Sponsored Ebook

A Guide to Stress Corrosion Cracking Management

The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., September 30, 2022

Sponsored by   


Stress corrosion cracking (SCC) is a metallurgical damage mechanism that can affect metals and other materials under sustained tensile stress (applied or residual) in corrosive environments (aqueous or gaseous). Stress corrosion cracking is characterized by subcritical crack propagation due to the combined simultaneous interaction of mechanical stress and environmental exposure. There are numerous forms of SCC that typically afflict pressure equipment in the oil refining and petrochemical industries, including:

  • Amine SCC
  • Ammonia SCC
  • Carbonate SCC
  • Caustic SCC
  • Chloride SCC
  • Polythionic Acid SCC

While the damage morphologies of these different forms of SCC are frequently similar in nature, their propensity to develop in pressure equipment is dependent on many specific fabrication and process operating variables, such as material properties and chemistry, weld procedures, weld geometry, weld deposit and heat affected zone hardness/microstructure, original heat treatment, external environmental conditions, process stream composition, pH, temperature, operating stress level, and proximity to local stress concentrations.

This short eBook offers an overview of some of the more common forms of SCC (listed above) that can detrimentally influence the long-term reliability of process equipment and create a notable reliability and maintenance burden for plant personnel. Particular focus is placed on detecting and accurately characterizing these forms of cracking, and commentary on effective inspection methods is offered. Additionally, technically based fitness-for-service methods that consider the risk for brittle fracture and ductile tearing, along with pragmatic SCC damage mitigation techniques will be covered herein.

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