Failure Avoidance Brief: Estimating Heater Tube Life
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The intention of this Failure Avoidance Brief is to provide lessons learned from materials, structure, and equipment failures so that costly failures can be prevented through good design, maintenance, and inspection practices, thus increasing safety, equipment reliability, and integrity of designs.
How long will heater tubes last? This question is frequently asked by those who use heater and reformer tubes in ammonia, refinery, and chemical plants. Tubes are critical to the processing, refining, and heating of product for optimized product processing. Beginning with research performed in 1928 at the University of Michigan, tube lifetime has been researched to understand the factors that influence high-temperature tube strength. Even though the degradation phenomena that occur in tubes are now better understood, tube failure is still a concern to the plant operator. Failures of heater tubes have resulted in fires, fatal accidents, loss of production, and leaking of hydrocarbon products...
KeywordsReformer Stress Rupture Creep Rupture Heater Tube Intergranular Facet
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