Case History #ST091 – A Chemical Processing Plant Success Story
- Location: USA
- Industry: Chemical Processing
- Plant: Nitric Acid – Fertilizers
- Application: Shell & Tube Heat Exchanger
- Material of Construction: Zirconium
- Temperature: 232°C / 450°F
- Pressure: 10.3bar / 150psi Flange: Ø1651mm / 65”
- Previous Gasket: Fiber sheet gasket (exfoliated vermiculite)
Over time, small leaks of boiling nitric acid had eroded the flange surfaces as well as damaging the vessel exterior. The fiber sheet gasket could not conform to the poor surface conditions resulting in progressively worse leaks, process shutdowns, and emissions problems. With a $400,000 new Zirconium heat exchanger head ordered for replacement, the customer still had to stop leaks on the existing end cap. Urgently, a tight and reliable seal was required despite the poor flange conditions.
SOLUTION: GORE® Gasket Tape Series 500
GORE Gasket Tape Series 500 is ideally suited for large or complex steel flanges and equipment with flange deviation and met the immediate goals with great success.
Not only did the unit remain sealed perfectly until the new head arrived 4 months later, but the customer then specified GORE Gasket Tape for use as a standard solution. While the new head was being manufactured, GORE Gasket Tape turned the tide of bad luck for the customer. Despite significant flange deviation, during those 4 months, there were:
- No leaks
- No fugitive emissions
- No lost production
Substantial savings were realized over this time along with no safety related issues. Due to the strong credibility earned by the innovative GORE® Gasket Tape in this troublesome application, the customer made the decision to use Gore Sealing solutions for all nitric acid processes, including:
- GORE® Universal Pipe Gasket (Style 800) on all process piping.
- GORE Gasket Tape Series 500 on large diameter heat exchangers and other steel equipment.