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Steam Test

Steam test is almost similar to air test. Instead of injecting air, we injected steam into the vessels and pipelines. The reason we conduct steam test is to check for any leakages in the vessels and pipelines. However, unlike air test, steam test is easier to detect leak because steam will visibly shoot out from the leaking point when the pressure is already high (about 1.5 to 2 bars).

It is not necessary to maintain the steam pressure higher than 2 bars as it is already more than sufficient. Applying more steam will only be wasting time, energy and money. In addition to that, it will take longer time to release the steam after completing the process.

For our case, we did steam test at the beginning and at the end of the shutdown. Both were necessary (depending on the condition of the plant). We identified the leaking points and welded them from the earlier test. The final steam test was carried out to double check before plant start-up. Both steam tests have their own downside. The first one will delay cooling of vessels, because steam is hot. Therefore, upon opening the manhole, we have to allow at least 1/2 a day before entering the vessels. Another downside which applied for both earlier and later steam tests were the amount of water produced as condensate from the steam. During plant cleaning, existence of water is not really a problem. However, during plant start-up, water has to be fully drained before pumping oil into plant. Having a mixture of water and oil will create various problem including oil quality.

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 9:01 PM,


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The Author


I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!

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