Equipment preservation is more than just managing the corrosion of materials and equipment. Preservation is a set of strictly defined routines, schedules, procedures and process actions that keep tagged pieces of equipment – from pumps, engines, bolts and pipes - in working order. Equipment preservation is very important because it has a significant impact on the budget throughout the whole asset lifecycle.
A traditional method of preservation uses Nitrogen; however, this method implies the application of serious health considerations. Another approach is the use of Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VpCI) technology, which is based on the use of organic salts with partial vapour pressure allowing them to vaporise, and it provides protection in three phases allowing them to be combined with Nitrogen and Dry air.
VpCI has multiple advantages compared to conventional methods. The key benefits are that VpCI is very environmentally safe, it provides three-phase protection, it has multiple delivery mechanisms, and it is a multi-functional technology.
In order to achieve the best practice in equipment preservation, we need to have an allocated budget and then to develop a plan. After this, we need to identify the stakeholders with proper management and coordination, and we need competent and well-trained people to execute these practices.
The preservation specialist third party is required to coordinate with all of the other parties - from manufacturers and operators, to designers and EPC contractors. The preservation specialists then become part of the management team developing plans and procedures with industry-proven technologies. They also become involved in testing supervision, training, monitoring and inspections.