Any complete flare maintenance program will always include an inspection of the guy wires. While thorough guy wire inspection used to be a difficult task, cutting-edge proprietary technology has made it easy to inspect both the outer and inner core strands of guy wire cables, and to infuse the cabling with lubricant, with all personnel safely on the ground.
How flare stack guy wire inspection works.
The proprietary technology used by Flares & Stacks, Inc. to inspect guy wire cables, from inner core to outer strands, and all along the length from where the cable attaches to the ground to where it ends hundreds of feet up in the air, is a guarded secret. However, there are principles being employed that are known in the industry, which can be explained.
The wire rope cabling is easily inspected using an electromagnetic process of inspection. It is possible to scan the rope, inside and out, and identify corrosion and defects. If an internal strand is broken, it will be detected. If there is corrosion, it will be identified. In fact, the whole length of a flare stack guy wire cable can be analyzed, and the flare maintenance technicians will be able to take this information and render a report that spells out what problems were found all along the wire, and give the exact positioning of the defects as well.
Preventing corrosion of the core strands of flare stack guy wire cabling is managed by a special lightweight lubricant. Permeating down to the inner strands, the lubricant acts as a barrier against water condensation that is the usual culprit of cable corrosion. The lubricant also protects the strands as they stretch and condense with the constantly changing tension and load of the cables. The right lubrication, correctly applied, elongates the life span of the cable.
Because flare stack guy wire cables are arguably the most vulnerable part of the flare stack system, being exposed to the elements and in constant motion as they are, it is so important that flare stack guy wire inspection be done regularly with all other aspects of flare maintenance. It is also important that it be done correctly, and hiring a company that is expert in guy wire inspection processes will prevent companies from retiring cables too early, or too late.