In spite of the fact that coke drums are subjected to cyclic thermal and mechanical loads, generally, they are not designed for cyclic loads. Thus, their operational life is much shorter than other pressure equipment in refineries. Due to information developed from surveys, it was determined that the major typical location of failure due to thermal fatigue in coke drums is the shell-to-skirt junction area. This paper focuses on temperature and stress characteristics and also the thermal fatigue life of the junction area. The main objective of this paper was to explore effect of the switching temperature on thermal fatigue life of the junction area. Four coke drums, currently in service have been considered in the analyses, named drums A, B, C, and D, identical in dimensions and with an operating cycle period of 48 h. Operational temperatures and strains have been measured and collected every minute. The number of measured cycles of coke drum A, B, C, and D were 52, 53, 53, and 54 cycles, respectively. Thus, a total of 212 cycles have been analyzed. The operational temperatures and strains were examined. Finite Element Method (FEM) analyses have been performed on the selected cycles in order to find the most severe location in the junction area. The strain history and FEM results were used to assess thermal fatigue life. The thermal fatigue lives were calculated based on low cycle fatigue properties using engineering steels for high temperature components issued by National Institute for Materials Sciences (NIMS) in Japan. The number of cycle to fracture versus switching temperature for the coke drums was then plotted. The curve best fitting criteria was then used to develop an equation relating the number of cycle to fracture as a function of switching temperature. The results show that the switching temperature strongly affects the number of cycle to fracture. These results can be used to provide the necessary information to operate coke drums safely in order to extend their useful lives.
Study on the Effects of Switching Temperature on the Thermal Fatigue Life of the Shell-to-Skirt Junction of Coke Drum
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Oka, M., Ambarita, H., Daimaruya, M., and Fujiki, H. (October 31, 2011). "Study on the Effects of Switching Temperature on the Thermal Fatigue Life of the Shell-to-Skirt Junction of Coke Drum." ASME. J. Pressure Vessel Technol. December 2011; 133(6): 061210. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4004564
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