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Ninety Nine Diseases of Pressure Equipment in the Hydrocarbon Process Industry National Pressure Equipment Conference Banff, Alberta 10 February, 2005


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Title: Ninety Nine Diseases of Pressure Equipment in the Hydrocarbon Process Industry National Pressure Equipment Conference Banff, Alberta 10 February, 2005

Ninety Nine Diseases of Pressure Equipment in
the Hydrocarbon Process Industry National
Pressure Equipment Conference Banff, Alberta 10
February, 2005
  • John Reynolds
  • Shell Global Solutions, US
  • Houston, Texas

What will I talk about this morning?
  • Whats in the title (why the 99 Diseases)?
  • Who should know about the 99 Diseases?
  • How to use the 99 diseases to prepare RBI plans
  • Establishing Integrity Operating Windows (IOWs)
    to avoid the 99 Diseases
  • Where to learn more about the 99 Diseases?
  • Then well cover a few of the 99 Diseases

What are the 99 Diseases?
  • General types of degradation mechanisms that can
    cause failure of pressure equipment, like
  • General and localized corrosion and erosion
  • Environmentally caused cracking
  • Metallurgical aging and degradation
  • High temperature degradation and brittle fracture
  • Mechanical cracking and damage
  • Welding and fabrication flaws
  • Anything that will cause materials of
    construction to degrade and possibly cause
    failure of pressure equipment in service

Who should know about the Diseases?
  • Not just materials and corrosion specialists, but
  • Inspectors
  • Operators
  • Process and technology engineers
  • RBI teams and PHA teams
  • Project and equipment engineers
  • Maintenance personnel
  • Everyone that has a stake or role in preventing
    pressure equipment failures

What do others need to know?
  • Enough to help them recognize degradation issues
    and to seek help from materials and corrosion
    specialists, when necessary
  • Enough to help them understand the importance of
    operating within the integrity operating windows
  • Enough to help them understand and assess when
    changes to equipment and/or process conditions
    might cause changes in types of degradation or
    changes in rates of degradation

Why Spread the Knowledge?
  • Because in many cases of equipment failure, the
    materials and corrosion engineer is the one
    person that knew what could happen and could
    have helped to prevent the incident but was not
    in a position to do anything about it when it
  • Because the people on the front lines or the
    people making changes sometimes do not know about
    the types of degradation that might happen and
    what their role is in preventing pressure
    equipment failures

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Why call them the 99 Diseases?
  • Theres a good analogy with the medical
  • Its much easier, much less expensive, and
    healthier (safer) to prevent diseases than it is
    to cure them
  • We would all rather know and practice the
    necessary lifestyles that will prevent us from
    having lung cancer or heart disease than it is to
    cure either after we contract them
  • Same is true with the 99 diseases of pressure
  • Preventing cracks, high corrosion rates, and
    metallurgical degradation is usually easier, much
    less expensive, and safer than coping with the
    aftermath of unexpected vessel and piping

Automobile Analogy
  • With good care, automobiles can operate
    dependably for well over 200,000 miles
  • But it takes knowledge of what can go wrong and
    then doing the necessary preventive maintenance
    (ie, taking good care of our automobiles)
  • Same is true for pressure vessels, heat
    exchangers, tanks, and piping
  • If we take care of them, understand what can make
    them break down (ie, fail unexpectedly), and
    drive them with care (ie, operate them within
    the properly designated integrity operating
    window (IOW), they will provide reliable, safe
    service throughout the life of our process plants

The 99 Diseases as input for RBI
  • The 99 Diseases can be used as a checklist of
    possible causes of failure from which we glean
    the probable causes of degradation and failure
  • Identifying all the possible degradation
    mechanisms is a critical success factor for RBI
  • RBI team members each need to know a minimum
    amount about each possible/probable degradation
    mechanism in order to contribute effectively
  • But only one RBI team member needs to be a
    materials and corrosion specialist

Where can you learn more?
  • Hundreds of materials and corrosion references
    that are available, but a new one really stands
  • API RP 571, Damage Mechanisms Affecting Fixed
    Equipment in the Refining Industry its written
    for the non-materials/corrosion specialist
  • Or for other industries WRC 488 - Damage
    Mechanisms Affecting Fixed Equipment In Fossil
    Electric Power Industry and WRC 489 - Damage
    Mechanisms Affecting Fixed Equipment In The Pulp
    And Paper Industry
  • Follow the whole series of the 99 Diseases in the
    Inspectioneering Journal, starting with the
    Jan/Feb 2003 edition

Organization of Each Section in API 571
  • Description of each damage mechanism
  • Construction materials affected
  • Critical factors that cause the damage
  • Affected equipment and process units
  • Description of the appearance of the damage
  • Prevention and mitigation
  • Inspection and monitoring
  • Related damage mechanisms
  • Other references on each type of damage mechanism
  • Photos (macroscopic and microscopic)
  • Very concise all this condensed into just 2-4
    pages for each damage mechanism

Lets Cover a Few of the 99 Diseases
  • Caustic Cracking
  • Vibration Fatigue
  • 885 Embrittlement
  • Short-Term Overheating (Stress Rupture)
  • Liquid Metal Cracking (LMC)
  • Repair Welds
  • External Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking
  • Naphthenic Acid Corrosion (NAC)
  • Inadequate Overlay Weld Thickness/Chemistry

Caustic Cracking
  • One of the most common and best understood types
    of environmental cracking often results in
    white crystalline external deposits near leaks
  • Cracks often wide-open, easy to see, but can be
  • Typically in non-PWHT weldments and other areas
    of high residual stresses
  • Some common causes
  • steaming out and carry-over into non-PWHT
  • Inadequately designed caustic injection nozzles
  • Inadequate PWHT and non-PWHT repair welds
  • Heat tracing in direct contact with caustic
    containing equipment
  • Operators and maintenance people that dont
    understand the issue
  • Would your RBI team know about all the potential
    sources of caustic that might crack your
    equipment in service?

Vibration Fatigue
  • Can lead to catastrophic consequences when
    vibrating nozzles fall off equipment or full bore
    piping separation occurs
  • Often associated with SBP and screwed connections
  • Usually associated with proximity to rotating
    machinery, but can also be associated with flow
    induced vibrations
  • Inspection is not typically useful for avoidance
  • Design modifications are key to corrective action
  • Dont let vibration become the accepted norm at
    your plant!
  • Do your operators know enough about the
    consequences of vibration fatigue such that they
    would report equipment vibration for possible

885 Embrittlement
  • One of many types of embrittlement phenomena that
    can lead to brittle fracture of equipment in
  • Most commonly affects 400 series stainless steels
    in temperature range of 600-1000 F (highest
    embrittlement occurs at 885 F)
  • Susceptible alloys suffer from toughness
    deterioration due to metallurgical changes in
  • Only detectable through some form of physical or
    mechanical testing (not NDE or inspection)
  • Do you know about all the potential factors and
    conditions that might lead to embrittlement of
    your equipment in service?

Short Term Overheating
  • Also known as stress rupture not uncommon
    form of deterioration sometimes leads to
    catastrophic rupture
  • Involves localized exposure to higher than design
    temperature at design operating pressures
    sometimes just a few degrees can substantially
    shorten service life
  • Some susceptible equipment furnace tubes
    refractory lined equipment exothermic reactors
  • Canadian HPU furnace hot spot rupture resulted in
    explosion gt fire gt fatality
  • Preventable with IOWs, hot spot monitoring, IR
    scanning, heat sensitive paint, burner
    management, temperature monitoring, etc.
  • Do your operators have all the tools and
    knowledge to avoid short-term overheating

Liquid Metal Cracking (LMC)
  • A very insidious and very rapid cracking
  • Also known as Liquid Metal Embrittlement (LME)
  • Affects numerous alloys of Al, Cu, Ni, and Fe
  • Aluminum core exchangers have failed due to
    Mercury LMC two incidents with huge
  • Galvanized coating (Zn) melts at 780F and drips
    on SS equipment causing LMC
  • Cadmium plating on bolts melts at 480F --gt LMC
  • Do you know if some of your equipment may be
    susceptible to LMC?

Repair Welds
  • Another potentially undetected flaw, sometimes
    with fairly insidious consequences
  • Repair welds are not infrequently the initiation
    site for cracking or corrosion failures
  • Often repair welds (both shop and field) dont
    get reported or recorded and can have inadequate
  • Some construction codes dont treat repair welds
    adequately in terms of specified QA/QC
  • Repair welds can produce metallurgical notches,
    stress raisers, high hardness, and dissimilar
    weld issues
  • Do you require your fabricators and maintenance
    forces to record and report all repair welds for
    your records?

External Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking
  • ECSCC is an off-shoot of effective CUI programs
    and is difficult to avoid and inspect for
  • Affects insulated solid SS equipment in CUI range
    from 140F (60C) to 300F (150C), and higher temps
  • Even good CUI coatings break down after 10-15
    years allowing moisture and chlorides to contact
    the external surfaces under insulation
  • Chlorides come from insulation and the atmosphere
  • Fortunately SS toughness usually leads to LBB
  • Do you have insulated solid SS equipment that may
    be susceptible to ECSCC?

Naphthenic Acid Corrosion (NAC)
  • An old problem that we are continuing to learn
    more about
  • Higher severity operations sometimes lead to more
    NAC in places where we did not find it before
  • TAN, organic acids, sulfur content, temperature,
    and velocity all combine to determine extent of
  • Usually results in highly localized corrosion,
    but can be general thinning in lower alloys
  • Prevention includes upgrading to higher Moly
    containing alloys or blending crude diets
  • NAC susceptibility can be predicted with the
    CORAS model
  • Would your MOC program be able to predict
    accelerated NAC problems from changes in crude

Weld Overlay Thickness/Chemistry
  • Steel vessels, exchangers, flanges commonly weld
    overlaid with high alloy for corrosion resistance
  • Its vital that the top surface of the overlay be
    the right alloy content to resist process
    corrosion, especially if there will be final
    grinding or machining
  • The proper thickness and chemistry QA/QC should
    be specified following multiple layers of weld
  • Dont count on the machinist or grinder to know
    that he is defeating your corrosion allowance!
  • Have you ever seen localized corrosion or rust
    stains bleeding through a weld overlaid surface?

Some More of the 99 Diseases
  • Graphitization - Temper Embrittlement Strain
    Aging Soil Corrosion Atmospheric Corrosion-
    CUI Reheat Cracking Dealloying Condensate
    Corrosion Oxidation Sulfidation MIC CO2
    Corrosion Cavitation Thermal Shock
    Carburization Hydrogen Embrittlement Sour
    Water Corrosion Ti Hydriding HTHA HCl
    Corrosion Overhead Corrosion Dew Point
    Corrosion Delayed Hydrogen Cracking ECSCC
    NAC HIC SOHIC PASCC Metal Dusting Fuel
    Ash Corrosion Corrosion Fatigue Chloride
    Cracking Nitriding Brittle Fracture
    Cavitation Thermal Fatigue Steam Blanketing
    Erosion Refractory Failure Cooling Water
    Corrosion Graphitic Corrosion DMW Cracking
    Sigma Phase Embrittlement Mechanical Fatigue
    Spheroidization Erosion-Corrosion Galvanic
    Corrosion Carbonate Cracking Green Rot

Questions to Ponder
  • Do all the right people at your operating plant
    know enough about the 99 Diseases in order to do
    their part in preventing pressure equipment
  • Do you have integrity operating windows (IOWs)
    established for all the 99 Diseases to which you
    may be susceptible?
  • Do your RBI plans consider all the 99 Diseases
    when considering the risk of failure at your

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Ninety Nine Diseases of Pressure Equipment in the
Hydrocarbon Process Industry Time for Questions?
  • Houston, Texas