ABSTRACT

In general, the operation of a cooling water system focuses on water treatment. However in addition, corrosion equipment failures can be caused by other factors such as fatigue or freezing (mechanical overload). The presentation includes some case histories of equipment failures caused by the aforementioned reasons. Furthermore, the case histories demonstrate the importance of undertaking a thorough failure investigation in order to establish the cause of failure and thereby select the correct remedy.

INTRODUCTION

In many industries the cooling water system is a nuisance. The reason is that contrary to the process equipment that generates profit, the cooling water system is an annoying expense that only generates problems. Consequently, the cooling water system becomes a "low" status area t h a t - as long as it works satisfactorily- does not receive the same attention as the more "valuable" process equipment. This lack of attention is often followed up by allocation of a corresponding moderate budget, i.e. a tendency to buy cheap when designing and ordering a new cooling water system, and a tendency to allocate insufficient funds to water treatment and systematic maintenance when operating the cooling water system. Contrary to the aforementioned "laid back attitude" that prevails when the cooling water systems works satisfactorily, the neglected cooling water system receives a lot of attention when it suffers a serious failure. Unfortunately, in such circumstances it is not unusual that the owner of the cooling water system, the supplier of the cooling water system as well as the supplier of the water treatment chemicals have an infuriated exchange of views before initiating a thorough failure investigation in order to establish the cause of failure and thereby select the correct remedy. The case histories in the presentation demonstrate the advantages of undertaking a thorough failure investigation instead of"jumping" to the wrong conclusions.

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