Environment & Safety Gas Processing/LNG Maintenance & Reliability Petrochemicals Process Control Process Optimization Project Management Refining

January 2017

Heat Transfer

Failure analysis of olefin furnace radiant tubes

A detailed failure investigation into the cracking of ethylene furnace radiant tubes included visual, fractographic, metallographic, scanning electron microscopy/x-ray spectroscopy, and hardness and chemical examinations. These analyses showed that the tube crack was initiated by thermal shock, accompanied by restrained thermal expansion due to internal coke layer formation. Details of the failure’s contributing factors, and recommendations to avoid similar failures, are shared here.

SABIC Technology Centre: Al-Meshari, A.  |  van Zyl, G.

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