We need to determine the exposure/service conditions of a component inside a high pressure gaseous reaction pressure vessel in real time while it is operating at extremely high temperatures and pressures. We want to measure surface conditions of strain (first choice) and heat flux (second choice) and temperature (third choice) inside an operating gaseous on several locations on a component.
Details of the Technology Call
Ambient conditions seen by the component inside a high pressure reactor are a gas temperature of 1500°C, gas pressure of 50–60 atmospheres, heat fluxes of 1–3 MW/m2 though the component and a CO/Hydrogen gas. Analyses of the damaged and failed equipment indicate that surface temperatures on the specially cooled component must have reached 600°C – 700°C and that temperature must be cycling to have produced the thermal fatigue cracks observed. The component is internally cooled by high pressure cooling water operating at a temperature of 180 degrees C. We need to document and monitor surface conditions of the component inside a running reactor.
The component is roughly cylindrical with one end placed into the high pressure, high temperature conditions. The cylinder is round on one end with a diameter of 0.4 meter, total length of about 3.5 meters and weight of 2,000 kg. All surfaces are of convex curvature. Only the end of the cylinder exposed to the reactor – about 0.1-0-.2 meter x 0.4 meter diameter – must be monitored. Measurements of areas of a square centimeter would be adequate, while smaller areas of 5mm x 5mm would be great. A total of 10 locations will be adequate over the surface of the component. Surface properties to be measured in priority order are 1) strain, 2) heat flux, and 3) temperature.
The component wall thicknesses are 2-4 mm and are made of Inconel (nickel-chromium-iron) and stainless steel (iron-chromium-nickel) alloys. The components contain high pressure cooling water at a temperature of 180 degrees C.
When operating, the reactor pressure vessel is sealed and also contains the component. Any measurement information from the sensor must be conveyable out through the pressure vessel, by electrical signals via insulated wires or via optical fibers or other means.
Perhaps use of X-ray diffraction to measure the lattice strain of the alloy at the surface could be accomplished, which is a known method to measure materials strain for research.
• Seek a ready-to-use, mature, and demonstrated measuring/sensing technology. We do not have time to enter a development cycle.
• Able to withstand the extreme conditions inside a sealed, high pressure gaseous reactor, and report in real time through a pressure vessel.
• Maximum thickness of sensor should be a 3 mm. The presence of the sensor should not greatly affect the measurement of strain, heat flux, or temperature.
• Need concept to adhere/glue/weld/stick the sensor to the smooth component surface or
a concept or method to monitor the surface by “looking” at the surface with some sort of light or radiation
• Frequency of sensor response should be at least +/- 2 seconds.
• 1st choice - component surface engineering strains to be measured are 0.05% +/- 0.02%
• 2nd choice - heat fluxes to be measured are 1-3 MW/square meter +/- 0.2 MW/square meter
• 3rd choice - component surface temperatures to be measured are in the range of 400-800 degrees C to a tolerance of +/- 20 degrees C.
• Sensor life during operation of the reactor should be at least one month and preferably one year.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION AREAS
Industries of interest might be aerospace propulsion (engines), space craft propulsion (engines and atmosphere reentry protection systems),, fossil fired combustion facilities, petrochemical plants, chemicals plants, heating, ceramics manufacturing, steel/iron making, heat treatment, insulation, thermal radiation management, pulp and paper processing facilities, nuclear power plants, incinerator facilities, studies/equipment by power generation facilities and similar organizations.
Field Of Use and Intended Application
Monitor surface conditions of components used in high pressure and high temperature chemical reactors. The components under consideration are devices which inject reactants and materials into high pressure and high temperature reactors.
Real-time instrumentation to determine the exposure/service mechanical surface conditions of a component which is vital to the function of a chemical process. The information would be used to diagnose equipment failure mechanisms, to validate adequate lifetimes of new equipment and to measure conditions, which could then be reproduced in equipment prototype testing rigs to evaluate alternate equipment designs and materials before substitution into commercial plants. The effort aims to increase component lifetimes, which will reduce maintenance costs and also improve plant productivity.
Previously Attempted Solutions
Welded thermocouples have been placed in various locations, but they compromised the integrity of the component being measured, have limited lifetimes and are fragile in operation and during installation.
Optical pyrometers were used to look at the surface to measure temperatures, but particles in the gas interfered with the measurements.
Strain gauges were not successfully placed on the face of the component being tested. We could not understand how to attach the gauges to the surface and also get the signal out of the pressure vessel.
We also use mathematical modeling to determine the heat fluxes, surface temperatures, and surface strains of interest. But we need real measurement to confirm or to adjust or validate these predictions.