In July of 2016, the mismanagement of a heat exchanger led to an extensive series of explosions that resulted in damaging forest fires in Mississippi. The mismanagement was a result of Enterprise Products Pascagoula Gas Plant allowing the equipment to experience too much thermal fatigue. If there had been more extensive safety measures and inspection protocols set in place, these disastrous results may not have occurred, saving a plethora of vegetation and clean up funds.
- As regards a Mississippi gas leak explosion, a February 12 report points to thermal fatigue as the culprit.
- Thermal fatigue refers to the weakening of materials over time, due to the stress of heating and cooling.
- Upon inspection, it was clear that small cracks had arisen over time, due to temperature fluctuations.
“The plant – which had repaired four heat exchangers nine times in 17 years, CSB found – was shut down for nearly six months.”