High Temperature Solutions
High operating temperatures can degrade metallurgical properties and produce damage not seen at lower temperatures. To prevent both under-utilization and failure of equipment, the challenge for owner-users is to accurately predict remaining life, prevent unnecessary repairs or replacements, and extend equipment life and availability.
E2G | The Equity Engineering Group, Inc. has in-depth experience in evaluating the suitability-for-service of components operating in the high temperature range. Our involvement in joint industry programs sponsored by the MPC (Materials Properties Council) Project Omega for creep damage evaluation, and MolyHy for assessment of HTHA (High Temperature Hydrogen Attack) gives us special expertise in state-of-the-art technologies for equipment assessment.
E2G’s President and CEO, David Osage, is a recognized high temperature expert:
- Drafted creep life assessment rules for Part 10 in API 579-1/ASME FFS-1
- Authored Appendix F of API 579-1/ASME FFS-1
- Active member of MPC Project Omega since its inception in 1984
- Created SagePlusTM remaining life assessment module
- Active members of MPC MolyHy program
We can help you understand and deal with the various ways high temperatures can impact your equipment and the interactions between mechanical, metallurgical, and environmental causes of high temperature damage mechanisms.
Practical Advice for a Complicated Problem
E2G’s close working relationship with MPC provides us access to extensive materials property information, and insight into innovative analytic methodologies. MPC’s Project Omega methodology can be used to accurately determine the remaining life of aging equipment. The methodology has been validated through experience and is published in API 579. Most of the major integrated oil companies are using this technology with great success.
E2G uses a phased approach to help you mitigate and manage the damage mechanisms that most often cause costly failure: creep, HTHA, metallurgical embrittlement, and thermal stresses/fatigue. This phased approach saves time and money by giving you the ability to stop applying technology as soon as the essential need is satisfied.
- Phase 1: Preliminary calculations based on previous industry inspections and nominal operating conditions
- Phase 2: More sophisticated stress analysis and better understanding of the materials involved; possibly some chemical analysis
- Phase 3: Creep testing through one of the most respected labs in the country
- Phase 4: Remaining life calculations
- Phase 5: Probabilistic assessments
This working process assures that you won’t get caught in a consulting quagmire of doing unnecessary work that yields marginal value. Our goal is to give you practical advice.
E2G uses the MPC Project Omega approach to identify vulnerable equipment long before inspectors can find advanced damage. The Omega method enables us to optimize heater throughput and tube life based on the accuracy of our assessments.
Our proprietary SagePlusTM software program is utilized to perform remaining life calculations on equipment. The heater tube creep module in our SagePlusTM program contains both the API 530 and the API 579 Omega equations, materials data, and also considers tube wall thinning.
The Omega approach and properties can also be applied to other equipment operating in the creep regime with similar results. (e.g. hot wall reactors, piping, valves, etc.) See Beyond Heater Tubes below for more detail.
E2G also has the ability to simulate creep damage within finite element analysis models that can accurate predict stress relaxation and damage accumulated due to creep using a proprietary material property subroutine.
High Temperature Hydrogen Attack (HTHA)
HTHA, particularly of C-0.5Mo steels, is a continuing industry challenge in high temperature/hydrogen environments. This issue is relevant now that many refineries are converting existing equipment as part of low sulfur fuels projects.
E2G engineers have been involved with API 941 for over 35 years, and we are members of the MPC JIP Moly-Hy, which has developed innovative technology to better characterize incipient damage and assistance with remaining life/FFS issues. We can help your facility identify potential HTHA issues with RBI (Risk-Based Inspection) methods and with inspection and assessment planning. We can also help you manage replacement versus maintenance decisions.
Our Buckeye III Sampler™ cuts small samples without the need for weld repair. Samples are analyzed for methane content and voids. Please watch the Buckeye Sampler video below:
Download Buckeye Sampler Brochure
We are the only engineering consulting company in the MPC Moly-Hy Joint Industry Program.
There are a number of changes that occur with certain alloys due to high temperature exposure:
- Sigma Phase Embrittlement of austenitic stainless steel
- Carbide Precipitation in many alloys
- 885F(430C) Embrittlement in ferritic stainless steel
- Temper Embrittlement of 2.25Cr alloys
- Reheat Cracking of 1.25Cr steel
These changes can be subtle but can lead to big failures. Our materials experience can guide you as to when, where, and how to look for these changes.
Beyond Heater Tubes: Help with Other At-Risk Components
E2G has performed hundreds of heater tube assessments, using SagePlusTM software, the API 530 design code for heaters, and the API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 FFS Standard. However, many components require more sophisticated analysis including vessels and piping.
E2G performs finite element stress analysis to simulate temperature and structural response of complex components and loading conditions. We are one of the few firms to employ advanced stress analysis techniques in conjunction with the MPC material models to simulate high temperature response and characterize creep damage.
This multifaceted approach can be beneficial in assessing high temperature damage in the following:
- Process heaters (coke heaters, cat reformers, steam/ammonia reformer heaters)
- Heater components (tube sheets, hangers, ducts, heaters)
- Hot piping and valves
- FCCU reactor and regenerator components
- Reactor health/remaining life
- Thermal diffusion calculations for start-up and shutdown; safe envelopes
- PWHT simulations to advise on difficult applications
- Hot-tap analysis
E2G performs these state-of-the-art assessments quickly to help you make informed decisions in a timely manner.
Want to learn more? Contact us.