Definition - What does Mechanical Isolation mean?
Mechanical Isolation is the disconnection of equipment or process plant from all sources of energy in a way that is safe and secure. For example, a boiler may be disconnected from pressure, thermal and mechanical energy. When a plant or equipment, especially one that contains hazardous material, needs maintenance because of breakdown or planned maintenance, it is isolated and/ or shutdown before the maintenance process can begin in order to avoid any health hazard to the crews or loss of material.
Petropedia explains Mechanical Isolation
In the oil and gas industry, equipment or process plant, such as boilers, valves, storage tanks, piping systems etc., usually undergo maintenance due to breakdown or planned maintenance. Before the maintenance process can commence the equipment should first be mechanically isolated or disconnected from the main plant in order to avoid any health hazard to the maintenance crew or damages to the material. Mechanical isolation is done in a safe way that ensures the equipment is disconnected completely from any pressure or thermal or mechanical energy. All inlet and outlet valves in the pipelines leading to the equipment are also closed and checked to ensure there is no leakage. The equipment is also cooled down and disconnected from all sources energy.