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BASF displaying high-pressure technologies at ACHEMA 2018

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

BASF’s Engineering & Maintenance will be in Frankfurt, Germany this week for ACHEMA 2018. At Stand C37 in Hall 8 it will present selected products, services, and innovations in high-pressure and surface technologies as well as additive manufacturing. The stand will also provide information on engineering careers at the company.

High-pressure technology

One exhibit will be a cross-section of a T-emergency valve used as a safety device for LDPE (low-density polyethylene) plants – a special design with a nominal width of 89 mm suitable for pressures of up to 3600 bar. Despite its weight of around two t, the valve has an extremely rapid opening time of less than 200 milliseconds. BASF develops and supplies safety equipment for the entire LDPE process at a PE producer, making a significant contribution to the safety of its production facilities. In addition to tubular reactors and heavy equipment, the product portfolio for LDPE plants includes control valves that ensure maximum process operability.

In addition to an extensive range of high-pressure valves, BASF also develops related regulation and control systems. These systems are adapted to individual valves’ processes and functions, one example being the latest kick-valve control system (RPR+). A high-speed data logger gives operators a comprehensive range of analysis options throughout the entire process.

BASF runs more than 40 of its own high-pressure plants at more than 325 bar worldwide. It is the only manufacturer in the world to operate the high-pressure components in its own production plants. In addition to high-pressure equipment, fittings, and pipes, the company’s extensive portfolio includes measurement and control components for chemical processes at pressures of up to 3600 bar.

Surface technology

The Technical Center for Polymer and Surface Technology will also be presenting its portfolio at ACHEMA. Polytetrafluoroethylene-based (PTFE) coatings with thicknesses of < 15 μm are especially suited for threaded bolts. Their anti-adhesive properties prevent contact corrosion and galling at temperatures of up to 350 °C.

Anti-adhesive coatings also help components meet new regulations. Coatings on the spindles of high-pressure valves reduce friction in threaded areas and especially in spindle/packing systems. This enables greater surface pressure on the packing with considerably lower leakage rates. In many cases it would not otherwise be possible to meet the Technical Instructions on Air Quality Control (TA Luft regulations). This also lowers the necessary operational forces, which means that levers need not be lengthened for manual systems or dimensions increased for automated systems. Anti-adhesive coatings also prevent graphite packing from caking on spindles when infrequently used.

3D printing / Additive manufacturing

The stand will also feature additive manufactured components produced for use in research and development settings as well as at BASF production plants. New types of innovative solutions are appearing in additive manufacturing with metallic alloys. The resulting components benefit from the new design possibilities of 3D printing while also meeting process engineering requirements. The BASF stand will show the first components or demonstrators as well as their functional integration possibilities in the field of high-pressure technology. The technical conference held in conjunction with ACHEMA will feature a talk by Florian Bechtold and Felix Volkmann, both BASF SE, on 3D printing. It will explore connections between high-pressure equipment and additive manufacturing.

Career perspectives for engineers

BASF’s recruitment team will be at ACHEMA to inform newly qualified and professional engineers about career opportunities at the company. “There is a wide spectrum of interesting work for potential new recruits, including process development, process optimisation, planning new chemical plants, automation and digitalization concepts for production facilities,” said Andrea Seibert from Talent Resourcing at BASF.

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Europe downstream news Downstream petrochemical news