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Flare Systems

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Flare Systems (also known as gas flares) are an important piece of equipment for plants and refineries. Gas flares will burn up the flammable gases released by pressure relief valves when flammable gases are emitted by different types of plant equipment. This prevents these excess gases, which may be harmful, from leaking into the area immediately surrounding the equipment. Flaring most often occurs during startup and shutdown, when large amounts of excess gas are built up.

Flaring begins when excess gases are mixed with steam or air as they are pumped through large piping systems. These systems push the mixtures to flare stacks where they are then burnt, producing relatively safe water vapor and carbon dioxide. In this way, the process is very similar to the burning of liquid petroleum gases.

Flare systems should be inspected routinely for fouling and corrosion. Radiographic inspections for fouling material at strategic points will sometimes reveal that the flare lines are partially plugged; in these cases some maintenance and/or operating measures to clear the blockages are necessary. Ultrasonic scanning and/ or radiographic inspections for thinning are also vital to integrity management of flare systems. Major process safety incidents have occurred when thin flare lines separated and fell to the ground during slug flow conditions.

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Articles about Flare Systems
March/April 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Flare systems provide hydrocarbon facilities with safe and efficient discharge of relief and waste gases by controlled open flame burning. This article provides information on the selection, inspection, and maintenance of various types of flares.

Authors: Ibrahim Kodssi
July/August 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

This paper outlines the 101 essential elements that need to be in place, and functioning well, to effectively and efficiently, preserve and protect the reliability and integrity of pressure equipment (vessels, exchangers, furnaces, boilers, piping...

Authors: John Reynolds
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InVista is a lightweight, hand-held ultrasonic in-line inspection tool (intelligent pig) capable of detecting pipeline wall loss and corrosion in unpiggable or difficult-to-inspect pipelines. The pipeline geometry inspection data captured by the...

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