Coke drums are massive pressure vessels used in the oil and gas industry, which are subjected to demanding cyclic thermomechanical loading. Such conditions generate severe plastic deformation that leads to bulging and cracking during service due to low-cycle fatigue. The cracks are often repaired in programed maintenance shutdowns, and the repair procedures can be significantly different depending on the organization and failure characteristics. In this work, two types of weld repairs are evaluated after six months of service: (1) a full-excavation crack weld repair, and (2) a partial-excavation crack weld overlay repair. The repair welds were executed on a 1.25Cr-0.5Mo steel coke drum after 20 years of service. This work evaluates the microstructure of the base material, the fabrication circumferential welds, and the weld repairs. The results show that, after prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures, the originally normalized and tempered heat-treated steel microstructure has undergone severe aging. Thermodynamic equilibrium and para-equilibrium calculations were used to determine the carbide formation sequence, and SEM analysis was used to characterize the carbides present on the as-fabricated and aged microstructures. Analysis of the repaired regions did not reveal new cracks.
Microstructural Characterization of Base Material and Welded Joints of Serviced and Non-Serviced Coke Drums
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Romo, SA, Barborak, D, Bedoya, J, Penso, J, & Ramirez, AJ. "Microstructural Characterization of Base Material and Welded Joints of Serviced and Non-Serviced Coke Drums." Proceedings of the ASME 2018 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference. Volume 3B: Design and Analysis. Prague, Czech Republic. July 15–20, 2018. V03BT03A048. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/PVP2018-84859
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