Coke Drums are critical equipment in refineries due to variable temperature and pressure. The temperature is highly fluctuating which causes the thermal fatigue in coke drums. The phenomenon of this thermal fatigue plays a very crucial role in failure of coke drums. In the present study, a coke drum is subjected to pressure - temperature reversal with each cycle of 48 hours duration. Temperature and pressure varies from 338 to 738 K and 0 to 0.404 MPa, respectively. The material of construction is 1.25Cr-0.5Mo (SA-387 Gr. 11 Cl. 1). This coke drum is at higher temperature of 738 K for 24 hours in one full cycle. The skirt to shell and cone junction is a critical portion of coke drum because it is highly susceptible to fatigue at higher temperature. In addition to this, the skirt is provided with slots at specific pitch all around circumference to induce flexibility. This has great influence on fatigue life due to localized stress at higher temperature. API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 2007 is used for the fatigue life evaluation in the present case. Nonlinear transient thermal analysis is coupled with the elastic-plastic structural analysis for calculation of stresses and strains. These stresses are further used for deducing permissible cycles for fatigue as per the approach based on API 579-1. A Parametric study has been carried out in Finite Element Analysis tool ‘ANSYS-12.1’ for different configuration of skirt to cone junction specifically in terms of inside crotch radius. The effect on fatigue life has been studied with variation in inside crotch radius. It has been found that fatigue life at skirt to cone junction is increasing with increase in crotch radius. But, this increase in crotch radius is adversely effects on slot tip where the life is drastically reducing. Such parametric study can be considered for selection of inside crotch radius for given skirt thickness and diameter.

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