Pressure Equipment Failure Analysis

From ASME code pressure vessel failures to compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle composite overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) ruptures to relief valve malfunctions, WHA engineers are equipped to find the cause. WHA engineers have decades of experience designing, fabricating, and operating high pressure components and systems. Our engineers are trained and knowledgeable regarding standards and codes including for pressure vessels, piping, and components, and have the tools and expertise to evaluate pressure equipment failures. WHA engineers have unique COPV expertise derived from NASA experience testing and evaluating COPV’s for spaceflight applications and are knowledgeable in the applicable ANSI/NGV, ANSI/HGV, ASME, ISO, and other COPV standards for CNG and hydrogen vehicle applications.

WHA engineers are versed in the applicable piping codes and standards such as ASME B31.1, ASME B31.3, as well as pressure vessel codes and standards including ASME Section VIII, Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3. Also, our engineers are knowledgeable in many CGA and ISO standards for pressure equipment.

WHA engineers combine examination and testing with engineering analysis to identify the mode of failure (e.g. stress overload, corrosion) and the root cause (e.g. design errors, improper material specification, inadequate maintenance). Using analytical tools such as finite element analysis (FEA), we can evaluate complex designs and loading conditions. The extensive capabilities of the WHA test facility allow performing hydrostatic and pneumatic tests on pressure vessels and pressure equipment up to greater than 30,000 psi.

Cylinder Rupture Failure Analysis BZ4A0792

Failure Modes Investigated

  • Over-pressure
  • Corrosion
  • Wear
  • Design and fabrication defects
  • Improper material specification
  • Insufficient inspection or maintenance
  • Embrittlement
  • Component malfunction
Pressure Vessel Failure Modeling

Equipment Investigated

  • Pressure vessels
  • DOT compressed gas cylinders
  • Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessels (COPVs)
  • Piping
  • Tubing
  • Pressure fittings
  • Valves
  • Regulators
  • Pressure relief devices
  • Pumps
  • Compressors
  • Flexible hoses

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