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Abstract

A ring-type joint in a reactor pipeline for a hydrocracker unit had failed. Cracks were observed on the flange and the associated ring gasket during an inspection following a periodic shutdown of the unit. The components were manufactured from stabilized grades of austenitic stainless steel; the flange from type 321, and the ring gasket from 347. Examination revealed that the failure occurred by transgranular stress-corrosion cracking, initiated by the presence of polythionic acid. Detailed metallurgical investigation was subsequently conducted to identify what may have caused the formation of polythionic acid in the process gas.

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Poorwa Gore, M. Sujata, S.K. Bhaumik, Stress Corrosion Cracking of Ring Type Joint of Reactor Pipeline of a Hydrocracker Unit, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 3, Edited By Larry Berardinis, ASM International, 2019, p 158–164, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.v03.c9001774

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