January 2013

Special Report: LNG/Gas Processing Developments

Improve evaluation of brittle-fracture resistance for vessels

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.

Sims, J. R., Becht Engineering Co. Inc.

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 ev

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