July 2004

Materials/Reliability

Material selection for low-temperature applications

Analysis shows conventional metallurgy is usually adequate for process upsets

Kumar, S., Consultant

A void selecting expensive materials of construction for short-term, low-temperature exposures of vessels and piping. Short-term low temperature generally occurs during blowdown of a section of the process. Straight low-temperature data from a depressurization study might appear to exaggerate the threat of brittle fracture. However, detailed study reveals that low-temperature exposure is generally not as adverse as suspected, and that conventional metallurgy is usually adequate for the application. Scenarios leading to low-temperature exposures are not unusual in oil and gas plants—it might be a long-term normal process or a short-term abnormal contingency (see Appendix 1). The i

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