Keeping a Lid on the Process: Carbide Industries Incident

Maintenance activities at Carbide Industries couldn’t keep pace with equipment deterioration. The failure was ultimately catastrophic.

While no single cause was pinpointed for the March 21, 2011 explosion at Carbide Industries, most fingers point back to the furnace lid. This was a complex structure of steel and ceramic construction, designed to take the brunt of the hugely hot process. The lid was fabricated in six pie-shaped sections that bolted together using flanges radiating out from the center. The side facing the process had a ceramic lining designed to withstand the heat from the electric arcs.


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