Failure Analysis of Liquid Propane Gas Cylinder
Several newly developed liquid propane gas (LPG) cylinders made from Fe-0.13C-0.42Mn steel failed, each fracturing in the longitudinal direction. One of the cylinders was thoroughly analyzed to determine the cause. Deep-drawing flaws were observed on the inner wall of the cylinder, oriented in the direction of the fracture and roughly equal in length. Flaws about 1.3 mm deep, steps, and a chevron pattern were observed on the fractured surface as were cleavage facets, revealed by SEM. Hardness was relatively high and the microstructure near the fracture surface appeared elongated. In addition, the stress intensity factor KI calculated from the value of the internal pressure was lower than that estimated by the fracture toughness test. All of this suggests that the tanks were not sufficiently annealed and prone to brittle fracture. The analysis thus proves that cracks initiated by deep-drawing flaws were the primary cause of failure.
K. Mogami, S. Saito, H. Makishita, K. Ando, N. Ogura, Failure Analysis of Liquid Propane Gas Cylinder, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Oil and Gas Production Equipment, ASM International, 2019, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.petrol.c9001142
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