Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 363–369 | Cite as

Metal Dusting of Process Gas Heater Convection Tubes

  • Abdulaziz Al-Meshari
  • Gys van Zyl
  • Mazin Al-Musharraf
Case History---Peer-Reviewed


An investigation was conducted into a failure of convection section tubes in a process gas heater in a steel-making company. Thorough study using various characterisation techniques showed that the failure of the tubes, which were made of low-alloyed steel ASTM A335 P22, was attributed to metal dusting. The attack was accelerated because of the use of incompatible tube material for the intended operating conditions. Moreover, thermal fatigue cracks were discovered on the tube surfaces. Such cracks might have been caused by the high number of plant start-ups and shutdowns. Failure contributing factors and recommendations to avoid similar failure are discussed in this article.


Metal dusting Thermal fatigue Low-alloyed steel Process gas heater Convection section 


  1. 1.
    B.A. Baker, G.D. Smith, Metal Dusting Behaviour of High Temperature Alloys, NACE International, Corrosion 99, Paper No. 54Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H.J. Grabke, M. Spiegel, Occurrence of metal dusting-referring to failures cases. Mater. Corros. 54(10), 799–804 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. Kelly, J. Wilson, D. Wachowiak, Metal Dusting a.k.a Carbon Rot in the Heat Treat Industry, 50 years (2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    R.T. Jones, K.L. Baumert, Metal Dusting-An Overview of Current Literature, NACE International, Corrosion 2001, Paper No. 01372Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    H. J. Grabke, Metal Dusting, Materials and Corrosion 2003, 54, No. 10Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    M.H. Ravestein, Metal Dusting in Catalytic Reforming Furnace Tubes, NACE International, Corrosion 97, Paper No. 496Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    R. Kirchheiner, J.L. Jimenez Solar, Correlation of Oxidation, Carburisation and Metal Dusting; “Controlling Corrosion by Corrosion”, NACE International, Corrosion 2001, Paper No. 01374Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    P. Szakalos, Mechanisms of Metal Dusting, Doctoral Thesis, Department of Material Science and Engineering, Division of Corrosion Science, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden AND Swedish Institute for Metals Research, Sweden (2004)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    H.J. Grabke, E.M. Muller-Lorenz, S. Strauss, E. Pippel, J. Woltersdorf, Effects of grain size, cold working, and surface finish on the metal dusting resistance of steels. Oxid Met 50(3/4) (1998)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    H.J. Grabke, E.M. Muller-Lorenz, A. Schneider, Review-carburisation and metal dusting on iron. ISIJ Int. 41(Suppl), S1–S8 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdulaziz Al-Meshari
    • 1
  • Gys van Zyl
    • 1
  • Mazin Al-Musharraf
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials, Corrosion, Static Equipment DomainSABIC Technology CentreJubail Industrial CitySaudi Arabia

Personalised recommendations