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An Incoloy 800H (UNS N08810) transfer line on the outlet of an ethane-cracking furnace failed during decoking of the furnace tubes after nine years in service. A metallographic examination using optical and scanning electron microscopy as well as energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy revealed that the failure was due to sulfidation. The source of the sulfur in the furnace effluent was either dimethyl disulfide, injected into the furnace feed to prevent coke formation and carburization of the furnace tubes, or contamination of the feed with sulfur bearing oil.

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