Coke drums undergo cyclic operations typically in temperatures ranging from the ambient temperature to about 500°C. Generally, coke drums are fabricated from clad plates consisting of chromium-molybdenum low alloy steel as the base metal and ferritic stainless steel typically Type 410S stainless steel (TP.410S) as cladding material. TP.410S cladding material is used for protection against sulfide corrosion.
Coke drums frequently display major cracking on the inside surface of their circumferential weld along the fusion line between restoration weld and the TP.410S cladding. Moreover, an array of cracks commonly referred to as “elephant skin” are typically observed proximity to the major cracks. These cracks have been reported by multiple papers, particularly in the API Technical Report 934-G, up to the present and primarily attributed to the thermal fatigue which occurs from the repeated thermal loads experienced during each operating cycle. When the existence of severe cracks is recognized, users are forced to schedule extensive repairs.
The authors conducted fatigue tests employing coupons made from two kinds of cladding material, TP.410S and Alloy 625, which simulate the circumferential weld seam of coke drums. The paper summarizes the essential properties for the cladding material in order to delay cracking on the inside surface and proposes new common cladding materials which could be employed for coke drums based on test results.