When petroleum prices dropped to new lows in 2014, the technology used in hydraulic fracturing equipment was destined to evolve with productivity gains. On the low-pressure side, blenders, hydration systems, acidizing units, chemical additive units and missile trailers needed to be more efficient. For example, these machines traditionally consist of multiple components that are fabricated by using a combination of welding and threading, which are then installed on the equipment only to develop leaks in the harsh environment of slurry transfer. As Dixon became engaged with these challenges, our engineers designed and produced one-piece products that lasted longer in these applications.
Not many years ago, cryogenics – the production and behavior of materials at very low temperatures – was likely to be understood by a group of people with specialized knowledge in fields like aerospace.
In the cryogenic environment, often it’s confronting challenges in the field – literally – that leads to new answers and new solutions.
As a recent example illustrates, one of Dixon’s customers was experiencing problems while using bunkering connections during the transfer of liquefied natural gas. Technical specialists from Dixon were called to the scene to witness the next bunkering operation and assess the situation.
The Dixon Innovation Center in Chestertown, MD is one of the few places in the world where research on products and systems for cryogenic service is happening. A specially designed cryogenic workstation at the Center allows for R&D testing and repair in environments that replicate those encountered “real-life” in the field. The workstation uses liquid nitrogen to test product designs – a substance that is even colder than liquefied natural gas.
Quick disconnect couplings can fail without warning! Prior to the operation of quick coupling products, be sure to inspect and replace worn out fittings and safety devices. If a leak is detected during operation, release the pressure from the circuit before investigating the cause of the fluid leak. Do not use your fingers or skin to check for leaks, high pressure leaks of fluids can easily penetrate the skin and can cause serious injury or death.
The US Chemical Safety Board released a case study which examines a mixture of incompatible materials at the MGPI Processing Plant. The mixture resulted in a chemical release that traveled into the community containing chlorine and other compounds.
An excerpt from the CSB findings:
We often under appreciate the slow and steady pace required to properly surface a road when surrounded by orange barrels and honking horns. When dealing with thick substances, such as tar, spraying it can be a long, tedious task. There are certainly ways of speeding up the process, however, all come at a cost.
In today’s world, it seems everything needs to be done quickly. Internet speeds are faster than ever, so we can stream videos from YouTube and music from Pandora. Grocery stores are offering curbside pickup, so we can get our food faster. Amazon now has a store, Amazon Go, where customers can grab what they want and leave, without waiting in line. Time is a valuable commodity and there is a finite number of hours, minutes and seconds in a day.
To produce oil, a hole is drilled into the zone where the petroleum deposit is located. The hole is lined with sections of pipe—the casing—that are then cemented into place. The casing prevents sections of the drill hole from collapsing, and also presents a barrier against contamination of aquifers that may be above the petroleum deposit.
The hottest area in a steel mill is inside and around the furnace. Whether the furnace is a basic oxygen furnace (BOF) or an electric arc furnace (EAF), its surrounding area is extremely hot. The temperature required to melt the raw materials of steel is in excess of 2,750 degrees F (1,510 degrees C).