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Air Cooler Plug Gaskets Leakage During Startup

Severe leakage on a high percentage of the plug gaskets on a high alloy air cooled heat exchanger during or shortly after initial startup has occurred in only a small percentage of air coolers, but has resulted in costly replacements and unit shutdowns. These problems have occurred with 304L stainless steel (SS), 316L SS and Nickel 200 gaskets, although each material also has many successful applications. The contributing factors to the leakage has included corrosion, galling and/or inadequate manufacturing steps. This paper summarizes a number of case histories and gives their root causes and solutions. The pros and cons of various gasket materials and design options are discussed, along with a proposal for additional requirements to be added to industry standards which would minimize the risks of these problems.  

Product Number: 51320-15197-SG
Author: Cathleen Shargay, Sarah Radovcich, Amish Jani, Kuntak Daru, Jigneshkumar J. Desai
Publication Date: 2020
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