Expertise Of B R Thakur

It had been a long time vision and desire of Mr. B R Thakur to impart his knowledge (theoretical, practical and trouble shooting) in the field of stress and piping to various graduates (fresh as well as experienced). Mr. Thakur has more than 36 years of experience in consultancies like "Uhde India Ltd", "Projects and Development India Ltd", "Dar Al Riyadh (Dar-Parsons)" and has been associated with many other consultancies like " Kellogg", " Haldor Topsoe", and "Snamprogettie". During the service period, many training courses on Piping Design, Stress Analysis, and Pipe Supports, Piping Specifications, etc. have been delivered by Mr. Thakur. His expert contributions in the following areas

Contributions In PIPING


Mr. Thakur has guided a large team of engineers for best Piping Layouts, Supports and Piping Flexibility Stress Analysis. Piping flexibility Analysis and Pipe support is a very specialized job. Use of software has many options / limitations and it needs a very high understanding of requirements. Following are some of the calculation types, which have been done.

  • Flexibility Stress Analysis of metallic lines.
  • Stress Analysis of Glass Reinforced Pipe lines.
  • Dynamic Analysis (Spectrum).
  • Pipe Support Designs.
  • Wind and Seismic Analysis.
  • Water Hammer Analysis.
  • Flange Leakage Analysis.
  • Underground Piping Analysis.
  • Springs Selections and uses.
  • Expansion Bellows selection and uses.
  • Pumps, Turbines etc. Nozzle Loads Analysis.

While in Uhde India Ltd. he was instrumental in selecting and purchasing first Caesar-II software package in the year 1988. Since then he has been developing engineers and also the procedural documents so as to handle the highly critical Ammonia and Urea mega-plants. He has visited many plants in India to attend to their piping problems and, in all the cases; the clients have appreciated my solutions. This has provided the clients with great confidence in him.


Due to my long and critical exposure in the field of Major Projects Piping as well as Stress Systems Analysis with consultants like Uhde India Ltd, Projects & Development India Ltd., Kellogg and Parsons, I am able to critically review the plant models and make my comments on all above aspects. My comments on Flexibility Analysis aspect of piping have been very useful for Analysis. Such type of reviews by a single person is extremely useful for quality of project.


Due to long and critical exposure in the field of Major Projects Piping as well as Stress Systems Analysis with consultants like Uhde India Ltd, Projects & Development India Ltd., Kellogg and Parsons, he is able to critically review the plant models and make my comments on all aspects related to Piping. Comments on Flexibility Analysis aspect of piping have been very useful for Analysis. Such type of reviews by a single person is extremely useful for quality of project.


Mr. Thakur had a privilege in Uhde India Ltd. to train fresh engineers for a period of 10 months on topics as:

  • Piping Stress Analysis & supports.
  • Piping Layout Design.
  • Specifications. Etc.


Design Manuals are the backbone of any consultancy. He has prepared such manuals for the use of junior engineers in Uhde India Ltd.


When a company starts growing, quality procedures are very important documents for the efficient running of any organization. He has been a key person in developing such procedures and getting ISO-Certification for Uhde India Ltd.


During his long carrier he has attended many site troubles. He has always provided a creative approach to analyze problems and recommend corrective actions for various type of plant problems encountered during erection, commissioning, initial running as well as during normal running of plants. The problem could be related to one or more of the following aspects.

  • Faulty design of the piping layouts and support systems.
  • Faulty erection of the piping and support systems.
  • Faulty/inadequate design of structures.
  • Faulty erection/design/supply of items like expansion bellows, springs, valves.
  • Vibrations in machinery and piping systems due to miss-alignment, improper support locations/spans/rigidity etc.
  • Problems related to inadequate welding and improper selection of materials.

(The details of problems attended are briefed separately under Problem Attended)


He has been involved in construction supervision of IFFCO- Phulpur for a period of 2 years 6 months.

Design, Constructions Experience

Currently retired from UDHE INDIA LTD., Mumbai (Dy. General Manager Piping, in- charge for Stress Analysis for all Projects) from Feb-2008.

Experience at Uhde India Ltd from May-1999 to Feb-2008:

  • Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co. (Safco IV) Ammonia, Urea and O&U Plant. Worked as in-charge for Flexibility Stress Analysis and pipe support of full project.
  • Qatar Arabian Fertilizer Co. (Qafco IV) Ammonia, Urea and O&U Plant. Worked as in-charge for Flexibility Stress Analysis and pipe support of Piping connected to all Compressors, all Turbines and full network of Steam piping.
  • Control of all Caustic Soda Plants related pipe Stress and Support engineering.
  • Development of Standards and Procedures.

Experience in DAR (Dar Al-Riyadh) - PARSONS joint venture at Riyadh. K.S.A. from June 1995 to April 1999 as Piping and Stress Analysis in-charge. The Projects undertaken were following:

  • New Submarine ship loading Crude Oil Pipe Line project at Mina Saudi, Kuwait, for Saudi Arabian Texmaco - Kuwait. The project involved 36'' DN underground, 5- km long, on shore and off shore pipeline.
  • De-bottle-necking Feasibility study for Riyadh Refinery Control of all Caustic Soda Plants related pipe Stress and Support engineering.
  • NEW DE-AERATORS (additional) for Riyadh Refinery and replacement of existing de-aerator.
  • Additional Crude Pumping Capacity for Riyadh Refinery. (It is addition of Pumps and related piping.)
  • Olephenes - III Project Petrokemya at Jubail, KSA. (The project was introducing the Tie-Ins with the existing plant and adding few new equipments with piping.

Experience in UDHE INDIA LTD., Bombay from January 1986. to May 1995. (UHDE is a reputed German Consultancy Company). Last position held was Sr. Manager Piping:

  • Development of Quality Assurance Manuals, Procedures, Working Steps and conducting Q.C. Audits for UHDE total design & engineering and obtained ISO 9001 Certification, in March'94.
  • Training of Engineers for complete piping and design activities for a period of 10 months.
  • Gujarat State Fertilizer Corporation, Baroda (Gujarat) - Anone & Caprolactum Project.
  • Gujarat Narmadavalley Fertilizer Corporation, Bharuch (Gujarat) - Calcium Ammonium Nitrate Plant.
  • Gujarat Alkalies & Chemicals Baroda (Gujarat) - Soda Ash Plant (Bertram Process). Cold Box Plant. (Linde Process).
  • Tamilnadu Petroproducts Ltd., Madras - Low Alkyl Benzene (Lab) Plant (U.O.P. U.S.A. Process).
  • Punjab Alkalies & Chemicals Nangal (Punjab) - Caustic Concentration Plant (Bertram Process).
  • Hukumchand Jute Industries Ltd., Amlai (M.P.) - Caustic Concentration Plant (Betram Process).

Experience in Projects & Development India Limited (PDIL), Sindri (BIHAR) & Baroda (GUJARAT) from July, 1972 to December, 1985. (It is a reputed detailed engineering consultancy company in India).

  • National Fertilizers Ltd. - Ammonia Production Plant at Vijaypur, Guna (M.P.) (Holdor Topsoe Process).
  • Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers, Thal (Bombay) - Ammonia Production Plant (Holdor Topsoe Process).
  • Indian Petro-Chemicals Ltd., Baroda (Gujarat) - Ammonium Sulphate (Fertilizer) Plant.
  • Indian Farmer's Fertilizers Co-op. Ltd. - Construction supervision Ammonia production Plant at IFFCO Phulpur, Allahabad (U.P.) (Basic & details engineering by M/s. Kellog, U.S.A.). ERECTION SUPERVISION FOR UNDER GROUND AND ABOVE GROUND PIPING FOR A PERIOD OF 2 YEARS AND 6 MONTHS.
  • National Fertilizers Limited, Nangal (Punjab) - Ammonia Plant, Nangal Expansion Project. (UHDE & LURGI Process).

General Experience as a PRODUCT DESIGNER.

  • Worked in Bokaro Steel Limited, Dhanbad (Bihar) in Equipment Planning Division as Technical Assistant from September, 1971 to July, 1972.
  • Worked in Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi (Bihar) as Graduate Asst. on Project work of Design and Construction of Wankel Engine from February, 1971 to September, 1971.

Plant Site Problems Attended

During the course of Mr. Thakur’s service in different organization he has attended different site problems related to improper piping system analysis and supports (such as Use of improper design conditions in thermal analysis, dynamic analysis, settlement considerations, vibrations or water hammer considerations, improper selection and control of bellows or springs etc.). There are many problems related to improper piping installations, maintenance, such as for bellows (expansion joints) or springs etc. Here we would like to mention that he has been able to handle all problems, successfully Out of various problems attended by him, we give here a brief outline of few of them listed date wise. Problems requiring critical evaluation are marked with stars (**)

JAN 1988

A very long and straight (with expansion loop), NB4" Liquid Ammonia Transfer line in M/s. Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers (State - Karnataka) was observed to be shifting continuously in longitudinal direction from its normal position. Pipe was not coming back to its original position after each transfer operation. Once upon a time it had come out of pedestal supports and a portion of line had fallen down. Improper design & erection of supports and insufficient design of foundation for Anchor were the reasons behind this failure

SEP 1989

Gate valve on discharge line of Cooling Tower Pump in Calcium Ammonium Nitrate Project of M/s. G.N.F.C., Bharuch (Gujarat) developed crack on top portion of body between bonnet flange & outlet flange. High bearing temperatures etc. were observed. Improper design and installation of supports, improper setting of tie rods of Rubber expansion joint, improper back fillings, and also improper material of the valve were various causes of this failure

OCTOBER 1990 **

A long INCOLOY PIPE LINE, DN-10" at 840 deg.C, from FURNACE TO REACTOR in M/s. HINDUSTAN POLYMERS (Vishkhapatnam) Plant had considerably shifted from its normal position. Supports were in a state of coming out from the supporting structure. Trunnian guides provided on the line had sheared off. Plant had been shut down. An immediate Short Term solution and thereafter (during planned shutdown) a long-term solution were required by client. No welding on the pipe was a request from them. Improper trunnain support material, improper support concepts were the cause of the problem. Short-term solution was given on the same day. Plant was started. Long-term solution was finalized and implemented later.

JANUARY 1991 **

A long crack of 160 mm had developed on the nozzle neck of discharge scrubber of Hydrogen Compressor in M/s. Tamilnadu Petroproducts Ltd., Manali. High vibrations were observed in the piping systems. Improper support spans, type of supports, rigidity of structure were the cause of problem.

1st to 12th FEBRUARY 1991 **

Many cracks and leakages were found in PP-FRP (Plastic) piping in caustic soda plant of M/s. FORMUSA PLASTIC & CHEMICALS in TAIWAN. Various causes of the problem was like, improper welding of PP-material and laminations, pre-stressing of lines during erection, location & type of supports, rigidity of the supporting structures.

16th to 23rd FEBRUARY 1991 **

In weak NITRIC ACID PLANT of M/s. GUJARAT NARMADAVALLEY FERTILIZER PLANT at Bharuch, a leakage was observed in DN 20", Lateral type bellow, at the inlet nozzle of TAIL GAS TURBINE line at 4800 C. On review of the damaged bellow we found that all the four tie rod lugs were bent. A crack was observed at the root of a lug, which was the source of leakage. The cause of the problem was inadequate design of bellow assembly by the supplier at Baroda. Design and fabrication assistant / supervision was given to the supplier during manufacture and a free replacement of the damaged Bellow. At the request of client, the erection assistance was given.


In M/s. RELIANCE INDUSTRIES LTD. - Low ALKYLE BENZENE (Back end) project, both pacol reactors are having Lateral type Bellows at inlet as well as outlet ends. (Total 4 bellows). Given below is the detail of bellows - DN 750; 8330 mm long, 544 deg. C design temp. 4.2 Kg/cm2g design pressure. 5200 kg weight. Leakages were observed in both bellows at the inlet of the reactors. A comprehensive stress analysis of complete system was conducted. The cause of the failure was considered to be handling of bellows during regular maintenance in the plant and hydro testing of bellow in line at a pressure higher than the rated pressure. Scheme for handling bellows while regular maintenance was furnished. Manufacturer did not provide collars at tangent portion of Bellow ends, which is a normal feature. This was suggested for providing

APRIL 1993

In M/s. GUJARAT STATE FERTILIZER Corp. - Carprolactom Project, in Baroda (Gujarat), a lateral Bellow of DN12" (temp. 555deg.C and 10 kg/cm2g pressure) located at the inlet (top) of waste gas turbine had burst. The bellow was of 4 plies. Only the outermost ply of the bellow had budged out and busted. Trapped moisture during manufacture between 3rd and 4th ply of the below did cause this problem. A breather hole could have avoided this problem. The bellow was replaced free of cost by the manufacturer.


In M/s. CHEMICAL TERMINAL TROMBAY Ltd. Mumbai. - there are two no's. of 8'' pipelines from Jetty to CTTL Tanks. Each line has 21 no's. of Telescopic type Expansion Joints with gland packing. Some amount of leakage had been observed earlier. Study was done to avoid any major leakage from Expansion Joints. Fix point supports in the line was observed in sufficient. New locations of Fix points were suggested. Setting of Telescopic type Expansion Joints were commented. This Expansion Joints Tie Rods Bolting required re-setting to under go smooth contraction and elongation at Expansion Joints.

OCTOBER 2005 **

In M/s. COROMANDEL FERTILIZERS Ltd. Visakhapatnam - The 16'' Ammonia un-loading Pipe Line from Jetty to Ammonia Tank in the Plant (5.5 km long) had shifted axially (more than a meter). The pipe shoes had come out of the sleepers. There was a considerable lateral shift as well. We took about 25 photos of the problem related areas along the pipeline. We observed the ship un-loading operation of Ammonia. A detailed Flexibility Stress and Water Hammer calculation was performed. Spectrum Method did seismic Stress calculation. Remedial measures for updating the pipe supports were suggested without disturbing the existing position of pipeline. Certain RCC support columns design required to be modified to suit water hammer and seismic loads.

MAY 2006 **

In MCFL Mangalore, -- The High Pressure Line (6”) from CO2 Reciprocating compressor going to H2 Converter Plant (a new plant) located in a different area had severe Vibrations in H2 Converter Plant, and was causing the Building structures also to vibrate He stayed there from 27th to 30th May 2006 and implemented few temporary changes and also gave them a permanent solution. The problem was brought under good control by the temporary solution itself. After implementing the permanent solution the vibrations of pipe and structure was fully eliminated.

APRIL 2007 **

Again visited NITRIC ACID PLANT of M/s. GUJARAT NARMADAVALLEY FERTILIZER PLANT at Bharuch, to ascertain reason (piping or Machine) for Vibration problem of TAIL GAS TURBINE. The problem was due to machine.

JULY 2007 **

Visited M/s FINOLEX at Ratnagiri to suggest measures to prevent failure of supports and stray movement of a very long 6'' Ammonia Unloading PIPING from jetty to Ammonia Tank in the Plant.