November 2003


Failure analysis of a primary reformer riser

Investigation revealed the root cause was creep rupture

Babakr, A., SABIC R&T; Al-Meshari, A., Al-Rabie, M., Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

A primary reformer had experienced a hot spot on the north wall, about 3 – 4 m below the roof level. The plant was immediately shut down and an entire inspection of the reformer was conducted. Internal inspection revealed a crack on riser A, located about 3 m below the reformer roof. The crack developed on the north side of riser A against the north wall of the reformer. Accordingly, a failure analysis was requested to assess the failed riser condition, define the root cause and come up with corrective actions. The reformer has been in service since 1987. It consists of eight rows. Each row contains 50 vertical catalyst tubes with a riser in the middle. Burners are fixed at the reform

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