June 27, 2018
The instant a compressed air receiver vessel goes online, a potentially dangerous volume of air is squeezed into a small space. Air is a harmless gas and the receiver vessel is made out of strong metals. The fact remains, compressed air contains destructive energies when it’s held in a little detention cell. No worries, a safety inspection is about to get the go-ahead.
Pneumatic control valves are actuating oil rig instrumentation. Elsewhere, a compressor is powering special air-driven tools on a production line. As prescribed by a nationally mandated ruling, it's time for a scheduled safety inspection. On checking the receiver vessel, the inspector finds a self-adhesive label. It's been signed and dated by the last inspector. In order to extend the certification of conformance, it's time to assess the air-containing vessel's performance once more. On the shell, the rolled metal and welds all require careful assessment. Remember, this vessel is coupled to a vibrating motor, and those vibrations will propagate. As they do so, cracks may develop on the air receiver.
The welds hold true and the shell is corrosion-free. Next, this isn't a featureless steel container. There are pipes and valves and gauges all over an operational air compressor. Are the system components sealed? More importantly, are the fitted safety valves and blowdown valves properly calibrated? Non-destructive tests are used to ascertain this safety-oriented matter. Refer to the AS3788 in-service pressure vessel regulations for more information, and use the service plate to correctly manage the inspection. For instance, annual inspections are mandatory, but then there are 5-year checkups, which require a system disconnection and the removal of the vessel access aperture. From here, the interior surfaces are inspected.
Carried out on a more regular basis, maintenance checks actively take care of the compressor and its receiver vessel. Place an open container below the drainage cock. Open that valve and bleed off the accumulated liquid. Compressed air passes through filters and dryers, but a finite quantity of airborne humidity still somehow finds its way inside the air receiver. That liquid collects, then it's the job of the maintenance engineer to periodically drain the water.
Checking for secure connections and air leaks, the preventative maintenance work continues. Notes are recorded in log books. A patch of corrosion is caught and corrected when the maintenance books are examined by a site foreman. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on that certification label, which tells us the inspection team will soon be headed back to repeat the entire process.
Fusion - Weld Engineering Pty Ltd
ABN 98 068 987619
1865 Frankston Flinders Road,
Hastings, VIC 3915
Ph: (03) 5909 8218
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