The heat exchanger ruptured and released toxic chemical, ammonia, and caused one employee died. Another five employees got injured due to ammonia exposure.
According to Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigation, the accident occurred because of overpressure inside of the heat exchanger. Ammonia inside of it was heated by steam and valves next to the relief valve and automatic pressure control valve were closed.
You can read detail investigation of this accident here.
Why Such Accident Occurs
Overpressure is one of failure modes associated with heat exchangers. There are other factors that can cause industrial accidents involving heat exchanger such as design fault, corrosion, external event, erosion, fire, explosion, maintenance fault, overheating, structural failure and defective equipment.
2 Industrial Accidents Involving Heat Exchanger
You have already known factors that lead to industrial accidents involving heat exchanger.
Now, we will see other accidents as case studies. We should take safety lessons from those accidents.