RJ Lee Group provides significant technical support to Fortune 500 companies for international liquefied natural gas production, including those involved in energy production. Technical challenges that are already significant become magnified when working across continents, cultures, and environments – e.g., the middle east is particularly harsh from a corrosion standpoint.
In this example, RJ Lee Group metallurgists were retained to provide system-wide materials evaluation and failure analysis support for the largest liquid natural gas plant in the world, located in Middle East. This project spanned nearly a decade and involved hundreds if not thousands of individual analyses related to material selection, process improvement, and failure analysis for multiple metallurgical applications within the plant, all in support of the installation, operation, maintenance, and engineering optimization of the facility including piping and electrical systems. Technical challenges abound in this environment, both in terms of the type of application and the coastal environment in which the plant operates. The types of components worked on included transformers, water cooling systems, high power drives, pressure vessels like water storage tanks, all varieties of joints (connectors, welds, brazed joints, solders), and electrical board level failures. In one particular example, shipborne control module connectors were exhibiting early failures determined to be caused by fretting corrosion. Upon analysis, this failure mechanism was found to be caused by an unforeseen combination of vibration and environmental exposure. A redesign was implemented to address the vibration concerns and abate the problem.