BOILER SAFETY article by PJ Mohan ., Sr.Faculty NIFS
There has been a spate of boiler accidents in recent months in major companies highlighting the need of a comprehensive safety on boilers, Boiler accidents are catastrophic and they bring out a huge loss on both human front and the production front. Boiler is a closed vessel where two important processes happens
· Heat generation during Combustion process(fuel-burning process)
· Water getting converted to steam
Depending upon the type of boiler and fuel type used, these two processes create substantial amounts of temperatures and pressure which are to be controlled and used for the required plant operations, If there is a inherent equipment damage or failure to operate safely (or) the safety controls fail, then the boiler accident happens. The main problems arise out of boiler operations are agglomeration, scaling, fouling, slagging, embrittlement, corrosion, fatigue failure. Regularly following Safety precautions and safe operating procedures without any deviations will help prevent boiler accidents.
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· Preventive maintenance schedule needs to be done without any deviation and the preventive maintenance checklist should be comprehensive which covers all the safety aspects related to the boiler attachments and boiler cleaning,
· Boiler log to be updated and to be checked and analyzed day-wise for trends and any deviation observed in the parameters to be corrected and prevented. (Example like increase trend in exit gas temperatures indicates heat inside the boiler is not getting exchanged properly)
· Preservation of boilers to be done as per the requirement of the boiler as Shutdown/Startup procedure plays a vital role in eliminating start-up accidents
· Ash deposits (either by fouling or slagging) to be prevented by timely maintenance and cleaning and integrating new cleaning technologies with help of boiler manufacturer.
· External and internal treatment of boiler feed water to be done to maintain water quality standards to prevent corrosion and scaling
· Water hammering to be avoided as continuous water hammering leads to fatigue cracks and lead to an explosion.