Project Champion Spotlight, Maurice Wadley (DuPont)

By MTI Admin posted 11-03-2021 09:00 AM

Q&A With ​PTFE Bellows Expansion Joints Integrity Project Champion, Maurice Wadley

Please describe your role at DuPont.
A. Materials Engineering Consultant for 10 years in non-metallic equipment materials specification, selection and inspection.

Q. How long have you personally been a member of MTI and how have you benefited from your involvement?
A. I have been a member of MTI since I joined DuPont in 2012, but I have been more involved in the last two years. My involvement has helped in generating useful training and documents to diagnose and prevent issues at our facilities.

Q. How have your fellow MTI members helped you grow in your career and in your involvement with MTI?
A. In my involvement with MTI, I have learned immensely from the experience of other engineers at different companies just from attending sessions and being involved in projects.

Q. How did you become a project champion? Perhaps you were eager to volunteer or other members encouraged you? Please tell us how you came to take on this role and what skills and/or experience you believe help you succeed in this role.
A. I became a project champion after coming to the realization that to have a larger impact on my organization, I would need to lead a project. Very close to this, I attended an MTI AmeriTAC meeting and had an unrelated conversation with a former colleague, which reinforced the idea of making a larger impact and convinced me that the time was ripe for leading a project.

Q. Similarly, explain what you have learned from your experiences as a team member of other MTI projects and how that has helped you as a first-time project champion.
A. Some of the things that I have learned from other projects, which I have found useful, are the need to hold regular meetings, the need to keep everyone up-to-date and informed about the project background at the AmeriTAC meetings, and never being afraid to ask for advice from anyone.

Q. Why is this project important and how will it benefit all MTI members?
A. This project is important as PTFE bellows are often used in hazardous services, which could lead to incidents. Properly designed and rated PTFE bellows would be beneficial to MTI members as it would enable safer plant operations.

Q. What do you hope to gain or what have you already gained from this experience as a project champion?
A. Being a project champion has afforded me the experience of leading a project that has value for the MTI members with the visibility that it entails. Going through the process gave me a better understanding of how MTI operates and what I can bring to the table concerning my competency.
Q. Tell us about the project, PTFE Bellows Expansion Joints Integrity (351). What can we expect out of the final project deliverable?
A. For most of the components in use in chemical plants, such as vessels, columns, piping, valves, seals, hoses, and expansion joints, there exist industry RAGAGEPs concerning life cycle and integrity issues. Of interest to MTI members are expansion joints, which often receive less attention than other components in piping systems. Expansion joints, also called compensators, normally compress rather than expand and provide the necessary stress relief from thermal and mechanical forces, such as movements and vibrations during normal operations. The most commonly used expansion joints are either elastomeric with wire or fabric reinforcements or made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a commonly used fluoropolymer used for corrosion mitigation. Major chemical producers have banned the use of PTFE bellows in their plants due to poor reliability, inability to inspect, and numerous failures. Others use them when there is no other option available. However, the correct use of properly manufactured and designed bellows together with correctly qualifying fabricators/suppliers can provide significant advantages for plant design. Such bellows can even increase plant safety and reliability when isolating stress from sensitive equipment like graphite heat exchangers.
The overall goal of the project is to adapt recent work from Europe on qualifying PTFE bellows to properly identify the maximum pressure rating based on the internal pressure creep (IPC) test. Many manufacturers have different methods to arrive at their pressure ratings where the idea of material creep is rarely considered, and the IPC testing methodology is an attempt to arrive at the correct rating for PTFE bellows. Output from this project will include the test methodology, an awareness bulletin, and possibly a document of best practice related to the use and qualification of PTFE bellows.

Q. Just for fun, so we get to know you outside of MTI: What is the best city you have ever visited and why?
A. I really enjoy New York City due to the variety of quality food that can be obtained.

Q. Briefly talk about one exciting/proud moment in your professional career.
A. I was quite proud to be involved in the design and fabrication of a piece of equipment made of Hastelloy with a PFA loose liner and silicon carbide insert for one of our plants. That combination of materials was quite unique and possibly the only one of its kind in the world. Unfortunately, it was never put into service as that portion of the plant was redesigned and it was no longer needed.

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