Coke drums are critical equipments in delayed coking plants, which are operated under severe thermal-mechanical conditions by cyclic heating and quenching processes. Cracks are usually developed during service because of severe plastic deformation and low-cycle fatigue. Thus, the assessment of the deformation severity and remaining life is important for safety operating of the coke drums. This study investigated the bulging damage and fatigue life of 6 coke drums after 16 years and 22 years of service in China. A thermal-mechanical fatigue test were first performed to simulate complex loading condition experienced by the coke drum. The thermal-mechanical fatigue life curve of the fabrication material was obtained. Then, a internal laser scanning was employed to measure the deformation and bulges of drum shells. The finite element analysis was developed to calculate the cyclic stress and strain and bulging severity based on the laser mapping and operating conditions. The fatigue life of the coke drum was assessed by the Coffin-Manson-Basquin’s relationship. The life evaluation results of different methods were compared and analyzed. The results showed that a reasonable life of the coke drum can be obtained by using the thermal-mechanical fatigue properties and laser scanning approach.

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