FGD SAVES WITH FRP
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that fossil fueled power utilities clean their exhaust gas emissions with greater than 90% efficiency. Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) is playing a significant role in helping power utilities meet these demands. In flue gas desulphurization (FGD) applications, FRP is being used to manufacture a wide range of FGD process equipment, for corrosive and abrasive services, including slurry handling piping, scrubber/absorber equipment (over 100 feet in diameter), circular and rectangular reinforced ductwork, storage tanks, special structures and chimney liners. As much of this equipment may be over 20ft in diameter, and cannot be transported over roadway, many of the large diameter shells and fabrications must be fabricated on the jobsite. To accomplish this, the FRP equipment manufacturer must establish a shop quality environment at the jobsite, including a sheltered workspace sufficient for environmental controls (lightning, cleanliness, humidity and temperature.)
Maverick, having established itself as an experienced FRP engineering resource is involved in a number of FGD projects and a broad range of work scope, including chimney liner design, pipe support provision and FRP quality assurance inspection services. FRP chimney liners are demanding by service and sophisticated by design. ASTM D5364 provides the general requirements and guidelines governing the design, fabrication, assembly and quality control for FRP chimney liner projects.
Typically ranging from 400 ft. to 1000 ft. in height and 25 ft. to 35 ft. in diameter, vertical loading (including fly ash deposits) can be substantial, over 500,000 lbs. in some cases. With other design conditions including internal pressure, vacuum, temperature, wind and seismic loading, the analysis approach must be thorough, comprehensive and well documented.
As a preferred material of construction, FRP has been used in the FGD industry for over 30 years with countless successes. Competing materials in these applications are 317SS, rubber-lined carbon steel and C-276 clad carbon steel. FRP is very cost competitive with rubber-lined carbon steel, but with substantially longer reliable service life than rubber-lined carbon steel. FRP is about half the cost of C-276 clad carbon steel with equal the corrosion resistance and service life.
Due to the magnitude of the processes in FGD applications, FRP equipment may be quite large in size; requiring on-site assembly or fabrication. Equipment for these applications is completely custom and tailored for the specific project needs. The performance demands on the equipment is considerable, requiring a high level of quality and precision. To assist this effort, Maverick Supports & Services, Inc. provides Quality Assurance Inspectors to act as the “eyes and ears” for the Owner. Typically the inspector’s responsibility includes:
- Observation of site FRP fabrication and assembly
- Documentation of compliance with project documents and standards
- Examination of shop fabricated components
- Document quality control practices
- Environmental and progress reporting
To support the project, we may assist in problem solving or trouble shooting to work through fabrication concerns, as requested. As the project construction may run for 12 – 24 months, it is important that all parties are working toward a common goal that is to fabricate and install a quality reliable part.