Pharma/Biotech

How to Inspect a Reactor


 
We at EquipNet highly encourage you to perform your due diligence and inspect any used glass-lined reactor that you are considering purchasing.
 
First, confirm that what you saw online is what you see in person.
 
Look at the nameplate to ensure that it reads the correct national board number, serial number, capacity, type of glass, temperatures, and pressures. If some of the information is not legible you can call the National Board directly to request a copy of the U1 form.  The U1 form will include this as well as additional information.
 
Visually inspect the equipment’s exterior, looking for signs of corrosion or cracks on the manway cover and around lip of the manway cover, looking under any gaskets and inspecting any plugs or patches.
 
No matter how good the exterior looks, every reactor should be professional spark tested. In this test, a technician will use a 5000 watt wire brush “spark tester” to sweep all glass parts looking for pinholes. Though these pinholes will be too small to see, they will spark during this test and may be plugged. A reactor should not have too many plugs or it will not be good for the service, but this depends on the size of the reactor. The larger it is the more plugs it could have.
 
The technician will also inspect the agitator, back flow, and dip tubes for cracks, corrosion or chips in the glass.
 
Inspect the mechanical seal.  Ensure that the seal is free of seal fluids both inside the agitator shaft and outside.  Ensure that the seal pot is holding both seal fluid and pressure.
 
When inspecting the bottom of the vessel, look to see that the valves are not corroded, remove insulation to do so if necessary.  You can also pull out an inspection port to look inside at the jacket and see if there is any pitting, rust, or leakage.
 
The jacket should also be hydro tested at one and a half times the jacket pressure rating to make sure there are no leaks in the jacket.
 
Also inspect the drive, gearbox, and seal to see if there is any leakage. You can often detect leakage if there is anything running along the underside of the seal.
 
Please let us know if you have any questions about this inspection process.
 

Categorias: Pharma/Biotech

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