Methods and Controls to Prevent In-Service Environmental Cracking of Carbon Steel Weldments in Corrosive Petroleum Refining Environments
|Publication Date:||14 March 2015|
This standard establishes guidelines to prevent most forms of environmental cracking of weldments in carbon steel refinery equipment, including pressure vessels, heat exchangers, piping, valve bodies, and pump and compressor cases. Weldments are defined to include the weld deposit, base metal HAZ, and adjacent base metal zones subject to residual stresses from welding.
Complete PWHT of field-fabricated storage tanks is impractical and sometimes impossible. Costly techniques of supporting tanks, insulating the outside, and applying gas burners to heat the inside gas have been attempted, but the effectiveness was questionable. Other protection steps such as alternative thermal methods, internal coatings, maintaining lower temperatures, etc., should be used.
This standard covers only carbon steels classified as P-No. 1, Group 1 or 2. These classifications can be found in the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section IX9 for pressure vessels, ASME/ANSI B31.3 for process piping, or API Standards 620 and 650 for tanks. It excludes steels with greater than 485 MPa (70,000 psi) minimum specified tensile strength. Other materials may be vulnerable to cracking, but these materials are outside the scope of this standard.
The types of equipment covered by this standard include pressure
vessels, heat exchangers, piping, valve bodies, and pump and
compressor cases. All pressure-containing weldments or internal
attachment weldments to the pressure boundary are included.
External attachment weldments are sometimes included. In addition,
this standard may be applied to weldments in some
Both new fabrication and repair welds are within the scope of this standard. The practices included herein are intended to prevent in-service cracking and are not intended to address cracking that can occur during fabrication, such as delayed hydrogen cracking. In most cases, however, these practices are also helpful in minimizing these fabrication problems. Useful information for preventing delayed hydrogen cracking is provided by F.R. Coe, et al.10
Welding processes covered by this standard include shielded metal arc welding (SMAW); gas metal arc welding (GMAW); flux-cored arc welding (FCAW); gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW); and submerged arc welding (SAW). Almost all types of weld configurations are included. For specific exceptions, such as hot taps, hardness limits and post weld heat treatment (PWHT) requirements should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.