The fitness-for-service assessment to fire damage for pressure vessels was considered to be based on the material deterioration and performance degradation associated with heat exposure. The identification of thermal damage zones after exposure to fire was proposed and provided in the API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 Standard. However, the more explicit quantitative relationships between the heat exposure conditions and the performance degradation degree of the pressure vessels suffering fire were not reported in detail with the thermal damage zone metallurgical analysis, which was not available in the Standard. Therefore, the present research was conducted on the influences of fire suffering test and heat exposure, under different thermal conditions, on the micro-structure evolution and mechanical performance of austenitic stainless steels and carbon steels for pressure vessel equipment. And the metallurgical analysis results described some typical appearances in micro-structure observed in the materials experienced to fire and heat exposure. Moreover, the quantitative degradation of mechanical properties was investigated via multiple testing means such as mechanical tensile test at room temperature and low temperature, the Charpy impact testing, the torsion testing, and the hardness measurement. The present research provided data accumulation of material deterioration and performance degradation was believed to be benefited to the fitness-for-service assessment of pressure vessel after exposure to fire. The material thermal degradation mechanism and the fitness-for-service assessment process of fire damage behavior was further discussed.

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