Forge Bonding is a no-hot-work-required technology that lets you perform repairs on your equipment while it’s in service. This means you can save on production loss and avoid many headaches that come with issuing hot work permits.
Below are 7 FAQs about Forge Bonding that provides you the details so you can decide if its right for you.
1. How Is The Bond Actually Made?
Forge bonding uses very high pressures to bond instead of high temperatures. A 5/16” stainless steel stud is inserted, and pressure is applied to rotate the stud at very high speeds for a few seconds. A small amount of thermal energy is applied during this process, which softens the two metals to a clay-like consistency.
After the three seconds are up, the metals are fused together. And the bond is so strong, it becomes stronger than either of the two metals involved in the bonding process.
2. What Materials Does Forge Bonding Use?
There are a few varieties of steel that are worked on with Forge Bonding, but the most common is carbon steel. And when making the repairs, we will always try to use carbon steel in the repairs that is the same as the parent material.
98% of the studs we put down use a 304 stainless steel, which creates an incredibly strong bond that is immune to the elements. A standard polymer is used to seal the plate against the leak, which fills the pits and helps to planarize if we have to cross a lap joint.
Also, Forge bonding enhances the asset the repair is performed on, which means that the equipment that is repaired is left in better shape than before the leak happened in the first place!
3. How Fast Can Work Get Done With Forge Bonding?
The good news is that a forge bond itself only takes about 3 seconds, plus or minus depending on the temperature of the equipment being worked on. The more time consuming portion is moving and setting up the machine for each bond.
Three sizes of plates are typically worked with – 4 bolt, 8 bolt, and 12 bolt, with 12 bolt being the most common. We estimate on a good day, sixty studs can be put down. So if we happen to be working with 8 bolt plates, you can expect six to eight to be put down in a typical shift.
This is of course affected by things like obstacles and hard to reach areas, but that is to be expected.
4. Is the Forge Bonding process safe?
Forge Bonding is incredibly safe for a few different reasons.
First, there’s the benefit of being able to eliminate hot work by using this process. And as the industry is becoming more and more safety conscious, the amount of safety gained by eliminating hot work is huge.
Second, the amount of thermal energy used in the bond is very minimal. Truth is, the auto-ignition temperature of most hydrocarbons is in fact exceeded that the bonds are performed on top of. However, the auto-ignition temperature is measured over a 10 minute interval. And according to API practice 2216, if the thermal energy that the hydrocarbon is exposed to is small enough, it takes a much higher temperature to ignite. Considering the bond only takes 3 seconds, a much higher temperature is required, which is never reached.
And Third – the machine used for the bonding process is completely air driven. There’s no electrical hookups required. Plus, the pressure and temperatures are regulated on the machine to ensure maximum safety. There are pneumatic timer counts down the 3 seconds that the bond takes, then shuts off. There’s also redundant timers built in as backup to ensure a smooth process
5. What Are The Stats On Forge Bonding?
If you’re going to be implementing a new process, you’ll obviously need some numbers to justify your decision. We understand that.
First, let us tell you that the bonding studs are fully qualified to the ASME codes, section nine.
Second, the torque test performed(where a stack of washers is put on the stud and a nut is torqued on until something gives) fails at 45 foot pounds of force. Code only requires passed 1 foot pound!
Third, when taking a hydraulic press to the stud and pulling, it fails at a whopping 5000 pounds of force! (Which actually rips the base metal out rather than the stud)
6. What Skill Level Will I Need?
The skill level required isn’t high. The process is performed by a machine that can be set up by a crew member with proper training, and the repair bond is automatically performed by a push of a button.
7. What’s the Typical Cost to Install A Repair Point?
As just mentioned, the skill level required for forge bonding does not need to be specialized.
While we can’t guarantee you a price point without looking at your situation, we can say that it is going to cost a heck of a lot less than taking your tanks out of service. If your tank is only 10 feet in diameter, welding might be for you.
Once you get larger than that, forge bonding truly starts to shine.
Forge bonding solves a big problem in the marketplace by letting you keep your production going while you make repairs to your equipment. It also lets you make these repairs outside of your turnaround which eases the pressure next time you have to shutdown.
Whenever you’re ready, here are some ways we can help: