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16-10-2019

ALKY-ONE™ gasket delivers unprecedented corrosion/erosion resistance at US refinery

ERIKS North America announced that a U.S. hydrofluoric (HF) acid alkylation refinery experienced an unprecedented, four-year, zero-percent flange repair/replacement fraction, thanks to the use of the company's ALKY-ONE™ gasket, the refining industry’s leading technology for combating flange corrosion and erosion in HF acid units.

“Hydrofluoric acid is one of the most difficult and dangerous sealing applications in the refining industry,” said David Clover, senior product/application specialist for ERIKS North America. “Not only can leaks threaten bodily harm, but the acid also corrodes carbon steel flanges from the inside, causing taper corrosion, which usually leads to costly flange repairs or replacement.”

In 2015, a HF acid alkylation refinery in the Midwest was looking to upgrade 3,119 flanges to prevent taper corrosion, eliminate associated repair or replacement costs, and improve safety. Partnering with gasket specialists at ERIKS North America, the refinery’s engineering staff selected the ALKY-ONE™ gasket.

“During install, our team worked closely with the refinery to put strict inspection and quality control procedures in place to ensure proper protocols were followed at each flange. By following these measures, all flanges were completely leak-free at startup,” explained Clover.

During its next scheduled turnaround cycle in 2019, the refinery opened 1,320 (more than 40 percent) of the upgraded flanges equipped with the ALKY-ONE™ gasket for inspection. Each flange was in like-new condition, with no need for repair or replacement.

“The zero-percent flange repair/replacement fraction is truly unprecedented in the industry, and a testament to the capability and reliability of the ALKY-ONE™ gasket to provide long-term, safe seals in dangerous applications,” said Clover. “With alternative gasket options, that fraction can be as high as thirty percent.”

First introduced in 2011 by Advanced Sealing, an ERIKS North America company, the ALKY-ONE™ gasket is a specially engineered kammprofile gasket with an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene interior barrier that provides a complete seal across a flange face. Through its unique design, the ALKY-ONE™ gasket drastically reduces the potential for HF acid leaks, combats corrosion and erosion inside of flanges, maintains its seal in the event of a fire, and minimizes the bolt force needed to safely seal flanges. 

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