Inspectioneering
Inspectioneering Journal

Remaining Life Predictions for Reformer Catalyst Tubes

By John Brear at ERA Technology Ltd., John Williamson at ERA Technology Ltd., and Bobby Wright, P.E. at Stress Engineering Services. This article appears in the May/June 1997 issue of Inspectioneering Journal

Reformer catalyst tubes are commonly manufactured from high strength, creep and corrosion resistant alloys. They are relatively thick walled and are usually produced by centrifugal casting. Their lives are limited by creep, driven by a combination of internal pressure and through-wall thermal stresses generated by operational transients. The typical composition for alloys for reforming service is 25/20 Cr/Ni with the generic reference HK40.

Tube design is ordinarily based on pressure stresses, conservative outside wall temperatures and lower bound materials rupture lives. While this is sufficient for the achievement of design life, it does not provide a basis for remaining life assessment. Life prediction by an inverse design process using actual materials properties and service conditions results in highly optimistic estimates of future operational capability which are not borne out by service experience This is due to the effects of thermal stresses resulting from normal cyclic operation and from other transients, such as process upsets. Realistic life assessment must therefore take account of the full range of operational behavior - transient and process upsets as well as steady state.

This content is available to registered users and subscribers

Register today to unlock this article for free.

Create your free account and get access to:

  • Unlock one premium article of your choosing per month
  • Exclusive online content, videos, and downloads
  • Insightful and actionable webinars
GET STARTED
Interested in unlimited access? VIEW OUR SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS

Current subscribers and registered users can log in now.


Comments and Discussion

There are no comments yet.

Add a Comment

Please log in or register to participate in comments and discussions.


Inspectioneering Journal

Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

Company Directory

Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

Job Postings

Discover job opportunities that match your skillset.

Case Studies

Learn from the experience of others in the industry.

Event Calendar

Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.

Industry News

Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.

Blog

Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

Asset Intelligence Reports

Download brief primers on various asset integrity management topics.

Videos

Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.

Expert Interviews

Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.