Downtime Resistant

Big Refinery

 

Background

For a refinery, downtime can be a killer to the bottom line: a dollar lost to downtime is a dollar lost forever. For one supermajor, they wished to keep equipment used for refining in pristine condition so that they could extend their maintenance cycle, and when they needed to replace a part in service, ensure that replacement equipment was ready to be put into use. However, on the Louisiana coast, fighting corrosion is a constant battle and the steel components are under a never ending threat from the high-humidity, high-salinity environment. Past methods to prevent corrosion included thick coatings and vapor corrosion inhibitors (VCIs); however, there were challenges to both of these methods. The thick coatings required removal before parts could be put in storage and also generated waste that added to disposal costs. Parts wrapped in plastic and protected by VCIs were only protected as long as nothing damaged the plastic. If the plastic was perforated, a “mini-terrarium” would be created, accelerating the corrosion on the part inside the plastic.

 

Goal

The customer wished to protect several heat exchangers that would be in storage so that they could be put into action without any delays, thus reducing the amount of downtime.

 

Solution

The supermajor purchased Rust Patrol® Heavy Duty and used it to coat the new heat exchangers. After coating the heat exchangers, plastic was placed over the parts to give additional protection since they would be sitting outside and subject to the frequent rain of the Louisiana coast. After nearly a year, the heat exchangers coated with Rust Patrol® Heavy Duty are still rust-free. When needed, these heat exchangers can be put into service immediately. The customer does not need to remove a thick, messy anti-corrosion coating that would require (1) labor hours to remove the coating and (2) disposal of the coating, rags used for wipe down, and solvents used for final removal. Accordingly, the customer can maintain their inventory value and reduce their downtime.