The Oil and Gas industry is constantly seeking for improvements in the design of mechanical equipment. Each refining process is the subject of continuous research, which is frequently addressed in the revisions of the corresponding standard. Nevertheless, particular technologies such as the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Units (FCCU) are not governed by any International Standard but by designs developed and patented by specialized licensors. The implementation of new designs requires special studies of the original equipment in order to assess the feasibility of the related works and the required provisions to accomplish the revamp. This work studies the stress and displacement fields occurring in the hemispherical head of an FCC regenerator during the lifting maneuver for a typical cyclone replacement.

A parametric finite element model was developed and stress and total displacement charts are presented as a function of diameters and thicknesses of hemispherical heads commonly found in the industry. Sensitivity analyses are presented with respect to a variation of ±15% of the applied loads and the size of the plenum chamber. Therefore, the results shown in this work present a reference framework for the replacement of cyclones in FCC regenerators when removing their hemispherical heads.

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