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Overview of Metal Dusting

Metal Dusting, also known as catastrophic carburization, is simply a severe form of carburization in which the extensive carbides formed as a result of carburization lead to grains of metal falling out of the tube or piping and being swept away in the process stream. This form of degradation leaves a heavily pitted looking structure along with thinning of the tube/pipe.

Metal dusting generally affects materials in high carbon atmospheres; primarily those that operate at temperatures ranging from 300°C to 850°C. Thus, it is most commonly found in reforming units and cracker furnaces.

It is therefore important to establish an effective inspection program for these areas in particular. Proper insulation can also help protect equipment from high carbon atmospheres, thereby reducing the risk of metal dusting.

 

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