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09159 Failure Experiences of Ethylene Cracking Tubes

Product Number: 51300-09159-SG
ISBN: 09159 2009 CP
Author: B. Y. Al-Yami, A. H. Al-Shawaf, Ruchuan C. Yin and A. A. Al-Ahmari
Publication Date: 2009
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This paper presents four case studies of ethylene cracking tube premature failures that took place in a local petrochemical industry. State of the art analytical techniques, macro etching of carburization depth, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) were utilized in analyzing and troubleshooting these failures. These tube failures represent typical failures that occur in ethylene cracking furnace tubes, and were caused by different damage mechanisms, i.e. creep/carburization, thermal fatigue/carburization, and thermal shock. Appropriate preventive solutions are suggested to overcome these failures in the future.

Key words: ethylene cracking tube, carburization, creep, thermal fatigue, and thermal shock
This paper presents four case studies of ethylene cracking tube premature failures that took place in a local petrochemical industry. State of the art analytical techniques, macro etching of carburization depth, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) were utilized in analyzing and troubleshooting these failures. These tube failures represent typical failures that occur in ethylene cracking furnace tubes, and were caused by different damage mechanisms, i.e. creep/carburization, thermal fatigue/carburization, and thermal shock. Appropriate preventive solutions are suggested to overcome these failures in the future.

Key words: ethylene cracking tube, carburization, creep, thermal fatigue, and thermal shock
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