3x2 Innovator logo


Ep001: Forge Bonding With Mat Rybicki of Forge Tech

In this episode, host Don Cooper interviews Mat Rybicki from Innovator, discussing the revolutionary technology known as forge bonding. Forge bonding offers a unique solution for repairing and modifying tanks, pipelines, and other industrial equipment without the need for welding. Mat shares insights into the benefits of forge bonding, including enhanced safety, cost-effectiveness, and increased productivity. He explains the challenges faced in promoting the technology and gaining adoption, as well as the certification and compliance aspects. The conversation highlights the versatility and potential of forge bonding in various industries and emphasizes its ability to save time, money, and resources for clients.

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways from the Podcast:

1. Forge bonding technology offers a revolutionary alternative to welding in industrial repairs, providing numerous benefits and cost savings.

2. The technology utilizes bonded studs and plates to create secure and leak-proof connections without the need for traditional welding methods.

3. Forge bonding allows for repairs and modifications to be made while equipment is in operation, eliminating the need for costly downtime.

4. The technology is compliant with industry standards such as ASME Section IX and API 653, and can be used on a wide range of materials.

5. By adopting forge bonding, companies can enhance safety, improve productivity, and reduce expenses associated with traditional repair methods.

Wyatt McPherson: 0:00
This podcast is created and produced by Innovator. If you’re looking to cut back or eliminate hot work on your next job or for all of your industrial services needs, visit innovator.ca.

Hello, and welcome to the Industrial Innovators Podcast hosted by founder and CEO of Innovator, Don Cooper “Ironmind” McPherson. I produce this show, and today our guest is Matt Rybicki from Forge Tech. And he and Don will be discussing a brand new technology now offered by Innovator, known as friction forge bonding. So let’s hear what they have to say.

Don Cooper: 0:37
Alright, so today we’re here with Matt Rybicki from Forge Tech. And we’re going to introduce our audience to a new technology called forge bonding. So Matt, welcome. Thank you. Why don’t you tell us, you know, who’s Forge Tech?

Matt Rybicki: 0:58
Well, Forge Tech is an industrial technology company. And we have a technology for joining metals without any sparks or flames, which allows us to go into chemical plants and refineries and perform work without being a hazard. We’ve been around since 2010. We incorporated that year, it was the year that our first patent was issued. And we now have 18 patents that have been issued, some foreign, some in the US. We continue to build our patent portfolio and refine our technology. So we’ve been around for quite a few years. The technology was actually invented before we incorporated back in the early 2000s. And the inventor of the technology still works for our company and continues to advance the technology.

Don Cooper: 1:48
And who is that? Have I met him? Mike Miller?

Matt Rybicki: 1:53
Yes, he was. Right. Yeah. That’s Mike.

Don Cooper: 1:55
Mike was with our team training us just a few weeks ago. That’s great. I thought that Mike had a lot to do with inventing the technology. So your business has been incorporated with patents since 2009. But this was a technology that was developing long before that with Mike, is that right?

Matt Rybicki: 2:20
That’s right. He was actually developing it in his garage over a decade or two. Mike started in the leak sealing industry. He used to be up on tank roofs, drilling and tapping to put plates down and stop leaks, and trying to repair valves with drill and tap. And he realized there’s got to be a better way. So after hours and weekends, he slowly developed the technology with funding from his father in his garage. And as the technology came to fruition and he felt comfortable bringing it to the market, the company received funding in 2010. And I joined the board of directors at that time. And we’ve been continuing to develop the technology and build the market since then.

Don Cooper: 3:14
Awesome. So the technology we’re talking about is called forge bonding, right?

Matt Rybicki: 3:22
Well, we term it “forge bonding.” That’s our marketing term.

Don Cooper: 3:25
So forge bonding. Sorry, I confused those two terminologies between friction forge bonding and forge bonding. So you call it forge bonding in the marketplace. Okay?

Matt Rybicki: 3:36
Yes, we have actually evolved our marketing term for the process. And it has evolved from a technology called friction welding, which has been around since the 1950s. Friction welding is currently used in manufacturing today, particularly in the automotive and aerospace industries, among others. However, in manufacturing, it is usually a large floor-standing piece of equipment that can be used in a facility. It’s not portable, and the work needs to be brought to the friction welding machine. With forge bonding, we made two improvements. First, we made it portable so that we could bring it into the facilities where the work needs to be done. Second, we minimized the thermal energy required to join the two metals together. Therefore, we termed it forge bonding because we don’t reach the molten temperatures that typical welding processes use. We only bring the metal to the forge-in temperature, and under pressure and rotation, we drive those two metals together.

Don Cooper: 5:04
Okay. So can you describe in as many words as you need, for anyone who’s listening, exactly what forge bonding is? What is it in layman’s terms?

Matt Rybicki: 5:19
Sure. We take a 5/16-inch stainless steel stud, apply pressure to it, and rotate it for a few seconds. After that rotation and pressure, we end up with a stud bonded to a piece of steel like this. It’s a permanent bond, and the actual bond is stronger than either of the two metals involved in the process. We can bond different types of metals and materials. But essentially, it’s the pressure and rotation that drive the two metals together, and it takes about three seconds. We have qualified various metals for forge bonding, including stainless steel and carbon steels. Customers regularly bring us different metals that we need to qualify before performing the bonding.

Don Cooper: 6:20
So the forge bonding process is, you know, for all of us boy scouts out there, it’s like when we took one stick and spun it really fast against the wood to create friction and generate fire, except we’re doing this with high-strength materials like stainless and carbon steel.

Matt Rybicki: 6:39
That’s a good analogy. Under the pressure and rotation, a small amount of thermal energy is generated at the interface where the rotation is occurring. It softens the two metals to a clay-like consistency. And under the pressure and rotation, those two metals get driven together. That’s it, in a nutshell.

Don Cooper: 7:00
Okay. So what are the customer applications and economic conditions that are best suited for forge bonding? Where can customers best utilize this technology and get value from it?

Don Cooper: 7:16
Right? So that’s a good question. Our technology’s value comes in situations where a hot work permit is not obtainable. That’s the first factor because welding is an alternative if a hot work permit can be acquired. However, what sets us apart is our ability to enter hazardous or flammable environments and perform retrofits or repairs without creating an ignition source. Another situation where forge bonding is well-suited is when working with tanks that have liners or pipes that have undergone heat treatment. The amount of thermal energy we generate is not enough to damage the tank liner or compromise the heat treatment of the pipe. So there are multiple advantages. Additionally, we have customers who want to enhance safety in their facilities by installing handrails, fall protection systems, fire suppression foam injection nozzles, and more. However, they can’t proceed with these installations without shutting down their process lines. With forge bonding, we can perform the work while their process lines remain operational.

Don Cooper: 8:30
I see. So the applications you’re primarily seeing involve repairing large storage tanks, addressing tank roof issues, sidewall corrosion, as well as installing handrails and structural fixtures in tank farms and process facilities.

Mat Rybicki: 9:00
That’s correct. We primarily work in refineries, midstream terminals, tank farms, and chemical plants. We have a significant project coming up where we’ll be installing handrails in a chemical plant. Although we have also done some work in the energy sector. However, our main focus is on oil refineries and terminals.

Don Cooper: 9:26
That makes sense. Now, before the introduction of forge bonding, how did clients traditionally handle these types of tasks, and how does forge bonding provide a solution?

Mat Rybicki: 9:40
The primary method, which is still in use for clients who are not aware of forge bonding, involves taking the tank out of service, which is incredibly costly, especially for larger tanks. Some tanks have diameters larger than the length of a football field and it costs millions of dollars to take them out of service. We have saved numerous clients from having to go through the process of shutting down their tanks to perform repairs. Another traditional method involves using polymers to stop leaks. While polymers have their place and can be effective in some situations, we fill the gap between situations where polymers are ineffective and instances where a hot work permit cannot be obtained, resulting in the need to shut down the tank. By allowing the tank to remain in service, we save clients significant amounts of money.

Don Cooper: 10:35
I understand. Taking a tank out of service involves more than just draining it. It requires cleaning, degassing, and it also means losing revenue during the downtime. There are many economic factors that make it an expensive endeavor, almost like a capital project or a significant portion of the maintenance budget, right?

Mat Rybicki: 11:02
Exactly. In fact, some clients overlook the loss of production or find it challenging to quantify because it doesn’t fall under the maintenance budget. Often, we need to demonstrate the real value we bring by showcasing the substantial cost of lost production associated with taking a tank out of service.

Don Cooper: 11:29
What about working inside a process facility where it’s not a large tank but rather repairs or installations within an operating refinery or plant? In addition to the benefits of eliminating hot work, how do clients perceive the value of removing hot work in terms of safety?

Mat Rybicki: 12:06
It’s significant. First and foremost, eliminating hot work allows them to perform tasks that were previously impossible. Secondly, reducing hot work is known to enhance safety, and the industry is becoming increasingly safety-conscious. So the added value of bringing safety to a chemical plant or refinery cannot be overstated. Although it may be challenging to quantify in monetary terms, it has a substantial impact.

Don Cooper: 12:30
Absolutely. At Innovator, we offer other weldless piping connections through our weldless piping and welders flange services. We have observed that the indirect costs associated with hot work, such as supervision, planning, safety meetings, and other preparations, often exceed the actual cost of the physical repair work by five to ten times. It’s an extensive process involving various personnel and procedures that are not immediately visible during the actual tasks. I assume it’s similar with forge bonding, where eliminating hot work streamlines the activities required before the work can begin.

Mat Rybicki: 14:02
That’s correct. One of the challenges we face when introducing our technology to clients is convincing them to change their standard operating procedures. They have been following those procedures since the beginning, and incorporating a new process requires extra effort on their part. It takes time to shift their mindset and embrace a different approach. However, once they experience the benefits, they love it. We’re essentially changing the industry’s perception that shutting down service lines is not always necessary for repairs or installations. We recently worked on a project in the Houston area for a chemical plant, installing handrails on over 100 tanks between two facilities. They had previously attempted to install the handrails during turnarounds but faced challenges due to the focus on getting the process lines back up and running to minimize loss production costs. After three unsuccessful attempts, they called us in, and now we’re able to install the handrails while their tanks are in service.

Don Cooper: 15:26
That’s a great example. By performing the work during regular operations instead of during critical maintenance schedules, tasks that were deferred multiple times can finally be accomplished.

Don Cooper: 15:43
Alternatively, clients can choose to perform forge bonding during regular production cycles and eliminate hot work by scheduling it differently. This way, they don’t need to shut down the plant to carry out forge bonding. And you’re right, there has been a significant amount of research and development and testing involved in perfecting forge bonding. Could you walk us through the journey and the types of testing and R&D you’ve conducted over time to reach the level of technology you have today?

Mat Rybicki: 16:15
Certainly. A considerable part of the initial development took place in the garage shop of one of our founders and the inventor. He devoted a lot of time and effort to developing the bonding process. In 2010, when we secured our first round of funding, we hired a welding engineer from NASA to qualify the bond and stud bond, and develop the necessary procedures. This marked the beginning of having a marketable product with a welding procedure and a quality procedural qualification record. Ensuring the quality of the weld and making it repeatable was a significant focus. We developed a forge bonding machine with a control box that removes the artistry aspect of welding, such as TIG or MIG welding, where the skill of the welder plays a significant role. Our setup allows the technician to prepare the worksite and configure the machine. Once everything is ready, it’s as simple as pushing a button to execute the bond. This automation removes human error and ensures that the studs are consistently placed. It’s an integral part of our development process.

Don Cooper: 18:31
It’s almost like an automated forge bonding process, similar to how people perceive automatic welding compared to stick, TIG, or MIG welding. Automatic welding is recognized as a higher-quality bond with reduced human error. In your case, your forge bonding equipment eliminates human error entirely. It’s a setup and push-button execution approach to bonding the studs, correct?

Mat Rybicki: 19:04
Yes, exactly. It’s an automated process. The timing is controlled by a pneumatic timer, and our system operates solely on compressed air. You could say we weld with air. It’s a safe, repeatable, and well-controlled process. The energy source is controlled, which allows us to work in various applications. While studs may not be needed every day, there are numerous applications, and our customers continue to bring new ones to our attention. Initially, we focused on installing repair plates on tanks, addressing roof and sidewall issues. However, we can also apply plates on tank bottoms when obtaining a hot work permit for welding lap plates is not possible. So, as you mentioned earlier, it’s a highly controlled process.

Don Cooper: 20:05
You’ve utilized forge bonding for plates, shell sides, and even structural elements like fall arrest anchor points or handrails. Are there any other applications? Can it be used for stair mounts as well?

Mat Rybicki: 20:31
Absolutely. We have installed stair pedestals and even hung ladders on the sides of tanks. For example, we had a customer in Texas with corroded stair treads. Corrosion is an ongoing issue in chemical plants and refineries, and weather conditions affect the steel structures. In this case, the stairway was deteriorating, and workers were reluctant to use it. They wanted us to either replace the stairs or hang ladders. There are many similar situations in the industry. We have also applied forge bonding to improve the repair method for leaky valves. Instead of using the drill and tap method, we bond an injection fitting to the valve near the packing gland. It’s a safer and higher-quality alternative to drill and tap.

Don Cooper: 22:58
So, if a customer chooses the forge bond leak repair injection valve, it becomes a high-quality bond that eliminates fugitive emissions leak points. They can leave that valve in service without the need for a more permanent repair or valve replacement, correct? Of course, this also depends on the sealant used.

Mat Rybicki: 23:40
Absolutely. We have customers who have decided not to use drill and tap anymore and solely rely on forge bonding. By using forge bonding, they can remove the valve from the replacement list. With drill and tap, the valve becomes a potential replacement item due to the asset degradation caused by the drilling process. However, with forge bonding, we enhance the asset by providing a maintenance platform for reinjecting the valve if it starts leaking again. The forged bond fittings are much stronger than drill and tap fittings, reducing the likelihood of breakage or leaks. In drill and tap, only a few threads hold the injection fitting onto the valve, which poses risks. Additionally, the drill and tap process involves a dangerous safety step that we have been discussing with the EPA as an alternative approach.

Don Cooper: 24:06
That’s impressive. Forge bonding not only provides a reliable repair method but also strengthens the asset and eliminates the need for immediate replacements. The forge bond fittings are more robust and less prone to failure or leakage compared to drill and tap. It’s a safer and higher-quality alternative.

Speaker 2: 24:50

When it comes to drilling and tapping, there are safety concerns during the drilling process as well as potential exposure risks when punching through the stuffing box to access the valve wall. Moreover, drill and tap procedures can create leak points and release emissions before they are sealed.

Mat Rybicki: 25:58

That’s correct. We have actually developed a patented injection kit for injecting the valve simultaneously while drilling. As we break through the valve bonnet into the packing gland, the sealant is injected at a slightly higher pressure than the valve’s internal pressure. This allows us to eliminate emissions during the process. The drill bit is then retracted, and the injection continues. We call it a “zero-emission injection kit,” which provides an additional advantage over drill and tap methods.

Speaker 2: 26:53

Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions that clients often have when considering forge bonding. One common question is about the strength of the studs.

Mat Rybicki: 26:53

Yes, we receive that question quite frequently. Our studs are qualified to ASME Section IX standards. We conduct bend tests to ensure their strength and durability. The studs are designed to withstand bending without breaking. We also perform torque tests to determine the maximum torque before failure. Although the studs typically break at around 45 foot-pounds, it’s important to note that the bond remains intact. Additionally, if we use a hydraulic press to pull the stud, it will fail at approximately 5000 pounds of force, pulling a piece of the base metal rather than breaking the stud or bond. Therefore, the bond itself is stronger than either of the metals being joined.

Speaker 2: 28:06

Another question is regarding the time it takes to bond a stud. How long does the process typically take?

Mat Rybicki: 28:06

The majority of the time is spent on setup, preparing the tank crew and equipment. The actual bonding process takes approximately three seconds per stud. However, once the setup is complete, the technician will need to index the machine from one stud to the next, which takes a few minutes. On a good day, we can bond around 60 studs, depending on the conditions and any obstructions we may encounter. When it comes to handrails, we typically use four to six studs per wall mount and install approximately eight to ten brackets in a day. For repair plates on tanks, the size and number of studs vary. For a common 12-bolt plate, we may use 128 studs, while smaller plates may require half a dozen studs. The rate of application depends on the specific conditions and obstructions, which can slow down the process.

Speaker 2: 31:57

Lastly, what materials are typically involved in forge bonding?

Mat Rybicki: 31:57

Most of our work involves carbon steel, particularly ASTM A36 down south and various steel types in colder regions. Our studs are made of 304 stainless steel, which provides a strong and durable bond. The plates we use are typically stainless steel, but depending on material compatibility, we may use carbon steel. It’s important to match the material of the plate to the tank’s construction. We also utilize polymers as a temporary sealant, which provides a flat surface for gaskets to seal against. The nuts and washers used in the process are stainless steel to ensure corrosion resistance.

Don Cooper: 33:28

Okay. And then everything was torqued to spec.

Mat Rybicki: 33:33

That’s right, yeah. Torque in sequence. It’s kind of like torquing the bolt pattern on your truck. Or we just walk our way around and slowly bring it down.

Don Cooper: 33:44

I mean, effectively, you’re creating a gasket joint and then torquing it to spec. I mean, no different than a client would with a flange joint, right?

Mat Rybicki: 33:51

Exactly. That’s right.

Don Cooper: 35:27

Customers often ask about the cost of installing a repair point using forge bonding.

Mat Rybicki: 35:27

When asked about the cost, I usually emphasize that it will be significantly less than taking the tank out of service. It’s a fraction of the cost, and it’s particularly beneficial for large tanks where taking them out of service becomes a major endeavor. The value we provide becomes evident in such cases.

Don Cooper: 36:29

Let’s address the concern of backside temperature during forge bonding. What are the temperatures involved?

Mat Rybicki: 36:29

During the bonding process, there is thermal energy generated at the top, but we purge the top side with argon gas and use a small device that covers the stud during bonding. The backside temperature is the primary concern since it cannot be purged in certain situations like a floating tank roof. However, the thermal energy footprint is small, and while it exceeds the autoignition temperature of most hydrocarbons, it is still within safe limits. The API recommended practice 20 to 16 explains that short exposure to thermal energy requires a much higher temperature for ignition. We have conducted extensive testing and have a factor of two safety margin or greater for various hydrocarbons.

Don Cooper: 38:57

You have conducted thorough testing and have worked with large owner clients who have accepted forge bonding as a cold work approved process. How long do these plates typically last?

Mat Rybicki: 38:57

We have one notable example where we installed 41 plates on a tank roof during an API 653 turnaround in Louisiana. The tank roof had through holes and thinned areas that needed repair, but welding was not an option due to hot work restrictions. We installed the plates, and the client expects them to last for 20 years. This was back in 2015 when the repair was performed.

Don Cooper: 40:28

That’s impressive. The addition of galvanic corrosion?

Don Cooper: 40:35

What about galvanic corrosion? Is that a concern with dissimilar metals?

Mat Rybicki: 40:35

Galvanic corrosion is not an issue. While there are dissimilar metals involved, the surface area ratio between stainless steel and carbon steel is small, which prevents galvanic corrosion. Additionally, we encapsulate the joint between the tank roof or wall and the stud with polymer, creating a void of electrolytes and eliminating the necessary conditions for galvanic corrosion.

Don Cooper: 41:37

What pressure can these repairs sustain?

Mat Rybicki: 41:42

Our highest pressure repair to date was at 150 psi. We have also completed repairs at 99 psi and lower pressures. In our shop, we have tested a piece of piping at 1000 psi, which demonstrated the capability of our repairs. While we haven’t performed work at that pressure in the field, we know it’s possible.

Don Cooper: 42:37

And what about the pressure rating or guidelines for injection valve technology?

Mat Rybicki: 42:37

For injection valves, we have performed a simulated test in our shop at 2000 psi, successfully drilling and tapping a vessel. However, we haven’t carried out such repairs in the field, so I’m uncertain about the highest pressure we have worked with on-site.

Don Cooper: 43:36

Handrails are regulated by safety standards such as OSHA in the US. How does forge bonding comply with these regulations?

Mat Rybicki: 43:36

According to OSHA, handrails must withstand 200 pounds of force in any direction. We use finite element analysis (FEA) modeling for engineering, which includes von Mises step stress diagrams and discussions. Our engineering packages from Porch Tech are comprehensive and ensure compliance with safety regulations, including handrail strength requirements.

Don Cooper: 45:48

When considering forge bonding, customers should think about situations where taking a tank out of service or performing traditional welding may not be viable. It’s important to understand the value of forge bonding in terms of eliminating complications, such as working on tanks with liners or performing repairs during plant shutdowns. The technology offers benefits beyond just connecting studs, including the ability to work on high-temperature piping and the elimination of hot work complications.

Mat Rybicki: 48:29

Exactly. The value lies in keeping the process line operational and reducing downtime. While welding may be a viable option in some cases, forge bonding becomes advantageous when it eliminates complications and costs associated with hot work or tank shutdowns. It’s about considering the broader value and cost savings offered by forge bonding.

Don Cooper: 49:09

Can studs be bonded to steel without affecting the heat treatment?

Mat Rybicki: 49:09

Yes, that’s correct. The heat affected zone is extremely shallow and doesn’t penetrate the entire pipe. We have had third-party analysis done on our bonds for various piping materials, and while there may be minimal hardening at the surface, it’s shallow and doesn’t significantly affect the overall pipe.

Don Cooper: 49:46

You’ve been working on this for almost 10 years now or Yeah, 1010 years. Going into your 10th year. What are the biggest obstacles you’re facing with, with selling this technology and getting client adoption?

Mat Rybicki: 50:01

The biggest obstacle is getting clients to step outside their standard operating procedures and embrace a new technology. Many companies have established ways of doing things, and it can be challenging to convince them to consider alternative methods. Younger engineers tend to be more open to new technologies, while those who have been in the industry for a longer time may be more resistant. However, younger engineers are often enthusiastic about forge bonding and eager to explore its possibilities.

Don Cooper: 50:45

Millennials, who grew up with technology, are more inclined to embrace innovation. In the industrial space, there can be a lag in adopting new technologies. However, with the younger generation entering the workforce, the adoption of new technologies may accelerate.

Don Cooper: 51:47

When working with clients, who do you typically need to convince at the management level to drive the mindset change?

Mat Rybicki: 51:47

Typically, there is an inner circle within each company or facility that needs to approve and adopt the technology. This inner circle consists of various stakeholders such as safety, inspection, engineering, management, and maintenance. Each facility may have its own set of decision-makers. In some cases, decisions are made at a corporate office level, requiring engagement with those decision-makers. Other times, facilities have more autonomy, and approval must be obtained from each individual site. The level of engagement with technical authorities at head offices varies depending on the company.

Don Cooper: 52:56

So, you often have to engage with technical authorities at head offices to gain their approval and support for adopting new technologies?

Mat Rybicki: 52:56

Yes, in some cases, decisions are made at corporate headquarters, and it’s necessary to engage with technical authorities there to gain approval and support. Larger companies with multiple facilities may have a central technical team responsible for standard operating practices.

Don Cooper: 54:25

During installations, what are the typical obstacles you encounter?

Mat Rybicki: 54:49

One of the biggest challenges during installations is dealing with obstructions. Often, we are called in as a second or third attempt, which means we have to work around existing repairs or contraptions that have been put in place. We encounter situations where we have to add our repair on top of a repair, which can be more complicated and require larger enclosures. It’s preferable to be involved from the first attempt to ensure a clean working area and a smoother installation process.

Don Cooper: 56:11

It’s similar to on-stream leak repair where temporary fixes are attempted before a permanent solution is sought. The earlier we are involved, the better we can provide an effective repair. Temporary solutions such as rubber patches or clamps may divert leaks but don’t address the underlying issue. It’s important to address the problem comprehensively to avoid additional complications and expenses.

Don Cooper: 57:24

Are your bonded studs certified?

Mat Rybicki: 57:24

Our three-fourth-inch bonded studs are not currently certified. However, we have completed various tests and evaluations to demonstrate their performance and durability. We are actively pursuing certifications to provide further assurance to our clients.

Mat Rybicki: 57:06

Our bonded studs are qualified under ASME Section IX. They comply with the standards and pass the required tests. The studs only need to handle eight foot-pounds of torque, but they don’t fail until 45 foot-pounds, including bending tests. When working with materials other than P1 carbon steel, we perform microscopic examinations by cutting the stud and examining it under a microscope after etching. This is done to qualify exotic metals and ensure the integrity of the bond.

Don Cooper: 58:29

So the materials you use for the plates and studs have full traceability and you can provide material test reports (MTRs) upon request?

Mat Rybicki: 58:50

Yes, we can provide MTRs for the materials used in the plates and studs. Full traceability is maintained for the materials, including the gasket materials used in the process.

Don Cooper: 59:08

How does your solution comply with API standards?

Mat Rybicki: 59:15

Our solution typically falls under API 653, which covers tank repair and modification. We are working towards being included in the API 653 standard, and a working group has been formed to determine the best placement of our technology within the standard. This process may take around one to three years for completion. Currently, API 653 allows for alternative methods as long as good engineering judgment is applied, and our technology falls within this category.

Don Cooper: 1:01:12

Similar to the post-construction codes in the ASME standards, where guidelines and recommendations are provided for repairs and modifications, but not always explicitly detailed.

Mat Rybicki: 1:01:23

Exactly. API 653 provides flexibility for repairs and modifications, allowing good engineering judgment to be applied. Our solution aligns with this approach.

Don Cooper: 1:02:12

A couple of years ago, we registered your welding procedure (WP/PS) with the Alberta Boiler Safety Association in Canada. Is your WP/PS registered in other jurisdictions as well?

Mat Rybicki: 1:02:12

Yes, our welding procedure is registered in Canada with the Alberta Boiler Safety Association. We ensure compliance with regulatory requirements in the jurisdictions where we operate.

Don Cooper: 1:03:01

Why should clients choose to install anchor points, fall protection, fire suppression systems, and other safety measures while the equipment is in operation rather than waiting for a turnaround?

Mat Rybicki: 1:03:23

Installing safety measures while the equipment is in operation allows clients to enhance safety for their employees, workers, and vendors without waiting for a turnaround. Waiting for a turnaround can be costly and result in delays. Forge bonding provides the opportunity to upgrade safety measures without significant interruptions to operations.

Don Cooper: 1:04:25

How can large industrial facilities such as pipeline companies, terminals, refineries, upgraders, and chemical plants become more competitive with the use of forge bonding?

Mat Rybicki: 1:04:37

Forge bonding can make facilities more competitive by saving them the expense of taking process lines down and minimizing interruptions. For example, when faced with EPA notices for leak repairs, forge bonding allows for timely and efficient repairs within the given timeframe. Additionally, the use of standard repair plates and templates enables scalability and rapid response to repair needs. Standardization is a key aspect of our approach, and it benefits both us and our clients.

Mat Rybicki: 1:04:44

Yes, we have jigs and vacuum clamping systems prepared for the installation of plates, which act as templates for stud patterns. The vacuum clamping system provides substantial force to secure the equipment against tank roofs.

Don Cooper: 1:04:52

So it’s like a jig that ensures proper alignment and placement of the studs on the plates?

Mat Rybicki: 1:05:23

Exactly. The vacuum clamping system acts as a jig, allowing us to apply the necessary force and ensure accurate stud placement on the plates.

Don Cooper: 1:05:37

You mentioned that forge bonding can repair tank liners without damaging them. Can you explain how you achieve this and why it’s important?

Mat Rybicki: 1:06:23

When working with tanks that have liners, welding can damage the liner and compromise its effectiveness in preventing corrosion. With forge bonding, the thermal energy applied to the tank wall is minimal and short-lived. For thicker tank walls, such as on tank roofs, the heat dissipates rapidly, ensuring the liner remains intact. By avoiding damage to the liner, we maintain the protection it provides and prevent potential future defects.

Don Cooper: 1:07:57

So the use of forge bonding allows for repairs without jeopardizing the integrity of the tank liner, ensuring the process and the tank remain unaffected by the repair process.

Mat Rybicki: 1:08:11

That’s correct. The liner remains intact, and the process within the tank is not compromised.

Don Cooper: 1:08:33

As an owner of a facility, when should I consider using forge bonding?

Mat Rybicki: 1:08:33

Forge bonding is a suitable solution when hot work permits are difficult to obtain or when you want to avoid damaging tank liners with welding. It is also beneficial when dealing with irregular surfaces, such as non-round tank walls or obstacles that hinder the installation of traditional clamps. Additionally, forge bonding can be used on pressure vessels without voiding the ASME stamp, providing a viable alternative for repairs without major turnarounds or complicated post-weld heat treatment processes.

Don Cooper: 1:10:29

The ability to repair pressure vessels without voiding the ASME stamp is a significant advantage. It allows owners to enhance safety and perform repairs without undertaking complex and costly projects that involve major turnarounds.

Mat Rybicki: 1:11:59

Absolutely, forge bonding is bringing tremendous value to the industry by saving time, money, and improving safety. We have seen how our technology has made a substantial impact on our customers, saving them millions of dollars and avoiding costly downtime. We are excited about expanding our market and working with licensees to further promote the use of forge bonding. It’s a technology that provides a trifecta of benefits: enhanced safety, cost-effectiveness, and increased productivity for our customers.

Mat Rybicki: 1:12:54
Absolutely, we stand behind everything we do and we are excited to work with you in bringing forge bonding to the Canadian market. We’re ready to support customers in Canada and this announcement marks the availability of forge bonding north of the 49th. We appreciate the opportunity to be on the podcast and encourage listeners to follow both Don Cooper and Innovator for more information.

Wyatt McPherson: 1:13:36
Thank you for tuning in. Please follow us on your preferred podcast platform and be sure to check out our host Don Cooper and Innovator, as well as our guest Mat Rybicki and forge bonding. Links can be found in the podcast description.

Make an Inquiry

Meet with Us