Some members of our staff just came back from the 2014 Spring Refining and Equipment Standards Meeting, which was held in Orlando, Florida. The aim of the participation was to discuss about the state of the art of an important research project we are supporting, together with other relevant sponsors such as Bechtel, Bohler, Chevron, Doosan, ETC/Air Liquide, Fluor, Honeywell, IHI, Kobelco, Shell, Total and Valero, just to mention a few of them.
The project is in the scope of the properties of metals and started in 2008 under the guidelines of the American Petroleum Institute (API); the association defines with the Reccomended Practice 934-A, the best practices to be used by fabricators when constructing new heavy wall pressure vessels with vanadium-modified Cr-Mo steels, intended for service in petroleum refining, petrochemical or chemical facilities. These materials are primarily used in high temperature, high pressure services which contain hydrogen. From several industrial applications, it emerged that under some conditions, submerged arc welding (SAW) with the 2 ¼ CR-1Mo 0.25V material is not effective, by causing re-heat cracks. For this reason, the necessity to identify these variables gave rise to the research project. The project is currently in testing phase, thus, we are waiting for the results. Once identified and eliminated the “bad conditions”, it will be possible to obtain very important applications both for manufacturers and end-users, moreover, fabricators will be able to produce items with an higher level of resistance.