Anchor Bolt Replacement Ensures Stability of Digester Vessel
Critical equipment and machinery found within industrial plants are typically anchored to some type of foundation, often concrete. The reliability and safety of process equipment is impacted by the performance of the anchor bolts. If anchor bolts are not properly maintained, vibration and deterioration can lead to equipment failure and safety hazards.
A paper mill in the southeast US had a 180-foot-tall digester vessel with a concrete foundation, and the anchor bolts were deteriorating due to corrosion. Digester vessels are an important part of the manufacturing process, creating pulp that is further refined into paper products. The paper mill owner decided on a proactive approach after learning of an incident at another plant where a vessel with a similar condition collapsed during a wind event.
Because of our experience repairing equipment foundations and anchor bolts, STRUCTURAL was chosen to develop a turnkey repair plan. The scope included the installation of 42 new 3-inch diameter anchor bolts. The crew overcame challenges during the installation due to water ingress into the anchor holes. As the coring took place at the anchor points, water began to fill the core holes. Working collaboratively with the owner, the plan was adjusted onsite to utilize a welding approach which removed the need to core the existing anchor from the foundation.
The project was completed ahead of schedule and with zero safety incidents.