaves 1 Copyright 2014 by ASME

2 requires consideration of internal design pressure including static head of slurry and external design pressure in the same manner as for other vessels. In addition, the influence of brick lining such as swelling shall be considered. To account for brick influence DIN recommends an increase of 30 % over the stresses calculated from pressure. Typical layout of the autoclave is shown on Figure 1. Once a vessel thickness that satisfies internal and external pressures is established, the final design of the autoclave components shall be determined by considering the following factors. with a much larger deflection in operation than was expected during the design stage. The proper location of the saddles is a critical aspect of the design to ensure minimal deflection. To prevent excessive deflection, additional stiffening rings at the saddles may be required. Out-of Roundness According to DIN [3], after completion of fabrication the radii in the cylindrical part of the brick-lined vessel may not deviate by more than ±0.4% from the mean value, maximum of ±15 mm for the diameters exceeding 7500 mm. This requirement is more stringent than the permissible out-of-roundness in ASME Section VIII Division 1 which specified maximum value of 1%. In addition the deviation from the ideal line between one measurement point and another may not exceed half of the tolerance and may only arise gradually [3]. Measuring points are defined as increments of 1/16 for the radius measurements. Deflection It is known that brick lining has low resistance to bending and tensile stress. To avoid the harmful effects of these stress deflections, industrial practice is to keep the deformation in both longitudinal and circumferential directions below 4 mm per 1 m. In the past, this requirement was satisfied by increasing the vessel wall thickness much beyond that required for pressure and temperature. It is common to see autoclaves that are 3 times thicker than required by Code. Thus, wall thicknesses are often within the range of mm. This approach significantly increases fabrication, transport, lifting and foundation costs. This approach also introduces tremendous problems for transports because the autoclaves exceed the capacity of many roads and bridges. In some cases, autoclaves are transported in pieces and assembled at site which further increases the cost of the autoclave. In order to come up with an economical autoclave design and minimise potential problems associated with heavy vessels, the authors of this paper propose the use of stiffening rings to satisfy deflection limits. This design approach is widely used in the petrochemical industry. To prepare design and satisfy deflection requirements the authors propose utilization of the Finite Element Analysis (FEA). This method is explained in the FEA part of this paper. The most critical areas that experience large longitudinal deflections are at the midspan of the vessel and the saddles. The most critical deflection in the circumferential direction is due to bending and compression at the top and bottom of the shell in the plane of the saddles, midspan, and nozzles. In the past, some designers utilized three saddles to prevent excessive deflection. This approach can result in more problems than benefits because of the difficulty in the aligning three saddles during installation and possibility of having different settlements at the saddles during the operation. As a result, the autoclave can end up being supported by only two saddles Figure 2: Autoclave Nozzle Layout Other critical areas for the deflection are nozzle areas. Nozzle weights, external loads and sagging during welding can cause excessive deflection. Because of this, external loads shall be considered for FEA. Loads and vibrations imposed on the Agitator nozzles shall be included in the design analysis. Additional gussets to prevent deflection in the nozzle areas shall be also considered. Sagging and deformation must be accounted for during fabrication. Post Weld Heat Treatment To avoid PWHT and increase the life of the autoclave, thickness of the shell and heads shall not exceed ASME Code [1] specified maximum thickness of 38.1 mm. Wind and Seismic Factors. Wind and seismic factors shall be considered for the design utilizing local codes. FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS (FEA) Finite element analysis (FEA) is performed in order to demonstrate that the maximum deflection of the vessel shell shall be less than 4 mm per linear meter to prevent the cracking and spalling of the brick lining. In the execution of this FEA Analysis, ANSYS, a general purpose finite element program is utilized. The Autoclave is a horizontal vessel with two saddles to support the vessel. The addition of tee section stiffeners is necessary to decrease the deflections below 4 mm/m limit. The stiffener rings are located at strategic locations along the vessel to satisfy the deflection criteria. The FEA analysis investigates different combinations of stiffener rings and shell thickness. The design is optimized to allow the use of thinner shells with a reasonable number of stiffener rings. A design with four stiffener rings is shown in Figure 3 and a design with 6 stiffener rings is shown in Figure 4. An analysis is also done to determine the natural frequency response of the nozzles with agitators attached. The 2 Copyright 2014 by ASME

3 purpose is to assure that the vessel nozzle will not be in resonance with the agitator frequency to prevent excessive deflection. Stiffening of the nozzle attachment may be necessary to support the cyclic agitator loads, prevent resonance, and/or reduce deflections Assumptions and Limitations The following assumptions and simplifications result in conservative analysis 1) A steady-state thermal temperature is assumed for the metal temperature. 2) The liquid weight is adjusted to account for brick lining volume. 3) The stiffness of the brick lining is not included in this analysis. 4) The nozzle loads are based on the flange nozzle sizes. 5) Agitator loads include both the static and dynamic portion including a design factor. 6) The combination of loads is to maximize deflections in the shell. Figure 3: Autoclave design with Four Stiffeners Modeling The Autoclave is analyzed using a 3D plate/shell model including the shell, heads, man-ways, agitator nozzles, inlet nozzles, saddles, and stiffeners. A plate/shell model was selected to allow for iterations of the shell and stiffener thickness and geometry changes (addition of stiffener rings) during the design process. The saddle attachment is modeled as an equivalent thickness wear plate. The vessel is restrained in the vertical and lateral directions at both saddles and held along the vessel at one saddle. The model is run with varying shell thickness and number of stiffener rings. The full vessel is modeled. The model uses Shell 93 elements for the main components. The use of a plate shell elements also has advantages in run time and since the analysis only requires deflections the mesh is more than adequate for predicting the deformed shape. The model consists of approximately 68,000 elements and 200,000 nodes. Design conditions The FEA should include the following design conditions. 1) The Autoclave operating pressure and temperature. 2) The maximum liquid load (to the top of all nozzles) with a maximum solids percentage for the slurry. 3) Nozzle loads including defined agitator loads. The loading combination is summarized as follows: Dead weight + pressure + liquid weight + agitator nozzle loads + pipe loads Figure 4: Autoclave design with Six Stiffeners Applying the weight of the liquid and brick lining as a pressure load simulates the proper weight distribution of the brick and fluid which will result in more accurate prediction of shell deflection. Results The deflections as a result of the analysis are post processed to determine if the final deflection under full loading satisfies the 4 mm/m criteria. An Excel spreadsheet is used to calculate the actual deflected shape based on the nodal coordinates. The radial deflection is assessed over each meter of circumference to determine the change in radii. This change must be less than 4 mm. The deflected shapes in the Figures 5 3 Copyright 2014 by ASME

4 thru 8 show the radial deflection and the vertical deflection predicted by the FEA. Figures 5 and 6 show the design with Figure 7: Vertical Displacement with Four Stiffeners Figure 5: Vertical Displacement with Six Stiffeners Figure 8: Radial Displacement with Four Stiffeners Figure 6: Radial Displacement with Six Stiffeners six stiffeners and the displaced shape due to the applied loading. Figures 7 and 8 show a four stiffener design. The shell thickness is 33% greater for the four stiffener design versus the six stiffener design. Both designs satisfy the deflection criteria, but the thicker shell with the four stiffeners still requires post weld heat treatment and is approximately 33% heavier. The addition of stiffener rings is a low cost, low weight solution. The design of the Autoclave is an iterative process to determine the most economical design which meets all of the design criteria. All aspects of the design must be considered FABRICATION To satisfy stringent out-of roundness requirements, the fabrication process shall be properly planned and executed. The critical process in fabrication is plate rolling, welding of longitudinal welds in the shell and welding nozzles to the shell. It is important to choose a manufacturer with a proven record and know-how for this kind of work. During welding, a great amount of heat is utilized and cooling shall be controlled to avoid deformations and sagging. Shell bevel preparations for welding of the nozzles shall be done in a way to prevent sagging after cooling. To find a proper split at the K type shell to nozzle weld, a dummy shell to nozzle weld may be simulated to find the proper ratio between outside and inside dimensions of the bevel. In addition, temporary spiders bars with possibility of jacking should be used during the 4 Copyright 2014 by ASME

5 fabrication process. Furthermore, permanent gussets may be utilized in the nozzle and saddles are to prevent deformations and sagging after welding and cooling process. Another approach is to use insulation blankets to avoid rapid cooling after welding. To properly prepare interior surface prior to installation of the thermoplastic membrane, all internal welds shall be ground flush. CONCLUSION Due to stringent out-of-roundness and deflection requirements, autoclave designers are faced with the challenge of choosing the proper thickness and layout of the autoclaves. In the past, designers satisfied these stringent requirements by choosing much thicker autoclave than what is required to satisfy pressure and temperature conditions. This paper provides a methodology for the design that utilizes stiffening rings for controlling out-of-roundness during the fabrication process and deformation during the operation. Implementing this approach will result in autoclaves with significantly reduced thickness. This results in a considerable cost reduction in fabrication, transport, lifting and foundation. In addition, this approach increases autoclave life by avoiding PWHT that causes intergranluar precipitation of the weld overlay in the nozzle areas. Overall, this new design approach lowers total installed cost without compromising autoclave quality and integrity. REFERENCES 1 ASME Section VIII Division 1: Rules for Construction of Pressure Vessel. American Society for Mechanical Engineering Edition. 2 ASME Section II part D: Material Properties. American Society for Mechanical Engineering Edition. 3 Deutsches Institut fur Normung DIN : Brick-lined Vessels & Apparatus; Design and Construction. November Deutsches Institut fur Normung DIN Supplement 1: Brick-lined Vessels & Apparatus; Test Methods for Tolerances and Limit Deviations. December H.H.Bednar: Pressure Vessel Design Handbook. Second Edition. Kreiger Publishing Company, Copyright 2014 by ASME

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