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Forever Pipes Live Up To Their Name in Latest Alcoa Overhaul

It has been 4 years since Timcast Forever Pipe was installed at Alcoa’s alumina refinery in Western Australia and VEEM’s latest inspection has found they are still in the same condition as when they were installed 4 years ago!

The battle for managing abrasive erosion in slurry pipes is an issue facing refinery engineers all over the world and the Timcast Forever Pipe with its metallurgical bonded dual alloy has offered a long lasting solution for refineries all over the world.

“These spools are on their 4th campaign and are still not showing any major signs of wear,” comments Timcast Forever Pipe Development Manager Filko Bavcevic, “Given that previous hardface weld overlay lasted less than one campaign, we are extremely happy with this result.”

The pipe spools, which are a bi-metal, centrifugally cast pipe, have an inner layer that can withstand the rigors of the abrasive slurry and an outer carbon steel layer that are pressure compliant to various pipe codes, with the added advantage of being able to be welded, cut and ultrasonically thickness tested for wear.

The result at Alcoa has demonstrated huge cost reductions of up to 92% of through life costs when compared to their previous hard facing methods, cutting the costs of downtime, repairs and replacement dramatically. “We predict these spools will continue to remain in this condition for another 10 years” Filko comments, “and we can continually perform thickness checking to monitor the wear of the pipes in-service throughout that life”.

Timcast Forever Pipe offers the unique opportunity for customers to be able to ultrasonically thickness test every pipe whilst in-service. This has vastly increased the time between shuts and reduced down time for inspections.

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ALCOA PIPE DREAM BECOMES REALITY

Refinery engineers are always on the lookout for innovative solutions that can save money and improve the efficiency of the plant. Alcoa’s alumina refinery in Pinjarra Western Australia has found just such a product. Managing abrasive erosion in slurry pipes throughout  the refinery is a constant battle. Alcoa is now using the new Timcast Forever Pipe from Veem Ltd.

The Timcast Forever Pipe is a bi-metal centrifugally cast pipe which consists of different inner and outer alloys. The inside layer is a high wear resistant Chrome white iron, while the outer layer is a carbon steel. The magic is created by casting the alloys together so they are metallurgically bonded. The final product has the best of both worlds. An inner layer that can handle the abrasive slurry and an outside layer that can handle the pressure and be welded and cut.

The Forever Pipe Development Manager Filko Bavcevich said “It’s a great feeling to deliver a product that has such a positive impact on the customer. The  inspection of the Forever Pipe after 1 year in service found negligible wear. I was told the management want to see nothing but Forever Pipe throughout the plant.”

A huge advantage of Forever Pipe over other solutions is its unique ability to perform thickness checking to monitor wear of the pipes in-service using ultrasonic thickness testing. This is a quick inexpensive exercise using an ultrasound device. This has vastly increased the time between shuts and reduced downtime for visual inspections.

Alcoa has found Forever Pipe to last at least 3 times longer than other hard facing solutions but is equally impressed with the flexibility of sizes and lengths and the ability to have it delivered in such a short lead time. Also stabs, drain points and Ts are simple modifications with Forever Pipe unlike competing solutions.

Contact VEEM Ltd, 22 Baile Rd Canning Vale 6155 Western Australia.
61 08 9455 9355      hollowbar@veem.com.au     www.timcasthollowbar.com
Authorised By Alcoa 2013

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