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Gas Industries Association

Oxygen
Pipeline and Piping Systems
Sunil KHER
Air Liquide

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Disclaimer

All publications of GIA or bearing GIAs name contain information, including Codes of Practice, safety procedures and
other technical information that were obtained from sources believed by GIA to be reliable and/ or based on technical
information and experience currently available from members of GIA and others at the date of the publication. As such,
we do not make any representation or warranty nor accept any liability as to the accuracy, completeness or correctness
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members or third parties is purely voluntary and not binding.

GIA or its members make no guarantee of the results and assume no liability or responsibility in connection with the
reference to or use of information or suggestions contained in GIAs publications.

GIA has no control whatsoever as regards, performance or non performance, misinterpretation, proper or improper use
of any information or suggestions contained in GIAs publications by any person or entity (including GIA members) and
GIA expressly disclaims any liability in connection thereto.

GIAs publications are subject to periodic review and users are cautioned to obtain the latest edition.

GIA 2013 - GIA grants permission to reproduce this publication provided the Association is acknowledged as the source

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Contents
Introduction
The Fire Triangle
Ignition Mechanism
Selection of Metals
Selection of Non-Metals
Piping Systems
Pipe Equipment
Cleaning Methods
Conclusion

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Introduction
Based on EIGA document - IGC 13/12/E
Purpose
Reinforce understanding of those engaged in the safe design, operation,
and maintenance of gaseous oxygen transmission and distribution
systems
Scope
Metal oxygen pipelines
Distribution piping systems
Gas O2 piping of an ASU external to cold box
Exclusions
Oxygen cylinder filling plants
Medical oxygen piping installations
Cold box internal piping
Oxygen compressor units,
Liquid oxygen vaporizers, bulk oxygen facilities

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The Fire Triangle

Mitigative actions -
Minimize severity of oxidizer by reducing oxygen pressure,
temperature and concentration if possible
Minimize severity of fuels by using burn resistant alloys
Minimize severity of ignition by reducing / eliminating particle
impact and adiabatic compression and limiting gas velocities

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Ignition Mechanisms

Particle Impact
Adiabatic Compression
Promoted Ignition
Thermal Ignition
Friction
Impact
Arcing

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Selection of Metals
Particle Impingement
Impingement occurs when the flow stream changes direction abruptly
or when the presence of eddies leads to the impact of particles with
the system walls

Impingement Sites
Tees (Butt & Socket), Elbows (Socket), Short radius elbows,
Reducers, 8D pipe length downstream of a let down etc.
Valves, strainers, filters, orifices, silencers etc.

Non-Impingement Sites
Straight pipe runs

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Selection of Metals
Exemption Pressure & Gas Velocity
Exemption pressure is the maximum pressure at which a material is not subject
to velocity limitations in oxygen enriched atmospheres where particle
impingement may occur. This is also a function of the thickness of the pipe.

Material Examples
Showing Min Thickness & Exempt Pressures
SS 304 / 316 3.18 mm (13.8 barA)
SS 304 / 316 6.35 mm (25.8 barA)
Inconel 3.18 mm (69 barA)
Monel 0.762 mm (206.8 barA)

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Selection of Metals
Velocity limitations for Impingement sites
P < 3 barA No velocity consideration
3 barA < P < 15 barA V=30 m/sec
15 barA < P < 100 barA P*V=450 barA* m/sec
100 barA < P < 200 barA V=4.5 m/sec
Impingement Velocity Curve

70
Stainless Steel (3.18)

Stainless Steel (6.35)


Carbon Steel

60
Inconel (3.18)
Velocity (m/sec)

Monel (0.762)
50

40

30

20

10

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Pressure (BarA)

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Selection of Metals
Velocity limitations for Non-Impingement sites
P < 3 barA No velocity consideration
3 barA < P < 15 barA V=60 m/sec
15 barA < P < 100 barA P*V=800 barA* m/sec
100 barA < P < 200 barA V=8.0 m/sec
Non-Impingement Velocity Curve
CS (6.35) SS (6.35)

70
SS (6.35)

60
Inconel (3.18)
Velocity (m/sec)

Monel (0.762)
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Pressure (BarA)

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Selection of Non-Metals
Oxygen Index (OI)
Heat of Combustion
Auto Ignition Temperature (AIT)

Material Examples
PTFE
FEP or PCTFE
Elastomers
Polymers
Ceramics and Glass

Note 1 - Design temp. should be considered when selecting non metals.


Note 2 - Fluorinated polymers may release toxic gases when they burn.

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Selection of Non-Metals
Best Practices to be followed when designing a system
containing non-metals
Minimize non-metals
Avoid locating non-metals directly in the gas stream
Prevent excessive movement of the component
Consider heat dissipation
Ensure stability of materials
Ensure electrical continuity
Cleaning

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Lubricants
Use ONLY qualified oils and greases.
Try design to function without lubrication.
Minimize Use
Incorporated for life

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Piping Systems
Underground Piping Systems
All welded construction
Externally coated
Cathodic protection
Adequately buried
Distinctively Marked

Aboveground Piping Systems


Good mechanical design
Painted
Electrically insulated joints with underground cathodic protection system.
Electrical Continuity
Careful Routing
Colour Coded

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Piping Systems
Bypass Piping
Piping upstream of vents and bleeds
Piping downstream of vent valves
Piping downstream of pressure letdown sites
VENT VALVE
Gaskets
Thread Sealants BYPASS VALVE

Dead Ends

LET DOWN PRV

PRODUCT LINE
ISOLATION VALVE
DEAD END

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Valve Classes
Isolation Valves
Throttling or process control valves
Emergency shut-off valves
Bypass Valves
Vent Valves

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Valve Types
Ball and Plug Valves
Butterfly Valves
Gate Valves
Globe Valves

Valves shall be procured from suppliers suitably qualified in oxygen-


compatible procedures.
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Other Equipment
Pressure Relief Valves
Check Valves
Conical Strainers
Y-Strainers
Filters

Equipment shall be procured from suppliers suitably qualified in


oxygen-compatible procedures.
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Other Equipment

Bursting Discs
Flexible Connections

Equipment shall be procured from suppliers suitably qualified in


oxygen-compatible procedures.
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Cleaning Methods
The cleaning of oxygen pipelines may be accomplished by any one or a
combination of more than one of the following methods
Chemical cleaning (acid or alkali) and passivation;
Pigging;
Mechanical scraping;
Grit, sand or shot blasting;
Dry carbon dioxide ice blasting;
Water blasting;
Solvent washing;
High pressure detergent cleaning;
High temperature detergent cleaning; or
High velocity gas purge.

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Conclusion

Because of its life sustaining properties,


oxygen is often perceived as useful and
non-threatening. DO NOT get fooled by
this misconception
Quote from the Air Liquide World Wide Safety Campaign Video

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Presentation based on EIGA document


IGC Doc 13/12/E : Oxygen Pipeline and Piping Systems

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