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Improve evaluation of brittle-fracture resistance for vessels

01.01.2013  |  Sims, J. R. ,  Becht Engineering Co. Inc., Liberty Corner, New Jersey

This article discusses a new approach and spreadsheet tool for engineers that can be used to provide operating pressure limits as a function of vessel-metal temperatures.

Keywords: [heat transfer] [brittle fracture] [refrigeration] [design codes] [reactors] [towers]

Process vessels such as towers, drums and heat exchangers can be exposed to low temperatures as part of normal operating conditions or due to a process upset. Carbon and low-alloy steels typically used in process vessels undergo a transition from ductile to brittle behavior as temperature is reduced and are at increased risk of brittle fracture at low temperature. To reduce this risk, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code contains requirements for vessels and vessel components with respect to low-temperature operation.1 While these rules are applicable to new construction, API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 Fitness-For-Service uses the rules as the basis to evaluate brittle fracture resistance for existing vessels.2 This article discusses an approach and spreadsheet tool that can be used to provide operating pressure limits as a function of vessel-metal temperatures. These limits can be used as part of a process hazard analysis (PHA) to set operating pressure guidelines for process vessels identified with the potential for low-temperature excursions from auto-refrigeration of light, low-temperature boiling point, liquid hydrocarbons.

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Abdul Sattar Abdul Hannan
02.13.2013

Article is very useful to determine MAT of vessels in process plant. Most of the vessels in gas ser ice are suseptible to brittle failure and but not impact tested, for these vessels it is necessary to calculate MAT. Pl. let me know how i can get copy of the spread sheet? Thanks

Roy Young
01.23.2013

OK... How do I get a copy of the spreadsheet?

Thanks,
Roy

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