Design, manufacture and installation of pipe racks in Bandar Abbas refinery project
As pipe supporters, pipe racks are among most important and accurate structures of the refinery. These elements are manufactured in large numbers to hold the pipes which will all be laid on them with different diameters.
Highly humid climate of Bandar Abbas provides very corrosive condition. In addition, the expatriate engineers had designed pipe racks, foundations, columns and part of beams to be built as in-situ concrete structures for fire protection.
However, construction of the skeleton by in-situ concrete pouring with base plates in the formwork were difficult, considering high precision required. Moreover, pipe rack columns some of which were 14 m high and had to be joined with the beams at 6 different levels, should have been concreted 6 to 7 times. This would leave concreted parts as pour planes during sequence of concrete pouring, allowing chloride ions to penetrate the structure and cause gradual corrosion. Also, columns with pour planes would not expose a good looking structure.
Perlite studies by its competent experts lead to a valuable innovative procedure to manufacture high quality parts at high speed. This procedure consisted of manufacture of columns and beams as prefabricated parts which were joined together by special steel connections before grout injection.
The project Consultants (Snam Projeti and Chiyoda) did not initially approve this procedure, but after explanations given by Perlite and tests made, not only were convinced but after completion they announced it as a valuable procedure. They also suggested that it may be put to work in similar projects in other parts of the world.
Production and installation of precast concrete pipe racks included 2700 beams and 1300 columns, all fabricated in 13 months. Thus, pre-casting of all pipe racks in a refinery in Iran were done by Iranian experts of Perlite and secondly, this short period of time was a record in itself.
Construction of Bandar Abbas Refinery by Iranians proved intelligence, innovation and qualifications of Iranian engineers and experts.