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Alkaline Carbonate SCC Failures at a Refinery


A metallurgical evaluation was performed to investigate two failures from carbonate-containing sour water service at a refinery. The failure mechanism for both fractured components (a pipe and a heat exchanger tube) was alkaline carbonate stress corrosion cracking. Alkaline carbonate stress corrosion cracking is a mechanism that has become more widely recognized in refinery service. This paper details the visual, SEM/EDS, metallographic, and microhardness evaluations used to determine the failure mechanism for each refinery component.

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The authors would like to thank Stephen Davis, who was one of the principal investigators for the evaluation of the heat exchanger tube.

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Correspondence to Ryan J. Haase.

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Haase, R.J., Hanke, L.D. Alkaline Carbonate SCC Failures at a Refinery. J Fail. Anal. and Preven. 18, 153–161 (2018).

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  • Alkaline carbonate stress corrosion cracking
  • Stress corrosion cracking
  • Carbonate
  • Petroleum
  • Refining