The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a warning to offshore and chemical processing companies following the catastrophic failure of a pipework clamp connector.
Operators are being advised to check whether they have any Vector 'Techlok' or Destec 'G' clamp connectors sized two inches or below in diameter, supplied before 2010, either currently in use or in storage. A one-inch Vector Techlok clamp catastrophically failed on an offshore production platform in December 2014, leading to a gas leak, and subsequent investigation uncovered a number of similar failures believed to be related.
The failures are caused by poor heat treatment during the manufacturing process, leading to excessive hardness and increased susceptibility to cracking. Before 2010 the clamps were not thoroughly subjected to hardness testing during manufacture, and so defective clamps were not prevented from entering service.
Any TWI Members requiring hardness testing of any clamps identified as susceptible by the HSE should contact us to arrange testing.
For full details of this health and safety alert visit the HSE website.
Another alert affecting the offshore and chemical processing sectors was issued earlier this year, concerning chloride stress corrosion cracking of Lokring pipe connectors. View this page on the HSE website for more details.