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Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Corrosion

Overview of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Corrosion

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) is a colorless, flammable, and extremely hazardous gas with a strong "rotten egg" odor. Hydrogen sulfide is particularly dangerous to equipment when moisture is present. H2S corrosion, sometimes referred to as Sour Corrosion, can lead to rapid and extensive damage to metals, including uniform corrosion, pitting, and stepwise cracking.

Hydrogen sulfide can cause possible life-threatening situations if not properly handled. Workers exposed to H2S can experience serious short term and long term effects, including rapid unconsciousness, coma, and even death. In petroleum refining environments where exposure to H2S is possible, all workers should employ appropriate procedures for identifying, monitoring, and preventing H2S exposure.

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Amine Cracking Ammonia Stress Corrosion Cracking Brittle Fracture Carburization Caustic Cracking Cavitation Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking Cooling Water Corrosion Corrosion Fatigue Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) Cracking Decarburization Embrittlement Erosion Corrosion Fatigue (Material) Graphitization High Temperature Hydrogen Attack (HTHA) Hydrochloric Acid Corrosion Hydrofluoric Acid (HFA) Corrosion Hydrogen Assisted Cracking Hydrogen Blistering Hydrogen Embrittlement Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC) Hydrogen Stress Cracking Microbiologically Induced Corrosion (MIC) Naphthenic Acid Corrosion (NAC) Phosphoric Acid Corrosion Polythionic Acid Stress Corrosion Cracking (PASCC) Spheroidization Stress Assisted Corrosion Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) Stress-Oriented Hydrogen Induced Cracking (SOHIC) Sulfidation Corrosion Sulfuric Acid Corrosion Temper Embrittlement Thermal Fatigue Vibration Fatigue Wet H2S Cracking

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Articles about Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Corrosion
  • November/December 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Marc McConnell, P.E. at Pro-Surve Technical Services, and David A. Hansen, PhD, PE at Metallurgical Consulting, Inc.

    Hydrogen is a common culprit of equipment damage in the process industries. As hydrogen-induced damage can occur in multiple forms, it’s critical to identify the specific damage mechanism you’re dealing with before undertaking measures to prevent, mitigate, or repair.

  • November/December 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    There are a variety of forms of wet H2S cracking. In this short article I will focus on two of the most common forms: hydrogen induced cracking and stress-oriented hydrogen induced cracking (HIC/ SOHIC). HIC is often fairly innocuous (but not always), while SOHIC is a type of cracking that can easily lead to failure and needs to be mitigated. HIC is a form of tiny blistering damage that is mostly parallel to the surface and to the direction of hoop stress, hence is usually not damaging until it is extensive and affects material properties or gives rise to step-wise cracking that propagates into a weld or begins to go step-wise through the wall.

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