Reducing Titanium Ignition Risk with Overpressure Control in Pressure Oxidation

Author(s): R. Frischmuth, L. Zunti, T. Krumins
53rd Conference of Metallurgists (COM 14) September 30, 2014 Vancouver, BC


Titanium and titanium alloys are commonly selected for pressure oxidation autoclave vent piping and pressure control valve components, as well as autoclave internals, in high-temperature operations. In a vent application, titanium ignition risk is reduced by limiting oxygen concentration, and preventing high gas velocity gas impingement on surfaces. Oxygen concentration is dependent on the autoclave pressure and temperature conditions and therefore titanium ignition risk is dependent on standard operating procedures, and process control interlocks and permissive conditions. It is not uncommon for standard controls to be deficient during atypical operating conditions, or for operations to deviate from the operating procedures, increasing the potential for titanium ignition incident. Titanium ignition risk caused by elevated oxygen concentration in autoclave vent systems can be reduced with the introduction of an online autoclave overpressure calculation and the configuration of associated interlocks and permissive conditions.