tel: (01252) 811641

DC White Engineering Consultants.

Solving complex 
engineering problems to commercial timescales.

plant and piping failure analysis

Piping and Plant Engineering Services

At DC White, we have decades of experience in solving piping stress-related issues for clients across many industries including chemical, nuclear and process plant, automotive, marine and renewable energy. It is this breadth of experience that enables us to identify potential difficulties. For example we still encounter piping designs that reproduce the errors made over forty years ago, which lead to events such as the Flixborough disaster. Inexperience can lead to failure.

Featured case studies:

Our long experience in pipe design and pipe stress analysis led to our appointment to design the piping and support brackets for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the London Jubilee Underground Line, and to undertake analysis of the sprinkler systems for the St. Pancras station platform and undercroft (see case studies). Brackets?  Mundane? No - when you have explored the many fire-fighting scenarios for water pipes and water hammer, you gain a great respect for the humble bracket. 

The benefits of using us for piping engineering


There are many reasons why clients use us for piping engineering again and again, but perhaps the most important is our ability to combine practical nous, gained from a wide range of real process safety cases, with a high degree of academic insight and the latest powerful software tools.

- we'll aim to understand the problem first, before we dive into the software
- we'll give you practical, commercial advice
- we will provide detailed reporting, with feedback of both the qualitative and quantitative
- value for money: a fixed priced based on an agreed scope, so no surprises later
- speed: rapid uptake, interim updates, disciplined quality procedures

Our approach to pipe stress engineering

The most common tools used in pipe stress engineering are Finite Element packages which can be very powerful.  However, we believe that you shouldn't be given a calculator until you have learnt to count. The first analytical tools our piping engineers turn to are:

 - a blank sheet of paper
 - a clear and deep understanding of stress analysis theory
 - our many collective decades of experience
 - thousands of past projects for reference
 - engineering judgement, bringing together our whole team if necessary

Once we have fully considered a problem, performed preliminary calculations and agreed a clear scope, we turn to our more advanced tools. 

Hand calculations with MathCAD are a powerful, flexible and clear way of constructing an argument.  For more complex systems we would then reach for other renowned commercial packages including AutoPIPE and our own FEA software.

Our specialist piping experience

DC White has extensive experience in the design and substantiation of a wide variety of piping systems, including:

- Process chemical plant
- Nuclear installations
- Process pipelines
- Power generation steam systems
- Fire fighting systems
- High temperature steam systems for building services

Design substantiation

We provide expert analytical and design services at all stages of pipe design development and operation:

We provide a fully independent design substantiation service and can complete static, dynamic, seismic and fatigue analysis to national and international standards, e.g. BS EN 13480-3:2012 (previously BS806) and ASME B31.3. We are also experienced in design for water hammer and steam hammer effects. 

We will recommend design improvements for all aspects of pipe systems, in particular support methods, flange selection and material specifications.

Process safety and pipe failure analysis

We offer expertise in process safety management and asset integrity for plant and, in particular, piping and piping support: full details can be found here of  SafePLANTTM, our Process Safety and Plant Integrity service.

We also conduct pipe failure analysis to determine root cause of problems and propose an engineered solution to prevent recurrence. Read more about our Failure Analysis service.

You can also read details of our piping engineering work for clients in this field here, in Case Studies.  


To chat informally with an engineer about your analysis needs or request a quotation, call us on 01252 811641 or email us

...we have found the DC White analysis and report to be well written and comprehensive.

Bluescope Steel Ltd
"I have worked with DC White for the past 5 years. They are extremely professional and very proficient. I would highly recommended them.

Andrew P Kofoed, Reliability Project Engineer, Cristal

To get in touch, call
call us on 01252 811641
  (01252) 811641
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DC White Engineering Consultants
PM House
Riverway Estate
Old Portsmouth Rd
Guildford, UK

Finite Element Analysis
Stress Analysis
Thermal Analysis
Design & Design Analysis

Vibration Analysis
Failure Analysis
Seismic Analysis
Fatigue Analysis

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