Incinerator Chamber

Log time reader, but newly registered.

My question is;

The concrete coating of the bricks in a combustion chamber has collapsed in on the chamber box. The edges of the pieces which have fallen in are all clean. The incinerator is reported to be used several days per week. From an Inspector point of view, what role does the coating play in the effectiveness of the incinerator or is it merely an easily replaced protective measure. What does the collapsed wall inside tell me?

I have searched in vane for photos of the interior of shipboard incinerators. Once I am granted permissions, I will post photos of the situation I am discussing.

Check how long the fan runs after using (firing) the incinerator.

Concrete stuff? Oh boy. Yeah, that is a refractory material. Is it important, what role does it play? Yep it’s important, especially if you don’t want the structural steel that the incinerator is made from to end up with holes in it or as a puddle on the incinerator room deck. Proper furnace condition is essential to proper operation.
If the refractory insulating material is falling down this is due to poor design, poor construction or improper operation. What kind of incinerator? Waste Oil, solid waste, both? How long has it been in operation? Was the curing of the unit done properly at start up?

Refractory material needs to be anchored to the steel structure, this is usually done with welded like spikes of inconel or ss such that whatever brickwork, castable or plastic refractory is used can be securely anchored in place.

You mention coating falling down so this could either be a poor previous repair or bad initial design/install. All refractory has a moisture content and when starting up after major repair or new construction the unit has to fired at lower loads over a prescribed time before proceeding to next temp and duration. This allows the moisture to leave the refractory system without damaging it. If you fire up too quickly to too high a temp the moisture boils, flashes to steam which erupts from the refractory and can cause spalling, cracking etc.

Other operating conditions to consider are the BTU content of what you are burning. Everything has limits (design conditions). I heard from one incinerator guy he was on a fishing boat to repair the incinerator refractory, it was completely destroyed. It took a whole but finally got one of them to admit they stuffed the furnace ful of a fishing net and let her go. Are they burning gall buckets full of juice bottles etc? Mix the load. Some rags, some cardboard, some small plastic. It takes man hours and that is something IMO and ship owners still don’t get. God Bless MARPOL.

As far as repair it depends on the nature of the damage. You can use a trowel-able refractory patching plaster for small divots (just remove loose stuff and scratch/dig in some anchor profile in the good stuff below). Or use a plastic refractory that you ram into place. If actual fire bricks were used you need them and refractory mortar.
Good Luck!

Yes Refractory. I was drawing a blank when typing and then after I was done, realized I don’t have the ability to edit my post.

As an Inspector, I unfortunately do not have the answers to most of the questions regarding curing and repairs, maintanence and method of use.

This unit was both oil sludge and garbage unit. The brick lining was in good condition, but the monolithic layer had collapsed in on a significant section. What bothered me was the lack of carbon on the edges of the cracked monolithic layer. The unit was reported to be burning .6m3 of sludge 4 days a week. My goal is to develop a good feel for what is acceptable and what is not. Also, I need to be able to judge whether the internal condition is representative of the use reported by the crew. My main focus is sludge burning, as that seems to be the primary issue I run into.

Ya know at first I was wondering about your incinerator and your problem but now I am wondering about you.

What kind of “inspector” are you? Do you work for the ship owner? Are you a licensed engineer?

Because I’m not sure what you really want to know. You don’t know how the unit is maintained or operated. You don’t seem too concerned with what might have caused the damage or how one might repair it. But - do I have this right - you want to know how to look in the furnace and be able to tell if the crew is burning x.x M^3 of sludge? Because if that is what you want to know that is not possible. Your carbon theory doesn’t mean much because the damaged pieces could have fell off after the last firing in which case the edges would be clean. I mean the condition (slag, soot, ash) would tell you if it is in use or not but not how much.

Not sure where you are going with this but almost sounds like you are trying to get the crew in trouble or something so you should figure out how to do that on your own.

Not trying to be sneaky. I am a Port State Control Inspector for the Coast Guard. That is Foreign Vessel inspections.

I have 16 years experience, but, I have never had much experience with incinerators. They tend to be difficult to assess over the course of a 3 hour inspection of an Oil Tanker. While I am not an Engineer, as inspectors go, I have a fair amount of Engine Room experience, but certainly need more specific knowledge. I am trying to learn more, but have found access to info to be limited, so I turned to here.

Am I trying to get them in trouble…no, but I am trying to do my job better. The Company has already gotten in trouble, paying a little over $10 million for bypassing the OWS and dumping sludge on other vessels.

This boat is over and done, but I am trying to improve my ability to look at an incinerator and determine; a) whether it is in a serviceable condition, and b) does it show signs of use consistent with the crews reporting.

I am trying to do it on my own, this is one of the methods I thought might help me gain knowledge. I’d be happy to share my email directly and send photos of my questions.

Now have photo attaching permission. Unfortunately, my job is to look at this and within about 60 seconds, decide if I need to spend more time trying to figure out if this is a problem or move along. I currently don’t feel I have the ability to do that, so I am trying to learn.

[ATTACH]3909[/ATTACH]

[QUOTE=dukhuntr;135607]Not trying to be sneaky. I am a Port State Control Inspector for the Coast Guard. That is Foreign Vessel inspections.[/QUOTE]

You should start with the Aiviq, that one has lots of problems that don’t require a lot of knowledge to find or understand. It is probably a great CG training aid.

Sorry guy but after 16 years you really ought to be able to recognize a refractory problem and at least have a bit of a handle on the nomenclature. Don’t take it personally but if your knowledge level is what the CG delivers after 16 years it explains a lot of the Aiviq issues.

[QUOTE=Steamer;135641]You should start with the Aiviq, that one has lots of problems that don’t require a lot of knowledge to find or understand. It is probably a great CG training aid.

Sorry guy but after 16 years you really ought to be able to recognize a refractory problem and at least have a bit of a handle on the nomenclature. Don’t take it personally but if your knowledge level is what the CG delivers after 16 years it explains a lot of the Aiviq issues.[/QUOTE]

Of course I do…but I guess that’s what I get for trying to improve.

The AIVIQ is US Flagged, as you quoted I am in Foreign. Very different programs.

And to your last point, to which I agree to a certain extent, my 16 years has spanned from sailing the Bering Sea rescueing commercial fisherman, investigating mariner fatalities on inland rivers, tactical law enforcement, Hurricane Katrina vessel salvage, and BP spill clean up and quite a bit in between. It would be great to stay in the same specialty for an entire carreer, but the system doesn’t work that way.

So…you willing to help a guy improve or just take jabs?

[QUOTE=dukhuntr;135649]Of course I do…but I guess that’s what I get for trying to improve.

The AIVIQ is US Flagged, as you quoted I am in Foreign. Very different programs.

And to your last point, to which I agree to a certain extent, my 16 years has spanned from sailing the Bering Sea rescueing commercial fisherman, investigating mariner fatalities on inland rivers, tactical law enforcement, Hurricane Katrina vessel salvage, and BP spill clean up and quite a bit in between. It would be great to stay in the same specialty for an entire carreer, but the system doesn’t work that way.

So…you willing to help a guy improve or just take jabs?[/QUOTE]

USCG inspections are very low quality due to lack of experience.

We ought to help the USCG inspector out with Port State Control inspections of FOREIGN flag vessels. However, I am not an engineer and know nothing about incinerators.

He makes a good point that USCG inspectors are mostly generalists (especially the officers) that do a tour of duty in inspection, but are rotated out to some other duty station before they can learn how to be good inspectors.

Most of the inspectors I see now look like teenagers and the only thing they are good at is looking things up in the CFRs, and checking the labels and code numbers on equipment. They would not know a dangerous defect if it bit them on the ass.

[QUOTE=dukhuntr;135649]Of course I do…but I guess that’s what I get for trying to improve.

The AIVIQ is US Flagged, as you quoted I am in Foreign. Very different programs. [/quote]

A boat is a boat, an incinerator doesn’t know or care what flag is on the stern. I suggested the Aiviq because it is an excellent example of what we get when a CG inspector doesn’t know what he is looking at.

So…you willing to help a guy improve or just take jabs?

If I were chief on the boat in question and knew that Mr. Inspector was going online to ask members of a nautical forum for technical advice about what to make of my machinery I would be very perturbed and start making phone calls.

Since it is obvious the CG isn’t doing any training or for some reason is not available to help answer your questions - which really makes me wonder about your story - here is a good place to start your education. http://www.johnzink.com/classes/furnace-refractory-fundamentals/

Here is another: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=17&ved=0CHIQFjAGOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.retscreen.net%2Ffichier.php%2F884%2FFurnaces%20and%20refractories.ppt&ei=2fZOU8qgGojSsATfxoD4DA&usg=AFQjCNGnABU9m5aF83C3YS6aDx5CTX_IBQ&bvm=bv.64764171,d.cWc&cad=rja

This has been an ongoing issue with the CG. They don’t have steam vessels and they don’t teach anything about it. Most of the older guys in the MSO who knew steam have long since retired. Now the knowledge base isn’t there to pass this stuff down to younger guys in the field.

Most incinerator issues in my experience are self inflicted by operators doing stupid things or engineers bypassing systems to let said operators do stupid things. If you would like better guidelines for what is OK I would start with the manufacturer of the model you are concerned with. Secoundary you could contact classification societies to find there general requirements DNV ABS etc. Teamtec AS of Norway supplies Glomar which is a fairly common brand and they are very good as far as knowledgable service. The basic’s would be to obtain the manual and ensure all OEM safeties and operational parameters are intact in use.

Thanks for asking.

The reply of KPChief is most relevant for what you are looking (looked) at.

If the incinerator is MARPOL required equipment and the refractory is lying in the furnace, it is a FAIL.

They need to fix it

Any of the conditions mentioned by KPChief could have caused the failure. You can get ahold of the Navy publications for Boiler Technician which will have everything written you will ever need. The marine boiler furnace construction details and types of refractory information will be enough to to pique your curiousity.

If you have free time, hook up with a local boiler repair company and go see something they are doing. Just tell em you want to learn and they will likely be pleased to assist. Doesn’t even have to be a marine boiler if you just want to see the basics.:rolleyes:

KPChief and +A465B, Thank you.

I had already spoken to a refractory Ceramic Engineer both by phone and email. His response was essentially that all the loose material needs to be removed and a new layer of monolithic material needs to be troweled on. I was hoping for some practical everyday engineers thoughts to compare with his.

[QUOTE=dukhuntr;135727]

I had already spoken to a refractory Ceramic Engineer both by phone and email. His response was essentially that all the loose material needs to be removed and a new layer of monolithic material needs to be troweled on. I was hoping for some practical everyday engineers thoughts to compare with his.[/QUOTE]

Has it occurred to you to contact the manufacturer? Have you also contacted Class about this failure? Are you aware that it falls under Class responsibility and most of them actually have surveyors who have seen an incinerator before.It is not your job to tell anyone how to repair it, if that is your intention. It is your job to document the condition in which you found it.

If you don’t understand how or why that condition came to exist then you are totally incompetent to suggest or approve a repair.

It is one thing to want to improve your professional knowledge but given the story you came here with and your claimed position, something doesn’t fit.

At least he knew enough to ask.

You may remove foot from back of neck now. Incinerators may not necessarily be a classed item (they may be), however class might examine on behalf of flag for issuance of MARPOL cert, or port state…

I can agree to him asking the question, however it would have been better if he were a ship board engineer asking about it. It’s a pretty uneasy feeling knowing he is here asking these questions when he is suppose to be a regulatory body. As a ships chief engineer I would have a serious issue with an inspector trying to tell me if we are in compliance or not knowing he had to turn to a public forum for answers. Just my 2 cents

[QUOTE=brjones;135746]I can agree to him asking the question, however it would have been better if he were a ship board engineer asking about it. It’s a pretty uneasy feeling knowing he is here asking these questions when he is suppose to be a regulatory body. As a ships chief engineer I would have a serious issue with an inspector trying to tell me if we are in compliance or not knowing he had to turn to a public forum for answers. Just my 2 cents[/QUOTE]

I don’t agree there chief, I have a higher regard for the regulators then most here. I worked with a young CG officer in the shipyard inspecting ballast tanks in 90+ degree heat a few years back. It took the entire working day to get through all the tanks,the third mate attended in the a.m. and the second mate after noon. Just before noon time the inspector came out of a tank, puked, and then, went into the next one. Tank diving in that heat was brutal but they were trying to determine if the ship was seaworthy.

As far as asking question, once you reach the level of captain or chief, or inspector you often have to leave the area of your expertise and we depend upon advice from others.

I’ve have good luck educating inspectors and I’ve gotten good feedback and info from them as well.

I have had good port state inspectors and have had bad ones. Even had the ones looking for cigarettes and go home. I can agree with asking questions and I give him credit for trying to educate himself, but this is the internet. How would it look if he went and said “you guys are not in compliance” response “why?” His response " because gcaptain told me"
I am just saying the guy would have gotten better answers if he did not admit he was here asking as an inspector.